Bialystok might not be on top of my list of best places to visit in Poland but the capital of the Podlasie region is still worth visiting. While it doesn’t really have many major monuments it is a pleasant city worth your time.
The list of things to do in Bialystok isn’t very long and one day in Bialystok should be enough to get to know the city and feel the vibe of it.
If you think of exploring the Podlasie region (definitely recommended!) plan some time for visiting Bialystok too. Or you can visit Bialystok as one of the day trips from Warsaw, it’s only around 2 hours by train away.
Below you can find my favorite reasons to visit Bialystok.
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Reasons to visit Bialystok, Poland
Branicki Palace is an absolute highlight of the city and a very good reason to visit Bialystok. This is actually one of the most beautiful palaces you can find in Poland, often called “Polish Versailles”.
The beautiful palace you can admire today dates back to the beginning of the 18th century and was built where the Gothic castle used to stand. As the name indicates, it belonged to one of the wealthiest Polish aristocracy families and you can clearly see the splendor in the building and its surroundings.
Today the local Medical University is located here but it is possible to visit the interior of the palace.
The baroque gardens surrounding the Branicki Palace are pretty spectacular too – well-maintained, organized, and simply the prettiest. Wandering around is a pure pleasure.
Branicki Palace and gardens are one of the favorite areas for locals to go for a walk but even if there are many people around you can appreciate the beauty of the place. And when you go there in the morning you might have the gardens all to yourself.
Bialystok has one of the best street art scenes in Poland. You can find some really amazing murals all over the city, including the famous girl with the water can.
It was once considered to be among the most beautiful murals in the world. What makes it special is the tree in front of the building – it looks like the painted girl is watering it.
Unfortunately, many of the murals are located on the blocks of flats a bit away from the central part of the city but even in the center of Bialystok, you can find some nice works (like the mentioned above girl with the water can).
On this website (in Polish though) you can see where to find some of the murals in Bialystok.
Bialystok is known for its multicultural past.
Due to the location, the city has been on the crossroads between east and west. In fact, in the 16th century, the border between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania went through Bialystok. The cultures, religions, and influences mingled in the city.
The creator of the Esperanto language, Ludwik Zamenhof, was born in Bialystok. You can visit places connected to this famous persona, including his birth house.
Still today you can find many remnants of the multicultural past around the city, such as Orthodox churches (including the largest one in Poland) or the monument where the synagogue used to be located.
When I visited Bialystok in the summertime I was really impressed by how vibrant the city was. Until late hours the center was packed with people, all the outdoor bars ad restaurants were full and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Sure, with almost 300.000 inhabitants it is one of the largest cities in Poland but still, I was really impressed with the cool, laid-back atmosphere of Bialystok.
I recommend visiting Bialystok in the warm months too so you can fully enjoy and appreciate the place.
Getaway to the Podlasie region
The Podlasie region is among the most interesting in Poland. It’s known for its pristine nature, various cultures coexisting, and old-times vibe.
That’s where you will find beautiful wooden houses, numerous picturesque Orthodox churches, the only Tatar villages in Poland, or the UNESCO-protected Białowieża Forest. The Podlasie region also offers a unique culinary experience so if you are a foodie this area will be a treat for you.
And there is no better place to start exploring the Podlasie region than Bialystok, its capital. If you use public transport during your travels there are numerous buses and trains that can take you around the area.
Some of the best places to visit in Podlasie include Tykocin, Supraśl, Białowieża, Kruszyniany, or villages along so-called the Land of Open Shutters.
To prove to you that Bialystok is a really fine place to visit here are a few more pictures to show you how pleasant this city is.
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