Six places to go on your next holiday in Poland
star petrol stations and Polish-German Instagrammer Anna Heiser present some of the more astonishing facets of our neighbouring country
Elmshorn, 25th of April 2019 – Fantastic beaches, picturesque villages, and bustling cities: Ever considered a holiday in Poland? Unlike classic holiday destinations in the countries along the Mediterranean, Poland is a place where travellers can explore magical places apart from large crowds of tourists. It’s also nice to have somebody with you who knows these places and is familiar with the stories behind them. star petrol stations are operated by ORLEN Deutschland, a subsidiary of the ORLEN group, the leading petrol retailer in Poland, with 1,800 petrol stations and a market share of 35 percent. star sent Polish-German social media star Anna Heiser along with her husband Gerald Heiser on a road trip through the land of Anna’s childhood. The lovely couple met one another and fell in love in 2017 on the German television programme”Bauer sucht Frau”. They normally live on their farm in far-off Namibia. Anna brought back a list of six true insider tips for travellers to Poland from her trip visiting her former home.
Something very few people seem to know is that Poland is nearly as big as Germany, and people there love cars at least as much as the Germans do, and the Polish road system is well developed. ORLEN Deutschland and PKN ORLEN operate a dense network of about 2,400 petrol stations in Germany and Poland, providing travellers with petrol and snacks on the car trip between Germany and its neighbour and allowing you to reach the destinations in Anna Heiser’s travel tips quickly and easily:
Tip 1: 500 years of architecture in one convenient location - Moszna Castle
About two hours from Kraków is where you’ll find the little village of Moszna and its historic castle (https://moszna-zamek.pl/). Built in the 17th century in the Baroque, neo-Gothic, and neo-Renaissance style, the estate features a hotel and a large park with centuries-old lime trees and oaks, offering more than enough room for its annual visitors.
Tip 2: At the heart of the Polish soul - Discover Kraków on foot
Kraków is well known for its charming Old Town, the centuries old underground market square Podziema Rynku – among Europe’s largest and oldest markets, and its numerous museums. Steeped in history, Wawel Hill is home to the castle and cathedral; together with the rest of Kraków’s historic Old Town, the former residence of the kings of Poland at Wawel has been designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1973. www.krakau-reisefuehrer.de/
Anna’s insider tips:
Accommodation: Hotel Polski Pod Białym Orłem (https://hotel-polski-krakow.hotel-ds.com/en/) is a captivating option, with individually appointed rooms, view onto the garden, and hearty Polish breakfast.
Restaurant: Szara Gęś (www.szarages.com) offers a lovely view of the city while guests indulge in regional specialities.
Tip 3: So much more beneath the surface - A descent into the Wieliczka Salt Mine
Outside of Kraków is where you’ll find the Wieliczka Salt Mine. The mine’s history began in the 13th century, and today it’s the oldest salt mine in Europe. One of Poland’s most valuable historic monuments, it’s designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and is annually visited by more than one million tourists from all over the world. (www.salzbergwerkwieliczka.de/).
Visitors may choose from three different guided tours:
Tourist Route: For nearly 3 kilometres, visitors can marvel at chambers hewn out of rock salt, timber structures, subterranean saline lakes, and exceptional salt sculptures.
Miners’ Route: For about three hours, visitors step into the shoes of one of the mine’s former workers and can measure the concentration of methane gas and transport rock salt through the mine, under the supervision of the Foreman.
“God Bless” Pilgrims’ Route: This route showcases the skilled craftsmanship of the miners, with religious sculptures, altars, chapels, and even a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting The Last Supper executed in salt.
Tip 4: Where it’s at - Après-ski in Zakopane
90 kilometres south of Kraków, at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, lies the small town of Zakopane, and Poland’s largest ski area with four local mountains: Nosal, Giewont, Kasprowy Wierch, and Gubałówka. But in addition to its winter sport options, Zakopane also
has something to offer in the way of culture, with villas in the town’s own Zakopane Style, as well as several churches, both Baroque and post-modern.
Anna’s insider tips:
Accommodation: Hotel Aries Hotel & SPA (www.hotelaries.pl/) is not only 10 minutes by car from the Szymoszkowa ski lift, it also features a restaurant and a spa/wellness area.
Restaurant: Gazdowa Kuźnia (www.gazdowokuznia.pl/) serves the traditional hard cheese, oscypek, with lingonberries and pierogi and features live Polish music in the evenings.
5. Tip: Picturesque Poland - Flower selfies in Zalipie
On the route from Zakopane to Warsaw, the scenic little village of Zalipie fascinates visitors with the intricate patterns of flowers and greenery lovingly painted onto the walls of the house in the village. Developed in the 19th century out of necessity to cover up walls blackened by soot, this decorative craft is still passed on from generation to generation: house exteriors, windows, furniture, and even everyday items are skilfully adorned with colourful floral patterns.
6. Tip: The highlight of the trip - 409 steps above Gdańsk
Gdańsk, formerly known as Danzig, lies right on Poland’s Baltic coast, and features an historic Old Town like no other, with countless sights to see including the Town Hall (Ratusz Głównego Miasta), Long Lane (Ulica Długa), the Golden Gate (Złuta Brama), and Mariacka Street. But the absolute “high point” of any visit to Gdańsk is St. Mary’s Church (Bazylika Mariacka), one of the largest brick churches in the world ( www.gdansk.de/stadt-danzig.html).
Anna’s insider tips:
The 82-metre high viewing platform in the St. Mary’s Church bell tower offers a breath-taking view of the city. However, the 409 steps to leading up there require some degree of physical fitness as well as some sturdy footwear.
Restaurant: Tawerna Dominikańska (http://tawernadominikanska.pl/english-2/startseite/), right in the Gdańsk Old Town, serves authentic Polish cuisine amidst historic ambience.
You can use the ORLEN petrol station finder at www.orlen.pl/en (Poland) and www.star.de (Germany) to find all the star and ORLEN petrol stations along the entire route. The very modern shops at star petrol stations in Germany and ORLEN petrol stations in Poland also offer a wide range of inexpensive snacks and beverages for the road, including our popular own-brand products like star’s apple spritzer, energy drinks, and mini salamis. Guests who need to stop in for a meal can also visit our modern star cafés in Germany or stop cafés in Poland to fill up on tasty food and drink and recover for a bit.
Anna’s trip itinerary at a glance: