Poznan is one of the oldest cities in Poland, a place to which the origins of the Polish state can be traced to as the first cathedral was erected here and bishopric established in 968.
Located at the heart of Wielkopolska region, surrounded by picturesque countryside of lakes and forests,the city is associated with international trade fairs that have been taking place here since 1921.
Poznan has a lot to offer as a city break - colourful old town full of cafes and restaurants, interesting museums and choice of four lakes to relax by. And if you have a bit more time to spare, the surrounding countryside of lakes, woods and castles is well worth exploring.
Start off your sightseeing of Poznan with a scenic walk around the Old Market Square, one of the largest in Poland. Why not then stop for lunch at one of many cafes & restaurants admiring colourful merchant houses from 16th & 17th century - beautifully restored after the WWII. Wondering around the old town you can spy a dance group training in the beautiful courtyard of the ballet school and in the evenings listen to live jazz music that fills the square.
Listen as the clock chimes 12 on the tower of the renaissance Town Hall building and look for two tin goats that appear at the platform on the tower. The building, that was restored after the damage suffered during the WWII, is stunningly beautiful. The Town Hall houses the city's historical museum with exhibits all the way from the 10th century right up to the present day.
The Imperial Castle (Zamek Cesarski) is the last ever royal residence built in Europe, for the Kaiser Wilhelm II in the early 20th century. Today it is a seat of a cultural centre organising concerts and shows in the courtyards of the castle.
Pay a visit to the oldest part of Poznan, the site where the first cathedral in Poland was erected in 968 and bishopric established and where Poland undertook its symbolic catholic baptism. The remains of the first Polish rulers from the Piast dynasty are buried below the Cathedral. Take time to see the multimedia show at the Heritage centre which explains the history and the importance of the site.
This picturesque lake, only a short distance from the city centre with a 6km path around it, provides the perfect place for walking, cycling or swimming. There are cafes and restaurants by the lake and free open air concerts in the summer. For more outdoor pursuits, the Malta Ski sports and leisure centre provides winter & summer sports. The narrow-gauge railway Maltanka for kids on one side of the lake and a big shopping centre on the other, add to the list of Maltanskie Lake attractions. In September Malta lake becomes the scene of prestigious international regattas
A must for music lovers. Admire the huge collection of musical instruments from various periods and countries at one of very few museums of this type in Europe. Most notable piece is the piano that Chopin played on in 1829 as well as other Chopin memorabilia and a rich collection of folk instruments from all over the world.
The area of picturesque post-glacial lakes, forests and pristine flora lies 15 km south of Poznan and can be reached easily by bus or by train. Five marked tourist trails pass by some of its 11 lakes, 32 tree monuments, old churches and well preserved 19th century country houses of the land gentry.
Visit Kornik castle, 20 km from Poznan and easily reached by bus. There is a lot to see in Kormik: a castle and surrounding buildings, the park with Arboretum, an old synagogue and a town hall with an impressive clock that chimes like a cockerel (kornik means 'chicken shed'in Polish). A picturesque Kornickie lake is just opposite the castle. Take a boat trip to the taverna on the opposite side of the lake and walk back to Kornik through the woods and the town Bnin. Provent estate in Bnin is a place of birth of a poet Wislawa Szymborska, the Nobel prize laureate.
The wild park boasts a massive 224km of cycling routes, the best in Wielkopolska region. This creates countless options of daily trips or even longer ones including staying in the local hotels for serious cyclists. The park can be easily accessed from Poznan by frequent buses or by train.
Check how these popular beers are made in one of the biggest breweries in Poland. The Brewery, on the outskirts of town, runs frequent tours throughout the day showing the process of making beer, one not to be missed. The tour is finished off wonderfully by sampling the tasty products.
Poznan is situated in Wielkopolska region in central Poland and you can fly there directly from London and other UK airports.
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