"Paul's Poland Page" Top 5 Page for this destination Poland by Paul2001

Poland Travel Guide: 17,707 reviews and 47,880 photos

My trip to Poland left me with somewhat mixed emotions. This as less to do with Poland and the Poles than it does with just dumb luck. As any Pole will testify, the weather in September and October of 2002 was basically dreadful. During most of my trip the weather was both cold and rainy especially while I was in Gdansk and Krakow. For the most part this made wandering the streets of the Polish cities was rather uncomfortable. Naturally it did not make hiking in Tatras Mountains a pleasant experience either. Still I did get some sun in these wonderful mountains.
The weather aside I still found Poland to a generally engaging country well worth a visit if you are travelling to this part of Europe. Poland is full of great castles to explore, fantastic mountain scenery, and stunning town squares to laze away in(if it not raining). To my surprise Poland has some of the best baroque architecture in Europe which makes several of the town squares (or ryneks) to be very pleasant and colourful eye candy.
Poland is also now full of great places to eat which I understand was not always the case. Only recently have so many restaurants opened up to accommadate the tourists that now flock to the country. Finally in comparison to Western Europe Poland is quite affordable with dinners rarely costing more than $10.00 or hotel rooms over $50.00. It is a great place to travel on a budget.
On the negative side I had other problems in Poland other than the weather. Amongst the 30 years of age plus crowd there is very little English which can be a problems if you lack the patients to deal with people by pointing. The art galleries
are rather uneven affairs. Some like Poznan's National Gallery have a decent collection of European and Polish art. But other galleries are overrated and to put it bluntly, boring. A lot of this may have to do with the quality of Polish art which is not always up to international standards. Perhaps this is why these galleries seem to suffer from a paucity of visitors. Finally I was somewhat disappointed by some of the Gothic houses of worship in Poland. This is surprising because Poland has some wonderful Gothic secular buildings. However Poland has some of the ugliest Gothic churches that I have ever seen.
I do not think that these negatives should dissuade you from visiting Poland if the opportunity arises. It is on a whole a very pleasant country, and if the weather holds up I am certain that you will have a great time.

One of the most compelling experiences that you can have while touring Poland is a visit to Auschwitz. The Nazi extermination camp is now a museum. It is located outside of Krakow and is best visited as a daytrip from there. I have a seperate Auschwitz page for those wishing to explore it.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Pretty town squares. Great Castles. Some Really Good Bars.
  • Cons:Rude railway personal. Indifferent museums
  • In a nutshell:Poland-An Affordable Alternative.
  • Last visit to Poland: Oct 2002
  • Intro Updated Jan 31, 2005
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Reviews (49)

Comments (36)

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Great Poland tips and photos. Went there about 11 years earlier. Happy Birthday!

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2009 at 1:23 AM

    Sorry; cotolette; not colelette. Good page. Ciao!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:33 PM

    Great tips Paul! I wish the dollar would even out so I could get back to Europe for more exploration!

  • 1courage's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2007 at 2:01 PM

    Wow! what a beautiful page! Poland is awesome! I will surely visit some day. Thank you for this great presentation and overview!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2007 at 2:48 PM

    Update since 8/04!Excellent intro. that is quite honest. I loved the castles, ruins, cemetery, museums, town squares, hiking mt. trails, palaces, park, SALT MINE, town halls..great architecture too.

  • songlines's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2007 at 2:14 AM

    I have very much enjoyed visiting your pages and the photos of your hike in the Tatras mountains, looks lovely. Greetings from West Cork.

  • Vulindlela's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2007 at 7:45 PM

    Great page on Poland! Regardless of the weather, you took some great photos.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2007 at 1:27 PM

    Paul, fabulous overview of Poland. I have now been to a few cities in this lovely country but having checked ourt your page I now feel like there are still some cities to discover. I am glad to read that you could safe your wallet from the pickpocket. :-)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2006 at 9:08 AM

    Beutiful pictures and very interesting tips. Sorry to hear you had mostly bad weather, you should come this year... even today was +15C and a lot of sunshine :-)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2006 at 10:23 PM

    A very comprehensive page on Poland, a country that I hope to visit sometime, may be next year! Beautiful photos and well documented tips!


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