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I want to see far away places. I want to meet new people. I want to hear different languages. I want to eat things that I haven’t tried or even heard about before. I want my life to be an adventure. In one word, I want to go abroad! This is exactly what I wanted and exactly what I have doing for last few years. And then I changed … mentally. Because, how can I truly appreciate other countries if I haven’t properly explored my own? So recently something changed. I made it my goal to see at least the most popular spots of Poland, starting from Poznań.

POLAND2I have been to Poznań many times, but only as a child, so my memories are rather blurry. What surprised me the most is that Poznań is so beautiful! I didn’t expect it to be so eye pleasing! For Poles it is one of the major cities in our country. A lot of Germans come here as well, as the city is very easy to reach from Berlin. And that covers most of the tourists. Generally Poznań is often overlooked by visitors to Poland, although I really don’t understand why. Even though Poznań might not be the most known city for foreign tourists, it is still home to many things that should not be missed, by anyone who wants to see Poland. Poland is more than just Kraków and Auschwitz. I find it really sad that most of tourists seem to forget about it more places.

POLAND5Poznań gained some of popularity thanks to Euro2012. It was one of the host cities. The locals greeted football fans with open hearts and smiles. Irish boys were spellbound the most. Was it the city, or was it the Polish girls? The beauty of Slavs is world wide known after all.

Poznań has everything a great Polish city should have, just without huge groups of tourists and high prices. The city not only has an impressive Old Market Square, that rivals and, in my opinion , beats the one in Kraków, but it’s one of the fastest growing cities and commercial centres in Central Europe.

Poznań’s architecture is beautiful. The medieval towns of this part of the world look like torn from the pages of a children’s fairytale book. The fairytale-like atmosphere is something that lures. Prague, Kraków, Dresden steal hearts of visitors not without reason. So does POLAND4Poznań.

Poznań is the cradle of Polishness. It is here, where Poland begun. It is here where the Polish culture begun. The Poznan National Museum is one of the best museums in all of Poland. It boasts a large collection of artwork, ancient artifacts, and a wide collection of exhibits covering nearly all of the country’s POLAND3history. It is located in the Old Town and dominates the Freedom Square. As maybe you already know, I’m not a museum lover. I went to Poznan alone and I had no one to host there so I skipped the museum without feeling guilty that maybe someone is missing a gem, because of my aversion to museums. I did not skip the square though. The thing that brought me there was the Fountain of Freedom. One of the greatest fountains I have ever seen. Spectacular especially by night.

What I learned from this trip, is that I don’t need to cross the border of my country to find something attractive to visit. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. It is standard to dream about going overseas but many people forget that exploring their own country can be just as much fun. From my observations, not many people give enough weight to their own country’s values. Sometimes (often) the beauty is in our own backyard! It is enough to stop for a while and just look.