Poznan: Vodka and water sports in the city of goats
Pierogi, vodka, fabulous street musicians, street art, amazing architecture and good vibes: There are for sure enough reasons to visit Poland’s cities. Ever thought about a trip to Poznan? If you want to be cooler than the rest and drink even cheaper beers on equally amazing old market squares, don’t just concentrate on tourist hotspots like Warsaw, Krakow and Gdansk.
We went on a holiday to Poznan in August 2017. Travelers on a budget can still discover a lot of free amazing things to do in a beautiful historical environment. If you like to enjoy a raspberry flavored beer for a Euro on old market square, to find a hostel double room for less than 30 Euros in the city center and eat a traditional two-course meal for less than 4 Euros in every traditional Bar Mleczny (milk bar), you are in the right place.
While traveling Poland and while spending a holiday in Poland, you get on top,great landscapes, sea, mountains, forest and lakes to challenge your senses. If you decide to spend a few weeks holiday in Poland during the summer, you cannot go wrong and don’t have to be bored for a second, no matter what age you are. But for sure, Poznan is worth a stopover.
Poznan: It’s real – no tourist fake!!
What I liked most about Poznan is, that it is real. For sure, the beautifully renovated old market square attracts lot’s of tourists. But on a holiday in Poznan, you can experience authentic Polish city life without paying too much for being in a beautiful surrounding. While you pay for the atmosphere in fantastic Krakow, in Poznan on the beautiful market square, you can still have a big draft beer with a shot of sweet raspberry juice in a nice restaurant for 4,50 PLN (around 1 Euro) or a big beer for 7 (less than 2 Euros). That is one of the special drinks, that I love in Poland.
Find cool places and nightlife in Poznan
It is pretty interesting to leave the old town of Poznan behind. Book stores with English books, cool pubs, second-hand stores around Święty Marcin street and also fruit and vegetable markets are worth a visit.
There is no need to get bored in the evenings or nights. For a really great choice of top beers in a chilled out atmosphere with good music, we tried Ministerstwo Browaru. on street Ratajczaka 34 close to the city center. It’s cool, but not the cheapest place. If you are more the karaoke type – up for a fun night and super cheap drinks, try Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa Poznań right at the old market square in Poznan. It was fun to watch the party atmosphere.
High noon: Goats start fighting at market square
And it is a perfect start into the Polish holiday in Poznan before joining the tourist crowd watching every day at noon the display of two mechanical fighting goats that show up above the clock of the old town hall. We are pretty sure, that you had more fascinating moments in your life than watching two old wooden goats bumping against each other, but that’s part of the tourist game on a holiday in Poznan. And it can put a smile on your face, especially with a bit of Polish „piwo“ in your belly holding your camera up as everyone does.
Cheap Hostels in Poznan in the city center
We arrived late in the evening in Poznan – during this trip time by car. But even around 11 pm on a Monday at the end of August, we didn’t have problems to find spontaneously a double room in a cheap hostel in Poznan. There are a lot of hostels located in Poznan city center. Beds in dormitories in hostels in Poznan start around 5 Euros. You find them easily by strolling around the streets close to the old market square in the Old Town. We realized, that a few hostels in Poznan were fully booked. We got slightly nervous for a few minutes. But already in the third hostel, Melody Hostel, we found a nice room waiting just for us.
Melody Hostel in Poznan: Good choice for budget travelers
We were quite happy to stay at Melody Hostel in Poznan just a few meters away from the old market square in Poznan. We paid 29 Euros for two people in a double room including a nice breakfast with tea, coffee, toast, cheese, cream cheese, ham, salami, cereals, muesli, jam and yoghurt.
When we stayed in Melody Hostel in Poznan in August 2017, the Melody Hostel was perfectly clean and a really great last-minute choice – with the reception open 24/7. The staff was friendly and very helpful. I was surprised, that it had got some bad reviews on some hostel booking websites. So be always brave to make your own experiences. For even better deals, check booking websites like Hostelworld, Hostelbookers, booking.com. Rooms in hostel dormitories are available for less than 5 Euros per bed.
- Read more about Melody Hostel here.
Pitch up your tent at Lake Malta in Poznan
If you have a tent, the campsite at lake Malta close to the city center can be a good choice. You can get there by tramway and bus. It won’t take much longer than 30 minutes to be at the old market square by public transport. The price for two people in a small tent without a car starts at 50 PLN (around 12,50 Euros).
- Find more information about Lake Malta camping
Cheap good Polish Food: Visit Bar Mleczny
If you get hungry in Poznan and want to try some authentic Polish food, you can save money by eating in a Bar Mleczny. These self-service restaurants spread across Poland are relics of communist times and still get subsidies from the Polish government. You can feel the charm of tradition and traditional food. In some of the milk bars, you might even get some old school furniture and wallpapers. Others have a modern style.
Among the guests, you will find everybody: Students, pensioners, bachelors, friends on a shopping tour, tourists. On the menu, you can find everything, that the seasonal Polish cuisine has to offer. From Pierogi to cucumber soup, Polish style pancakes Naleśniki or chicken with potatoes, beetroot and the traditional Surówka, a raw salad. The Polish kitchen even offers a great choice for vegetarians. The prices will make every traveler happy. For around 3 or 4 Euros, you will eat very well. A soup won’t even cost you a Euro. The food is filling, the dining experience very special.
„Bar Mleczny“ Apetyt in Poznan: Naleśniki or Pierogi?
But don’t expect to find English-speaking staff around in a „Bar Mleczny“. So just pick something or check the vocabulary beforehand. Since a lot of people want to get fed there, no one will probably waste half an hour to help you through the menu.
My favorite Polish food are Naleśniki or Piroggi with spinach and feta. I like Gołąbki, the beetroot soup Barszcz czerwony, and some surówka – a raw salad made from cabbage or beetroot – on the side. There is a „Bar Mleczny“ called Apetyt in Poznan just a few meters away from the old market square in Ulica Szkolna 4 close to the Melody Hostel. If you are too late for breakfast in your hostel and to lazy to go to the supermarket: Just go there!
- Read more about a visit in a „Bar Mleczny“ and the developments of the Polish milk bars in the Guardian article.
- Read reviews about Bar Mleczny Apetyt on Tripadvisor.
- Check out helpful english translations of a Polish menu including popular traditional dishes here.
Street Art Poznan: Open your eyes and enjoy!
If you walk around Poznan with open eyes, you will be able to discover a lot of street art. It was actually fun to discover the cool graffitis everywhere in the city.
Cathedral Island Poznan: Discover street art
I saw my favorite painting on the Cathedral Island (Ostrów Tumski) spread across a building creating a very realistic visual effect between some nice alternative bars like La Ruina and restaurants, that bring a young vibe to the Cathedral Island.
- Find on this blog more amazing street art of Poznan.
Stary Browar in Poznan unites Shopping and street art
The street art of Poznan got also honored in August 2017 in a small free exhibition in the award wining Stary Browar shopping mall. We were not interested in shopping at all, but still enjoyed a walk through the shopping mall, which shows the contrast between old Poznan and new developments of the city. It hosts events and art exhibitions. If you have some spare time in Poznan, check it out!
- Find more information about Stary Browar here.
Lake Malta in Poznan: A place to feel the city summer
One of the specials in Poznan is Lake Malta. Even if it doesn’t offer any swimming opportunities, it can be a cool place to watch people water skiing and canoeing. A mini train is taking guests for a ride. And the close-by campsite offers travelers cheap places to pitch up a tent. You can walk to lake Malta from the city center across Cathedral Island. But on a hot day, the plan to walk around the lake can be challenging. We nearly died.
The lake is a little bigger than we expected. We were longing for something cold to drink or an ice cream. You won’t find it at every corner. And we were pretty happy to find a bus stop a the thermal baths with a bus running every 20 minutes back to a tramway stop in the direction of the city center.
- Find more information about camping at Lake Malta and all the features of Lake Malta.
- Find more lakes around Poznan here.
Public transport in Poznan
- You can get an overview about the public transport network in Poznan, timetables and prices here.
Free things to do in Poznan
As soon as your eyes are satisfied by the free architectural beauty, the walk around Lake Malta and a view in every possible church and every park, you can get some more input. A lot of museums have free admissions at certain week days, mostly on Saturdays.
- Check out all details about free admission days in museums and the Poznan Card here.
- Check out details about the National Museum here.
- The Old Town’s Royal Castle opens its doors for free every Tuesday. The fascinating church Fara Poznańska is open every day.
Boszkowo: A great escape to nostalgia, water sports and camping
Are you ready for a break from Poznan sightseeing? If you want to experience a typical Polish summer holiday destination around a beautiful lake: Go to Boszkowo. The village Boszkowo is located 63 kilometers away from Poznan. There are other lakes located closer to Poznan, but if you are traveling further South to Wrocław, Boszkowo is the place to stopover.
A little away from fast food restaurants serving burgers and gyros, fairground gaming machines, ice cream and souvenir shops and a few cocktail bars, you can still feel the nostalgia, the silence of the water, the charm of wooden huts among large trees on a campsite beside the lake. Boszkowo was a place, that reminded me of my childhood. Well, it was a memory of childhood feeling combined with wifi connection and watersports options.
We discovered Boszkowo just by chance on out trip around Poland looking for a place to stopover for a night. But I really liked Boszkowo somehow. If you want to escape the city hectic for a few days and are able to ignore the cheesy gaming machines, it can be an interesting option to meet still a lot of Polish people. We even rented a canoe for 10 PLN per hour and paddled across the lake. We had a great Zapiekanka, a kind of Pizza baguette with Mushrooms,tomatoes, cheese and sauces, for 6 PLN.
We stayed with a tent on the campsite Oliwia and enjoyed the old school charm for around 55 PLN for two people, a tent and a car. The owners of the campsite were just lovely people, that made us feel welcome immediately. Just don’t expect to get around in English. But just feel welcome and you’ll be fine.
- Get more information about campsite Oliwia here