Masuria (Mazury), Poland: 18 Things to Do & Places to See in Masurian Lakes

Update: July 31, 2023 r
Masuria (Mazury) Poland lakes what to see what to do attractions
Masuria (Mazury) Poland lakes what to see what to do attractions

Masuria (Mazury) and the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes is one of Poland’s most diverse and beautiful regions. Mazury is famous for its thousands of lakes, vast forests and wildlife. It is an ideal place for a holiday not only if you like sailing and water attractions but also if you are interested in history, WWII mysteries, hydro-technical monuments, castles and even… deer! You will have enough attractions for several trips to Masuria.

To help you plan your visit, I have prepared a list of 18 exciting places to see in Masuria (Mazury) in the north-eastern part of Poland.

You can enjoy the Masurian landscape while walking, exploring the area by bike, hopping on a sailboat, or canoeing. Masuria is one of the most beautiful places to see in Poland.


Find worth visiting places, lakes, beautiful cities & nature sights with good hotels & apartments on a map of 200+ best places to see in Mazury & Warmia

Save time on planning your trip. Map works on your phone & computer (Google Maps).

1. The Great Masurian Lakes Trail

pol: Szlak Wielkich Jezior Mazurskich

Travelling around the Masuria region can be almost never-ending. All you need to do is hop on a sailboat and head for the Great Masurian Lakes Trail. It’s a 100km-long waterway starting on Lake Wiartel and running through lakes Nidzkie, Bełdany, Mikołajskie, Tałty, Tałtowisko, Szymon, Jagodne, Boczne, Niegocin, Kisajno, Dargin, Kirsajty and Mamry leading to Węgorzewo.

Sailing on the Great Masurian Lakes Trail is great fun but also a task that requires caution and experience. On the water, you may be faced with rapidly changing weather conditions and a large number of other boats. If you have little experience, use the services of a skipper and sail safely!

You don’t have to cover it all to get a taste of a bit of Masurian life on the water. Your journey can have several interesting stops, during which you will visit Mikołajki, Ryn, Giżycko, and Ruciane-Nida (more about these towns later) or look for more desolate corners to relax in nature.

Although the lakes look unconnected at first glance, you can easily cross them without going ashore, thanks to a network of canals. Along the way, you will come across many exciting engineering structures, such as the swing bridge in Giżycko on the Łuczański Canal. In high season, crowds of tourists and queues of ships line up in front of it.

An exciting option for bicycle enthusiasts is to ride the Mazurian Bicycle Loop (Mazurska Pętla Rowerowa). You can choose to ride only parts of the loop, hooking up with observation towers along the route. When the loop construction is complete, it will be 300 km long and connect with the Green Velo bike trail.

Get ready for travel to Poland & Masuria

1. Accommodation: book early & save money (stay in Mikołajki, Giżycko or Węgorzewo).

2. Currency exchange: you can use your bank card, but much cheaper is the free Curve card.

3. Rent a car: you’ll be flexible & see more in less time.

4. Map of Mazury sights: explore better with a map of the best attractions on your phone.

2. Śniardwy Lake – Poland’s largest lake

Within the boundaries of the Masurian Landscape Park, you will find Poland’s largest lake – Śniardwy, with an area of 113.8 km². You can count eight islands on the lake. One of them, Czarci Ostrów, was formerly used militarily. The Prussians built warehouses on it, which were guarded by solid fortifications.

You can go on a bicycle trip around the lake. If you decide to go on a bicycle trip, you can visit the Polish Academy of Sciences research station in Popielno (they breed and protect the Polish horse breed – “konik polski – the Polish Konik”).

Think about a bicycle tour around Śniardwy – there are 85 km to ride. The route leads mainly through the picturesque Mazurian Landscape Park (Mazurski Park Krajobrazowy) and has a rope-pulled ferry crossing of Lake Bełdany on the way. You can rent a bike at the rental (Mikołajki), which we used during our cycling tour around Lake Łuknajno.

You will find several viewpoints around the Masurian Sea, as the locals call Śniardwy. I recommend you reach at least a few of them:

  • a viewing tower near Lake Łuknajno (location on the map: 53.797179150, 21.639160018) – a viewing point that you will find by the Agrotourism Farm Łuknajno. This place is an interesting accommodation option if you want to rest close to nature, outside the most popular Mazurian villages,
  • the cliff in Szeroki Ostrów (location on the map: 53.73577908, 21.73694266) – a natural cliff from which you will have the Sniardwy on your palm. Szeroki Ostrów used to be an island, but in the 20th century, a causeway was laid, turning the island into a peninsula. You can get here by bike, but it is also possible by car. There is a campsite on Szerokie Ostrow,
  • a lookout point near the Kwik village (location on the map: 53.7456446, 21.7967866) – another good vantage point on the Masurian Sea. It is also worth seeing a nearby weir on a small channel connecting Śniardwy with Białoławki Lake.

Apart from bicycles, Śniardwy offers a multitude of water attractions. You can rent water equipment in Mikołajki (e.g., Wioska pod Żaglami, Fali Adrenaliny, Huskatlenie) and Nowe Guty (e.g., Marina Śniardwy). You can choose from kayaks, pedal boats, sup boards and even paddle boats and catamarans.

Embark on a cruise ship on Lake Śniardwy. Many opportunities are offered by Żegluga Mazurska (e.g. routes on the three lakes – Mikołajskie, Śniardwy and Bełdany or cruises from Mikloajki to Śniardwy and islands on the lake). Also, have a look at Żegluga Pasażerska Mikołajki and the largest Polish inland sailing ship Chopin (also Mikołajki).

Remember that Śniardwy is a large body of water known for its dangerous white scow. If you lack experience on the water, take advantage of organised cruises or hire a boat with a skipper.

3. Giżycko and the Niegocin and Kisajno Lakes

Giżycko is one of the most popular destinations in the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes (Kraina Wielkich Jezior Mazurskich) for water holiday fans. The town lies between the Niegocin and Kisajno lakes. Here you will find the largest passenger and yacht harbour in the Masuria region, making Giżycko the capital of boats and sails in the summer.

The strategic location of Giżycko in the isthmus between the lakes led to the establishment of the fortress Boyen in the 19th century – a fortification built by order of Friedrich Wilhelm IV as a guarantee of the security of the Prussian state. It never took an active part in battles. I recommend visiting the fortress museum, with a sizable model and some reconstructed buildings, such as the Armourer’s Workshop.

To enter the Boyen fortress you must buy an entrance ticket. You can check on the website the ticket prices and opening hours of the fortress. You can albo use the services of guides (guided tours in Polish, German and Russian).

The most popular attraction in Giżycko is the only revolving bridge in Poland on the Łuczański Canal, which connects the Niegocin and Kisajno lakes. The bridge usually allows cars to pass but can be manually rotated to allow boats to pass over the canal. The whole procedure takes a few minutes, thanks to the muscle power of just one person!

Above the Łuczański Canal, you will still find a wing of the former Teutonic Knights’ castle, which now houses the 4-star St. Bruno Hotel with a fabulous SPA integrated into the castle’s atmosphere. We stayed in the castle in Giżycko and have fond memories of that time.

Walking around Giżycko, it is worth reaching St. Bruno’s Hill, where you have a good view of Lake Niegocin. Returning to the heart of Giżycko, look around Grunwaldzki Square (Plac Grunwaldzki), where you will find the Evangelical Augsburg Church (a place of International Festival of Organ and Chamber Music) and the former Fala cinema with its socialist-realist mosaic.

Heading towards the lake, you will reach the area of the eco-marina and the promenade leading to the observation deck and pier. From here, you can see the ships on their regular cruises on the surrounding lakes. You will find the town beach next door, popular with tourists and Giżycko residents.

You can check on the website the directions of the Żegluga Mazurska tours and ticket prices. Also check the offer of the ship Bosman, which offers the popular “3 lakes, 3 canals in 1 hour” tour.

If you like vantage points, also look at the water tower (Wieża Ciśnień) with its exhibition on the history of Giżycko. At the top, you will enjoy a café with a view of the whole town and the nearby lakes. You must pay admission to the viewpoint – even if you want to use the café.

I recommend eating at one of the places I have tried: the Grota restaurant with eel broth and salmon fillet in mango. Also the Omega bar is legendary – a milk bar with typical Polish dishes such as ‘kotlet schabowy’ or ‘placek po węgiersku’. I recommend it for its great atmosphere, reasonable prices and tasty food.

4. Mikołajki and Tałty and Mikołajskie Lakes

Mikołajki, situated on the Mikołajskie and Tałty lakes, stands out for its architecturally pleasing consistency. Low-rise buildings, red sloping roofs, a lively promenade and lakes full of ships are important attractions of Mikolajki that leave good memories.

Mikolajki’s main street, named after Michal Kajka, will lead you to the market square with the fountain of King Sielaw. This crowned fish is the town’s symbol on its coat of arms, related to the legend of King Sielaw fighting with the fishermen, who cut the fishermen’s nets and drove the area to starvation.

When finally caught by the locals, the king wanted to avoid death at their hands and promised them nets full of fish after each catch. The fishermen agreed to the offer, but they chained the king to the bridge to be safe.

A visit to Mikołajki would not be complete without a visit to the sailing village (Wioska Żeglarska) and a stroll along the promenade on Mikołajskie Lake. Near the spectacular footbridge that connects the two shores of the lake, you will find the harbour of the Żegluga Mazurska. Continuing north, you will reach the Evangelical Augsburg Church with a small Museum of the Polish Reformation.

From the port in Mikołajki, you can embark on cruises by Żegluga Mazurska (check schedule and prices). On the other shore, near the Amax Hotel, is the Chopin – Poland’s largest inland sailing ship, which also offers water excursions in the area.

You can look at the city from above by climbing up to the vantage point on the tower of St Nicholas Church (kościół św. Mikołaja). You can buy tickets for the tower at the entrance. The stairs to the top are relatively easy, but if you have a crisis of form, you can rest on the chairs strategically placed on the route. 😉

If you fancy seeing the buildings of Mikołajki reflected picturesquely in Lake Mikołajskie, take an evening stroll to the southern shore (or stay overnight at the Amax Hotel overlooking the lake). Along the way, you can hook up with the well-regarded bistro Przechowalnia Marzeń (Storage of Dreams) with good breakfasts and coffee.

Looking for good restaurants in Mikolajki, I recommend you check out Słoneczny Port (Sunny Port) – a restaurant with its waterfront and an enchanting view of Lake Tałty. You can buy local products and take home a bit of Masurian flavour. Also worth a visit is the Na Wodzie Restaurant – a floating restaurant overlooking Lake Tałty.

5. Lake Łuknajno and viewing towers

A must-see sightseeing tour of the Mikolajki area is a bicycle trip around Lake Luknajno. The ride at a leisurely pace will take you about 3 hours, and along the way, you will meet dozens of bird species in their natural habitat and several lookout towers.

Peeping at them is the essence of sustainable, peaceful slow-motion tourism, which I have come to love. The route passes through the Lake Luknajno nature reserve, home to almost 100 species of birds, including storks, cranes, several ducks and even 2,000 swans. This reserve is Europe’s largest breeding ground for the mute swan.

It is worth bringing binoculars with you, as they make bird watching from the lookout towers more rewarding. The route is not demanding, mostly leading along relatively flat gravel roads among meadows and forests. Including the one by Śniardwy, you will reach four lookout towers.

Each of them will allow you to look at the surroundings from a different angle and catch various species of birds in the lenses of your binoculars. Even if you won’t be able to tell them apart (like me), the pleasure of peeping at their wildlife is incredible.

During your trip, you may want to buy coffee at Folwark Łuknajno, which has a viewing tower over Lake Śniardwy. They have fish soup, Masurian spring rolls, potato baba with nibbles and quite a few seasonal dishes on offer. You can also stay overnight at Folwark Łuknajno (2- and 3-bed rooms available).


Find worth visiting places, lakes, beautiful cities & nature sights with good hotels & apartments on a map of 200+ best places to see in Mazury & Warmia

Save time on planning your trip. Map works on your phone & computer (Google Maps).

6. Wolf’s Lair – former Hitler’s headquarters

pol: Wilczy Szaniec, ger: Wolfschanze

The bunker complex in the forests near Gierłoża, known as the Wolf’s Lair, was one of the most heavily guarded and important corners of the Third Reich at the time of the German attack on the Soviet Union, or the conduct of Operation Barbarossa. Hitler lived in the Wolfschanze for as many as ca. 800 days. It was also here that Claus von Stauffenberg made his failed assassination attempt on the Nazi leader in 1944.

Before entering the Wolf’s Lair, you’ll need to buy an entrance ticket – please check ticket prices and opening hours. You can visit with an audio guide, which you can buy in a booth near the parking lot.

I have never felt shivers and anxiety when entering the grounds of any attraction. Witnessing myself walking on paths previously trodden by the most remarkable criminals of the modern world – Hitler, Himmler, Göring, Keitler, Bormann, other leading Nazis and even Mussolini – was terrifying.

The Wolf’s Lair is a complex of over a dozen structures and bunkers in various states of disrepair after the complex was blown up in the face of approaching Soviet troops. The structures were so sturdy that tonnes of TNT destroyed the shafts in Kętrzyn, located a few kilometres away, but they could not cope with the bunkers’ walls, which were several metres wide.

On 20 July 1944, at the Wolf’s Lair, during a working meeting with Hitler, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg made an unsuccessful attempt on the life of the leader of the Third Reich. The bomb explosion slightly injured Hitler, so the assassination attempt did not threaten his life. After the plot was discovered, Stauffenberg was executed.

If you look at the photographs displayed at the Wolf’s Lair, you will see how many famous photographs of Nazi criminals were taken here. Here, the most important decisions of the declining part of the war were made. Long months spent in the bunker caused Hitler’s mental health to decline. After escaping from the Wolf’s Lair to Berlin, he committed suicide in the bunker beneath the Reich Chancellery.

7. Krutynia River and canoeing trips

The picturesque Krutynia River does not break any records in length (it is only 99 km long). Still, due to its numerous meanders and interesting landforms, it is an excellent attraction for canoeists and fans of relaxation in nature. The canoe trail on the Krutynia has 91 km and leads through the Puszcza Piska forest and the Mazurian Landscape Park. It is one of the most beautiful canoe routes in Poland and Europe.

Thinking of kayaking down the Krutynia River? Your choices include one-day rafting trips and multi-day trips starting in the village of Krutynia. There are several canoe rentals in the village of Krutynia. Quite a few rafting trips also start in the village of Ukta (Przystań Ukta).

Canoeists claim that the most exciting part of the Krutynia River canoeing trip is the 14-kilometre-long section between Cierzpięta on Lake Mokry and Rosocha, which takes about 5 hours to complete.

If you are not in the mood for kayak adventures but the Krutynia River interests you as a place for relaxation, look for secluded locations on the river banks. Just right if you want to relax in the embrace of nature and without crowds.

8. Deer Farm (PAN research station) in Kosewo Górne

The deer farm in Kosewo Górne is one of the nicest surprises on a journey through the Great Mazurian Lakes Region. In the centre, which is run by scientists and, at the same time, deer enthusiasts, we encountered a respectful approach to the animals. It is around the deer that the life of the research station revolves, and tourists here are just silent observers of the wildlife.

Guided by Mr Paweł, in two hours, we learned a lot about the daily life of deer – their habits, instincts, and ways of communication. We even learned the basics of genetics and species classification to more consciously distinguish between roe deer, red deer, fallow deer and elk.

You can visit the PAN research station in Kosewo Gorne during the summer season – from May to August. You can find detailed information about available dates on the website. Beware of Google Maps – the navigation leads to the station by an incorrect, impassable road (look for road signs).

Walking around the PAS research station in Kosewo Górne meant communing with wild animals. Frightened by our sight, the herds of deer slowly gave way to us and watched our movements from hiding with great curiosity. Imagine what a magical experience this must be, with everything happening in the hilly, picturesque area.

If you are a bit lucky, you will manage to make friends with Gabi – a deer raised under the watchful eye of Mr Paweł. Gabi has much less fear of humans than her wild sisters and brothers, making her happy to walk with tourists, and, of course, she loves it when visitors decide to pet her vigorously.

9. Mamerki Bunkers (Mauerwald)

In addition to the best-known Wolf’s Lair in Mamerki, you can visit the bunkers formerly occupied by the Headquarters of the Third Reich’s Land Forces (OKH). All ground troop movements on the Eastern Front, including the legendary Battle of Stalingrad, were commanded from here.

The tour of Mamerki has three stages – the bunkers in the so-called Brigid’s Town (right next to the car park and ticket office), the museum dedicated to World War II next to the highest observation tower in Masuria and the so-called giant bunkers in the Quelle Zone (a few hundred metres away, across the street). I was most impressed by the museum.

You can find details of the Mamerki bunker tour on the website. Parking in front of the ticket office is free. Stopping here, you will visit two parts of the complex – you will have to drive several hundred meters to the giant bunkers (the third part).

The complex subject of the eastern front of the Second World War is told here in an accessible, sensitive way. The content to read doesn’t overwhelm with an overload of information. The museum collects many remnants of the German presence, including swastika-decorated porcelain and pieces of soldiers’ equipment. There is even room for a replica of a U-boat submarine.

At the museum, you will also have the opportunity to speculate about the lost Amber Chamber, which is said to have been hidden somewhere in the Mamerki bunkers. To this day, however, it has not been found, although the former East Prussian supreme commander Erich Koch pointed to this very area as the place where it was deposited.

In Brigid’s Town, you will visit the bunkers of the former Communications and Command Centre. The giant bunkers located further on owe their name to the walls and ceilings up to 7 metres thick! Just imagine what an important place Masuria must have been for the Nazis in the 1940s.

10. The Upper and Lower Leśniewo Locks on the Mazury Canal

pol: śluza Leśniewo Górne i Leśniewo Dolne

If you are looking for remnants of Prussian and German plans for developing these lands in Masuria, you will come across the route of the Masurian Canal. It was supposed to connect the Great Masurian Lakes via Lake Mamry with the Baltic Sea. Construction was halted several times due to ongoing wars (World War I and World War II) and financial difficulties. The canal wasn’t completed, but several monumental buildings remain.

The locks of Lesniewo Górne and Lesniewo Dolne are located near Mamerki and Lake Mamry, at the beginning of the planned Mazurian Canal. You can reach the locks on foot from Mamerki, or you can stop your car at a private parking lot and walk a few hundred meters to the Lesniewo Górne lock. Admission to the locks is free.

The most characteristic structure on the Mazurian Canal is the Lesniewo Górne lock. It was 60-80% successfully built, although the hydro-technical equipment that was supposed to work in the lock never arrived here. Hidden in the forest, the sluice is impressive for its size and the preserved site of the Third Reich emblem. The shadow of the eagle with the swastika and the raw concrete look monumental and terrifying.

Closer to the car park, you will still find the remains of the construction of the Leśniewo Dolne sluice. The degree of progress of its construction was much lower (about 20%), so there are far fewer things to see here as well. However, it was planned to be built identically to the Upper Lesniewo.

11. Reszel – castle and historic Old Town

Reszel is the prettiest little town I have seen during my trips around Warmia and Masuria. The bishop’s castle dominating the town, the coherent development of the Market Square area with its rows of historic houses, the mighty parish church and the Gothic bridge – all within a few hundred metres from the Town Hall.

Reszel was granted town rights in 1337, developing as a thriving crafts centre, including blacksmithing and artistic carpentry. Approximately 30% of the town was destroyed during the Second World War, which was rebuilt in the post-war years.

Reszel’s most important monument is the bishop’s castle, built in 1241 by order of the Teutonic Knights, where you can visit the observation tower (and look from it at the charming Old Town). The castle in Reszel houses the Hotel Zamek Reszel (an atmospheric place!) and a restaurant where we had a delicious lunch.

While in Reszel, remember that by going here you have passed the historical border of Masuria and Warmia. Reszel is in Warmia and to refer to it as a Masurian town is a historical mistake. It’s of great significance to Poles living in this part of the country. Better not to confuse these lands. 😉

Other highlights include the 14th-century parish church of St Peter and St Paul (kościół farny św. Piotra i Pawła), which has a mystical twilight atmosphere. Look out for the 19th-century organ, thanks to which the Reszel Organ and Chamber Music Concerts are organised in Reszel. You can climb the 232 steps to the observation deck in the church tower.

Reszel’s Old Town boasts many historic townhouses. The ones on Wyspiańskiego Street look particularly lovely. In the heart of the Market Square, you will find the Town Hall surrounded by more than 20 historic houses.

Walking east along Spichrzowa Street, you will reach the Gothic (though not this certainty) High Bridge, thrown over the Jizera River. An exciting curiosity of Reszel is the Art Nouveau Villa Maria from 1906, with its colourful façade of an unusual shape. The town can offer a lot of attractions, so you should plan about 3-4 hours for Reszel.

12. Święta Lipka Sanctuary and historic organs

A few kilometres from Reszel lies the Marian Sanctuary in Święta Lipka, a significant attraction on the itinerary of people of faith or interested in sacral architecture. We came here for a concert of organ music on a baroque organ with moving figures, which dates from 1721. We did not manage to listen to the concert but had the opportunity to see the sanctuary’s rich (sometimes overwhelming) interior.

You can check the dates of the organ presentations on the shrine’s website. The concerts are held only for groups of a “dozen or so” people (there are no strict numbers). Visiting Swieta Lipka in the off-season, we didn’t have a chance to hear the organ, but if you come here during the season, the concert will almost certainly take place.

Crowds of pilgrims were and are still attracted to Święta Lipka by the legend of the condemned man to whom Mary supposedly appeared in a death dungeon. She gave him a piece of wood and a chisel to carve the holy statue. When the guards and judges saw the figure in the morning, they considered its appearance to be a miracle.

Legend had attracted visitors to Święta Lipka since the 15th century when a chapel was built around the holy tree. The sanctuary is currently in the hands of the Jesuits, who manage the site. Tourists come here to see the church’s interior and the live show put on by the moving organ. Miraculously, it escaped devastation during the Red Army’s march. Entry to the church is free.

13. Mrągowo and Lake Czos

Mragowo gets crowded a few times a year. The amphitheatre on Lake Czos fills up on the occasion of several major festivals, including the Country Picnic and Mazurian Cabaret Night.

Mragowo boasts an eye-pleasing city centre with a grand City Hall, where you’ll find a branch of the Museum of Warmia and Mazury. We looked there to learn more about the history of old Mragowo (known as Sensburg) and see old Country Picnic posters.

From the Town Hall, you can walk along the promenade to the Mragowo pier on Lake Czos, from which you can get a good view of the festival amphitheatre. Right next to the City Hall stands the distinctive Prussian-walled building of the Bosnian Watchtower, which is believed to be the oldest building in the city.

It’s worth setting off on a short walk toward Lake Magistrackie to see the sculptures of the city of Mrągowo and then reach the Bismarck Tower with a vantage point overlooking the city. You can buy local handicrafts at the ticket office.

If you like viewpoints, go to the Góra Czterech Wiatrów (Four Winds Mountain). It offers a good view of Mragowo and Lake Czos. It’s close to a wild lakeside beach where you can relax without crowds of tourists.

You could explore Mragowo according to an unusual theme – traces of historic doors. You can find a brochure at the tourist information desk next to the City Hall called “Mragowo. From door to door”, and then wander around the city in their footsteps for up to several hours. Walking in the footsteps of Mragowo’s modernism can also be an interesting motive.


Find worth visiting places, lakes, beautiful cities & nature sights with good hotels & apartments on a map of 200+ best places to see in Mazury & Warmia

Save time on planning your trip. Map works on your phone & computer (Google Maps).

14. Lake Mamry and city of Węgorzewo

Mamry Lake, the second largest lake in the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes, is an essential point in the plan to visit Masuria. In addition to the many opportunities for water activities, the Mamry Lake area is rich in diverse attractions. After all, right next door are the World War II monuments of Mamerki, the remains of the Mazurian Canal with sluices in Lesniewo, and many bicycle routes.

An essential base for accommodation and excursions around Mamry Lake is Węgorzewo. While in town, try to find time to see the former Teutonic castle on the Węgorapa River and visit the Museum of Railway Tradition, telling the story of the importance of railroads in former East Prussia. The Museum of Folk Culture is also worth a look.

The ships of the Żegluga Mazurska embark on regular cruises on Lake Mamry departing from the harbor in Węgorzewo. A popular route is the cruise from Węgorzewo to Upałty Island on Lake Mamry and from Węgorzewo to Giżycko. Check the pricelist and cruise schedule on the website.

If the weather is good, you could rent a bicycle and set off on a tour. You can choose between the 38-kilometer-long Little Mamry Loop, leading through Trygort, Sztynort and Ogonki along the Green Velo bike trail, or the much shorter Węgorzewo Loop (16 km through the viewpoint on Lake Święcajty and Konopki Hill).

The area around Węgorzewo and Lake Mamry is a good base for exploring this part of Masuria. You can plan several overnight stays here to freely reach nearby attractions related to World War II, among other things.

15. Ryn Castle

Wandering in the footsteps of Teutonic history in the former East Prussia, you will reach Ryn, whose castle from the end of the 14th century dominates the landscape. It was an excellent foothold for The Teutonic Knights to launch attacks on Lithuania and the seat of the Teutonic convent.

A night at the Hotel Zamek Ryn is a good way to get a feel for the place. You can take a guided tour of the castle on weekends. Visit the Ryn Castle website for tour details, hours and ticket prices.

When the secularization of the Teutonic state took place, the castle began to perform administrative functions in the secular structures of Prussia. Ryn castle burned down during the Swedish Deluge, and in the 19th century, it was cleaned up and used as a Prussian prison, after which… burned down again. Today, a four-star hotel with SPA operates in the castle.

If you feel like testing the local Masurian cuisine, look at the Gościniec Ryński Młyn, which belongs to the castle. The chef there, Agnieszka Wesolowska, specializes in Masurian cuisine, which has several interesting facets besides fish dishes.

16. Szczytno and the ruins of the Teutonic castle

Landing at Szymany airport, you are only a few minutes away from Szczytno. Here you can visit the revitalized ruins of a former Teutonic castle. Although it’s just ruins, history can bring the place to life in the imagination. Especially if the story is spun by… a belted knight!

Admission to the revitalized ruins of Szczytno Castle is free. In addition to the outdoor area, check out the exhibition hall with collections on the history of the castle and Szczytno. You can check the opening hours on the website.

Szczytno was made famous among Poles by Henryk Sienkiewicz, who tied an essential part of the plot of “Teutonic Knights” to the castle in Szczytno. The novel’s protagonist, Jurand of Spychow (village less than 30 km from Szczytno), tried to win back his beloved Danusia at the castle in Szczytno. Nowadays, you can sip Jurand beer in Szczytno.

Next to the ruins of the Teutonic castle, a massive town hall with a clock tower was built in the 1930s, moments before the outbreak of World War II. Also, find a moment to stroll along the Domowe Duże Lake with its municipal beach and pier. You’ll also find quaint figurines of the so-called “pofajdok” on the city’s streets.

“Pofajdok” is a Masurian folk name for a young man with a rather immature approach to life but a sincere and good heart. In Szczytno, these lovely men, walking their paths, are commemorated with 13 sculptures, which you will find in important city points.

17. Ruciane-Nida

If you want to relax in nature’s surroundings, I recommend visiting Ruciane-Nida. The town lies in the heart of the Piska Forest (Puszcza Piska) on as many as three lakes – Nidzkie, Guzianka Mała and Guzianka Wielka. It is a good base for exploring the attractions of Masuria.

A unique attraction of Rudiane-Nida is the historic Zdzislaw Boronski Seed Hulling Plant. It was established in the late 19th century and has been extracting seeds from cones ever since. The warehouse of the hulling plant can hold as much as 180 tons of cones at a time.

Have you ever seen so many cones at once? 😉 In one day, the plant can prepare 30 kg of pine seeds from… as much as 2,700 kg of cones!

While in Rucian-Nida, see the Guzianka I and Guzianka II locks, which connect Lake Nidzkie with the Mazurian sailing routes. In the town, you can also see military monuments – the Ruciane Guzianka defensive junction buildings with a machine gun tower. In nearby Galkowo, visit the beautiful Hunter Manor (Dworek Łowczy).

18. Old Believers’ Monuments in the village of Wojnowo

pol: Staroobrzędowcy

In my opinion, the unassuming village of Wojnowo is one of the most picturesque villages I have seen in this part of Poland. Russians arrived in today’s Warmia and Masuria, looking for a place to profess their faith without harassment. They did not accept the reform of the Orthodox Church of the 18th century – hence they came to be called Old Believers or Old Believers.

If you want to visit the monastery of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wojnowo, you need to make an appointment with its caretakers in advance. Unfortunately, communication is only possible in Polish. If you can manage it – call 660 707 570 from 10 am to 5 pm and make a convenient appointment.

They found a peaceful corner in Wojnowo, which they founded in 1830. An Old Believers’ monastery (monaster Zaśnięcia Najświętszej Marii Panny) and a wooden Orthodox church were established in Wojnowo. In the village, you can see wooden houses from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, which adds extra magic to the village.

As if that were not enough, the Krutynia River, loved by canoeists, flows through the village. So we have in Wojnowo a small Masurian paradise, which I strongly recommend you to see, e.g. when travelling towards Mikolajki or Mragowo.

Where to sleep in Masuria? Which city to choose?

Masuria is well prepared to receive many tourists during the season. The largest accommodation bases are Mikołajki, Giżycko, Wilkasy i Ruciane-Nida. During our five-day trip through Masuria, we stayed in several places:

  • GiżyckoSt. Bruno Hotel in a former Teutonic castle on the Luczanski Canal,

Such a distribution of accommodations allowed us to reach all points of interest in Masuria without overstretching the road. You can also consider an overnight stay in Węgorzewo (if you want to focus on the northern part of Masuria) or Mrągowo.

How to get to Masuria (Mazury)? Planes, trains and buses

You can get to Masuria by any means of transportation. The most common choice is to get there in your car. Also, public transportation connects the most important points of Masuria with the rest of Poland. During our trip to Masuria, we tested the air connection between Wroclaw and Olsztyn-Mazury Airport.

Masuria by plane – Olsztyn-Mazury Airport

The Olsztyn-Mazury Airport (Mazury Airport) operates in Szymany, near Szczytno. Seasonal flights from Wroclaw, Krakow and Rzeszow arrive here.

A small, beautifully designed terminal with local architectural motifs (e.g., exits in the style of old Mazurian cottages or decorative beams of wood, symbolizing Mazurian trees) accommodates everything tourists need. It operates several car rentals, stores and even an observation deck with a relaxation area. Useful if you’re a little stressed about flying. 😉

You could reach Olsztyn-Szymany Airport by buses from Olsztyn and Grajewo (and the Great Mazurian Lakes region in high season), as well as trains from Olsztyn, stopping right next to the airport terminal entrance. However, visiting the Great Mazurian Lakes Region will be most convenient with a rented car.

Masuria by rail

Long-distance trains connect all major Polish cities with Olsztyn, from where you can take local trains to Kętrzyn, Giżycko, Elk and Korysz, among others. You can check train schedules on the Portal Pasażera (available in English). You can buy tickets for regional trains at Koleo.

Masuria by car – how to rent a car?

Arriving in Masuria and travelling by rental car is the most convenient option for people from farther corners of Poland. Finding a car rental at the Olsztyn-Mazury airport will be most accessible, but they are also available in the centre of Olsztyn.

The attractions of Masuria and the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes are spread over a large area, which makes travelling between them by car the most efficient – especially if you only have a few days to visit Masuria.

Get ready for travel to Poland & Masuria

1. Accommodation: book early & save money (stay in Mikołajki, Giżycko or Węgorzewo).

2. Currency exchange: you can use your bank card, but much cheaper is the free Curve card.

3. Rent a car: you’ll be flexible & see more in less time.

4. Map of Mazury sights: explore better with a map of the best attractions on your phone.

Masuria without a car – how to plan a trip?

If you have decided to visit Masuria without a car, you must adjust your sightseeing plan to the available public transportation network. You will reach several larger towns (Giżycko, Kętrzyn) by local trains and others – by buses.

The number of connections increases during the tourist season. The best place to look for buses is (available in English).

Some of Mazury’s attractions are outside the reach of public transportation. If you want to get there, you can opt for a bicycle tour covering the places of interest or hitchhiking, which should work well during the tourist season.

You have just learned a list of 18 attractions and places worth seeing in Masuria, especially the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes. The list of exciting nooks and crannies worth visiting here is very long. I have selected attractions for you that will allow you to get to know Masuria from different perspectives, stimulating your curiosity and encouraging you to visit the Land of the Great Masurian Lakes further. Have a great tour, and see you in Masuria!


Find worth visiting places, lakes, beautiful cities & nature sights with good hotels & apartments on a map of 200+ best places to see in Mazury & Warmia

Save time on planning your trip. Map works on your phone & computer (Google Maps).

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Hi! I’m Bartek Dziwak – traveller & travel blogger with 10 years of travel experience. 

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