Poland is a country with a 1000 year history, which has seen its fair share of wars, yet despite the vast destruction during WWII, a lot of cultural wealth and rich traditions remain. The capital, Warsaw, went through huge reconstruction and is now bustling full of cafés, restaurants, galleries and the walled UNESCO Old Town. Stooge through antique shops and luxurious boutiques, enjoy a reflective coffee amongst the bookshelves in a café-bookshop. Somewhat miraculously, Krakow emerged from WWII totally unscathed, its eclectic mix of cobbled streets, castles, church spires, and the largest medieval square in Europe stand perfectly preserved. The tree-lined promenade encircles the centre of the city, leading from the Florian gate to Wawel Castle. There is a whimsical charm existing across the city for your discovery. Littered with monuments, museums and holocaust memorials, Poland’s painfully blighted past cannot – and should not – be ignored. But it’s not history alone that shapes this revered country.
Whether you’re tramping from cities to towns, or Baltic coastal villages and ethereal forests, seek out a traditional Polish way of life. Frequent the many milk bars (bar mleczny) and eat wood grilled sausage with a side serving of cabbage. Stand before the windows of elaborate cake displays and salivate over poppy cakes, cream cakes and fruit filled strudels, and experience orchestras, operas and choirs in the grandest of concert halls. If you tire of town life, venture away from the hustle and into Poland’s rich countryside which is teeming with woodland, rivers and forests, Carpathian hillside and a network of lakes and waterways perfect for kayaking and canoeing.