Poznań is a beautiful city to visit on a trip to Poland. The Old Market Square is famous for its Renaissance-style architecture and colorful buildings, not to mention its many museums. There are plenty of activities and sights to see in the city, and we want to make sure you don’t miss any of them. That is why we have compiled a list of the best things to do in Poznań. From fantastic museums to waterparks and where to eat the best pierogi, you’ll find them all here. So what are you waiting for? Start scrolling and planning your next adventure!
Wander Through Old Market Square
Visiting the Old Market Square is one of the best free things to do in Poznań. Tourists can wander through the alleyways and marvel at the magnificent Renaissance buildings, then stop in at one of the restaurants and bars to have a drink and a bite to eat.
The square is known for its incredible architecture, especially the Gothic Town Hall, which is now the Historical Museum of Poznań. It is one of the main attractions in the square, although there are many museums in the surrounding area as well. Close to the Town Hall is a row of colorful Merchant Houses that liven up the Gothic architecture. These old buildings stand where merchants would have had wooden stalls selling fish, candles, and other products in the Middle Ages. In the 16th century, the stalls were replaced by these beautiful narrow buildings. If you look up at house number 17, you will notice a coat of arms bearing a herring and three palm trees; this was the merchants guild coat of arms.
As you continue through the square, you will also stumble upon a medieval pillory. This is where corporal punishment would have been carried out back in the day. Other notable monuments and attractions in the square include the Weighing House, where many local weddings take place; the four fountains in each corner of the square, which represent Mars, Neptune, Proserpina, and Apollo; and the Guardhouse.
Old Market Square is also home to many street performers and events, such as the June street fair Jarmark Świętojański and other cultural events.
Watch the Goats Headbutt at Poznań City Hall
If there is one thing you have to do in Poznań, it’s watching the mechanical goats headbutt!
This sounds like an odd thing to be excited about, but to the people of Poznań, it’s a tradition. In the Old Town Market on the Town Hall building, there’s a small set of doors underneath the clock. Every day at noon, the doors open and two billy goats pop out to duel it out! The goats butt heads 12 times before they are pulled back into the building and the doors close. This strange tradition has quite an amusing backstory.
The story goes that in the 16th century, the original Town Hall burnt down after a major fire, and in 1550, the building was rebuilt. The mayor wanted the new building to have a grand tower with a clock, and the city decided to throw a large party to celebrate the Town Hall’s reopening. The party was to include a grand feast, and a chef by the name of Pietrek was put in charge of the meal. Pietrek was honored to cook the feast and got to work cooking the main dish of venison leg. As the venison leg was roasting over the fire, Pietrek took a break from the kitchen and headed outside to see the new clock on the hall. When he returned, he found that the venison leg had fallen off its roasting stick and burned in the fire. Desperate to salvage the meal and his reputation, he snuck out to a nearby field and stole two billy goats to cook in place of the venison. However, once he got the goats into the kitchen, they escaped and ran up the stairs of the tower. All the partygoers who were in the market square were shocked when they looked up at the clock and saw the two billy goats knocking heads and fighting! The party and the mayor erupted in laughter at the absurd sight. Pietrek was forgiven as the goat fight became the highlight of the night, and afterward, the mayor requested a mechanism of two goats be put under the clock (like a cuckoo bird) so that the event could be remembered.
Learn About the History of Poland With LEGO
If you are wondering what to do in Poznań with kids, then look no further. HistoryLand is a family-friendly interactive museum that teaches visitors about the history of Poland through LEGO. The installations in the museum are built of both LEGO and interactive effects depicting key events in Poland’s history. After wandering through the museum, parents can take their kids to the playroom to build their own LEGO masterpieces or head over to the coffee shop for a cup of joe and a snack. The gift shop also sells unique LEGO sets to take home.
Take a Day Trip to Szreniawa
The small town of Szreniawa is a great destination for those looking to do some sightseeing in Poznań and the countryside.
Szreniawa’s main attraction is the National Museum of Agriculture. Here, visitors can learn about the history of food production and the cultural influences that have helped shape the way we farm today. The museum has permanent collections on folk culture, land reclamation, food processing, fertilization, and much more. There is also an open-air beekeeping exhibition and a brewery that offers tours and tastings. The many other collections at this large museum mean that visitors can easily spend a day here.
Another fantastic attraction in the town is Wielkopolski National Park, where visitors can hike along 53 miles of trails that lead to lakes, a nature center, and a 17th-century church with a lookout tower. If you are looking for a unique and fun thing to do, then check out the Mosińska Kolej Drezynowa in Mosina on the other side of the national park. Here, tourists and rail enthusiasts can pedal and ride a draisine through the park. Draisines are light rail vehicles powered by a crew of pedallers (you) and a driver. This is a lovely way to see the beautiful nature in the area while getting exercise with the whole family!
Stroll Through the University Botanical Garden
The University Botanical Garden is one of the best places to visit in Poznań.
This beautiful garden offers tourists many paths to stroll along while taking in the immaculate flora and fauna. Visitors can easily spend an hour or two wandering through the paths, taking pictures, and seeing sculptures, birds, and fountains. The University Botanical Gardens are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Rent a Standup Paddleboard at Lake Rusałka
If you’re looking for a fun thing to do in Poznań on a hot summer’s day, then why not go for a swim and a paddle at Lake Rusałka?
This man-made lake is located about a 10-minute drive from the city center and offers a sandy beach to picnic at and watersport rentals. Visitors looking to head out on the water can rent either a stand-up paddleboard or a waterbike to explore the lake. The rental shop is located beside Plaża Jezioro Rusałka and Piach Bar, so afterward, visitors can grab a drink or lunch at the bar.
Have a Picnic at Sołacki Park
Sołacki Park is a beautiful place to enjoy an afternoon stroll or a picnic with the family. The park boasts two lovely ponds and tranquil greenspaces with wild mushrooms, statues, benches, and a playground. If you don’t feel like packing a lunch, then you can make your way to the restaurant or café in the park for a bite to eat or a coffee. Trams 11 and 14 stop right at the park, making it easy to get to and from the city center.
Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Another must-see in Poznań is the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mary Magdalene, and St. Stanislaus (also known as Poznań Fara). This 16th-century Jesuit church has a gorgeous pink facade with an equally stunning interior of large domes and beautiful architecture. Tourists are welcome to visit the church any day between 6:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. but are asked not to come in during holy masses.
Tourists have two options when visiting: They can wander through the church alone, or they can take a guided tour of the church and grounds. If you plan on visiting alone, try to go on a Saturday as there is an organ concert every Saturday at 12:15 p.m. There are three different guided tours to choose from. The first tour is the 40-minute Saints tour. The second tour is called the Unknown Places and takes tourists to the nooks and crannies of the church, showing off the Baroque architecture and telling lesser-known stories. The third tour is an underground tour of the church, which is only available on Saturdays at 12:45 p.m.
Take a Stroll on Cathedral Island and Visit Brama Poznania
Cathedral Island, or Ostrów Tumski, is an incredibly unique attraction in Poznań. Snuggled in the fork of the Warta River, this peaceful space is ideal for those looking for a break from the crowds of the city center and Market Square.
The history of this lush paradise is quite interesting, but what is more interesting is the layout of the area. In the center of the island is the Poznań Cathedral, a large Gothic-style basilica with Romanesque relics. Surrounding the cathedral is a semicircle of smaller chapels. The landscape of the island boasts lush fruit trees, lovely garden spaces, and medieval embankments along the riverside, offering tourists a tranquil place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Cathedral Island was home to Mieszko I, the first king of Poland and the cathedral’s founder.
Connected to the island by a pedestrian bridge is Brama Poznania, an interactive high-tech museum that focuses solely on Cathedral Island. Here, tourists can learn about how the island brought Catholicism to the area and to Poland in the 10th century, and the important events that took place on the island that helped shape the country we know today. This is not your average museum, though, as there are no artifacts or relics. It is solely an audio, visual, and multimedia experience that takes you on two separate journeys. The first part guides tourists through an interactive exhibition in the museum, and the second part guides tourists around Cathedral Island via an audio guide.
This is a great museum for those who are normally not fans of museums and their overload of information; here, the experience is captivating and aims to be more informative using other senses like sound and touch.
Learn About Military Weapons
If you are interested in learning about armored vehicles and military weapons, then consider a visit to the Museum of Armaments or Museum of Armored Weapons.
The Museum of Armaments is located in Citadel Park in a 19th-century fort and showcases both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Inside, tourists can explore an old bomb shelter, learn about the fighting in Poznań in 1945, and see Soviet and German armaments. Outside, there is a large collection of military equipment like helicopters, armored vehicles, and airplanes.
The Museum of Armored Weapons is located on the northwest side of the city, next to the Poznań Airport, and features displays and exhibits on tanks, guns, and other large artillery weapons.
Both museums are a must-see for World War I and World War II enthusiasts.
Go Skiing at Malta Ski
Did you know you can go skiing in Poznań? Yeah, you can! At Malta Ski, kids and families can enjoy loads of activities.
Malta Ski is a year-round amusement park offering plenty of rides and attractions like miniputt in the summer and a ski hill in the winter. The park offers many ski and snowboard lessons for a reasonable price, along with equipment rentals and two ski hills. Ideally, this is a place to practice your skiing and snowboarding and take lessons as it is not a big hill.
Explore Exotic Plants at Poznań Palm House
The Poznań Palm House is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Poznań.
This botanical garden boasts 10 different pavilions with ecosystems and plants from the rain forest to the desert and tropical zones. There is also an aquarium with over 170 different fish species. Outside, the Poznań Palm House also houses Wilson Garden, which is an impressive fenced-in space divided into two sections. On the north side, visitors will find a more English-style layout with rolling hills, alpine trees, and ponds. The south side of the garden has a more French-influenced layout, with geometrical patterns and paths. After a tour through the gardens and house, visitors can head to the on-site café for a cup of coffee or an afternoon snack.
Tour the Imperial Castle
A great way to spend a day in Poznań is with a visit to the Imperial Castle. The castle was built in the early 1900s as the residence for Wilhelm II, the last German emperor. During World War I, the castle changed its function. The bottom apartments were held as housing for the President of the Republic of Poland, and the rest of the castle was used by the University of Poznań. During the Nazi occupation in World War II, the castle was completely rebuilt. Today, it is home to the ZAMEK Cultural Center.
The castle hosts many art and cultural events, such as concerts and temporary artists’ exhibits. Tourists can roam the castle grounds and rooms with a self-led tour, an audio tour, or a tour guide. Make sure to keep an eye on the center’s website for upcoming events as well!
Visit the National Museum
Calling all art enthusiasts! If you’re wondering which museum to visit in Poznań to view incredible European artwork, then you cannot miss the National Museum.
The museum is one of the largest and oldest in the country and houses pieces from many national and international artists. When touring the museum, visitors can use their smartphones to scan QR codes throughout the exhibitions and learn more about the artwork and history of the museum. This can be done as an audio guide with headphones or by reading on your phone. There are two separate areas in the National Museum: the old building and the new building, which are connected and easy to tour. The museum is quite large, so plan to spend a minimum of two hours here.
Ah, pierogi, the signature dish of Polish cuisine! This delicious potato-based dumpling is a must-try for anyone visiting Poland for the first time.
Pierogi can be served either sweet or savory. The savory pierogi tend to be more popular and are usually filled with potato and cheese and topped with sour cream. Sweet pierogi are usually stuffed with a fruit filling of blueberry, strawberry, or cherry. Some of the best places to try this traditional dish are the Pierożak Pierogarnia, the Pierogarnia Stary mlyn, and the Na Winklu.
Spend a Day at the New Zoo
Another great thing to do in Poznań is visit the New Zoo on the east side of the city!
This fantastic zoo is home to many animals, including monkeys, elephants, and zebras. The animals aren’t the only attraction at the New Zoo, though. There is also a free cable car train that takes tourists throughout the zoo and a playground for kids. The train rides are not available during winter visits.
Go Zip-Lining at Linowy Cascader Park
If you are looking for activities in Poznań that spark adrenaline and include heights, then consider going zip-lining at Linowy Cascader Park.
Pyrland Linowy Park offers thrilling rope courses for visitors of all ages. For those 16 years old and above looking for the ultimate thrill, then head to the high ropes course. Other courses available are a middle rope course, a low rope course, and a children’s rope course with safety nets suitable for those age three and up. The ultimate thrill at Pryland is the zip line, which is suitable for both kids and adults!
Pyrland Linowy Park is located on the east side of the city, about a 30-minute ride on public transport from the city center.
Check Out the Meteor Craters at Morasko Meteorite Nature Reserve
If you are looking to check out some of Poland’s nature, then you should consider heading to Morasko Meteorite Nature Reserve.
This gorgeous nature park is located on the outskirts of the city and is home to seven meteor craters. The park boasts some of the largest and one of the highest concentrations of craters in the world. The largest crater in the park is roughly 60 meters wide and 11.5 meters deep.
Getting to the Morasko Meteorite Nature Reserve is quite easy, as there is a bus stop right across from the trail. The trail is circular and well marked, but visitors should remember to wear good walking shoes. It takes roughly 30 minutes to walk along the trail and see some of the meteorites, but there are other trails nearby that visitors can also walk along.
Sample Polish Croissants at St. Martin’s Croissant Museum
When one thinks of croissants, one often thinks of the French. Yet the Polish are just as crazy about croissants!
St. Martin’s Croissant Museum is perfect for anyone who enjoys interactive learning and, well, sampling croissants. Visitors can learn about the history of the pastry in the city and get to help the Croissant Master make these delicious treats. This hands-on experience is hosted in a beautiful Renaissance-style building located on Old Market Square. Visitors can purchase tickets for the show in English, Polish, German, or French, but tickets must be purchased in advance.
Go Swimming at Termy Maltańskie Waterpark
On a hot summer day, why not cool off with a visit to one of the best Poznań attractions?
Termy Maltańskie waterpark is a fantastic aquatic center with plenty of fun for the whole family. Parents can lounge in the lazy river or indulge in a treatment at Spa 1306. There are four different areas to Termy Maltańskie: Spa 1306, the Aquapark, the World of Saunas, and the Sports Pools. In total, the complex houses over 15 indoor and outdoor pools, including waterslides, a beach, Turkish baths, and much more. The Aquapark has a restaurant where families can enjoy a nice lunch, and there are two Hawaiin-themed bars serving snacks and cocktails on the beach.
Termy Maltańskie is located about a 10-minute tram ride from the city center.
There you have them, the top things to do in Poznań. From delicious food to magnificent gardens and fantastic museums, Poznań has it all. All you have to do is plan out how many of these amazing attractions you can fit into your holiday. Good luck!