Poland is not the first destination which comes to mind when thinking about travel destinations to visit. As a Polish girl, I had always avoided traveling in Poland myself. The weather is not very good for most of the year and there are no turquoise waters. Simply put, Poland wasn’t an attractive destination for me, nor for many other travelers. Yet, after many years of living and traveling abroad, I decided to rediscover Poland. Summer is the best time to travel in Poland; however late spring can also offer amazing weather, just depends on the year.
Poland has an extensive railway network, which makes traveling around the country easier. However, your other option is to travel by bus (you can find cheap tickets if you book in advance at FlixBus, which serves local and European routes). It’s definitely cheaper to travel in Poland than other countries, and don’t worry, Polish people are highly educated and more people can speak English now than ever before. Also buying train tickets should not be a problem, at the station, there are machines where you can buy tickets, with the information given in English and other languages.
From Warsaw, you can travel anywhere you want, but in this post, I will focus on the Pomerania – province in the north of Poland. Most people who are headed to Poland will most likely arrive into Warsaw, which is a good place to begin your trip, and the sights here should definitely not be skipped. The main attractions in Warsaw include the historical Old Town with the castle, the Palace of Culture and Science or the Palace on the Isle (free entrance of Thursday).
If you are vegan that’s not a problem, as Warsaw is the third world vegan-friendly capital in the world. Polish food is not vegan-friendly, but for those non-vegans out there, I really encourage you to try some polish dishes, especially Pierogi or Placki Ziemniaczane (they are not vegan but vegetarian though). But for now, let’s move away from Warsaw towards the upper part of Poland.
I picked Leba for it’s broad, long white sand beaches, which is something many people wouldn’t expect to see in Poland. In fact, many Polish don’t know about Leba’s beaches either. The only drawback is the fact that the water (the Baltic Sea) is not that attractive in color, and is definitely not the beautiful turquoise of other countries. I honestly wouldn’t do more there than maybe some windsurfing but even for that, you will be better off in Rewa or Kuznica.
Leba has beautiful moving sand dunes, which are easily accessible by bike and you will find yourself cycling 10km through the National Forest. The entrance fee is just 6pln (1.5 euro) and you can rent a bike for the whole day for 20pln (around 4.5 euro). You can also reach the sand dunes by car (although there is a high parking fee and you still have to walk a few kilometers), malaxer (which is similar to a golf cart, but can fit a higher number of people inside, it costs around 20pln one way) or lastly the most challenging option which is by walking.
I would recommend visiting in the early morning or late in the afternoon, especially in summer, as it can be very hot and there is no shade. There is a great beach for walking through sand dunes and it’s emptier than other parts of Leba beach. Food and accommodation are readily available and will be really cheap in comparison to other parts of Europe.
From Leba we took the train to Gdynia. As it was peak season, accommodation prices reached high levels so we found one room on Airbnb. Surprisingly we found a vegetarian restaurant just next to our place. It served vegetarian “Bar Mleczny”. Bar Mleczny is a really popular diner in Communism, where you can eat Polish food fast for really cheap prices. But as polish food is not meat friendly, this particular place would serve only vegetarian meals without meat.
From Gdynia, we went by fast speed train to Sopot, which took around 20 minutes. We then went to visit the famous Boardwalk, which is actually one of the longest in Europe. Unfortunately, to get the pleasure of walking across the boardwalk, you need to pay an entrance fee (only in summer). I would recommend waiting until sunset, as it can be really beautiful and dress up warm, as in the evenings can get chilly. The beach in Sopot is not nice at all and I would say even dirty, after time in the beach in Leba, Sopot beach was a big disappointment.
The next day we packed our stuff and went to the train station to take the public bus to Rewa, which has seagull sandbar. I may be Polish, but I only got to know about this place recently and decided I needed to go. We found accommodation there. The weather was not good at all, I thought I was going to be blown away by the strong winds but it was a haven for the kite surfers.
We decided to leave as the weather wasn’t getting any better. We went to Gdansk, left our luggage at the train station in lockers (around 14pln – 3euro/24h) and went to explore the old town of Gdansk. Mariacka street, Long Market, and St. Mary’s church is the most famous places to see as well as the Old Town. If you like jewelry get yourself some cute handmade jewelry made with amber, which Gdansk is famous for.
We finished our trip in six days, it was super intense but fulfilling, with beautiful weather which is always tricky in Poland. I hope you will also have an amazing time in my country. I have to tell you I discovered these places recently and was so happy to see Poland from a different point of view. So when in Poland see less old towns and more beaches!
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Poland. If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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We Are Travel Girls Contributor Nina Gohar of Cosmopolitanqa.com
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So much in 14 days!!! You sure got a good deal with OAT.