The Best Things to Do in Lublin

December 7, 2017

Over the past few years I’ve spent quite some time living in various cities in Poland.

For the most part I’ve lived in Krakow and Gdansk and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit many of the best small towns in Poland during my time in the country.

I wanted to write a post about some of the best things to do in Lublin whether you’re planning on living here or you’re just visiting as a tourist.

Located in the Southeastern part of the country, Lublin is the 9th biggest city in Poland but it surprisingly doesn’t get as many visitors as you would think.

There is a beautiful Old Town, a picturesque castle, lots of quaint parks, and it’s easily accessible from Warsaw while being in close proximity to some other great cities nearby like Zamosc and Rzeszow.

Still, you don’t hear too much about Lublin when you’re asking around about visiting Poland and it doesn’t come up that often if you’re researching the area while planning your trip.

Considering how beautiful it is here in Lublin I’m quite surprised that it’s not more popular so I wanted to take the time and share my thoughts on what to do in Lublin if you’re planning a visit.

The Best Things to Do in Lublin for Visitors

Head to the Lublin Castle

Lublin Castle

Right at the edge of the old town is where you’ll find the sprawling Lublin Castle.

This Castle complex days all the way back to the 12th century with the Castle keep, the oldest remaining part of the complex, having been built in the 13th century.

Over the years it has been rebuilt quite a few times with its most modern renovations having happened in the late 19th century which is what you see today.

During the second World War the German army used the Castle as a prison and these days you can learn more about the castle history at the Museum on-site.

Also at the Museum is a stunning collection of weaponry and art so it’s a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the history of the area as well as the castle itself.

Entrance to the Castle grounds is completely free also you have to pay to enter the museum and there is a small fee if you want to climb to the top of the keep for a stunning view of the surrounding Old Town.

Explore the Lublin Old Town

Old Town

Without a doubt, one of the main attractions in Lublin is the amazingly preserved Old Town.

This is where you’ll find some prime examples of original urban architecture across all of Poland and don’t forget to bring your camera because just about every square inch of the Old Town is worth taking a photo of.

Throughout the area are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and small shops that you can pop into and make sure to venture off into some of the side streets where you can discover some beautiful medieval passageways and even more historic buildings that not too many tourists get a chance to see.

Surrounding the Old Town area are a few historic gates – each of which has their own importance in the history of Lublin.

The most famous gate is the Krakow Gate, or Brama Krakowska in Polish, and you’ll definitely want to stop out front to admire the incredible architecture of this medieval structure.

Take your time to wander around through all of the Old Town because there is quite a lot to see and you don’t want to miss anything by going through it all too quickly.

During the warmer summer months the Old Town really comes alive with lots of outdoor seating where you can relax with a beer or coffee and there are a lot more people spending time outdoors enjoying the better weather.

Check out the Ruins at the Po Farze Square

Ruins at the Po Farze Square

Just down the pedestrian walkway from the Old Town Square is the Po Farze Square.

If you’re walking to or from the Castle you’ll probably walk right by this square and it’s a great place to stop to check out for a little while.

This is one of the more historic squares in the city and you’ll probably notice these old stone ruins covering the ground.

These ruins are the old remains of the medieval Church of St. Michael which stood in the same spot back in the 14th century.

One interesting fact is that the stone foundation wasn’t discovered until the 1930s after having been covered for more than 60 years.

Take some photos of the ruins and keep an eye out for the brass recreation of the church that once stood in this area.

When you’re standing in this square you can walk to the edge where some stairs are and from here you’ll have an amazing view of the Castle which makes for a great photo opportunity.

Walk Through the Grodzka Gate

Along with the Krakow Gate, the Grodzka Gate is another one of the famous medieval gates in the city.

This is one of the original city gates at dates all the way back to the 1340s and was most recently rebuilt in 1785.

It’s known as the Jewish Gate because that used to separate the Old Town from the Jewish neighborhood in the city.

When you’re at the gate keep your eye out for a small plaque on the ground that shows you where the Lublin Ghetto used to be during World War II.

These days the gate is used by the NN Theatre and here you can check out some different exhibitions dedicated to Jewish life in the city.

Relax in Lithuanian Square

Lithuanian Square is the largest square and pedestrian area in the city.

Lining this square you can find three different historic palaces – the Czartoyski Palace, the Lubomirski Palace, and the Guberniyal Palace.

These are a series of grand and picturesque buildings dating back to the 19th century that are now used as museums and public offices.

Dominating the other end of the square is the main office of Poczta Polska, or Polish Postal System, and this impressive structure dates back to the late 19th century with its most recent renovation having happened in 1921.

The reason Lithuanian Square got its name is because back in 1569 when Poland and Lithuania were signing a Union Act it’s said that this is where the Lithuanian nobility set up their camp.

There are two premium hotels situated at the square – the Grand Hotel Lublinianka as well as the Europa Hotel and these two hotels offer a great place to stay if you’re looking for something high-end with a great location.

Admire the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

What’s a trip to Poland without stopping by a church or cathedral?

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is the biggest church in the city and one of the first Baroque churches ever built in all of Poland.

It was built by the Jesuits by 1617 and the services held here have remained popular for more than 400 years.

Both the interior and exterior of the church are impressive and if you’re not visiting during a service then definitely head inside to admire the incredible painting and architectural details.

The Cathedral is located just outside of the Old Town area but it’s just a short 5-minute walk from the main square.

Learn More at a Museum

Open Air Village Museum

There are two museums in Lublin worth checking out – the Lublin Museum and the Open Air Village Museum.

The Lublin Museum is one of the biggest and oldest museums in Eastern Poland and it’s located inside the Castle that I mentioned above.

The museum itself was established back in 1957 and it’s great to visit if you want to learn more about the history of Poland and the surrounding area as well as check out a variety of different historic exhibits.

Even more interesting is the Open Air Village Museum which is one of the biggest open air museums in all of Central Europe.

At this museum you can learn more about village life through the times as well as about the Lublin region.

If you’re visiting for more than just one or two days then I’d definitely recommend stopping by one of these museums for a better understanding of local Polish culture, history, and geography.

Catch a Movie or Get Some Shopping Done

polish mall

There are quite a few large malls in Lublin and right downtown you can find two – the Lublin Plaza and Castle Terraces (Tarasy Zamkove).

Both of these malls are popular with locals and tourists and they’re a great place to visit year round for a bite to eat, to do some shopping, or just to relax with a movie.

Each of the malls are located in the downtown area of the city with one being at one end of the Old Town and the other just beside the Castle.

Visiting the mall can be an especially great idea during the peak of the winter or summer seasons when you’re looking to escape the brutal weather and just walk around comfortably indoors.

Visit the Majdanek Concentration Camp

Majdanek Concentration Camp

On the outskirts of central Lublin is the Majdanek Concentration Camp and museum.

Majdanek is the single best preserved concentration camp from World War 2 due to the fact that the Russian army quickly advanced through Ukraine and Eastern Poland and liberated the camp before the Germans had the chance to destroy it.

Before the war even ended the camp was already turned into a museum and for more than 70 years it has showcased the horrors that happened during the Holocaust to Jews and Polish nationals.

The Majdanek museum is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in learning more the Jewish history in Lublin or the impact that World War II had on Poland.

It’s easy to use public transportation to reach the concentration camp or you could simply walk depending on the weather.

Getting to Lublin

airport

Depending on where you are arriving from it’s quite easy to get to Lublin.

As far as I know, there are daily flights with Wizz Air from London and other European destinations that you can use if you’re hoping to catch a quick and easy budget flight into the city.

Otherwise, the best way to reach the city is from Warsaw.

From Warsaw you can take a bus (Polski Bus) which will take a little bit less than 3 hours or you could take the train which takes about two and a half hours.

I would recommend the bus because from the bus station it’s an easy walk into the downtown and Old Town area while the airport and train station are located a little bit further out of the city center and you’ll have to arrange a taxi to bring you to your accommodation.

Where to Stay in Lublin

There are quite a few options for hotels in Lublin although I would recommend booking an Airbnb for a much more personal and unique travel experience.

Don’t forget to sign up for AirBnb if you haven’t already and you can save some money on your next trip if you sign up through my link.

Otherwise, head over to Booking.com and see which hotels are available during your stay.

Final Thoughts

Lublin is, in my opinion, one of the best hidden gems in Poland and it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a more authentic experience during your travels.

It’s not as popular with tourists as some of the other smaller cities in Poland but there is still a lot to do during your stay.

Hopefully I’ve helped you out with some interesting and fun things to do in Lublin if you’re planning a trip.

As always, thank you for reading and if you have any questions or suggestions then don’t hesitate to let me know down in the comments.

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3 Comments

  • Susie

    Love this guide, your photos are stunning. Im moving to Germany next year so the goal is to visit as many countries in Europe as possible. I’m gonna follow the suggestions in this post when I visit Poland 🙂

    November 28, 2017 at 9:49 pm Reply
  • J. Endress

    Great post. I always meant to get over there. Eastern Europe is on the list, but exploring South America is where I’m at now. I’ll definitely keep your tips in mind when I make it over!

    December 7, 2017 at 7:47 pm Reply
  • Zainab

    Thank you I have been obsessed with Poland since visiting Krakow. Lublin was never on my radar but it definitely is now after reading your post.

    December 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm Reply
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