I can’t call Lublin, Poland the hidden gem as it’s hard to hide one of the largest cities in the country. But I kind of feel tourists, both Polish and international, don’t fully appreciate Lublin.
And they should, this city is amazing and I dare to say one of the most beautiful and interesting in this part of Europe.
I know Lublin fairly well. This is the main city in the region I come from and so I often went there for different events or simply for some paperwork like the new passport. But each time I was there I tried to visit the old town and the center – these places are just too good to miss them.
Recently I visited Lublin again, after a few years, and this place got only better!
Table of contents
- 1 Why you should visit Lublin
- 1.1 Lublin is beautiful
- 1.2 Lublin has many cool quirks
- 1.3 Lublin has a great culinary scene
- 1.4 Lublin has a great street art scene
- 1.5 Lublin has a long and interesting history
- 1.6 Lublin has some great events
- 1.7 Lublin is not hiding the past
- 1.8 You can learn about the local tradition in Lublin
- 1.9 Lublin is a great base to discover Eastern Poland
- 2 Is it worth to visit Lublin?
- 3 Travel Resources
Why you should visit Lublin
Before I tell you about things to do in Lublin let’s talk about why you should go there in the first place. There are so many reasons to visit Lublin and I will share my favorite ones with you. Hopefully, this will make you plan a trip to Lublin soon!
Lublin is beautiful
The Old Town in Lublin is just stunning and so charming! Cobbled streets, winding lanes, beautiful corners, and colorful townhouses with many details – you can find them all in Lublin.
Entering one of the gates leading to the Old Town is like stepping back in time and stepping into a colorful and vibrant wonderland. It’s easy to lose the track of time there and numerous cafes and pubs don’t make it any easier.
But even beyond the Old Town the central part of Lublin is pretty and can please the eye. Lublin is a perfect example of the picturesque Central European cities, reminding me a lot about another gem in the region – Lviv, Ukraine.
Lublin has many cool quirks
Did you know that Lublin is one of only three cities in Poland that have trolleybusses (others are Gdynia and Tychy)? Or that you can find an apiary right in the center of the city (at the rooftop of Centre for the Meeting of Cultures)?
These are only a few of the quirks you can find in Lublin. There are cool yards hiding street art, poetry written on the walls, colorful lanterns hanging above streets, and more. All of these make Lublin such a cool place to visit!
Lublin has a great culinary scene
I’m impressed by how great Lublin is doing on the culinary scene. You can find there so many great restaurants, cafes and bars that making a choice where to eat or drink might be a bit challenging.
What surprised me even more was how big the portions are served – I recently visited three different restaurants and it was impossible to finish the meal!
When you visit Lublin be sure to try cebularz – a pastry with onion and poppy-seed. I grew up eating it often as a snack only to realize this is the food typical for the region only.
And it’s so good – I’m telling you this as a person who is not a big fan of onion. You can get it in every bakery and it costs a few złotys only.
Lublin also has its own brewery producing one of the most popular beers in Poland – Perła. The premises of the brewery are a great place to visit, don’t miss it!
Lublin has a great street art scene
Another reason why I enjoy Lublin so much is the great street art scene. Besides the hidden yards and poetry on the walls that I’ve already mentioned, you can find some really good murals all over the city. They were painted by both local and international artists and not only show beautiful scenes but also how the city used to look like or remind about the Jewish past.
Lublin has a long and interesting history
Lublin is one of the most important places in Polish history and that’s already a good reason to put the city in your Poland itinerary.
First settlements in the area of Lublin were established already in the 6th century and already in the 8th century, the first castle was elevated. The city gained importance in medieval times and in 1569 the Union of Poland, creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was signed here.
After the partition of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Lublin was first under the Austrian and then Russian rule. In the 1800s the city developed and was very modern for that time. When Poland regained independence in 1918 the first Provisional People’s Government of the Republic of Poland was established and operated from Lublin.
During World War 2 the city, under the Nazi rule, went through difficult times – the whole Jewish population was murdered and at the outskirts of the city the concentration camp, Majdanek, was founded. In July 1980 big strikes took place in Lublin – it was the beginning of the Solidarity movement in Poland that eventually led to the collapse of communism.
This is just a very brief history of Lublin but you can see the city went through a lot and can be a good introduction to the troublesome history of Poland.
Lublin has some great events
In the summer season, there is always something going on in Lublin. The city is known for its numerous cultural events, the most popular being the annual Carnival showing the art of circus and new theater on the streets of Lublin, the Night of Culture or The East of Culture – The Different Sounds Festival.
You can also enjoy open-air cinema, concerts and more. Lublin is a popular university city so you can be sure you will never be bored there.
Lublin is not hiding the past
Lublin is probably the only city I know in Poland that is now ashamed of its multicultural past (for some reason many places in the country admit there were not only Poles inhabiting these lands).
In the Old Town, you can find old, pre-war pictures of Lublin inhabitants – this is such an interesting project, giving the place a unique soul. The Jewish poems and signs on the walls emphasize how important part of the city this community was.
I wish more Polish cities were like Lublin!
You can learn about the local tradition in Lublin
I’ve seen many ethnographic museums in my life (I recently discovered how fascinating they are) and The Open Air Village Museum in Lublin in one of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s large, showing not only old village houses but also the town with shops, craftsmen workshops or a hairdresser, a small manor house or the cemetery.
This is such a great place to learn more about tradition and life in the old times in the Lublin region!
Lublin is a great base to discover Eastern Poland
You can also use Lublin as a base to explore the region – one of the most idyllic and beautiful parts of Poland (and I’m not saying that because I’m biased as I come from there).
Only a short ride away you can find Nałęczów – a popular spa town, Kazimierz Dolny – the artistic, charming town, Janowiec with the impressive ruins of the castle or Kozłówka with the amazing palace and the only museum of socialist-realist art in Poland (including the sculpture of Lenin).
A bit further but still doable as a day trip is Zamość – the UNESCO gem and the perfect Renaissance town built in the 16th century. Near Lublin, you can also find two national parks – Polesie and Roztocze.
But even when you go discover the Lublin region, returning to the city will be always a pleasure!
Is it worth to visit Lublin?
I guess you know the answer by now. Yes, it is definitely worth it! And with good connections (trains, buses, flights) it is actually easy to plan a trip to Lublin. Be sure to put the city in your Poland itinerary, you will enjoy it for sure!
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