Poland is a beautiful country with a lot to offer in terms of landscape, history, tradition and culture, with a highly varied regional offering. And although international travel has become a much easier option in the last two decades, Poles still love their sea or the mountains, or go to the lakes to spend their time off and recharge the batteries. On the other hand, Poland has been attracting a fair number of foreign tourists (with an estimated 14 million in 2012, clearly helped by the Euro 2012) who are keen to visit Poland and get to see and experience the Polish hospitality, along with the magnificent views, interesting attractions and good home-made food.
The most popular tourist areas in Poland include the Baltic Seacoast (wybrzeże Bałtyku), with numerous well-known and attractive resorts, including Sopot, Krynica, Jurata, Łeba, Ustka, Kołobrzeg, Międzyzdroje or Świnoujście. Most of them will offer easily available budget accommodation with basic amenities, but also luxury hotels and spas with extravagant services and breath-taking sea views.
Another popular destination is the Polish mountains, with the Tatra range (Tatry) being by far the first choice, with its local capital of Zakopane offering a wide variety of activities and attractions, such as hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter (the place is also renowned for the Wielka Krokiew Ski Jumping Hill). However, the Beskids, the Bieszczady and the Karkonosze are also among the top choices for holidaymakers, as they tend to be less crowded and offer less expensive accommodation options.
In addition to these the Polish Mazury Lake District (pojezierze mazurskie) belongs to the most frequented regions, both for summer or winter vacation, with its rolling hills and picturesque lakes on which to sail or enjoy ice yachting. The peace and quiet of the region is conducive to relaxing country walks in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter.
When booking their vacation in Poland, tourists or holidaymakers will probably check the available Internet resources for the best offers. Private accommodation (pokoje gościnne/ kwatery prywatne) is by far the most frequent choice, with hostels (schroniska) and hotels (hotele) also popular depending on your budget. There are also numerous travel agencies (agencje podróży/biura turystyczne) which will help you selecting the best option for your needs. Ask for two weeks on the sea, in the mountains or at the lakes (dwa tygodnie nad morzem/w górach/nad jeziorem) and they will come up with an almost unlimited selection of picks to choose from.
Foreign tourists are welcome to visit the major cities and attractions of Poland, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the historic centers of Warsaw and Krakow, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw, Torun and Zamosc, or other world-famous heritage sites, including the Auschwitz Birkenau, Concentration Camp (obóz koncentracyjny w Oświęcimiu-Brzezince), Wieliczka Salt Mine (kopalnia soli w Wieliczce), historic coal mines in Upper Silesia (zabytkowe kopalnie węgla na Górnym Śląsku), the Primeval Białowieża Forest (Puszcza Białowieska) with the endemic European bison, the medieval Teutonic Castle in Malbork (zamek krzyżacki w Malborku), or the 14th century ooden churches of Southern Lesser Poland (drewniane kościoły południowej Małopolski).
As such, Poland is very much an all-rounder for visitors looking to spend time at leisure at any season, with multiple options available to those seeking peace and quiet on the gentle sandy beaches of the Baltic, those more adventurous who wish to strain themselves with physical activity while hiking in the Carpathian ranges of southern Poland, sailors and swimmers looking for picturesque and peaceful lakes, or anyone striving to get an understanding of the Polish culture and history through visits to heritage sites, offering insights into the Polish soul. Serdecznie zapraszamy do odwiedzenia naszego kraju! (You are most welcome to visit our country!)