You’ve already seen Poznań, did our Old Town Poznań and Imperial District tours? Or simply can’t wait to leave the big city hustle and bustle to discover more of this part of Poland? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, check out our tips for best one-day-trips from Poznań!
Situated only 25 kilometres from Poznań, this small town is a perfect destination for all castle-lovers. You will find there estate house built in Gothic Revival style that once belonged to noble families such as Górka or Działyńscy. The latter stayed here since 17th century until 1923 when the last member of the house donated the residence to the Polish state together with the oldest and one of the most interesting arboretum in the country. As every castle, this one also has its own ghost. So called White Lady is said to go out of the frames of the painting to check out the condition of her properties with a knight on a black horse. Not surprisingly, the story has its roots in the non-conventional behaviour of the women depicted on the painting – Teofila de domo Działyńska Szołdrska Potulicka. This aristocrat born in 18th century not only invited to the city of Kórnik German Protestants but also supported Jewish community, built new roads, windmills and redesigned the garden of the castle, keeping on her property exotic animals such as camels. Not following the standards of the era, she divorced her second husband which gave rise to many gossips. To commemorate Teofila, city of Kórnik organizes Meetings with White Lady every year. You can meet her strolling around the town and participate in various concerts and spectacles. Whenever in Kórnik, don’t forget to walk around the lake or visit the “Eye of a Needle”, passage that once led to the Jewish Quarter. Fans of poetry will be pleased to know that 5 minutes walking from the castle a Noble-price-winner Wisława Szymborska was born. To get to the town, you just need to catch a city bus number 501 or 560 or a Kombus from Rondo Rataje. Remember to check out the bus schedule to return!
Only 12 kilometres from Kórnik you can find one of the most beautiful palaces in Greater Poland. Pretty hard to reach by public transport, none the less it is totally worth the effort! The palace was built by Kazimierz Raczyński, member of an important family from the region who redesigned it in classicist style. The main building equipped with beautiful furniture and attention-drawing wooden library is just part of the trip. After that, head to art gallery in the small building to admire “Joanna D’Arc” by the greatest history painter in Poland – Jan Matejko and works of Olga Boznańska, Julian Fałat, Stanisław Wyspiański as well as the biggest existing in Poland collection of symbolic paintings created by Jacek Malczewski. Don’t forget to check in the carriage house what kind of vehicles people used in the past and after that take a walk to the park behind the palace, passing next to the French formal garden with sculptures by Augustyn Schoeps. Most of the people get only to the first part of the park to see the oak trees “Lech”, “Czech” and “Rus” but if you go further, you will discover wild beautiful nature and as not many people reach it there is a big chance it will be just for you! On the other side of the palace you can find a church-mausoleum which resembles famous antique temple of Maison Carée in Nîmes, France from the outside. When you buy the ticket to visit the palace, get the free audio guide that will explain the details about the rooms and their furnishings. To get to Rogalin, get the bus number 699 in Kórnik.
Only one and half an hour away from Poznan by train you can reach a pearl of Polish baroque, Rydzyna. Beautiful tenement houses on the market square are just a foretaste of what you’re going to see further – the biggest castle in Greater Poland created in the 17th century by one of the greatest late baroque architects that worked in Poland, Pompeo Ferrari. The mansion was for four years the seat of Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński. After losing the crown during the Great Northern War, Leszczyński sold the partially destroyed castle to Sułkowski family who made it magnificent again. In the 19th century many independence fighters and intellectuals such as poets Adam Mickiewicz or Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz visited the castle. Destroyed during the liberation in 1945 by the Red Army, it was rebuilt in the 70s to serve as a hotel with conference centre. Reaching the castle from the market square you will enter to the whole complex through the court of honour. Do not skip the interiors with Sea and 4 Seasons Hall and definitely take a walk through the English landscape garden located, just the same as the castle, on island linked by a bridge.
Reachable from Poznań by train, Wolsztyn hides plenty of attractions! The best known is the only railway depot for steam locomotives in the world that is still working. It is a place where you can see locomotives, garages and learn how those machines are maintained. After that, head to the heritage park created to show how villages in the western Greater Poland in the breakthrough of the 19/20th centuries looked like. There are 15 examples of interiors presented in the open-air museum to show how different members of the society lived. It’s still not the end of the museums of Wolsztyn! There is also a Museum of Robert Koch, Nobel Prize Winner for the research on tuberculosis who lived here for 8 years. Unfortunately, it’s open only on specific dates so make sure you check the museum website before your visit. Worth seeing is also the villa of Marcin Rożek that hosts museum of his name. This famous sculpturer is the one who, among many others, created the bust of Frederic Chopin in the oldest public park in Poznań. The house itself is also of his design. Close to Wolsztyn Lake, it’s a perfect spot to start the walk towards the palace to which leads path between trees.
Willing to start practicing shinrin-yoku? No better place for that than Greater Poland National Park! Located just 15 kms from Poznan, it protects the landscape influenced by the glacier 70-10 thousand years ago. The main headquarters of the park is situated in Jeziory, in a villa built for Arthur Greiser, war criminal and Reich Governor of Reichsgau Wartheland, part of Polish territory annexed by the Nazis during the II World War. One of our favourite spots of the park is Góreckie Lake. From its banks there can be seen an island with the ruins of the castle that was given as a wedding gift to Klaudyna Potocka by her brother, Tytus Działyński (one of the owners of Kórnik castle and creator of its library). Unfortunately, swimming or sailing in the lake is strictly prohibited since it’s a protected area. Worth mentioning is also a viewpoint in Osowa Góra, unfortunately currently closed due to technical problems. After relaxing in nature, you can visit nearby Puszczykowo, the most popular summer resort for the citizens of Poznań in the 19th century. Back in those days the place was so popular that trains from Poznań arrived here every 10 minutes! Right now it hides a lot of beautiful villas. Start in Podleśna street (numbers 4, 10 and 17), Cienista street (number 1), Wiosenna street (number 22) and Poznańska street (number 26) and then move to the other part of the city, to Ratajskiego street where you can find villa of the patron of the street, the former mayor of Poznań and Słowackiego street with a Museum of Arkady Fiedler. This place, run by the family of the great traveller, exhibits many items related to his travels as well as books he wrote in more than 30 books in different languages. Sometimes a bit kitschy, although definitely the best place to get to know this inspiring person!
Perfect for car users, this route will get you familiar with Puszcza Zielonka. 80% of this landscape park are forests, no wonder why the wood was a pretty popular construction material in here. Quite obvious is also the fragility of the wooden buildings, those best preserved are the churches because they were always looked after by a guardian and pretty often were located on hills which saved them from floods. Those located in Puszcza Zielonka are just a small percent of 200 sacred buildings made out of wood in Greater Poland but because of their surroundings they are among the most attractive. The whole route covers around 100 kms but if you don’t have the whole day for the trip, try to visit at least those closest to Poznań, in Kicin, Uzarzewo and Wierzenica. From May to September on sunny days, get to viewpoint called Virgin’s Mountain (Dziewicza Góra). This place earned its name thanks to the female Order of Cisterians that owned it. From the observation deck you can see the panorama of the Puszcza Zielonka landscape park.
Almost 2 hours’ ride from Poznań by car will be compensated by the view of one of the most unusual castles in Poland. The current look of the building is a result of three reconstructions conducted by three owners of the mansion. The last reconstruction was done in the 19th century by Izabella Czartoryska, who became the landlady after her wedding with Jan Działyński. Castle was the present from her father-in-law, Tytus Działyński, the same one who gave the castle in Greater Poland National Park to his sister after she got married. It must have been great to have him as a relative! 😉 Izabella decided to rebuild the mansion in the style that resembled castles from the Loire Valley in France and added renaissance elements from southern Europe such as stairs inspired by the stairs of Palace Bargello in Florence or floor inspired by the Siena’s Cathedral. In spite of the fact she didn’t spend much time with her husband (rumours say it was a white marriage and they were both not very interested in each other), they shared a hobby of collecting pieces of art such as antique Greek vases. Unfortunately, many of the valuable pieces were stolen by the Nazis during the II World War. They were partially returned and are now exposed inside the castle. After seeing the exhibition, get some fresh air in the arboretum, one of the oldest and biggest English landscape gardens.
One of five first cities created by the first ruler of Poland, Mieszko the I, Gniezno is often considered to be the first capital of Poland. Since in the 10th century it is hard to speak about capitals, we would rather agree on the theory that the heart of the first country was wherever the prince stayed. However, in Gniezno 5 coronations were carried out, starting from son of Mieszko the I, Bolesław the Brave, the first king of Poland. All of them took place in the Gniezno Cathedral. Enter the temple to visit one of the most impressive pieces of medieval art in Poland – Gniezno Doors. They are decorated with 18 bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the life of Saint Adalbert (Święty Wojciech) and are among few preserved Romanesque bronze doors in Europe. If you want to see what kind of motorcycles and house equipment we used during the communist times, head to Muzeum Zabytków Kultury Technicznej. Those interested in the beginnings of Polish state, should visit Muzeum Początków Państwa Polskiego. Just like in Wolsztyn, there is also a railway depot for steam locomotives in Gniezno (it can be visited only in guided tours organized by the museum). For a walk through the city centre use the App Królika Goń (Chase the Rabbit) or take a map from the Tourist Info Point to discover the sculptures of Polish kings that were coronated in Gniezno as well as rabbit’ monuments depicting professions such as hockey player, rich merchant or participant in the Greater Poland Uprising. Fans of craft beers will be satisfied after visit in Dobry Browar. All of that only 30-50 minutes by train from Poznań.
If you always dreamt of spending a night in a castle, do not think any longer and book a room in Antonin castle. Created for Antoni Radziwiłł (from whom it took its name) by Carl Friedrich Schinkel, the most talented Prussian architect of the time, it was inspired by the Jagdtschloss’es, hunting palaces from the 17th century, where German kings and princes relaxed after successful hunt. That’s why the residence is decorated with deer and moose heads. Twice visited by the famous Polish pianist, Fryderyk Chopin, Antonin castle hosts the festival and concerts of his name. Take a walk around the castle to see the rest of the buildings of the complex created in a Swiss style, enter a nature reserve Wydymacz or take a bath in Szperek lake. Those going to Antonin by car can visit the classicist palace in Lewków surrounded by a beautiful park or eclectic palace in Sobótka and stop in Ostrów Wielkopolski to admire one of few examples of Moorish revival architecture at New Synagogue which at its form refers to synagogues in Berlin or Budapest. Check the schedule of Jazz w Muzeum (Jazz in Museum) concerts, created to commemorate Polish artist Krzysztof Komeda. This jazz composer and pianist, known for creating music to “Rosemary’s baby” or “Knife in water” attended the secondary school in Ostrów Wielkopolski.
Described in the Polish national epic “Pan Tadeusz” palace is actually one of few places in current Poland visited by the author, national poet from the romanticism period, Adam Mickiewicz. He was travelling through Greater Poland writing poems, visiting manors and having love affairs. It is said that also in Śmiełów Mickiewicz had a lover, Konstancja Łubieńska. The classicist palace from the 18th century surrounded by landscape park always attracted famous people such as Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz, painter Wojciech Kossak or pianist, composer, politician and independence fighter Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Please mind that until the end of the 2023 the palace can be visited only as a part of an organized group, booked in advance. After strolling around the park surrounding the palace, go to the viewpoint Szwajcaria Żerkowska (Żerków Switzerland) to take a look at nearby moraine hills. The best is to get here by car since there is no public transportation.
Twenty minutes in train and you can discover this a bit abandoned village hiding church and monastery that in the past belonged to the Cistercian female order. Created in the 18th century by Giovanni Catenazzi and finished by Pompeo Ferrari, was converted to a psychiatric hospital. It became a silent witness of extermination of its patients by the Nazis as a part of Aktion T4. Right now the building hosts a school for the blind with the only in Poland museum dedicated to the problems and history of blindness (Muzeum Tyflologiczne) and Spatial Orientation Park created to help people with problems with sight to move around. Before reaching Akwen Tropicana, beach with palm trees and coconuts, where you can practice wakeboard, walk in the park surrounding neglected palace von Treskov. Before going back to Poznań visit Bartek oak, approximately 600-years-old tree.
Written for you by Zuza Michalska