When people think about Poland the main places that come to mind are Warsaw and Krakow, nowhere else really gets considered by us non Polish. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d like to visit them both but for my first trip to Poland I wanted to see more of the country. After a couple of days in Warsaw, I couldn’t miss it out completely!, I made my way to Lublin.
Lublin is the largest city in south-eastern Poland but it’s not one that receives a huge amount of tourists. While you may not need too many days to enjoy Lublin it should definitely be a place you should consider visiting especially if you’ll be in nearby Warsaw. It’s a beautiful place that’s rich in history.
Getting to and traveling around Lublin
Lublin has it’s own airport so you can fly direct there, or you can do what I did and fly into Warsaw and then fly out of Lublin. With only four flights a day it is the smallest airport i’ve ever flown from but with a train station at the airport and only being 15 minutes to get to by car/taxi it’s an easy airport to get to.
Lublin is also well connected by its main train station Stacja Lublin and with PKP network there are easy connections to Warsaw, Krakow, Katowice and many more places. As well as this there are also connections to many smaller towns with Przewozy Regionalne.
There is a good bus service available in Lublin with a main bus terminal located just north of the Old Town next to Lublin Castle. Here you can get local connections to other parts of Lublin and even international connections to nearby Ukraine and even connections to Belgium and Italy.
The best thing about Lublin is that everything you want to see there is in walking distance so you can have a nice walk around and really appreciate the town. If you do find yourself needing a taxi the prices are very reasonable!
What to do in Lublin
Lublin Castle (Zamek Lubelski) just north of the Old Town is one not to miss when visiting Lublin. Dating from the 12th Century, the castle is one of the oldest preserved Royal residencies in Poland. It was where the Polish monarchy would stay when visiting Lublin in the medieval time, then during WWI it was used as a detention centre and witnessed the deaths of hundred of prisoners. Now the castle is part of the Lublin Provincial Museum and includes the Polish National Gallery and the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.
Inside the castle is the Keep which you do need to pay for to enter but it is well worth it to get some fantastic panoramic views of the city. There are stairs to climb which aren’t too challenging but the views are breathtaking so you’ll be happy once you have reached the top.
Chapel of the Holy Trinity
The chapel was built within the castle to serve as a royal chapel. This is also something you need to pay for but believe me when I say it is well worth it. I wasn’t expecting much before I entered but I was completely blown away by what I saw. The chapel is covered in beautiful medieval paintings that are just amazing. I’ve never seen anything like these! It’s hard to believe someone painted over them! Thankfully there were rediscovered in 1897 and have been restored over a hundred year period.
The Cracow Gate is the only surviving part of the fortified wall that once surrounded the Old Town. It was built during the reign of King Casimir after a Tatar attack in 1341 and now serves at the Lublin History Museum.
The Old Town is something you must check out when in Lublin. It’s a beautiful little district that is full of history. The Old Town has plenty of restaurants and pubs so it’s the perfect place to spend your evening but you really will want to see it during the day too.
The Underground Trail is a complex of 16th and 17th Century cellars that run beneath the Old Town. The route was created by merging the cellars which were once used by traders as storage. During the tour you are guided into different chambers showing the history of Lublin. While the tour is in Polish they do offer scripts in different languages that you can follow throughout the tour.
Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Located just outside the Old Town, this former Jesuit church dates back to the 16th Century and is the largest church in Lublin. The inside is stunning but you can’t enter when a service is in process.
Day trips out of Lublin
With the excellent connections there are many places you can take day trips to while staying in Lublin. Warsaw is only 2 and a half hours away although I would recommend having more than a day to enjoy Warsaw. I highly recommend taking a trip to the town of Zamosc (only 2 hours away by train), a UNESCO listed town (find out more by clicking here) which is known for its stunning market square or you could visit Chelm (1 and a half hours away by train) which is a historic town known for its Jewish heritage.
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