Poland’s vibrant tourism continues to attract more British visitors. In the first eight months of 2016 there was an increase of 11.1% in overnight stays by British visitors and 5.6% in UK visitor numbers compared to the same period in 2015. Growth is anticipated to continue in 2017: The European Volleyball Confederation has confirmed that Poland will host the 2017 European Championships. Six cities (Bydgoszez, Gdansk, Lodz, Katowice, Krakow, Wroclaw) have been proposed as potential hosts and four will be chosen to be part of the event. Each of these cities boasts world-class sporting venues and Poland look forward to welcoming thousands of fans to the arenas. The new products for 2017 include A Raffles Hotel in Warsaw, Vineyard Tours and Cycling routes.
What is new – Warsaw
New: Five star hotel Raffles Europejski is opening in 2017. The building originally opened in 1857 as Hotel Europejski and became one of the most luxurious hotels in the Russian Empire. During World War II it was almost completely destroyed and was re-built in stages throughout the 1950s and reopened in 1962. Raffles Europejski, Warsaw will have 103 elegant guestrooms and suites; a restaurant with an outdoor terrace with seasonal menus showcasing Poland’s rich produce and cuisine; a bar and cigar lounge; and a patisserie that will evoke Hotel Europejski’s fascinating story, tempting guests and locals with chocolates, cakes, ice-cream and other sweet delicacies. The hotel will also house a spa featuring six treatment rooms.
Re-opening: Newly renovated “Baskets Hall” in the city centre. The Hall built over 100 years ago has been completely restored with great attention to the original architecture and original features, including the brick walls using the original bricks from the dismantled Hall, Art Nouveau facades and historical steel girders, repainted in the original green colour. Inside there are 18 different restaurants offering Polish and international cuisine and popular street food. A central feature of the hall is the “Koszyki” bar and a further 11 food outlets.
Beyond Warsaw – Polish Vineyards!
New: The Subcarpathian Vineyard Trail is perfect for wine enthusiasts. The trail is 436km with 18 wineries to explore, meet winemakers and sample some of their impressive products. Great tasting wines are paired with local food specialties and vineyard owners are eager to showcase the broad variety of wines on offer. In the past 10 years the number of small, often family run wineries, grew to over 150. However, viticulture in Subcarpathian is not new, its history dates back to the 11th century when the Benedictine and Cisterian monks first cultivated and made wine here. German settlers in the 14th century created vineyards near the area of Krosno.
New: Green Velo Initiative infrastructure has involved the modernisation of existing cycling routes, the construction of new cycling paths, the integration of existing roads with little traffic, the establishment of a network of parking spaces and proper signage of the entire trail. The route has been designed to travel through tourist attractions, scenic landscapes, monuments, major transportation hubs, etc.
Poland offers a variety of outdoor activities year-round including skiing, sailing and mountain hiking, as well as agro-tourism and the opportunity to explore more than 100 picturesque castles.