Welcome to Poland!
Nestled in the heart of Europe, this beautiful country offers a delightful blend of history, culture and natural charm. From the bustling streets of Warsaw to the fairytale landscapes of Krakow, Poland is a destination that promises you a variety of experiences. So when is the best time to visit? Let's look at the seasons and find out the best time to explore this wonderful country.
Poland's Climate and Temperature Ranges
Before we start our journey through the seasons, let's look at the climate. Poland has a temperate climate with distinct seasons Winter temperatures hover around a cold -6°C (21°F) in January while summer temperatures rise to around 25°C (77°F) in July. Autumn has a more comfortable range between these extremes.
Low Season – November to February
Embrace the Tranquility
During the low season, from November to February, Poland is a peaceful place to visit. With temperatures that can drop at times to -20 degrees C the average in the northern parts of Poland (like Gdansk and Warsaw) can range from around -5°C to 0°C (23°F to 32°F) during the coldest months. In central areas, such as Krakow, temperatures range from -6°C to -2°C (21°F to 28°F) and in the southern parts of Poland, especially in the Tatra Mountains region, temperatures can drop even further, with averages around -10°C to -5°C (14°F to 23°F) or even colder.However the chilly weather doesn't need to deter you from travelling as you can discover the tranquil beauty of the snow-covered Tatra Mountains and the magic of Warsaw's Old Town. The low season is the time to enjoy Poland with fewer crowds and lower prices.
Best Things to Do During the Low Season in Poland
- Poland has several ski resorts, with the Tatra Mountains being the most popular destination. Zakopane and Krynica-Zdrój are known for their excellent ski slopes and beautiful landscapes.
- Christmas Markets in Polish cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw are known for their enchanting Christmas markets. So go and enjoy the festive decorations, traditional food, handcrafted gifts and the warm atmosphere.
- Go ice skating in the many cities that set up temporary ice skating rinks during winter. Warsaw's Old Town Market and Krakow's Main Market Square are popular places for ice skating.
- Auschwitz Memorial and Museum, whilst not the most conventional winter activity is definitely worth a visit and going to Auschwitz during the quieter winter months means you'll have a more contemplative experience.
- Check out concerts, theatre performances and art exhibitions happening in major cities, the cold weather is a great excuse to go indoors.
- Try hearty Polish dishes like pierogi (dumplings), bigos (hunter's stew), and barszcz (beet soup) to keep yourself warm and energized.
- Poland's landscapes are transformed by snow during the winter with its picturesque views so it's worth considering a winter hike in places like the Białowieża Forest or the Karkonosze Mountains.
- Visit Wieliczka Salt Mine and explore the stunning underground chambers, chapels and sculptures made entirely of salt in this unique UNESCO World Heritage site near Krakow.
- New Year's Eve Celebrations in Poland have fireworks, concerts and street parties. Warsaw and Krakow are particularly known for their festive celebrations.
- Escape the cold and enjoy some relaxation at Poland's spa resorts. Places like Szczawnica and Ciechocinek have thermal baths and wellness treatments.
- On February 2nd, Candlemas (known as "Dzień Matki Boskiej Gromnicznej") is celebrated with religious processions and candlelit ceremonies.
- Go dog sledding if you're in areas with sufficient snowfall, especially in the northern regions of Poland
Shoulder Season in Poland – March to May and September to October
Unveiling Hidden Treasures
From March to May and September to October, the shoulder seasons in Poland have milder weather. In Spring the weather warms up, the natural world comes to life and trees start to bud with leaves and blossoms, the weather however can be unpredictable with periods of warm and sunny days but also spells of rain and cooler weather.
During Autumn temperatures start to fall, starting at around 15-20°C (59-68°F) in September dropping to 5-10°C (41-50°F) or lower during November. Leaves change colour but rainfall increases with frost and light snow becoming possible.
Best Things to Do in Poland during the shoulder season
- Explore Gardens and Parks as the weather warms up and Polish gardens come to life. Visit Łazienki Park in Warsaw or the Wawel Royal Castle gardens in Krakow for a relaxing stroll among flowers and greenery.
- Experience traditional Polish Easter customs, which often include beautifully decorated Easter eggs, festive meals, and processions. Many cities and towns also host Easter markets and events.
- Spring is a great time to explore Poland's beautiful countryside so head to the Tatra Mountains or Bieszczady National Park to go hiking in nature as the landscapes come alive with blooming flowers.
- Rent a bicycle and cycle through Poland's scenic landscapes and charming villages. The weather is usually pleasant so enjoy the fresh air as you pedal through the countryside.
- Many festivals take place in spring, celebrating everything from music and art to food and culture. The Juwenalia student festivals in various cities and the Warsaw Film Festival are just a couple of examples.
- See the stunning autumn foliage as the leaves change colour. The Tatra Mountains, Białowieża Forest and the region around the Mazurian Lakes are fantastic places to enjoy the beauty of autumn.
- Mushroom foraging is a popular activity in Poland during autumn and you can join locals in the woods to hunt for a variety of mushrooms and learn about the different edible species.
- Poland's wine industry has been growing and autumn is a great time to visit vineyards in regions like Lower Silesia or the Lubusz Land to enjoy wine tasting tours.
- Experience traditional harvest festivals in rural areas where you can participate in events that celebrate the end of the agricultural season. These festivals will often feature local food, music and dancing.
- Autumn is a time when many cultural events and concerts take place so check out the Warsaw International Film Festival, Krakow Film Festival, or other local events happening around the country.
- Explore indoor attractions like museums, galleries, and historical sites as the weather cools down. The Warsaw Uprising Museum, Wieliczka Salt Mine, and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial are some significant places to visit.
High Season in Poland – June to August
Embrace the Buzz
Summer, from June to August, is Poland's high season. With daytime temperatures averaging around 23°C the warm temperatures and longer days are perfect for exploring the outdoor, festivals and bustling city life.
Best things to do in Poland during the high season
- Enjoy the sandy beaches and picturesque coastline along the Baltic Sea. Popular destinations include Gdańsk, Sopot, and Kołobrzeg, where you can relax by the sea and try water sports.
- Explore Warsaw as the capital city comes alive in the summer with outdoor events, concerts, and festivals. You can visit the historic Old Town, take a stroll along the Royal Route and relax in the beautiful Lazienki Park.
- Wander around Kraków, known for its charming streets, stunning architecture and cultural scene. You can explore the Main Market Square, visit Wawel Castle and take a day trip to the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine.
- Head to Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains for breathtaking alpine scenery. There are hiking trails suitable for all skill levels and if you're up for a challenge you might want to climb Poland's highest peak, Rysy.
- Go on a cruise on the Masurian Lakes for an escape into nature. You can rent a boat or kayak so that you can explore the interconnected lakes, that are surrounded by forests and lovely villages.
- Poland hosts a variety of music festivals during the summer that cater to a variety of genres. Open'er Festival in Gdynia and the OFF Festival in Katowice are just a couple of options.
- Explore Poland's rich history by visiting landmarks like Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Wawel Castle, and Malbork Castle—a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- The Green Velo network of cycling trails covers some of Poland's most beautiful areas so rent a bike and explore the countryside at your own pace.
- Apart from the Masurian Lakes, Poland is dotted with many other beautiful lakes, such as Lake Białowieża and Lake Śniardwy, places that are perfect for swimming, fishing or for just relaxing.
What is the Best Month to Visit Poland?
The best month to visit Poland largely depends on your preferences and the type of activities you're interested in. Poland experiences four distinct seasons, each offering its own unique charm. Here's a general overview:
- Spring ( March to May) is a wonderful time to visit Poland. The weather starts to warm up, and you'll find flowers in blossom and trees, particularly in May. This is a great time for sightseeing, outdoor activities and exploring cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk.
- Summer (June to August) is a popular time for tourists in Poland as its warm and there are longer daylight hours, a great time to visit coastal cities like Gdansk and go on the Baltic Sea beaches. The Tatra Mountains in the south are also ideal for hiking and outdoor adventures during this season. However, keep in mind that tourist spots can get crowded, and some cities might be hot and humid.
- Autumn ( September to November) is another great time to visit Poland. The weather is still quite warm and you can experience the beauty of the trees. September and early October are great months to explore the cities and enjoy outdoor activities without the summer crowds.
- Winter (December to February): If you like winter sports and festivities then winter might be the best time for you to visit. You can go skiing and snowboarding in the Tatra Mountains and cities like Krakow have lovely Christmas markets. Be aware though that winters in Poland can be cold, especially in the northern and eastern parts.
What Month is Hottest in Poland?
July is usually the hottest month in Poland, with temperatures comfortably hovering around 25°C (77°F), perfect if you love the warmth of the sun.
What Months are Cheapest to Visit Poland?
The winter months of January and February, along with November, offer budget-friendly options due to lower tourist numbers and discounted prices.
What is the Rainy Season in Poland?
Rainfall is relatively consistent throughout the year, but June has the least amount of rainfall so a good time for to be outdoors.
No matter the season you choose to explore Poland, you will have an unforgettable experience, from the peace of winter to the vitality of summer. So pack your bags and be prepared to fall in love with this diverse land. Happy travels!!