Poznan is located in the Western Poland, in a region called Greater Poland ('Grande Polonia'), not far from the German border. While not one of the most famous and most visited Polish cities like Krakow, Gdansk or Warsaw, in my opinion it is definitely worth a visit. Thanks to the low cost direct flights of Ryanair, Poznan is a really nice opportunity for a cheap weekend full of art, good food and fun. Besides being rich in history and having several tourist attractions, Poznan is indeed also a vibrant one university and trade fair city very popular throughout the year. Its historic center with its pastel-colored houses is a real jewel and the whole city is teeming with restaurants, clubs, green spaces and really interesting museums. I liked it a lot! If you want to find your way straight away, I always recommend taking part in the free tours. Here you can book a 1h and 30 'free tour of the center of Poznan (free offer).
When to go to Poznan
Like the rest of Poland, the best time to visit Poznan is definitely there springbut with the climate change we are witnessing we can never really tell. I was there in September and I found some wonderful days. If you do not suffer too much from the cold even with the snow it certainly has its charm.
How to reach Poznan and how to get around
Poznan can be reached by plane from Milan with Ryanair direct flight, otherwise by train and bus from all the most touristic places in Poland such as Krakow (5h), Gdansk (4h), Warsaw (3h) or Wroclaw (3h).
Poznan is a city on a human scale and practically all sights can be reached on foot. Alternatively you can use taxis or Uber which are really cheap.
Where to sleep in Poznan
- Hotel Puro Stare Miasto. Hotel Puro Stare Miasto is located in the historic center of Poznan, a few minutes walk from the main square and other city attractions and is a perfect base for getting around the city. It is a beautiful design hotel equipped with all comforts; it is welcoming, modern and super-technological. There is a beautiful garden where you can have an aperitif and a gourmet restaurant (the Dystrykt One) where breakfast is served. Excellent quality-price relation.
Where to eat in Poznan
- Bo BistrotThe Bo Bistrot is perfect for both a healthy lunch and a classic English brunch based on eggs and bacon. In fact, the young chef enjoys creating dishes with a traditional soul with ingredients borrowed from vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The atmosphere is very nice, warm, youthful and definitely hipster.
- Cybina 13. Cybina 13 is located in Srodka near the mural. The cuisine is Mediterranean and the dishes are cooked very well. If you want to stop between the Cathedral and Lake Malta this is the perfect place.
- Klub dragon. This multipurpose venue is a labyrinth of small rooms and terraces and represents the heart of the city's alternative scene. There is a small club for DJ sets, then the bar where live music often plays, an equipped garden where you can drink and eat and, going up, several exhibition rooms and other small rooms and terraces used as bars and restaurants. It is a truly magical place to spend an evening of good music and good food.
- Charlotte. The Szarlotta Bistrot is located a few meters from the Stary Rynek and the chef has been crowned champion of Poland twice. The ground floor room is furnished in country style, while the downstairs room is more reminiscent of a mountain cabin, with several fireplaces and small rooms perfect for a romantic candlelit dinner. The cuisine is Polish with a gourmet twist. The desserts are also excellent, all homemade by a dedicated pastry chef.
What to see in Poznan: 8 places not to be missed
1. Old Market Square (Stary Rynek)
The beautiful Old Market Square it has represented the fulcrum of city life since 1253, the date of its foundation and the most important and ancient buildings of the city overlook it, along with many restaurants and clubs. As soon as you enter the square, the building that immediately catches your eye is the Renaissance one Town Hall building surmounted by a tower 61 meters high. It was designed by the Italian architect Giovanni Battista Quadro between 1550 and 1560 and on the main facade, above the frieze representing the rulers of the Jagelloni dynasty, there is a clock and every day at 12 o'clock two metal goats come out of two small doors located above the dial and collide with each other, tracing an old legend linked to the day the clock was inaugurated. Another attraction of the square is represented by the colorful ones "Fishmongers' houses" under whose arcades they used to sell fish, candles and salt. The houses we see today are the post-war reconstruction of the original XNUMXth-century houses that were largely destroyed or severely damaged during World War II.
2. The Castle with the Museum of Applied Arts
Poznan Castle is located behind the Stary Rynek in a slightly elevated position and rather resembles an austere palace. Inside it houses the Museum of Decorative Arts which exhibits a large collection of furniture, objects in gold and silver, glass, ceramics, etc., coming from Europe and the Far East. Get on the castle tower to have a superb view over the whole city.
3. Citadel Park
This large park north of the center of Poznan occupies the site of an imposing fortress which was destroyed at the end of World War II. Today it is one of the most loved parks by the citizens of Poznan to relax on the lawn perhaps in the sun and what remains of the old fortress houses the Citadel Museum and that of the Army. On the southern slopes of the hill are the war cemeteries for the fallen of World War II. The park also houses a famous installation by the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz.
4. Potwiejska e l'antica Birreria Stary Browar
If from the square of the Old Market you start walking along Potwiejska, the pedestrian street dedicated to shopping, you will arrive at Old brewery. What was once the largest brewery in the city has been converted into a large shopping and business center which opened its doors in 2003. This very ambitious architectural project has won several awards internationally and inside there are 4 floors of shops, several restaurants, theaters and exhibition halls.
5. Church of San Stanislao (or di Fara) and the Jesuit College
This old pink plastered church is located a few steps from the Old Market Square and is the most beautiful baroque church in Poznan. It was designed by the rector of the Jesuit College behind it and every Saturday at 12:15 (every day in summer) visitors can enjoy a short concert played on the famous church organ.
Palmaria is one of the largest greenhouses in Europe and is located inside the Parco Wilson, close to the main train station. Built in the early 900s, it is home to thousands of tropical and subtropical species, including Europe's largest collection of cacti and the tallest bamboos on the continent. Stop for a coffee and eat a great piece of cake in the nice cafe inside.
7. L'isola di Tumski e Srodka
The silent island of Tumski is home to the Poznan Cathedral, a solemn building in the Gothic style not particularly interesting. A little further on, however, continuing towards Lake Malta you will find the Srodka district, the hipster area of Poznan with small restaurants and very nice bars but above all the Mural na Srodce, a beautiful and huge mural.
8. Malta Lake
Lake Malta is an artificial lake of 70 hectares very popular especially in summer by families for picnics, boat trips and various water activities. It is possible to walk the shores of the lake on foot, by bike or by climbing on the steam train miniature that arrives at the New Zoo before returning to the starting point. The train runs along the lake, puffing steam and giving you beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding greenery.
Other articles about Poland that you might be interested in:
- What to see in Krakow in 3 days
- What to see in Gdansk in 3 days
- What to see in Wroclaw in a weekend
- What to see in Warsaw in a weekend