JOIN US IN AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAL MICHOCKI FROM POZNAŃ, POLAND!
Michal is a 22 year old Poznań local. He is currently studying applied linguistics there and will soon start HR management. He can speak Polish, English, German and a little bit of Spanish. Besides languages he loves traveling and experiencing new places, not only abroad but also in Poznań.
Poznań is a modern european city on the Warta river in west-central Poland. It has a great history so there are many places to visit here for everyone, for every interest. There are plenty of museums, cafes, restaurants, cultural places, hotels etc.
The city is managed by Jacek Jaśkowiak, the mayor who believes that the power of the city is in its diversity. Poznań is an open and tolerant city for everyone. Last year Poznań was also declared as the best city in Poland for developing business.
When is the best time to visit Poznań?
The best time to visit Poznan is definitely summer. In summer the weather is obviously the best, it is sunny all the time and usually about 25-30 degrees so it is the best time to have a walk or sit in one of many restaurants or cafes on the streets. Also in summer there are many more cultural events than in any other time of the year.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of Poznań?
The public transport is very convenient, well organised and comfortable in Poznań. There are trams, buses and trains. Usually you can get everywhere by trams. You can purchase tickets in small grocery stores or in ticket machines located by the tram stops. The system is clear, there are great apps, maps of lines and it is also quite cheap. Also there are many kinds of sharing transport – city bikes, scooters, motors and shared cars.
When coming from the airport you can take a bus number 159 and in 20-35 minutes (depends on traffic jams) you will be in the main train station Poznan Glowny which is in the centre. It runs often and the bus stop is in front of the exit from the airport. Also you can just take a taxi or Uber because the airport is just 6 km from the centre.
What are the top three must visit places in Poznań?
Old Town : In the Old Town places not worth missing are mainly Main Square, Fara church, Town Hall, Royal Castle and Rogalowe Muzeum which is the Museum of traditional Poznan Croissants with the show of making it in English.
The Old Market Square or Stary Rynek amazes people for its architecture and is one of the finest old market squares in Europe. It is a large square with various shapes of colourful buildings, restaurants, cafés and pubs. It is hip and historical at the same time. For more on Old Market Square, check out the article by Laurel.
In the very heart of the Old Market Square you will find the most beautiful Town Hall. A clock with mechanical billy goats had been installed in the Town Hall in the year 1551 because of an interesting old legend behind it. Every day, as the clock strikes noon, two billy goats appear from above the clock who butt their horned heads 12 times. These mechanical goats of the Town Hall are quite popular in Poznań.
Fara Church also known as Parish Church of St. Stanislaus, is a beautiful baroque church with a pink facade and they have free organ concerts on Saturdays there.
Most of the buildings of historical importance in Poznań got destroyed during the second world war and were never completely restored back. However, between 2010 and 2016 the Royal castle underwent a total restoration, and is now fully open to public. Inside the castle you can visit the castle tower, observation decks, and Prince Przemysł I Hall.
Polish people take pride in making St. Martin’s croissant which is folded eighty-one times to give it a shape of a horse-shoe. They are also called poppy seed croissant by some. It is a popular Polish dessert, so much so that they have a whole museum called Rogalowe Muzeum dedicated to the history of baking croissants.
Ostrów Tumski, Poznań + Śródka : Ostrów Tumski or the Cathedral Island is an island between two branches of the river Warta in the city of Poznań in western Poland. It’s also known as the birthplace of Poland. The Cathedral Island is located very close to Malta which is a manmade lake with an artificial ski slope, an ice rink, a zoo, a number of shops and other attractions along its edges. In the underground of Poznań’s cathedral church there are relics of the first Polish cathedral and the tombs of Poland’s first rulers – Mieszko I and his son.
Śródka lies opposite to the island of Ostrów Tumski. Since Środa means ‘Wednesday’ in Polish, Śródka was named after it’s weekly Wednesday market. Today it is a popular restaurant district. If you go a bit further into the Srodka district from Brama Poznania you can spot a 3D mural, which is painted on the back of one of the buildings that face the church. It is worth seeing and capturing for all you shutterbugs.
Imperial Castle – CK Zamek (Cultural Centre) : Built originally as a royal residence the castle was completely renovated and made into the official quarters of Adolf Hitler during the second world war.Today it is one of Poland’s biggest cultural institutions.
Centrum Kultury Zamek now hosts more than 700 events and is now a cultural facility, with many exhibitions, a cinema and a children’s animation theatre. Guided tours of the castle in English are available for 150zł but must be booked in advance.
For more things to do in the hip underdog city of Poznań, click here.
What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from Poznań?
If you love nature you do not need to go far away from the city. Poznań has got 4 lakes in its boundaries. There are also many forests, parks and a zoo.
If you have time to go outside Poznań, check out the Rogalin and Kórnik castles.
Rogalin Castle : Rogalin is a small picturesque village in Greater Poland. It is a great day trip destination from Poznań. The distance between Poznań and Rogalin – Pałace is 19 km while the road distance is 33.5 km. There is no direct connection from Poznań to Rogalin – Pałace. However, you can take the train to Puszczykowko and then take the taxi to Rogalin – Pałace. Alternatively, you can take the train to Mosina and then take the taxi to Rogalin – Pałace.
Kórnik Castle : Kórnik Castle in Kórnik, a small town near Rogalin, is a pearl of regional architecture. Set only ten minutes away from Rogalin the Kórnik Castle was constructed in the 14th century by most likely the Górka family. The castle underwent remodelling in the 18th century for the Działyński family. It is also famous for its Arboretum – one of the largest dendrological gardens in Poland. It is full of azaleas and rhododendrons.
For more information on different castles in Poland, click here.
What is the most celebrated holiday of the year in Poznań?
It is definitely the 11th of November which is the day of independence of Poland as well as Saint Martin’s day. Specially in Poznań this day is celebrated more enthusiastically than any other Polish cities.
The whole event is about going to Saint Martins street, seeing the parade and eating the Saint Martins Croissants (Rogale świętomarcińskie), which are traditional sweet food from Poznań.
What is the most loved local food of Poznań? Is it a vegetarian friendly city?
Rogal świętomarciński (Saint Martins Croissant) : Saint Martins Croissant is a local speciality in Poznań. This baked horse-shoe shaped pastry is specially made on 11th of November to celebrate St.Martin’s day. It is filled with white poppy, almonds or walnuts and goes well with a cup of coffee. As the legend goes, St. Martin was once riding his white horse that lost it’s horse-shoe which in turn was picked up by a baker who made a pastry in the shape of a horse-shoe.
Pierogi ruskie (dumplings with potatoes, cheese and onion) : Pierogi ruskie are Polish dumplings that are stuffed with a cheese and potato filling. The dough used for making the dumplings is unleavened. It is said that Pierogi are brought from Poland by Saint Hyacinth who in turn brought it from Ukraine. Click here for the different kind of Pierogis one can try in Poland.
Poznań is vegetarian friendly. There are lots of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, especially in Jeżyce area but also in the main centre.
Where to head for shopping in Poznań?
Stary Browar – Stary Browar is a one-stop shop of art, restaurants, bars, cafes and shopping. Set in an old brewery, it is a unique complex which consists of offices, a hotel, an art gallery, over 210 stores and a park.
Posnania shopping centre : Is a huge mall with a plethora of options. It is the biggest one in the city with a movie theatre, food court, bowling alley etc.
Flea market : The Flea Market in the Stara Rzeźnia Garbary area takes place each weekend apart from the second Saturday of the month, between 6am and 2pm.
Antique Market : One of Poland’s largest Antiques Markets, taking place on every second Saturday of the month in the Stara Rzeźnia Garbary area between 5am and 2pm.
Click here for more information on flea and antique market.
Which are the best streets of Poznań worthy of taking a stroll on?
Półwiejska Street – It is the main pedestrian area with numerous shops. Check out this happening street while going to CK Zamek. Before entering Stary Rynek turn right to get to Półwiejska street. The street starts with Stary Marych (picture above) which is a popular character from an old radio broadcasts dedicated to Poznan and leads directly to Stary Browar.
If you have time take a leisurely walk on Wrocławska, Fredry and Ostrówek as well.
Can you suggest a place from where one can get the best view of the city?
It is definitely the view point from Royal Castle which is also centrally located. When in Poznań the panoramic view from the Observation Deck in the Royal Castle is worth checking out. Although keep in mind that it remains closed on Monday while entry is free on Tuesdays. For more updated information check here.
Would you suggest any shows in Poznań to drama, music or art lovers? Where can one spot street art in your city?
Every summer there are many drama, music and dance shows in the Main Market Square. It is also worth checking out what’s on offer at CK Zamek– our main cultural institution.
Art lovers should visit Stary Browar – it is mainly for shopping but is also an art centre. National Museum and main park Cytadela which is the biggest Park in Poznań around 100 hectares and is where you can find sculptures of artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. It also has a meadow in the middle where various concerts and festivals are organized.
Poznań has an amazing street-art scene. It is pretty diverse with street art made by world famous artists as well as those done by local artists. Although you can find it almost everywhere in the city, you can be sure to find them in Jeżyce, Centrum and Śródka. In Jeżyce mainly it is poetry on the building but it written in Polish.
How hard is it to travel in your city without knowing the local language?
It is easy, public transport signs are in Polish and English. Most people under the age of 40 speak English so communication is not a problem at all. In restaurants and cafes staff too speak English.
Would you recommend any local apps for food, transport or hidden gems in Poznań?
Jakdojade.pl – This is a great app which shows how to get around in all major Polish cities. It is used not only by tourists but also locals.
Free Walking Tour – I can highly recommend this tour. It is free of charge and takes place every day at 11.45 AM. The guides are friendly, nice and have excellent knowledge about the interiors of the city. The tour is in English. (I took part in it twice with my foreign friends.)