The sumptuousness of times past
A cruise to Poland will show you a nation steeped in tradition and history, although the past twenty years have witnessed such dizzying economic development that the country is starting to feel more and more like Western Europe.
Still, beneath the gleaming surface lies a culture firmly rooted in Eastern hospitality and community values, and fascinating reminders of the turbulent past are everywhere.
A holiday to Poland will also reveal an underrated land of considerable natural beauty, whose idyllic lakes, beaches and mountains provide a nice contrast to the urban buzz of the cities.
The capital Warsaw is a fascinating hybrid, its historic centre rubbing up against neighbourhoods of communist-era grey, glittering modern office blocks and energetic pockets of vibrant nightlife.
Kraków, the ancient royal capital in the south, is the real crowd-puller, rivalling the elegance of Prague and Vienna, while closest to Northern Europe Gdańsk offers an insight into Poland’s turbulent history as well as its Baltic riviera beach life.
In the west, Wrocław charms visitors with its stately architecture and buzzy student life, while Poznań offers a mixture of historical attractions and urban diversions that is quintessentially Polish. The Tatra Mountains on the Slovak border offer exhilarating hiking and affordable skiing.