Poland shares borders with the Baltic Sea, Belarus, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Warsaw, the capital, was totally destroyed during World War II, but the Old Town has been completely rebuilt. The reconstructed Royal Castle is worth seeing. The Lazienki Palace is set in a beautiful park with an open-air Greek theatre and a monument to Chopin.
Krakow, Poland’s second city still retains its charismatic medieval air, having largely escaped destruction during the War. In the centre is the Cloth Hall built in the 14th century. Opposite is St Mary’s Church, well-known for its wooden altar carved by Wit Stwosz. Gdansk, which was once known as Danzig, was also destroyed in World War II, but has also been restored to its former beauty. Sights include theTown Hall, the 17th-century Golden Gate and the biggest Gothic church in Poland.
Most popular dishes include zrazy zawijane (mushroom-stuffed beefsteak rolls in sour cream) served with boiled kasza (buckwheat) and pigs’ knuckles.
Poland has strong musical and theatrical traditions. Warsaw and the main cities have theatres and opera companies that put on a whole range of musical and cultural programmes for both visitors and locals.