Codebreaking, Cool Cuisine and Bags of Character – come to Poznan!

This vibrant city will take you by surprise – pretty coloured houses sit in the shadow of majestic churches and other architectural gems that line the quaint cobblestoned streets. What was once a reluctant superstar, under the radar for many visitors, the fifth largest city is enjoying the limelight as an exciting city break alternative destination.

A lively arts and culture scene exists alongside years of history and tradition and there’s also plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy a drink or two or a delicious dinner.

Speaking of food, thanks to its culinary delights, Poznan has been taking centre stage recently.

Trying out the local food  is always a big big part of a holiday and visitors are in for a treat in Poznan.

In March 2023, the city was added to the prestigious MICHELIN Guide, in good company with Warsaw and Krakow that were already on the list of top culinary cities. Going forward, Poznan will now welcome anonymous inspectors to its restaurants with the hope that it will highlight the wonderful gastronomy it has to offer. It also helps showcase the talent of local chefs who will put Poznan on the world foodie map. The full Polish selection will be unveiled soon so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that!

There are plenty of Polish and international influences on Poznan’s cuisine but some of the best-loved offerings are based on regional specialities known as ‘Wielkopolska’. Despite the fact that Poznan’s food has been hailed as a feast for the senses, much of it stems from pretty basic ingredients. Can you believe one of the most deliciously popular dishes centres around the humble potato?  Pyry as they are known in Poland – it’s a word you’ll see a lot on your travels in Poznan. It’s the star turn on the menu and used in all sorts of tasty ways. Potatoes are high on the agenda here. So much so that Poznan even has a museum dedicated to the beloved spud! Visitors can discover all there is to know about the role the potato plays in daily life and the rich flavour it has brought to its regional cuisine. It may be a simple root vegetable but in Poznan great things emerge from potatoes!

One of the key dishes visitors will find on the menu is Gzik – usually served with the ubiquitous potato, it is a cheesy, creamy delight often served as a starter but mouth-wateringly tempting at any part of a meal. In many of Poznan’s cafes and restaurants, you will find the potato cooked in every way imaginable – baked, fried, savoury or sweet -it’s a potato lover’s dream!

Sweet-toothed travellers will also enjoy the sugary haven of Poznan. Paczki – traditional doughnuts are everywhere and it’s not uncommon to smell their heady aroma as you explore the city. One thing’s for sure, it’ll make you hungry!

Another sweet treat that is synonymous with Poznan is the famous St Martin’s croissant. This is no ordinary pastry – this is like eating breakfast of the Gods. It is filled with white poppy seeds, candied fruits, nuts, raisins and there’s something about the pastry that makes it taste like no other croissant in the world.  What is in the recipe though? There’s also a visitor experience in Poznan for this too! Discover the secrets of this local delicacy at Rogalowe Museum  Dedicated to the art and history of the croissant, visitors can see how they are made in a live demonstration. You get to sample the end result too so it’s worth a visit.

There’s much more to Poznan than just stuffing your face though. The city offers a wealth of fascinating and historical attractions to give you a taste of what the city is all about.

For music buffs a trip to the Museum of Musical Instruments is sure to hit the right note. One of the few in Europe, the collection of musical instruments consists of about two thousands items from all over the world.

It’s also worth visiting Poznan Cathedral – located on the island of Ostrow Tumski – and in the words of the late Pope John Paul II “where Poland began”. Dedicated to the apostles St Peter and St Paul, it’s the city’s oldest historical monument. The cathedral is home to many precious works of art and has also been the setting for great moments in Poznan’s back story such as coronations and funerals of medieval monarchs. And, don’t miss the Porta Posnania – an interactive heritage centre which presents the story of this important landmark. Visitors can enjoy a brilliant multimedia display, workshops and tours about the fascinating history of Cathedral Island. The Porta Posnania is also a good starting point for exploring the city along the Royal-Imperial Route.

Another cracking place to visit in Poznan is the Enigma Cipher Centre

For anyone with an interest in challenging their brain and testing their intelligence levels, it’s a must see!

This extraordinary exhibition tells the story of the enigma code, and how encrypting messages has evolved over the years. Visitors will love this innovative and stimulating attraction – a great way to spend a few hours.

There you have it, the mixed bag of delights that is Poznan- from potatoes to pastries and cathedrals to codebreaking. It’s all here. Is it on your list for this year?