5 Best Old Towns in Poland

With a rich history, friendly local, pleasant atmosphere, exotic local cuisine, and spectacular cities, Poland is a destination that welcomes all. Poland is surprisingly big, so if you have more time to spare on your vacation, there’s simply more than enough to keep you busy and entertained. Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Poznan are some of the vibrant and exotic cities, with each offering its own unique vibe. Gdansk, the gateway to the north, is fast rising in popularity as a go-to tourist destination.

While vacationing in Poland, it is easy to notice that each city has a historic center that’s waiting to be explored. Just ask any local to show you the way to “Rynek” (Market Square), and you will have no other choice but to marvel at the architectural wonders of the place.

Explore the narrow streets and marvel at the crumbled walls, which takes you back in time to the years gone by. Here are some of the beautiful Old Towns in Poland that you should consider on your next visit.

1. Warsaw Old Town

Renowned for being the Polish capital’s oldest section, Warsaw Old Town, is one of the most popular spots that draws visitors with its charm. The major highlight of the Old Town is the Market Place, which houses countless restaurants, and cafés perfect for enjoying lunch. Also, you find plenty of stores selling an array of items.

Built in the 13th century, Warsaw Old Town takes you on a journey through the time of old to modernity. To get the most out of your vacation here, take a walking tour of this beautiful destination with an energetic atmosphere full of religious sites, landmarks, and antique townhouses. In the Old Town, the main attractions to visit include

  • Barbican

Barbican Warsaw

  • Holy Cross Church

Holy Cross Church Warsaw

  • Royal Castle

Warsaw Royal Castle

  • Nowy Swiat street

Nowy Swiat Street Warsaw

  • Krakowskie Przedmiescie

Krakowskie Przedmiescie Warsaw

  • St John’s Cathedral

St JOhn's Cathedrak Warsaw

  • Old Town Marketplace

Warsaw Market place

  • Copernicus Statue

Copernicus Statue Warsaw

2. Gdansk Old Town

The extraordinary city of Gdansk is the capital of Solidarity – the first independent anti-Soviet labor union. Many people visit Gdansk for its rich history and heritage. Being one of the oldest cities in Poland, you’ll find many historical treasures here. The Old Town in Gdansk is home to lots of interesting buildings and historic monuments. Your trip to Gdansk will be considered incomplete without visiting St. Mary’s Church – which is one of Europe’s biggest churches. Also, you don’t want to miss the massive medieval crane built in the 15th century. This attraction houses a museum which displays an extensive collection of artifacts used at the harbor in times past.

Attractions to Visit

  • Upland Gate

Upland Gate Gdansk

  • The Prison Tower
  • The Long Market

The Long Market Gdansk

  • European Solidarity Centre

Solidarity Centre Gdansk

  • Mariacka Street

Gdansk Mariacka

Note that the weekend is too short to explore all that the city has to offer – there are plenty of incredible sites to visit, especially in the historic Old Town.

3. Krakow Old Town

Krakow’s Old Town played a significant role in the rich history, political structure, and culture of Poland. The Old Town is extraordinary and has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town is full of architectural wonders including the Main Square, famous for being Europe’s largest medieval town square and filled with monuments, significant buildings, restaurants, and pubs. The Renaissance cloth hall Sukiennice, strategically located in the middle of the square, will take your breath away. This is the place to be if you’d like to go back home with a fascinating souvenir to remind you of your trip to Krakow, Poland.

Top Attractions to Visit

  • Wawel Castle

  • Mary’s Basilica

Mary's Basilica krakow

  • Church of St. Wojciech

Church of St Wojciech

  • Church of St. Barbara

St Barbara Church Krakow

  • Sukiennice

Krakow Cloth Hall

4. Wroclaw Old Town

Wroclaw is the fourth largest city in Poland with over 600,000 people who calls it home. The vibrant town is home to energetic nightlife, delectable food, stunning architecture, and fascination museums. Just like every other Old Town in Poland, the best way to admire the impressive architecture and pleasant atmosphere is to take a walk. Unlike other cities, Wroclaw is calm, quiet and less crowded – something quite unusual for a city of this magnitude.

Your first port of call in Wroclaw’s Old Town should be the Market Square – an ideal spot to hang out and enjoy the view. Sit in one of the terraced cafes and restaurant, enjoy tasty local cuisine, and admire the views. The most impressing thing is that the square which was in complete ruins and shambles during the Second World War was rebuilt to give it an impressive look in the 1950s.

Attractions to Visit

  • Town Hall

Wroclaw Town Hall

  • Main Market Square

Wroclaw Market Square

  • Flower Market
  • Royal Palace

Royal Castle Wroclaw

  • St Elizabeth Church

Elizabeth Church Wroclaw

  • Hala Targowa

Hala Targowa Wroclaw

  • Opera House

Wroclaw Opera House

  • Baroque Ossolineum

Wroclaw Ossolineum

5. Poznan Old Town

Poznan, the capital of the Wielkopolska region of Poland, features an eclectic mix of vibrant modern city life with the reminisces of renaissance-era architecture. You can’t talk about the history of Poland without mentioning Poznan. It is the burial site of the first King of Poland. The city is filled with Polish history and vibrant culture.

Founded in 1253, Poznan Old Town is located at the heart of the city. The area is home to lots of historic monuments and landmarks. You’ll find ruins of its original streets which dates back hundreds of years. Top on the list of places to visit is the Old Market Square, which boasts shop lots of shops, cafes, restaurants, and stores. Not only that, you’ll find beautiful fountains and statues here.

More so, if you’d like to see ancient Poland in its finest, check out the ancient houses in the Old Town built in the 16th and 17th century. One of the buildings that stand out is Merchant’s houses.

Attractions to Visit

  • Town Hall

Poznan Town Hall

  • Old Market Square

Poznan Old Town

  • Royal Castle

Royal Castle Poznan

  • Lesser Basilica of St. Stanislaus

Fara Poznan

  • Historical Museum of Poznan

Poznan Museum

Each historical center mentioned here has something unique to offer. Exploring these destinations on your next trip to Poland is a welcome idea as it helps you appreciate the country even more. Get to know more about Poland’s rich history which dates back to many decades ago. And if you don’t love history but more inclined to nature, Poland has got you covered.


Bartosz is a travel writer, photographer & founder/editor of theuniquepoland who tells stories of adventure, history and current affairs. He writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Poland. He loves travelling, discover new unknown and inspire others.

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