During a month backpacking trip in Europe, my final stop was Poland, I only went to Warsaw and Krakow. I was pleasantly surprised by the country as it normally gets a bad reputation and I definitely want to go back some time.
1. Poland is Affordable
As a destination, you don’t need to worry about breaking the bank in Poland, if you’re a budget backpacker, Poland is an almost perfect destination for you. Although Poland uses its own currency (the złoty) it isn’t expensive at all, transport between cities, food and accommodation are 1/5 of the price of what you’d get in other European destinations like London and Paris.
2. Great Food, Beer and Vodka
It would be an unthinkable crime to visit Poland and not eat pierogi which are Polish dumplings, if you like Japanese gyoza, you will enjoy eating pierogi. There is also kielbasa which is the traditional polish style of sausage, there are loads of cheap places to eat kielbasa and pierogi where you can eat like a king. Poland has so many brands of beer such as Tyskie and Warka and some bars even sell pints of beer for less than a pound. Although vodka is mostly associated as being Russian, vodka is also part of Polish culture and I can tell you Polish vodka tastes slightly different from normal vodka.
3. Beautiful Scenery
Even though Warsaw is a very modern city which looks similar to Singapore, there is a restored old town which has very nice architecture. However, Krakow also has more of an old town feel and has a nice castle in the centre. One place I went to was called Kościuszko Mound which is an artificial mound that also has a place to take in some incredible views of Krakow. Poland is also renowned for its nature, which I didn’t see much of, but I want to eventually make it to Zakopane.
4. The History is Interesting
Even though Warsaw is a modern city as it was completely razed during WWII, Warsaw has a fantastic museum about the Polish Resistance, Krakow has also turned Schindler’s enamel factory into a museum about the holocaust. Both of these museums are worth visiting and in addition to that, there are loads of medieval castles and some historical relics within the city of Krakow.
5. Polish People are Warm
The stereotype of Polish people is that they are violent alcoholics and are unfriendly. This is complete nonsense, Polish people are extremely welcoming to tourists and Poland is one of the safer European destinations. There is of course trouble if you look for it, but I’d say it’s an incredibly safe country to visit. Most Polish people in Warsaw and Krakow could speak decent English and if not, they would greet me with “Dzień dobry.”
As you can see, Poland is a fantastic place to visit, especially if you’re a backpacker on a budget, I am definitely considering coming back to Poland because I had only been to two cities and there is so much more to see.