Traveling through Poland can be an interesting, eye-opening or even life changing experience. But with many regions and cities to chose from, it can be difficult to decide exactly where is best to go and what is best to do.
In this article, I explore five of the best Polish cities to visit for young travelers. As a female backpacker, I tried to approach these options from a woman’s perspective to also give an insight into the historical and cultural differences that may interest or appeal to the female vagabonds.
Think Polish cities and your immediate thought is probably the capital city of Warsaw. This is a popular travel destination and with a rich history, buzzing atmosphere and great culture it is hardly surprising to see why.
The attraction many travelers have to the city is partly due to its similarities in setup and atmosphere as other popular cultural, drinking and music destinations such as Berlin, Germany.
Another huge pull to this city, especially for the female traveler, is the higher level of diversity, acceptance and liberal nature of the general population in contrast to some conservative cities in the country. This is made apparent in a number of marches, protests, and parades held in the city, including Poland’s largest gay pride parade “Parada Równości” which has in fact been described as the first Europe wide gay pride parade held in a former Communist bloc country.
The city also hosts and supports numerous female rights marches including the Annual Feminist Demonstration, which was attended by over 5000 people this year. Warsaw also saw the biggest turn out on the day for the famous umbrella women’s demonstration against a ban on abortion that took place in 2016.
The districts of Praga and Powiśle offer a range of bustling bars and a large range of events museums and galleries such as a The Praga Museum of Warsaw, Copernicus Science Centre and the Warsaw Uprising Museum.
Another popular option for visitors to Poland is the city of Krakow. Made famous both for its historic town center, surrounding cultural sites and as the infamous site of the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz Birkenau. This site is a key city to visit for the young and adventurous traveler not just because of its history but also because of its vibrant, modern culture and party scene.
Krakow has secured its place as a must-do for young travelers due to the many local students, especially those that feel comfortable in the bohemian, art scene lifestyle. With a wide range of young resident artists, musicians, and performers, Krakow is quickly becoming a hub for the culturally-inspired.
One key area worth visiting is Kazimierz. This district is just south of the Old Town and is the former Jewish district of the city. As well as being rich in Jewish history, this district has a fun and friendly younger vibe that is enjoyed by all who visit.
One of Poland’s most aesthetically pleasing cities, Gdansk is a must for all those that plan on visiting the country. Situated on the Baltic Sea, it played a major part in history including during the Second World War and playing a major role in ushering the end of the communist era in Eastern Europe.
Not only is this a picturesque location to visit and enjoy for young travelers to wander around, but it also offers one of the most interesting museums in the country The European Solidarity Centre. This venue provides a fascinating look into the history of Solidarity movement, in which women played an important role, and crucially is a free attraction to enter. The outside is somewhat of a love it or hate it piece of modern architecture that can be appreciated both for its beauty and ugliness all at once.
5 Polish Cities Perfect for Young Travelers #travel #Poland
A lesser known, but still popular city to visit in Poland is that of Wroclaw. This city was a hot bed of resistance during the 1980s anti-Soviet movement and maintains it’s edgy, rebellious streak to this day. Similar to Krakow as a popular destination for students this city also has a historic university at its heart.
If you're visiting the city in the summer, be sure to expolre the Wroclaw Festival. This festival truly shows the liberal and accepting nature of the city, with everything from Spanish Culture right through to the closing of the Wroclaw Shanty Season. Well worth visiting during this festival if you want to experience first hand the energy the city has to offer.
Another hidden gem for young travelers to visit is the city of Poznan. This city was actually once the capital of Poland and is still the capital city of the Wielkopolska region.
Due to its history and close proximity to Germany, the city offers a rich historical experience, but also offers a vibrant nightlife for those who still have energy after exploring the city by day. The Old Town Square is probably the best-known drinking area in the city, but you will certainly benefit from visiting ul. Nowowiejskiego and ul. Taczaka areas that are popular drinking spots with students.
Image source: pixabay.com & author's own
Traveling in Poland can be exciting and reflective, it is also a perfect mix between history, culture and bustling nightlife. The key cities such as Krakow and Warsaw have a lot to offer visitors, but some of the often overseen cities including Gdansk and Poznan are well worth visiting to experience parts of lesser visited Poland.
Have you been to Poland or is it a country you've been wanting to visit? Tell us in the comments below!