I was born in Canada to Polish immigrant parents. I’ve always identified as Polish and would often brag to my friends that I could speak another language. But the truth is that I never really appreciated Poland and all its beauty until I came to live here. Now I know that Poland is one of the most underrated countries in Europe, and I strongly believe that if you have the chance you should visit Poland. Here’s why:
1. It’s Beautiful
For such a small country, Poland’s landscape is pretty diverse and overall stunning. Go to the north and you’ll be greeted by the Baltic Sea and its sandy beaches (albeit freezing waters). Go to the south and you’ll be greeted by beautiful landscapes of mountains. Visit any city and you will truly be in awe of the colourful architecture. You won’t be able to stop taking pictures (trust me I know).
2. It’s Cheap
Poland is one of the countries within the European Union that does not use the Euro, they use their own domestic currency: Złoty. One Euro is worth more than 4 Złoty (approximately the same for the American dollar). And one Canadian dollar is worth approximately 3. Basically the gist here is that your dollar will go a very long way in Poland when travelling, staying in hotels, and eating out.
3. The Food
If there is one thing that people know about Polish culture it’s that Polish people LOVE pierogi. And it’s not just Polish and Eastern European people that love them, but many people around the world. You will no doubt find amazing pierogi in Poland, not to mention many other traditional foods: breaded pork chops or chicken breast (commonly known by their German name – Schnitzel), tomato soup, chicken soup, cabbage rolls, vegetable/egg salad. The list goes on, but you should just go and find out for yourself.
4. The Hospitality
Polish people are among the most hospitable in the world (in my opinion). They love meeting foreigners, they will help you at the drop of a hat, and sometimes they will even offer to show you around. As a tourist you will definitely feel welcomed and safe in Poland.
5. The History
From not existing as an independent country for 120+years, to being invaded multiple times and being under the rule of the USSR for many years – Poland has a complex history whose many facets you can see and experience while visiting. Poland was the first country to be invaded by the Nazis in World War II. It’s capital, Warsaw, was almost completely destroyed during the war and they rebuilt it from the ground up to look like it had before the war. When you go to the old parts of any large city you will feel as though you’re stepping back in time. Poland also has many very old and stunning palaces and castles that are now museums which you can visit to learn more about Poland’s history and culture.
6. Nature And Outdoor Activities
If nature is your thing and you would prefer to spend your time travelling through forests, parks, and mountains then come to Poland. You can spend your time skiing or hiking the wide mountain-range of the Tatra Mountains in the south of Poland and northern part of Slovakia. If you want to go hiking, you can visit the Crooked Forest in the western part of Poland which is famous for its trees which literally grow crookedly out of the ground – the reason is still a mystery. Maybe you’re a rock climber? Then you can go climb one of the many peaks in the Polish Jurassic Highland Park (among the various other locations). There are many national parks, rivers, and lakes to visit and enjoy your surroundings.
So if you’re planning a trip to Europe then please add Poland to your list of places to go – you’ll be happy you went!