Cheap holidays to Poland

Enjoy a world-class trip for a wallet-friendly price

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Jules Pearson

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert

Krakow at nightFancy a cheap holiday, but not so keen on the requisite inclusion of sun, sea and sand? One country that springs instantly to mind is Poland. This is the land where east meets west, an intriguing nation famous for its post-war, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, storied historical sites and street markets. Just a two to three hours’ flight from the UK, Poland is considered one of Europe’s most up-and-coming countries, as tourists increasingly seek to broaden their horizons where activities and attractions are concerned. And with castles and museums to explore, not to mention excellent restaurants and beer halls dishing up local treats, it’s not difficult to see why!

Budget carriers fly to Poland each day, so you don’t have to hunt high and low to bag yourself a cheap flight. And once you set foot on Polish soil, you’ll be happy with how your money translates. Food and drink is very affordable, especially in rural areas; though in the big cities, too, you can get by without splashing too much. In terms of accommodation, your best bet is to rent Polish apartments, affording you maximum comfort. HomeAway has over 700 properties spread throughout the country, so you’re sure to find the perfect base. 


Top five destinations for cheap holidays to Poland


Cheap holidays to Krakow Cheap holidays to Krakow

The original royal capital of Poland, Krakow is a cultural hotbed full of cathedrals, museums and synagogues; as well as more modern attractions near the famous Old Town. Take in the splendour of the Royal Chambers with its period tapestries and grand furnishings, before exploring the tunnels and caverns on a visit to the 700-year-old Salt Mine on the fringes of town. The historically significant site of Auschwitz is also a place many visitors feel compelled to visit: sobering as it is, it does have a resounding impact. Elsewhere, there are countless bistros and bars to while away an afternoon – perhaps over a plate of Pierogi (sauerkraut-stuffed dumplings) and a measure of Zubrowka (bison grass vodka)?

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Cheap holidays to Warsaw Cheap holidays to Warsaw

Head for the capital and you’re in for a treat. There’s a palpable buzz about Warsaw, an effect created by the countless markets, cafés and bars spreading out from the Royal Way. More modern than Krakow with its many glass-fronted office buildings, this is still a historic place: the Old Town and Castle were re-built after the war, but the Baroque palace of Wilanow dates from the 13th century. Elsewhere, visit the Jewish Ghetto, shop in the giant Golden Terraces Centre, or go for a row on the boating lake at the Royal Park. If you venture out of the city, why not see the house where Chopin was born in Zelazowa Wola? The museum and statue of the composer pay a fitting tribute. 

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Cheap holidays to Malopolskie Cheap holidays to Malopolskie

It may not have the reputation of the aforementioned destinations, but a cheap holiday to Poland needn’t only include visits to the big cities. Malpolskie – “Lesser Poland” – is the name given to a region in the country’s south-east, of which Krakow is the capital. Away from Krakow, though, there’s plenty to see and do. Clap your eyes on the famous Black Madonna painting in Czestochowa, tour the castle in Lublin, home to a fascinating museum, or wander around the Old Town of Rynek Wielki, a cobblestoned neighbourhood flanked by ancient buildings, many from the Renaissance period. A hike up Three Crosses’ Mountain, in Lubelska, is another one to tick off your list.

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Cheap holidays to Gdansk Cheap holidays to Gdansk

The port city of Gdansk has a charm all its own. Here you’ll find rustic, red-brick churches and watermills, bustling thoroughfares and an abundance of maritime history. Westerplatte is a great memorial to the Polish seamen who died when Germany initiated WW2, while a jaunt through Old Town, down to Motlawa River, allows you to check out the statue of Neptune by Artus Court and the narrow, packed townhouses near the Town Hall. You won’t get Mediterranean sun, but the beach resort of Sopot is well worth a day trip; not only does it have the longest wooden pier in Europe, but its restaurants and shops are excellent.

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Cheap holidays to Warmia-Masuria Cheap holidays to Warmia-Masuria

The Warmia-Masuria region is where you’ll find Poland’s lake district; in fact, there are over 3,000 lakes here, many of them linked by a network of channels and rivers: keen canoeists will be in their element, but you can also tour the waterways in a passenger boat – from Gizcko, for example. This is the terrain where the Nazis set up their eastern front HQ, so there are countless old bunkers and relics to pore over, not least of which is the Wolf’s Lair, east of Ketzyn, where Hitler spent much of the war. Don’t forget to visit the cobblestoned town of Olsztyn, and drop in on its 14th-century redbrick castle – now home to an art gallery and open-air theatre.

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