“Stars about to fall, what do you say, Lyla” – Oasis.
You’ll probably know that when I travel to a city or town in a country, I like nothing better than banging out a top 5 hit parade on backpacking sights. In most cases, we only visit these cities once in our life, so make the most of it and enjoy the highlights as a tourist. With Poznań, I was just happy to be back in Poland. I’d missed this country after 8 years away, it was like a long lost love affair and I felt free and inspired again. I had a reunion with two friends in this city, Karolina and Urszula and I stayed for three days before moving onwards to the city of Kraków for another reunion with Ania and the gory tours to Auschwitz and the Jewish Quarter before backpacking it into Ukraine.
I recommend staying in the Poco Loco Hostel near the Old Town and taking things from there. Most of the year there are free walking tours as the city becomes more and more popular. For now, you can easily tour these five sights on your own. I did quite a bit more than this, including checking out the ice festival, but these are busy travel times so these are just the top 5.
1.Stary Rynek/Old Town Square
It’s unlikely any tourist will ever visit Poznań and not check out the Old Town Square, known as Stary Rynek. This just happens to be the prettiest Old Town Square I have ever seen, and I’ve been to a few…Tallinn, Parnu, Baku, Riga, Vilnius etc.
Included in your tour of the Old Town Square should be the magnificent Rathaus, town hall which dominates proceedings. I loved a lot of the bars and cafes around this area too and when time permits will bang them into a top 5 for Thirsty Thursdays.
2.Church of St. Stanislaus
I had a laugh to myself when I heard about the church of Saint Stanislaus. This was because, AFC Bournemouth player (my team) Junior Stanislas scored twice against Everton and once against Manchester United. On Match of the Day in the UK, his name was pronounced as “Stanislaus” by mistake and that week, there I was in a church of the same name. It’s a rusty red and cream coloured church and my favourite in the city.
A nice pleasant stroll away from the town square is Lake Malta. This place has loads of sports in and out of the water. It’s a lot more tranquil in the winter.
Poznan has a brace of castles and I visited them both on my trip. The Royal Castle is more central and is the original location and seat of the first Polish Kings. It was closed for visitors on my visit in 2015, but is being renovated and will be open to the public in 2016.
A little more extravagant looking and on the edge of a busy junction is the Imperial Castle. This one is was built as the residence of the Prussian ruler Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1910 . Inside there is now a museum dedicated to the 1956 Uprising and some cafes, bars and the venue is also used for concerts.
It was also great fun to tour the bars and cafes and I met up with travel friends Urszula and Karolina Kokosz for drinks. We drank Grzane Piwo (hot beer) in Basilium on another cool night on my journey.
Overall, Poznan is a brilliant city and for me the real charm is the colourful nature of the lively Stary Rynek and the quirky and unusual art you find in parts of the city.
Here are some videos from my time backpacking in Pozzie/Poznan, Poland: