Poland is a central European country with a troubled past. Having existed between the empires of Lithuania and Austria-Hungary, then between Germany and Russia - Poland has literally been wiped off the map twice. Hence the Polish flag is 50% white (peace) and 50% red (blood), a reminder that peace and national identity must be fought for. And no offense to my Polish friends, but Poland is a great place for a diet, for Polish food is not very tasty. Any city with high crime levels should serve Polish food to the criminals, the crime rate will quickly come down.
Update 2023: I was forced to give Polish food another try, and it's actually not that bad.
Gdańsk in northern Poland, is a cute little town. It's home to the supposedly world's first-ever public pharmacy. The Pharmacy under the Griffin (Apteka pod Gryfem) was established in 1602 and has been operating continuously for centuries. It is located in the Main Town and has become a living museum, showcasing the history of pharmaceutical practices. Visitors can explore the well-preserved interiors, complete with antique equipment and instruments, offering a fascinating glimpse into the world of medicine during different historical periods.
Pronounced 'Vrots-waff', Wroclaw is a colourful town, with a medieval town square, spired churches and cobbled alleys. Then there are the tiny gnomes. Small bronze statues that pop up all over the city. They were secretly placed during Communist times, defiantly by the underground movement to lampoon the authorities. You'll see the gnomes doing a variety of things like pushing a rock; in a wheelchair; eating a big sausage; or even withdrawing money from a cash machine.
Warsaw is a city with a turbulent history, that was restored after heavy damage during WWII. Today Warsaw is at a balance of east and west - eastern European culture mixed with western riches. Warsaw is also associated heavily associated with a mermaid symbol. This iconic mermaid is known as the "Syrenka" in Polish. According to the legend, the mermaid was swimming in the Vistula River, near the Old Town, when she was captured by a fisherman. However, upon hearing her beautiful singing, a rich merchant decided to free her. In gratitude, the mermaid promised to protect the city and its residents. She henceforth stayed in Warsaw.
Having escaping most of the bombing during the World War II, Krakow is impeccably preserved. Rynek is the city centre with its cobblestoned streets, churches, historical buildings and horse carriages. There's also another part of the city that is under the ground, parts of which are still being excavated.