Poznan travel tips: why you should visit Poznan, Poland

The city of Poznan is a bit of a hidden gem on the Poland tourist route. If you’ve never thought of visiting Poznan, this guide is here to convince you that it is well worth a visit 🙂

Poznań is a lovely city with a chilled vibe that I discovered on my long summer trip around Poland.

I stayed there for 3 whole weeks and enjoyed it so much I could have easily stayed even longer.

Poznan city guide
The old market square in Poznan

It has a picturesque old town, plenty of green spaces, beautiful architecture and a fine nightlife scene.

There aren’t too many tourists in Poznan. It’s a bit smaller than Wroclaw or Krakow and easily falls into the category of beautiful but overlooked travel destinations.

I think it has a great choice of things to do, see and eat, but it doesn’t overwhelm you like bigger cities might.

It has a compact and walkable city centre and part of its charm is the laid-back atmosphere I felt the moment I got off the train.

Poznan is located somewhere in between Warsaw and Berlin.

The closeness to Berlin is definitely felt in Poznan. The hipster vibes (for lack of a better term…), the excellent nightlife and the alternative culture scene make Poznan very unique.

I had been told before arriving there that Poznan was the most liberal and open-minded city in Poland and I was happy to discover for myself what that meant.

In the current conservative political atmosphere, the city is as gay-friendly as a Polish city can get.

It has its own anarchist bookshop called Zemsta (that’s also a great vegan cafe) and it even has an LGBTQ+ hostel, called Hostel Stonewall. It’s also a super vegan-friendly place (which is actually very common in Poland).

Get to know Poznan

Here are 3 ways to get to know Poznan:

Free walking tour: I took this tour a couple of days after arriving in Poznan. It covers the history and the main attractions in the centre and the old town. On a free tour, you tip the guide at the end as much as you think the tour is worth.

Poznan private tour: take a 3-hour tour covering the main attractions, local culture, people, and history. This tour includes pick-up by a driver and a walking tour by a local guide. Let the guide know what your interests are and get a tailor-made tour.

Sightseeing game: go on a self-guided adventure to discover Poznan’s highlights.

6 reasons to visit Poznan

Beautiful architecture

Poznan  Old Town architecture
The colourful houses in Poznan’s old town

One of the first places you’re likely to visit in Poznan is the colourful and charming old market square or Stary Rynek.

Some of the houses in the square were renovated after WWII. The square looks quite convincing as an old European market square, given that some buildings had their facades repainted only in the later 20th century.

Poznan is a big Art Nouveau hub in Poland. I knew little about that before I got there, but once I was there I couldn’t stop looking up….

The main districts to find beautiful Art Nouveau buildings are Jezyce and Lazarz.

I creadted a guide to Art Nouveau in Poznan.

One of the most interesting contemporary buildings in Poznan is Stary Browar.

It’s an old brewery converted into a shopping centre with an art gallery. Both the interior and exterior are impressive.

Poznan Stary Browar interior
It’s a shopping centre! Stary Browar in Poznan

You can explore a selection of modernist buildings in Poznan with an audio guide made by the tourist information office.

If you’re really into architecture and want to explore more, take a private Poznan architecture tour with a local expert.

Great nightlife

Hah Poznan nightlife
At Hah Poznan

Only 3 hours away from Berlin, Poznan has a great nightlife scene.

There’s a good selection of clubbing options every weekend.

Here are some of the best places to party in Poznan:

Tama –  An excellent club close to the city centre with top techno DJs.

Projekt LAB – Underground music club with electronic and alternative music.

Hah Poznan – A popular gay club with 2 bars, pop and electronic music parties.

Lokum – Queer club and bar with two nearby locations in the city centre, with house, techno and pop parties, plus drag shows and other events.

KontenerART  – A chilled place for drinks, live music and DJs by the river, open during the summer. 

The beautiful urban nature in Poznan

Lake Rusalka Poznan
Lake Rusalka Poznan

Poznan has a lot of green spaces. Many of them are in the city centre or within walking distance from the centre.

It has some lovely city parks and gardens, my favourite of which is the Chopin Garden.

The largest urban park in Poznan is called Park Cytadela w Poznaniu, just north of the old town.

Park Sołacki is another charming green space with a couple of ponds.

It’s not too far from the magical Lake Rusałka.

If you visit the lake, make sure to also visit the beautiful Poznań Botanical Garden nearby. It’s free to visit and open late.

A different kind of botanical garden is located in another part of the city. It’s called Palmiarnia Poznańska, or The Palm House and has a collection of tropical plants.

Lake Malta is a large artificial lake that’s fun to visit, especially for water sports.

Poznan’s unique museums

The Musical Instruments Museum in Poznan
The Musical Instruments Museum in Poznan

Poznan has some unusual museums catering for very specific interests.

My personal favourite was the Poznan Museum of Musical Instruments.

Beginning with ancient music and progressing through the centuries to 20th-century avant-garde, it has some very interesting items on display, some of which I’ve never seen before.

The top floor of the museum is dedicated to instruments from different countries and continents, as well as regions of Poland.

You can visit with an audio guide for the full experience.

The Museum of Applied Arts in Poznan has a large collection of crafts, furniture, textiles, jewellery and all sorts of decorative items from Poland. They range from the Middle Ages to current times.

This museum is also popular for its viewing point on the roof. Take the lift up to the roof on a sunny day and get a view of the city from above. The old town’s colourful houses look wonderful from up there.

Another unique museum in Poznan is the Museum of Historical Costume featuring 19th-century costumes and accessories.

It’s easy to take day trips from Poznan

Poznan is a convenient base for day trips. I recommend taking the train if you want to plan your own trip, it’s fast and efficient. to save time and hassle, you can also book a private tour that includes hotel pick up and drop off.

The easiest day trips from Poznan that I found are:

Torun – A mediaeval city with a charming old town that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can go there on the train, it’s about 1.5 hours from Poznan and explore by yourself.

You can also take a private tour with hotel pickup, transportation and a local guide. It is available in 7 languages. 

Wroclaw – Though I think Wroclaw deserves more than a day trip if you want to see it while you’re staying in Poznan, it’s doable.

To explore it by yourself, I recommend taking the train (the ride takes about 2 hours each way) and then booking a place on a walking tour. There’s a free walking tour as well as some private tours that will save you time.

Bydgoszcz – Poland’s 8th largest city, about 1.5 hours away from Poznan on the train. It has a charming old town, some unusual museums and a water tram.

For more ideas for day trips from Poznan have a look here.

Impressive street art murals in Poznan

Poznan Street Art Srodka
The Srodka mural

The street art in Poznan is scattered around the city. It can take a few hours to see all the murals, but some of them are well worth looking for.

You can ask at the tourist information centre for a street art map.

This 3D painting on 3 Śródka Street is probably the most famous piece of street art in Poznan. 

Around the corner from it, on 17  Ostrówek Street, the Green Symphony is an interactive street art installation that plays music when it rains. 

Another noteworthy artwork is located on Feliksa Nowowiejskiego 17 (look up to find it). It’s a mural of a woman holding together the Polish flag as a symbol of internal divides in Polish society.

Have a look at this Instagram account for great street art finds from Poznan.

Poznan essential travel tips

Where to stay in Poznan

Poznan apartment
This is where I stayed in Poznan

I stayed in this apartment for three weeks and can wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the central train and bus station.

The old town and most attractions are within a short walking distance as well.

It’s a nicely designed and fully equipped 1 bedroom flat with a nice living room and all the amenities, fast wifi, a nice shower and a comfortable bed. It was certainly a great choice.

Hotels in Poznan

If you prefer a hotel, here’s a selection of hotels in Poznan for different budgets:

Budget: Ibis Poznań Stare Miasto is a highly rated 2-star hotel close to the old town. It’s an affordable choice if you want to stay in a central location. 

Mid-range: Palazzo Rosso is a 3.5 star hotel right next to the old town square.

LuxuryPURO Hotel Poznań Stare Miasto is a beautiful 4-star hotel located minutes from the old town square. 

How to get to Poznan

Poznan city tours

The city of Poznan is well connected to other cities in Poland and to some other cities in Europe. 

By plane to Poznan Airport

Poznan has its own airport called Poznań – Ławica Henryk Wieniawski Airport (POZ).

There are direct flights to Poznan from many European cities. Check Omio for the flights currently available.

Getting from the airport to the city:

Bus lines 159 and  148 and night line 222 run between the airport and the city centre. The ride takes about 25 minutes. 

Private transfer taxis are available at the airport, through taxi apps or by booking online in advance.

Trains to Poznan

It’s very convenient to get to Poznan by train from other cities in Poland, as well as from Berlin and Moscow. Check the Polish State Railways website for timetables and prices.

The central train station (Poznan Glowny) and central bus station are both close to each other and quite close to the city centre.

Buses to Poznan

The central bus station (Poznan PKS) is next to the train station.

There are long-distance buses from other cities in Poland, as well as cities in other European countries, such as Berlin, Prague and London.

Check Omio and Flixbus to find bus connections.

How long to stay in Poznan

Poznan is perfect for a city break or a long weekend.

If you have more time, I suggest you stay for 5 days to explore the city and the area.

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1 Comment

I spent four days in Poznan as a bonus trip (basically I got a cheap flight!) I was very pleasantly surprised – I loved the city.

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