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Still relatively undiscovered by European standards, Poland is a marvellous destination for tourists. Its medieval towns are home to countless architectural marvels, while up-and-coming city centres offer round-the-clock excitement in the form of fabulous restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. Rural Poland is a scenic delight, with unspoilt forests, crystal-clear lakes and long sandy beaches.
The capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596, Krakow was a famous centre of art and learning and remains one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Its colourful history can be seen in pristine old buildings such as the Renaissance-era Royal Wawel Castle, the Gothic St Mary’s Basilica and the historic trade pavilions of the Cloth Hall.
After being practically destroyed during World War II, Warsaw has been restored to its former glory as a vibrant city of palaces, churches and museums. The World Heritage–listed Old Town boasts some 700 years worth of architectural styles, while the city’s sophisticated restaurants are the best in Poland.
Not far from Krakow, the Wieliczka Salt Mine was constructed in the 13th century and remained in operation for over 700 years. Now functioning purely as a tourist attraction, the World Heritage–listed mine consists of over 200 km worth of tunnels, chambers and underground lakes. The portion of the mine that is open to the public houses stunning crystal chapels and exquisite sculptures carved from rock salt.