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Poznan Itinerary - the ultimate travel guide

Headed to the Polish city of Poznan but not sure what to see, how to get there or how to get around? Don’t worry. I've got you covered. I did all the research so you don’t have to. This Poznan, Poland itinerary will give you all the info you need for an amazing visit. Poznan is brimming with character and history. You will love your time there.

Poznan market square

Poznan is located in the center of Poland, slightly in the west part of the country. It is about 3 hours south and a little west of Gdansk, 3 hours west of Warsaw and 2 hours pretty much straight north of Wroclaw and has a population of about 550,000 people. Poznan is one of the oldest cities in Poland and is known as the birthplace of the Polish nation. According to legend, the first Polish ruler (Mieszko I) was baptized here in 966 marking the beginning of Poland’s Christianization. In the middle ages Poznan was an important trade center because of its location on the Warta river. It has been part of different countries and empires but has always strived for independence. In the 19th century, for example, Poznań became a center of Polish national revival and resistance against foreign rule. The city played a prominent role in the Polish uprisings against Prussian and later German authorities. During WWII the city was heavily damaged but has since been rebuilt. 

Poznan old town

Getting there

By Air: 

Poznań is served by the Poznań-Ławica Airport (POZ), located about 7 kilometers west of the city center. The airport offers domestic and international flights, with connections to major European cities such as London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris. Airlines like LOT Polish Airlines, Ryanair, Lufthansa, and Wizz Air operate regular flights to and from Poznań.

By Train:

Poznań is also well-connected, with regular services to major cities across Poland and Europe. The main train station in Poznań is Poznań Główny (Poznań Main Station), located in the city center. It offers direct connections to Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Berlin, and other destinations.

Getting from the Airport and Train Station to the City Center:

  • From the Airport:

  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available outside the airport terminal. A taxi ride to the city center takes approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic.

  • Bus: Bus lines 59 and L operate between the airport and the city center. The journey takes around 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the driver or at the airport's ticket machines.

  • Ubers are also available and pretty cheap

  • From the Train Station:

  • Taxi: Taxis are available at the taxi rank outside the train station. The journey to the city center takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on traffic.

  • Tram: Tram lines 5, 8, 14, and 16 connect Poznań Główny with various parts of the city. The tram stop is located near the train station's main entrance.

Poznan Poland

Getting Around Poznań:

You won’t need a car when you are in Poznan. The city is very walk-able and there is an extensive network of trams and buses. If you do want to take public transportation, purchase either a timed ticket or a short term ticket. Timed tickets are good for transportation for 15 min, 45min or 90 minutes. Short term tickets are good for 24 h or 7 days. The tickets cover buses and trams. If you are staying in the tourist area you will only need zone A tickets.  Tickets can be purchased from ticket machines, kiosks, or on the tram or bus. The city center is well-served by tram lines, making it easy to navigate. They take credit cards and the kiosks have an English option.

Poznan also has city bikes. To use the city bikes you need to register online. The first 20 minutes are free. The city bikes have to be picked up and dropped off in certain locations. Lime or bolt scooters are also available. To use  scooters you also need an account online. The scooters can be picked up or dropped off anywhere within a certain area. If you leave the area the scooter will stop working or give you a message that the scooter is not allowed to be dropped off in the area you are in. 

Things to see

market square Poznan

Like in most places in Europe, the best place to start your exploration is in Old Town or Stare Miastro. Poznan’s old town is super picturesque with cobblestone streets, medieval architecture and lively market squares. Old Market Square, Stary Rynek, or Starego Miasta is the centerpiece of the Old town area. This might be my favorite old town square in Poland. The colorful merchant houses adorned with intricate facades and ornate gables give this market square tonnes of character. It is a great place to grab a bite, souvenir shop or just relax.

The Town Hall is a Gothic masterpiece. Founded in 1253, it was rebuilt in 1560.  The town hall is probably most famous for the two mechanical goats in one of the towers that butt their heads together every day at noon. This is followed by the striking of the bell and a bugle call. The bugle call is also played on the hour between 7am and 9pm. The bugle call is performed live and the musician usually waves to the crowd below when he is finished. The Poznań bugle-call has been the subject of legend. It is said that the son of the

Town hall Poznan Poland

trumpeter once looked after the injured king of the ravens, who left him a silver trumpet as a token of gratitude. Years later, when the boy grew up and took over his father's job, he used the silver trumpet to call the birds when the city was under attack. The birds came and rescued the city. 

There is also a legend that goes along with the tradition of the head butting goats. It states that a cook, while preparing a feast for dignitaries, burnt the deer she was cooking so she went out to the meadow and stole two goats. The goats escaped and ran up the tower where they began to fight and butt heads. This provided so much entertainment that the cook and the goats were both pardoned and the mechanical goats were made for the new tower being constructed. While the town hall was the seat of government until 1939, it now houses a museum. 

One block from market square is the croissant museum which is dedicated to the making of St. Martin croissants. These croissants are only allowed to be baked in the Poznan area. They have a secret recipe filled with a white poppy seed filling and have to have 81 layers. You can watch a demonstration, try your hand at baking and have a taste test of the delicious treats.

basilica of our lady of perpetual help poznan

Just a quick walk from market square is the Basilica of our Lady of Perpetual help or Fara Church. This church is probably the finest example of Baroque architecture in Poland. Built in the late 17th century, it has a gorgeous ceiling and ornate decorations. It is free to enter, but beware, it is said to be haunted. There have been many sightings of a woman dressed all in black on the organ balcony. She is said to be the ghost of a woman who gave a large sum of money to purchase the organ in the late 1800s. She was then betrayed by her lover and is now guarding the instrument. 

imperial castle Poznan

The imperial castle is a palace that was built under German rule in 1910. It was built in the Neo-Romanesque style which was considered by the architect to be the most Germanic. It was supposed to reflect control over Poland by the German Empire. The castle contained residential rooms for the Emperor and other members of court as well as representative rooms such as the throne room. Today, the Throne Room is used as a cinema room; other apartments contain art galleries, a puppet theater, pubs, music clubs, and restaurants. A courtyard is often a place of concerts and outdoor movie performances during summer. The second floor is still empty and has not been renovated. You can visit the castle. There are a few tour options. You can follow a map, have an audio guide or have a guided tour. 

cathedral of st Peter and Paul Poznan

Cathedral Island, or Ostrow Tumski, is actually older than the Old town in Poznan. The first known fortified settlement in that area was in the 8th century. After the walled town of Poznan was built on the west side of the river in the 13th century, cathedral island became the domain of the bishops. The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul or the Poznan cathedral is the main site on Cathedral island. It is the oldest Polish cathedral dating back to the 10th century. Because of fires, raids and wars, the cathedral has been rebuilt numerous times. It was originally built in the pre- Romanesque style, then Romanesque, then gothic, Baroque and Neo-classical. After WWII it was rebuilt in the Gothic style. Some of the remains of the earlier churches can still be seen in the South tower. 

Park Cytalela or Citadel park is 89 hectares of green space to explore. It is not only a great place to enjoy nature but it is also full of monuments, cemeteries and art installations. It is called citadel park because of the fort that was built there in 1828. It was mainly used as a military prison and POW camp until WWII when it became the final stronghold for the Nazis in the battle of Poznan. After the war, bricks were taken from the fort to help rebuild Poland. 

citadel park poznan

The bell of peace and friendship among nations was erected in 1986. It is rung on holidays and anniversaries such as the anniversary of Liberation day, which commemorates the Nazi’s giving in at the fort. The date of Liberation day is February 23rd. The bell weighs almost 2000 lbs. It hangs 32 feet high and can be heard 6 miles away.

A few steps from the bell is the obelisk which is  a monument to the heroes of the citadel. These are the Soviet soldiers who died during the siege of the fort. There is a fun story with this obelisk. There used to be a large red star on the top of the obelisk. This mysteriously disappeared one night after the fall of communism in Poland. Russia filed official complaints wanting the star and its thieves found. These requests were, unsurprisingly, mostly ignored by Poland. In the years since, however, the star has been located, stolen by firefighters who have now returned it. It will go on display in a museum in Poznan. 

What is left of the Prussian fort houses the museum of armaments. This museum features  mostly Nazi and Soviet ammunition and weaponry. It includes a diorama showing tank positions as well as photos of battles in the history of the city. The most interesting part of the museum is the outdoor exhibit that contains tanks, rocket launchers, bombers and a mig-15. There is a fee to enter the museum. The museum is actually a branch of the Greater Poland independence museum. The branches include the Armament museum, the Greater Poland uprising museum, the museum of martyrdom, the Poznan uprising museum and the Poznan army museum so if you are a huge history buff, you can hit all five. 

The rose garden is one of the most popular spots in the park. Consisting of 6 landscape terraces, this is a beautiful spot to spend some time. 

commonwealth cemetery Poznan

The British military cemetery or the commonwealth cemetery is another popular spot in the park. Here you will find British service men from both world wars. An interesting fact is that a number of the men involved in the “Great Escape” are buried here. The great escape was a movie that was based on a true story of  servicemen planning and executing an escape from Stulag Luft 3 which was a German POW camp.  Most of the men who escaped were captured and killed by the Nazis and their remains are buried here. Look for the large white cross to find the memorial.

Poznan is a city stuffed full of charm, character and history. You will fall in love as soon as you arrive.

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