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Poland – an attractive destination for tourists from abroad

As Poland has  the beauty of nature, a friendly climate an interesting  history and culture, good food as well as high-quality services at a reasonable price.

Gdańsk, widok z góry na miasto

Every year, Poland is becoming more and more attractive for foreign tourists. Guests from abroad come to our country for their holidays, but they are also very eager and more and more often, come to visit us in connection with various events.

They come for concerts, meetings and business conferences, or simply – treating the trip as a nice way to spend time in an interesting, safe place.

As a result, Polish cities, including smaller ones, are recording an increase in foreign tourism. As a result, they are more and more often included in the rankings of many foreign travel agencies and portals.

Statistics

According to the Central Statistical Office, in January-November 2023, the number of foreign tourists in Poland amounted to 6,526,000 compared to 5,329,000 in the same period of 2022. The largest number of tourists, over 1,500,000 , came from Germany, from Ukraine almost 858,000, Great Britain 588,000, the USA 442,000, the Czech Republic 324,000 and from Italy 181,000.

The current data does not include the month of December, which is also a very attractive time for foreign tourists due to, the traditional way Christmas is celebrated in Poland and the build- up to it. In the last month of 2022, as many as  517,400 tourists came to visit us. 

The largest increases in foreign tourist coming to Poland, compared to the pre-COVID-19 period, were recorded from the Czech, Lithuanian, American, Slovakian, Dutch and British markets.

From August 10, 2023, organized tours from China can also come to Poland, and  the Chinese who have already visited our country were delighted with it – Polish culture and hospitality, so the prospects for growth in tourism from this direction are promising.

In 2023, hotels located in Małopolska, Pomerania, Warmia and Mazury, Lower Silesia and Świętokrzyskie were the most frequently chosen  for overnight stays. Some of them, especially those in the vicinity of Wrocław or the Tri-City, were  also chosen in relation to business trips, as many foreign investments are located in these regions.

Krakow  was the number one choice and was visited by over nine million tourists last year. They enjoyed the historical atmosphere of the famous Wawel Royal Castle and the Jagiellonian University (one of the oldest in Europe),  as well as walking around the largest medieval market square in Europe and visiting the vibrant old Jewish quarter with its very many restaurants and bars. Another interesting, activity is attending one of the famous concerts in Krakow’s Kazimierz district.

widok na krakowski rynek
Old Square in Krakow

Lublin came second and was the city that recorded the largest increase in the number of foreign tourists in 2023. In part, thanks to the events related to the organization of the “European Youth Capital Lublin 2023”. The editors of the British newspaper “The Guardian” wrote about the city in the summer of 2023, noticing the unique atmosphere, described as similar to Italian towns. Hence the idea for the nickname – Polish Tuscany, the picturesque Roztocze area of rolling countryside, very reminiscent of Italy’s Tuscany.

widok z lotu ptaka na Lublin
Lublin

The capital of Roztocze – Lublin, attracts tourists with its charming streets, Renaissance and Gothic buildings, among which you can find many cafes and restaurants with a great atmosphere. The year 2023, was the first year in which the number of tourists visiting Lublin exceeded one million.

Warsaw, was number three in choice, invariably popular among foreign tourists remains the capital of Poland, our largest metropolis. A very modern city, but also offering visitors many historical sites. The world-famous open air Chopin Concerts in the Royal Łazienki park are extremely popular. Recitals by outstanding Polish and foreign pianists can be listened to every Sunday, from mid-May to the end of September, while relaxing in one of  the most beautiful palace and park complexes in Europe.

koncert przy pomniku Chopina w Łazienkach Królewskich
Chopin’s monument in the Royal Łazienki Park in Warsaw

Last year, Warsaw was awarded the title of “European Best Destination 2023” with a record number of over 142,000 votes, also winning awards in categories such as” Best Destination for Food Lovers”, “Safest Destinations in Europe” and “Best Destinations for a city break”.

The German weekly newspaper “Der Spiegel” published an article about the Polish capital, appreciating the changes that have taken place over the last few decades.

Wrocław, came fourth, described as one of the most beautiful cities on the Old Continent according to Robert Daczeszin, the author of the material about the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship for the Croatian television N1. The charms of this Polish city were also appreciated by the British newspaper “The  Daily Express”, describing Wrocław as the “Venice of the North” and admiring its history, many historical monuments and excellent gastronomy. Also America’s CNN recognized Wrocław as one of the most magical places in Europe, praising its unique atmosphere, especially during the Christmas season.

kiermasz świąteczny na rynku wrocławskim
Old Square in Wroclaw

Zakopane in the Tatry mountains, known as Poland’s winter capital, has become very popular with tourists from the countries of the Middle East. The largest number are citizens of the United Arab Emirates, which is probably influenced by direct  flights by Emirates or FlyDubai to Kraków or Warsaw.

In the summer, Czechs are  happily coming to the Baltic Sea in increasing numbers . This destination is much more attractive in terms of price for our southern neighbours, with equally good service and accommodation and catering facilities, compared to the costs of holidays spent in Spain, Italy or Croatia.

What makes Poland attractive for foreign tourists

Poland has many reasons why tourists from all over the world visit us. They praise the very high quality of Polish tourist services, price competitiveness and good transport accessibility.

Safety is also an important aspect, which tourists are paying more and more attention to.

The data of the Central Statistical Office also show that Poland’s natural resources and culture are of particular importance. They are emphasized primarily by guests from across our western border, but also by Americans, Brits and Czechs. In Poland, we have 11 National parks and nearly 500 nature reserves – from the sea to the mountains through the Masurian Lake area. The latter, according to National Geographic, are one of the 14 must-see places in the world.

Another of Poland’s attractions are the numerous health resorts and spas, most of which have some healing properties, and our climate itself. We have warm summer months, but they are much less oppressive than the heat in the southern part of the continent at this time. That is why Italians and Spaniards are also more and more willing to visit our country.

Prior to  the summer holidays of 2023, Poland was named as ” The Best International Destination on a Budget” by USA Today .

Source: GUS IGHP

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