Poland

Visit Kazimierz Dolny, Poland – the Charming, Historical Town

(Last Updated On: )

Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, might be one of the most charming towns in Central Europe (but I’m probably biased since I come from the city next to it). Known as the mecca for artists, the place certainly meets the expectations. But Kazimierz Dolny is so much more than just its charming, bohemian vibe and picturesque cobbled lanes.

kazimierz dolny poland

With its long history, dating back to the 11th century, and beautiful surroundings, there are so many great things to do in Kazimierz Dolny. Even if this is one of the popular day trips from Warsaw or Lublin, you can easily spend more time here to enjoy a small-town vibe and check out all the best Kazimierz Dolny attractions.

I could easily write a book about the town and all it has to offer, but I had to limit myself a bit when telling you in a nutshell why you should visit Kazimierz Dolny (and still, it’s not even close to the shortest article you will find on this blog). Read on and plan your perfect trip to Kazimierz Dolny!

kazimierz dolny poland

Where is Kazimierz Dolny, Poland

Kazimierz Dolny, a small town of around 2,5 thousand inhabitants, is located in eastern Poland. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is 150 km away from Kazimierz Dolny, and Lublin, the region’s capital, is 55 km away.

kazimierz dolny poland

Why visit Kazimierz Dolny

Kazimierz Dolny is one of the oldest settlements in Poland, founded in the 12th century. In medieval times it became an important harbor on the Vistula River on the way from Krakow to Gdansk. The place was first named only “Kazimierz” to commemorate its founder, but once it gained importance and recognition, the adjective “Dolny” (“lower”) was added to distinguish it from Kazimierz near Krakow.

With the location on the main trade route, the town quickly flourished, which you can still see in the architecture. There are numerous historical buildings, mainly from the 16th-17th century, that you can still admire in Kazimierz Dolny.

In the 19th century, the town became a popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful location and charming atmosphere. For these reasons, Kazimierz Dolny has always been a popular destination for artists who are still present in the town, giving the place this unique bohemian vibe. The town is home to numerous festivals each year: folk, movie, and Jewish culture, to name a few.

Kazimierz Dolny can also be an excellent base to see more of the surrounding area, especially picturesque gorges that you can find in and around the town.

There are too many reasons to visit Kazimierz Dolny; each is good enough to plan a trip there!

kazimierz dolny poland

Best time to visit Kazimierz Dolny

Since Kazimierz Dolny is one of the most popular places to visit in Poland, especially for the weekend trip, there are certain times of the year when it’s best to avoid the place (I can’t count how many times I left the town shortly after arriving after seeing all the crowds around).

While the summertime, as well as late spring and early autumn, are usually an excellent time to visit Kazimierz Dolny, the town can get really crowded on the weekends. The same goes for bank holidays: the 1st and 3rd of May or the Corpus Christi holiday. If you can plan your trip to Kazimierz Dolny to avoid these days, you are in for a real treat!

kazimierz dolny poland

How to get to Kazimierz Dolny

The easiest way to reach Kazimierz Dolny is by car; there are a few large parking spaces where you can leave your vehicle to explore the town.

If you use public transport, it can get more challenging but not difficult. From Warsaw or Lublin, you can use the minibus (similar to marshrutka in Eastern Europe) that will take you directly to Kazimierz Dolny.

You can also arrive by train to Puławy (my hometown). From the main street next to the train station, you can take the city bus no 12 to Kazimierz Dolny (you can get the ticket from the machine at the bus stop). This option is not good if you travel from Lublin as you will waste too much time.

Both the minibus and the city bus from Puławy will drop you in the center of the town, a short walk away from Market Square. You can check the schedule of minibusses and trains here.

If you want to avoid navigating public transport and have time only for a day trip from Warsaw in your Poland itinerary, you can join the tour to Kazimierz Dolny. Here are some highly-rated options:

kazimierz dolny poland

Where to stay in Kazimierz Dolny

Even if the town is a popular destination for day trips, I recommend staying there overnight. Not only will you have more time to see all it has to offer (and go to some places a bit further away from the center), but you could also enjoy the town and its charming vibe when the crowds are gone. This is when you can see the real face of the place, which I like so much.

If you decide to stay for more than a day in Kazimierz Dolny, here are some of the best accommodation options:

kazimierz dolny poland

Things to do in Kazimierz Dolny

The best place to start your Kazimierz Dolny sightseeing is the cobblestone Market Square, dating back to medieval times. This is the heart of the town, bustling with life until late hours in the summertime when locals and tourists mingle here. You will find numerous restaurants and cafes surrounding the square where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the place.

Market Square is surrounded by townhouses; however, all but three date back to post-war times. You will quickly spot the Renaissance townhouses, though, as they are of exceptional beauty, with a stunning exterior and rich detail, a perfect testimony of the past of Kazimierz Dolny.

Przybyłowski Townhouses date back to 1615 and are considered some of Poland’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings! The Gdansk Townhouse is slightly newer, built in the late 18th century, and its name commemorates strong trade ties between Kazimierz Dolny and Gdansk.

In the middle of Market Square, you will find one of the town’s symbols – the well from the 19th century. This is not the only structure of this kind in Kazimierz Dolny; you will find three more – in the upper part of the Market Square and on Lubelska and Krakowska streets. The legend says if you drink from the well will return to Kazimierz Dolny.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

The Market Square isn’t the only place to find beautiful townhouses. There are more of them, especially on Senatorska Street, where you can admire a real architectural gem – Celejowski Townhouse, built in the 17th century. Be sure to look mainly at its upper part, which is very rich in decor.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

From Market Square, it is a short walk uphill to Three Crosses Hill (you need to pay a small fee to get to the top). The name of the hill comes (obviously) from the three crosses on top, which were put there in the early 18th century to commemorate the victims of the plague.

This is where you will find the most beautiful panorama of Kazimierz Dolny, the surrounding hills, and the winding Vistula River. Even if getting to the top can be a bit challenging (although if you choose the longer way, starting near the castle, it’s much easier), the view is worth all the effort!

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

On the way to the hill, you will pass the statue of a dog to commemorate the animal that used to like to sit in this very place and observe the world around (but only in the summertime). As you will quickly see, it’s worth rubbing the dog’s nose as it’s supposed to bring you luck.

kazimierz dolny poland

While on Three Crosses Hill, visit the nearby hill too, the highest one in Kazimierz Dolny, where you will find ruins of the medieval castle and the lone tower, offering some great views from the top! You can even see my hometown, Puławy, from there.

The castle was built in the first half of the 14th century. Its shape was forced by the surrounding terrain – the gate leading to the court was located not directly in front of the town but on the opposite side. Over the centuries, the structure was damaged and eventually destroyed (for safety reasons) by the Austrians in the early 19th century; that’s why now we can see only the remnants of its former glory.

The nearby tower is the oldest structure in Kazimierz Dolny, dating back to the late 13th century. In the past, it served as the duty collection point on the trading route passing through the town, as well as the lighthouse for boats flowing down the Vistula River.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

Kazimierz Dolny is also home to numerous beautiful churches with stunning interiors. Even if you are not religious, it’s worth visiting them inside, for all the art you can admire there.

In the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist and St. Bartholomew (the one dominating the northern side of the Market Square), you can see the oldest organs in Poland from 1620. The instrument is still working reasonably well, and each summer, you can enjoy the Kazimierz Organ Festival, attracting musicians from Poland and abroad.

Another place worth visiting is the Franciscan monastery complex, located on the hill opposite the Market Square and the Parish Church. This church was built in the late 16th century, and the interior you can see today is original from the 18th century, made by local artists.

Inside the monastery walls, you can find some gems, too, such as the well from 1629 or 19th-century paintings of the Passion of Christ. The Franciscan monastery is also a great viewpoint of the central part of Kazimierz Dolny.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

For centuries Kazimierz Dolny has been home to the large Jewish community who settled here shortly after the town had been founded and became the important stop on the trade route. Even if everything had changed after World War 2 when the majority of Jews from Kazimierz Dolny were killed, you can still find numerous Jewish remnants in the town, especially in the former Jewish district.

Its center was the Small Market, located just a few steps away from Market Square, which still serves the commercial function. However, today you can mainly buy here some great souvenirs from Kazimierz.

Not far from it, you can visit the synagogue from the 18th century – in my high school times, it worked as a cinema; today, you can find there a Jewish shop and a hotel.

The most significant remnant of the Jewish community in Kazimierz Dolny is the cemetery located some 15 minutes walk away from the central part of the town, in the forest in the Czerniawy area. What makes it unique is an unusual lapidarium in the shape of a wall made of tombstones from the old Jewish cemetery, destroyed by the Germans during World War II. When you cross it, you will find numerous graves with beautiful tombstones scattered around the forest.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

One of the most recognizable buildings in Kazimierz Dolny are old granaries. You will find a few of them along the Vistula River (especially on Pulawska Street), all of them dating back to times when the town was an important river port on the Vistula, in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In the peak times, there were as many as 60 of them in the town, and only around ten remain to this day. All of the granaries are white, with red rooftops, and built facing the river. Today some of them have been transformed into nice hotels where you can stay during your trip to Kazimierz Dolny.

The best way to admire granaries is by strolling along the Vistula River. This is one of the nicest things to do in Kazimierz Dolny, as the riverside is pleasant and offers lovely views of the town and surroundings. You can also go for a boat ride to see the area from another perspective.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

Kazimierz Dolny is also a great place to explore interesting nature formations – loess gorges. The whole region is known for them, and you will find so many beautiful gorges in and around the town. You can even go for the night sightseeing in the gorge, with torches to make the whole experience so much cooler (I definitely recommend that!).

The most popular and beautiful gorge near Kazimierz Dolny is Korzeniowy Dół, half an hour from Market Square. But you don’t need to limit yourself only to this one; there are so many other beautiful (and less crowded) gorges around!

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

One of the symbols of Kazimierz Dolny is a rooster, especially in the shape of the buttery pastry. You will see it all over the town, but the most popular place to buy it is Sarzyński Bakery, just a few steps away from the Market Square at 6 Nadrzeczna Street.

While you are in the bakery, try another pastry too (my favorite one) – kulebiak, with the sauerkraut stuffing. It is less popular than the rooster one but so much better!

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

For centuries Kazimierz Dolny has been an oasis for artists who appreciate the town’s picturesque location and bohemian vibe. And still today, you can feel it when wandering around narrow cobbled lanes.

There are so many small galleries around, especially on Lubelska and Senatorska streets. This is the most popular artists’ town in Poland which makes it yet another reason to visit Kazimierz Dolny.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

If you have some extra time, you don’t need to limit yourself only to Kazimierz Dolny; there are a few interesting places close enough too. Around 4 km from the Market Square, you can visit Mięćmierz, where it feels like time has stopped, with wooden houses or an old mill and no pavement on the road.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

Across the river from Kazimierz Dolny, you can visit Janowiec (you can take an old-school ferry to get there), with impressive ruins of the 16th-century castle and a small-town charm.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

You can also go to Pulawy to see the beautiful 17th-century residence of the Czartoryski family and wander in the park with a few more old monuments, including where the first museum in Poland was established.

pulawy poland

pulawy poland

Final thoughts on visiting Kazimierz Dolny

Even if Kazimierz Dolny is a small town, it surely is packed with attractions, as you can read above. If you are looking for a nice and interesting destination to visit in Poland that is not much on the radar of international tourists – this is a place for you.

With close proximity to Warsaw and Lublin, visiting Kazimierz Dolny is easy, and you can smoothly put it in your Poland itinerary. And once you get there, you will surely be satisfied with the charm and beauty of this town.

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

kazimierz dolny poland

Where to go next

From Kazimierz Dolny, you can continue your trip either toward Lublin (with a stop in Nałęczów – one of the Polish spa towns) and then onward to Zamość; go to Warsaw (via Puławy) or south to Krakow (with a stop in Sandomierz). Here are some of the articles that you might find helpful when planning your trip:

If you are looking for articles about a specific destination – check out the map with all the articles I’ve published (and their locations).

Travel Resources

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Poland

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Poland here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.


For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • Sign up to my newsletter or follow me on Bloglovin to get updates about the new posts
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to Poland too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. Thank you!

LIKED IT? PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!

kazimierz dolny poland


love, kami 2

If you enjoyed that post why don't you share it with your friends? That would mean so much to me! Also be sure to join 30.000+ fellow travelers and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for travel updates and even more pictures! If you don't want to miss new posts sign up to my newsletter or follow on Bloglovin!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Comments

    Leave a Reply