A Stag Weekend in Poland – Which City to Choose?

You are to be married and have delegated your Stag Do Organiser, usually the Best Man or Men to get it done! Destination chosen what do you do next.

Poland has many great cities equipped for a fantastic stag weekend whether you enjoy more the evening activities or day time sporty events or more culture oriented activities.

Krakow



the south of Poland there is Krakow, once the capital, the city where kings, queens & heroes are laid to rest in the imposing sightseeing landmark of Wawel Castle with its legend of the Wawel Dragon. The castle itself spans 500 years and its architecture reflects that with Romanesque to Baroque styles. Today it is a museumand place of interest, you can see the Coronation Sword on display that anointed all monarchs in Poland’s history.

Krakow steeped in historical events, myths & legends is truly one of Poland’s most enchanting cities.

The main square called Rynek was a 12th century silk trade hub and visited by the most illustrious dignitaries throughout the centuries. It is also claimed to be Europe’s largest main square with its centrally placed Sukiennice that were once town houses. Rynek or The Draper’s Squarewith the main hall and St. Mary’s Church is completely surrounded with restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops with outdoor seating to watch the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The numerous horse carriages gather in the square to take you on a sightseeing tour of this grand city.

To get a feel what life was like 700 years ago visit Rynek’s Underground Museum, 6,000m2 of unusual insights to the way Krakow functionedin the past using modern interactive technology including an 11th century cemetery and a lead ball weighing 693kg!

In the area of Kazimierz, known as the Jewish Quarter, reflects the traditional Jewish way of life, this area was gifted byKing Jan I Olbrachtin the 15th century. The community has a vibrant day and night life and a lot of Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List was filmed therewith the interest generated the original Schindler’s Factory was renovated and opened to the public.One other significant place to go is the Auschwitz/Birkenau Memorial near Krakow in Oświęcim (in Polish). This visit will humble you with its stark reminder of what happened and invoke a moment to reflect on the souls that perished there.

The Ghetto HeroesSquare close to Schindler’s Factory is a memorial to all the people deported to Auschwitz and other naziconcentration camps with its 70 chairs scattered representing the left belongings of the people. If you are following the tragic history of wartime Poland you must acknowledge these important places.

The heart of Kazimierz is PlacNowy or New Square, here you can eat , drink and buy zapiekanki a popular long bread roll with different toppings or peruse the weekly market stalls selling everything from haversacks to horses.

Krakow’s Jagellonian University dates back to the 14th century and has its own museum which you can visit to see the world’s oldest globe. Nicolas Copernicus, Poland’s world famous Astronomer & Polymath was a student there.

The now pedestrian walkway called Plantycircling the Old Townwas, in fact, the boundary walls which protected Krakow from invasion. This includes the Barbican Fortress guarding the main entrance to the city, St. Florian’s Gatewith its Royal Parade Road leading to Rynek then onto Wawel Castle.

The main churches in the vicinity of this Royal Roadare St. Mary’s Basilica on Rynek with its trumpeter sounding the hour from one of its towers, Church of St. Peter &St.Paul with stone sculptures of all the apostles, St. Wojciech, Poland’s oldest church circa 1,000 years and Wawel Cathedral with all monarchs and heroes buried there and the bones of the legendary dragon chained to its entrance.


Nearby Krakow Attractions



The nearby salt mines of Wieliczka&Bochnia were of great importance to Europe and beyond. Wieliczka receives almost 2 million visitors a year,you can hire some of the caverns 135m underground for wedding receptions or corporate events but most of all are the wonderousscuptures and monuments on display. The hi-tech interactive room is a fantastic experience, hence the term ‘worth your salt’ as salt was a form of currency in the past.You must always say ‘SzczęśćBoże (shtenchboes-yuh) when you greet someone, it means God be with you, miner’sgoodmorning. The mine has 9 levels to a depth of 300mand still undergroundlakes, fascinating.

A relaxing river boat ride away is the TyniecBenedictine Monastery, situated on a river bank rock face. Pass a few serene hoursvisiting the monastery’s surroundings, museum and restaurant.

In today’s modern Krakow you can take an organised trip to all of these glorious places during your stay, choose wisely though as once it’s booked you are hooked.

Whatever you decide to do in Krakow it is by far the most compact city for walkabout entertainment, really! Two zones dominate the nightlife scene, Old Town & Kazimierz (or Jewish Quarter). These areas are packed with pubs, clubs, restaurants, fast food outlets, vegetarian & vegan dedicated eateries plus live music venues, karaoke, stand-up comedy, street vans and much more such as seasonal markets, film festivals, beer & wine festivals and the Krakow Rugby Festival to name just a few.

More in line with organising a Krakow Stag Do you can try activities which aren’t available in many western European countries like e.g: the adrenaline pumping AK 47 Kalashnikov Shooting range, or there is the Krakow Olympic White Water Rafting circuit or, footie to play or watch, rugby or just plain drinking the local beer from the many local breweries.

Krakow and Stag Dos go together like To me, To you or 1 up ‘n 1 down, the atmosphere is buzzing in Krakow, a most memorable city whoever you are or whatever you do, Krakow Stag Dos are the best.

In the north we have the Tri-City State of Gdansk, Sopot & Gdynia all on the Baltic Sea coast with fresh fish ‘n chips available.

Gdynia



Gdynia’s port is where the majority of Polish emigrants departed for America, harbours two important ships, ORP Błyskawica, a destroyer and the Dar Pomorzia, a 3 mastrigged ship that both sailed the high seas in wartime. Today they are tourist attractions and curated by the Polish Maritime Museum situated close by.

A fantastic view of the bay can be seen from KamiennaGóra which has its own funicular to get you to the hilltop.

Gdynia’s Motor & History Museums are well worth a visit. You can see an original Model T Ford motor car & get a taste of daily life from the 1920s and post WWII. Down at the beach area pop along to see the disused Nazi torpedo station or a stroll on the 180m long Orłowo Pier near the nature park of KepaRedlowska.


Sopot



Sopot is the most trendy and swanky places to be in Summer both for Poles & tourists. By day life on the beach is non-stop with all its cafes, bars and restaurants plus the Aqua Park with indoor & outdoor pools with slides, fountains & saunas. Welcome to the Polish Riviera which boasts one of the longest piers to catch a sunset or sunrise.

There is also the Go-Kart City, Pirate Ship Cruise and the Sopot Wax Museum.

Many hotels line the main promenade Bohaterów Monte Cassinowith the Grand Hotel being the most known and luxurious and the unusual Crooked House landmark.

Sopot is the centre of Tri-city and seaside Poland’s nightlife. This is one huge party zone particularly at the weekends and most of the action is centred around the main drag, Monte Cassino.which is the main strip. Try enjoying the atmosphere in clubs & pubs such as the Spatif Bar or Sfinks 700.


Gdansk



has a wonderful and coloured history, Poland’s largest port since medieval times as a merchant amber hub and docks to ship building and more recently one of Europe’s largest wind turbine producers.

It was from the Shipyards of Gdansk Lech Wałęsaspearheaded the Solidarity movement in the 80s which brought about the end of communist rule in 1989.

There are several museums paying tribute to this popular hero and Solidarnosc.

Gdansk’s rich history is portrayed through it magnificent architecture quay-side activity.

The Royal Way houses some important landmarks and attractions such as the Golden House and Neptune’s Fountain along with the 15th century St. Mary’s Church, big enough to hold 25,00 people.

Down on the Embankment Walk-way the 14th century dock-side crane powered by men walking inside huge wheels like hamsters lifting cargo ashore. Today the many souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs allow you to taste the local brews in the sunshine by the Vistula River.

You will find many amber souvenirs on sale as the area is well known for this precious gemstone. So why not visit the Amber Museum or the WWII Museum or if you are of a thespian nature the Shakespeare’s Theatre with it’s open roof just like the Globe Theatre although it closes when raining.

During warm summer days you can stroll down to Jelitkowo Beach for a relaxing day but if you want you can walk along the sandy coast all the way to Gdynia after passing trendy Sopot.

That’s the Tri-City for your Poland stag do.



Warsaw



Poland’s capital Warsaw which was completely rebuilt after WWII, with its daunting Iron Curtain period architecture which surprisingly mixes well with the more modern styles.

Visiting the Old Town is a priority, carefully re-created after the war with the Royal Route between the castle and square with the ŁazienkiPark & Palace.

The most popular museums are for the Warsaw Rising & Polish National followed closely by the Copernicus Science and Palace of Culture & Science museums.

Warsaw has its Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Jewish Ghetto Memorial.

In terms of nightlife there are bars and clubs spread throughout this sprawling city, making for a decent night out, but you will need to take cabs. The Praga district with its originally decorated clubs and bars in former factories, Vistula boulvards if you like outdoor fun and live music, the Pavilons to hang out with local students, or you can hit Mazowiecka or Nowogrodzkasteets for nightclubs.


Verdict?


Each city is different, and it is hard to clearly identify the ultimate winner, but Krakow seems to be the most popular party weekend destination all year round amongst tourists, and its popularity is fully merited. Tri-city if counted as one destination makes a great summer stag destination. Warsaw – if you’re going on a business trip, and want to save some dosh and combine it with your stag do, then it definitely makes sense to go to WarsawJ

P.S regardless to the city of your choice you can enjoy the great Polish cuisine in all of them- pierogi (ravioli filled with meat,cheese or fruit), Zurek soup served in bowls made of bread, Bigos known as the Polish Hunter’s dish which is made with any kind of meat& spicy sausage. Also kielbasa or sausage, there is one for every occasion in Polish culture.Other popular dishesareKotletschabowyor schnitzel, lean pork breadcrumbed. Meatballs in gravy, half a kilo of Golonka or pork knuckle served with plackiziemniaczne or potato pancakes. On the dessert side assorted doughnuts (yes, very popular here) and apple pancakes.
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