The former capital during medieval times is now Poland’s fifth-largest city, located between Warsaw and Berlin. Overshadowed by Gdańsk, Warsaw and Kraków, this compact city has excellent Polish cuisine, a Renaissance Old Town, a Gothic Cathedral and museums showcasing Poland’s history. Read our guide to a cheap weekend break in Poznań and visit as many of the 15 places listed.
Travel Essentials for a cheap weekend in Poznań
Airline: Wizz Air from London Luton (LTN) to Poznań (POZ). From £18, return.
To the city: Uber and Bolt are the best options for taxis. Bus 159 runs to the centre.
Cost: Uber is 25 PLN (£4.50). A 45-minute bus ticket is 6 PLN (£1.10).
Journey time to centre: 35 minutes by bus, 20 minutes by car.
Distance and direction from airport to centre: 7km (4.3 mile) west of the centre.
Need to know
Visa: From 1st January 2021, UK residents can visit for a maximum of 90 days in any 180 day period.
Travel: See the FCDO website.
Currency: Zloty (£1 = 5.5 PLN approximately).
Tips: 10% although not obligatory.
Travel Adapter: Type C and E.
Language: Polish, and some German.
Best time to visit: May until September. Winters are notoriously cold.
Time: GMT + 1.
Quick facts about Poznań
- Home to Poland’s most famous croissants.
- The only city mentioned in the Polish National Anthem.
- Known as the musical capital of Poland.
- 9th-century origins and one of the first Polish cities.
- Allegro, the Polish equivalent to Amazon formed here in 1999.
A cheap weekend break in Poznań – what to see
- Old Market Square (Stary Rynek w Poznaniu) – Free.
- Croissant Museum – 24 PLN (£4.35) for one adult.
- Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus Catholic Church – Free.
- Poznań Town Hall (Ratusz Poznański) – Free from the outside (currently closed).
- Museum of Musical Instruments – 12 PLN (£2.15) for one adult.
- Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislaus Catholic Church – 12 PLN (£2.15) for one adult.
- National Museum of Poznań (Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu) – 13 PLN (£2.35) for one adult.
- Imperial Castle (Zamek Cesarski) – 5 PLN (£0.80) for one adult.
- Enigma Cipher Centre – 20 PLN (£3.60) for one adult.
- June 1956 Events Monument – Free.
- Grand Theatre – Free from the outside.
- Most Teatralny Bridge – Free.
- Freedom Square and fountain – Free.
- Poznań Synagogue (Nowa Synagoga w Poznaniu) – Free from the outside (currently closed).
- Poznań Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul- 4.50 PLN (£0.80) for one adult.
Day 1 – Morning
Head for Kawa (Gołębia 3, 61-125 Poznań), a small independent espresso bar near the Old Town. The Honduran coffee blend, with its aromatic and fragrant hints of vanilla accompanied with a St. Martin’s Croissant, filled with crushed dates or figs, raisins, and cream, is an excellent way to start the day.
Along the strete is The Lesser Basilica of St. Stanislaus, known as the Parish Church, built in the 1600s. Sitting majestically on the fringes of the Old Town square with its pink Northern façade makes it one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Poland.
The Old Town Square or Stary Rynek is the city’s focal point. Admire the colourful merchant houses and the 16th-century town hall (Ratusz Poznański), with the rooms exhibiting Poland’s complex history. The tower clock displays two mechanical goats which lock horns daily at 1200 hrs, an event that generates a surprising amount of interest.
Several museums and attractions line the square, including the Croissant Museum, where 45-minute demonstrations explain how the famous Poznań croissants are made, and the Museum for Musical Instruments, with 16 galleries of rare instruments from all over the world. Look for those from Central Asia and Western Africa, including Benin, a country famous for witchcraft.
Nearby is the Military Museum of Wielkopolska (Stary Rynek 9, 61-772 Poznań), showcasing arms from Poland’s many conflicts, dating from the 11th century to the present.
Enjoy lunch at Na Winklu (Śródka 1, 61-125 Poznań), the food is tasty, and for less than 30 PLN (£5.40), one can enjoy a substantial meal. For vegan options try Krowarzywa (Kantaka 10, 61-712 Poznań). The chunky millet burger is wholesome and filling.
The first post-lunch stop is the impressive National Museum of Poznań (Marcinkowskiego 9, 61-745 Poznań), spread across two buildings with collections of Polish, European and contemporary art ranging from the 16th-century to the modern day.
The Polish art captivates Impressionism and Symbolism, with plentiful sculptures and the museum houses the only painting by Claude Monet in Poland, Beach in Pourville
As the evening draws in, enjoy fantastic craft beers at Jabeerwocky (Wrocławska 11, 61-838 Poznań), and then for dinner at Papierówka (widokiem na park, Zielona 8, 61-851 Poznań), for the Polish classics and dishes with a twist. For dessert, try the fruitful ice-creams at Lodziarnia Kolorowa (27 Grudnia 21, 61-737 Poznań). To party into the night, try Just Friends (Stary Rynek 80/82, 61-772 Poznań), a cosy bar in the main square.
Day 2 – Morning
First stop is the Imperial Castle (Święty Marcin 80/82, 61-809 Poznań), known as Zamek, costing 5,000,000 Deutsche Mark (DM) to build in 1910, At today’s market value, well over £100 million. The castle housed government offices during WW1 and WWII, with the plan to transform it into one of Adolf Hitler’s residences. It is the last monarchical residence in Europe.
The interior reflects Nazi architecture and the Third Reich, including balconied rooms with underfloor heating. The Marble, Birch and Walnut Rooms, originally the German emperor’s wartime living quarters, were transformed into a domicile for Adolf Hitler.
The modern Atrium and Grand Lobby now function as a modern multifunctional concert and performance hall.
Across the road is the Enigma Cipher Centre (Święty Marcin 78, 61-809 Poznań) telling the story of three Polish mathematicians who worked on breaking the enigma code before Alan Turing. The range of multimedia and interactive exhibitions are fascinating, exploring ciphering and coding. The audio tour, available in four languages, is recommended.
Grab lunch at Restauracja Momo (Szewska 2, 61-760 Poznań), perfect for seafood lovers with a fresh daily menu. Their speciality plate includes mussels, calamari, prawns and octopus.
Across the road is Adam Mickiewicz Park. Here two crosses commemorating the 1956 protests when workers rebelled against the Stalinist rule.
Walking through the park at the opposite end is the Grand Theatre (Fredry 9, 61-701 Poznań), perfect for ballet and opera at very reasonable prices. Next to the theatre is Most Teatralny Bridge, a popular spot for locals to look across the city from above the train lines.
Heading back towards the centre is Freedom Square or Wolności Square (plac Wolności 19, 61-738 Poznań), with the large fountain as the showcase. The 9-metre tall glass and metal structure has a wooden walkway running through the middle.
The Polish Synagogue, or Nowa Synagoga w Poznaniu (Stawna 10, 61-752 Poznań) was built 100 years ago in the heart of the Jewish quarter. In 1940 the German forces installed a full-size swimming pool inside, and the pool was in use until 2007.
The final stop is the Poznań Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul (Ostrów Tumski 17, 61-109 Poznań), one of Poland’s oldest churches from the 10th-century. The crypt holds the baptism bowl of Mieszko 1, the father of Poland’s first crowned king.
Street art in Poznań
The city has a good selection of street art and murals. The most famoius is 3D mural on the Środka Market Square (Śródka 3, 61-122 Poznań). Look out for the trumpeter on the roof. Another mural shows a map of Poznań which covers an entire wall of a large building.
The Blooms Boutique Hostel Inn & Apartments (Kwiatowa 2, 61-881 Poznańa) is a large hostel just a five minute walk from Old Town. It has 10-bed mixed dorms, which are noisy and fill up quickly. Be prepared to queue for the shower but a stay comes with complimentary tea and coffee. A single bed with an en-suite bathroom starts from 40 PLN (£8) per night.
PURO Hotel Poznań Stare Miasto (Stawna 12, 61-759 Poznań) is a 4-star hotel located in the Jewish district of Poznań. With modern furniture, contemporary artwork it is within walking distance of the main attractions. Standard doubles start at 280 PLN (£50) per night.
The luxurious City Park Hotel and Residence (Stanisława Wyspiańskiego 26, 60-751 Poznań) offers 35 rooms, a spa and wellness facility, the Cucina restaurant and the Whiskey Bar 88. Standard doubles start at 785 PLN (£140) per night.
Perhaps not the first choice for many when visiting Poland, but this city has an abundance of churches, cobbled streets, small cosy bars and good places to eat. Located at the midway point between Moscow and Paris, the city is laid-back with a large student population, and is perfect for a cheap European city break or last minute European city break. The Polish Złoty stretches far in the city; transport is very cheap, food is tasty annd plentiful by Polish standards, with a Żabka (similar to a 7-11) located on most streets for those on a tighter budget.
Read about our other cheap European city breaks.