Poznan is probably not the first city that pops into your mind when you’re planning your getaway weekend trip, unless you are one of those die-hard football fans (who I occasionally meet while travelling) interested in visiting the city of the famous football club – Lech Poznan.
Poznan is an under-the-radar Polish city that is growing in popularity year after year. And no surprise there! It’s one of the most budget-friendly destinations in Europe.
It has a lot to offer from beautiful architecture, historic landmarks, and nice nature spots to lovely atmospheric cafes and amazing food (the dumplings here are legendary!).
And let’s be honest – it’s such a relief to be in a place that is not overrun with tourists and where you can truly unwind.
I may be biased (it’s my home town) but I consider it one of the most picturesque cities in Poland, right next to Krakow and Gdansk.
Here is a list of 9 best things to see in Poznan during your visit especially if you travel with your camera and are on the lookout for photographic treasures.
- Old Market Square
- Parish Church of St Stanislaus (Fara Church)
- The Royal Castle and the Observation Deck
- Poznan Cathedral of St Peter and Paul
- Brama Poznania
- The Srodka Story 3D Mural
- Stary Browar
- Malta Lake and its surroundings
Old Market Square
Poznan’s Old Market Square is the most vibrant place in the city. It’s considered by many one of the most beautiful town squares in Europe.
Located in the very heart of the Old Town, it’s lined with colourful craftsmen’s houses, museums, coffee bars, and restaurants.
You can spend hours here walking around its charming medieval streets, watching the world go by from the terraces of quirky cafes (one more instagrammable than the other), hunting for souvenirs, or taking panoramic photos of historical landmarks.
Located right in the middle of the Square, Poznan Town Hall is the main attraction and one of the most magnificent Renaissance buildings in Poland.
Watch out for a display of two metal billy goats at the top of the Town Hall who butt their heads 12 times at midday to the great joy of locals and tourists alike. It’s preceded by the striking of the clock and a traditional bugle call played by the municipal trumpeter (which always gives me goosebumps).
What not to miss in the Old Market Square:
Bamberg Girl’s Fountain
The statue of the Bamberg peasant girl carrying jugs used in winemaking. It commemorates German farmers from Bavaria who settled in Poznan in the beginning of the 18th century.
LOCATION: just behind the colourful craftsmen houses.
Pranger of Poznan
A replica of a post where criminals used to serve their punishment in the Middle Ages.
LOCATION: near the northeast corner of the Town Hall.
Fountains of Mars, Apollo, Proserpina, and Neptune
The sculptures depicting characters from Roman mythology.
LOCATION: each of the Square’s four corners.
Poznan Croissant Museum and Experience
Poznan Croissant Museum is a place where you can learn the secrets behind the making of traditional Poznan croissants (they are delicious filled with poppy seed filling). If baking (or eating 🙂 pastries) is right up your alley, it’s a fun place to visit.
LOCATION: 23 Klasztorna Street
Parish Church of St Stanislaus (Fara Church)
This beautiful Baroque Church, opened in 1705, is one of the most impressive historic monuments in Poland. You can find a little calm here after a busy day.
Located in the very heart of the Old Town District, it has a beautiful facade and a spectacular interior. Pay attention to the monumental Corinthian columns, and beautiful organ.
Legend has it that the spirit of the benefactor of the instrument was once seen on the balcony here right next to the organ, and still haunts the church. Well… maybe you should not come here at night 🙂
Once you leave the church, take a stroll along picturesque Swietoslawska Street. You will see Weranda Café right on your left. It’s one of the prettiest cafes in the area, offering delicious breakfasts, and desserts (apple cake with ice-cream is just heavenly!)
The Royal Castle and the Observation Deck
Located west of the Old Town, Poznan Royal Castle dates from the 13th century. It was part of the city fortifications in the past. Today the building houses the Museum of Applied Arts.
I would highly recommend visiting it for the best panorama of the city from its huge observation deck. It’s easy to get to the viewing platform via elevators and no climbing is necessary.
Once you’re there, you can get some amazing city-scape shots.
But don’t forget to take a snap of an instaworthy dragonfly as well.
Poznan Cathedral of St Peter and Paul
Poznan Cathedral, located on the island of Ostrow Tumski (only 15 min away from the Old Town Square), is one of the oldest churches in Poland and the first Polish Cathedral.
Its origins date back to 968. It is also the burial place of the first Polish rulers. You will find the sarcophagi of the first Polish king Boleslaw Chrobry inside the Golden Chapel. It’s definitely worth visiting inside.
Once you leave the Cathedral and head towards Bishop Jordan Bridge, you will see a glass-covered walkway.
It leads to Brama Poznania, an Interactive Centre for the History of Ostrow Tumski island. You can view a lovely panorama of the city from the top of the building.
The Srodka Story 3D Mural
If you love street art, you’re in for a treat! There are many photogenic murals to explore in different parts of Poznan. You can find them following a map of murals, graffiti, neon signs, and typographies of Poznan which is available for free in any Tourist Information Point in the city.
Out of all the murals, the Srodka Story 3D Mural is the most impressive street art masterpiece in Poznan. The mural is meant to depict the history of the neighbourhood and shows what its streets looked like hundreds of years ago. It was inspired by a 1920’s photograph of the area.
There is also a nice art installation called “Green Symphony” located on one of the building walls nearby.
ADDRESS: Cybinska 13 Street
It represents gigantic music instruments, pipes, and gutters that make sound when raindrops fall on them. Definitely come here when it rains!
Housed in an old 19th-century brewery, Stary Browar is the most beautiful Shopping, Arts, and Business Centre in Poznan.
I encourage you to visit it, not necessarily to go on a shopping spree (although you will be spoilt for choice if you do – there are around 200 shops inside!) but first and foremost to see its architecture.
It’s innovative, original, and camera ready. No wonder it has won many awards.
If you have time, go visit its Art Courtyard (the area that hosts art exhibitions and artistic events), take a coffee break in one of its numerous cafés, or go for a traditional Polish dinner.
Here are some outdoor sculptures that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Poznan. They are real symbols of the city.
- Stary Marych (Old Marych) – a bronze statue of a grumpy man riding a bicycle. He’s a fictional character who once appeared in a radio program speaking the funny Poznan dialect. The statue symbolizes the typical Poznanian.
- LOCATION: Polwiejska Strzelecka Street
- Poznan Goats Sculpture – the sculpture of goats represents Poznan the best and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
- LOCATION: currently at the corner of Wodna Street and Kolegiacki Square
- Zyga Lamplighter Statue – this lesser-known statue is a tribute to all lamplighters who lit the lamps in Poznan each day before dusk in the days before electricity.
- LOCATION: Grobla Street within the Lukasiewicz Square
Malta Lake and its surroundings
Malta Lake is a perfect place to visit if you want to burn all the calories after eating Polish dumplings and other energy dense Polish specialities. It’s an artificial lake (well known for international kayaking and rowing events) surrounded by green spaces and woodland.
It’s perfect for long walks, jogging, cycling, skiing (there is an artificial ski slope you can try even in the summer), or swimming (there is one of the largest of the Poland Aqua-Parks, where you can indulge yourself in thermal baths and azure water swimming pools).
There is also a huge 116-hectare Zoo by Malta Lake. Being an animal lover, I generally don’t like zoos but this one is quite special and worth visiting for a couple of reasons. It’s a massive park and the animal enclosures are so huge that you may not even see all the species. Most of the animals have ample of space to move around like in their natural habitat. The zoo is also home to many rescued animals.
To get to the zoo, jump a Maltanka miniature train pulled by a real locomotive. It runs to the zoo along very scenic Malta shore and woodland.
Right next to the Zoo there is a hidden gem not many people know about – a trail called “A Walk Among The Treetops” which is a wood installation located at the eastern edge of the Malta Lake.
The wooden walkway is up to 13 meters above the ground and it allows you to walk among the branches of the trees.
I highly recommend it if you are a nature or photography lover!
The trail starts from the side of Czekalska street (not too far from the entrance to the zoo).
I hope this article inspired you to visit Poznan and explore the hidden treasures of the city with your own eyes (and through the lens of your camera of course!).