Poland is a historically rich country that is home to 14 world heritage sites and numerous Poland landmarks. Poland offers the ideal location for history enthusiasts as well as architectural enthusiasts to visit. Poland's towns buzz in the energy of artistic and cultural life and are a good start to discover the whole country.
We put together a list of the 30 famous Poland landmarks and best places to visit for you. Famous Landmarks, tourist attractions in Poland, historic sights, famous places, national parks… You name it. We have them all.
What's famous in Poland?
There are a lot of places and famous landmarks in Poland. Here is a short overview of the Top 10 landmarks in the country:
- Warsaw Old Town
- Malborg Castle (Castle Marienburg)
- Tatra Mountains
- The Crooked Forest
- Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps
- Słowiński National Park
- Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski)
- Masurian Lake District
- Wieliczka Salt Mine
1. Warsaw Old Town
For the best Poland sightseeing, you have to go to Warsaw's old town. Built during the 12th and 13th centuries, it is a vibrant center for culture, history, and cuisine. The main attraction in this historic center is the Warsaw Old Market Place and Old Town Market Square. These places are great for taking pictures, trying street food, and people-watching.
On the bucket list of food to try in Warsaw is pierogis (Polish dumplings), placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes), and paczki (polish doughnuts). Other top tourist attractions you won’t want to miss are the Historical Museum of Warsaw, Royal Castle, Presidential Palace, Grand Theatre, and Museum of Caricature and Cartoon Art.
2. Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski)
In old town Warsaw, the Warsaw Royal Castle was originally built for Polish royalty in the 1600s but was later completely destroyed in World War II. It was rebuilt between 1971-1988 and the royal gardens were actually finished in 2019. This landmark is not only historically significant, but it is a place for current state ceremonies and Polish education.
The castle offers collections of oriental rugs, coins, antique furniture, sculptures, and art. Equally impressive, are the royal gardens. The upper and lower gardens cover 2 hectares and feature beautiful statues, sculptures, plants, fountains, benches, and vases. Pack a picnic and birdwatch here for blackbirds, nightingales, and magpies.
3. Unesco World Heritage Sites – Malbork Castle (Marienburg)
One of the most famous buildings in Poland, the Malbork Castle* is an incredibly large and sturdy castle. It was completed in the 14th century but due to severe damage caused in World War II, it had to be rebuilt. This royal castle is a UNESCO Heritage Monument made up of three different castles and is currently a popular tourist attraction.
Visit the Marlbork castle to get your fill of Polish culture, history, and beauty. Tickets cost about 4 dollars and you can visit day or night; the night tour is debatably the best with the glowing lights illuminating the brick red walls and the tour guide dressed as a medieval knight. On the tour, you will see military rooms, art, huge courtyards, tapestries, armor rooms, ceramics, long corridors, ancient furniture, artifacts, and many exhibits. This is among the most famous Polish landmarks and it definitely is worth the trip.
4. Tatra Mountains & National Park
Split between Slovakia and Poland, the Tatra Mountains and National Park is the best place to explore nature. In the Tatra Mountains, you will find animals like eagles, bears, and marmots, as well as high-mountain plants and colorful wildflowers. This park has more than 100 alpine lakes and many waterfalls and hiking trails.
The best lake in the park is definitely Morskie Oko, which was mentioned earlier in this list. Also on the Polish side is the alpine pasture of Hala Gasienicow and the cave of Jaskinia Mylna. The most popular hike in this area is the hike up the highest mountain in Poland, Rysy. It is a 14-mile trek but once at the top, you are rewarded with panoramic views of the picturesque landscape.
5. Morskie Oko Lake in the Tatra National Park
This stunning lake is located in the Tatra mountains in southern Poland. It is the largest lake in the Tatra mountains and it is surrounded by forests, wildflowers, and rocky mountains. To reach this paradise, either embark on the 6-mile uphill trail or take a horse-drawn buggy. Either way, the route to the lake is scenic and tranquil with views of waterfalls, wildlife, and lush greenery.
Once you arrive, take pictures of this unique natural beauty then sit down for a drink on the outdoor deck of the PTTK Morskie Oko Mountain Hut. Alternatively, if you still have energy, venture another 30 minutes uphill to the Czarny Staw pod Rysami Lake which is the second deepest lake in Tatra National Park.
6. Masurian Lake District
One of the top Polish tourist attractions is the beautiful Masurian Lake District with over 2,000 lakes to explore. Here you will find forests, farms, charming towns, spas, islands, and parks. While you are here, enjoy activities like cycling, sailing, fishing, walking, canoeing, and birdwatching (there are over 175 bird species here).
A top attraction is Wolf’s Lair, this beautiful forest is famous for being the military headquarters of Hitler in World War II. Also see Luknajno Lake, a bird reserve with the largest mute swan population in Poland. If you love history, don’t miss Zane’s Kapituly Warminskiej castle and museum. This brick Gothic castle was built in the 14th century and is an impressive historical monument.
The best places to stay in the Masurian Lake District are Hotel Tajty in Gizycko, Hotel Santa Monica in Mikolajki, or the family-friendly water park hotel Tropikana Golebiewski in Mikolajki.
7. Thorn (Torun)
This historic city was founded in 1233 and it is one of the best Poland tourism places of culture and history. The best part of Thorn is the old town with its charming architecture, pubs, delicious restaurants, and landmarks.
The main attractions here include the Living Museum of Gingerbread, Town Square, Monument of Nicolaus Copernicus, Old Town Hall, and the main square. The Old Town Hall is one of the most famous Polish landmarks, it was built in 1274 and has a museum as well as a tower with views of the old town. With Gothic buildings, colorful shops, and red brick buildings, this is truly one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Europe.
8. Wroclaw (Breslau) – Tourist Attractions in Poland
Wroclaw is not one of Poland’s famous places, but it most certainly should be with its beautiful old town, colorful buildings, amazing cuisine, contemporary art, and hip vibe. If you are younger (or young at heart), Wroclaw should definitely be on your bucket list.
Possibly the best part of this town is the hidden dwarf sculptures, there are over 400 of them scattered through the city, so keep your eyes peeled as you are walking about! Start your day here at one of many outdoor cafes by the riverside then head straight to Market Square to see postcard-worthy houses with unique architecture. The next stop is the Market Hall, an impressive Polish landmark built between 1905-1908, where locals come to buy fresh produce and meats.
Before grabbing lunch, make sure to climb the Mathematical Tower for views of the old town and the islands on the Odra river. One option for lunch is Wroclawska, a highly recommended restaurant with traditional Polish cuisine that won’t disappoint. After lunch, rent a kayak or take a boat tour on the Odra river and enjoy more views of the city. Finish up your day with fine dining at La Maddalena (or perhaps some hearty street food) before hitting the bars for a lively nightlife experience.
9. Famous Poland Landmarks – Gdansk
Located on the Baltic Sea in northern Poland, Gdansk is not the top Poland tourism place, but it definitely should be. This historical city is filled with museums, delicious restaurants, beaches, art, and castles. The city was rebuilt after the second world war and originally had classic Germanic architecture, however, it was rebuilt with strong Dutch and French influence.
The first thing to do is walk along with the Long Market, a wide street with colorful buildings, adorable shops, quaint cafes, and traditional restaurants. From here, visit the Main Town Hall and climb the tower to see views of the city. The town hall also has the Gdansk History Museum.
Continue your tour at St. Mary’s church, one of the largest brick churches in the world, and then the Museum of the Second World War. End the day by eating on the waterfront and watching the sunset over the unique Polish houses.
10. The City of Krakow
One of Poland’s famous places is the unique city of Krakow, which fuses modern life with medieval history. This city is filled with 13th-century buildings, museums, street art, bars, and churches. The style of architecture in this eclectic destination ranges between Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau. It is one of the top Poland landmarks places for culture, all year round you will find festivals, theatre, art, music, and film events.
The top three Poland landmarks here are the Main Market Square, St. Mary’s Basilica, and Kazimieriz neighborhood. The Market Square is great for people-watching and sipping a coffee, the basilica is a colorful and unique wonder, and the Kazimierz neighborhood is the lively Jewish quarter with the best nightlife and cuisine.
While you are in the romantic city of Krakow don’t forget to eat polish sausage and pierogies. If you happen to tire of Polish cuisine, there are also many French, Asian, Italian, and vegan restaurants to choose from.
11. Schindler's Factory, Krakow
One of the most famous Polish tourist attractions is the Oskar Schindler Enamelled Goods Factory, a museum made famous by the Steven Spielberg film Schindler’s List. This classic film is based on the real Oskar Schindler, a German entrepreneur who ended up saving over 1200 Jews by employing them at his factory.
Come to Schindler’s factory to learn more about this incredible story as well as see exhibits on Nazis, wartime stories, documents, photos, recordings, films, and interactive installations. This landmark is divided into two museums, MOCAK and Schindler’s Factory Museum, both of which are well worth seeing.
12. Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps
Auschwitz-Birkenau is the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp where over 1.1 million people lost their lives. Of Poland landmarks, this one is definitely the most somber. This is an emotionally draining visit due to its awful history but it is incredibly important to visit if you feel able.
That being said, it is not advised to bring children under 14 due to the horrific nature of the events that took place at the camp. This is a place of remembrance, honoring, and learning; all guests are asked to behave with respect and to dress appropriately as a sign of respect.
Auschwitz concentration camp was the largest German Nazi camp and it was built in 1940 during World War II. Birkenau is about 2 miles away and was built between 1941 and 1942. At both camps, you will see artifacts, see execution and imprisonment sites, and hear the stories of those who were killed here as well as those who survived.
13. Lazienki Park (Muzeum Łazienki Królewskie), Warsaw
The tranquil Lazienki Park dates back to the 17th century and was developed by the last Polish King, Stanislaw August. This large park with manicured gardens is a picturesque destination for a picnic by the lake and it also happens to have free entrance.
Other buildings in this area include the amphitheater, Museum of Hunting and Horse-riding, Łazienki Królewskie Museum, and Palace on the Isle, which does cost extra. You can spend all day exploring the park filled with historic buildings, sculptures, gardens, animals (like peacocks!), and flowers.
14. Bialowieza National Park
The Bialowieza National Park is the last natural forest in the European Lowland Area and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Straddling the border of Poland and Belarus, it is about 105 square miles large. It has amazing biodiversity with over 800 plant species, 8000 invertebrate species, 50 mammal species, and 100 bird species.
The symbol of this park is the European bison which is the largest land mammal in Europe. There are about 500 living in this forest and is high on the Poland sightseeing to-do list. While in this gorgeous national park, explore the lush forest by walking or biking on one of many trails while keeping an eye out for animals and birds.
15. Ojcow National Park
This gorgeous national park is an amazing place for history, culture, nature, and activities. In the Ojcow National Park there are two castles, Kazimierz and Pieskowa Skała. The first is in ruins but the second is well preserved and considered to be one of the best Renaissance-style buildings of Poland. Here you will find three exhibits: Polish Art, English Painting Gallery, and Castle History.
Besides the castles, make sure to hike or bike along the Vistula River for a tranquil day in nature or hike part of the 32 mile Trail of the Eagle’s Nests. After your day in nature, make sure to stop at the mountain town of Ojcow for a delicious meal at the Pstrag Ojcowski grill. Ojcow is one of the best Polish tourism places if you love nature and adventure.
16. Słowiński National Park – Famous Polish Landmarks
This rugged national park sits on the Baltic coast and is home to stunning lakes, meadows, forests, sand dunes, and peat bogs. Słowiński National Park is 32,744 hectares and is considered to be a biosphere reserve. Stroll on the sandy beaches or hike on one of many paved hiking trails while keeping an eye out for rare bird species.
Make sure to see Lebsko Lake, which is the largest coastal lake on the Polish coast, and Lake Gardno which is perfect for birdwatching. For incredible views of the sea, go to the Czolpino Lighthouse which was built in the 1800s. For views of the moving sand dunes, head to Wydma Lacka. If you are traveling with kids, stop by the Sea Park Sarbsk for seal shows and a pirate-themed play area or Leba Park for a dinosaur theme park.
17. Bieszczady Mountains
Off the beaten track of typical Poland, sightseeing tours are the Bieszczady mountains. This is one of the best areas for hiking in Poland; trek the highest peak, Tarnica, for incredible views or take the less-traveled route of Polonia Carynska for equally gorgeous, panoramic views.
If you prefer a less strenuous activity, opt for a horseback riding tour on the PTTK Bieszczady Horse Trail. You can also relax at Solina Lake by windsurfing, swimming, or canoeing. Two mountain villages you won’t want to miss are Ustryzki Gorne and Cisne. Here you will find historical buildings, wooden Orthodox churches, and traditional bars with delicious cuisine.
Other Polish attractions you will find here are the Turquoise Landslide Lakes, Solina Water Dam (the highest dam in Poland), and Lesko Castle.
18. Crooked Forest, Gryfino
One of the best Poland attractions is the whimsical Crooked Forest that looks like it is straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. This unique and mysterious forest consists of hooked-shaped pine trees that are identically bent. Nobody is quite sure why these trees have this shape, but the best guess is that these trees were buried in a snowstorm when they were younger and this caused the extreme bends in their trunks. This is a fun place to take pictures and take a tranquil stroll.
Nearby is the town of Gryfino, which is one of the oldest towns in Poland. Here you will find many buildings with historical significance, quaint restaurants with traditional Polish cuisine, and wooden inns. From here you can also visit the Lower Oder Valley and Beech Forest.
19. Isle of Usedom
Split between Germany and Poland, the habitants of Isle of Usedom mainly speak German but both sides also speak basic English. This unique island was nicknamed ‘sunny island’ for its incredible amount of sunny days.
This is the ideal vacation destination, with soft sand beaches and plenty of activities. Here you will find spas, outdoor music festivals, fashion events, theater, and amazing seafood. The best part is this paradise isn’t that expensive (compared to other island getaways), you can stay at a cute hotel or bed and breakfast or opt for an indulgent retreat or beachfront hotel.
20. Wolin Island – Polish Tourist Attractions
Wolin Island is Poland’s largest island and it is home to the beautiful Wolin National Park. This island is a perfect summer vacation destination with scenic landscapes, lakes, sandy beaches, towns with nightlife, and activities for all ages.
The best place to stay in Wolin Island is the beach town of Międzyzdroje; this colorful town offers sandy beaches, hiking, a lively bar scene, and delicious Baltic cuisine. While exploring Wolin Island, don’t miss the Wolin National Park Museum, Kawcza Mountain, Baltic Miniature Park, Fort Gerharda, and the Underground City of Wooing Island.
21. Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa (Częstochowa)
Jasna Góra Monastery is one of the most famous buildings in Poland. Each year thousands of pilgrims visit on a religious journey to see this monastery and the iconic Black Madonna. The Black Madonna is in the central chapel and it is a painting of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus, both of whom have darkened faces.
This painting is said to have performed miracles, which is why so many people come each year. Besides this iconic religious artifact, you will find other ancient artifacts, learn about Polish history, and see an ancient library. The design is also beautiful with a mix of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture. This spiritual capital of Poland is one of the top Polish tourist places and is definitely worth the visit.
22. Kasprowy Wierch
The Kasprowy Wierch mountain can be found in the Western Tatras; people visit year-round for outdoor activities and time in nature. During the winter this mountain is packed with skiers and snowboarders. Kasprowy Wierch offers picturesque, wide ski runs for the advanced and beginners.
After a day in the snow, visit the beautiful mountain town of Zakopane for a hearty meal of Polish soup or pierogies (dumplings filled with potato, sauerkraut, cheese, or meats) paired with mulled wine. During the warmer seasons, hike up the mountain or take the Kasprowy Wierch cable car to the top for stunning views. You can also climb to the meteorological observatory for even better views.
23. Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN
This powerful, historical museum is filled with Poland’s history and presents 1000 years of Polish Jews. The Museum of History of Polish Jews is a celebration of Jewish culture and serves as an educational service for topics like xenophobia and racism.
This is one of the most famous Polish landmarks for learning about Jewish cultural development, politics, religion, and the effects of World War II and the Holocaust. Here you will find eight exhibits: Forest, First Encounters, Paradisus Iudaeorum, Jewish Town, Encounters with Modernity, On the Jewish Tree, Holocaust, and Post-War Years. These exhibits incorporate art, antiques, poetry, photography, stories, art, interactive exhibits, videos, and more.
24. Warsaw Rising Museum (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego)
If you are a history buff, the Warsaw Rising Museum is a must-see and among the top Poland attractions. It is a museum dedicated to educating about Nazi occupation in Poland and the post-war years, as well as a tribute to the Warsaw citizens who died fighting to free Poland. Warsaw Rising Museum offers interactive exhibits, photography, films, art, storytelling, and relics.
The focus is to depict the fighting and everyday life during the tumultuous period of the Rising and to provide post-war education about the Communist regime. After visiting the museum, make sure to stop by the tower for views of Freedom Park and the beautiful city of Warsaw. This is one of Poland’s famous places that you won’t want to miss.
25. Museum of the Palace of King John III in Wilanow
The Museum of the Palace of King John III is one of the most famous buildings in Poland. This palace is a beautiful fusion of Baroque architecture and Italian and French influence. Among the best features of this museum are The Chapel, the King’s Library, the King and Queen’s Bedrooms, and the White Hall. King John III was an avid art collector and now his acquired artworks and other possessions are on display throughout the palace. His collection includes ceramics, textiles, statues, paintings, and works in gold and silver.
Outside you will find the Royal Garden of Light, which is an outdoor exhibition with colorful lights and glowing sculptures. Come here for the ideal location for a unique photoshoot all year round. It costs about $5.50 to enter the palace and $1.50 for the garden.
26. Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki), Warsaw
Of the famous Polish landmarks, this one might have to be at the top of the list. This incredible landmark was gifted from Stalin and the Soviet Union as a symbol of Socialist power and People’s Poland but it has transformed into a fantastical cultural center. The Palace of Culture and Science is like its own mini-city with 3,288 rooms, theaters, a cinema, interactive museums, pubs, a sports arena, and nightclubs.
A few minutes wandering through this building and you will see why it is the most visited tourist attraction in Warsaw. Come here to see great views of the city from the observation deck, watch a movie with a cocktail, ice skate for free in the winter, and dance the night away at the club. During the summer there are also many events from festivals and concerts to theater performances and film showings.
27. Wieliczka Salt Mine
This is most certainly one of the most interesting Polish tourist attractions. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is over 700 years old, has 9 levels, 26 shafts, and its deepest point is 327 meters. In recent years it has been transformed from an industrial plant to a famous tourist attraction and health resort. The Wieliczka Salt Mine has a magical atmosphere that straddles the line between impressive natural beauty and modern-day architecture.
Take a guided tour and explore the salt labyrinths with endless corridors, immense chambers, the underground lake, and a geological structure that is unlike any other in the world. If you are having health problems, make sure to stay longer for a therapeutic treatment, medical consultation, or visit their diagnostics center.
You can also sleep underground at the Eastern Mountain Stable Chamber for $30 a night, which is said to help your immune system because you are breathing purified air for long periods of time. Before leaving, don’t forget to stop at the gift shop for unique souvenirs of Wieliczka salt, soap with salt crystal, Lemon Grass and Pear toiletries, and rock salt with garlic cloves.
28. Zalipie Village
The painted village of Zalipie in southeast Poland is most definitely an Instagram destination and one of the top tourist attractions in Poland. The tradition of painting these wooden cottages began with Zalipie, a female resident who first painted her home with floral designs.
Now, the tradition has grown so large that they even have competitions each year for who decorates their house best (come in June to witness this colorful event). While in the village, enjoy the beautiful colors and folk art and visit the Painter’s house, Felicia Curylo’s Farm House, and St. Joseph's church.
This mountain town is at the foothills of the Tatra mountains and it is a popular vacation destination year-round. At any time of year, you can stay at a mountain lodge, hotel resort, or quaint bed and breakfast. From Zakopane you can explore Tatra National Park, enjoy thermal baths, eat their local delicacy of smoked sheep’s cheese, and pamper yourself with spa treatments.
During the winter come to Zakopane for skiing, snowboarding, sleigh rides, drinking mead, quad tours, and winter festivities. In the warmer seasons, hike the Tatra mountain range, bike through the national park, and take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
The historic city of Zamosc was founded in the 16th century, it has Italian Renaissance architecture, fortress walls surrounding the city, and plenty of historic buildings. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautiful reflection of the social and cultural ideals of the Renaissance.
The top landmarks include the Market Square, the colorful Armenian houses, Town Hall, the Armoury Museum, Cathedral of the Resurrection, and St. Thomas the Apostle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Poland
What is the most visited place in Poland?
Kraków. Krakow has the largest number of visitors from Poland! During WWII it largely remained intact and the Old Town center is UNESCO designated. This place has a wonderful market square and you're guaranteed everything is authentic here!
Which city is the most beautiful city in Poland?
Danzig is an incredible city on its shore. Looking to spend an extended holiday in Poland? Think Gdansk
How many World Heritage sites are in Poland?
In 2021 Poland has 17 World Heritage sites of the highest UNESCO value, most of these being cultural sites. In 1978 the first two places on the World Heritage list were Wieliczka Salt Mine and Krakow Historical Center.