Looking for the hidden gems of Poznan, Poland? Poznan is one of Poland’s most visited, beloved cities. Travelers are drawn to the charming old town with its magnificent architecture and colorful row houses. As the city is often a quick stop on a multi-day tour, one may arrive feeling a little overwhelmed as to where to venture after seeing the Old Town Square.
Armed with a Poznan city card, for three days we explored the city discovering the city’s unique attractions and special sites. These are the experiences where we most enjoyed our time in Poznan.
1. View from Royal Castle
No drone? No problem! When we first land in a city, the first direction where we head is up. We had no idea that Royal Castle, Poznan offered such a great view of the city.
Above all, the tower has an outdoor observation deck with a 360 view of the surrounding area. The entrance is free with the Poznan City card or free on Tuesdays.
2. Taste Saint Martin’s Croissant
While in Poznan, we kept hearing rumblings of Poland’s famous local treat, “The Saint Martin Croissant.” The recipe and preparation are so treasured that it has a legal patent of sorts. Soon, we tracked down a bakery displaying a certificate of authenticity so we bought two on a whim!
What does it taste like? Imagine soft, flakey crust with an almond & poppy seed filling sprinkled with icing and nuts. As a result, we purchased two and enjoyed them at our apartment with coffee.
If you don’t have time to seek out a bakery, consider checking out the Poznań Croissant Museum which offers a live performance by locals who will teach you all about this local, famous pastry. Usually, a small croissant sample is included with admission. Keep in mind, that the attraction is closed on Mondays. We recommend researching when to visit as English presentations are limited.
3. The Fighting Goats of Poznan Poland
Every day at noon locals and tourists come together in front of the Poznan Town Hall to watch the famous billy goat show. Two mechanical goats come out of the clock tower and bump heads twelve times.
While we were there, lots of school children clearly out on field trips counted out the number of head butts laughing in pure delight. It was nice to see people coming together to enjoy the simple, but “time-honored” tradition.
Inside, the Town Hall has a museum with some interesting local treasures. In addition to the magnificent indoor architecture, exhibits showcase the history of Poznan dating back from the 10th century.
4. Egyptian Exhibit at the Poznan Archaeological Museum
Around the globe, people are fascinated with Egyptian culture. In addition to their token Oblistik, upstairs the museum has a great collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. The permanent exhibit is called, “Life and Death in Ancient Egypt.”
Interestingly enough, the museum is housed in an old Renaissance palace, dating back from the first half of the 16th century. While inside, be sure to observe the preserved early Renaissance portal and a courtyard with a colonnaded cloister (covered walkway). The museum is closed on Mondays and offers free admission on Saturdays. Otherwise, it is free with the Poznan City Card.
5. Monet in the National Museum | Poznań Poland
Art lovers must not overlook the opportunity to view the only work by French impressionist Claude Monet in Poland.
The famous, Beach in Pourville, 1882 is on display among other works in the Gallery of European Art. By the way, Saturdays offer free admission, or admission is included with the Poznan City Card.
6. Fontanna Wolności (Freedom Fountain)
At night, the brightly colored illuminated fountain offers an opportunity for some gorgeous nighttime photography. The geometric fountain is located in Freedom Square and features two 10 meter wings or sails made out of glass.
7. Zamek Culture Center
The Zamek Culture Center is one of the most interesting buildings in the city. However, many tourists may not be aware of all its charms. Built from 1905-1910, it is considered the youngest castle in Europe and was constructed for the last German emperor, William II.
After the Great War, the former imperial apartments on the first floor hosted the President of Poland. Many of the remaining rooms have been used by the University of Poznan.
During World War II, the Nazis converted the castle to become one of Adolf Hitler’s residences. Despite all the construction, Hitler never utilized the building. To this day, the interior remains the same from that period. Must-sees include:
- The fireplace chamber created for Hitler’s office.
- The Imperial Throne is one of the few surviving pieces from the imperial castle.
- Rooms 102-104 which were once the apartments from William II.
The building is free and open to the public to explore independently during opening hours. We highly recommend grabbing a map at the entrance and taking a self-guided tour of this fascinating building. Guided tours take place monthly on selected Sundays.
Poznań City Card
Holders of the Poznań City Card are entitled, among other things, to:
- Free use of public transportation in Poznań and Poznań County.
- Free admission to most of Poznań’s museums.
- Discounted admission to sports and recreational facilities.
- Discounted admission to the Palm House and the Zoo.
- Discounts at restaurants.
After exploring Poznań, these were the experiences that brought us the most joy while touring around town. Have you been to Poznań and think something special is missing on our list? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.