About twenty percent of Poland’s population study at one institute or another in Poznań, which helps to retain a young and vibrant atmosphere in the city’s streets.
Although not on many travellers’ itineraries, Poznań is bursting with churches, cobblestones, museums, clubs, bars, restaurants, and shopping.
Colourful Burgher houses dating from the 14th-15th centuries line the Market Square. In the past, these houses were owned by Poznan’s most affluent inhabitants (physicians, pharmacists, merchants, and goldsmiths).
Time to say ‘do widzenia’ (goodbye) to Kraków for a second time and take the comfy modern PKP Intercity train (60.30PLN) to Poznań, which was supposed to leave at 12:47hrs, although it was 10 minutes late. There’s even a bar and dining carriage on the train for this 7-hour journey; very lush.
The train arrived in the main station…this is one flash impressive station, it’s like a small airport. Fairly new, there’s loads of glass windows and the station is connected to a huge shopping mall with restaurants, cafés, and loads of shops. Go ahead and run a muck with your money here!
Sports Direct (British chain) is in this mall also and as it was offering huge discounts on a lot of trekking gear, I splurged – my trekking boots were a sorry excuse after 4 years’ of walking and trekking.
Today is the warmest it’s been in almost 3 months of travel in Europe and at 22°C, it’s time to shed a few layers as is common in many parts of SE Asia.
I’ve offered a couple of different sites to visit (not your typical tourist destinations), such as the Citadel Park Cemetery and the Morasko Meteorite Reserve as not too many people at either of these sites, especially tourists. You may bump into school children or university students at the meteorite reserve.
Many other sights await in Poznań, such as the Malta thermal baths, Museum of Archaeology, National Museum, a zoo, but the Old Town holds a visitor interested for a few days with all the delightful architecture.
Listed as one of Poland’s official national Historic Monuments, the renaissance Old Town was destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt – still wonderful to experience.
The Main Market Square (Stary Rynek) is in the centre of the Old Town, with the historic Town Hall (Ratusz) in the middle.
The street layout hosts a grid of narrow streets and is a testament to the former protected city. Sadly, the city walls were removed in the early 19th century due to the city’s expansion.
At the Western end of the Old Town is the hill (Góra Przemysła), on which the castle once stood.
The Citadel Park cemeteries
A couple of kilometres north of the city centre, the Citadel Park (almost 100 hectares) is a pleasant peaceful spot to spend a few hours or have a picnic.
Although this is a cemetery, this park is a favourite relaxation and leisure location in Poznań.
Destroyed in the siege of 1945, the Fortress Winiary’s fortification is what only remains today. This houses the Museum of the Poznań Army and the Citadel Museum.
Many war relics are displayed around the outside of the museum, which was unfortunately closed at the time of visiting. The rest of the area that the fortress covers is now a large park.
The Old Garrison Cemetery comprises graves of Commonwealth servicemen of WWI, allied airmen shot down over Poland during WWII, and Poles killed by the Germans.
There’s a huge Russian memorial here and this is also the resting place for allied prisoners captured and executed after The Great Escape.
Morasko Meteorite Reserve
If you have some free time, make the effort to see this lovely reserve (free entry), which takes you north of the city’s borders.
Depending wherever you are in the city, you need to take Tram (12) to the os. Sobieskiego Bus Terminus (trams run every 10-15 minutes).
Once there, take bus 902 (4.60PLN) and alight at the Rezerwat Morasko bus stop, which is about 500 metres west of the Morasko village. Keep an eye out for the Reserve signs and you’ll be on your way.
Spring flowers and greenery are just starting to appear so it’s very pretty and quite peaceful.
It’s lovely to hear the Wood Peckers and other wildlife but also smell the freshness of the woods.
You’ll enjoy this very easy walk around the well-marked path of where a group of meteorites impacted craters on the slope of Mount Morasko, apparently created during the last glaciation.
The group of seven craters lie within an area of 55 hectares, which became a nature reserve in 1976.
According to the crater sizes and the number here, these are one of the largest groups of craters on the planet. The largest crater’s diameter is at around 60 metres with a depth reaching 11.5 metres.
Booked a self-contained apartment through air.bnb as due to it being spring and the high season is fast approaching, prices are starting to increase.
This apartment is only about a 10-minute walk to the Old Town, is very clean, and has everything you need for self-catering. We’re here for 7 nights so it has to be comfy.
Apart from the last night’s meal in Poznań, shopped at supermarkets for the duration of the 7-night stay, as the apartment is self-catering. Although much much cheaper than eating out, still manage the daily coffee and pastry out in the town.
- Biedronka – This supermarket chain offers the cheapest prices throughout Poland and good quality. The only downside is that a lot of products aren’t your ‘typical’ supermarket chain familiar products – not a downside for me as I love trying loads of new products and groceries.
- Stary Browar (42 Półwiejska Street) – Apart from overflowing with many boutique shops, this is an Arts and Business Centre, located in the center of Poznań. The actual building was designed on the basis of a historic factory (former Brewery Huggerów). Spend hours here (and much money) wandering around this plush complex; gorgeous décor and surroundings. (The Beverly Hills hairdressers in the complex give great haircuts at reasonable prices – 100PLN for a lady and a man’s cut).
- Petit Paris Boulangerie (Stary Browar) – Apart from baking their own bread in-house, which smells divine, the coffee (9PLN) and tea are good, lovely atmosphere, and you can order savouries, gourmet-filled baguette/Panini at reasonable prices but not cheap.
- Cukiernia Sowa – You can find this extra special café on the first floor of the massive mall attached to the Główny (main train station). Excellent coffee (8.5PLN) served with a scrumptious gratis dark chocolate; and pastries, and chocolates at good prices. Great service also!
- Mount Blanc (Poznań City Center) – After seeing this chocolate/coffee chain in several cities and towns, decided to try a coffee here today. Excellent service, presentation, and a wonderful chocolate morsel provided with your hot drink. However, the coffee was milky and weak and a little more expensive than the Cukiernia Sowa on the floor above.
Poznań to Wrocław
Spending the last days in Poland as sadly, the European sojourn is nearing to a close.
Australians can only stay in Schengen-agreed countries (most of the EU) for a total period of 90 days within a 180-day period, so the 23rd April is the very last exit date for me…
Decided on one more train trip (33.90PLN) to Wrocław as have a flight booked to the UK.
This train trip is only about 2.5 hours and almost half-way to Kraków; and leaves from Główny station at 12:34hrs (other times available).