Wielkopolska is one of the most interesting parts of Poland, especially for history enthusiasts. In this area over 1,000 years ago the Polish state was first established, and here its first rulers and kings lived. Therefore, today, without departing too far from Poznan, you can make an amazing journey in time. There are also areas that are ideal for nature lovers and outdoor activities. Listed below are the top 10 interesting places around Poznań that you should absolutely visit.
1.Morasko Meteorite Nature Reserve
25 minutes by car, 40 minutes by bus (from the city center)
On the outskirts of Poznań, near the northern border of the city, you can find evidence of a very interesting phenomenon that took place about 5,000 years ago. At that time, the Morasko meteorite, from which the later village adopted the name, fell on the Wielkopolska region. There are six craters in the reserve created there. The largest of them is about 90 meters in diameter and over 11 meters deep. The evidence of the origin of the craters is numerous fragments of meteorites found in the area, both by scientists and residents of the village. The largest piece of cosmic rock found so far weighed 261 kilograms. To learn more about the findings, it is worth going to the reserve in person and use the didactic path prepared there, marked with numerous boards with useful information.
30 minutes by car, 15 minutes by train
People tired of the city noise can go to the nearby town of Puszczykowo to relax and get to know a place that has become an asylum for many artists who want peace. Puszczykowo was the place where many writers, politicians, painters, and athletes, fleeing the big-city rush decided to settle down. The best known of them was Arkady Fiedler – a writer, traveler, and soldier whose museum is located in this sub-town of Poznań. You can see in it both the artist’s workplace and his memorabilia from numerous trips to various corners of the world. Puszczykowo is also a good place for people who love spending time in the bosom of nature. The Warta flowing through it offers the possibility of kayaking and fishing. Everyone will find something for themselves.
3. Kórnik Castle and Arboretum
30 minutes by car, 25 minutes by bus, 20 minutes by train
The castle in Kórnik was built in the Middle Ages at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries. At that time it was the residence of the family, in whose possession the entire city was located. However, only fragments of old walls and castle cellars have survived from those times. The rest of the present building is the result of several reconstructions carried out in later centuries, which successively gave it features of different architectural styles. Currently, it is made mainly in the neo-Gothic English style. In its interior, there is a museum which has a collection of paintings of Polish and European painters, sculptures, antique furniture, armor, and weapons, as well as handicraft products. The Kórnik Library also has its headquarters inside the castle. Collection of the library contains over 350,000 books, maps, and manuscripts. An integral part of the castle grounds is the arboretum surrounding it, where visitors can admire an impressive collection of plants, including lilacs, azaleas, and magnolias. The castle can be visited alone, but it is also possible to visit it with a guide, also in English and German.
35 minutes by car, 40 minutes by bus
Rogalin is a small village located 25 km south from Poznań, which owes its popularity to its attractive location on the banks of the Warta River, as well as the almost intact palace complex that is located there. The palace was the residence of one of the most famous Polish families – Raczyński. Thanks to their presence, this place for some time became the center of a cultural, political and social life because the guests of the Raczyński family from all over the country used to visit the palace. After World War II, a branch of the National Museum in Poznań was established here. The works of art from the family collection of Raczyński are displayed here. The collection includes over 300 paintings. As in the case of the castle in Kórnik, around the Rogalin palace, you can admire an impressive park full of beautiful specimens of trees, bushes, and flowers.
5. Open-air Miniature Museum in Pobiedziska
40 minutes by car, 30 minutes by bus, 30 minutes by car
If you want to see as many important monuments of Wielkopolska as you can in one day, you can do it at the Open-air Miniature Museum in Pobiedziska, which will allow you to see them all in a few hours. This oldest Polish miniature park is located on the historic Piast Route and here you can see the miniatures of the buildings from this route. Currently, there are over 100 models. They are all made in 1:20 scale and some of them have been constructed from the same materials as the original buildings. In addition, there is a Contemporary Art Center, inside which are exhibited miniature works of artists, not only from Poland but also from around the world. And if you want to see how the inhabitants of medieval Poland lived, just a few steps from the open-air museum there is the Gród Pobiedziska – a project created by historical reconstructors, in which you can see medieval buildings, machines and where you can learn many details related to everyday life in the times of Polish Piasts.
6. Archeological reserve in Giecz
40 minutes by car
Giecz is a small village in Wielkopolska. However, behind this inconspicuous place, there is a rich history that goes back over 1000 years. Giecz was one of the most important centers of Poland during the reign of its first rulers from the Piast dynasty. Most probably, it was their family residence at that time. The settlement itself was created even earlier because archaeological research indicates that it existed 200 years before the establishment of the Polish state. Nowadays, in the area of Giecz, there is the Archaeological Reserve, which allows you to get to know the past of this place. The reserve includes the ruins of a former palace, an educational settlement, a wooden church and the Museum of the First Piasts, in which you can see many objects found in the area of excavations conducted there. The museum allows both individual and guided tours (also in English).
7. Lawendowe Zdroje
45 minutes by car, 1 h 10 minutes by train and bus
Lavender is one of the most beautiful plants and the fields on which it is cultivated look really spectacular during flowering. So if you’re planning a trip outside of Poznań and you want to enjoy your senses with beautiful views and smell, you should plan a trip to Pakszyn, where the plantation Lawendowe Zdroje is located. It is a private plantation with an area of 1 ha, the owners of which willingly take tourists. To see the plants in full bloom, go there from June to the end of July. Additionally, in the plantation, there is the possibility of buying numerous products made of lavender: bouquets, soaps, bags filled with flowers, cosmetics, as well as handicrafts. So if you dream about the views like in Provence, it’s definitely the place for you.
50 minutes by car, 30 minutes by train
Gniezno – the first capital of Poland – is an obligatory item on the to-visit list of tourists who are interested in the history of the country. In order to facilitate sightseeing, the city authorities have created a special tourist route – the Royal Route – whose passage allows you to see all the most important places in the city, as well as admire the sculptures of five kings crowned in Gniezno. It’s not encouraging enough? To make the trip through the streets of the city even more attractive, you can combine it with the search for sculptures of rabbits. This will be helped by the specially created application Królika GOń, which not only indicates the location of figurines but also when you approach them, it displays additional information about the place where they are located and their history.
Free guides with a map of the route can be found at the tourist information points. When visiting Gniezno, it is necessary to find a moment to visit the Gniezno Cathedral, which is located in the place wherein 970 the first church in Poland was created. At the end of the trip around the first Polish capital, it is worth visiting the Museum of the Beginnings of the Polish State, and then resting on the shores of Lake Jelonek.
9. Gołuchów Castle
1 h 30 minutes by car, 2 hours by bus
Over a 400-year-old castle in Gołuchów this was one of the most beautiful buildings of its type in Poland and one of the most visited monuments in Wielkopolska. Like the castle in Kórnik, it was a residence inhabited by known and influential families. Moving from hand to hand, it was also rebuilt and eventually became an example of a building erected in the style of the French Renaissance. In the nineteenth century, the then owner, Izabella Działyńska, decided to allocate a part of the castle to the museum, which exhibited works of art from her private collection. During World War II, they were robbed and taken away from the country, but over the years they manage to bring them back to Gołuchów. The next owner also contributed to the enrichment of the museum collection, and now you can see numerous paintings of Polish and European painters, as well as old furniture that once belonged to the castle’s equipment. In addition, the building is located in a landscape park with an area of over 150 ha. On the separated fragment there is also the only enclosure for the wisent in Wielkopolska.
10. Kłodawa Salt Mine
1 h 30 minutes by car, 2 hours by train
In Poland, you can visit the famous salt mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia, however, Kłodawa can boast about the largest and deepest salt mine in Poland. Currently, salt is obtained in it at a depth of 750 meters underground. Although the mine is still open and it is the place from which most of the salt consumed in Poland is extracted, it is also a place open to tourists. 600 meters underground there is a tourist route, which is the deepest route of this type in the world. Visitors of the mine can hear a lecture about the history of the place, as well as learn more about salt and the process of its extraction. However, already deep underground, you can go through salt corridors, see already worn out salt chambers, machines used by miners, and visit the Holy Kinga’s chamber completely made of salt.