Things to do in Poznan, Poland for the First-Time Visitor!

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Here are some of the best things to do in Poznan for first time visitors including a walking tour of the Old Town to see the charming Merchant houses, exploring Cathedral Island and Śródka, and sampling traditional Polish cuisine which includes hearty dishes and plenty of vodka and beer!

Poznan was the third stop of our month-long trip through Poland and like Krakow and Wroclaw before it, the city proved to be yet another wonderful surprise – though, at this point, I’m not sure why we were even surprised!

I seriously think Poland may be one of the most underrated countries for travel in Europe just hiding in plain sight.

So once again, I’m happy to share our itinerary to what I think are some of the best things to do in Poznan on your visit.

Your travel guide to the best things to do in Poznan, Poland!

Top tours in Poznan

  • Traditional Polish Food Tour – sample typical Polish appetizers, soup, main courses, and dessert as you explore Poznan’s old town.
  • Polish Beer Tasting Tour – try 11 different kinds of beer (popular, regional, and craft) along with some typical Polish appetizers.
  • Vodka Tasting Tour – taste different types of Polish vodka paired with appetizers while learning about Polish culture and traditions. 

Things to do in Poznan

Do a full loop around Old Market Square

I know I use a lot of superlatives, but I just have to say it, Poznan has one of the most beautiful town squares I have seen in all of Europe!

We somehow managed to book an AirBnB that was one block from Old Market Square, and I could not believe my eyes when we rounded the bend for the first time and I saw them standing there – the Merchant Houses, these little, narrow buildings that stand shoulder to shoulder, painted in bright colours and intricate patterns with pokey windows sticking out of the attic apartments.

Talk about looking postcard-perfect!

Visiting Poznan's Old Market Square.
One of the most popular things to do in Poznan is to visit the Merchant Houses in the square.
The famous Merchant Houses in Poznan, Poland.

But that’s not all; right next to the Merchant Houses, you also have the Town Hall, which is yet another impressive building. The first time I saw it, I mistook it for a church. After all, it’s not every day you see a Town Hall complete with a steeple, towers, and painted figures from the Ancient World, but that’s Poznan for you – ready to impress at every turn.

The Town Hall also has a mechanical clock of two goats butting heads, which draws crowds when the clock strikes noon, but I only found out about this after I left.

For a proper look at the historic old town and to learn more about the city’s history, you can book a 2-hour Poznan guided walking tour which is a great introduction to the city.

The Town Hall in Poznan almost looks like a church!

Enjoy the views from the Royal Castle

For views of the Old Town, we made our way to the Royal Castle which is in the west end of the Old Town.

The castle’s original construction dates back to 1249 and by the 14th century, it was the largest non-religious building in all of Poland. However, for a building that dates back that far back, the castle looks surprisingly new and that’s because between 2010-2016 it underwent a complete renovation.

A series of fires, sackings, and attacks, not to mention more recent events like WW2, had left the castle in pretty bad shape, but it’s now open to visitors.

Views of Poznan from the Royal Castle.

Tip: I would recommend climbing the tower in the Royal Castle in the afternoon. We went in the morning, but the town is backlit at this time of day, so if you want good shots, it’s best to save that for later in the day.

Visit the Jesuit College and catch a church concert

Just south of the Town Square, we also visited the Jesuit College, which first opened its doors in 1573. Today it houses the City Council, so it’s not really open to visitors, but you can wander into the courtyard, snap some photos, and enjoy the cafe on site. It’s a stunning building and it’s worth a quick peek even if it’s just from the outside.

Then, just next to the Jesuit College, we found Fara Poznańska, a church done in the Baroque Style with the same pink and white colours as the college, and then once you set foot inside it’s a pastel dream with elaborate biblical scenes that would make any churchgoer gaze up and drift into a daydream.

One of our favourite things to do in Poznan was to get lost on foot.
Inside Fara Poznańska in Poznan.

The best part is that the church puts on classical music concerts. We just happened to wander into the church right when they were setting up, so we stuck around for a bit. According to their website, organ concerts are on Saturdays at 12:15 but you can double-check the schedule for updates here.

Enjoy a quiet moment at Frederic Chopin Park

Another cool little spot is Frederic Chopin Park, which is located directly behind the Jesuit College.

Chopin was actually from Warsaw, but he made a brief visit to Poznan so he’s commemorated with his own little park and a bust in the middle.

Poznan sculpture at the local park in Poland
Garden views of a statue in Poznan

It’s a fairly small park, but perfect for a little break after a long day of sightseeing, with lots of benches under the cover of trees and a small flower garden. The park can be accessed just off of Wroclawska, a popular street for food and nightlife.

Enjoy the summer vibes at KontenerART

KontenerART was a really interesting surprise not too far from Poznan’s Old Town. Located on the banks of the Warta River, this space was part urban beach, art space, children’s playground, herb and spice garden, food cart central and outdoor bar.

Cool art in KontenerART, Poznan.
Enjoy a green escape in Poznan.
Urban gardening at KontenerART.

What surprised me most about it was that you had young twenty-somethings listening to music and enjoying summer drinks on pallets, but then you also had families with young kids sharing the same space; parents were enjoying lunch from the food carts in the shade, and meanwhile, you had kids running around in the sand and making their own fun.

KontenerART seemed to draw people of all ages and no one was really bothered by the other, which was cool to see. I’m not sure how busy it is during the cooler months, but if you’re in Poznan during summer it’s worth a visit.

Wander over to Cathedral Island and Śródka

Just like Wroclaw, Poznan too has its own Cathedral Island, though with far fewer churches. The island sits right between two branches of the Warta River and is home to Poznan Cathedral, also known as the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. That being said, if you only have time for one church, I’d choose Fara Poznańska in the Old Town since the interior is far more impressive.

Visiting Cathedral Island in Poznan

If you make it all the way to Cathedral Island, it’s also worth crossing one more bridge to reach the neighbourhood of Śródka. I really liked that this neighbourhood had a bit of an alternative vibe, and it felt more like a local’s go-to weekend spot as opposed to a tourist spot.

Also, check out the photo below and see if you can spot the mural. At first glance, that totally fooled my eyes.

Cool mural of buildings in the neighbourhood of Śródka, Poznan.
Street art in the neighbourhood of Śródka

Śródka appeared to have plenty of choices when it came to food, and all the restaurants and bars were packed when we wandered over there on a weekend. 

We really wanted to eat at Na Winklu which is famed for serving not only traditional steamed perogies but also the baked variety (they almost look like empanadas). Of course, there were no seats available, so a lesson learned: make reservations or be left wanting baked pierogi.

Where to eat in Poznan

Pierogi aside, here are a few other places we enjoyed eating at around Poznan:

Fat Bob Burger – Popular spot serving up juicy burgers, classic fries and homemade strawberry and kiwi lemonades.

Liczbańscy – Small little bakery around the block from the Royal Castle serving up delicious cakes, pastries and cappuccinos.

Jaglana – Healthy brunch spot that was both vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Sam had the chocolate buckwheat pancakes, I had shakshuka, and we both ordered fresh-squeezed juices. Their desserts also looked decadent!

Zindo Sushi – All-you-can-eat conveyer-belt sushi (or in this case floating sushi boats) for a set fee. It’s not the most authentic sushi I’ve had, but they kept the salmon sashimi coming.

Cafe hopping in Poznan
Coffee and cake break in Poznan
Trying to befriend a long-haired German Shepherd in Poznan.

Where to stay in Poznan

We lucked out with an amazing apartment just one block from the town square. 

City Park Hotel & Residence – a 5-star hotel offering a mix of rooms and apartments set in an elegant 19th-century redbrick building.

PURO Poznań Stare Miasto – a 4-star hotel with modern rooms situated on the edge of the old town. It also features a restaurant with an open-air terrace garden.

Don Prestige Residence – a 3-star hotel set in the heart of the old town offering bright and spacious rooms.

Street art in Poznan.

Read more about Poland

Have you visited the city?
What were some of your favourite things to do in Poznan?

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  1. says: Renuka

    Beautiful! Poznan looks like a pretty city with all the fun things to do. I love the graffiti. It’s so impressive! I can imagine how much fun it must be to just roam around and admire quirky sights.

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