Day 1. Poznan – a Polish winter city break

To coincide with the introduction of Ryanair’s new route between Manchester and Poznań we decided to check out another of Poland’s city break destinations.  Poznań is the capital of the Wielkopolska region and noted for its Renaissance Town Hall as well as being being home to Poland’s oldest cathedral.  Our flight the previous afternoon departed on time and in a little over two hours we were taking an Uber into the city centre, journey time 25 minutes (PLN25/ £4.50).  We’d arranged to stay at the Hampton by Hilton Poznań Old Town, just a few minutes walk from Stary Rynek (Old Town Square).

Hampton by HIlton, Poznan
The hotel’s reception area

The hotel’s entrance foyer felt very festive adorned with a large Christmas tree and other tasteful decorations giving us a warm welcome.  Check-in was completed quickly by a very friendly girl on reception and soon afterwards we were settling into our contemporary styled room with its floor to ceiling windows, large comfortable bed, tea and coffee facilities, huge television and a luxurious bathroom with fragrant complimentary toiletries.

Room at Hampton by Hilton, Poznan Old TOwn
Our beautifully appointed room

As it was our first visit to Poznań we were eager to start exploring so wrapped up warm for the sub-zero temperatures and wandered the short distance to the Bethlehem Christmas Market in Wolnosci Square (Freedom Square); which runs from late November until 26th December each year.  Our evening walk had transported us into a winter wonderland with the traditional wooden huts, twinkling fairy lights and aromas of mulled wine and roasted almonds filling the air.  We soaked up the atmosphere wrapping our hands around mugs of mulled wine and tucked into tasty sausages and delicious pierogi (filled dumplings).

Poznan Christmas Market
Poznan Christmas Market

After a good night’s sleep we woke refreshed and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant.  My eyes lit up when I spotted an electric waffle iron complete with jugs of batter measured out ready to be poured in.  After filling ourselves with herring, cheese, eggs, pastries, fruit, yoghurt, waffles and several cups of coffee we were set up ready for a day of sightseeing,

Hampton by Hilton Poznan Old Town Breakfast buffet
The extensive breakfast buffet

On our way to the old town square we paused to admire the beautiful facade of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus.  This church dates back to the 16th century when the Jesuit order was brought to Poznan.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus
The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus

Stepping indoors, the church was full of splendour with its marble pillars, 27m high nave and 11 ornate chapels each with their exquisite altars and paintings.

Interior of the Basilica, Poznan
Interior of the Basilica

Leaving there, our next stop was to the tourist office in Stary Rynek where we picked up some maps and collected our Poznan City Cards (PLN 79/ £14.50).  The cards offer excellent value as they are valid for three days and include public transport and free or discounted admission to museums, attractions and restaurants.

Poznan Tourist Office in the old town
Poznan Tourist Office in the Old Town

Making use of the cards straightaway, we headed over to Przemysl Hill to visit the Royal Castle which is home to the Museum of Applied Arts.  Entrance PLN 15 (£2.75) or free with the Poznan Card.  The Royal Castle originally dates from 1249 but was largely destroyed during the Second World War and has since been re-built.

The Museum of Applied Arts in the Royal Castle
The Museum of Applied Arts in the Royal Castle

The museum is part of the National Museum holding a collection of applied art from the Middle Ages to modern times.  Touring the galleries we viewed furniture, ceramics, costumes and weapons.  We then took the lift up to the observation deck on the 5th floor to view the city centre from behind glass before taking the steps up one more floor to the outer viewing deck which provides panoramic views of the old town and further afield.  A definite ‘must do’ on any visit to the city.

Views from the Royal Castle observation deck, Poznan
Views from the Royal Castle observation deck

From there, we moved on to the larger National Museum PLN 13 (£2.38) and included in the Poznan Card.  The historic wing built in 1904 contains the Gallery of Polish Art from the 16th-18th century and includes Poland’s only Claude Monet painting – Beach in Pourville.  Continuing through to the modern wing we discovered Polish art ranging from Renaissance to Impressionism.

3D Mural in Poznan
3D Mural in Poznan

After leaving the National Museum we then used our Poznań Cards to take a tram across to Środká, a historic neighbourhood to the east of the city centre.  This district lies on the east bank of the Warta river opposite the island of Ostrów Tumski which is home to the city’s cathedral.  Close to the tram stop stands a large 3D mural on the gable end of a building.  The mural celebrates the historical town of Śródka and was created to commemorate the settlement gaining its city rights in 1231 before being incorporated into the city of Poznán in 1800.

Na Winklu Restaurant, Poznan
We enjoyed lunch in the Na Winklu Restaurant

Ready for some lunch, we spotted an inviting little cafe called Na Winklu on a street corner close to the cathedral so we popped inside and warmed up with bowls of steaming hot soup.  It proved to be a great find with good food and friendly service.  We then moved onto the Porta Posnania Interactive Heritage Centre. (PLN 20/ £3.66) and discounted with the Poznan card.

Porta Posnania Interactive Heritage Centre, Poznan
Inside the Porta Posnania Interactive Heritage Centre

This modern building symbolically connects Poznan’s two oldest districts – Ostrów and Sródka via a covered bridge between its main exhibition building and the Cathedral Lock, a restored section of the former Prussian river fortifications.  The main building lies on the Stródka side and tells the story of the birth of the Polish nation.  It also depicts the history of the area from medieval times to the present day via interactive multimedia displays and audio guides.

Jordan Bridge across to Cathedral Island, Poznan
Jordan Bridge across to Cathedral Island

Next we crossed the nearby Jordan Bridge so that we could visit Poznan Cathedral (free admission).  The church dates back to the 10th century and was the place of coronation and burial of Poland’s first rulers.  Its present appearance is from its reconstruction after World War II.

Poznan Cathedral
Poznan Cathedral

Standing in the cathedral grounds is a statue to the Polish born Pope John Paul II who was the first non-Italian to be elected Pope in 400 years and who reigned from 1978 until his death in 2005.

The statue to John Paul II outside the cathedral, Poznan
The statue to John Paul II outside the cathedral

After an interesting day exploring Poznan’s cultural highlights we took a tram back to the hotel and rested awhile before enjoying dinner at Restaurant Szarlotta just off Stary Rynek (Old Town Square).

Restaurant Szarlotta near the Old Town Square, Poznan
Restaurant Szarlotta near the Old Town Square

The elegant interior features cosy seating and an open kitchen serving traditional Polish cuisine with a modern twist.  Our main courses of beef and chicken were of generous portions and tasted delicious.

Appetising dishes at the Restaurant Szarlotta, Poznan
Appetising dishes at the Restaurant Szarlotta,

The restaurant had a convivial atmosphere and combined with its helpful and friendly staff we enjoyed a very pleasant evening tasting local dishes.  After rounding off our day with mugs of mulled wine at the Christmas Market we returned to the hotel after enjoying a splendid full day exploring the city.

Nativity Crib, Poznan Christmas Market
The Nativity Crib at the Poznan Christmas Market

As this will be my final post of 2021 I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year.  Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to read and comment on my posts during the year, it means such a lot and brings my blog to life.  Let’s hope that 2022 will bring more opportunities for travel both near and far for us all.  Best wishes Marion xx

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A winter break in Poznan, Poland



88 thoughts on “Day 1. Poznan – a Polish winter city break

  1. ThingsHelenLoves

    Love the view from the Royal Castle, you can see how the city has unfolded over time with the old buildings in the foreground and the modern city sprawling further out. I’d love to visit Poland, a weekend break in Krakow a few years ago gave me a taste for the country but I never made it back and then… well, we all know what happened next! I’ve a good feeling about this year, fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting, I’ve never heard of Poznan before but it looks lovely! Especially the interior of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help looks super interesting with it’s marble pillars and very grand.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s accessible with the S-Bahn from Berlin so can be easily a day trip. I have two posts about Sanssouci and New Palace, those are for sure the biggest and best known attractions that Potsdam is know for and both within walking distance from one another. Totally worth a visit if you’re around next time.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I am late to the party, but as you know it’s been a hectic few weeks. However, this gives me a chance to read the complete guide on Poznan in one go, which is also nice. From the observation deck the city looks beautiful with splashes of pastel colours and judging by the really packed sightseeing list you provided, it has a lot to offer. It’s good to know that Ryan Air has this route included in its portfolio. Perhaps that gives us a chance to fly back to Serbia via Poznan.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve now visited several of Poland’s cities and enjoyed them all. Poznán is less well known but equally nice. Yes, you might possibly be able to return to Serbia via Poznan from Manchester if the route continues during the summer but just enjoy being back here for now!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. What a fantastic visit and fabulous post to end 2021 Marion. This would be a truly amazing and beautiful place to visit.

    I love your blog and look forward to reading more about your amazing travels in 2022. With my best regards to you. Sue xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fortunately Poland were still happy to receive British visitors restriction free so we were able to jet off and enjoy some festive cheer and sightseeing for a few days. It’s so nice to hear that you still enjoy reading my blog posts and I live in hope that we’ll have an opportunity to meet up one of these days! Marion xx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I enjoyed seeing some of Poznan with you, Marion. It’s a city Dad visited long ago, when he was looking for members of his Polish family. He wasn’t successful, but years later they did find him. Strange how life works out, isn’t it? Wishing you happy travels in ’22!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m so pleased that your Dad finally hot reunited with his Polish family that must have been so wonderful for you all. Poznán is a very pleasant city with its characterful buildings. It’s Christmas Market was very cheerful especially with the timely snowfall. Hope the New Year has started well for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Linda, Poznan was a joy to visit and the festive Christmas Market so pretty with the fresh coating of snow. Poland has so many charming cities with beautiful architecture that we enjoy visiting the country at any time of year. Hope 2022 has started well for you.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Poland is another country that I have yet to visit but it is definitely one that is on my list! As you say Marion, the more often one takes the tests and completes the necessary paperwork, the more ‘normal’ it becomes and something that has to be accepted if one wants to travel. Here’s to more travelling in 2022!

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I am glad to see you managed to go away on yet another amazing city break despite the craziness of the Omicron variant. Poznan looks like a wonderful European city to explore especially during the festive season when it’s all dressed up in twinkling lights. May the New Year bring you happiness, peace, and prosperity. Wishing you a joyous 2022! Aiva 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for taking an interest in my recent winter break to Poznan. We had a splendid time. Fortunately, apart from the U.K. tests there were no restrictions in Poland and we were able to fill ourselves with festive cheer. I’ve very much enjoyed reading your well crafted posts throughout the year Aiva and wish you and your family health and happiness for 2022. Marion

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Sapientland

    This is a very interesting place to visit. I think I will see to this as one of my travelling destinations for the year 2022. By the way, your website is filled with wonderful vibes and I am honored to read what is available here. Thank you very much! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We were fortunate that there were no restrictions affecting our trip to Poland and it could go ahead as normal. Poznan was a new destination to us as well and just as charming as the other Polish cities we had visited previously. Thanks for your interest Hannah and here’s to lots of foreign travel for us all this year!

      Liked by 3 people

  9. What a wonderful post to end the year with! Loved seeing your pictures and learning about this beautiful city in Poland! I just love following you and reading about all these places that you visit. I hope this new year brings you all good things. xxxMeg

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I’ve vaguely heard of Poznań before, but never visited despite two separate visits to Poland a few years ago. Poland is one of my favorite countries I’ve been to in Europe, so I’ll have to return to the country to see Poznań and check out more of what Poland has to offer! Lovely architecture and wonderful food, it seems (especially pierogies, yum)!

    Liked by 5 people

  11. A fitting post for the last day of 2021, one filled with brightness and hope Marion. Love the colourful festive displays in the city and the architecture. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year to you as well. Allan

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Allan for all your much appreciated comments during the year. We were fortunate that apart from testing on return to the U.K. there were other restrictions for entering Poland and we enjoyed a joyous, festive pre Christmas weekend there. It has also been a pleasure viewing your photos and reading about your travels around Canada and walks nearer to home. Wishing Patty and yourself warmest wishes for a happy and prosperous 2022. Marion.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Your pictures of the Christmas market looks as pretty as a postcard! Your hotel (and that breakfast buffet) are definitely a winner in Poznan! And how absolutely beautiful are the inside of the Basilica. Yummy … your food looks really great – one of my favourite things are to try food of other countries 😊.
    Marion, may you have a wonderful New Year 🎉. Thank you so much for many great posts this year … can’t wait to read more about your travels and learning more of other far away places!

    Liked by 3 people

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