Poland

Of all the Polish cities, the capital is the hardest to love. Destroyed by the Nazis during WWII, Warsaw’s reconstructed Old Town still feels fake, whilst the rest of the city is an ill-thought out concrete jumble. Still the urban traveller should feel right at home, once they’ve located the cool cafes, hidden beach bars, sizzling underground clubs. There’s also a burgeoning contemporary arts scene, and the once no go district of Stara Praga is full of exciting discoveries.

Meanwhile the likes of Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan and Lublin combine beautiful architecture with student-fuelled nightlife (all are university cities) perfect for wild weekend breaks – whereas the post industrial town of Lodz is Poland’s dark horse, much loved by David Lynch. Everywhere you travel in Poland, the warmth of the people – and the vodka – offset the cold of those East European winters. During summer hit the happening beach resort of Sopot on the Baltic sea.

Full of moody cafes and bearded Bohemians, Kazimierz has been Krakow’s hip spot for nigh on two decades. Despite development, more cool bars seem to open than close, whilst the district’s melancholy soul is as captivating as ever…

Charming it ain’t, but Poland’s rapidly changing capital is one of the most exciting places in the world right now, with its hedonistic nightlife, artistic scene and off-the-wall treasures. Warsaw native Kamila Napora is our guide. The “Phoenix city” or “mini Berlin” are two of Warsaw’s most common monikers, and…

“It was as if we were just there at the transitional phase… when the night has ended and people go home, the day is beginning and other people are coming to work,” say Krystyna and Keven when they photograph Krakow’s Rynek… Krakow’s market square, or ‘Rynek’ in Polish, is the…

Below the sunny squares of Poland’s royal capital lies a shadowy world of legends and fantasy, music and cabaret… vodka and beer. Nick Hodge is your guide as we delve deep into the five best cellar joints in Krakow. Beelzebub comes in many guises and, according to local legend, the…

Cheap and filling, it’s often hard to separate the Polish pierog from hard times under the Communist hammer. But with exotic fillings now en vogue the dumpling is reinventing itself as a decidedly bourgeois treat says Simon Taylor. There’s no denying that the Poles love their pierogi (dumplings). Found in cheap…