In recent years, backpacking Poland has become an increasingly popular option for visitors embarking on a backpacking trip through Central Europe. While, many travellers on a multi-country Euro trip will likely only make a brief stop into Poland, it’s entirely possible to spend a significant amount of time purely exploring the country on its own. Poland has a wonderful mix of lively cities, fascinating history and easily accessible nature, which means there is something to suit anyone embarking on a Poland itinerary. To help you get started planning we’ve created this 10 day backpacking Poland itinerary to give you some inspiration and ideas on what Poland has to offer!
Backpacking Poland Itinerary: 10 Days
Poland Itinerary Day 1-2: Explore the Polish capital of Warsaw
Truth be told, Warsaw isn’t my favourite city in Poland, however, as one of the largest hubs in Central and Eastern Europe, it can potentially make sense to start your backpacking Poland itinerary in the Polish capital.
If it’s your first visit to Warsaw, then it’s worth starting your Warsaw itinerary by exploring the Old Town. While the Old Town was completely demolished in WWII, it has since been rebuilt and exploring this area can provide travellers with a great insight into Polish history.
For a different side of Warsaw, head to the alternative area of Praga – a district in the right bank of Warsaw. This is one of the few areas in Warsaw that was not destroyed during WWII and these days is one of the most multicultural and diverse areas of the city. There’s plenty of street art, hip bars, cool galleries and interesting buildings to explore!
On your second day in the Polish city, consider visiting of the many interesting museums that the city has to offer. The Warsaw Uprising Museum dives into the history of the Polish uprising during WWII while the National Museum of Warsaw or the Museum of Modern Art are great options for art lovers.
Hostel Recommendation: Located close to the main train station, Chillout Hostel is in a great location with plenty of places to eat and drink nearby. They have a different social activity every night, clean rooms and a pleasant vibe making this a great place to stay in Warsaw! Check out the latest reviews on Hostelworld or Booking.com!
Poland Itinerary Day 3-4: Visit undiscovered Poznan
I would recommend spending your first afternoon in Poznan enjoying the Old Town and surrounding areas which will be significantly more peaceful than the Polish capital. Aside from the Old Town, it’s worth making the thirty-minute walk to Ostrów Tumski (otherwise known as Cathedral Island) which is considered the birthplace of Catholicism in Poland.
For your second day in Poznan, I suggest mixing things up and heading to Wielkopolski National Park to enjoy some nature! The national park is located only 15 km from the centre of Poznan and there are regular regional trains that will take you there from the main train station. The national park has five main hiking trails that can be explored and, despite it’s proximity to Poznan, you will likely not encounter many other people in the park.
Hostel Recommendation: Poco Loco Hostel is a fantastic cosy hostel that offers private rooms and dorms in a great location. There is also a large common room, kitchen and helpful staff that will be sure to help you with any recommendations about the city! Check out the latest reviews on Hostelworld or Booking.com!
Poland Itinerary Day 5-7: Check out cool and hip Wroclaw
The next step on your 10 day backpacking Poland itinerary should definitely be Wroclaw – my favourite city in Poland! Wroclaw has many cool and unusual things to do, undoubtedly at least partly due to its large youthful population.
One of the things I love about Wroclaw is that it’s an extremely livable city meaning you can spend a few days here enjoying the atmosphere and vibe of the city without feeling the need to rush around between sites.
Some of my favourite things to do in the city include going dwarf hunting – trying to locate over 350 miniature dwarf statues spread around the city, hanging out in the Old Town Square at dusk and enjoying the buskers and indulging in a mix of delicious Polish and international food that can be found throughout the city.
Wroclaw might lack some of the larger tourist attractions that can be found in Krakow or Warsaw, however, it more than makes it up with the fantastic atmosphere that the city offers!
Hostel Recommendation: Grampas Hostel is a budget travellers dream as it offers free breakfast, free dinners some days of the week and also organises a range of great social activities that make it easy to meet other travellers. Combined with the fact it is also clean, well located and has all the essential facilities it makes Grampas Hostel undoubtedly the best hostel in Wroclaw! Check out the latest reviews on Hostelworld or Booking.com!
Poland Itinerary Day 8-10: Explore Poland’s most popular city – Krakow
After spending the first 7 days of your Poland itinerary predominately in less visited cities, it’s time to visit Krakow – a popular stop for travellers on a multi-country backpacking trip through Central Europe.
Krakow is a city that definitely leaves travellers with mixed feelings, however, it’s important to make up your own mind about the city and spending 3 days in Krakow will allow you to see the main sites while also enjoying some of the famous nightlife.
I recommend spending your first two days in Krakow in the main part of the city, exploring the Old Town but also venturing further out and hanging out in Kazimierz – the city’s traditional Jewish Quarter which is less touristy than the Old Town and has a number of cool cafes and bars to explore.
On your third day in Krakow, consider taking a day trip to Auschwitz or Wieliczka Salt Mines.
Hostel Recommendation: There are many hostels to choose from in Krakow if you’re on a budget, however, we definitely recommend staying in Mosquito Hostel if they have beds available. They offer a delicious free breakfast and nightly social activities that are a great way to meet other travellers to experience Krakow’s famous nightlife. Check out the latest reviews on Hostelworld or Booking.com!
Got more than 10 days to travel after backpacking Poland?
If you’ve got more than 10 days to travel and want to find other destinations to visit after your 10 day Poland itinerary then you’ll have plenty of options to choose.
If you’re finishing your Poland itinerary in Krakow, then consider heading to either to the High Tatras (either the Polish or Slovak side!) or choose between visiting Prague or Budapest – two of the best capitals in Central Europe!
Alternatively, if you’re doing this backpacking Poland trip in reverse and finishing in Warsaw, then why not head to the underrated Baltic states and explore some of the least visited countries in the European Union!
While many travellers backpacking Poland tend to only visit Krakow or Warsaw, this Poland itinerary provides backpackers with some ideas on how to experience a different side of Poland and enjoy some great, less visited towns!
Have you been backpacking Poland? Or are you planning a Poland itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!