A thousand years of cultural history is being re-discovered by
tourists worldwide in what may seem an unlikely locale.
Once the largest country in Europe, Poland’s cultural value has
been overlooked by many travelers. For Americans, the memory of a
Cold War division of Central and Eastern Europe may still linger
even though the Berlin Wall fell 17 years ago this November.
Now recognized as a long-hidden treasure trove of
centuries-old European arts and architecture, Poland is enjoying
unparalleled popularity among tourists. According to Jan W.
Rudomina, director for the Polish National Tourist Office in New
York, Poland became a more popular destination in Europe during the
last year, with a 21 percent increase in travel from the United
Officials attribute the tourism boost to Poland’s unique history
and culture and well preserved countryside, for prices that other
European countries can’t match. Poland offers diversity in terms of
its national heritage showcasing customs and traditions from
civilizations across the continent. For the past 1,000 years,
Poland has been the point of contact between Eastern and Western
European cultures with Russian and Mongol influences also making
their bid for attention.
Having joined the European Union two years ago, Poland now has
access to the funds for building a tourism infrastructure and can
offer the same standards of service as other European
However, the country has not yet adopted the euro as its national
currency, which as Rudomina said, “is a major benefit for
As the high cost of travel continues across Europe, Poland is able
to offer Americans a comparable experience for a better value.
Travelers should take note that Poland is likely to make the euro
changeover in the next few years.
The best way to get around in Poland is by train. Major
cities are connected via express trains, serviced by the Polish
State Railways. Train travel is designed to make Poland an easy
addition to any European tour, and a popular connection among
tourists runs from Prague to Wroclaw.
Local flights are also available from LOT Polish Airlines, the
country’s national carrier, as well as from other local carriers
and budget airlines within Europe. Motorcoach transportation
operated by either state or private companies is another option.
While some smaller roads are still under construction thanks to EU
funds national roads and highways are in top shape.
Poland-bound clients looking for resources can check out the
Polish Tourist Organization and its sponsored tour operator, Orbis
American Travel Abroad
LOT Polish Airlines
Polish State Railways
Polish Tourist Organization