Poland in September: tips for making the most of your autumn in Poland
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- Jump to castles in Poland to visit in September
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- Jump to re-opened zoos in Poland
September marks the end of summer in Poland. Technically, the summer season lasts until September 23 but September in Poland is considered as an autumn month. After all, it’s the month with the first day of school at Polish schools (in 2021: Wednesday, September 1).
The average temperature in September in Poland is 14°C / 57°F (just like in May). The average rainfall level in September in Poland is 53 mm (for comparison, July has the highest average rainfall in Poland: 89 mm, and February the lowest: 31 mm).
The astronomical (the autumnal equinox – the sun is directly over the equator) first day of autumn in Poland in 2021 falls on September 22 and the meteorological first day of autumn on September 23. After the autumnal equinox, the day in Poland gets shorter and the night longer until the winter solstice on December 21 – the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in Poland in the whole year.
- September 1
Commemoration of the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II
September 1, 2021 marks the 82nd anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.
The first day of school at Polish schools
The event includes short formal ceremonies (it’s not a regular full school day so parents may need to take a day off). The school year in Poland is divided into 2 terms: the winter term (pierwszy semestr) and the summer term (drugi semestr). While the first and last days of school are set the same for all of Poland (the last day of school in Poland in 2022: June 24), the winter break (ferie zimowe) times differ for each Polish province/voivodship. Our post covers winter 2022 school breaks dates in Poland by voivodships. You will find updates regarding schools and covid in Poland in our post: updates on the coronavirus regulations in Poland.
- September 22
The first day of autumn
The astronomical (the autumnal equinox – the sun is directly over the equator) first day of autumn in Poland in 2021 falls on September 22 and the meteorological first day of autumn on September 23. After the autumnal equinox, the days in Poland get shorter and the nights get longer until the winter solstice on December 21 – the first day of winter and the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in Poland in the whole year. Read more about the weather, changes in nature, seasonal fruits and vegetables in Poland in September, October & November.
- September 30
Boy’s Day (Dzień Chłopaka)
This holiday in Poland is the equivalent of Women’s Day, which is celebrated in Poland on March 8. On Boy’s Day, ladies give their loved ones (younger and older) a gift or prepare another surprise.
In September 2021, there is no shopping Sunday in Poland. The next shopping Sunday is on December 13 and December 12. Click here to read our post about shopping Sundays in Poland in 2021. Read our post with the list of online stores in Poland delivering groceries to home.
Visit a park in September with your camera
Nature’s signs of autumn in Poland include changes in the landscape – trees are full of vibrant colors of orange, yellow, brown, and red. The leaves begin to drop off, giving children a chance to play in the leaf piles or collect and dry colorful leaves.
Buy local fruits and vegetables available fresh in September
Don’t miss the season for fresh sunflower seeds in Poland (it lasts until the end of September). In September, you can also buy walnuts and hazelnuts on Polish vegetable stalls. They offer also various species of wild mushrooms. And last but not least: the king of fruits in September in Poland is the apple.
Decorate your home with September flowers
Polish gardens are still in bloom in September, the most popular autumn flowers include asters (aster is a floral symbol of autumn in Poland), chrysanthemums, roses, sunflowers. Visit forests in Poland in September to admire colorful heather/calluna flowers (you can also buy them at the florist). The Polish name of September (wrzesień) comes from the heathers (wrzosy).
Look up high and watch the Polish sky Look up high and watch the Polish sky
Birds migration begins in the autumn in Poland. As early as September, you can see in the Polish skies the characteristic V-shaped flight formation of wild geese or cranes (the V shape in Poland is called klucz – a key).
Go hunting for chestnuts, acorns, and rowan red berries
The end of September is the time of the year in Poland when kids go chestnuts-hunting in the parks. Later, at kindergartens or schools, they create fantastic figures with chestnuts (the majority of chestnuts in Poland are not edible!) and acorns (oak nuts) or beautiful rowanberry necklaces. Chestnuts (kasztany), acorns (żołędzie), colorful autumn leaves, and rowan red berries (jarzębina) are perfect materials for arts and crafts activities for children (and adults…). September in Poland is the best for anyone who loves DIY natural projects!
The history of the Japanese Garden in Wrocław dates back to 1913 when it was established as part of the World Exhibition. The garden was revitalized in 1996 and restored again in 1999 after the flood.
The garden is not large, but situated in an interesting and convenient location – during one trip you can visit the Wrocław zoo, Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall building listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) or take a walk in the neighboring park – Park Szczytnicki.
Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm (April 1 to October 31); from November 1 to March 31 the garden is closed. Tickets are available at the Japanese Garden ticket office at the entrance. Regular ticket 8 PLN, reduced ticket 5 PLN, family ticket 20 PLN, children under 3 years old free entrance.
Maple leaves in fall foliage colors in this garden look amazing! The Arboretum Forest Educational Center in Rogów is one of the biggest (over 50 hectares) botanical gardens in Poland. The Arboretum in Rogów has one of the most valuable plant collections in Europe. It’s “a forest park”, located in the thinned-out area of the forest. Our tips in English on visiting the Arboretum in Rogów.
Photo source: www.arboretum.sggw.pl
The Zakrzówek Lagoon was created in 1990 after the old limestone quarry was flooded (the water here has a beautiful turquoise color – all thanks to the deposits of limestone that were once mined here; this is also the place where the future Pope Karol Wojtyła worked in the quarry during World War II).
A two-year plan for the development of the Zakrzówek Lagoon has been announced in order to make it available for recreation (so far it is forbidden to swim).
The Old Town of Kraków is visible from several viewpoints on the hill and rocks.
Where does the name of the rocks (the rocks of Twardowski) come from? According to the legend, Master Twardowski ran a school of magic and sorcery among the surrounding cliffs. One day, during an unsuccessful experiment, the laboratory exploded and the explosion created picturesque rocks named after the Master.
The huge park surrounding the summer residence of the last Polish king. A must-see on your Warsaw (and Polish) bucket list! It can be crowded during weekends but it’s also big enough to have a quiet walk in less popular parts of the garden. Amazing during each season – kids can collect chestnuts and colorful leaves during fall, build a snowman and ride a sled during wintertime, observe squirrels in spring, and lie on the grass in summer.
We’d like to invite you to subscribe to our monthly newsletters in English “Explore Poland with Kids”.
The newsletter is emailed on the first day of each month and covers beautiful destinations in Poland worth visiting with children and introduces some tips and facts about Polish nature, culture, traditions as well as current affairs in Poland regarding family life.
All in English!
Our newsletter aims to:
- show you places in Poland worth visiting with children – from city break destinations to hiking in the mountains (lots of practical tips!)
- encourage the families to explore Poland
- explain Polish traditions and customs (eg. hiding treats in shoes on St. Nicholas’ Day)
- remind you about holidays, observances, shopping Sunday in Poland in a given month so you can mark your calendars accordingly
- explain regulations in Poland, e.g. current COVID-19 restrictions, child benefits, a healthcare system in Poland, obligatory census, etc.
- help you to navigate your family life in Poland:)
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The city of Poznań – where centuries-old tradition meets a modern vibe
The city of Poznań is a perfect weekend city break in Poland. Poznań is full of monuments, but at the same time, it’s very modern, innovative, and… green city. Try delicious Poznań pastry (rogal), visit 2 zoos, take a photo with the fighting billy goats, learn about the origins of Polish history.
The city of Poznań (pronunciation: poz-nan) is the 5th largest city in Poland by population (after Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, and Wrocław), and the capital of Wielkopolskie Województwo (province). The Warta river flows beautifully through the city (the second longest river lying entirely in Poland, after the Vistula). One of the oldest Polish cities, it was the cultural and political center when Poland was created in the 10th century. Gniezno (a city located 50 km east of Poznań) was the first capital city of Poland. Poznan is full of monuments, at the same time it’s a very modern, innovative, and… green city (30% of green areas).
How to get there? What are the top attractions? Find our more in our post about visiting Poznań.
The Białowieża Forest – bison, ancient forests, hiking and biking trails
The Białowieża Primeval Forest (Puszcza Białowieska) was created without human intervention and is the only natural place in Poland entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It is a unique place on a European and global scale – most of Europe’s natural forests have been cleared in the last few hundred years. Their place was taken by crops, meadows, pastures, villages, cities. The Białowieża Primeval Forest is exceptional in Europe. It is here that for thousands of years uninterrupted natural processes have been taking place. As a result, this forest is characterized by an extraordinary abundance of fauna and flora.
Białowieża National Park (17% of the area of the Polish part of the Białowieża Primeval Forest) is a protected area famous for its ancient forest that survived in its natural state to this day and large bison population, as well as hiking and biking trails. It is a perfect place for all those who love nature. The area gives a unique opportunity to observe nature, exceptional biodiversity, rare species of fauna and flora. The Białowieża Forest is known worldwide for the European bison – the largest land mammal in Europe.
How to get there? What are the top attractions? Find our more in our post about visiting Białowieża.
The city of Toruń – one of the oldest cities in Poland
Toruń is a medieval city picturesquely located on the banks of the Vistula River, known in Poland for two things: the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and… gingerbread cookies.
The city of Toruń (pronunciation: ˈtɔ.ruɲ) is one of the oldest cities in Poland (established in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights), and unlike many other cities in Poland, it avoided substantial destruction during the Second World War. Most of the important architectural monuments are originals, not reconstructions. Toruń is a city full of Gothic art and architecture (in Poland, only Kraków is “more Gothic”). The medieval part of Toruń is listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
What we love about Toruń is that every major tourist attraction is within walking distance (even for children!).
If you want to explore Poland, if you enjoy cities with a historic vibe, and if you like spiced ginger cookies… Toruń is your perfect weekend destination.
How to get there? What are the top attractions? Find our more in our post about visiting Toruń.
The city of Kraków – rich in history, culture, nature, and tourist attractions
Kraków (in English Krakow or Cracow) is a city located in southern Poland on the Vistula River – the second-largest city in Poland (after Warsaw) in terms of population and area. The former capital of Poland and seat of Polish kings. On one hand, it’s small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed here. On the other hand, it is so rich in history, culture, nature, and tourist attractions that you want to stay here longer or come back again!
The uniqueness of Krakow has been recognized by UNESCO that placed the Historic Centre of Krakow on its list of World Heritage Sites.
Finding accommodation in Krakow is easy. There are many hotels in different price ranges located close to the main tourist attractions as well as a wide selection of apartments for short rent if you prefer that option.
There are plenty of restaurants in Krakow serving traditional Polish dishes, but also restaurants with international cuisine. As in other large cities in Poland, it is not difficult to find a child-friendly restaurant – with a special kids menu, a play area, changing facilities.
How to get there? What are the top attractions? Find our more in our post about visiting Kraków.
The city of Wrocław – a nice destination for every season
Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland (after Warsaw, Kraków, and Łódź), a vibrant student city, attracting many international businesses and thousands of tourists from Poland and abroad. Although the name of the city is difficult to pronounce for foreigners (‘vrotz-wav‘), Wrocław is a city open to tourists and offers many great attractions. From Gothic architecture to picturesque bridges, comforting gardens located in the heart of the city, the only oceanarium in the world dedicated to Africa’s water wildlife and over 300 small bronze figures of… dwarfs scattered around the city. Wrocław offers plenty of things to do on a rainy day, indoor attractions to escape the cold or the heat so you can enjoy the city at any time of the year. You should definitely consider Wrocław when you are planning your next weekend getaway in Poland and include it in your list of places to visit in Poland.
How to get there? What are the top attractions? Find our more in our post about visiting Wrocław.
Malbork Castle is one of the most magnificent medieval fortresses in Europe, called by many the biggest castles in the world. Built in the 13th century, restored after the Second World War, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site (“It is the most complete and elaborate example of a Gothic brick-built castle complex in the characteristic and unique style of the Teutonic Order”; more on the UNESCO website.)
This very photogenic castle (the majestic ruins are enhanced by the rocks used to build the walls of the castle) was built in the 14th – 15th centuries and is available for tours, including small exhibition rooms – torture room (!), armory, and history of the castle. “Across the street”, there is an amusement park (including a miniature park, toboggan run, experiments park, “the house of legends and terrors”) and on the other side, 300 m from the castle, there is a cozy hotel with a swimming pool, set into the rocky and green surroundings (POZIOM 511 Design Hotel & SPA).
The history of the palace dates back to the 18th century, the present building is a combination of neo-gothic and neo-renaissance styles, from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. This fairy-tale palace is famous for its 99 towers and 365 rooms, and a large park with centuries-old trees (beautiful photo gallery of the park) and azaleas and rhododendrons (bloom around May). The palace offers different tours (including “an extreme tour” of underground corridors, previously unavailable chambers and a dark crypt), and hotel rooms.
Książ Castle rises picturesquely on rocks among forests, in the heart of the Landscape Park. It’s a huge building – it is estimated that it is the third-largest castle in Poland after the Malbork castle and the Wawel castle in Kraków. The history of the castle dates back to the 13th century, it was rebuilt several times (the last time by the Nazis during the Second World War who bored tunnels 50 meters below the castle), which can be seen in its eclectic architecture. The castle offers hotel rooms and 14 tours, including a one-and-a-half km underground route and the castle by night tour.
Czorsztyn Castle (magnificent ruins of the castle from the fourteenth century) and Niedzica Castle (Zamek Dunajec) are both located on the shores Czorsztyńskie Lake (Jezioro Czorsztyńskie). The lake is beautifully located between the Pieniny Mountains and Gorce Mountains; it’s an artificial water reservoir on the Dunajec River, created by building a water dam in Niedzica town. Both castles are open to tourists, and small cruise marinas have been built next to them so you can enjoy the views from lake cruises (a boat or a gondola). There is also a free guarded beach (Plaża Pieniny) and a bike trail around the lake.
The history of the castle in Gołuchów, rising over the river in the forest area, is over 400 years old. It’s located in a quiet and green area – a nice weekend getaway spot if you appreciate nature and some history. The castle is run by the Poznań Museum and is available to tour. An undoubted advantage of the castle is its location – the enormous park-arboretum surrounding it is available to visitors from dawn to dusk (it is one of the oldest and largest gardens established in the English style in the second half of the nineteenth century). The park includes demonstration animal farm (open daily from dawn to dusk, free entrance, the farm’s location on Google map, more in Polish). You will find there Polish bison (żubr), Polish ponies, fallow deers, and wild boars.
Click here to read our post about the best castles in Poland to add to your Polish travel bucket list (including their locations, websites etc.).
The oldest (opened in 1783) botanical garden in Poland – 10 ha of greenery in the heart of Kraków (peace and relaxation in the center of a usually crowded city!). The garden was entered in the register of monuments in Poland as a valuable natural object, a monument of the history of science, gardening art and culture. Open to visitors from April to October.
If you need a break from the typical tourist attractions of Wrocław, the Botanical Garden is a green oasis of calm in the center of the city (the garden is located about 2 km from the Market Square, in the Ostrów Tumski district – the oldest part of Wrocław that used to be an island). Established in 1811, the park includes ponds with wooden bridges, a greenhouse, and thousands of plants.
One of the most beautiful places in Poznań and a favorite destination of Poznanians for weekend family walks. It’s a nice place for rest and education – you will see here many species of plants from various parts of the world, both popular and rare, and even threatened with extinction. The Botanical Garden is open every day, admission is free.
The botanical garden is located within a large historic Park Oliwski, in Oliwa district of Gdańsk. Opening hours of Park Oliwski May – September: 5 am – 11 pm, October – April: 5 am – 8 pm, free entrance.
In addition to the Botanical Garden, in the Oliwa Park, there is a gallery of contemporary sculpture, a Japanese-style garden, a popular ‘linden alley’ formed into a green tunnel, park ponds with ducks, gulls, and swans.
The Silesian Botanical Garden (Śląski Ogród Botaniczny w Mikołowie) is located 20 km from Katowice, on the hills and glacial moraines of a huge area of 100 ha! It has become a green showcase of the industrialized Silesia region.
The Garden has two parts/entrances: Ogród Żólty/Yellow Garden (Sosnowa Street), Ogród Czerwony/Red Garden (Grudniowa Street). These two parts of the garden are connected by a forest path leading through Fiołkowa Góra (the Garden’s map).
The Arboretum Forest Educational Center in Rogów – established in 1923 – is one of the biggest (over 50 hectares) botanical gardens in Poland, run by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. It is located in Łódź voivodship, 40 km from Łódź and 100 km from Warsaw.
The Arboretum in Rogów has also one of the most valuable plant collections in Europe. It’s “a forest park”, located in the thinned-out area of the forest. You can admire there the collections of trees and shrubs of Central and Eastern Europe, protected, endangered, and rare plants, as well as “experimental” parts of the forest with foreign species and the Alpine Garden – the aplinarium.
Warsaw is lucky to have 2 botanical gardens. One is located in the city center (the Botanical Garden of the Warsaw University), and the other in the suburbs of Warsaw in Powsin.
The Botanical Garden of the Warsaw University – beautiful nature at your fingertips in the heart of Warsaw – it sounds like a cheap advertising slogan, but the Garden is really wonderful. It is full of winding alleys, hills, paths among flower beds and hedges, pergolas, corners with fountains and a pond. Secret garden like in a fairy tale.
In 1818, the Garden was separated from the Łazienki Royal Park. It is not large and during sunny weekends there are not as many visitors comparing to the neighboring Łazienki Park.
The Botanical Garden in Powsin (south of Warsaw, between Wilanów and Konstancin) is a huge park with nice walking paths: roughly half of it is taken, according to the map, by “useful and ornamental plants”, the second part (arboretum) is “a collection of woody plants”, where the azaleas are the most popular among visitors (they bloom in the spring). There are many opportunities to have amazing photo sessions, eg. cherry blossom, including Japanese sakura, the national collection of varieties of roses and many others.
You will find there a vegetable garden and orchard – lots of fun for city people to see “live” pumpkin, beetroot, dill or an apple on a tree. Kids will enjoy the “Collection of Polish flora” which includes mountain plants and mini-mountains / hills. There are short trails (marked as in the real Polish mountains) and peaks with an interesting view for children. Climbing is not difficult, and the little hikers have great satisfaction.
Click here to read our new post about beautiful botanical gardens in Poland to relax and appreciate nature’s beauty (lots of amazing photos!).
The Zoo in Wrocław has been reopened on May 21. Opening hours: 9 am – 6 pm. Africarium – the only oceanarium in the world dedicated to Africa’s water environment – is open too (there is a one-way visitors traffic in Africarium). The Japanese Gate / Brama Japońska will remain closed. It’s recommended to buy tickets online. More tips in English about visiting the Zoo in Wrocław in our post.
The Zoo in Warsaw has been reopened on May 20. Opening hours: weekdays 9 am – 6 pm, weekends 9 am – 7 pm (ticket offices close an hour earlier). The Zoo recommends buying tickets with mPay application. Two entrances will be open: from Ratuszowa Street and the Most Gdansk bridge (only one ticket office be open at each entrance).
Katowice area – the Silesian Zoological Garden in Chorzów
Śląski Ogród Zoologiczny has been reopened on June 1. The Zoo is open every day 9 am – 7 pm. Entrance to the zoo is only possible through the main gate (the gate and ticket office at Złota street will be closed). You can buy tickets online.
The Zoo in Poznań has been reopened on June 19. Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm. Entrance tickets to the New Zoo are available only online or in ticket vending machines (payment only by card). The Old Zoo has been reopened too.
Subscribe to our monthly newsletters in English to explore Poland and to learn about Poland! Once a month you will receive a Newsletter: ‘Explore Poland with Kids‘. You will find there family-friendly destinations in Poland – beautiful places in Poland worth visiting with children – from city break destinations to hiking in the mountains (lots of practical tips!); things you can’t miss in Poland in a given month; dates to remember, holidays, observances in Poland in a given month so you can mark your calendars accordingly.