After struggling through a 20th century marred by war, Poland has come back with full force and gained acceptance into the European Union.
The main cities of Warsaw and Krakow are rife with regal history and modern culture. There is also a great deal for the outdoorsy types around the awe-inspiring glazed peaks of the Tatra Mountains. However, the very best reason to visit Poland may be its national drink, vodka, which is made in a wide assortment of fruity flavors.
The Tatra Mountains
Shared with Slovakia, the Tatra Mountains (part of the Carpathian range) on the Polish side are two and a half hours south of Kraków. They provide awesome relief from the flatness of Poland’s plains and emotionally draining historical cities. Zakopane is the main alpine town and is a top destination for vacationing Poles. There are outstanding hiking opportunities nearby and several PTTK lodge/hostels that provide basic accommodation. The cable car to Mt Kasprowy Wierch and a walk to Lake Morskie Oko are two of the more popular excursions. Private bus companies make regular journeys on the Kraków-Zakopane route. Seat reservations are recommended in the summer and on weekends.