In autumn and winter, it is not worth moving from home! It gets dark quickly, it’s cold, and, well, it’s still raining or snowing. Nothing pleasant, zero joy. If that were not enough, even if we wanted to move, where? All amusement parks or other inflatables are closed, and it is impossible to play in the playground, too, because everything is wet….
It so happens that we have a completely different approach ;-) As they say: there is no bad weather, there are only badly dressed/prepared tourists! And it doesn’t matter whether we travel solo, as a couple or the whole family…. bad weather for sightseeing does not exist. You just need to choose your destination and attractions properly and you can travel any time of the year, including Poland!
What do we like autumn and winter for? For the fact that there are far fewer tourists everywhere. This is a great time for us to do some weekend citybreak in one of the Polish cities. And that’s often how we travel, against the weather.
Table of contents
Why go on a citybreak in the off-season?
- First of all, as we mentioned above, there are far fewer tourists.
- Many times the attractions are cheaper than in high season.
- Hotels are also cheaper, which, with a family of 5, makes a big difference.
- It’s easier to find a seat at a restaurant (we don’t even want to bring back memories here of looking for restaurants in tourist destinations during peak season…).
Of course, there are downsides to traveling in the off-season, but that’s not what this post is about. For that, we recommend you our article Is it worth it to travel in the off-season? “ and Pros and cons of traveling with a child in the off-season “
What city to choose for a citybreak in autumn and winter?
But let’s get back to the topic: which cities in Poland are best for the whole family to visit in the off-season? Today we wanted to offer you some ideas for autumn and winter weekend trips or around the weekend. Because it’s also worth taking a day or two off to spend a little more time exploring our beautiful Polish cities.
This entry was written in cooperation with the hotel chain HR Group, which owns Vienna House by Wyndham hotels in Poland. With each city proposal for an autumn-winter weekend, we will offer you super accommodation options. Importantly, we have personally been to most of these hotels and tested them, so we can recommend them to you with a clear conscience. What’s more, in the entry we only describe the places and attractions we have been to in person (with one small exception).
A suggestion for an autumn citybreak: Warsaw
Why go to Warsaw for the weekend with the whole family, and even in the off-season? Here you will find a lot of places and indoor attractions where you can spend a nice time…. And at the same time learn a lot :)
Smart Kids Planet
Smart Kids Planet features nine separate zones, designed to allow children to simultaneously play, learn, play, train and take on different roles, while encouraging them to cooperate and learn new skills. The various attractions and stations are designed to familiarize children with technology, stimulate physical activity and develop their senses by exploring the surrounding world.
Children have the opportunity to take on different roles: one minute they can be a salesman in a store, and the next minute a courier delivering packages. They can also participate in a variety of activities, such as dribbling and shooting at goals, exploring the route taken by trash, and controlling a crane – just a few examples from Smart Kids Planet’s wide range of activities.
NBP Money Center
In our opinion, a must-see for every student, moreover, for adults too! The NBP’s Money Center is not just another monotonous museum with displays where the exhibits are almost untouchable. Anyway, officially it’s not even a museum! It’s a place that opens the door to the fascinating world of money and finance, but it’s available not only to those involved in investments or collecting rare coins.
It is a space full of educational elements and interesting facts, where we will find answers to questions about the origin of means of payment, the ability to recognize their authenticity, the role they play, and the functioning of the exchange. On top of that, it’s a place well suited for children!
Importantly, entry is free!
You can read more in our post: NBP Money Center – a free and must-see place on the tourist map of Warsaw “
Copernicus Science Center
The Copernicus Science Center is a place dedicated to both children and adults. It offers a variety of stations for experiments and experiments, suitable for different age groups.
The youngest children have the opportunity to experiment, build and create in a special zone for the youngest “Bzzz!”. They can follow in the footsteps of animals, listen to the sounds of nature, explore a variety of textures, smell plants and animals, all surrounded by numerous nooks and crannies, bridges, slides, hollows, and even a rushing river, which provides not only fun, but also their first learning experiences.
Of course, the entire Center is a much larger area, also accessible to children, but you can read more about it already in our post: Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw “
Where to sleep in Warsaw with the whole family?
In Warsaw, for an overnight stay for the whole family, we wanted to suggest to you the Vienna House by Wyndham Mokotow Warsaw hotel. We ourselves slept there during one of our visits to the capital, although many people also point to it as an ideal base for the airport (e.g., if you have an early morning flight and want to sleep the night before in a hotel near the airport).
Anyway, you can always combine basking in the warm sun somewhere in the tropics, with a short stay in Warsaw :)
The plus side of this place for us is the location, although it is not in the very center of Warsaw. It is easy to get here whether by car or transportation.
At the hotel, as indeed throughout the chain, we have delicious breakfasts, including with a sizable selection of vegetarian options. In addition, there is a super place opposite the hotel, which we discovered during our stay: Postępu 5 – there’s a food court, where, tired after a day of sightseeing, you’re sure to find something for yourself (of course, the hotel also has a great Greenhouse restaurant – It is drowning in greenery and serves a short but substantial menu, so you can safely have dinner here as well. During the week, they offer lunches of the day – a more economical option for gaining strength).
Lodz – a super idea for a weekend in the off-season
Lodz is our hometown, to which we are always happy to invite everyone. Not only because we live here on a daily basis, but mainly because there is really something to do here! And thanks to its central location in Poland, everyone is close here :)
Manufaktura, along with the adjacent and unique Poznański Palace, used to be the factory complex of Israel Poznański, one of Lodz’s great industrialists. For many years the site was forgotten and deteriorated. Every day, thousands of Lodz residents passed it on their way to work, unaware of the history of the site, which is unique from a global perspective.
Fortunately, this has changed. Today, Manufaktura is a place where museums (not one!), cinemas, numerous and excellent restaurants, a hotel, a climbing wall, a fitness center, a winter ice rink, in the summer a pleasant beach appears…and of course a shopping center.
EC1 Łódź – City of Culture is the full name of the renovated complex, which promotes educational leisure activities and offers a wealth of cultural experiences for young and old.
One of the biggest draws to EC1 is the
EC1 Science and Technology Center
– is an interactive exhibition of an educational nature. On the one hand, it presents and instructs how energy was produced here, using authentic interiors of the former thermal power plant and original exhibits, and on the other, it shows various physical phenomena, teaches about the cosmos and ecology.
Also worth mentioning are the newly opened National Film Culture Center and the Center for Comics and Interactive Narrative, not forgetting other places like the Planetarium and the Street of Elements for the youngest. There is just something to do here :)
Orientarium Zoo Lodz
Orientarium ZOO Łódź is the most modern place of its kind in Europe, offering unforgettable attractions. During your visit, you can observe the fascinating bathing of Indian elephants, see the continent’s largest gavial crocodile and walk through a 27-meter underwater tunnel where stingrays and sharks swim over the heads of garden visitors.
The Orientarium at Zoo Lodz also features critically endangered species such as Sumatran orangutans and Malayan bears. In the garden you can meet dwarf hippos, lions, giraffes and many other fascinating animals.
You can read more in our post: Orientarium Zoo Łódź – the most modern zoo in Europe “
Mandoria is a huge amusement park located near Lodz, located entirely under a roof for unique family fun. It currently offers as many as 30 different attractions, occupying a huge space equal to four football fields. Among them are three roller-coasters, one of which is the only one in the country offering a ride in the dark. In addition, the park boasts numerous merry-go-rounds, an impressive maze of mirrors, boats on the water and a giant slide.
With the purchase of an admission ticket, visitors can enjoy all the attractions throughout the day, guaranteeing many positive experiences and emotions. Mandoria is an ideal place to spend active time surrounded by the pleasant atmosphere of a family amusement park.
You can read more about Mandoria in our post: Mandoria – the largest covered family amusement park – is it worth it? “ and on our YouTube channel “
Where to sleep in Lodz with the whole family?
In Lodz, it’s worth staying with the whole family at the Vienna House by Wyndham Andel’s Lodz hotel, which is located in a renovated building within the Manufaktura complex. Write. That the hotel is ideally located is like writing nothing :) It is located in Manufaktura, in the entertainment and shopping center (where you will find cinemas, restaurants, attractions for children) and close to Poznan Palace or even Piotrkowska Street. Chances are, thanks to this location, you won’t even move your car over the weekend.
Anyway, the hotel itself is worth a visit. In the corridors you can see works of contemporary art and even graffiti, original interior design elements and furniture. You can enjoy a coffee or drink at the lobby bar or dine at the Delight restaurant while the kids play in the play area.
The hotel, as standard as others within the Vienna House chain, offers super breakfasts, including a vege option, something we always look out for. Of course, there is also a children’s corner, but the pool…. oj is the pool. You won’t find another one like it in Poland :) Anyway, see for yourself:
Katowice and its surroundings – ideal for families with children?
Katowice, as well as the entire Upper Silesian and Zagłębie Metropolis, is a very interesting idea for a trip, not only in the off-season, but this time we will focus on those “covered” attractions ideal for inclement weather :)
The Fairy Tale of Mr. Kleks
Mr. Kleks’ Fairy Tale in Katowice is a unique place, created for children, where an adventure full of creative fun and education awaits. In this magical space, either on their own or with the guidance of a guide, little explorers can embark on a fascinating journey through the mysterious lands made famous by the work of Jan Brzechwa.
The whole place has been carefully adapted to the needs of children and designed with their safety in mind. Equipment, instruments, attractions and tasks are arranged to provide toddlers with unforgettable impressions, interesting experiences and colorful fun.
You can read more in the post: Mr. Kleks’ Fairy Tale in Katowice “
Silesian Museum in Katowice
The Silesian Museum, located in Katowice on the grounds of the revitalized Katowice Coal Mine, is a modern cultural institution. A number of innovative buildings house interesting exhibitions, including both permanent and temporary displays, offering interesting insights into the region’s history and culture.
A unique space called “On Tom’s Tracks” has been created for families with children, which is dedicated to the youngest explorers aged 4 to 14. This interactive exhibition provides fascinating experiences that engage children in the process of learning through play. This is a place where education becomes a pleasure and curiosity leads to fascinating discoveries.
You can read more in the post: Silesian Museum in Katowice “
Funzeum in Gliwice
Funzeum is a state-of-the-art entertainment and educational facility in Gliwice, offering not just a simple tour, but also an exciting journey into a magical world full of attractions. It’s a place where children, through carefree play, gain fascinating knowledge of, for example, physics.
The Funzeum features some 50 multisensory and interactive installations spread across a dozen rooms. It’s a great place for children and adults alike, where imagination becomes the only limitation. The museum relies on engaging experiences to explore science in a friendly and creative way.
You can read more about Funzeum in the post: Funzeumin Gliwice – Museum of Light and Color “
Where to sleep in Katowice with the whole family?
Best in the center! The Vienna House Easy by Wyndham Katowice hotel, where we stayed during our stay in Katowice, is a great option not only for its brand, design or atmosphere, but also for its great location. On the plus side, there is also underground parking here.
We also have very fond memories of the hotel’s breakfasts, where a waffle maker, juice squeezer and regional corner, among other things, are available. It is worth mentioning that there is also a bar where we can have dinner in the evening (also with regional options) or watch the game with local drinks.
Krakow – best to visit in the off-season
There are always a lot of tourists in Krakow, which doesn’t surprise us. Nevertheless, traveling in the off-season you can definitely benefit more from smaller queues or crowds in the most popular places :)
Cloth Hall in the Old Market
Note, here you go at your own risk and we are not responsible for the amount of souvenirs purchased :) Nevertheless, it’s worth going to the Old Market Square (where there is always something going on) and take a look at the Cloth Hall.
A symbol of the city, Krakow’s oldest “shopping center” – the Cloth Hall is one of the key places of historical significance in Krakow. It is not only a fascinating monument, but also a testament to a rich history reaching deep into the past. And the fact that you will additionally leave with a lot of souvenirs is nothing :)
Wawel Royal Castle
In general, the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow is a place that is partly available to visit free of charge, but some entrances and parts are ticketed (it’s worth looking at the schedule on the website indicating on what days tours are free). For example, admission to the Cathedral is free, but to see the historic Sigismund Bell, it is necessary to pay an additional fee. Also paid are, among others. The Crown Treasury, the Armory or the Representative Royal Chambers.
The castle hosts history meetings, field games or family series, so we have no doubt that there is something for everyone.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Although not in Krakow, in our opinion it is one of those places that everyone should see at least once in their lives.
The tour of the mine is conducted in a group with a guide and requires climbing many stairs: at times it is dark and even wet in places. However, against all odds, it can be an excellent idea for a trip with children. Especially when dealing with such a unique place as the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Here there is a dedicated tour for families with children, which is a shortened version of the traditional tour.
This special route is full of puzzles, curiosities and mysterious encounters. Children have the opportunity to look for arrows and follow the footsteps of a certain character, making the tour a fascinating adventure. The entire tour has a storyline, and the goal is to meet the character known as the Treasurer. During this unusual journey, the children not only have fun, but also gain knowledge about the salt mine and the hardships of the miners’ work. This interactive approach makes a visit to the mine an unforgettable educational and entertaining experience.
You can read more about Wieliczka in our post: Wieliczka Salt Mine: Solilandia, Mining Route or Tourist Route – which to choose? “
Where to spend the night with the whole family in Krakow?
In Krakow, we have two suggestions for you:
The first suggestion is the designer hotel Vienna House by Wyndham Andel’s Cracow, located in the very center of Cracow, right next to the train station. It is an ideal base for exploring the old city. Admittedly, the hotel is more business-oriented, but we have slept in such facilities more than once, and you can safely stay there also with children.
Great breakfasts, it’s a must-visit point for us during short weekends to be full for a full day of sightseeing. At the Vienna House by Wyndham Andel’s Cracow, you can count on the fact that breakfast will not disappoint you (as in any of the other locations, anyway), plus the Mavericks Cracow restaurant has a corner for the little ones.
Even if you are not staying at this hotel, we recommend you to drop in here just for a breakfast set, you will not regret it :) It’s also worth a look at the Mavericks Cracow restaurant itself, with its authentic California cuisine – one of our favorite restaurants
Restaurant Week, with very interesting decor and the aforementioned children’s corner.
The other option for accommodation in Cracow is Vienna House Easy by Wyndham Cracow, which is the second property owned by HR Group in Cracow. It is a more economical option compared to the first one, but still at a great level, with a more casual atmosphere and extremely colorful decor, and with good breakfasts. They are extremely generous, going well beyond the category of the hotel.
Importantly, you can combine rooms here, thanks to the connection of the rooms by an internal door. We probably don’t need to write that this is an ideal option for families? Especially since you can get a 50% discount on a second room for children here (subject to availability, of course :)).
To sum up…
In our opinion, autumn and winter time, i.e. definitely off-season, is the ideal time to visit Polish cities. We ourselves use such options very often, and we know that we will return to Warsaw, Katowice or Cracow more than once (to Lodz in total, we can also go one day ;-)).
So don’t be afraid and enjoy the charms of Polish cities :) Let us know what other Polish cities are worth visiting in the off-season?