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A shoutout to Szczecin

I have never posted a trip report on this forum before, but after finding very little info on Szczecin, I thought I would pass on some advice to those who are considering travelling there. In short, don't be afraid! Szczecin was not on my original travel plan, but when our friends in northern Germany had an issue which caused us to delay our visit by two days, I needed to find a place to fill in some time between Gdansk and Germany. While not on the beaten path, Szczecin was certainly in our path, and my wife and I decided to settle in for a day and a half (two nights), despite a fear that we might be wasting our precious time there. I am pleased to report that Szczecin is a beautiful city, and well worth a stop if you're in the area. I am not recommending that travelers should make it a "destination", as it is out of the way, and has no real blockbuster attractions, but there is more than enough to see and do on a two night stopover such as ours. We were fortunate to visit during a weekend of perfect weather in May, and the city was alive with walkers and bikers. We particularly enjoyed a Sunday walk along the Avenue of Pope John Paul II (aleja Papieza Jana Paula II), which in my opinion is one of the nicest urban boulevards of any city I've visited in Europe- think Barcelona's Ramblas, but done up as a long park, rather than as a shopping mall. The avenue is flanked by buildings with a Berlin or Vienna look, and ends in miles of parks, with more trails. We enjoyed the walk, but it would be great on a bike too- straight and flat, with a dedicated bike path. The city also has a novel built-in walking tour- a red line painted on the sidewalk, with 42 plaques along the way to provide descriptions of the historical sites. That's even more user-friendly than one of Rick's walking tours!
So don't be afraid to spend some time in Szczecin. You may not run into many English speaking tourists, but you won't run out of things to do. Also, if you are in the area this summer, Szczecin is hosting a "tall ships" race from August 5 to 8, which sounds like a good time. And thanks "Michal from Szczecin", a poster on this forum, for providing just enough info to encourage us to visit your city.

Posted by
12343 posts

I would use Rough Guide Poland. The city would still be on my itinerary regardless if any information could be gleaned from a tourist guide book. It was the former city of Stettin, which Churchill mentions in what became known as his "Iron Curtain " speech in March 1946, and it was the province capital of Pomerania in the Germany prior to WW1.

Posted by
6717 posts

Hopefully you meant "don't hesitate" as opposed to "don't be afraid"...I'm not sure why anyone would be afraid of traveling in Poland. It's perfectly safe and it's getting much better all the time (lots of EU and German investment in infrastructure in the cities). I'm from Warsaw, Poland but sadly have not been to Szczecin myself :-( I immigrated to the States when I was a child so I didn't get to see a lot of cities in Poland (even now). I'm glad you had a great time and encountered a pleasant surprise in your travels. I doubt the city will get many American tourists because it's simply not on their radar, and vacation time here is very skimpy (and the name is very hard to spell and pronounce).

Posted by
151 posts

Yes of course Agnes, I meant "don't be afraid" in the context of "don't hesitate". Absolutely nothing scary. Travelling around the northern half of Poland was safe, easy, fast, friendly, and relatively inexpensive. We traveled exclusively by train, with stops in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Kudova Zdroj, Gdansk, Malbork, Sopot and Szczecin. We have been to Krakow on a previous trip, but I am looking forward to exploring more of the southern half of the country in the not too distant future.

Posted by
6717 posts

Did you go to Kudowa-Zdrój to visit the spa? I've never heard of anyone going there, so it's great that you really went off the beaten path. Also, what did you think of Wrocław? I think it's underrated as well, and worth visiting.

Posted by
151 posts

We didn't get to the spa in Kudowa-Zdrój. We went there, by train from Wrocław, to meet up with some friends who live not far from there, in the Czech Republic. It happened to be the closest we could get to them by train, and they drove in from their hometown. We arrived at the start of a weekend, and the town was quite active. It's a very pretty spot. We really enjoyed Wrocław. The main square is on the scale of Krakow's, and quite vibrant. It's a great city- underrated, I agree!

Posted by
123 posts

Thank you! I am glad that you spent good time in Szczecin and plan to visit Western Poland once again. I propose to take into account a few natural and historical places as: Kołobrzeg, Świnoujście and Wolin National Park in the seaside
http://www.swinoujscie.pl/en/contents/content/227/2874
and from Pomerania to Great Poland: Wolin, Nowe Warpno, Police, Stargard, Poznań, Gniezno, Kruszwica, Uniejów, Sieradz and Wieluń
https://www.termyuniejow.pl/en
and through Silesia to Zielona Góra: Kluczbork, Tarnowskie Góry, Będzin, Głubczyce, Prudnik, Nysa, Kłodzko and Bear Cave, Fort Srebrna Góra, Table Mountains, Wałbrzych with Książ Castle, Karpacz, Jelenia Góra, Lwówek Śląski, Legnica, Głogów and Zielona Góra
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaskinia_Nied%C5%BAwiedzia (Bear Cave)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sto%C5%82owe_Mountains (Table Mountains)
The airports in this area are in Szczecin, Poznań, Łódź, Katowice, Wrocław and Zielona Góra
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_Szczecin%E2%80%93Goleni%C3%B3w_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozna%C5%84%E2%80%93%C5%81awica_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%81%C3%B3d%C5%BA_W%C5%82adys%C5%82aw_Reymont_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katowice_International_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernicus_Airport_Wroc%C5%82aw
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zielona_G%C3%B3ra_Airport
You can use the portal about Polish trains
http://rozklad-pkp.pl/en