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Most beautiful small towns / villages of Poland

DominicB - | 2,602    
13 Mar 2015  #31

small but beautiful towns within distance of 150km from Warsaw.

Really, only two towns come close to meeting that description:

£owicz, which is about 70 KM west of Warsaw; and

Kazimierz Dolny, which is about 160 km southeast of Warsaw, which is quite scenic (and touristy in season for that very reason).

Toruń is about 260 km to the northwest of Warsaw. It's beautiful, but not that small.

Otherwise, there aren't a lot of places that I would characterize as "beautiful" and "small" in central Mazowia. Maybe Pułtusk, Płock, Piotrków Tybunalski or Ciechanów, or Żelazowa Wola with a side trip for a hike in the Kampinos Nationa Park.

jon357 69 | 13,456    
13 Mar 2015  #32

Pultusk is worth visiting as is one or two places to the east.

Czerwinsk is a must to visit at some point. Not just the bit with the old church, but downhill to the river. There's a nice cafe there too. You should continue to Płock and spend a bit longer there - again the bit by the river is good, but the rest is worth visiting and the town museum is superb.

A lot of towns to the North and East of Warsaw were heavily damaged towards the end of the war during the Red Army's advance towards Germany however although Węgrów and Sokołow Podlaski aren't that special, the drive there from Warsaw is nice, takes you through an area that wasn't so heavily affected and takes you past Liw Castle. A bit more interesting than most of Maszowsze which is frankly boring.

Serock isn't a beauty spot, however the downhill part (left of the main road as you're heading north) has some quaint bits and there's a boardwalk by the lake with a restaurant.
sobieski 108 | 2,133    
13 Mar 2015  #33

£owicz springs to my mind...I think especially they have these beautiful processions, and there is also the skansen there,
jon357 69 | 13,456    
13 Mar 2015  #34

They have the big folk arts festival, the processions you mentioned and some smaller events. Otherwise a nondescript town with a large jam factory. The Rynek is nice - a couple of decent restaurants, two baroque churches, one of them a cathedral (and a very bad statue of JPII which if you look at it at a certain angle appears as if he's been caught sneaking out of somewhere). More interesting than Skierniewice down the road although that does have the minute railway for those who like that.

I tend to prefer East of Warsaw. £omża is ok, but only for a short visit to there and Zambrów plus a walk in the forest.

Góra Kalwaria just past Powsin is worth a short visit - some old buildings and there's a castle nearby. plus a fairly high bridge over the river.
DominicB - | 2,602    
13 Mar 2015  #35

£owicz springs to my mind...I think especially they have these beautiful processions, and there is also the skansen there,

One of the few towns in the area that you can spend a whole day in (along with Kazimierz Dolny). Most towns in central Mazowia may have one or two things worth seeing, but very little else.

I used to live in £owicz, and the Corpus Christi procession is worth seeing because of the folk costumes, as well as the museum and the skansen. The main street, Zduńska, has a very pleasant atmosphere. Not to be missed are the park in Arkadia, which is absolutely gorgeous, and the palace in Nieborów, both right outside of £owicz. You could actually do two days in £owicz.

Also, on ul. Mostowa, right off the square behind the museum, is Podsędek meat store, which has the best sausage in Poland, and next door is a shop that has the best bread in the world (no exaggeration). Buy some myśliwska (sausage) and get a loaf of this bread and you will be in heaven. It's worth the trip to £owicz just for that.
jon357 69 | 13,456    
13 Mar 2015  #36

Pleasant enough however I think you're overstating the charms of Lowicz. Nothing wrong with the place but a whole day there seems a lot. That road north out of town is a very nice drive in good weather - not much there but very peaceful countryside, unspoilt and few small places to stop. It leads to the aforementioned Czerwinsk or turn right before the river crossing and you're on the far side of Kampinoski Forest (the least visited part). Or cross the river and head back via Zakroczym. Only a small place but nice enough and a few places to eat.
DominicB - | 2,602    
13 Mar 2015  #37

a whole day there seems a lot.

Not at all. It would be a rather full day to see £owicz together with Arkadia and Nieborów. And to throw in the Skansen as well as the cute little museum in nearby Sromów, you'd need to spend the night at least.
jon357 69 | 13,456    
13 Mar 2015  #38

I've been to both a few times. Arkadia/Nieborów is worth a couple of hours, then pop in to Żelazowa Wola (and there's a good restaurant between them) then an hour in the Rynek at £owicz, or a bit longer if you like baroque churches. If there's the folk festival running, it's a different story and you can spend a day there. Sromow sounds interesting but was closed when I was there :-(

An alternative route back is via Rawa Mazowieckie. Not that much there but a nice town.

Personally I find the areas to the east of Warsaw more interesting than the direction of £ódż. It might be a bit far, but Siemiatycze (another baroque church), the wooden Orthodox convent at Grabarka, and Drohiczyn (a tiny town with 7 churches, a couple of them amazing) plus the old palace all doable in the same day.

While I remember, the narrow gauge railway is in Sochaczew rather than Skierniewice. Sochaczew is less worth a visit (it was very badly damaged in 1918) unless you want a ride on the railway.

Skierniewice is a bit nicer but still not a destination.
DominicB - | 2,602    
13 Mar 2015  #39

Rawa Mazowieckie. Not that much there but a nice town.

The castle in Rawa is neat, and nearby in Huta Zawadzka is the ONLY geologically interesting feature in all of central Mazowia, a glacially deposited boulder of considerable size:

Polish boulder

When driving to Rawa from £owicz, you have to go through Skierniewice (used to live there, too). Nothing worth seeing there except the train station, which is amazing and gorgeously restored. It was built by the Tsar to impress the Kaisers of Austria and Germany when they had a meeting there. Worth stopping because you'll be passing right by it anyway.
jon357 69 | 13,456    
13 Mar 2015  #40

I defer to your experience of the areas west of Warsaw like £owicz - I've only ever really done day trips and business visits there. I've spent longer in Płock, which is a must-see and am quite evangelical about the nicer bits east of Warsaw.

One place I'd like to visit but haven't is the stone circle at Rostki, on the road between Ostrów Mazowieckie and Ostrolęka. Ostrolęka by the way is a bit bigger than most of the places mentioned, has a very nice (but run down) centre with a few beautiful old buildings, is very cheap but mainly for visiting only if you're interested in Napoleonic war sites.
DominicB - | 2,602    
13 Mar 2015  #41

but mainly for visiting only if you're interested in Napoleonic war sites.

Actually, most of the tourist sites in central Mazowia are interesting only if you know Polish and are familiar with the history of the place. For example, Żyrardów is a fantastic place to visit if you know it's history as a planned industrial town.

When I was living in Skierniewice, my best friend and I decided to do "vacation in Skierniewice", that is, visit Skierniewice as tourists, something no one in their right mind had ever even thought of before. We were surprised at how much there was to see in this famously boring and lackluster town once you start looking. He was surprised, too, even though he had lived there his whole life. But if you don't know Polish and don't know the locals, that would be impossible to do. There was enough to see to keep us occupied for a long weekend.

Also, the pace of visiting places like this is going to be a lot more leisurely than visiting Warsaw or Kraków.
johnny reb 15 | 2,944    
13 Mar 2015  #42

Most educational thread here yet.
Keep the posts coming on this thread as they are most helpful in planning visitors vacations in Poland.
The little details that you are including really help in deciding a route to take.
These small towns are the ones visitors find the kind of Polish culture that they are looking for.
They have not yet been 'commercialized' and have loads of unsung history.
Knowing of these off the beaten path towns by tourists will help pump some cha ching into their local economy as well.
Thanks to everyone's input here as it is a tremendous help for my planning.
fareasttiger 6 | 17    
16 Mar 2015  #43

Thanks admin for merging my thread.
Thanks all of you for advising me of nice towns to visits. I already printed out all of your recommendations for our following weekends.
Last weekend we visited Uniejów, had warmbath there and got into the town nearby to have lunch. The town is small and peaceful with a small church.

We were in a restaurant where they serve polish foods and pizza. Not mention polish dishes, all of us, adults and children were so happy with their very big and delicious pizzas there.... Foods are much cheaper than in Warsaw.

We spent that night in a hotel and hold a birthday party there. We went back to Warsaw yesterday after having 4 hours shopping in Lódź.

Happy in Poland and wait for the next weekend. May be we will visit Kazimierz Dolny or £owicz, depends on times we have.
spiritus 67 | 655    
20 Apr 2017  #44


Most attractive villages in Poland

I'm trying to create a blog post about some unknown treasures of Poland and wondered if anyone can suggest any villages that may not appear in typical guide books but are well worth visiting
DominicB - | 2,602    
20 Apr 2017  #45


Not exactly a "village", but Cieszyn is a very attractive town that's off the tourist track. A true gem as far as I am concerned. Been there dozens of times myself, and it gets better every time.

More village-like are Wambierzyce and Bardo in Ziemia Kłodzka, especially if you are into folk religion. Even as an atheist, I enjoy visiting those towns, especially when the international competition of choral music is taking place in Wambierzyce. or in the spring when the landscape around Bardo comes to life. There's also Świdnica, but that does sometimes make it into tour guides.
jon357 69 | 13,456    
20 Apr 2017  #46

Czerwińsk nad Wisłą is one of the nicest within easy reach of Warsaw. Little streets running down the hill to the river and an old monastery next to the village.

Liw, to the east of Warsaw is also quite nice, with an old castle.
gregy741 3 | 1,132    
20 Apr 2017  #47

Krynica Gorska ,called Krynica-Zdrój (not sure,why there are 2 names for that town). kinda big village-or small town .i use to spent alot of time family ..very nice place
delphiandomine 86 | 16,442    
20 Apr 2017  #48

Głuchołazy would be a good tip. You can easily spend a few hours in Park Zdrojowy, and there's a couple of very good restaurants there with excellent service.

Failing that, Kudowa-Zdrój doesn't get much attention from foreigners, yet it's a delightful spa town.
Chemikiem 5 | 1,084    
21 Apr 2017  #49

I haven't been there yet, but I would really like to see Zalipie, the village with all the painted houses. Anyone else been there and is it worth a visit?

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