The attractions of Poznań are quite varied, we have historical buildings and interesting sacred buildings, historic architecture and modern sports facilities. The city also boasts numerous green areas where you can rest and shelter from the scorching sun. In Poznań, there are also many interesting museums, places and districts with history, as well as remains of fortifications.
The city tempts with its wide cultural offer and cyclical events, such as the Saint Martin Festival or the Christmas market. The attractions of Poznań effectively attract tourists who want to see one of the oldest Polish towns. The rich past translates into tourist attractiveness and the fact that in the capital of Greater Poland province no one should be bored.
Poznań is a city that will interest fans of historic architecture and interesting objects, as well as visiting museums of all kinds. It will work both for slightly older people who will discover the secrets of Poznań districts with sentiment, or for young people, because there are plenty of nightclubs where you can party until dawn. There are also many attractions for children in Poznań. So it is a good destination for family trips. Poznań is quite a universal city, which is why it is so eagerly visited by tourists.
Sightseeing in Poznań
Poznań can be explored on foot, because the greatest attractions are located here relatively close to each other. If we are interested in a facility a bit further from the center and Poznań’s old town, then you can use public transport that will take us to virtually every corner of this city. There are tram and bus lines to choose from. Interestingly, in the summer season, additional trams (No. 0) and buses (No. 100) are also launched here, intended for visitors to the city, which circulate among the most important monuments and attractions of Poznań.
Visiting Poznań may take a whole weekend or a week. We can visit the most important places within the old town and some further walks even in one day. It all depends on how many places we want to see with our own eyes. So it’s best to plan everything before departure.
Poznań can be visited all year round, because virtually no weather should be an obstacle here. Only when we focus on hanging out in the local parks (by Warta river or Malta lake), then it is better to go here in the warmer part of the year. In summer, there may be a bit more tourists in Poznań, although it is not a rule. It is equally good to visit this city in spring, when it is much warmer, or in autumn, when the trees in the parks change their color. If we go to Poznań in winter, we can come across a Christmas market or an Ice Sculpture Festival organized here.
Monuments of Poznań
Old Market Square
One of the most popular historic places in Poznań is definitely the Old Market Square. It is the heart of the whole city and a meeting place not only for tourists, but also for local residents. It is here that the most monuments of Poznań are located. The Old Market Square is the third largest place of this type in Poland. It is surrounded by historic tenement houses and tenement houses, and three streets depart from each of its walls.
In the very center of the Old Market Square in Poznań, there is a characteristic town hall building. The three-storey building was erected in the Renaissance style, to a design by an Italian architect. Inside, instead of the seat of city officials, it houses the Museum of the History of the City of Poznań. Right next to the town hall, there are colorful houses called Domki Budniczych which only add charm to this place.
Other monuments within the borders of the Old Market Square are also the building of the Municipal Scale or the Mielżyński Palace. Behind the town hall, in the former guardhouse, the Museum of the Greater Poland Uprising 1918-1919 was also established. When visiting the Old Market Square in Poznań, it is also worth paying attention to the four fountains placed in the corners of the square, the Bamberka Well and the pillory, located next to the entrance to the Poznań City Hall.
Another place full of monuments in Poznań is the island of Ostrów Tumski surrounded by two rivers: Warta and Cybina, where one of the first capital cities of the Piast state, the predecessor of Poland, was located. The most important monument of Ostrów Tumski is the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. It is simply called a cathedral by the inhabitants of Poznań. The basilica was built in 968 and you can admire the relics of Romanesque architecture. There is also the Golden Chapel in which the first Polish rulers are buried.
In Ostrów Tumski, there is also the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, dating from the 15th century, psaltery from the 16th century, and the Archbishop’s Palace, which is the seat of the Archdiocese of Poznań. In addition, on the island you can visit the Genius Loci Archaeological Reserve and the Archdiocese Museum with a collection of sacred art and historic exhibits of religious worship.
A famous monument in Poznań is also the Imperial Castle, it is one of the youngest and the last residences of monarchs in Europe. It was built at the request of Wilhelm II in 1910, and after the First World War it was the seat of the Mathematical Faculty of the University of Poznań, whose graduates later broke the Enigma code. During World War II, the Imperial Castle was ennobled as Hitler’s personal residence.
Currently, this facility plays a mainly cultural role, where various types of exhibitions are organized on site. There is also an animation theater and a cinema room, and a small garden just outside its walls. The Imperial Castle is open to tourists, inside you can visit the corridors and the hall as well as the castle courtyard with Magdalena Abakanowicz’s sculptures.
Tourist attractions in Poznań
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Poznań’s billy goats
The biggest tourist attraction in Poznań is undoubtedly the Poznań goats gagging at the town hall. The mechanism was placed on the town hall tower and every day punctually at 12 noon, it ejects the metal animals, which tap each other with their heads exactly twelve times.
There is a legend related to the Poznań billy goats, the different versions of which are linked by the fact that a certain cook preparing the feast burnt the main dish, which was roast. To save himself, he ran to the meadow from where he took two billy goats that were to be put under the knife. He took them to the town hall, but they escaped him. The cook found them only at the very tower, where the billy goats started arguing with each other. To commemorate this event, a mechanism with animals gushing up was attached to the clock.
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A big attraction for tourists in Poznań is also an artificially created reservoir, which is the Malta Lake. It is the most popular recreational area in the city. The whole lake has a circumference of almost 6 kilometers and its name refers to the Order of the Knights of Malta. The lake was opened to the public in 1952.
It is on Lake Malta that there is a rowing and canoe track, where sports competitions are held regularly. In addition, there are walking and cycling alleys around the reservoir. There is also a city beach on Malta and many places where you can just sit and relax. An artificial ski slope, a summer toboggan run, Maltese Baths (with saunas, swimming pools and slides), as well as a rope park and a mini-golf course have been created in the area by the lake. Therefore, Lake Malta is an ideal place for both leisure and sports activities.
Another tourist attraction in Poznań is the local New Zoo. It was established in the 1970s, because the Old Zoo, due to its location in the city center, could not be expanded. Today, in the area of the new zoo, there are over two thousand animals, located in cavernous enclosures. The whole area is over 120 hectares, so there is plenty to see. On the spot, it is easier to queue carrying tourists along three routes.
In the New Zoo in Poznań, you can see, among others, an insectarium, an elephant house, a butterfly house and a catwalk for famous bears (the official zoo profile on FB). However, one of the biggest attractions here is the narrow-gauge railway – Maltanka, which takes guests from the lake, straight to the entrance to the zoo, covering almost 4 kilometers. Established in 1956, it helps over 200,000 passengers reach the zoo annually from mid-June to the end of September.
What’s worth seeing in Poznań?
In Poznań, it is worth visiting the National Museum, which was founded in 1919. It is an ideal facility for lovers of art, and above all, painting. Its collection includes over 500,000 works, half of which are available for admiration. The building of the National Museum in Poznań is located next to Freedom Square.
Inside, you can see a unique collection of coffin portraits, as well as a collection of Polish and European paintings. We can find here paintings by such masters as Sofonisby, Malczewski or Wyspiański. At the National Museum in Poznań, we can also admire one of the most valuable collections of Spanish painting in Poland. However, most people come here to see Monet’s recently recovered painting, “Pourville Beach.”
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During a trip to Poznań, it is also worth seeing Park Cytadela. It is a hill that was once transformed into a fort that was the crowning of the Poznań fortress. Currently, it is a recreation and walking area that is eagerly visited by not only city residents on warm days.
The Citadel Park covers an area of 100 hectares and while walking you can see, among others historic cemeteries where Polish, German, British and Soviet soldiers are buried, as well as the Monument to the Heroes, rosarium and even the amphitheater. In addition, there are two museums on its premises – the Poznań Army Museum and the Armaments Museum. It is also worth adding that at the Citadel in Poznań there is one of Magdalena Abakanowicz’s larger works – “Unrecognizable”.
Another place worth seeing in Poznań is the Poznań Fara Church, whose full name is – Collegiate Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus the Bishop. However, Poznań residents usually use its abbreviated name. The Poznań Fara Church is located right next to the Old Market Square, in one of the streets diverging from it.
This over 400-year-old parish church is a pearl of the baroque style in Polish construction. From the outside, it stands out from other urban buildings with its pink and white facade and a baroque portal with figures of saints. In the middle of the Poznań Fara, you can admire the richly decorated interior, including illusionist paintings, a 19th-century organ and a beautiful altar, as well as a painting of St. Stanisław, who resurrects the knight Piotrowin.
Interesting places in Poznań
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An interesting place in Poznań is the Poznań Gate. It is a modern institution that acts as an educational center that tells the story of Ostrów Tumski and its influence on the shaping of Poland itself. Knowledge is transferred here through a multimedia and interactive exhibition, divided into four rooms.
The shape of Poznań Gate itself is an often awarded design by the architectural community. It is a perfect place for families with children to spend time usefully. Inside, various cyclical cultural, educational and tourist events are also organized. There is also a café on site and a shop with various publications about the region.
The Royal Castle
Another interesting place in Poznań is the Royal Castle, located on a hill within the Old Town. It is a partially reconstructed royal residence, which was built in the 13th century, during the reign of Przemysław II. Then it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. The present appearance of the Royal Castle in Poznań was created in 2010-2013 and not everyone liked it.
Inside is the Museum of Applied Arts, which is a branch of the National Museum. There are over 11,000 exhibits in his collection, incl. furniture, glass, silver and fabrics that come from the centuries – from the Middle Ages to the present day. In addition, tourists can climb the tower here, which offers a panoramic view of the city.
Another interesting place in Poznań is the Palm House. It is one of the largest and oldest facilities of this type in Poland. The whole is occupied by 12 pavilions (9 are available to tourists), with a total area of over 4.5 thousand square meters. In the Poznań Palm House, you can admire 1,100 species of plants and 170 species of fish. It is a place where you can move to other, more exotic areas on our globe.
In the Palm House in Poznań you can see, among others cycads, Cola tree, carnivorous plants, Victoria amazonica (huge water plates) or even coffee trees. In addition, there are numerous species of palm trees and cacti, and exotic, colorful fish swim in the water reservoirs. The Palm House also organizes temporary exhibitions, and on site you can enjoy a coffee among the lush vegetation.
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