With such a large and diverse country like Poland, there is of course not the one perfect travel time. Everything depends on what you want to do on your vacation. Bathing in January and skiing in August is of course not possible in Poland, but there are some things you should consider that are less obvious. In the following article we will give you tips on how to plan your vacation and when and where it is really worthwhile to go. If you want to see which are the most beautiful places in Poland, just click here.
Best time to Travel to Poland – City Tourism
The good news first: You can visit most of the Polish cities all year round. The climate is not so different from the climate in Central Europe, you just have to pay attention to a few things. Especially in winter it can get colder than in the west. City trips from December to February are of course possible, but especially in the east and north of the country it can get really cold. Temperatures of -25° Celsius are not uncommon, especially in the northeast.
Of course the summer months are ideal for exploring the cities. You’ll think that everyone knows this and that’s why it’s so crowded in Krakow, Warsaw and other cities. This is only partly true, because in Poland there are more people studying in percentage terms than in other countries and the students usually don’t stay in the cities in summer but return to their home country.
Avoid these dates!
Of course, many Poles also go to the sea, which is why Polish cities do not necessarily have to be full in summer. The ideal months are April, May, June and September, October. You should also note that there are big differences within the country. While it can be really green in Krakow in the south of the country in April, there may still be snow in Olsztyn in the North. On the other hand, in Cracow in October the leaves may have all fallen, while in Gdansk autumn leaves may still be hanging on the trees.
You should avoid two dates completely: the first week of May, when two holidays follow each other and many Poles spend a long weekend somewhere, and November 1st, when the whole country is on its feet and visits the graves of deceased relatives (you can see the sea of lights in this video). On this day, the roads and highways are completely full and the number of deaths on the roads is skyrocketing.
Best time to visit Poland – swimming
For the bath vacation two regions are particularly suitable: The Baltic Sea coast with its wide sandy beaches and the Masurian Lake District with its countless lakes.
When to swim at the Baltic Sea in Poland?
Let’s first talk about the popular Baltic Sea beaches. Here you have to think carefully what is important for you. Would you like to have the beach all to yourself and are you ready to swim in the cold water? Or do you don’t mind crowds of people because you prefer warm water and sizzling in the sun?
Popular seaside resorts like Kołobrzeg and Sopot are totally crowded in July and August, but that’s when the temperatures are at their most pleasant. Some dare to go into the sea already in May. But then the Baltic Sea is usually still very cold. July is already quite busy, maybe June would be the right month for you? The water is already quite warm and the beaches are not that crowded yet. However, we are talking about water temperatures which are at best around 15 degrees. Hopefully at least the sun will shine …
When to swim in the Masuria region?
Let’s come to the Masuria area: The big advantage is that you can always find a lake here that is not fully occupied by tourists. And if there’s a lot going on, you just drive a few kilometers further. But now comes the big disadvantage: because of the woods, which mostly surround the lakes, it is cool and shady. If you really want to swim, there are only July and August, all other months are much too cold.
Even in midsummer you might just lie on the shore. But the great thing about the region is that it is so varied. So you can combine your beach vacation with sightseeing or water sports and hiking, July and August are ideal for that!
Best time to travel to Poland – hiking
As already mentioned for the cities, despite its small size, Poland has differences in climate. The most beautiful hiking regions are located in the south and north of the country.
Hiking in the Masuria region – when?
In northern Poland you can actually hike all year round, only in winter you should consider hiking due to the short days and often icy temperatures. Also the snow might spoil your plans. But in spring, summer or autumn, hiking through northern Poland along the coast or through the Masurian lake are is a good idea. Here you should also make sure that you always have enough mosquito spray with you. In summer the beasts can be quite annoying.
Mountain hiking in Poland – when?
In the south of the country there are the charming Polish mountain landscapes. Whether in the Tatra Mountains, the Beskids, the Bieszczady and the Karkonosze Mountains – you can definitely hike best on the borders with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. The most important thing is that you plan ahead and pay attention to the snow line. The Beskids and Bieszczady in the southeast of Poland are not as high as the Tatra Mountains, so you can hike here from April to October without any problems. In the Tatra Mountains it can be different, here you should limit yourself to the summer, also because of the temperatures, just like in the Giant Mountains.
Best travel time Poland – Winter sports
When it has become too cold and too snowy to go hiking in southern Poland, the hour of winter sports enthusiasts strikes. Places like Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains have become famous not only because of ski jumping, but for safety reasons we would rather advise you against this sport here. For cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding the Tatra Mountains are ideal, and the infrastructure in the Karknonosze Mountains is also good.
The months of December to February are the best time for winter sports vacations in Poland and are also reasonably snow-sure. By the way, if you are thinking about doing winter sports on New Year’s Eve and visiting Zakopane – don’t. You will hardly find accommodation and the slopes are hopelessly crowded.
Best time to visit Poland – Water sports
In principle you can do water sports at the Baltic Sea, but by that we mean more fun sports like jet skiing & Co. If you like sailing, canoeing or kayaking, the Masurian lakes are ideal for you. In general, the same applies here as we have already written about bathing. However, you can do water sports in the Masurian lakes without any problems from May until September, but many tour operators and rental stations are only open from June to August.
By the way, despite their popularity, the Masurian lakes and rivers are never really crowded in summer and you can still enjoy nature for yourself in many places!