The geometrical center of Europe is located near Warsaw, Poland’s capital. For over a thousand years of its history, Poland has changed from a European power to losing independence to the economic pioneer of Central and Eastern Europe. The enthusiasm, creativity, and potential of Polish entrepreneurship are widely known today. Thanks to the determination of Poles, their Solidarity movement, as well as the spiritual authority of Saint Pope John Paul II, Poland has escaped from the depression of the communist regime and has been a free country since 1989. Poland’s rich tradition and customs attract millions of tourists from around the world.

For centuries, culture and art have strengthened the national identity of Poles, as well as helped them survive the worst moments in history. Polish artists are still inspiring the world. One of the greatest composers and pianists Fryderyk Chopin was born in Poland. One of the most important music competitions in the world dedicated to his music, the International Chopin Piano Competition, is held in Warsaw every five years since 1927. Poland is the home of Nobel Prize, Oscar, and Grammy winners. Thanks to the literary Nobel winners, including Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz, and Olga Tokarczuk, Poland has gained a reputation as a land of poets and writers. The voiced Polish language spoken by over 40 million people in Poland and abroad is conducive to the development of literature. It was in Polish that Andrzej Wajda created his films, and through them he became the winner of prestigious film awards, including an Oscar for lifetime achievement. Krzysztof Penderecki, an outstanding composer and four-time Grammy Award winner, was a Pole.

Poland is a country of people with ideas. Polish scientists can boast of important discoveries and inventions that changed the world. Maria Skłodowska-Curie came from Warsaw. Recognized as a scholar of all time, she remains to this day the only woman who received the Nobel Prize twice (in 1903 and 1911) and the only scientist honored in two different fields of natural sciences. She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for the discovery of polonium and radium, the first woman appointed professor at the University of Paris La Sorbonne, and the first woman admitted to the Medical Academy. Whereas Jan Czochralski, a Polish physicist, invented the method of growing single crystals, which proved to be the basis of modern electronics. Semiconductor devices are made of silicon monocrystals obtained by this method. Thanks to them, computers, tablets, mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, and other electronic devices work. And Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki, and Henryk Zygalski broke the codes of the most famous cipher machine in history: the German Enigma. With their achievements they contributed to the end of World War II.

Thanks to its location from the Baltic Sea and Masurian lakes in the north, through the lowlands of the central part of the country up to the mountain ranges in the south, Poland is an attractive country. It has 23 national parks, 1500 nature reserves, and 145 landscape parks. It encourages active recreation with an array of mountain trips; bike rallies; kayaking; rivers and lakes; sailing; surfing; horse riding; one of the longest routes in Europe, spanning 1800 km, which runs through the center of the country; and observation of rare species of birds in their natural environments.

Tourists are attracted to Poland by numerous cultural events, music, film, and theater festivals. They are hosted by Polish cities famous for their international award-winning architecture. Magnificent examples are the beautiful Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin, which was the first building in Poland to receive the most important European Mies van der Rohe prize, and the National Museum in Szczecin – The Dialogue Centre Upheavals, recognized as the best building in the world in 2016 at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin. Other Polish public buildings that stand out on the world map of architecture are the Shakespeare Theater and the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk, the Silesian Museum in Katowice built on the site of a former coal mine, the home of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, and the Krzysztof Penderecki Music Center in Lusławice, Cricoteca (Tadeusz Kantor Museum) in Kraków, the Warsaw Uprising Museum or the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Visiting these unusual cultural sites gives an insight into the complex history of Poland and at times the tragic fate of its inhabitants, especially related to the experience of World War II. Poland cares for the rebirth of what is lost. It became a guardian of memory and it protects the Jewish heritage lost during World War II by supporting the development of the contemporary culture of the Jewish minority in Poland. An example of this support is, among others organized for over 30 years, the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, which is the most spectacular and interdisciplinary festival of its kind in the world, visited by tens of thousands of tourists.

Poland also attracts film, theater and music lovers. It is a real treat for them to meet the greatest contemporary music creators during the international Warsaw Autumn festival, with movie stars and world-renowned cinematographers at the EnergaCAMERIMAGE festival in Toruń, or with independent artists from around the world participating in the New Horizons International Festival in Wrocław, which presents artistic, visionary, and experimental cinema.

There are many reasons to come and see what Poland is really like.

6856 km from New York to Warsaw, the capital of Poland.

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The most important news from Poland in different languages: Polish Radio for the World