Serving as the capital of Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, Olsztyn is a colourful riverside city in northern Poland. It was founded in the 14th century by the Teutonic Order and has long been an important trade hub, with its medieval market square forming part of the European Route of Brick Gothic.
Things to do in Olsztyn (Warminsko-Mazurskie)
One of the town’s most impressive architectural landmarks is Olsztyn Castle, a 14th-century Brick Gothic landmark that was previously home to the Renaissance astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus. It is now occupied by the Museum of Warmia and Mazury, which exhibits archaeological findings, folk artefacts and historic coins from across the region. Highlights include an 18th-century world atlas and an experimental board made by Copernicus.
A short walk from Olsztyn Castle is St. James Cathedral, which is instantly recognisable thanks to its rectangular patterned tower. Dating from 1596, it is the largest church in the city and an active site of Catholic worship today. Step inside to see the 16th-century Gothic winged altars or attend one of the organ concerts held here during the summer months.
Sprawling west of Olsztyn is Lake Ukiel, a popular recreational destination ringed by hiking trails. In the summer months, you can relax on the sands of Plaża Miejska, which is a hub for swimming and home to an inflatable playground. In addition to cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours, it is also a base for kayak and sailing rentals.
Getting around Olsztyn (Warminsko-Mazurskie)
Olsztyn is around two hours’ drive from Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe, while Warsaw is 2.5 hours away. Regular trains connect to the Olsztyn Downtown and Olsztyn West railway stations while both buses and trams travel throughout the city. Olsztyn’s Old Town is ideally explored on foot.