Poland, the ninth largest country in Europe and it is a country that was built from the ashes of destruction during the World wars. It is well known for its big castles, salty mines, marvellous nature, wildlife, vodkas and much more. Besides, Poland is known for science because of the scientists such as Marie Curie who helped the world understand the effects of radiation to the world and some of its popular inventions like bulletproof vest, walkie-talkie, paper clips, graphene, toothbrush, etc
Location and Population: – Poland is located in the Central part of Europe and it shares borders with Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Germany, Slovakia and Czech Republic. The geographical area of Poland is 3,12,696 km2.
According to the Census conducted in the year 2021, the population of Poland is 37,747,124.
Poland’s History: – The history of Poland has gone through a lot of suffering, destruction and much more. Poland has witnessed full scale attacks from various rulers and countries such as Mongols, Germany, Russia, Teutonic Knights, etc. Poland was part of Hitler’s invasion which led to the start of the second world war in Europe. Warsaw was the worst affected city in Poland as it was completely bombed by Germany.
Facts you should know about Poland: – There are various facts that the tourists should know before visiting Poland. They are as follows: –
- Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe. It is bigger than Italy and the United Kingdom.
- Poland is home to the world’s largest castle which is the Teutonic order castle in the town of Malbork in terms of the area.
- Did you know Poland contains the heaviest animal in Europe which is the Bison?
- There is a music festival in Poland which is the largest open air music festival. It is the Woodstock festival which attracts more than 2 lakh people for the music festival.
- Poland contains the world’s oldest restaurant which is still operating since the 12th century that is the Piwnica Swidnicka
- Poland is the inventor of Vodkas and till date it has been producing some of the best vodkas in the world.
Culture and Food: – The people in Poland are very friendly, polite and they love to keep themselves busy in some work or activity. The locals speak to the point in their conservations and the tourists might find them to be blunt and very much sarcastic. Besides, there is an activity that they like doing mushroom picking wherein they pick mushrooms which are not poisonous. The families are very close to each other and the younger generation love to spend time out during weekends with their friends.
The Polish cuisine is more of a time consuming cuisine which requires proper dedication of time. They eat more Non-vegetarian dishes especially chicken, pork, etc. Besides, they use more vegetables in this cuisine. The cuisine involves more use of butter as compared to oil. When a Polish cuisine dish is made outside Poland it is referred to as à la polonaise. Some of the popular dishes from the Polish cuisine are Pierogi, Kotlet Schabowy, Gulasz, Placki Ziemniaczane, Rosół, Pączki, etc.
Things to explore in Poland: – There are various things for the tourists to explore in Poland in terms of festivals and adventure activities. They are as follows: –
- Marzanna: – It is an old festival that happens every year in the month of March. The locals either burn or drown the evil dolls which are made of straw that marks the beginning of the spring season and the end of a dark time. The tourists would see more of the young children participating in this festival.
- Easter Festival: – Easter is one of the popular festivals that is celebrated in Poland. The tourists would get to see the preparations going on at least a week before Easter. The tourists would like the decoration of the Easter eggs which are known for artwork. Besides on Easter there is a tradition in Poland called Smigus-Dyngus wherein the boys wet the girls which is a sign of good luck.
- Independence day: – Poland celebrates its Independence day on the 11th November every year. The tourists would get to see the parades, speeches, flags hung around almost all houses, fireworks, events, etc.
- Wreck diving: – The tourists can get to explore the seas of Poland which contain the old wrecked ships. They can go to the Bay of Gdansk, the area between Hel and Leba, etc.
- Gliding: – The tourists can go and scale the sky of Poland through gliding. There are various gliding clubs that the tourists can visit for gliding such as the Aeroklub Warszawski, Aeroklub Krakowski , etc.
- Mountain biking: – There are many trails of mountain biking in Poland and they can explore the greenery of Poland. Some of those places are Kuźnice – Polana Kalatówki, Siwa Polana – Chochołowska Valley, Wąwóz Homole Reserve, etc.
Things to buy in Poland: – There are various things for the tourists to buy in Poland in order to complete their shopping list. Some of them are Oscypek Cheese, liquors, vodkas, pottery, cosmetics, Kabanosy, amber jewellery, Krówki, gingerbread, mushrooms, Woolen products, ceramics, Chessboard, Salt lamps, etc.
Best time to visit: – The best time to visit Poland is during the spring season that is between March to May and the autumn season between September to November as the climate is pleasant for the tourists to smoothly explore the country. Besides, there would be a little bit of rain in Poland during the spring season.
Places to visit in Poland
- Warsaw: – The city which is the capital and the largest city in Poland is Warsaw. Warsaw was rebuilt from the ashes after the bombing by Germany’s planes during the second world war. The Warsaw uprising museum which is located in the Wola district of the city. The museum is dedicated to the Warsaw uprising that happened in the year 1944 against the Nazi Germany. The museum contains exhibits such as weapons, audios and videos of the uprising, letters, etc. The royal route which is a famous route that connects five streets in Warsaw. The royal route starts from the Castle square and the streets that are connected are Krakowskie Przedmieście (Kraków Suburb Street), ulica Nowy Świat (New World Street), Aleje Ujazdowskie (Ujazdów Avenue), ulica Belwederska (Belweder Street) and ulica Sobieskiego (Sobieski Street), finally to arrive at Wilanów (King Jan III Sobieski’s personal residence). Besides, there is Royal Castle which used to be the residence of the Polish rulers between 16th to 18th century. It is located in the old town square and it was rebuilt due to the damage that occurred due to the war. The castle is known for the paintings, architecture, throne room, apartments, etc. Besides, the tourists can also visit the Lazienki park which is the largest park in Warsaw. It is a park that was earlier a baths park which was later changed. The park contains the residence of the last king of Poland Stanisław August Poniatowski. Besides, the tourists can also spot some beautiful animals like peacocks, squirrels, ducks, swans, etc in the park.
- Kraków: – The city which is the second largest in Poland and it is located near the Vistula river is Kraków. There is a church that is St Mary Basilica in Krakow which is near the market square that is known for its architecture and the wooden altarpiece by Veit Stoss. Besides, the tourists can also hear the sound of the trumpet everyday during the afternoon as it is dedicated to the trumpeter during the 13th century who was killed while alerting the locals about the Mongols invasion. The Wawel castle which is on the left bank of the Vistula river at the limestone hill. There are many things to explore in the castle such as the Dragon’s Den, Sigismund bell, chambers, John Paul II Cathedral museum and much more. Besides, the castle is also known for its architecture. Besides, the tourists can also visit the Wieliczka salt mine which is one of the oldest mines that is operating in the world. The salt mine is made of rock salt and there are many things for the tourists to view inside the mine such as the four chapels, underground lake, statues, etc. The salt mine is 327 metres deep and it was also used by the Germans for manufacturing war related items. Over the years various technologies were used to get the salt to the surface from the mine and some of the technologies were the Hungarian horse treadmill and the Saxon treadmill.
- Gdansk: – The city which is located in the northern part of Poland and it is a port is Gdansk. The tourists can visit the Neptune fountain which is a bronze fountain that is located at the entrance of the Artus court in the Long market. It is a good place to click pictures around the fountain and it has been there since the 16th century. Besides, the fountain was designed by Abraham van den Blocke and over the years there have been changes in the fountain such as the basin of the fountain is changed and new sea creatures statues are added in the fountain. The next place is the Westerplatte which is a peninsula in the Gdansk harbour channel. There is a monument that is known as the Battle of Westerplatte. It is known for the battle that was fought between Germany and Poland. This battle is said to be the beginning of the Second World war. Besides, the tourists can also visit the Brzezno beach which is one of the popular beaches in Gdansk wherein they can sunbathe, walk around the beach and the best part is to get a good view of the sunset from the beach during the evening. Besides, the tourists can also visit some of the restaurants and bars at the beach to have some delicious meals.
- Wrocław: – The city which is the fourth largest in Poland and it is the capital of the Dolnośląskie province is Wroclaw. The tourists can explore the Wroclaw zoo which is the oldest zoo in Poland and a good place for all the animal lovers. It is located in the Wróblewskiego street in Wroclaw and there are more than 1,000 animals in the zoo. There are various sections in the zoo such as the Oceanarium, Madagascar pavilion, and many more. Some of the animals are Python, Crocodile, Sapphire macaw, Barn owl, elephants, ponies, lion, Giraffes, etc. The Wroclaw zoo is the fifth most visited zoo in Europe. The tourists can visit the Wroclaw multimedia fountain which is the biggest fountain in the country. It is located near the Centennial hall and Wroclaw congress centre. The fountain contains 800 lights, 300 water jets and 3 fire jets. The fountain also contains music which can be calm, pop, classical and other types of music. Besides when there is an important event, the fountain also shows animations, photos, videos, etc. It is a good spot to see this beautiful light show in Poland. Apart from the above, the tourists can visit the Sky tower, the tallest skyscraper in Wroclaw. It is a 50 storey tower and the tourists will get to see a good breathtaking view of Wroclaw city.
How to reach Poland from India: – The tourists can reach Poland from India through flight and there are various airlines that fly to Poland such as Air India, Emirates, LOT Polish Airlines, Swiss, British Airways, etc. Besides, tourists can also travel to Poland by road but they should have the documents that are needed to pass through other countries during their road journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the currency of Poland ?
Ans: The currency of Poland is Polish Zloty.
- What is the language spoken in Poland ?
Ans: The language spoken in Poland is Polish but the locals can also speak in English.
- What are the eateries that serve Indian food in Poland ?
Ans: A portion of eateries that serve Indian food in Poland are Namaste India, Indian Masala, Restauracja Madras, etc.
- What is the national sport of Poland ?
Ans: The national sport of Poland is football.
- Which places are popular for shopping in Poland ?
Ans: There are various places to shop in Poland that are Annopol factory, Krakow factory outlet, Gdansk fashion house, Grzegórzki flea market, etc.