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With its delicious traditional cuisine and enchanting culture, Poland has become a renowned holiday destination, and since being granted its independence, the nation has grown and developed at an astronomical rate to become one of the fastest growing of all of the European countries. It shares borders with Lithuania, the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg, the nothern and eastern parts of the Czech Republic as well as the Zilina and Presov regions of Slovakia. Although Poland is part of the European Union, it does not use the euro; the currency here is the Polish złoty (PLN). Poland has a long and resiliant history behind it, and despite having been devastated by two world wars, it has amazingly managed to retain its cultures and traditions. Holiday homes in Poland will allow you to gain an insight into the land's history and culture, as well as discovering the natural beauty that is on offer here through outdoor activities – from hiking to sailing to skiing – which are perfect for those active family holidays in Poland.
Once the capital of Poland, Kraków is famous for its historical monuments such as St. Mary's Basilica, a gothic church with a famous wooden altar, from whose tower a bugle-call is played every hour, as well as Wawel Castle and Cathedral and the Medieval and Renaissance style buildings which can be found in its Old Town, for example the Cloth Hall located in the central Medieval market square. The airport is around a 30 minute drive from the centre of the city, and getting around here is easy thanks to the public trams and buses, although most of the landmarks are within walking distance from each other, meaning that travelling by foot or even by bike is an easy alternative. A popular point of interest amongst visitors staying in a apartment in Krakow is a visit to the Wieliczka salt mine, which has been in operation since the 13 century. Here you will be lead through twenty chapels and alongside underground lakes whilst learning about its past. If you want to spend a bit of time outside enjoying the fresh air, another thing to do is visiting the Ojcowski National Park, a beautiful nature reserve which houses 2 castles and through which the Prądnik River flows.
Nowadays, Kraków is becoming more and more well known for being a hotspot for young people who are looking to discover Krakow's nightlife scene. It is believed by some that the city is home to the highest density of bars in the world. Why not book a self catering Poland holiday rental for you and a group of friends and find out for yourself? Opening hours are flexible here depending on the amount of customers – the more people there are, the later the bars stay open! If you want to go clubbing, head to the streets of Floriańska and Szewska where you'll find plenty of dancing opportunities to keep you occupied. If you're looking for inpiration for a party city, maybe you should take a look at Antwerp or Prague?
In mid-eastern Poland is its capital, Warsaw, in the region of Masovia. If you're planning on travelling around the country and spending time in more than one self catering holiday homes in Poland, it will be easy for you to travel from Kraków to Warsaw, for example via a direct train, which takes just under 2 and a half hours. However, if you fly directly to Warsaw, you can get to the city centre (which is around 6m away from the airport) by taxi, bus or train which you can catch straight from the airport railway station. The lovely, relaxing Old Town is filled with chic restaurants and wine cellars, and although it was in fact rebuilt after WWII and is therefore not that old, it is still a very charming area. The nightlife in Warsaw is buzzing, and whether you feel like having a quiet evening sipping a beer or a wild night partying in one of the many clubs available, you'll find what you're looking for. The Opera Club, situated in the basement of the National Opera, is an unusual club which houses well-known DJs at the weekends, and other big names include Platinum, The Eve and Balsam. The artsy Praga region is a great area for those who are looking for something a bit edgy and different, or if you want something a bit quieter and more upmarket, try Nowy Swiat, or New World Street. Warsaw is also where one of Poland's biggest music festivals, the Orange Warsaw Festival, takes place in June and it hosts renowned music acts from around the globe.
During the day, stroll down everyone's favourite street of warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmiescie, covered in cobble stones and home to the Presidential Palace, the Czapski Palace, St. Ane's Church and the Church of the Holy Cross, as well as plenty of restuarants and cafés and other notable and beautiful buildings. The Warsaw Rising Museum is a must-do while staying in one of the Warsaw rental apartments, where you can learn via this amazing 3D installation all about what happened during the rebellion. Other things to do include a trip to Warsaw Zoo, which is especially appreciated by children if you are visiting with the family.
It may not be the first place you think of, but more than half of the northern borders of Poland look out onto the Baltic Sea, making it a great location to book Poland holiday rentals for beach holidays in Poland. Most of the beaches along this coastline are sandy, and although the waters may not be as warm as those of the Mediterranean, it is still usually warm enough to swim here between July and September. Thanks to the lack of crowds of tourists, hotels and restaurants along the seafront, Poland's stretches of golden sand are ideal for a quiet, family getaway. Gdańsk is a picturesque city with many attractions for an active holiday, such as cycling and walking along the coastal trails, as well as relaxing on one of the many white sandy beaches here. This is also a good destination for a group holiday, as the nightlife in Gdansk and Sopot is growing more and more popular, with many bars, pubs and clubs for you to enjoy.
On the Gdansk beaches of Stogi and Brzeźno, there are water slides (both stationary and inflated for younger children) and volleyball and football pitches, making them perfect for families, and the beach resort towns of nearby Sopot and Leba, which is further west towards the coastline of Germany, also make for lovely destinations. Just across the water from Gdansk is the narrow Hel peninsula, jutting out into the Baltic sea, which is a much-loved area for windsurfing thanks to the shallow waters. All of the water along this coast is mainly shallow until quite a way out, making it safe for children. If you like the sound of swimming in the Baltic Sea and you've already been to Poland, the nothern seaside towns in the German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania are also worth visiting.
Poland has six main ski resorts which are really making their mark in the European skiing scene, Zakopane being the largest, which is situated in the Tatra Mountains beside the border into Slovakia. Here, you can choose either alping or cross country skiing, or even ski jumping, depending where abouts you go in the area, as it is made up of smaller skiing zones, like Nosal, which usually has the best snow conditions as there are canons making artificial snow, and it is also a great place for beginners as there are lots of easy runs. Zakopane is located around 2 hours' drive away from the airport in Krakow, which makes it easily accessible, and good for an all-in-one vacation if you want to combine a city break with a ski trip, as you could even rent one of the Poland holiday homes in Krakow and take a day off skiing! Here, there is something for all abilities, making it ideal for a family holiday. Szczyrk has 28 slopes available, most of which are open between December and April, and also offers skiing for different levels of ability.
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