As the third largest city of Poland, Szczecin remains an unknown, off-the-beaten-track destination in Northern Poland among many tourists favourite Polish cities, like Warsaw, Krakow, or Gdansk. Unpopular as this city may sound, Szczecin has a lot to offer to its visitors.
There’s no need for an expensive guided tour, as you can simply follow the red or blue lines on the roads around Szczecin, starting from its Central Station. These lines mark the routes leading to the most important tourist attractions in the city. Let’s figure out why this unknown city is an amazing place to pay a short visit to.
One of the rare port cities in Poland
The historic capital of the West Pomerania region is located at the beginning estate of Oder River (Odra Zachodnia), close to Baltic Sea. It is the only port, and harbour city, of Poland that is connected by the inland waterways with Southern Europe through the Bay of Szczecin – to the Baltic Sea.
Oder River along with numerous beautiful bridges, cranes, and dockyards on its banks, give a breath-taking unique maritime view of the city. You can also enjoy the alluring view of Oder River from the top of the Waly Chrobrego building, which lies just next to the Maritime University, and Voivodeship Office. By the bank, there are wide ranges of events organized every summer, including the annual Days of the Sea (June), oldtimers meeting, The Tall Ship Races, etc.
The ‘floating garden’ of Poland
With green and wand water areas taking over half of the city space, Szczecin is surrounded with dozens of nearby forests, parks, and islands on the Oder River. As the city itself looks like a floating garden, the long term project ‘Floating Garden 2050’ was established here.
Go on a picnic at Jasne Blonia park, take a sightseeing boat out on Oder River, or hike around Jezioro Szmaragdowe lake in the South-East region of Szczecin. You will be surprised at how green and splendid this city is.
There are numerous to-dos
Szczecin organizes dozens of events for culture, music, film, art, and sport lovers every year. Especially during summer months, festivals, concerts, and events are organized quite intensively. International music festivals, art festivals, and film festivals are organized frequently along with swimming championships and tennis tournaments.
Main museums to check out are: the National Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Multimedia Museum. At the Multimedia Museum, you can find a large exhibition that displays all means of transportation founded from the 18th century.
Restaurant food here is cheap and tasty
As everything here is charged using the Polish zloty (1 USD = approximately 4 PLN), it seems cheap to eat out, especially in comparison with Northern Europe. Most highly recommended places to go for lunch or dinner are Colorado, Porto Grande, or Columbus. These restaurants all belong to the Waly Chrobrego chain, along with Chrobry Pub.
With no more than 20 USD (roughly 80 PLN), you can enjoy delicate slices of salmon marinated in dill and salt, with Parmesan cheese and capers, or creamy, yet crunchy chicken wings marinated in a chilli-based sauce served with garlic sauce, and even restaurant-quality rib-eye served with roasted potatoes and asparagus. These are all served at Colorado Steakhouse. If you opt for traditional Polish food, Karczma Polska Pod Kogutem is the place to be.
It is well connected to other cities
If you still think Szczecin is too small to explore, it’s always easy, and cheap, to travel to surrounding cities in Germany, or Poland (Warsaw, Gdansk, Sopot, Wroclaw, etc.) by train. You will be surprised to find that the train fare from here to Berlin can cost as low as 5 USD (20 PLN), in cases of traveling in a group with a minimum of 5 people.
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