Polanica Zdrój: 10 Things To Do & Places to See (Local’s Guide)

Update: March 16, 2023 r
Polanica Zdroj Poland best things to do park
Polanica Zdroj Poland best things to do park

Polanica-Zdrój is a spa town in Lower Silesia, surrounded by the unique Table Mountains and visited by tourists from all over Europe. I have been visiting Polanica-Zdrój since I was a child. Despite my experience, I’m still not bored with the city’s charms. It’s famous for its medicinal waters and extensive Spa Park with a Mineral Water Pump Room.

But it’s not the only reason to visit Polanica-Zdroj. I like to escape here for the quiet climate, clean air, cultural events and the network of hiking trails. I’ve put together the TOP 10 things to do & best attractions in Polanica-Zdroj.

You can spend a great day or weekend here – especially with tips only a local might know. 😉 The city is also close to other attractions of Lower Silesia – Kudowa-Zdroj, Duszniki-Zdroj (both spas) and Klodzko (the city with a huge fortress).


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Why do I recommend to visit Polanica-Zdrój?

Polanica-Zdrój is one of the Polish towns with “zdrój” in their name. This means that they have a special status as a health resort. You will always find a mineral water pump room with water springs and facilities prepared for patients in such a place.

This makes Polanica-Zdrój a place with a unique vibe. Tourists walk around the parks with “pijałki”, the Polish word for special vessels from which they drink the medicinal water. On warm days, the park benches are occupied by visitors, and there are queues of people at the pump room to refill the vessels.

Despite a lot of tourists in town, the atmosphere is intimate. There are no big clubs or noisy restaurants, and the nightlife is rather non-existent. The city and its surroundings are walkable, and the number of places to see is manageable. I like coming here, and you’ll probably like it too.

1. Take a walk in the Spa Park

in Polish: Park Zdrojowy

Spa Park is one of the most important attractions in Polanica-Zdroj, with its mineral water pump room (Pijalnia Wód Mineralnych), spa hospital and spa theatre (Teatr Zdrojowy). I visit here every time I travel to Polanica-Zdrój.

The park is impressive at any time of the year, but I like it best when the alleys are full of colourful flowers in spring and summer. In front of the Wielka Pieniawa hospital, you will see a 12-meter tall fountain, a favourite meeting place for locals and tourists.

The Spa Park is divided into Central Park (a little smaller than the one in New York!), Joseph Park, Forest Park and Chess Park. In the latter, you can play a game of chess on a 100-meter board. 😉

You can hop aboard the tourist train, which stops next to the park in summer and visit the most interesting places of Polanica-Zdroj. The tour lasts about 30 minutes, during which the carriage makes a loop around the city centre.

Rides do not require reservations, and you will buy your ticket right on board. You’ll check the ticket prices and the dates of the rides. You can hop on board anywhere along the route, but it’s fun to start the tour from Spa Park.

2. Indulge yourself in a therapeutic treatment at the Wielka Pieniawa Spa Hospital

in Polish: Szpital Uzdrowiskowy Wielka Pieniawa

The centre of Polanica-Zdrój is Spa Park, full of spa facilities, around which the tourist life of the city revolves. The king of Polanica’s resort is the Wielka Pieniawa Spa Hospital near the mineral water pump room, in the very heart of Spa Park.

Wielka Pieniawa is a natural treatment facility that has been a symbol of luxury for over 100 years. Patients can stay at the Grand Pienawa for treatment and have a variety of therapeutic treatments at their fingertips.

But most importantly, you can enjoy the treatments as a tourist visiting the city for a while! Check out the offer of Wielka Pieniawa Spa Hospital. The treatments have a good effect on the body, but I think it’s also an exciting experience to try.

3. Drink medicinal water at the Mineral Water Pump Room

in Polish: Pijalnia Wód Mineralnych

An obligatory point of any visit to a spa is drinking mineral water. In Polanica-Zdrój, medicinal waters have been gushing for years from two springs – Wielka Pieniawa and Pieniawa Józef. Both await you at the Mineral Water Pump Room in Spa Park.

Wielka Pieniawa is the oldest spring in Polanica, operating since 1904. Pieniawa Józef, on the other hand, is the source of the famous Staropolanka – mineral water, which you’ve probably seen on store shelves all over Poland.

Water from Polanica’s springs is used to treat diseases of the digestive or circulatory systems. Go to the pump room to try the water, which contains a wealth of minerals and has an interesting taste.

In the souvenir store, you can buy a “pijałka” – a decorated drinking vessel for mineral waters. This unique souvenir will make you drink medicinal waters in style!

Tip – it is best to drink the water through a tube or a straw. Water contains a lot of iron, which can stain your teeth orange.

4. Go to a performance at the Spa Theater

in Polish: Teatr Zdrojowy

Every health resort strives for a rich cultural life to provide tourists with intellectual entertainment. You can check the repertoire of the Spa Theater, which organizes concerts, meetings, performances, fairs and festivals throughout the year.

You can find the current calendar of events on the Spa Theater’s website. They are held throughout the year (in summer, also on the outdoor stage in Spa Park).

The performances are in Polish, but it doesn’t take away from the pleasure of participating in the cultural endeavour. During my travels, I look into opera houses and theatres and have a great time even if I don’t understand any of the lines spoken by the actors. 😉

5. Feel the city’s atmosphere when walking along the Bystrzycka Dusznicka River

Zdrojowa Street is a pedestrian zone with souvenir stalls, small cafes, and restaurants. This is where you should search for a morning coffee and a place to relax in the evening. Part of the promenade stretches along the Bystrzyca Dusznicka River.

Look here after visiting Spa Park, which lies only a few steps away. On the promenade, you’ll see the Avenue of Basketball Stars with handprints of the most prominent Polish basketball players (I wonder if you’ll recognize… anyone). 😉

If you hear the sound of bells during your walk, it will come from the historic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Polish: kościół Wniebowzięcia NMP). The church stands on a small hill and towers over this part of Polanica-Zdroj. In the summer you can catch a classical music concert.

6. Embark on mountain hikes in the beautiful surroundings of Polanica-Zdrój

Several hiking trails start in the centre of Polanica-Zdroj and go into the surrounding mountains. All routes departing from Polanica converge on Zdrojowa Street between two bridges over the Bystrzycka Dusznicka River (coordinates: 50.405550, 16.511525).

There you can decide which direction tempts you the most. The green trail will take you to the top of Piekielna Gora. Along the way, you’ll hook up with the “Góralka” viewing platform, a good viewpoint overlooking the city.

I also recommend you take a longer hike (14 km, 5 hours) along the red trail to the top of Wolarz and then through the shelter “Pod Muflonem” to Duszniki-Zdrój. There are several steep climbs along the way. You can return to Polanica by train.

Near the city, you’ll also find the Table Mountains National Park (Park Narodowy Gór Stołowych), with unique rock formations not found elsewhere in Poland. You can choose one of the ready-made hiking routes in the mountains of Lower Silesia.


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A good place to discover the most beautiful corners of Poland. Works on phone & computer

7. View items from all over the world in the Ethnographic Mission Museum

in Polish: Etnograficzne Muzeum Misyjne Ojców Sercanów Białych

I was as surprised as you when I learned about this museum in Polanica. The Ethnographic Missionary Museum of the White Hart Fathers is a unique place where the friars collect objects from foreign missions – Peru, Congo, Tahiti, Easter Island, Ecuador, and Mozambique. 

During their trips, the missionaries collected everyday items, costumes, musical instruments and ornaments. When many of them were collected, they started showing them to tourists. The museum is located in the Christ the King Monastery building. Admission is free

To get here, you must make a less than 5-kilometre trip from Spa Park towards the village of Pokrzywno (location: 50.37721836, 16.5136325). You can go there by bicycle (several rental shops are in the city, such as Zayava at 39 Zdrojowa Street) or by walk

From Spa Park, walk south along Warszawska, Prusa, Sokolowskiego and Reymonta streets. The area has several agritourisms, such as Dom Na Końcu Świata. You can stay here in a quiet setting. 

8. Visit a unique tea house and try hemp products

Small cities aren’t associated with many cafes and tea shops. Still, in Polanica-Zdrój, I managed to discover a fantastic place. Look at the Hemp&Poppy teahouse beside the river and boardwalk at 11 Zdrojowa Street.

The place is run by people who grow hemp locally and produce CBD products. You’ll have tea, hot chocolate and a variety of hemp-infused drinks there. This type of hemp is legal in Poland – so no worries!

The place has a cosy atmosphere, smells of a mixture of herbs and is a place that is hard to leave – especially when the weather in Polanica is a bit worse. I visited the spot on a cold morning and chatted over tea with the owner about what growing cannabis is like from behind the scenes.

9. Learn more about the production of art glass

in Polish: Huta Szkła Artystycznego Barbara

The Sudety Mountains – a mountain range stretching through Lower Silesia – have long been associated with glass production. Only a few glassworks have survived and become important tourist attractions in the region. Glass ornaments have been produced at the Barbara Art Glassworks in Polanica-Zdroj for more than 70 years.

The plant started by producing 0.33-litre bottles for medicinal water from Polanica-Zdrój. The production profile later changed and turned to small series of utility glass of various forms and designs.

You will find the smelter next to Bystrzyca Dusznicka, at the foot of the Garncarz mountain. You can get here by red trail from the centre of Polanica, along Wojska Polskiego Street. Unfortunately, the smelter has been renovated for several years and isn’t open to the public. For now, you can see it from the outside.

10. Go on day trips in the Klodzko region

Klodzko Land (Ziemia Kłodzka) is a region that is easy to spot on a map – it is a “sack” cutting into the territory of the Czech Republic. The surrounding area is home to important tourist attractions, which you can reach on day trips from Polanica-Zdroj.

Klodzko is an inconspicuous and positively surprising city

Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Klodzko – a city worth visiting for its historic Old Town, massive fortress and underground route that passes under the streets of the city centre,
  • Duszniki-Zdrój – one of three spas in the Klodzko area, known for its extensive Spa Park and unique Museum of Papermaking (Muzeum Papiernictwa) located in a former water mill,
  • Kudowa-Zdrój – another spa, this time located on the Polish-Czech border. A great base for trips to the Table Mountains with the Spa Park and the Pump Room of Mineral Waters (Pijalnia Wód Mineralnych),
  • Table Mountains (Góry Stołowe) – a mountain range with one of the two national parks of Lower Silesia – the Table Mountains National Park (Park Narodowy Gór Stołowych). It is well worth your time to climb the highest peak – Szczeliniec Wielki, and see the rock labyrinth Blędne Skały.

If you want to avoid planning hikes in the mountains of Klodzko Land on your own, you can use ready-made ideas for hiking in the mountains of Lower Silesia.

Where to stay in Polanica-Zdrój?

There are quite a few hotels and smaller guesthouses in Polanica-Zdroj. You can easily find a facility with a standard that suits your requirements. I recommend booking in advance if you want to come here on a summer weekend. Good accommodations can sell out quickly.

In my opinion, some of the most interesting accommodations include:

  • Apartament 30 – two-level apartment within walking distance of Spa Park and the city center,
  • Pokoje Na Szlaku – modern, wood-furnished rooms in the very center of the city,
  • Villa Polanica – historic villa reflecting the atmosphere of the resort right on the border of the Spa Park.

You can also choose something from the list of available accommodations in Polanica-Zdroj if you are looking for slightly different hotels and guesthouses.

How to get to Polanica-Zdrój?

You can reach Polanica-Zdrój by regional train from many cities in Lower Silesia and several large cities in other parts of Poland. Trains run from Klodzko, Wroclaw, Walbrzych and Legnica. You can buy tickets in the KOLEO app.

You can also take a long-distance train to Polanica-Zdroj from Warsaw. Check the current schedule of Polish trains on the Portal Pasażera. The train station is 1.5 km from Spa Park (Park Zdrojowy).

The nearest airport you can fly into is Wroclaw Airport (WRO). There are regional flights from Warsaw and connections served by Wizzair, Ryanair and other airlines (you can check current flights available here).

How many days for visiting Polanica-Zdrój?

You will need at least one day to explore Polanica-Zdroj. It will take about 2 hours to get there from Wroclaw, so it’s best to stay here for one night and explore unhurriedly (check where to stay in Polanica-Zdroj). At the weekend there will be slightly more tourists in the town.

If you come here for two days, you’ll have time to see the city’s main attractions and hop off for a mountain hike (check out the ready-made hiking ideas). On your way back, you can stop in Klodzko and visit the Old Town with its fortress.


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What else should you read before visiting Polanica-Zdroj?

You have just learned about my suggestions for places to see and things to do in Polanica-Zdrój. I like to return to the town at any time of the year – also in autumn and winter when the area looks adorable. I hope the article helped you plan your trip better. I wish you a pleasant stay and a lot of good memories!

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