Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, located at the heart of Europe, is quickly staking claim as a visitors hot spot. What once was a hidden gem is now boasting 15 million tourists each year. Conveniently located just 300 kilometers from Krakow, Warsaw boasts an array of cultural and historical offerings, a unique atmosphere, and some of the most delectable food that can be found.
Old Town Warsaw, Poland
Founded in the fourteenth century, Warsaw was a late arrival on Poland’s map. It soon became a political and industrial hub, but was literally destroyed during World War ll. Warsaw’s rebirth after its destruction, is a tribute to the dedication of its people. The reconstruction of the historic center was finally complete in 1962.
When visiting the city, a walk around Old Town and a visit to the Historical Museum of Warsaw will give you a well rounded outline of the city’s history.
Warsaw mermaid – the symbol of Warsaw
Exploring Warsaw is a delight for the senses. The museums, art galleries, theatres and historical architecture will fulfill your cultural desires. The annual street festivals and many musical events will fill your itinerary with memorable experiences to take part in.
During the month of July, the annual Musical Gardens Festival is held in the Courtyard of the Warsaw Castle. The event includes art, Polish culture and dance, opera and ballet. Warsaw’s International Street Arts Festival is yet another annual event, which transforms Warsaw’s streets, parks and Old Towne Market Square into a stage for actors, dancers, musicians and artists.
If you are looking for an antique bazaar where authentic treasures abound, you may want to check out the Saturday and Sunday morning Kolo Bazaar on the corner of Obozowa and Ksiecia Janusza in Warsaw’s Wola district.
Chef at Belvedere restaurant in Warsaw at Sunday brunch
One of the best ways to become acquainted with an area is by partaking in its regional dishes, and Warsaw is no different. There are numerous authentic restaurants, where the combination of food and atmosphere will leave you blissfully satisfied.
In addition to Poland’s traditional cuisine, international restaurants abound. Flavors from France, Germany, Russia and Italy are available in Warsaw’s restaurants. There are also the many milk bars, which are characteristic to Poland, as well as the Vietnamese bars that are popular with Warsaw residents.
To view 2016 Poland Culinary Vacation to Warsaw “A Taste of Poland in Mazovia and Warsaw”Click here
Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia, is located in south-western Poland. Sometimes referred to as the Venice of Poland because of its numerous waterways, Wroclaw is uniquely situated on twelve islands interconnected by over one hundred bridges. A multicultural metropolis rich in history and charm has caused many to consider the area to be one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Beautiful Wroclaw Market Square
Wroclaw is one of the oldest cities in Poland, with history dating back all the way to the year 1000. After suffering a substantial damage in 1945 as a result of World War II, Wroclaw was rebuild to become the breathtaking city it is today. Its rich history plays a large role in the cultural diversity seen throughout the area today.
When it comes to things to do in Wroclaw, there certainly is no shortage. While in Wroclaw, visitors can experience the flavors of the world, with excellent cuisine from Poland, Russia, Italy, France, and Germany. The city is sure to please beer lovers as well, since many bars and pubs in the area serve Polish beer alongside independently brewed beers.
The Market Square in Wroclaw offers some of the most wonderful restaurants and bars of the city. Many of the unique and architecturally beautiful hotels in the area are well known specifically for their restaurants and the chefs who create their masterpieces.
Outdoor dining on Wroclaw Market Square
In September there are two exciting events that attract thousands of people every year. Wroclaw’s Kitchens and the World Cookery Book Fair are both amazing culinary festivals that welcome everyone to participate.
Home to Hala Ludowa, or the Centennial Hall, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, Wroclaw offers an easy way to combine both culinary and cultural wonder so visitors can indulge in amazing food and architectural wonders at the same time.
Waterways of Wroclaw, Poland
A Japanese Garden filled with lush greenery also resides in the city. Set up in 1913 by count Fritz von Hochberg, it is a place of beauty that is well worth the visit. Wroclaw is also home to the Botanical Garden located in the oldest district of the city. Over 7,000 different plant species are featured there.
Nine museums, several theaters and music centers will satisfy your craving for history and culture. In fact, for 2016 Wroclaw has been designated the European Capital of Culture! Wroclaw is definitely a city where one will never be left looking for something to do.
To view 2016 Poland Culinary Vacation to Wroclaw which also includes visit to the annual Polish Pottery Festival in Boleslawiec Click here
Krakow was Poland’s capital city until the end of the sixteenth century when Warsaw was deemed the country’s new capital. Krakow’s rich cultural history is on display in Gothic and Baroque architecture visible at every turn. Art galleries, museums, and theatres abound. Its close proximity to neighboring capitals and access to art and entertainment make it Central Europe’s cultural heart. In fact, in 1978, Krakow’s Old Town locals know as the Stare Miasto was inscribed as a World Heritage site by the UN’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Beautiful UNESCO Krakow Market Square
Krakow balances an intellectually and visually stimulating environment with a vibrant nightlife, attributable in large measure to the thousands of students and teachers who flock to its 18 universities. Known all over Europe for its trendy spots, hidden hangouts, and sumptuous restaurants, Stare Miasto has the highest density of bars and pubs of any World Heritage Site. Political and historical debate over a couple of glasses of Zywiec, Zubr, or Tyskie, polskie piwo (Polish beer) served in these ubiquitous pubs and cafes might just be the citizenry’s favorite pastime.
Krakow’s visitors can best appreciate Poland’s heart and soul by opening its kitchen door and sampling its cookery. Its easy to see how Krakow earned a well-deserved reputation as Poland’s food capital. Residents earnestly embrace every occasion with fantastic cooking. Since 2004 when Poland joined the European Union, international cuisine offerings have steadily increased in Krakow along with the number of foreigners and tourists. Dining rooms in its one-of-a-kind hotels offer outstanding cuisine.
Polish oscypek cheese available grilled at a festival in Krakow
Can you imagine eating at a restaurant in business passing on the Polish passion for food to countless generations for nearly seven centuries? Krakow has one. Frequent weekend-long outdoor food festivals highlighting food producers and restaurateurs’ favorite dishes delight locals and visitors alike. May’s Soup Festival and the mid-August Pierogi Fest have achieved great popularity. With free samples, displays, markets, cooking contests, joyful Polish music and other entertainment, these exceptional festivals add to the bustling city’s unique charm. Poland Culinary Vacations can plan a travel itinerary that combines festival outings with other visits to Malopolska (Lesser Poland) region UNESCO world heritage sites.
Gourmet pierogi made at the Culinary Studio in Krakow
Poland Culinary Vacations is Poland’s premier choice for custom-tailored, personally guided gastronomic tours. From Wesele’s restaurant regional and traditional offerings to Trzy Rybki innovative nouvelle preparations. Poland Culinary Vacations is your best introduction to this country’s varied culture and marvelous cuisine. PCV also lends a hand to its clients in registering for one-day Polish cooking classes. Participating in a cooking course at Krakow’s Culinary Studio is an excellent way to recapture the smells and tastes of Poland in your own home.
To view 2016 Poland Culinary Vacations to Krakow please Click here
Once again, Poland Culinary Vacations guests attended the annual PIEROGI FESTIVAL in Maly Rynek, Krakow, Poland as part of their August “Cooking Your Way From Krakow to Zakopane” culinary and cultural vacation. Locals and travelers from all over the world enjoyed Polish pierogi, beer and regional “oscypki” cheese while visiting the festival. It was hot, colorful and delicious!
XIII Pierogi Festival in Krakow, Poland
Unlike any other year, this year we witnessed just about every possible color of pierogi dough – and interesting fillings! Pierogi Festival in Krakow is not your average pierogi affair and offers both traditional and new, inventive creations in line with ever demanding and changing Polish tastes!
Delicious and colorful pierogi at XIII Pierogi Festival in Krakow, Poland
More colorful pierogi at the 2015 XIII Pierogi Festival in Krakow, Poland
In the evening, guests could visit Pierogi Festival and listen to live entertainment on main stage while enjoying their pierogi!
During August, 2015 XIII Pierogi Festival, restaurant “Polskie Smaki” located at ul. św. Tomasza in Krakow won the statue of Casimir the Great, beloved Polish King, for their best pierogi according to the general public (all those real pierogi fans who voted!) It was the second time restaurant “Polskie Smaki” won at the Pierogi Festival! Congratulations!
Casimir the Great statue awarded for BEST PIEROGI by general public!
The statue of św. Jack with Pierogi (an award granted by professional jury comprised of people in the gastronomy business, dietitians, culinary journalists and restaurateurs) went to “Magi” from Trzciany, for Pierożki Babci Władzi. It was first time “Magi” won at the festival. Congratulations!
Saint Jack statue awarded by professionals for BEST PIEROGI at the annual Pierogi Festival in Krakow, Poland
Total of 18 restaurants and catering businesses competed at the 2015 Pierogi Festival in Krakow. All participants received diplomas, general statues and practical gifts from local government and trade organizations sponsoring this spectacular culinary event in beautiful Krakow! Till next year!
To view Poland Culinary Vacations photo album from 2015 XIII Pierogi Festival in Krakow, Poland click here…
To view details of “Cooking Your Way From Krakow to Zakopane” tour & Pierogi Festival in Krakow, Poland click here…
The Tri-City, an urban complex extending along the Bay of Gdansk in the north of Poland, is one of Poland’s largest tourist attractions. The cities are especially popular during summer months, where vacationers flock to enjoy beautiful beaches of the Baltic Sea coast, luxurious SPAs and delicious food, especially seafood.
Flounder served at Brovarnia Gdansk
Gdynia’s famous and historic Fish Hall offers all kinds of fresh seafood and is a must-see for any foodie. The Polish Baltic coast is rich in herring, flounder, eel, cod, turbot and salmon. Many culinary events are organized “To Taste Pomorskie”, like the Slow Fest Sopot, Cod Fish Harvest, and weekend breakfast markets. Here are a few recommendations for best restaurants in the Tri-City offering delicious, fresh, seafood, Kashubian regional specialties and more traditional Polish fare:
Restauracja Pod Lososiem
Restauracja Tlusta Kaczka – Polish cuisine restaurant
Restauracja Kubicki – wonderful Polish food with piano music
Restauracja Velevetka – offering traditional Kashubian cuisine
Restauracja Wave at Sheraton Sopot Hotel – offering regional, Polish and mediterranian cuisine
Restauracja Bulaj – Sopot
Bar Przystan – order delicious fisherman’s soup!
To join us on culinary journey through the Tri-City view our day-by-day itinerary for September 2015 “Coastal Cooking in Pomerania and Gdansk” trip CLICK HERE
See you in beautiful Gdansk, Sopot & Gdynia in 2015!
Our cultural and culinary vacation on Poland’s Baltic Sea coast, “Coastal Cooking in Pomerania and Gdansk” is full of exciting activities an entire family can enjoy. This summer, especially, we’re thrilled to add two more cultural attractions to our itinerary while touring Gdansk and Gdynia: The European Solidarity Center in Gdansk and Emigration Museum in Gdynia.
Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient and Leader of Solidarity Movement in Gdansk, Poland
To learn more about these newly opened places please click on the links below:
This is going to be the most “cheerful” and original museum in the country. The opening is planned for mid 2017 in Warsaw’s, Praga North district. During a walk through the ages, visitors to the museum will be able to learn about the changing recipes, manufacturing techniques, places where the liquor was popular in the past and is most popular now. Also, the cultural role of vodka will be shown, which appears in many literary works and films. Everyone will be able to explore the museum in his/her own way because it will be offered in a wide range of topics – herald the originators of this particular facility.
Koneser Polish vodka factory in Warsaw, Poland.
Museum will be located in Warsaw’s “Centrum Praskim Koneser”, on the grounds of an old Polish vodka factory “Koneser”. The logo was designed by artist Andrzej Pągowski. The concept of the exhibition, which assumes a combination of traditional methods of expositions and the latest multimedia solutions, was prepared by renowned architectural studio “Nizio Design International”.
Only professional museum curators were invited to help putting together Polish Vodka Museum’s exhibits, those who in the past few years participated in the creation of other permanent museum exhibits in the capital city and which are currently enjoying success and excellent reputation.
If you’re a vodka connoisseur and collector of Polish vodka memorabilia, you can also make a contribution to the new museum. Until the end of May, the Association of Polish Vodka is accepting exhibit pieces and recipes associated with vodka. In exchange, it is offering cash prizes.
Here is a list of exhibits sought:
1. Posters, advertisements, brochures related to the Polish vodka from the years 1900 – 1990.
2. Polish vodkas overseas advertising, with particular emphasis on brand Wyborowa, from the years 1900 – 1990.
3. Labels and bottles of Polish vodka pure, with particular emphasis on brand Wyborowa and luxurious, from the years 1900 – 1990.
4. Labels and bottles of Polish vodkas from the years 1900 – 1990.
5. Original book on the Polish vodka production technology dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.
6. The distillation columns – copper.
7. Photos and stories of Polish families in the distillery business.
8. Photos of parties and banquets, where it is visualized Polish vodka from the years 1900 to 1990.
To participate and donate pieces to the exhibit, please use an application form on “Facebook” – Museum of Polish Vodka, including a description of the item(s), its history and an image. All completed applications will be reviewed by the team working on museum exhibits and items will be chosen based on requirements specified in the application process. Additional option is to call in by telephone and send the photo by mail. Among the submitted applications the jury will select top three winners and award – a cash prize of 1000 zł to each, and remaining 10 participants will receive 200 zł each. The winners will be invited to the grand opening of the museum.
Bison Grass Polish Vodka
Polish vodka should be considered in terms of national treasure. Produced for more than 600 years in our land, inextricably inscribed in Polish history and customs. This top quality alcohol and one of the few Polish products recognizable and respected throughout the world. So we have reasons to be proud, and like other countries we should praise and promote our national drink. Therefore, we invite all Poles to contribute a “brick” to the Museum of Polish Vodka, the first and only such institution in the world – says Andrzej Szumowski , president of the Association of Polish Vodka, Patron of the museum. He also points out that … the Museum of Polish Vodka is the place for every brand of vodka which meets the requirements of the amended definition of Polish vodka, which came into force on 13 January 2013. They are clear – for a vodka to be able to use the geographical indication “Polska Wodka / Polish Vodka” it must be produced with raw materials of Polish origin, traditional Polish grains: wheat, rye, oats, barley, triticale, or potatoes, and the entire processing must be carried out on Polish territory.
Museum, located in Warsaw’s Praga North, in the post-industrial red-brick buildings, where for many years Warsaw’s “Koneser” Vodka Distillery operated, will become a new, attractive point on the cultural map of the capital, and above all a place reminiscent to Poles and educational for foreign tourists where they will learn what is so unique about Polish vodka and what distinguishes it from other spirits of this kind.
A total of 45 restaurants have been recognized by the Michelin Guide for 2015 in Poland: 24 in Warsaw and 21 in Cracow. Atelier Amaro restaurant in Warsaw specializing in seasonal Polish cuisine continues to be the only restaurant in Poland with one-star recognition. The rest received anywhere from one “fork and spoon” designation to four and two Warsaw restaurants also received Big Gourmand mark by offering “exceptional good food at moderate prices”.
Wild boar with beets and cabbage stuffed wheat crepes at Ancora restaurant in Cracow
Excited to point out that four restaurants on Poland Culinary Vacations itineraries are recommended in the 2015 Michelin Guide: Ale Gloria, U Fukiera and Belvedere in Warsaw and Ancora in Cracow.
Atelier Amaro – * Michelin Star
Michel Moran – Bistro de Paris
Platter by Karol Okrasa
Brasserie Warszawska – Bib Gourmand
Butchery and Wine – Bib Gourmand
Cyrano de Bergerac
Many unique and interesting attractions await visitors to Poznan, the capital of Greater Poland region in the west of Poland. Those who will travel with Poland Culinary Vacations on our NEW in 2015 “Culinary & Cultural Adventure in Greater Poland & Poznan”will discover the history and beauty of the following top five spots and more, starting with:
Old Market Square – the Heart of the City – undoubtedly, the Renaissance Town Hall has been the most prominent structure in the Old Market Square, having served in the past as an office for the municipal authorities. Most probably, the first town hall had been built in the second half of the 13th century. The fire that consumed it in 1536 prompted the construction of the current structure that garners the wide admiration for its unique beauty. It is the only one like that in Poland thanks to the work of an Italian artist Giovanni Battista di Quadro from Lugano. He gave the Poznan Town Hall the most original shape and Renaissance styling. The head-bucking goats atop the tower which emerge every day at noon to mark the middle of the day, have added an entertaining aspect to the building have charmed Poznan citizens and visitors since the time of it’s construction. Delightful cafes, restaurants and pubs can be enjoyed today when visiting Poznan’s Market Square.
Poznan Old Market Square with the Renaissance Town Hall
Royal and Imperial Route – follows Poznan’s history. The first rulers of the Piast dynasty resided in Ostrow Tumski. Later, the castle erected on the Przemysl Hill frequently hosted royalty. Poznan was visited by emperors several times. The German emperor Otto II was first of them and visited in the year 1000. In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte made Poznan the capital city of Europe just for a few days. Another castle, erected in 1910, was built for Wilhelm II. This Royal and Imperial Route begins in the Srodka district and ends in the so-called “castle district”.
Church of Saint John of Jerusalem – it is one of the first Romanesque churches built in Poland at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries by the order of the Saint John of Jerusalem. Inside the church are four items worthy of interest: a late Gothic triptych depicting the conversation between the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist, a 16th century sandstone baptismal font, a 15th century lattice in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and within this chapel a miracle cross that once used to mark the road to Srodka.
Poznan Parish Church
Ostrow Tumski – is where visitors can admire the beauty of the Saints Peter and Paul of the Apostles cathedral with a 15th century three-nave basilica plan, an ambulatory surrounding the presbytery and a series of chapels around its perimeter. On the ground floor is the Chapel of the First Polish Rulers – Duke Mieszko I and King Boleslaw Chrobry – also known as the Golden Chapel. Surrounding the cathedral visitors can visit: a 13th century Church of the Blessed Mary, a late Gothic psalterium and several 19th century canonries and the Archbishop’s palace.
Royal Castle – in the 13th century, two Piasts, Duke Przemysl I and later his son King Przemysl II built a massive castle on the Pzemysl Hill. It was used to tower over the Market Square. To this day, only the Gothic basement remains of what used to be the oldest royal residence in Poland. What is standing today is the 18th century version of the castle rebuilt after WWII. Currently, it houses the Museum of Applied Art.
Since we’ve launched a NEW trip for 2015 to Greater Poland, “Culinary & Cultural Adventure in Greater Poland and Poznan” we would like to tell you more about this off-the-beaten path western region in several blog posts to encourage you to travel with us to Greater Poland and discover for yourself the natural beauty, history, adventure and delicious regional cuisine that awaits travelers to the region.
Poznan, Poland Market Square
Greater Poland region – in Polish called “Wielkopolska” – is located in basin of Warta river. It is situated on the crossroads of the main European East-West track leading from Berlin to Moscow. As a result, the region has very favorable location and can be easily reached by car, train or plane from other European destinations as well as the rest of the world.
Palace in the beautiful Greater Poland countryside
Greater Poland occupies the area of 11,516 sq. miles which is around 10% of the Polish territory. Approximately 3.4 million people, which is 8.7% of the whole population of Poland live in Greater Poland. The people of Greater Poland are famous for being among the most industrious and hospitable in Poland.
Regional food made in Greater Poland
The capital of the region is Poznan, a city with population of about 600,000 people and growing. Due to its cultural, tourist, economic, commercial and scientific significance, the city is considered the center of western Poland. Poznan can be reach via Lawica Airport which offers both domestic and international flights.
Greater Poland’s restaurants offer both traditional Polish and regional fare
Other important cities in Greater Poland are: Gniezno, Kalisz,Konin, Leszno, Ostrow Wielkopolski and Pila.