Poznań

Poznań (German: Posen) is the largest city in Greater Poland, in the west of Poland, and one of the largest metropoles in the whole country. Situated roughly equidistantly between Warsaw and Berlin, it serves as a major economic hub, and a centre for industry and commerce. The Poznań International Trade Fair grounds host the most important trade fairs and exhibitions in Poland, making Poznań an important business destination, but the city has plenty of history and attractions to share besides that. Its relative compactness and easy access by both road, rail and air make it a convenient tourist destination for visitors to Central Europe.

Poznań was a host city of Euro 2012 finals.

Understand

Poznań is a town steeped in history, as it was the first capital (with Gniezno) of Poland and seen by many as the birthplace of the Polish nation. Today it is a diverse and vibrant town, with much to divert the traveler. It has a stunningly rejuvenated central square, thriving night-life, fascinating museums and many attractions in the surrounding area. For train buffs, Poznań is the home of Europe's last surviving steam-hauled passenger service. With a strategic position on the BerlinMoscow train line, Poznań will be for many their first experience of Poland.

Get in

By plane

Poznań - Ławica Henryk Wieniawski Airport(IATA: POZ) has regular services:

- domestic: with Polish Airlines LOT and Eurolot to Warsaw.

- international:


The airport is situated only 7 km from the city centre and is easily accessible by public bus : PLN59 (from a stop between Kaponiera Crossing and Sheraton Hotel - approx. every 25–30 minutes - travel time approx. 22-24 min.) and fast line #L (from the Main Railway Station and as well from Sheraton - approx. every 45 minutes - travel time approx. 18-20 min).

Another option are the airports of Berlin (IATA: TXL and IATA: SXF)

By train

main station

Poznań is a crucial railway junction and all trains going between Moscow and Western Europe stop here. Trains to Berlin or Warsaw take approximately 3 hours in either direction and cost around €20 one-way. Trains to Kraków (approx. 8 daily) take around 6 hours and cost €15 one-way, Wrocław (more than 15 daily) will take around 2 hours and cost around €8. The journey to Gdańsk (6 trains daily) will take 5,5 hours and cost €12 and to Toruń (6 trains per day) : 2,5 hours and €7.

Frequent and convenient train connection from Warsaw. Journey time about 3 hours. Cost from €10 (Inter Regio trains) through €14 (fast trains) to as much as €30 (Inter City Plus).

Poznań is also served by long-distance trains leading to popular beach- and mountain resorts : Zakopane (2 night trains in winter and summer season), Szklarska Poręba/Kudowa-Zdrój (2 daily + 1 in season), Kołobrzeg (Kolberg), Hel and Świnoujście.

Besides, Poznań and Wielkopolska region has a vast network of local connections. For tourist the most important can be trains going to :

In some cases (going from or to Cathedral Island - Ostrów Tumski, the Old Town) it can be wise to use local train stop "Poznań-Garbary" instead of the main station.

By bus

Poznań is served by the Eurolines coach network. Count on fares of around €90 one-way to London or Amsterdam. Every day more than 200 local buses leave for town and even small villages everywhere in Wielkopolska region.

Polskibus, biggest polish coach connects Poznan with Berlin, Prague, Łódź, Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Wroclaw, Gdansk and Torun. Tickets are available from 20 zl. for a ride. Sometimes are avaliable promotion tickets for only 1 zl.

The Poznań coach station (Poznan PKS) is situated under the train station from 2014., after shopping mall Galeria Poznan is finished and integrated train station and bus station with modern shopping mall. Just next to the coach station one can find several city tram and bus lines:

Poznan has many bus connections first of all with cities and towns in West Poland (Gorzów Wielkopolski, Zielona Góra, sea resorts, mountain resorts in Sudety Mountains), but there are also coaches heading to : Lublin, Łódź, Warsaw etc. Apart from that there's a vast network of local and regional buses, especially to towns with poor (or no) train connection.

Get around

Poznań is a compact city, but has a decent (no longer cheap) public transport system, consisting of trams, fast trams (similar to metro), and buses.

However, the city's transportation authority (MPK) received a lot of negative feedback in Feb 2008 after fare hike. Some transportation rules have also been changed, not always following the logic.

The center is navigable on foot, but if you decide to use trams (buses don't usually run in the center), here are the prices of tickets (valid from 2015):

There are also daily tickets and multi-day tickets available:

24-hour ticket which costs 13.6 zł, 48-hour ticket which costs 21 zł, 72-hour ticket which costs 27 zł

One-day, two-days and three-days tickets are valid for any public transport line (including the express ones) without additional fare. Besides that a 24h ticket validated between 8PM (20:00) on Friday and 12AM on Saturday is valid till 12AM on Sunday.

There is available Poznań Card, which is combination of ticket and discount card. Prices: 30 zł (ca. €7.50) one-day, 40 zł (ca. €10) two-day and 45 zł (ca. €11) three-day (see for details here: )

Fifteen minutes on a tram is usually enough to ride a few stops in the city out of the peak hours. For more than ca. 5-6 stops, use a 30-minute ticket.

You may transfer as many times as you wish, but ride as long as the ticket is valid. Night buses have the same tickets and fares. Express buses cost twice as much, but are far from being twice faster, so the advice is to avoid them (besides fast line "L" joining the airport with the main railway station.

Nobody checks the tickets as you enter, so remember to "click" (validate) your ticket as soon as the vehicle starts, or you might be fined 100..200 zł (€27..55) if controlled. The fine might not seem large, but will cause you trouble. Remember, it's not like in North America, where the ticket is checked upon entering the bus. In Europe, if your ticket expires, you have to use another one or leave.

Unless you study in Poland and you are under 26, you will not be eligible for discounts on public transport.

Luggage smaller than "65 x 45 x 25 cm" can be carried without a fee, so click (validate) another ticket for your backpack. Smaller luggage, small dogs, as well as wheelchairs and prams can be taken for free. Bicycles can be refused during peak hours. On piece of luggage (bigger than 65x45x25) is free of charge in "L" airport-fast line

In winter 2009 a new internet serviced was launched: Jak dojadę (Polish for : How will I get to...) – enabling to find a connection and the proper timetable even without a good knowledge about the topography of the city. It's enough to write the place (street, famous building) where you plan to start and finish your trip and the system will find you the quickest way.

Full price list is available here:

See

The old town square in Poznań
Cathedral

Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), famed as the spot on which Poznań was founded, is a quiet island, with a permanent population consisting mostly of bishops, priests and monks. It was supposedly here that the town was founded, after three brothers Rus, Lech and Czech met here after not seeing each other for years (poznać being Polish for 'to meet'). It is also the spot where Poland adopted Christian baptism in 966 and where the first church (still existing Poznań Cathedral) of polish territories was built (968). The island is accessible from the centre / Old Town by trams 4, 8 and 17 and bus 63 (other lines, not really useful for tourist are 67 and 83). The cathedral is open for visitors every day from 8AM to 4PM-7PM (depending on the day), but is closed for sightseeing during services (esp. Sundays). Admission : €0.70.

Saint Francis of Assisi Church

Stary Rynek, the old town square, one of the finest in Europe. This is the centre of old, medieval Poznań, and has been superbly rebuilt after severe destruction in World War 2. Cafés and bars line the square and it is a superb spot for ordering a drink and watching the world go by.

Mechanical goats on the town hall's clock

Środka district - located just few minutes from the Cathedral Island, originally a merchants' and craftmen's district working for the duke or king court, located here in first half of 13th century, as the first place: the Cathedral Island - was overpopulated. The name come from the polish name "Środa" (Wednesday), as weekly markets took place on Wednesdays.

Since 2007 you can get from the Cathedral Island to Środka district using a new (pedestrians and cyclers only) bridge, bearing the name of bishop Jordan (968-982), who was the first bishop of Poznań and Poland.

Just behind Środka a recreational area at the banks of Malta Lake start. They are located only 3 km away from the centre and include : an artificial skiing slope, an all-year-round tobogan slide, bike rental, ZOO (the biggest one in Poland), walking and jogging areas, a rollerskating track (5,5 km). The zoo is linked with the Środka district by narrow-gauge line, working from spring till autumn on workdays every hour, on weekends - every 30 minutes. Details : (Polish only). Tickets - appr. €1.5, for kids €1, family tickets €4

The Emperor's district. The main building here is the Emperor's Castle, erected 1905-1910 by Franz Schwechten, the Berlin court architect of German emperor Wilhelm II. The huge neo-Romanesque building, which alludes to medieval constructions, was officially opened by the Emperor personally. It was the seat of Polish President in the inter-war period and Hitler's residence during WW2, when it was remodeled under the Albrecht Speer. The dominating element of the building is the Tower, originally 74-m high, after WW2 was lowered (due to the damage in the lat period of the war) by approx. 20 metres. In the Rose Courtyard (opposite site to the main entrance) one can find a fountain modeled on the 13th century lions fountain in Allhambra (Spain). At present the castle is the seat of the Castle Culture Centre, the Animation Theatre and many other institutions. It's also a place of many exhibitions, meetings, concerts and festivals.

Most of this attractions can be found on The Royal-Imperial Route in Poznań. This is a tour for tourist who would like to get to know better the history and culture of Poznań.

Museums

The late 19th-century pipe organ of the Poznań Collegiate Church
  • Painting and Sculpture Gallery, al. Marcinkowskiego 9, phone: +48 61 856 8000, Tuesday – Saturday 10AM-5PM, 12 zł, free Saturday. This museum has a prominent collection of Italian, Spanish and Polish art. Many paintings have accompanying explanations in English.
  • Museum of the History of Poznan - Stary Rynek 1, phone: +48 61 852 53 16, - in beautiful and original (not damaged during WW2) interiors of Poznań Town Hall, shows objects and documents from the whole city history; from 10th century till present day. Open Tue-Thur 9-15, Fr 12-21, Sat-Sun 11-18. Admission 7 zł. Saturday admission free.
  • Musical Instruments Museum, Stary Rynek 45-47, phone: +48 61 852 08 57, Tuesday – Saturday 11AM-5PM, Sunday 11AM-3PM, 7 zł. With 2000 items from all over the world, this is the only exhibition of its kind in Poland. It also has an extensive collection of Chopin memorabilia.
  • Applied Arts Museum, Góra Przemysła 1, phone: +48 61 852 20 35. Open Tu,W,F,Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 10AM-3PM. Displays crafts, furniture, precious metals and glassware. Admission 7 zł, free Saturdays. Closed for renovation till November 2012.

Do

Fans of steam trains will be in their element in Poznań. A fun day trip is to take a steam train to the Wielkopolska National Park. Take the 8:15 train from Poznań Główny station to Stęszew, a thirty-five minute journey. Walk to the road crossing, turn left and continue until you enter the park near Lake Witobelskie. Follow the blue path to Mosina where you can catch the train back to Poznań. You can book a seat next to the driver for €4.50 by calling 068 348 2008, ext. 368.

Theatres

Festivals, events

During summer holidays:

Other

Buy

The Stary Rynek is full of stalls where you can buy handicrafts and toys. Good souvenir shops selling folk handicraft are situated in Woźna street (one of the streets from the Square eastwards).

Shopping Malls

old brewery

Open-air markets

There are still many of them in Poznań, most are open all year round – maybe during the most severe frosts some stalls are closed and vendours are at home.

Comic books

Eat

Outside serving at old square

Budget

The cheapest places are so-called milk bars – established in the communist era, but still very popular, especially among younger people, for whom they're the cheapest (approx. €3 for a full dinner) option to have a normal meal (not fast-food).

Other cheap options :

Medium

Splurge

Drink

Most night clubs in Poznań are to be found on and around the Stary Rynek.

Sleep

Poznań is well known for its Trade Fairs, when thousands of business types descend en masse to the city. Accommodation can be quite difficult to find in this period, and prices tend to go up. If you are stuck, the Glob-Tour office in the main train station hall (Tel: +48 61 866 0667) will generally find a private room for you for around €8 per person.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Cope

Consulates

Connect

The phone numbers shown on this page are presented in the national format. All local numbers must be dialed with area codes, if you encounter a seven digit number, add '61' before the number.

Depending on your phone operator and the network you roam into, you may want to try one of these: - dial the number as seen, e.g. 061 888 0000 - if unsuccessful, omit the initial zero, e.g. 61 888 0000 - if still unsuccessful, omit the leading zero, dial +48 before the number, e.g. +48 61 888 0000

There are Internet cafés around the Stary Rynek and Stary Browar shopping center offers free Wireless connection. There is also a 24 hour Internet cafe at the main train station which is perfect for when you have hours to wait overnight for the next train. There is also public wi-fi internet access in the surroundings of the Stary Rynek and plac Wolności.

Stay safe

Poznań is generally a safe city, with levels of crime comparable to elsewhere in central Europe. However, by comparison with major cities in western Europe there is less tolerance of diversity in racial or sexual orienation and care should be exercised outside of the city centre.

Tourist information

The main Poznań Information Centre is on the Old Market Square, on its southern side (building 59/60). In summer season (and during most important events – international fair, conferences etc.) open 9-21, in winter 10-19. Many free maps, leaflets about city and surroundings, souvenirs, books, albums, city-guide hire. Phone : +48 61 852 61 56, mailto:it@cim.poznan.pl (in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian).

Talk

In the city center, you will have no problem getting by with English, but outside of it English is quite limited. Even at the train station, you might find that you need to communicate with store vendors using body language (note: the international train office employees do all speak fluent English). If you need directions, try to ask young people who look like they might attend university. If you speak Russian, try talking to older people many of who still speak it at least basically. Despite Poznan's proximity to Germany, very few people speak any German, and if they do, it is often nothing more than a few words.

Go next

For those arriving by train from Berlin, it would make sense to travel south to the cities of Wrocław and Kraków, or on to Warsaw. Another opportunity is to travel to the north - Gdańsk.

Worth a visit:

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 27, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.