Data from Poznan Municipal Council states that only every 20 people travelling to Poland visit Poznan.
It is a pity because there are lots of beautiful attractions and interesting things to do in Poznan. A lot of great spots can be visited only in one day, but I'd recommend staying a bit longer, just to enjoy all that this Polish city has to offer.
I have prepared a list of fantastic places which are worth seeing in Poznan.
What will you find in this article?
- list of the best things to see in Poznan
- great places to stay
- best Poznan restaurants
- tips and tricks about communication, Poznan airport, the best time to visit and much more useful info.
My Poznan city guide will make travelling easier and more efficient. Let's go!
Table of contents
1. Old Market Square
The beginnings of Poznan city start in Ostrow Tumski (I will tell about it more below). So, where did Old Town Square come from?
The puzzle is solved by the characters of the rich Dukes of Greater Poland - Przemysł I and Bolesław the Pious. They decided to move the borough to the other side of the Warta river to give its residents more space.
Poznan Old Town Square was created in 1253.
The most important building in the Square is Town Hall. There are the famous goats who knock on each other's heads.
But the real eye-catcher here is the building - in my opinion, it is the most beautiful Town Hall in Poland and the surrounding colourful small houses make it even more charming.
On the facade of this beautiful Renaissance building, there are maxims and virtues' allegories which government clerks should possess. Patience, caution, love, justice, moderation - they are all mentioned there. But are they common among bureaucrats?
❗️ In Poznan Town Hall there is a fascinating Museum of Poznan History but it is closed until June 2022 because of renovation. If you plan to visit Poznan after this date, please visit the Museum and see its new exhibitions - it is worth the time. ❗️
On the corner of Old Town Square and Worniecka Street, there is Mielzynskich Palace. I think the word "palace" is a bit exaggerated - the building is rather low-key compared to real palaces, but still, it is an important place.
In 1806 it became the quarters of famous Napoleon Bonaparte's soldiers: Jozef Wybicki (the author of Polish Anthem) and Jan Henryk Dabrowski (brilliant general).
Arsenal Municipal Gallery
Another important place in Poznan Old Market Square is Arsenal Municipal Gallery. It is a must-see for every art lover. There are contemporary exhibitions discussing serious social matters. Visit in this gallery is a great diversion in Poznan sightseeing.
❗️ Arsenal Gallery is temporarily moved to Szyperska Street. For more info please visit their website. ❗️
Museum of Wielkopolska Uprising
Just right behind Town Hall, there is the elegant building of the Museum of Wielkopolska Uprising.
It is not a very famous uprising which is a pity - it is a success compared to the majority of other Polish uprisings.
This museum is definitely a must-see for every history geek and everyone who is interested in Polish independence activities.
2. Old Town
One of the most important places in Poznan Old Town. For many travellers, this impressive building is a symbol of Poznan city. Interestingly, this church was built 50 years.
The full name of Poznan Fara is Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus (no wonder they just named it Fara).
For me, the interior is far more magnificent than the facade. It is definitely worth visiting. It is built in Baroque style and richly adorned. There are beautiful polychromies and monumental 19th-century organs.
Near the main entrance, there are several cafes so (if the weather permits), it is a great idea to sit in one of the cafes' outside tables and enjoy a cup of coffee admiring the view of Poznan Fara.
Poznan Castle was built in the 13th century. Unfortunately, it was destructed several times throughout its history. But Poles are stubborn and they were constantly rebuilding it.
Castle's temporary form was created in 2010-2013 when it was completely renovated. It is located on Przemyslaw hill.
I think it is well worth visiting the castle and seeing the interior:
Also, please remember to go to the castle's tower. It is 75 metres high and there is an amazing panoramic view from the tower.
in the castle yard, there is a small garden and benches. Nice place to take a relaxing break.
Close to Poznan Royal Castle, there are remainings of municipal walls. In its glory times, the fortification was 1700 metres long and 7 metres high.
If you would like to stay close to Poznan Old Town, you may find available hotels here.
3. Plac Wolnosci
English translation: Freedom Square. Fantastic place to take photos! There is a huge glass construction in the middle of Plac Wolnosci. I also liked the fountain - Freedom Square is really a must-see if you like taking photos.
Plac Wolnosci is also famous for its impressive buildings from the 19th century.
The most important building there is Raczynskich Library. Interestingly, it was built during Prussian annexation when Polish culture was repressed. It is the oldest library in Poland. For me, it looks like a small palace.
4. The Imperial Castle
Another great place in Poznan is The Imperial Castle. It is located in the so-called Imperial District - it is close to Adam Mickiewicz Square.
In the vicinity of the Castle there are several magnificent buildings and statues:
- Grand Theatre
- Adam Mickiewicz University
- Enigma Cryptologist Monument
- The Monument to the Victims of June 1956.
But let's get back to the castle.
The Imperial Castle in Poznan was built for the last Prussian Cesar Wilhelm II (also known as William II). Poznan Castle was the last Cesarean residence built in Europe. It was created as an important element of the Imperial District and was built in the place of 19th-century fortification which was meant to protect Berlin from the Russian invasion.
The residences and houses built in those times were supposed to look like German. The Imperial Castle built in Neo-roman style was meant to give an impression as if Germans resided in that area for centuries.
Today The Imperial Castle in Poznan serves as a cultural centre. It is open for sightseeing every day 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Visitors can see the castle with a map or auto guide. For more info about the Castle Museum check their website here.
If you decided to visit the castle, I strongly recommend going to the Castle's garden.
Amazing place to take a walk or just chill out on a bench.
There are also "abakan statues" - famous sculptures created by Magdalena Abakanowicz.
5. Cytadela Park
Citadel Park is vast - it is the biggest park in Poznan. It covers about 100 hectares and gives its visitors a strong sensation of vastness. I recommend reserving at least 2 hours for visit to this park.
Citadel Park is truly beautiful and a must-see on the Poznan map (not only for nature lovers).
History geeks (especially those interested in war) and families will be satisfied too.
In Cytadela Park there are two Museums:
- Museum of Armament
- Museum od Poznan Army.
I think the first one is more interesting but only if you are interested in history/military or have a lot of time to spare. I am definitely not a military fan and am not going to revisit those museums.
Besides war museums, there are many other attractions in this park:
- two playgrounds
- water garden
- flower garden
- military ruins
- military cemeteries
- statues and monuments
- "Umberto" restaurant which serves the best tagliatelle spinaci I have ever eaten!
6. Malta Lake
Malta Lake is a true sports centre - there are kayak tracks, a golf course, a ropes course and even a ski lift! I wonder how it looks like in the winter. There is also a waterpark Termy Maltanskie which I will write about a bit later.
The lake is circled by a 5-kilometres long sidewalk - perfect for a walk, run, roller skates and bicycles.
Swimming is allowed in Malta Lake.
There is also an awesome attraction for families with kids - narrow gauge train "Maltanka". It courses between Śródka roundabout and Poznan Zoo. The route is 4-kilometres long. Not too much but kids love it!
Maltanka train is active between April 30th and October 3rd. On the weekdays it runs every hour until 6 PM. On weekends the train courses every half an hour until 7 PM. Tickets are available at the check out counters in the first and final stations. There is no possibility to book a ticket in advance. For more info, you may call this number: +48 61 839 66 90.
If you would like to stay close to Malta Lake, you may find available hotels here.
7. Poznan Zoo
There are actually two zoos in Poznan - Old Zoo (close to the city centre) and New Zoo (near Malta Lake). The latter is definitely more interesting. It is a fantastic place if you visit Poznan with kids.
The zoo is the second largest animal park in Poland (it covers 113 hectares!). There are about 200 species from all over the world. I recommend reserving at least 3 hours for a visit.
Poznan Zoo is open every day, all year. The opening hours vary a little depending on the season, so it is best to check it before visiting.
Tickets can also be purchased online but the Poznan Zoo website is available only in the Polish language.
There is a big parking. It is free of charge on the weekdays in the winter. All weekends and weekdays in the summer are paid.
Besides the variety of animals there are many other attractions for kids:
- train ride (free of charge)
- mini ropes course
- Melex ride (for disabled).
8. Termy Maltanskie
Located close to Malta Lake, it is a must-visit not only for families with children.
Termy Maltanskie is divided into 4 zones:
- green zone (aquapark)
- yellow zone (saunas)
- blue zone (swimming pools)
- SPA 1306.
The indoor of the green zone is decorated in tropical style. There are 16 pools in just this one zone. It was real fun!
This enormous waterpark has it all:
- indoor and outdoor swimming pools
- geothermal pools
- multitrack slide
- outdoor and indoor slides
- numerous saunas
- steam baths
- salt chamber
- snow chamber
- Kneipp pavement
- outdoor cooling pool.
Tickets can be purchased online but the ticket website is available only in the Polish language.
There are 2 car parks, both are paid. SPA customers can leave their cars in a free car park.
9. Ostrow Tumski (Cathedral Island)
Ostrow Tumski, also known as Cathedral Island, is an important attraction in Poznan. It is considered the birthplace of Poland.
It is a historical centre of Poznan city. Great place for every history aficionado. It is here, in Ostrow Tumski, where the beginnings of Poland took place.
The most famous building in Ostrow Tumski is The Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. It is the oldest cathedral in Poland and one of the oldest churches.
The cathedral was built in the 10th century. It is a mixture of Gothic and Baroque styles.
In the cathedral's Golden Chapel there are tombs of the first Polish rulers - Mieszko I and Bolesław I the Brave. In the basilica, there are also many other tombs of Polish rulers and noble people.
While walking through Ostrow Tumski you may notice Archbishop Palace, Psałteria building, relics of Palatium and the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Other popular objects in the area are Archdiocesan Museum and Archeological Reserve Genius Loci.
Both those Museums are open for visitors every day except Mondays.
I think that they are great attractions for history lovers, or for travellers who have a lot of time to spare. If you are spending in Poznan just a few days you may skip these two museums.
Both Archdiocesan Museum and Archeological Reserve Genius Loci can be visited with one ticket together with ICHOT - the Gate of Poznan (tickets available in ICHOT).
10. ICHOT - the Gate of Poznan
Modern museum presenting the history of the Cathedral Island. Lots of multimedia stands. The museum is adapted also for disabled visitors.
There are 2 paths of sightseeing
- for adults
- for families with kids (it changes the sightseeing into a game).
Those solutions make ICHOT The Gate of Poznan one of the most modern museums in Poland.
An integral part of each of those paths is the audio guide. which intuitively leads through the exhibition and allows for sightseeing at your own pace.
The main exhibition is divided into 4 chambers:
- Stained Glass
The exhibition presents history starting from the 10th century up until now. It tells us about the people, events and important moments of Poznan. It depicts the development of science, art and trade. The presentation of over 1000-year-old history allows the visitors to understand the changes which took place throughout ages.
Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (main exhibition available from 10:00 AM)
Weekend: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM (main exhibition available from 10:20 AM)
The entrance to the main exhibition is every 20 minutes in small groups to assure health and safety.
In ICHOT Museum there are available audio guides (included in the ticket price). Audio guides are available in 8 languages: Polish, English, German, Spanish, French, Czech, Russian and Ukrainian.
The audio guides can be also taken outside - they serve as audio tours in the Cathedral Island. Ticket for ICHOT Poznan Gate allows for use audio tour in Ostrow Tumski for up to 10 days. Exploring The CAthderal Island with an audio guide takes about 2 hours.
It is also possible to purchase an audio tour in Cathderal Island solo.
Audio tours in Ostrow Tumski are available Tuesday - Sunday from May until November.
In the winter (December - April) audio tours are available only on weekends.
Where to stay in Poznan?
Poznan offers a variety of hotels for all kinds of travellers. Looking for budget places? No problem. In need of a family apartment? Here we go.
Let's have a look at some of the best places to stay in Poznan city centre.
HOSTEL STONEWALL - situated just 90 metres from Poznan Town Hall. Breakfast tasty and abundant, included in the price. The rooms are comfortable and the staff is super helpful. You may check this hostel here.
Moon Apartments - a great place to stay for families with kids. Excellent location (situated only 600 metres from Poznan Town Hall). Cosy and warm, with balcony and fully equipped kitchen. You may check its availability here.
Sleepway Apartments - Boho Dream - another family-friendly apartment. Located in Poznan Old Town. Clean, tidy and comfortable. It has a kitchen and washing machine. Private parking available. You may check its availability here.
Novotel Poznan Centrum - 4-star hotel situated in Poznan Old Town. Breakfast is abundant and suitable for all kinds of requirements. The staff is super attentive. Rooms are spacious and comfortable. The hotel offers a fitness centre and casino. You may check its availability here.
If you would like to choose a place to stay in Poznan yourself, you may pick a hotel from the map below.
Best places to eat
We enjoy eating out and generally like almost every restaurant we dine in but there are some awesome places that truly stand out and deserve to be praised loudly.
Here are a few restaurants in Poznan which we liked the best.
- Zielona Weranda - located in Old Town. The food was amazing. We ordered a spicy burger (there was an option to change the beef to a sweet potato cutlet!) and gnocchi in mushroom sauce. Both those dishes were lovely, perfectly seasoned. The staff was very knowledgeable about the menu. We also liked the restaurant's garden but unfortunately, all the seats outside were taken.
- 3 Kolory Malta - situated on the east shore of Malta lake, close to Poznan zoo. The view from the restaurant's terrace is fabulous and I recommend visiting 3 Kolory Malta outside the rush hours so that you would find free tables there. They have their own stone grill. We ordered a grilled salmon and vegetable pancake roll. Both those dishes were delicious, fresh and full of flavour.
- Na Winklu - located in the Śródka district, very close to Cathedral Island and only 10 minutes walk from Malta Lake. It is a small restaurant that serves homemade polish dumplings - pierogi. The dumplings can be cooked or baked. We ordered russian pierogi and fava beans pierogi. I can honestly say that both of them were the best dumplings I have ever tried! Generous filling, perfectly seasoned. Very reasonable prices.
How to get to the Poznan centre from the airport?
It is relatively easy to travel from Poznan airport to the city centre.
There are 3 bus lines:
Bus stops are located close to the terminals (impossible to miss). Buses start their routes at the departure lounges, continuing through the arrivals hall.
The approximate shuttle time from Poznan airport to the city centre is about 20 - 25 minutes (16 stops in total).
Bus tickets can be purchased in newsstands in the departure lounge and in the ticket vending machine at the bus stop. At the moment, it is not possible to pay with a card on those machines. Only coins are accepted (vending machines gives the change).
Ticket machines are also often installed in buses - there is a sticker near the bus entrance informing about the possibility of purchasing the ticket on the bus.
You can also rent a car and travel comfortably to the city. The car will be waiting for you at the airport.
You can check car rental options for Poznan airport here.
Best time to visit Poznan
For us, without a doubt, the best time to visit Poznan is spring.
Maybe not the beginning in March, as the temperature can be still low and there might be a lot of rainy days. But April and May are just perfect to travel to Poznan (and in fact all other Polish cities as well).
In spring days are long so it is easy to visit a lot of places during daylight. Temperature is very pleasant: in April it is usually about 10 degrees Celsius and in May temperature can reach 20 degrees Celsius.
You can also count on sunny weather, especially in May.
Also, spring is a great time to visit cities in Poland if you like to take photos - there are lots of beautiful blooming flowers and the photography becomes even more rewarding at this time of year.
Oh, and the air is super fresh and the scent of Polish spring is the best in the world! You can smell it even in the cities.
In the summer we tend to avoid visiting Polish cities as they are very hot and often crowded. Also, prices go up in the summertime - visiting Poznan in April can be much cheaper than in July.
Is Poznan expensive?
I have to admit life in Poland is getting pricey but, compared to Western Europe, the prices are still easier to manage. Inflation has recently been crazy but we all still live. 😉
Poznan is considered a big city in Poland but it is definitely cheaper than Warsaw or Krakow.
Let's have a look at exemplary prices in Poznan:
Zielona Weranda restaurant in Old Town:
spicy burger with lemonade - 57 PLN
0.5-litre beer - 15 PLN
tiramisu - 19 PLN
Fast food meals:
McMeal - 22 PLN
McRoyale burger - 15 PLN
Cheeseburger - 7 PLN
Peanut butter shake - 9 PLN
Cappuccino - 11 PLN
Espresso solo: 8 PLN
Caffe americano: 9 PLN
Caffe latte: 12 PLN
1 litre of milk - 2.70 PLN
1 kg of gouda cheese - 28 PLN
0.5-litre beer - 5.00 PLN
1 kg of sausage - 36 PLN
bottle of wine - 25 PLN
Interestingly, the average price of alcohol in Poznan is slightly higher than in other cities.
A glass of wine in Old Town's restaurants is about 25 PLN. The price of a bottle starts from 100 PLN. The vodka shot costs 15 PLN.
Bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label - 65 PLN
Bottle of Captain Morgan rum - 90 PLN
Bottle of Seagram's Extra Dry Gin - 55 PLN
ESTIMATED COST OF 7 DAY STAY FOR ONE PERSON
- budget option (hostel, fast food meals, supermarkets) - 2 200 PLN
- 3-star hotel, meals in restaurants outside Old Town - 2 900 PLN
- 5-star hotel, SPA, fine dining - 6 100 PLN