Much of Warsaw, the capital, conforms to stereotypes of Eastern European greyness, but it does boast an historic centre, beautiful parks and vibrant nightlife. Kraków, the ancient royal capital in the south, is the real crowd-puller, rivalling the elegance of Prague and Vienna, while Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea offers an insight into Poland’s dynamic politics as well as the golden beaches at the nearby resort of Sopot. In the west, stately Wrocław charms visitors with its architecture and vibrant student life, while quintessentially Polish Poznań is still revered as the heart of the nation. Outdoorsy types can enjoy fantastic kayaking in the lake district of Mazury, while the Tatra Mountains on the Slovak border offer exhilarating hiking and affordable skiing.
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