Top 10 reasons to visit Poland in the wintertime
1. Thermal baths
Thermal baths are a fairly new tourist attraction in Poland. The ones located in the Tatra Mountains had only been built recently (between 2008 and 2016) and offer excellent recreational facilities. Modern indoor and outdoor pools in the beautiful surroundings of the Polish mountains, saunas, spa treatments and fun activities for kids make them an ideal short break destination. How about a hot soak on a cold December day? With pleasure!
Southern Poland boasts beautiful mountains: the Sudetes, the Beskids and the Tatras. The investment in ski facilities there has been huge in recent years so now’s the right time to discover Poland as a skiing destination. For more information about the main Polish winter resorts, please view our post Skiing in Poland.
Tomato soup, gherkin soup, mushroom soup, fish soup, onion soup, broth, sauerkraut soup, borscht, garlic soup, and the list goes on… No other nation love soup as much as the Polish do. And since it’s an integral part of the culinary heritage of Poland, they really know how to cook it well. Is there anything more comforting than delicious hot soup on a cold winter day? We recommend zurek w chlebie.
4. Ski Jumping World Cup
Ski jumping is the weirdest sport ever! Who would have thought you can actually use skis to “fly”? Well, I guess that’s exactly what makes it so spectacular. Add hundreds of enthusiastic international fans and you’ll know why these open-air competitions are the hottest events of the winter in Poland. The Ski Jumping World Cup tournaments are hosted by two Polish mountain resorts: Wisla and Zakopane.
5. Christmas illuminations
From early December till mid-January most Polish towns and cities are beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. Ornamental lights, Christmas trees and festive adornments in the windows all make the streets and squares more charming than at any other time of the year. Looking for a romantic winter break destination? Check out Krakow, Wroclaw and Poznan.
6. Gorgeous chalets
Imagine yourself sitting in front of a wood burner with a glass of wine or a nice cup of tea. It’s a cold January night but you’re all snug and warm in this gorgeous chalet in the Polish mountains. It happens to be not only one of the loveliest cottages you’ve ever booked but also a very modern house fully equipped for your stay. The Polish are particularly skilled at combining the traditional log cabin construction with the interior design trends. Check out these two lovely chalets:
7. Horse-drawn sleigh rides
These have a very long tradition in Poland and are one of the major attractions for visitors to the most popular resorts such as Zakopane and Szczyrk. They typically come with a dining option, i.e. traditional Polish food and beverages served by a campfire, in a mountain hut or a karczma (please see below). This is a winter open-air attraction so make sure you dress warmly.
8. Winter activities at the National Stadium
In the wintertime (from November to March) the National Stadium in Warsaw offers fun activities for the whole family. There are ice-skating rinks, an indoor skatepark, bumper cars, snack stalls and bars. You can even try snow tubing from the stands!
A karczma (karczmy in the plural) is a restaurant that serves traditional Polish food. It resembles a log house from the outside and typically has wooden tables and benches as well as an open fire inside. A karczma is the place to go for local flavours. Our favourites are oscypek (local cheese), garlic soup, and pierogi (the yummiest dumplings ever).
Is there even a better season than winter for a visit to a museum? Escape the cold and have a great time indoors in the best Polish museums. We recommend the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Rynek Underground in Krakow and Porta Posnania in Poznan.