As one of the oldest cities in Poland, Poznań is often referred to as the nation's "birthplace". Reportedly the area where a 10th century tribe, the Polans, became dominant, it has shaken off a turbulent 20th century to experience something of a rebirth itself, becoming one of the country's most thriving and forward thinking cities. Pairing a pretty old town, complete with baroque buildings and colourful townhouses, with innovative modern architecture, Poznań is now major centre for education, technology, and trade, with one of the highest standards of living and education in the whole country. For visitors, it offers a rich history, a variety of museums, good hotels, and affordable eats, as well as hosting many cultural events and festivals throughout the year.
Ostrów Tumski - If Poznań is the birthplace of Poland, then the Ostrów Tumski area is the birthplace of Poznań . An island that sits between two parts of the River Warta, this is where the early rulers lived, and where the country's first cathedral was built in the 10th century. Although now largely inhabited by clergy, it makes for a nice place to escape from the city crowds.
Old Town - With its colourful, narrow houses and detailed facades, the city's old town is a lovely area to wander around with no real direction. The Old Market Square is the centre of this area, and is a lovely place to sit out with a beer or a hot chocolate just watching the world go by. Look out for the clock tower with its ramming goats. The Old Town area was very badly damaged during the Second World War when the Red Army tried to reclaim it from Nazi occupation, so many of the buildings here are actually post-1945 - but very faithful replicas of what was there before.
Don't leave Poznań without trying a traditional St Martin Croissant, a Polish speciality that is has been given protected status by the European Union as a 'Geographical Indicator'. These sweet treats are horseshoe shaped and made by folding the pastry an impressive 81 times, with a sweep of a paste made from poppy seeds, nuts, raisins, almonds, sugar and butter in between each fold. On the top, there's more nuts and sugar, just for good measure. During the town's St Martin festival, Poznonians consume 700,000 of these delicacies - if that doesn't convince you they're tasty, nothing will.
Flights to Poznań Airport leave from all over Europe, including London, Liverpool, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen and Paris. Poznań Airport to the city is a journey of roughly 7 kilometres; either take the number 59 bus from outside the passenger terminal, or jump in a taxi at the taxi stand located in the T3 terminal arrivals hall.
Poznań is very well connected to other destinations in Poland and to the rest of Europe by rail, largely due to the fact that it is a major railway junction and all trains between Moscow and Western Europe must stop here. Trains to Berlin and Warsaw all take roughly three hours, and to Krakow is about a six hour journey.