There are sixteen regions of Poland (voivodeships in Polish). Think of these as counties in the UK or a province in many other countries.
Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea to the north and a region of mountains to the south with a diverse range of flora & fauna, rivers & lakes and landscapes in between.
Each of the regions of Poland has its own unique identity, some are perfect for visitors who love active holidays, focused on cycling, hiking, winter activities & boating and some are more suited to those who prefer to spend time in the cities and towns.
The most popular cities in Poland are Warsaw, Kraków and Gdańsk, all providing urban tourists with plenty to see & do. You’ll find some incredible museums & theatres in these cities in addition to a multitude of excellent restaurants, bars & clubs.
Active types will enjoy visiting the regions of Warmia-Masuria, Masovia and Podlaskie. Here you will find an abundance of lakes providing superb opportunities for sailing, kayaking and cycling; whilst the mountains in the south provide some incredible hiking routes and rock climbing opportunities.
Pomerania (Pomorskie) is Poland’s most northern province. It covers an area of over 18,300 square kilometres and has the Baltic Sea on its northern border and Russia (via the Vistula Spit) to the north-east. The region has 316 km of coastline with sandy beaches and a staggering 2,901 lakes. If you wanted to swim in a different lake every day, it would take you almost eight years! The epicentre and capital of Pomerania is Gdańsk, northern Poland’s metropolis, which together with Gdynia and Sopot forms a conurbation called Tricity – one of the main cultural, commercial and educational centres of Poland inhabited by over 1.2 million people.
Warmia-Masuria (Warminsko-Mazurskie) is the water sports capital of Poland and it is dominated by the Great Masurian Lakes. Every year, thousands of kayakers, windsurfers and sailors arrive in the province to have fun on the water. At 24,192 square kilometres, Warmia-Masuria is not the biggest region in Poland but it sure has a lot to offer and is one of the most popular regions of Poland. Once you’ve explored the lakes, you can experience water of a different sort on one of the world’s most intriguing canals, the Elbląg–Ostróda; which runs 80.5 kilometres southward from Lake Drużno to the river Drwęca and lake Jeziorak.
West Pomerania (Zachodniopomorskie) in north west Poland has a border with Germany to the west and the Baltic Sea to the north and is considered to be one of the greenest regions in Poland and also one of the most attractive for tourists. There’s plenty on offer for visitors including beaches, woodlands, national parks, lakes, seaside resorts, golf clubs, cycling routes and health spas. Its capital and largest city is Szczecin; which is a busy working port. Other important ports in the region are Świnoujście and Police. The major seaside towns in West Pomerania are Międzyzdroje, Dziwnów, Kołobrzeg and Mielno.
Kuyavia-Pomerania (Kujawsko-Pomorskie) is situated in mid-northern Poland in the lower Vistula valley. It has two main cities; which act as the province’s joint capitals, Bydgoszcz and Toruń with the latter being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kuyavia-Pomerania is an important province when you consider Polish heritage and early history. Throughout the region you will find monuments to Poland’s past such as the archaeological open-air museum in Biskupin; which is a life-size model of a late Bronze age fortified settlement dating all the way back to 8th century BC. In Kruszwica, you will find the Collegiate Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, a granite and sandstone Romanesque Roman Catholic church founded in 1120.
Podlasie (Podlaskie) is primarily rural and remote with the exception of a few urban centres and is located on the east side of Poland bordering Lithuania and Belarus. The voivodeship constitutes a part of the ecologically clean area known as “the Green Lungs of Poland" and is a lush expanse of forest, farmland and lakes boasting four national parks, three Landscape Parks, 88 nature reserves and 15 protected landscape areas. It is the greenest of all of the regions of Poland. The most famous of the national parks is Bialowieza, which is well-known for two reasons. Firstly, it is home to Europe’s largest land mammal, the European bison and secondly, the park shelters a sizeable chunk of original lowland primeval forest; which has remained undisturbed for hundreds of years.
Masovia (Mazowieckie) is located in mid-north eastern Poland and has the city of Warsaw as its unofficial capital. It has an area of around 35,000 square kilometres and a population of just over 5 million. The province has a lowland landscape with forests (mainly pine and oak) that cover 20% of the entire area. The primary forests are Kampinos Forest, Puszcza Biała and Puszcza Zielona. Nearly 30% of Masovia is classified as protected land comprising of Kampinos National Park, 171 nature reserves and 62 protected landscape sites. These areas attract many thousands of visitors from within Poland and from abroad. The region is home to Warsaw Chopin Airport, the busiest airport in Poland.
Lubusz is a region on the western side of Poland; which is well-known because of its forests, lakes and parks. Nearly 50% of the province is covered in woodland and the northern and central areas are home to a multitude of lakes. Dotted around the area are bathing resorts, holiday centres and farms providing accommodation and services to the many tourists who visit Lubusz each year. The main attractions in the Lubusz region are the Drawa National Park, the Warta Estuary National Park and the 19th century Mużakowski Park, which is a landscape park located on both sides of the Polish-German border. The province attracts cyclists, hikers, horse riders and kayakers and is also very popular with hunters and mushroom pickers.
Greater Poland (Wielkopolskie) is often referred to as being the “Cradle of Poland" and if you want to experience the essence of Poland’s eventful history, this is the province to head to. The Polish state was founded here in the Middle Ages with the cities of Poznań and Gniezno being the early centres of royal power. Gniezno was once the capital of Poland prior to being moved to Kraków. Today, Greater Poland is a historical province with an immense pride in its long history, the largest city is Poznań, followed by Kalisz, which is the oldest city in the country. Kalisz was first mentioned in the 2nd century AD as Calisia, a trading settlement on the Amber Route between the Roman Empire and the Baltic Sea.
Łódź (pronounced woodge) province is located in central Poland and is named after its capital and largest city. The area has seven landscape parks and a number of well-known tourist attractions including the Museum of Art in Łódź; which has one of the biggest modern art collections in Europe, Poland’s only thermal spa in Uniejów and Kamieńsk Hill on the slope of the Bełchatów mine; which is a popular skiing facility. The spa at Uniejów is also a giant aquatic fun park with swimming pools, water slides and rapid rivers and is a fun day out for the family. An unusual but very interesting attraction is the PGE Power Giants museum in Bełchatów, an interactive educational centre, which explains how electricity is produced.
Lower Silesia was handed back to Poland from Germany at the end of WWII and is known for an abundance of historic architecture of various styles. During the Middle Ages, the region was part of Piast-ruled Poland and was one of the leading regions of the country with its capital Wrocław being one of the main cities of the Polish Kingdom. Within Lower Silesia, you will find many castles and palaces, well preserved or reconstructed old towns, numerous spa towns, and historic burial sites of Polish monarchs and consorts. The region is one of the most visited provinces in Poland. There’s over 100 castles and palaces in the region including: Książ Castle, Czocha Castle, Grodziec Castle, Gola Dzierżoniowska Castle, Oleśnica Castle and Kamieniec Ząbkowicki Palace.
Opole (Opolskie) is Poland’s smallest province at just 9,400 square kilometres; however it packs a punch for its size and is a treasure trove of attractions for tourists. The province is rich in culture with famous castles and palaces, lots of historical sites and an abundance of beautiful lakes and rivers. The capital of the region is the city of Opole. The region is located in southern Poland and around 15% of the one million inhabitants of the voivodeship are ethnic Germans (that’s 90% of all ethnic Germans in Poland). Ethnic Germans first came to this region during the Late Middle Ages because the area was once part of the Prussian province of Silesia. As a result, the German language is co-official in 28 communes. Opole province is a green region and has the warmest climate in the country.
Silesian Voivodeship is located in southern Poland and has the city of Katowice as its capital. The province is one of the most important industrial regions of Poland with a proud history of mining. The Silesian region is the most densely populated voivodeship in Poland (379 people per square kilometre, compared to the national average of 124) and also one of the wealthiest. Over 13% of Poland’s gross domestic product (GDP) is generated there. There’s much more to the Silesian Voivodeship than industry, the region also has 8 Landscape Parks including: the Eagle Nests Landscape Park, the Little Beskids Landscape Park and the Silesian Beskids Landscape Park. You’ll also find nature preserves and mountain ranges within the region.
Holy Cross Province (Swietokrzyskie) is located in south eastern Poland and has the city of Kielce as its regional capital. Often referred to as, “The heart of Poland” the region is home to the Świętokrzyskie Mountains and Świętokrzyski National Park. Holy Cross Province isn’t the biggest in Poland at only 11,700 square kilometres and not the most famous of the regions of Poland but it is very popular with tourists. In addition to the National Park, there are nine Landscape Parks to explore and a multitude of other attractions. The Świętokrzyskie Mountains are not particularly high; however they are ancient. Quartzite has been discovered in the area that is 500 million years old. The highest peak is Mount Łysica at 614 m and is located within the Świętokrzyski National Park.
Subcarpathia (Podkarpackie) is located in the south-eastern corner of Poland and has the city of Rzeszów as its administrative capital. The region is one of the greenest provinces in Poland with nearly 36% of the area being protected. The protected elements are mostly woodland including remnants of ancient primeval forest. Within Subcarpathia, there are two National Parks (all of Bieszczady National Park, and parts of Magura National Park) and eleven Landscape Parks. Whilst exploring the region, you’ll find hundreds of kilometres of tourist trails. The area is extremely popular with hikers who come to the province to enjoy the scenery and fauna; which includes lynxes, wildcats, wisents and golden eagles to name a few.
Lublin Province is located in south-eastern Poland and is named after its regional capital, the city of Lublin. The region has two National Parks, Polesie National Park and Roztocze National Park in addition to 17 Landscape Parks. It also has a number of historical sites including the UNESCO-listed Old Town in Zamość. Lublin province attracts visitors and tourists from near and far with a multitude of attractions and things to do such as hiking in the Vistula glacial valley, boat trips along the river in Kazimierz Dolny or treatment at one of the provinces many health spas. Prior to World War II, the area was one of the world’s leading centres of Judaism with 300,000 Jews living there. During the war, the area became the site of the Majdanek concentration camp.
Lesser Poland (Malopolskie) is located in south-east Poland and has the city of Kraków as its administrative capital. The region has played an important part in Polish history and once was the focal point of the ancient Polish kingdom. The region is very rich in natural beauty, to the north you will find the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, to the south, the Tatra, Pieniny and Beskidy Mountains and to the west is a broad range of hills. Lesser Poland has six National Parks and 11 Landscape Parks including: Tatra National Park and Babia Góra National Park in addition to many areas for tourism and recreation, including Zakopane, which is Poland’s most popular winter resort. In the winter, thousands arrive in Zakopane to ski, especially around Christmas and in February.
We offer directly bookable, instantly available, and completely mobile tickets for museums, shows, and attractions in Poland via the largest online ticketing platform in the world. Get digital tickets, instantly and last-minute, use your phone to enter the venue, no printing needed & customer support available 24/7 in your language. Check out the latest experiences and tours that we have on offer including Auschwitz-Birkenau, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wawel Royal Hill, Polish Vodka Museum & Schindler’s Factory Museum. If traditional sightseeing tours bore you to tears, then try the Retro Bus Tour – Dark Side Of Warsaw. Bump and rumble around Warsaw's Praga district in a retro bus, while your driver reveals the quirkier side of the Polish capital and its culture.
There’s a huge amount of information about Poland within our Blog, some 300 articles so far and we add to these on a daily basis. If you want to know what Śmigus Dyngus is, what the best castles & palaces in Poland are, why Marzanna gets drowned by children every year and where you can find a lost Nazi gold train? – You’re find the answers within our Blog. Where’s the best places to go sailing, hiking, cycling? Where can you find European Bison, brown bears and grey wolves? Check out our Blog pages to find out. To make life easy for you, you can search our blog by category or keywords and everything is archived so you can easily see when posts were written, & what’s new? Our Agency is located in Warsaw and our team all live and work in Poland so you trust our content, we know Poland, the good & the bad!