Warmia and Masuria are not only lakes and water sports. All you have to do is look around, search, ask around, or just read our post below, in which we would like to show you that whether you are eager to jump into the water or not, Warmia and Masuria can be a great option for an active and family outing.
This is perhaps the most interesting conclusion after our nearly week-long tour of Warmia and Mazury. Every day a different place, 2-3 attractions each day and by no means related to the lakes! Well, okay, there were some lakes too, but they were not the basis of the trip. We ourselves were very positively surprised by how many interesting places you can see and experience in this region. A walk with deer, military carts, forest nature trails, safari among animals, an open-air museum, thermal pools, or…. Hitler’s former quarters! The variety and number of attractions means that there is something for everyone, and at the same time there is no problem with a crowd of tourists, because let’s not kid ourselves, many people choose this region mainly for water attractions.
What can you do in Masuria? Below we present to you a dozen places that we had the opportunity to visit, and now with undisguised pleasure we can show and recommend them to you.
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The order of the places described is random. We also include a map at the bottom to help you plan the perfect holiday in Warmia and Mazury.
>> See also our entry: Accommodation in Warmia and Mazury – hotels, guesthouses, campsites – what to choose?
Table of contents
Open-air museum in Olsztynek
Folk Building Museum – Ethnographic Park in Olsztynek is the full name of the facility, located in the northern part of the city. The museum, commonly known as an open-air museum, brings together almost 80 different rural objects from the areas of Masuria, Warmia, Powisle and Little Lithuania.
We were surprised above all by the size of the open-air museum and the variety of objects here: there is a water mill, windmills, a church, cottages, a village school, a stone cellar, outcroppings and even a gypsy cart. The whole area covers 94 hectares, so you need to bring comfortable shoes and preferably reserve half a day to explore the open-air museum.
At the museum you will find both original objects brought from the area and faithful copies of them. Most of them can be visited inside, and there await exhibits, superbly recreated rooms that allow you to go back in time and see what life was like in the Polish countryside.
It is an incredibly atmospheric place, beautifully arranged, full of nature and tranquility. Here you will see moss-covered roofs, colorful shutters, clay pots on the fence – all creating an idyllic atmosphere. Here even the vending machine with drinks or snacks is prepared in such a way that it pretends to be part of an open-air museum ;)
Delight not only the buildings but also the fragrant flower gardens, which especially in spring and summer look (and smell!) phenomenal. Not surprisingly, they attract a lot of insects, and for them are prepared so-called “insects”. insect hotels. The singing of birds and buzzing of insects will accompany you throughout your stay at the open-air museum.
Interestingly, there are also farm animals on the museum grounds that you can say hello to :)
The whole thing reminded us very much of the Open Air Museum in Rumshchki, which we visited a few years ago at our northeastern neighbors :)
A regular ticket costs PLN 17, and a discounted ticket costs PLN 11. Children under the age of 7 enter for free. For more information, visit their website.
It is possible to move around the facility with a wheelchair, but entering most buildings is impossible due to steps or thresholds.
The facilities are well described, including in English and German.
Due to the pandemic, the “Touch Folk Culture” exhibition is closed.
P.S. If you will be in Olsztynek then be sure to check out the Green Stove Restaurant, at 1 Floriana Street. Located on the sidelines, the restaurant serves delicious Polish dishes! Everything is fresh, made on the spot – fingers are licked! An ideal place for lunch after visiting the open-air museum.
When we first heard about Mazurolandia we thought it was simply a park of miniatures from Warmia and Mazury. We were right, but only half right, because Mazurolandia is also a museum, exhibitions about history, vehicles, a medieval castle and, of course, playgrounds and inflatables for children. We will never again call this place the ONLY miniature park!
We expected to see miniature objects from the region waiting right outside the entrance, so what was our surprise when we saw a bear, deer, chickens and many other animals, including even a unicorn! The first part of Mazuroland is dedicated to local legends and is called the Glade of Legends and Fairy Tales. So at the outset, we will learn about some Mazurian legends and see figures of various characters and animals.
Mazurolandia is located on the site where the vegetable gardens and orangery of Adolf Hitler’s Headquarters once stood. So if you have plans to visit the Wolf’s Lair, be sure to also visit Mazurolandia, where you will have the opportunity to see more mock-ups, reconstructions but also original items from the war.
Hitler’s Garden is an interesting place in Mazuroland. At the very beginning we learn that Hitler was a vegetarian, and the place where we are standing had a garden and greenhouses where vegetables and fruits were grown for the leader of the Third Reich. There is a large plan of the Wolf’s Lair, a model of the garden, and many original exhibits.
Staying still on the historical theme, the site includes the Mithiaria Museum. At the entrance there is a large model of the Wolf’s Lair, and further on there are many exhibits, from those related to Hitler’s quarters, to attributes, soldiers’ outfits and boots, a field tent and even…. spaceships! But we won’t reveal anything more ;) Next to the tent with the museum is the Miliatri Park, where we can see cannons, military vehicles and aircraft in an open space.
But let’s return to the central part of Mazurolandia, i.e. the mock-ups of more or less famous objects from Warmia and Mazury. Here you can see miniatures of castles, religious buildings, farmsteads, locks, a viaduct and much more.
Certainly noteworthy is the large model of Malbork Castle, which is 70 square meters in size. Right next door is a specially prepared knight’s stronghold, where we can move back to medieval times, dress up as a knight, hold a sword, put in a dyke or shoot a bow. Of course, due to the pandemic, not everything is 100% functional, but even without that there was plenty to do.
There are two cottages in Mazurolandia, not miniature, but of normal size – one typically Masurian and one typically Warmian. With detailed descriptions of both, you can find out how they differed. Currently, the Masurian one has an art studio where toddlers can create small works of art, and the Warmian one is where Santa Claus sits in the winter.
It is a fully family-friendly place with children. Between the miniature objects there is a playground, so if your kids are not interested in the miniatures, they have fun and you have sightseeing ;) For children there is a large area with inflatables and a playground for the younger ones, there is also a covered room with toys.
A regular ticket costs 15 zlotys, a discounted ticket costs 10 zlotys. Children under 3 years of age enter for free. The ticket includes most of the attractions, but, for example, you have to pay extra for the shooting range or the puzzle room.
It is possible to move around the park by wheelchair, although there are some individual stairs (e.g. to the houses, or the mock-up of Malbork Castle).
There is ample free parking for cars at the facility. Mazurolandia’s website can be found here.
Old Jablonki and Tabor Pine
Stare Jabłonki is a village located between two lakes: Szeląg Mały and Szeląg Wielki. We were only supposed to spend the night here at the fantastic Hotel Anders on Lake Szeląg Mały, but the smell of the forest kept us here for longer. For townspeople, the breath of fresh air and the smell of pine trees is even more intense, so we decided to take advantage of the benefits of the Tabor pine that grows in the area. It is this smell that we will associate with our stay in Warmia and Mazury.
Right next to the hotel is a nature trail deep into the forest, where more than 200-year-old Tabor pines tower overhead, and you can not only learn something about nature, but also find hidden bunkers. We didn’t hide the fact that we didn’t do too well on this path, because the beauty of the area forced us to deviate from the route and go more to the lake than to the forest.
One of the landmarks of Stare Jablonki is a 19th century villa, where the aforementioned Anders Hotel is now located. Another is the old brick railroad station building.
There will be more about both this and the other hotels mentioned in a dedicated post.
The didactic route is free, although we must admit that it was hard to follow.
Warmia Thermal Baths – thermal pools
If one prefers a swimming pool to lakes, rivers and canals, there are also several facilities for water fun in Warmia and Mazury. First to go are the Warmia Thermal Baths in Lidzbark Warminski.
Warmia Thermal Baths is a large facility that also includes a restaurant, hotel rooms and tents in which to stay overnight. The rooms are large and spacious, bunked and with a kitchenette.
The thermal baths are divided into 3 zones: active, relaxation and spa and wellness. We, of course, spent most of our time in the active zone, where there is a children’s pool and slides. The relaxation area has therapeutic pools and a rushing river, and the spa and wellness area has massages and saunas, of course.
The outdoor pools were closed, but it was the first day when the complex was opened to guests outside the hotel. Probably nowadays everything is slowly returning to normal.
A stay at the Warmian Thermal Baths can be a hit if you need rest and relaxation after an active day.
Pool entry prices vary by zone and length of stay. For example, 2 hours in the active zone costs £40 per adult and £35 for a discounted ticket. A full day’s stay costs £70 per adult and £65 for a discounted ticket.
We encourage you to keep up to date with opening hours and pandemic-related recommendations on the Terma website.
Mikolajki – a boat cruise
Mikolajki is a kind of equivalent of Zakopane for us ;-) While the city center itself was not to our liking, the boat cruise was more so.
It is in Mikolajki, among other places, that you can embark on a cruise to the largest lake in Poland, the Sniardwy. Cruise very pleasant, ideal for families with children.
We took the Robert’s Port boat, as we had a cruise provided as part of our hotel stay for the long weekend (always make sure, as tickets are sometimes added for special stays). You can also go on a cruise if you are not a guest of the hotel, but of course you have to pay then.
The cruise lasted about 1.5 hours. It’s safe, it doesn’t rock, but of course you have to keep an eye on the kids at all times. Especially since it blows very hard at times, so it’s not easy to lose something in the wind, even your balance!
The cruise is a time to admire the lake and its shores and look for birds and fish. Despite the fairly heavy traffic on the lake, we think the cruise is a good option for getting away from the noisy center of Mikolajki.
The boat cruise costs 35 zloty per adult and 20 zloty per child aged 5 and over. Down below, below deck, there is a bar where you can purchase something to eat or drink.
We encourage you to take covered places, as you can easily get burned in the sun.
Tropikana Water Park in Mikolajki
Another suggestion for people who are reluctant to enter the lakes. We get it, seriously! To the lake willing to kayak, bike, boat, cruise, but sometimes we have concerns about entering the water ;) Some simply prefer to know what’s on the bottom, don’t like to swim when the bottom is rocky, too overgrown or there are fish swimming around ;) We know that we are not alone in this attitude.
That’s why we’re writing about another aqua park, this time near Mikolajki. We are talking about the Tropikana Aquapark at the Golebiewski Hotel, which is open to the public. So you don’t have to stay overnight at the hotel to access the pools.
We went to the pool before noon and were surprised by how few guests were here. The locker rooms were very clean, uncrowded, showers available, only the dryers out of service, but this is obvious in times of pandemic.
And what about the swimming pools? Here you will find a paddling pool, a sandpit (seriously!!!), a children’s pool with slides, slides for adults, a rushing river, an artificial wave, a swimming pool – in other words, everything an aquapark should have. Of course, we spent most of our time at the water playground, where we could probably stay until the evening ;-)
Some of the pools are indoor, so you can use all year round, and outdoor pools are also open in the summer. Both inside and outside there are a large number of sunbeds and we had no problem finding a free sunbed.
There are many other attractions around the Golebiewski Hotel that you can take advantage of. There is a large playground, a horse farm, a toboggan run, and in the winter there is even a ski slope in operation!
We still took advantage of the toboggan run.
It must be said that the aquapark at the Golebiewski Hotel is quite expensive, as during the holiday season it costs PLN 50 for 1.5 hours per adult. Children under 14 pay half of this price. For more information, visit the aquapark’s website.
The entrance to the aquapark is located behind the hotel’s reception desk.
Of course, entry to the pool is free for hotel guests.
Museum of Military Equipment in Mrągowo
Another place after Mazuroland with history in the background. A real treat for fans of tanks and other military vehicles (and more!). The Military Equipment Museum in Mragowo is outdoors, but the vehicles are under tents, so you can shelter from rain or sun.
Why do we recommend this place?
First of all, the place is prepared by fantastic passionate people who know more about vehicles than anyone else! We love it when the owners are so positive about something :) If you have any questions about the vehicles bang on them like smoke.
Second. The museum is not just tanks as you might think. How many different vehicles we learned about while visiting this museum! There are more than 100 vehicles here, of which about 80% are operational, most can be fired up and driven. There are also fire trucks, police cars, cannons, etc.
You can go inside one tank, and for an additional fee you can even take a ride in military vehicles.
As in Mazurolandia, there is also a playground, there is additionally a sandbox with toys, so even if your children are not interested in vehicles, they will not be bored.
The museum should lavishly celebrate its 10th anniversary, but the coronavirus has messed with that, too. However, we believe that there will be an even better time to celebrate :)
A regular ticket costs 13 zlotys, a reduced ticket (for children under 13) costs 10 zlotys. You can find the current price list here.
Many attractions have additional fees such as military vehicle rides and engine firing. Most vehicles cannot be entered, those that are accessible are marked.
There is free parking right next to the Museum.
Research Station of the Institute of Parasitology of the Polish Academy of Sciences – with a visit to deer
If nature and animals are something that turns you on, then be sure to head to Kosewo Gorne, where the PAN Research Station and Deer Farm are located.
This is absolutely not a zoo – it’s a research facility where animals have conditions very close to natural. They have sizable areas to roam, and visitors must adjust to the animals, not the other way around. It is within the educational activities of the research station that it is possible to view deer and fallow deer almost at arm’s length.
And here we must immediately emphasize that the site can only be navigated in groups, with a guide, and you should expect to walk for a long time (including among the grass and through the mud). Here, there is no way to plan what animals you will manage to see in which place, because they come first here and dictate the conditions. It may be that you will see the whole herd up close, and it may also be that the herd will run away from you. Instead, there is a good chance that your walk will be accompanied by a doe named Gabrysia, who does not mind the company of people at all.
There are about 400 animals here in total, so you’re sure to be able to hunt some with your camera. During our walk of over an hour, we saw several herds, one even went into the water for a swim ;) Be careful as you walk, though, as there may be small deer lying in the grass! You have to look very much underfoot, because several-week-old babies can be missed huddled in the tall grass.
We recommend this place not only for the opportunity to observe animals, but especially for the educational dimension. Walking among the animals, and the fantastic, passionate Ms. Zaneta, who guided us through the facility, is the perfect combination for absorbing knowledge and interesting facts about deer. And finally, we will be more careful not to call every doe a deer ;)
As for admission with children, we must emphasize that for toddlers such a walk on the hills, among the grasses can be tiring (there is no way to drive a stroller). For the youngest there is an option to limit the tour to the fallow deer enclosure only.
A regular ticket costs PLN 15, and a discounted ticket costs PLN 12. Also listed is a discounted ticket for children and students for £10.
It is important that the area is not allowed to enter with food, so as not to irritate the animals. So it’s best to leave provisions in the car.
As we mentioned, strollers are not allowed into the area, so we recommend taking younger toddlers in carriers or slings. You can read more about the facility on their website.
If you associate a safari only with a jeep ride on the African savannahs, then it is worth seeing what a Masurian safari looks like ;)
So take a look at the Mazury Roundhouse Resort to get in your car and roam the grounds in search of deer, fallow deer, horses, llamas, goats, cows and many other animals living here in the hilly, fenced area.
Some of them are eager to approach, they are curious, you can pet them, but some of them just stop by for food ;) We were surprised that, for the most part, the animals were completely indifferent to approaching cars. Their presence didn’t bother them at all, but, of course, it’s not like the cars are driving in here one by one.
First, you don’t drive your own car in. The rides take place in cars with trailers or a tractor, driven by safari staff, and last about an hour. The driver knows the terrain very well, knows where he can go, and which way is better not to try to pass. He also knows all the animals, knows which ones have character and which ones are gentle as lambs.
Secondly, there is only one vehicle on the site at any given hour (the exception is individual rides).
During the entire tour there is a ban on getting out of the car, for safety reasons, of course.
The safari zoo is located next to the Pension Idyll and our only regret is that we could not stay here a little longer. As the name suggests it is here…. idyllic and the place seems to be a great option for an extended stay. There are livestock, the facility is located right on the lake, and in winter you can go downhill skiing. And all this in a remote area :)
The ticket costs 25 zloty, children under 5 – 20 zloty. The ride takes about an hour, advance reservations are required and arrival 10 minutes ahead of time.
During the pandemic, we recommend wearing masks (you can find more up-to-date information on the center’s website). Vehicles are disinfected after each run. We saw it with our own eyes ;-)
Rope park in Gizycko
In Gizycko, next to the Boyen Fortress, there is the largest rope park in Mazury – Wiewióra. And probably many people’s first move will be to the fortress, but it’s good to know that a decent dose of adrenaline for young and old awaits next door.
There are 5 routes of different lengths and levels of difficulty to choose from. Among them, there is even a route for the youngest, where 3-4 year olds can easily cope. This route is the only one with a time limit – 70 minutes. Don’t worry, the passage takes definitely less time, and during this time your little ones will pass the route many times :) It is prepared up to 3 meters above the ground, and parents from below can see and support their kids all the time.
On other routes, you pay per crossing, and depending on the route you choose, it can take up to an hour. The Low, Medium and High routes differ in the number and type of obstacles and altitude.
There is also a special downhill route, with the tyroleans themselves, including two runs over the lake.
After selecting and paying for the route, each participant receives instruction on how to protect themselves on the route and how to take care not only of their safety but also of others.
The park is really big, there is a large selection of trails, also if you are a larger team there is something for everyone. Details of the routes can be found here.
Depending on the route, the passage costs between 25 zloty and 35 zloty.
It is advisable to dress loosely and comfortably, because you will have to have a harness and a helmet, so we advise against wearing skirts or dresses, flip-flops and to put your hair up in a ponytail ;)
The stately castle, which dates back to the 14th century, now houses the Castle Ryn Hotel. We had the opportunity to spend the night here, which was one of the most unusual overnight stays in recent times. Very atmospheric place, at every step you feel that you are in a medieval castle. There are exhibits in the corridors, the style of the room also refers to the history of the building.
But it is not the accommodation that we would like to write about here, but the castle as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, tours are currently only available to hotel guests, but we believe that the mysterious chambers will soon reopen to outside visitors.
We were very impressed by the courtyard, which is covered and now serves meals for hotel guests here. It is styled as a knights’ hall with hanging chandeliers and coats of arms on the walls. Also, the entrance itself, as well as the modest displays at the reception desk and in the corridors, interestingly convey a chivalrous atmosphere.
We encourage you to follow the information on the facility’s website to find out when it will be possible to visit the facility again.
Ticket prices are PLN 10 for a regular ticket and PLN 5 for a discounted ticket.
Photographic Camera Exhibition in Biskupiec
Biskupiec is home to Mr. Wieslaw Borowski, who was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of cameras. Now they can all be viewed in a small museum in downtown Biskupiec.
If the owner is not there, then look at the Tourist Information located nearby in Liberty Square – they will open the door for you :)
The exhibition occupies just one room, but we have never seen so many cameras cumulated in one place. There are cameras over 100 years old, spy cameras, film cameras (yes, our kids won’t know that anymore), or newer SLR and digital cameras.
In addition to the cameras, you can also see a cinema film projector, which not so long ago served in the local cinema.
The place is highly recommended if you are interested in photography.
The exhibition is located in the heart of the city, and entry is free.
Stanica Wodna Sorkwity
At the very end, the Masurian obvious – water attractions on the lake. As we mentioned before, swimming in lakes is approached with a certain amount of caution. However, it’s something else to hop on a pedal boat or kayak and go where the eye can see. And since we had such water attractions last time before the kids came along, so we decided to see if the little ones would like it too.
PTTK Sorkwity Water Station is the first stop on the Krutynia Trail, which has a total of 102 kilometers and 9 more stops along the way. We, of course, didn’t get carried away with the whole trail, and only swam on Lake Lampatura, but sailing such a long trail must be a fantastic adventure :)
At Stanica Wodna Sorkwity we had the opportunity to try our hand at canoeing, kayaking, water cycling and pontooning. There is an equipment rental shop on site, where everyone will find something suitable for their strength.
In our case, the dinghy and pedal boat worked best, because it gave the most mobility for a busy 1.5 year old ;) It’s a good thing that we could pick and choose from the equipment that is on site, because it allowed us to get out on the lake at least for a while safely.
Stanitsa Sorkwity is located on an island, although you may not notice it when you drive in here. What you will certainly notice right away, however, is the very friendly and welcoming atmosphere that prevails here. The owners are fantastic people, very open and willing to help. Until you want to come for a longer stay, but we will write more about accommodation in Masuria :)
Equipment rental prices depend on the length of the rental, but we provide sample prices (the longer the rental the cheaper):
Kanu/1 day – PLN 50,
3-person kayak/1 day – 40 zl,
Water bike/1 hour – 20 zl.
You can find the entire price list on the website.
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Map of attractions in Warmia and Mazury
Below we present you with a map of all the points described above. You’ll also immediately find the accommodations we’ve been to, which we can safely recommend to you if you plan to stay in the area :)
We leave the topic of Warmia and Mazury with children…. open! In fact, this is just a foretaste of what awaits in the region. Despite the rather intense days, we feel unsatisfied, because we know that there are many more interesting places left to see and describe here. We will definitely be back again! :)
Nevertheless, we hope that we have managed to inspire you and encourage you to visit this beautiful region of Poland. Whether actively or with children…. or maybe both actively and with children? :)
We also recommend our gallery from Warmia and Mazury, where you will find more than 150 photos!
- Ideas for day trips in central Poland – Lodz area
- Wroclaw – 3 suggestions for a family weekend
- Torun for the weekend – what is worth seeing?
- 13 castles of Lodz province – do you know them all?
- Tri-City and its surroundings – 10 places to see in one weekend
- Lower Silesia – not only castles and palaces
- Elbląg Canal
The entry was created in cooperation with the Warmia and Mazury Regional Tourist Organization.