Snow covered and full of atmospheric restaurants in the Old Town, Lublin is a great place for a winter break.
Stay in a 3* Hotel Mercure Lublin Centrum offering a good standard with brilliant breakfasts or in a charming 4* Grand Hotel Lublinianka occupying an elegant building from 19th century. Both hotels are located in the town centre within walking distance from the Lublin Old Town.
In the morning, walk to the Lublin Castle via elegant high street Krakowskie Przedmiescie and through the Old Town to see the beautiful Byzantine frescoes in the 14th century Gothic chapel in the compounds of the Castle. The entry to the Chapel is on the hour from 9am till 3pm (4pm on Sundays). If you have time visit the Museum in the Lublin Castle that houses some interesting folk art from the Lublin region as well as Polish & European paintings from 17thto 19th century.
Spend the afternoon walking along cobbled streets of Lublin Old Town, popping in to one of many cafes and restaurants around the Market Square for lunch, hot chocolate or coffee. The restaurants located in medieval tenement houses and atmospheric cellars are great places for dinner as well. Polish hearty food taste great on a cold winter day and so does a shot of vodka before dinner. Centre of Lublin is quite small so you can easily walk back to the hotel.
Go on a day trip to Kazimierz Dolny, a picturesque little town by Vistula River. The coaches to Kazimierz depart from the bus station located across the street from the Lublin Castle. The journey takes about an hour and once in Kazimierz you need to take note of the last buses to Lublin as they do not run that late.
Kazimierz is one of those places that you want to go back to – unique, enchanting and out of this world. Very popular with tourists in the summer, the town is quiet on a winter day and you can admire in peace the renaissance tenement houses around the market square, famous well, parish church, the cloisters and granaries by the river. You can climb the Hill of Three Crosses for panoramic views of the town & Vistula River and visit ruins of the castle and the Tower on the hill.
Take a walk by the river along the promenade covered in snow, taking in wintry landscape. On the way back pop in to La Creperie Nalesniki Francuskie for lunch of pancakes with substantial meat and vegetables fillings. In the restaurant, located in a timber country house, paintings depicting Kazimierz hang on the walls.
Art is present in most restaurants and cafes in Kazimierz. The town has always inspired artists and painters and you can find affordable art in the town’s art galleries, which are quite a few. Kazimierz is also famous for its cockerel shaped bread which can be bought at the bakery behind the market square.
After substantial breakfast at the hotel, take a wintry walk around the frozen lake near Lublin. Zalew Zemborzycki, easily accessible by bus (nr 15) from the town centre, is an artificial lake which provides leisure and sport facilities mainly in the summer. In winter the lake freezes but it is still possible to walk on the path surrounding the lake.
The distance is about 13 km and you need about 2,5 hours of daylight to complete the walk. The path leads through the woods on one side of the lake and becomes a paved walking and cycling route on the other side. While the lake seems to be frozen solid apart from the place where Bystrzyca River falls into it, it is dangerous to walk on the frozen lake as ice could be thin in places and crush easily. Where the flowing river falls into the lake and the water is free of ice, you can watch ducks and swans swimming around. For lunch go back to town as all eating places by the lake are seasonal and close for winter.
Spend the afternoon skiing on Globus Ski, 300m slope at Zana Street near the town centre (15mins from the old town by bus). Skis and snowboards can be hired at the rental place in the Globus sports centre just next to the slope. The ski centre is open from 3 till 9pm during the week and from 9 am to 9pm at the weekends. There is a separate place for children to ski and you can also hire a ski instructor.
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