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Being able to relax surrounded by greenery and nature, but without losing out on what a city has to offer: this is many a person’s dream, but is it realistic? It is in Poland! Discover the country’s wonderful urban centres that combine big-city attractions with leisure in nature.

Let’s start with Warsaw. Although its image is that of a business and administration centre with numerous historical sites and attractions, the Polish capital is also a real treat for fans of green spaces. It’s probably Europe’s only city virtually bordering on a national park – Kampinos Forest. There are plenty of nature spots in the city centre, too, such as the Saxon Garden, Mokotowskie Field, or the University of Warsaw Library gardens. Royal Łazienki Park is a must-see: an exquisite palace-and-park complex that once served King Stanislaus II Augustus as a summer residence. Free Chopin piano concerts take place there in summer. It’s also well worth wandering around the many paths of Skaryszewski Park, the oldest in Warsaw.

Let’s move on to Bydgoszcz, which boasts Poland’s biggest municipal park: the Myślęcinek Forest Park of Culture and Recreation, an 830-hectare enclave of forest wilderness with hills and ravines, ponds as well as trees over a hundred years old. Boredom is not an option; there’s a zoo and a botanical garden to explore, and the complex serves as a venue for various fêtes, concerts and competitions.

Wrocław is a city famous for its green spaces and sustainable tourism. Fondly referred to as “the Venice of Poland”, it comprises 12 islands separated by a web of rivers and connected by hundreds of bridges. Wrocław also features 44 breathtaking parks, including the 16-hectare Szczytnicki Park from 1783 with its famous Japanese Garden. The best way to appreciate this magnificent city in springtime is to take a boat trip along Wrocław’s many waterways.

That was just a small selection of Poland’s green city breaks. You can find equally fantastic places in Silesia, where music, museums and a rich mining history come with a wealth of green spaces, which take up half the area of the city of Katowice, for example, home to the incredible Silesian Park. In Poznań there’s the vast Citadel Park to enjoy, Gdańsk has amazing beaches, while Kraków prides itself on Sowiniec Hill. It’s impossible to describe them all – you must come see for yourself!

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Polish National Tourist Office
980 N. Michigan Ave, Ste. 1550
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 1 (551) 344-3057
e-mail: info.na@poland.travel