Szczecin is one of those cities that you rarely hear about. It’s not popular with visitors as Krakow or Gdansk, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting. Szczecin is a lovely port city, located on the Oder River. This polish city is steeped in history, which can be seen while taking a leisure stroll around. Szczecin is known for its top-notch landmarks, and attractions include the St. James Cathedral, 19th-century Chobry Embankment, and the Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle.
Home to nearly half a million people, Szczecin is surprisingly one of Poland’s biggest cities. Calmness and serenity fill the air in its city center and old town. However, the atmosphere at the city’s water’s edge is the exact opposite – busy, full of life and home to lots of things to do and see!
1. Pomeranian Duke’s Castle
The castle was founded in the 13th century and was the seat of Pomeranian Dukes. The castle has undergone a series of renovations, but the fascinating thing is that it survived the horrors of the Second World War. The building has been restored to give it a stunning look.
The interior is a museum that houses artifacts discovered in excavations during restoration after WWII. It’s a place with temporary exhibitions showcasing the castle’s historical pasts and a list of eminent owners. Be sure to explore the illustrious staterooms and apartments here. The towering castle looks down on townhouses and the river.
Babrze Wikimedia Commons
2. Szczecin Cathedral
The largest religious site and the second-highest building in Szczecin standing at 110 meters, Szczecin Cathedral was founded in the 1100s. This place of worship has a capacity for 10,000 people.
The cathedral survived a raging storm in 1456, the Scanian War in the 17th century, and of course, WWII. Its impressive looks stem from the most recent renovations in the late 19th century. The interior is aesthetically designed with sculptures, paintings, altarpieces, and architectural fragments from the 16th, 17th and 18 centuries.
Kapitel Wikimedia Commons
3. Old Town
Compared to other Polish cities, Szczecin’s Old Town is rather small in size. Market Square has a few traditional tenement houses and a renovated town hall, which has a museum that tells visitors about the tumultuous history of Szczecin.
In addition to the Market Square, other original buildings that line the Old Town include the Loitz Residence and the Seven Coat Tower.
4. Szczecin Beach
Despite lacking coastal beaches, Szczecin boasts an inland beach where visitors can get wet, enjoy the cool breeze and unwind. Located around Glebokie Lake, the beach offers stunning views of the city center.
It’s a great place to lounge in the sun, swim or have a picnic. It’s a popular spot amongst locals who come here to make bonfires. Sit back and relax on the edge of the waters as you watch the boats passing by.
5. Szczecin Philharmonic Hall
You don’t have to be a diehard fan of classical music to get the most of your trip to Szczecin Philharmonic Hall. Built-in 2015, the hall won the EU’s prize for Contemporary Architecture. The design is indeed an exceptional masterpiece that can’t be matched by any other cultural venue anywhere in the world.
Featuring a mass of jagged peaks that have resemblance with townhouse gables, the beauty of the building becomes imminent at night, thanks to its icy glow. The main hall which seats 1,000 hosts several events annually, the most prominent being the city’s orchestra concert performance by the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra. Even if you’re not planning to attend a concert, the building’s architecture will leave you breathless. It is worth visiting at any time of the day.
UMSzczecin Wikimedia Commons
6. Odra River
Szczecin’s most significant advantage is that waters surround it. So if you enjoy water sports activities, Szczecin has its own fair share.
The Odra river alongside the Dabskie Lake allows both locals and visitors to explore the water. One of the best ways to have a full dose of fun is by renting kayaks and sail along with the current.
7. Puszcza Bukowa
Tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? Why not seek time out with nature. Hike to the Bukowa Hill and escape the chaos. While hiking the trail, you will find some ruins of ancient buildings and bridges built by the Germans.
By chance, you can bump into a few wildlife like the deer and boars, but make sure you keep your distance. Keep your phone or camera ready for some stunning pictures. At the center is a hidden treasure known as Jezioro Szmaragdowe (Emerald Lake). The green color of its water was a result of the chalk mine that existed there many years back.
Kenraiz Wikimedia Commons
8. Park Kasprowicza
Covering more than 27 hectares is the expansive urban park in Szczecin. The park is home to endangered and exotic trees. Check out the amphitheater with a seating capacity of 4,500 people.
The amphitheater is a hot spot for concerts and other significant events in the summer. To see the park at its most breathtaking state, visit during spring when the lawns are filled with bright crocus flowers.
Mateusz War Wikimedia Commons
9. National Museum
With more than six locations in the city, the National Museum was established in 1945. The main building, which holds the most significant ethnography exhibition in Poland, is part of the Ulica Waly complex.
Another impressive spot is the Old Gallery at Ulica Staromlyriska 27, which holds artworks by great artists including Lucas Cranach, the Youngest, Max Slevogt, and Lovis Corinth. The National Museum is a place of many exhibitions.
10. Chobry Embankment
Chobry Embankment is a monument stretching more than half a kilometer in length. Located close to the National Museum, the monumental embankment is a great place for a leisure stroll, especially at sunset, when the city is in lights. It is also an excellent spot for having a picnic. The area is lined with lots of restaurants, as well.
StasiÓ Stachów Wikimedia Commons
If you want to relax and stay in a peaceful place with lots of exciting things to keep you busy, then you can explore the beauty of Szczecin. It is a great place to have a good time. If you have never visited Szczecin, this is the time to do it.