Pretty, picturesque and perfect.
Those are the three words that come to mind when I think of Poland.
I mean, what’s not to love? The country is full of old medieval castles, colorful architecture and really delicious food. More pierogies, please!
But the thing is, most people visiting Poland only check out Warsaw or Krakow. And while these cities are popular for good reason, it’s the small towns in Poland that are more charming and authentic.
I can guarentee that you’ll want to visit all of these beautiful Polish small towns during your next adventure abroad!
The Prettiest Small Towns in Poland
Although the sea might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Poland, Gdansk is a city that shouldn’t be missed!
This historic port town sits at the very top of Poland, right on the Baltic sea. It’s packed full of beautiful Baltic architecture, really cool museums (which are free on Tuesdays) and gorgeous amber jewelry. If you have the time, visit Westerplatte, the site where World War II began and take a guided tour of the nearby Malbork Castle.
Spend a few days in Gdansk to give yourself enough time to explore the Tri-City, which includes Gdynia and the lovely seaside town of Sopot.
You can easily navigate through the area by using a local commuter train or catching an Uber ride. If you haven’t used Uber before, sign up through my referral link to get your first ride free!
Where to Stay in Gdansk:
Related Reading: 5 Best Things to Do in Gdansk
To literally escape the crowds, head on over to the walled city of Torun in Northern Poland. The town is the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus and is brimming with gorgeous Gothic architecture.
Get lost in the cobble stoned streets of the old town, take photos of the quirky monuments scattered around and be sure to try some of the world-famous Torun gingerbread! I’m honestly still dreaming of that stuff.
You can easily take a day trip to Torun from Gdansk, but you might want to spend a night here and enjoy having the place all to yourself!
Where to Stay in Torun:
If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can sign up through my referral link and grab a $45 discount on your first stay!
Related Reading: 19 Fun Things to do in Torun
To be frank, Poznan isn’t exactly what I would consider a small town. In fact, a lot of the places on this list are mid-sized cities. But in my opinion, they’re not very well-known amongst international tourists.
Poznan has everything you could ever want in a city: an Instagram-worthy town square, beautiful lake and Gothic castle. Give yourself at least two nights to explore the city. Try to snap a selfie with the billy goats at Town Hall, go for a bike ride around Malta Lake and grab a St. Martin’s croissant – it’s the local speciality!
Where to stay in Poznan:
Related Reading: 24 Hours in Poznan
It’s easy to fall in love with Wroclaw – a city full of colourful architecture, quirky little dwarves and magnificent street art.
Due to it’s convenient location close to the Czech Republic, Wroclaw is often a transfer point for tourists travelling between the two countries. But I think it’s definitely deserving of a couple days on it’s own.
Make sure you visit the oldest part of the city on Cathedral Island and get out to enjoy one of the many parks. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for any dwarves – there are over 350 of them scattered throughout the city!
Where to stay in Wroclaw:
Related Reading: So Much to Love About Wroclaw
For me, Rzeszow is a city full of surprises.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect much of the city prior to my arrival but as it turns out, Rzeszow is an elegant town with a lot of great sights. It’s a big transport hub for those en route to Ukraine, which is why I ended up here myself.
Rather than just quickly passing through, I recommend spending at least one night here to enjoy the beautiful boulevards, Rzeszow Shopping Mall and Rzeszow Castle. Plus, there are some great cheap eats here too!
Where to Stay in Rzeszow:
- Hostel Rzeszow – prices from $10
- Hotel Rzeszow – prices from $50 *Honestly, I can’t recommend this hotel enough. It’s only a short walk away from the train/bus station and it’s attached to the shopping mall. The rooms are extremely modern and feature amazing views of the old town!
Related Reading: Rzeszow Travel Guide
Often referred to as Krakow’s little sister, Tarnow is a quiet yet beautiful small town in Poland. You can easily spend a few hours strolling around the recently resorted Old Town. Honestly, the city features the same charm and medieval atmosphere as Krakow – just without the crowds and inflated prices.
Although it can certainly be done as a day trip, I suggest spending at least one night in Tarnow. You’ll appreciate having the place to yourself! And don’t forget to walk up Saint Martin’s Hill for a scenic view of the area!
Where to stay in Tarnow:
Related Reading: Exploring Tarnow, a Day Trip from Krakow
No trip to Poland is complete without a stop in Zakopane!
This gorgeous town is nestled in the heart of the Tatra Mountains, making it the perfect base for a winter ski trip or a summer getaway! I’ll admit, the city can be quite kitschy and crowded at times, but you need to experience Poland’s best mountain resorts and wooden chalets for yourself.
You can take a day trip from Krakow to Zakopane or, spend a couple nights here and make use of the mountains by skiing, hiking or taking a cable car. Don’t forget to visit the Samanta Cafe and enjoy one of their famous cakes
Where to stay in Zakopane:
- Hotel Wersal – prices from $45
- This Airbnb apartment *One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed in! As mentioned earlier, if it’s your first time using Airbnb (or if you have another email address to use) then use my referral link to score $45 off your first booking!
Related Reading: What to Do in Zakpopane
Other Small Towns in Poland
Okay, so not all of these places might be considered small towns, but these are what I consider to be hidden gems in Poland!
But, maybe you’re the type of person who likes to get right off the beaten path? If so, we should be best friends because I’m right there with ya!
Here are 7 other amazing small towns in Poland that you should consider visiting:
- Kazimierz Dolny
Some of these aren’t easily accessible by public transportation. So, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have them to yourself!
I hope this post inspires you to visit more small towns in Poland. Or at the very least, taught you a little something about the country!
For more travel guides and inspiration, check out my travel articles.
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If you’ve been to Poland before, leave me a comment down below letting me know your favourite cities!