You stand in a huge traffic jam for the second hour now. You move your fingers impatiently on the steering wheel and think – why the hell do you do it again. Why did you choose one of the most popular winter places in Poland only to spend too much time in queues to ski lifts and to hardly be able to find a free spot in a thermal pool.
How about a change? Why don’t you look for an alternative way of spending your time and winter holidays in Poland?
In Poland you will find numerous places which don’t lose their charm at all in winter but are hardly visited at this time of the year. If you hate winter, snow and freezing cold you might want to try to look for winter sun elsewhere in Europe – but below you will find a list of less popular and awesome places worth visiting in winter in Poland.
Winter holidays in Poland. Where to go?
Recommended by Wojtek from Road Trip Bus
Swietokrzyskie Mountains are one of the oldest mountains in Europe. Due to their age, they are not the highest but sometimes it gives them more charm. They look the most beautiful in winter, sprinkled with small amount of snow, when from under white fluff you can see stone runs. Winter landscape totally changes what they look like so when you go there for the first time in winter, even on the same trail you can feel you discover them again.
In winter time Swietokrzyskie Mountains are not the most besieged touristic attraction, which definitely is an advantage. Trails will be empty so everyone who looks for a little bit of loneliness, will find it there. During this period everyone who wants to hike the Crown of Polish mountains in winter should visit as well.
Recommended by Marta from Spójrz przez okno
Have you heard about Spisz? Polish Spisz is a geographical and historical land between Podhale and Pieniny. In other words, if you are skiing in Białka Tatrzańska, you enjoy your holidays in Podhale but if you go for the slopes in Czarna Góra or Jurgów, suddenly you find yourself in Spisz. Much bigger part of this region is in Slovakia, which is also worth visiting if you are already nearby.
Polish Spisz consist of 14 beautifully situated villages, full of peace, tranquility and offering amazing walking paths. Visit Łapszanka with its picturesqe chappel and breathtaking view on the Tatra mountains. Have a look into charming little churches of Krempachy, Trybsz and Frydman. Take a walk along the rigde of Grandeus, between Łapsze and Dursztyn, which offers amazing view on the mountains – Tatry, Pieniny, Gorce and Babia Góra. Spisz is worth visiting at any time of the year, but in winter the views are exceptionally beautifull. And it is easier to meet husky sled than tourists 🙂
If you’re wondering where to go in Poland in winter remember that it is a great time to visit cities. Yes, the frost bites your cheeks, the wind penetrates all layers of your clothing. You need to hide in coffee shops and restaurants more often to drink a warming tea or mulled wine. You use buses with pleasure where normally you would walk.
But in winter cities are equally charming as in other seasons, they are often still illuminated by Christmas lights and they are much less crowded. I recommend you all Polish cities in winter. I’ve recently spent one day in Warsaw, Szymon chose Opole in winter – and we both have positive impressions. Kraków’s old town should be less crowded too. If you want to spend your winter holidays in Poland you might also choose one of our lovely cities 🙂
And I guarantee you that due to the temperature outside, each and every warm regional dish or a shot of regional vodka tastes so much better… 🙂
Here’s what Szymon has to say:
Recommended by Szymon from Za miedzą i dalej
At first, Opole doesn’t seem to be the first choice for a winter trip in Poland. In general, the capital of Opolskie region is out of the main tourist paths and it isn’t well known among tourists. I decided to go there out of the season – in January and find out what it is all about.
The Old Town in Opole is small but it is well maintained and I liked it. The same with the surroundings – they look pleasant and even though they might not be the most beautiful in the world, they have their charm. What I also remembered from Opole is a colorful fountain on one of the squares. It drags your attention especially if it is white around. If you look closely you will see it shows butterflies 🙂
Even though I was there during the weekend, the city was empty. There was snow, no sun so at times it seemed to be grey – bit I liked it! The Old Town was pretty empty which normally is hard to believe. Outside of it, it was even emptier, I met a couple of people. In general I think winter is a great time to visit cities.
Recommended by Emilia from Emi w drodze
Winter is my favourite season to visit the Polish seaside – mostly because only then there are almost no tourists there. Although Baltic beaches are wide, in the summer there are full of windbreaks blocking the access to the water – Polish phenomenon. But in the winter they’re almost empty – and on the windless, sunny days my favourite place to go for a walk.
The scenery is at its most beautiful when it’s really cold – when the temperature drops down to -15 or even -20 degrees Celcius (which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen too often in this region), even the water in the sea freezes! You can then walk on the frozen waves far into the sea, even few hundred meters!
For those looking for some adrenaline, in Mielno, called „Polish Ibiza” (in the summer) or „Polish capital or winter swimming”, every winter Sunday you can swim in the cold water together with many other daredevils. On the beach there’s an interesting mix of onlookers dressed in the thick winter clothes and the crazy ones running along the beach wearing just bikini and a winter hat. They say such winter baths are good for boosting your immunity – but I’m not brave enough to give it a try 😉 Would you dare?
The Trail of the Eagles’ Nests and other Polish castles
Recommended by me, Dorota from Born Globals 🙂
This year at the beginning of January I had an opportunity to visit three castles on the trail of Eagles’ Nests. The trail connects numerous medieval castles built to protect early Poland. Even though it was cold but with no snow and it was impossible to visit the castles inside – I loved them much more that I do in spring and summer! Why is it worth going there in winter?
Around the castles there were no people which doesn’t happen in other seasons. Two castles – Mirów and Bobolice looked completely abandoned. I met a couple of people around the biggest and most popular one – Ogrodzieniec. It was so quiet, I just heard wind and nothing else. It’s so much more pleasant to admire these impressive buildings and imagine what they were like at their best, in medieval times. In high touristic season you look at them surrounded by places selling hot dogs, magnets and shining swords.
I will gladly go back there in autumn or winter, I’ll bike along the trail of Eagles’ Nests or walk between a couple of them. I’ll enjoy the castles and outstanding nature of Kraków-Częstochowa Upland in peace.
Winter can also be a great time to visit other castles in Poland. Have you heard about outstanding Malbork Castle? Well, now you have 🙂 Winter might be a great time to check it out!
I hope that this post will help you decide where to spend your winter holidays in Poland. And I hope that this way you will avoid crowds and enjoy your winter holidays in peace 🙂
Another option worth considering is visiting Auschwitz concentration camp – it is popular all year round but it is way less crowded in winter. Just make sure to dress very well – it gets extremely colder than you expect.
If you want to know more outstanding places in Poland check this post about the most beautiful trails in Polish mountains. You can also read how I slowly hike all peaks belonging to the Crown of Polish Mountains. Not necessarily all in winter – but Wielka Sowa surprised me with snow in April anyway 🙂
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