Poland Vacations

Poland is a central European country that has a coastline facing the Baltic Sea and geographically located between two great political European Countries: Germany and Russia. Over the centuries, those two great powers have exerted considerable control over Poland. But Poland has fought to retain its political and cultural identity which have been in existence for centuries. Its capital was located in Krakow from 1038-1956 and the city is the site of Mary’s Basilica, a 14th-century Gothic church. The rulers of Poland have called Krakow home for centuries. During the 1300's these rulers built the Royal Wawel Castle which is today a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular holiday destinations in Poland are 1) Masurian Lake District 2)The Tatra Mountain Range 3)The Baltic Sea.

Poland Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

Poland Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Poland

Eastern Europe is one of those places that fly under the radar for most that are looking to indulge in Europe for the first time. However, those who are seasoned travellers know that some of the best-hidden gems in the entire continent, call Eastern Europe home. This could not be truer than with the country of Poland. Poland has been in a revival for the last quarter of the century, and with this revival comes a tourist experience like there is no other in Europe. In this article, we are going to dive into some of the things that you need to know about Poland before venturing to its amazing lands. We will first go through the geography, then a brief review of its storied history, then will touch on the culture of this country and finally, finish up with some of the landmarks that you have to see when heading to Poland for the first time.

Poland Geography

Sitting on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Poland is one of the largest countries in Eastern Europe. The country can be split up into four major areas. The Baltic coast does not have many natural harbours, but in Gdansk-Gdynia and Szczecin do have deep water ports that have been used for centuries. The northeastern portion of the county is called the lake region. This area is sparsely populated but is filled with industrial resources and agricultural land that feeds the city. To the south, the plains extend to the Sudeten Mountains that make up the Czech and Slovak border. The country itself is just over 312 thousand kilometres square and includes numerous lakes, and rivers. The country is vastly a coastal plain and only 3% of the landmass peaks above 500 metres.

Poland History and Culture

The Slavic people have called Poland home for more than two centuries, and although no permanent civilization existed in the area until around 1000, the area that is present-day Poland played a pivotal home for those nomadic tribes. The first permanent settlements began popping up around 900, and by 965, the Kingdom of Poland began to be created, with Mieszko I converting to Christianity in 1025. The true golden age of the Polish kingdom was in the 1600’s. During this time Copernicus led the Scientific revolution with his heliocentric theory of the solar system. As well, the country proclaimed the nation as welcoming to all regions and allowed Jews, Christians and Muslims to live in relative harmony. However, Poland would soon fall into disarray, and throughout the following 400 years would be attacked and conquered by a number of foreign powers. IT was not until 1918 that an independent state of Poland would be created, which would be named the Second Kingdom of Poland. However, this was not meant to last, and in 1939, Germany conquered Poland once again. After the second world war, Poland was brought under Russian rule, where it would continue until 1989. Today, Poland is still trying to catch the Western World but has seen massive leaps forward in terms of economics, their infrastructure and culture.

Poland, like many European cultures, has an extremely rich and deep culture. Most of its culture has been nurtured by a number folk traditions and takes from French, Scandinavian and Russian cultures to make a mosaic that Poland calls its own. Poland has been deeply immersed in European culture since 1000, and due to this, movements such as humanism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and Romanticism have been at play in Warsaw and beyond. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Poland struggled to maintain its own cultural identity under the rule of others, but today’s Polish cultural re-emergence shows that they were successful. When in Poland you will need to take a deep dive into the cuisine of this place. Home to dishes such as duck soup, red beet soup pierogi, smoked salmon and more, the food of Poland is hearty and will keep your filled up throughout the day. Much of their cuisine is found the gardens and forests around the city, and no matter if you are a lover of Eastern European dishes or not, by the time you leave Poland you will be! Also, expect to have a lot of vodkas… the locals love it!

Poland Landmarks

*Krakow Old Town
Home to the first Polish government in 1038, Krakow’s old town is one of the most quaint in Europe. The town was home to the crown between 1038 and 1596 and has a number of picturesque buildings and museums to match its history. As well, there are some amazing markets that you need to try, and the food in Krakow is in a league of its own!

*Castle of the Teutonic Order
The largest castle in the world by area, the Castle of the Teutonic order in Malbrook is truly a site to see. Built-in Prussia by the Teutonic Knights in the form of an Ordensburg Fortress, the castle was completed in 1406. At the time, it was the largest brick Gothic castle, but today it is the centrepiece of the lively city of Marienburg

*Wieliczka Salt Mine
Believed to be the 14th oldest company in the world, the Wieliczka Salt mine continuously produced its world-renowned table salt from the 13th century until 2007. It was one of the oldest operating salt mines in the world, and today it is a great attraction for those who love to experience mines and salt!

*Auschwitz Concentration Camp
I will warn you now, this not going to be a good day, but it is a place that every single person on Earth should visit at least once. Auschwitz was one of over 40 concentration and death camps that were created by the Nazi regime during the Second World War. This camp was the largest camp in the network, and was the centrepiece of the attempt of the Nazi government to exterminate the Jewish population, as well as those who were homosexual, gipsies, had physical or learning disabilities or were political rivals.