Hospitable but Distrustful
If you are interested in Polish arts, visiting major Polish museums, galleries and theatres is simply a must. In Warsaw, this would be the National Museum, the Chopin Museum, the Poster Museum and Contemporary Arts Centre at the Ujazdowski Castle. The National Theatre in Warsaw presents classic plays, and TR Warszawa offers more avant-garde repertoire. Outside Warsaw, it is worth visiting the National Museum in Krakow (which is the oldest museum in Poland), the National Museum in Wrocław and the Museum of Arts in Łodz . The largest Polish museums are financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and other institutions are funded by regional and local authorities. Moreover, private museums and theatres operate in Poland.
If you are a festival goer, you cannot miss the Malta Festival in Poznan and Festival of Four Cultures in Łodz and major film festivals, such as Warsaw Film Festival and New Horizons festival. The most important Polish film festival is the Gdynia Film Festival, during which Golden Lions prizes are awarded to film makers.
Polish music festivals are frequented by top rock, pop and alternative music stars, and gain prominence in Europe. We can recommend Heineken Open'er Festival held in July in Gdynia, the Pomorskie Province, during which Muse, Coldplay and Pearl Jam have performed. Each year, the event attracts thousands of young people, and its organisers have been awarded with European Festival Award in the Best Major European Festival category.
If you would like to feel a hippy-like atmosphere, you must go to Przystanek Woodstock, which is organised in Kostrzyn nad Odrą (the Lubuskie Province). This is the largest Polish festival, according to estimates some concerts were attended by 300,000 fans. Interesting music festivals are held in Warsaw (Orange Warsaw Festival and Warsaw Summer Jazz Days), in Krakow (Coke Live Festival), in Wrocław (Vratislavia Cantans and in Katowice (Tauron Nowa Muzyka and Off Festival).
The long history of Poland is best reflected in its historic sights. Among the best-known medieval monuments in Poland is the Teutonic Order Castle in Malbork and unique salt mine in Wieliczka, both of them entered on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Among other Polish must-sees are the Wawel Castle in Krakow, which is the historic seat of Polish kings, the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Wilanow Palace in Warsaw and the church of peace in Świdnica and in Jawor (the Dolnośląskie Province). www.poland.pl website is a recommended online guide to major tourist attractions in Poland.