Poznań is the biggest city in the Greater Poland region and the 5th biggest city in Poland. It’s also where the first diocese in Poland was founded on Cathedral island in the 10th century. Students love its vibrant nightlife, and locals brag about the Town Hall and famous billy goats, and I did not like it…
When preparing for the sightseeing around Poznań I knew what I wanted to do: see the colorful building at the Old Town Square, experience the goat show, and try a sweet, traditional croissant.
We arrived late in the evening to Poznań and went straight to the Old Town square and there I was in the middle of a construction site, trying to find a way through a maze of temporary fences. Feeling pretty hopeless and disappointed we marched back to the hotel. But it wasn’t the only thing that changed my mind about Poznań.
1.OLD TOWN SQUARE
Old Town Square is the beating heart of the city, the postcard view, and the place of meetings. But in 2022 and till autumn 2023 it’s a construction site. There’s nothing to see, it’s difficult to walk it through. So if you are planning to visit in the coming months, then please change your plans, or you’ll disappointed as I was.
2. FAMOUS GOATS
I’ve heard and read so much about the goats that I was expecting quite a show. I couldn’t be more wrong. The goats come out once a day at noon. You need to be there at least 15 minutes earlier to find a “spot”, even though you get to be pushed by the crowd. And the show itself lasts 5 minutes and requires binoculars. Goats come out of the small gate at the top of the Town Hall tower, which is barely visible. Kids find it difficult to look at the right place. On the other hand, the legend connected with the goats is pretty cool: After the clock was finished, it was supposed to be showcased to all the councilmen and the governor of Poznań. They were invited to enjoy a delicious meal, but the cook burnt it. To save face, he stole two billy goats, which he intended to roast and serve, but they escaped to the Town Hall tower and started to butt their heads. The governor liked it so much, that he ordered to attach bumping billy goats at the tower.
3. ST MARTIN’S CROISSANT
It is a sweet and delicious-looking croissant made with semi-puff pastry and white poppy seed. It’s unique because it’s protected by the European Union’s Certificate of Authenticity. Only with the certificate, you’re certain you get to taste the original croissant, which is produced only in Wielkopolska. It’s sold all year round, but the tradition is connected with the November 11th church fair at St Martin’s parish in the XIX century. The Parish priest asked for donations for poor people and one of Poznań’s pastry makers baked 3 trays of croissants. Soon, others followed his lead. The tradition of eating St Martin’s Croissants was created, and it has been continued on until the present day.
The disadvantage is the price, they are sold for kilograms, one croissant weighs around 150-300 grams, while 1 kg can cost up to 130 PLN (27 eur). So paying 5-10 Euro for a croissant is damn expensive.
Ostrow Tumski is a small island with the oldest Cathedral in the country, dating back to the 10th century. The island is not the most popular spot in Poznań, as we barely meet people there. Unless you’re into sacral architecture, there’s no reason to visit it.
WHAT’S NOT THAT BAD?
Of course, not every single thing in Poznań was so terrible. There are a lot of green areas, parks, lake Malta with many outdoor activities, and a cycle path along the Warta river.
There’s also a cool place called: KONTENERART, where a lot of concerts are hosted, and people gather to talk and chill. There’s also a street food stand place with a variety of international cuisine.
SHOPPING IN POZNAŃ
If you’re in Poznań to pick something up for yourself try Stary Browar, which received the International Council of Shopping Centers Award for the best medium-sized shopping center in the world category. It’s not only shops but also clubs, a beer garden, restaurants, an art center, and a hotel. All of that in a restored XIX century brewery.
On the other side of Stary Browar you’ll find a shopping street Półwiejska.
POZNAŃ WITH KIDS
Kids can enjoy two ZOOs in Poznań. The Old Zoo, which is without admission fee was built in 1871 and was open to the public in 1906. It’s the second oldest ZOO in Poland, after Wrocław. And some animals are still kept in here. The new ZOO is modern and full of additional attractions for kids such as the Maltanka train, melex ride, and playgrounds. The entrance fee is 36 PLN for an adult and 22PLN for a kid from 3 years old. During weekends the price goes up to 48 PLN for an adult and 28 PLN for a kid.
Kids may also like the playground: Wartofrajda, which is within walking distance from the center. Search for Plac Międzymoście.
And of course, during hot summer days, lake Malta, which we, unfortunately, didn’t find time to visit is a fine spot to have some fun by the water. But if your time is as limited as ours, you will not be able to visit
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Poznań is a year-round attraction like any other city in Poland. Obviously, summertime: July and August are more touristy, but except for that any month of the year is good to visit. Remember, for the whole of 2022 and 2023 till Autumn, the Old Town Square is being renovated.
HOW TO GET TO POZNAŃ
Poznań is well connected with other cities in Poland, but not only. It has an international airport, with cheap airlines like Ryanair, Wizzair flying from different European cities.
We stayed in Novotel Poznań Center, which is very close to Stary Browar. It’s also around 15 minutes’ walk from the center. The room was smaller, but for one night it was enough.
A pretty popular concept in Poland is PURO hotels, modern, offering a tablet to control lights, air-conditioning and a TV in the room.