We do it in many areas of life and when it comes to travel, certain stereotypes exist that often have no foundation of fact to them.
Case in point – before visiting the city of Lublin in Poland, I always thought the country was cold, flat and not very diverse. It didn’t take long for me to realise there was so much more to this country than I could ever have appreciated.
The city of Lublin lies in the east of the country, in a region collectively known as Lesser Poland. Once you enter the city, magnificent Gothic and Romanesque buildings greet you, market stalls litter the pavements and cobbled streets lead to secret alleyways and through wonderfully decorated archways.
Labelled the Old Town, this beautiful part of the city dates back to the 16th Century and boasts a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, whilst still managing to retain its quaintness.
Lublin itself boasts some wonderful accommodation, such as the Grand Hotel Lublinianka. One of the oldest hotels in the city, it fits in as a piece of Lublin history – it’s a prime location close to the downtown allows you to soak up as much Lublin culture as possible!
Of course, if history’s your thing, then a stroll through the Old Town will lead you to the magnificent Lublin Castle – now acting as a museum – and parts of the incredible fortress date back to 14th Century! And onsite is also the equally magnificent Holy Trinity Chapel – a meeting of Catholic and Byzantine art seems to amalgamate East and West – which accounts for why Lublin is known as the ‘Gate to the East’.
And if that’s not enough, then Lublin’s fantastic array of restaurants and nightlife is sure to please you – the city really comes alive at night, with the old cobbled streets transformed into a bustling hive of excitement. And if that doesn’t convince you, then the wonderful selection of local craft beers sure will!
But for those wanting to truly escape the hustle and bustle of city life, the Lublin region has so much more to offer – one such example being the excellent SPA Naleczów, a fantastic spa and hotel complex situated 25km outside of Lublin. The spa itself features a comprehensive selection of health and well-being treatments and situated in one of the most beautiful regions of the country means you really can just unwind and relax.
Another must-see of the region is the stunningly quaint and picturesque town of Kazimierez Dolny – located on the right bank of the Vistula river, it became very popular with artists in the 19th Century, and it’s not hard to see why. You feel as if you’ve been transported back to the 16th Century, with gorgeous Renaissance buildings and striking cathedrals decorating the skyline.
Yet unlike many of these quaint little villages scattered across Central Europe, the town feels untouched by tourism, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the rich history and culture the town possesses. For a real treat, take a raft ride down the Vistula river, which has remained natural and untouched since the 1500s.
Charming, un-spoilt and with no shortage of interesting things to do, it’s safe to say that the Lublin region really is a part of Poland that everyone should see more of. So come on over, crack open some of the local Vodka and enjoy some famous Polish hospitality!