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Uncovering the best family holidays

Poland

Why Poznan Could Quite Possibly Be Europe's Ultimate Family Destination

Have you heard of it?

Why aren’t the families flocking here?

Poznan is located in west-central Poland. Think Prague, without the millions of tourists and with a zillion more things to do. Poznan is one of the oldest and biggest cities in Poland. It has old world charm with its cobblestone streets, colourful burgher houses and an old town square. But it also is brimming with new possibilities and modern conveniences.

It’s the place in Europe you’ve been looking for. 

When we visited Poznan we had no expectations, maybe even a little complacency. But it was only moments into arriving that we knew Poznan was going to be an amazing destination.

1 in 4 residents in Poznan are students. The city pulsates with a youthful atmosphere and a friendly vibe. It has all the makings of the perfect family holiday spot. Here are 5 reasons we think you should visit for your next family vacation.

 

Clean & Tidy

After a month of cigarette smoke, dirty streets and littered allies throughout Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, Poznan was a dream. The streets were clean, smoking was prohibited in most restaurants and attractions, even trams and buses remained un-graffitied.

Family travel can often be met with fear, and children getting ill is certainly one of them. Poznan puts those fears at ease with its beautiful clean city. One of my favourite features was there was always a bin nearby to throw litter into, which makes for a very tidy town. You don’t realize how convenient it is until you’ve been somewhere where bins are scarce. 

 

Playgrounds

This might be an urban jungle, but there is still plenty of room for the natural type. Big parks, rivers and lakes provide oodles of space for children to run and play. Add to these playgrounds in zoos, parks, restaurants and you have a winning family vacation hot spot.

 

It’s In Europe

Americans, Australians, any one not in Europe believes Europe is exotic. Europe is ancient and historic. Poznan embodies everything that is beautiful about Europe. For Europeans, Poznan is in Europe. So it’s close and just a cheap flight or train away.

Forget those tourist hotspots rife with pickpockets, endless crowds and litter. Poznan has all the conveniences and infrastructure you’d expect in a developed country.

 

Tourist-Free Zone

Okay, so we might not be telling the truth on this one. Poznan holds so many festivals and draws in more and more tourists each year. But it’s not over-run. You will find it easy to move throughout the city, visit restaurants and bars, and not be stuck in a congregated mess. Perfect for families who don’t want to lose their kids in the crowd.

I have no doubt it will not remain Europe’s hidden treasure for much longer.

 

Transport

Hiring a car in an unknown city certainly seems easy for families, but then there is carting caseats around, looking for parking and all over plenty of stress that comes with it.

Poznan has an excellent public transportation system. Trams, buses and trains. There is something taking you everywhere. We didn’t find a spot we couldn’t take public transport to. And if you get a Poznan City Card, not only do you get discounts to restaurants and attractions, but you get FREE public transport too. Transport is also free for kids under 5. 

 

BONUS: Oodles To Do

The worst family holiday moments happen when the kids utter those 2 dreaded words, “I’m bored.”

No chance of that happening in Poznan. Check out our article on 10 things to do with kids in Poznan and we only scraped the tip of the iceberg. Snowless skiing, music concerts, interactive museums, giant parks and so much more.

 

I’m sure after reading this you can see how under-rated Poznan is. It’s a city waiting to be discovered by families. It’s sitting there. Waiting. So go.

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"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Chris on
Hi guys

Great article and pics. We're about to leave Asia and head through with a stop in Abu Dhabi in between. We're currently tossing up where we'd like to stay for a few months while working in Europe and you make Poznan sound so appealing. It may have to be on our list of possible destinations. I'll be teaching English while Sarah will either continue to freelance online or find some other kind of work there. Is there anywhere else in Europe you'd recommend to set up camp for a few months?
Posted by Katja on
We've never been to Poland but are definitely tempted to now, Poznan sounds wonderful. How is/was the food??
Posted by anna parker on
I'm quite taken by Poznan - your opening paragraph about somewhere with history and things to see, but without the tourist levels in a capital city - well that has me sold! Exactly the sort of thing we would look for and I'm fascinated to learn more about Poland. I've pinned it for the future!
Posted by Paul [email protected]__travel) on
I've yet to visit Poland but "Prague without the tourists" already has me interested! That sounds like a great idea with the Poznań City Card... I don't know how much those cards are (tried to look it up on your link but could't see that info) but just to know you are 'covered' for any and all use of public transport certainly makes life easier when you are visiting somewhere unfamiliar.
Posted by Erin on
Great point Paul, I have updated that link with the prices now!
Katja - the food was absolutely delicious. Read our food posts on Poland, yum.
Chris - emailed you.
Posted by Jackie de Burca on
It's always great to read about somewhere that isn't awash with tourists. I would imagine also, Erin, that the Polish are very family friendly people, did you find that to be the case? I remember trying Polish food a very long time ago and you're right, it was delicious.
Posted by Leszek Cyfer on
If you really want to see how beautiful Poznan is, see it through the eyes of Erik Witsoe - an American who fell in love with this city and it shows in his photographs:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ewitsoe/
Posted by Karin on
Interesting tempted go myself
Posted by Chris Boothman on
Never visited Poznan before, in fact never experienced anywhere in Poland but after reading this I am envious of folks that get to experience this part of Europe. Your selection of pictures is great and really entices the reader to want to explore the area for themselves. I definitely think the Poznan City Card is the way forward with free access to public transportation.

The only thing that springs to mind when I hear Poznan though is the Manchester City fans that stereotypically now "do the Poznan" dance! If you don't know anything about it, you should check it out - essentially a sporting celebration but pretty cool nonetheless!
Posted by Michael on
I spent a week in Poznan in 2012 for the European Championships, the people we met there were some of the nicest and friendliest I've ever met. The prices are very reasonable and there are lots of great places to eat too. I'd certainly recommend visiting Poznan!
Posted by Me on
Check out Wrocław, it's at least as nice as Poznań, less touristy and crowded than Warsaw and Kraków but not for long, I think, so hurry up.
Posted by BW on
In terms of parks and outdoor recreation, the article really should have mentioned the several lakes that are found in and near Poznan. These are really beautiful and relaxing spots in the summer, they remind me of the mom-and-pop operations one found at recreation sites in the U.S. during the early postwar era. A huge bonus is the availability of small public "ways" that allow bicycle travel between towns, to the lakes, and through the forests. Something very helpful for English-speakers is that young Poles speak very good English and are happy to help strangers find their way.
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