Poznań is the perfect combination of bustling modern city life with the reminisce of renaissance era architecture. A monument to Polish history as well as a symbol for modern developing Poland.
A vacation to Poland is not complete without a trip to Poznań. It is the perfect blend of both the old and the new Poland.
Established in the 10th century, the city is filled with rich Polish history and vibrant culture.
Below are our suggestions of what to do in Poznań.
The 10 Top Things to do in Poznań
From history to castles, to croissants, goats & more -- below are some of the major places to visit in Poznań, Poland.
1. Old Town Poznań
At the center of the city lies the Old Town, founded in 1253 it is filled with historic monuments and reeks of Medieval Polish culture. The old town has many remnants of its original streets and walls still to this day.
The Old Market Square of the Old Town is the heart of the city. It is filled with shops, wonderful cafes and eateries, beautiful statues and pretty fountains.
The Old Town is filled with notable old houses from 16th and 17th century. The most recognizable is the row of Merchant’s houses.
In the 13th century, they used to be herring stalls where you could buy things such as salt, candles, torches, and everyday items.
By the late 15th and 16th centuries, the stalls were replaced with these gorgeous colorful narrow brick houses. They used to have shops downstairs and living quarters upstairs.
2. Town Hall
At the center of the Old Market Square, lies the Town Hall. The wonderful architecture is filled with arches and columns in the exterior. Whilst the interior has an impressive Renaissance-style great hall wonderfully decorated with tapestries, busts, and coats of arms.
Daily at noon, two mechanical billy goats arise from the front of the Town Hall to butt-heads with each other, which is truly a sight to behold and one of the major attractions of the city.
You can read more about the legend behind the fighting billy goats here.
We loved spending most of our time in the Old Town. Here is our video of our time soaking up the beautiful square.
Watch our Video of Poznań Old Town
Watch our video to see what the beautiful Old Town is like. You can also see what the noon billy goats are all about in this video as well.
3. Grand Theatre of Moniuszko
Eponymous with famous Polish opera composer Stanisław Moniuszko. Enjoy fantastic musical performances in the Poznań Grand Theatre with its great acoustic design.
Built over a 100 years ago in the image of Classical Roman Architecture. It boasts the Roman design of triangular tympanum upon the pillars similar to the Pantheon.
The vast interiors are fabulously decorated with classical paintings, chandleries and tapestries, invoking the feeling of an Imperial Ballroom. A must-visit if you wish to bask in the Royal European feeling.
4. Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul
The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul is the oldest Polish cathedral built in the 10th century. The Cathedral has been rebuilt in Romanesque, Gothic and Neoclassical styles due to fires and raids, and portions of the structure still hold remnants of the old styles.
The Cathedral is also the tomb to several Polish nobles, most notable of them being Bolesław I the Brave, credited for the rise of the Polish Kingdom in the 11th century.
The Cathedral hosts many artifacts and arts from Polish history.
5. National Museum
As one of the largest museums in Poland, it is one of the best places to appreciate Polish history and arts. The museum has a prominent collection of Polish paintings as well as foreign German, Dutch and Italian paintings.
The museum has a vast currency collection as well, both Polish and foreign coins are on display as well as other monetary objects.
The exhibitions are divided into seven galleries each housing a particular theme of Art, from the Gallery of Antiquity to Gallery of Contemporary Art and everything in between. A big treat for any art connoisseur!
6. Royal Castle
The castle has overseen many great events of Polish history in its courtyard, weddings, and visits of both Polish and foreign nobility. Apart from its beautiful view, the castle also has a comprehensive collection of arts and artifacts from various periods.
Whilst strolling around the grounds and interior of the castle, make sure to head up to the castle tower for a wonderful view of the city. Fortunately, this is one of the few towers in Europe that has an elevator that you can use.
7. Croissant Museum
The Museum is dedicated to Poznan’s “sweet ambassador” -- the St. Martin Croissant.
A fun place for both kids and adults, as they have a live show where you can learn more about the whole process of baking a Croissant. Of course, tastings are included in the ticket price as well.
There are different shows for English and Polish, be sure to check the timings!
8. Imperial Castle
The Imperial Castle was constructed by Wilhelm II, the German Emperor reigning during the first World War.
The building is misnamed, as it is actually a palace. It is built in beautiful Neo-Romanesque style.
One of the most impressive rooms is the throne room which is well lit with magnificent windows on three sides.
The palace has a lush garden surrounded by the palace buildings. The palace also hosts several exhibitions and a wonderful gallery.
So make sure to set aside plenty of time to explore this beautiful palace.
9. Lake Malta
The artificial lake Malta has a bountiful of activities to enjoy.
It has an artificial ski slope & ice rink, a narrow-gauge railway line, a fantastic zoological garden, the Mound of freedom, as well as bike rentals.
The lake also hosts a lot of rowing competitions and has an annual theatre festival.
You can easily fill up a day of adventure here at the lake on beautiful sunny days.
10. Citadel Park
Full of lush greenery, a walk through the Citadel Park will have you basking in Polish history. There is a beautiful flower garden as well as interesting sculptures designed by Magdalena Abakanowicz.
Some other interesting things to see at Citadel Park include:
- Fort Winiary -- constructed by the Prussians in the 19th century.
- Various cemeteries of the soldiers and prisoners of war from both the World Wars.
- A military museum for the Polish Army of World War 2.
To enjoy the true Polish history, a visit to Poznań is a must. It might not be a city that is on every tourists radar, but with so many wonderful things to see in Poznań, I truly believe that it should be.
You only need a few days in this Polish city in order to visit all of these places. Many of these attractions are just a wonderful stroll away from the central town square of the city, whilst the rest can easily be reached via the city trams.
Over to You:
- Can you add any fabulous things of what to see in Poznań?