Poznan is the capital of Poland’s Wielkopolska region. It combines 1,000 years of history with the excitement of a modern European city. Investigate ancient buildings, hike through forests, sample regional foods and enjoy a long soak in thermal waters.
One of Poland’s oldest cities, Poznan was founded in the 10th century. Remember the past in the medieval palaces, churches and buildings of Old Market Square. Visit the archeological museum in the 16th-century Gorka Palace. Stand near the Renaissance Town Hall at noon to watch mechanical goats butt heads. Explore the 13th-century hilltop Royal Castle, one block west of the square. Poznan’s other stronghold, the Imperial Castle, was built in the early 20th century for Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
Take a bus or tram to Cathedral Island, where the city began. See tombs of ancient monarchs inside the 10th-century Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul and admire the Gothic interior of St. Mary's Church.
With parks, forests and gardens covering nearly a third of the city and a greenbelt surrounding it, Poznan is one of Poland’s greenest cities. Jog, walk and play sports in the sprawling Citadel Park alongside massive sculptures of headless cast iron figures. Hike through Wielkopolski National Park, 10 miles (16 kilometers) outside of Poznan.
Relax at Lake Malta, a large artificial lake and recreational area. Observe animals at Nowe Zoo on the east side of the lake. Ski down the artificial ski slope or reach speeds up to 32 miles (50 kilometers) per hour on the summer toboggan run. Unwind in the thermal water pools and saunas of the Maltese Baths.
While in Poznan, be sure to try vodka and appetizers in a tapas bar. Order shots with cold snacks such as pig trotters in jelly and pickled herring.
Poznan is about a 4-hour drive or 3-hour train journey west of Poland’s capital, Warsaw. Alternatively, fly into Poznan's Lawica International Airport to enjoy the city’s history, scenery and outdoor activities.