Poland is a great holiday destination because it has it all: history, nature, delicious food, friendly people, a lot to see and do. Poland means unlimited places for relaxation in the mountains, at the sea, at the lakes or national parks. And it is only 800 km away by car from the Netherlands.
But is Poland really a child-friendly destination? Can it become a new family – holiday destination? This is what I tried to test with my family and the answer is undoubtedly:
We have already visited Wroclaw, Lublin and Karpacz: see our previous articles.
We have already published articles about Lublin : http://www.communications-unlimited.nl/poland-a-new-family-holiday-destination-part-one-lublin/
and the exclusive invitation from the Mayor of Lublin. Mr. Krzysztof Żuk, Ph.D.: http://www.communications-unlimited.nl/mayor-of-the-city-of-lublin-invites-you-to-visit-his-city/
And the exclusive invitation from the Mayor of Wrocław: Mr. Rafał Dutkiewicz: http://www.communications-unlimited.nl/mayor-of-the-city-of-wroclaw-invites-you-to-meet-in-wroclaw/
An exclusive invitation from the Mayor of Karpacz Mr. Radosław Jęcek to visit his town. http://www.communications-unlimited.nl/exclusive-invitation-to-visit-karpacz-from-the-mayor-of-this-city-mr-radoslaw-jecek/
Now it is time to visit Opole
Opole is situated on the Oder River. Opole has a population of almost 126,000 inhabitants (2009) and is the capital of the Upper Silesia, Opole Voivedeship and also the seat of Opole County. When I came here I had the feeling that this place is special. It was not love at the first sight but the longer you stayed here the more you got enchanted by it, by its architecture, Mlynowka Channel, very friendly and helpful people and great food.
What to see, what to do?
There are a lot of interesting places to visit with your kids and I would mention only a few:
- Opole is the capital of Polish song, since the National Festival of Polish Songs is held here since 1963. The concert hall is worth seeing.
- Opole Zoo: situated on the Bolko Island, easily accessible on foot from the center. It took us with three kids 20 minutes to get there. A very well-organised and well-kept zoo counting 1203 animals, 265species. Watching a doctor’s inspection and feeding of seals is definitely a must!
- Market Square & Town Hall. The pattern of the old town was formed at the turn of the 12th and the 13th century and it is still preserved. The market is square-shaped and the streets form a regular network that stems from the market. Kids loved to count the streets and they were curious how the next street will differ from the previous.
- The Open Air Museum of Opole Countryside : established in 1961 comprises residential cottages and outbuildings. There are also windmills, a church, a house for the poor, an inn and a school.
- Młynówka Channel – When I looked at this channel I could not stop thinking of Venice. It is so beautiful. The 19th century facades of the buildings are situated on the foundations of medieval city.
- Kosciol na Gorce, in a free translation: a church on the hill. It is one of the most picturesque churches we have ever seen. You have to conquer a series of white stars to get there and this was the greatest attraction for kids.
- On the same street, the St Wojciech Street, you can find an example of the tenant house showing various rooms from the period of 1890 – 1945. A fantastic example of the life style of the poorest people from these years and a great history lesson for the kids.
Where to stay?
There are quite a few hotels in Opole but we have chosen for a stylish Starka hotel just near the Młynówka Channel situated in a more than one hundred year old tenement house and offering 20 rooms.
The owners: Iwona and Krzysztof Cebula who run the hotel with two sons, wanted to create a hotel that feels at home. And they managed that.
When you enter the place it does not feel like a hotel, you have the feeling that you enter somebody’s house. The staff is really fantastic, warm, friendly, professional, funny and extremely helpful.
And what was even more important for our kids, they had always sweets for my kids at the reception! There were always sweets left for them in the room, too.
When we checked –out there was also a treat for the parents, two bottles of home-made liquor produced by the owner . For the good health. Cheers Family Cebula. Thank you!
Where to eat?
Starka again. Definitely. The owners run one of the best restaurants in Poland, I can say it without a doubt since it is not only my opinion. The restaurant was placed in two professional guides, one written by the Polish top chef Magda Gessler and another: Poland 100 best restaurants 2014.On the site of this restaurant you can find an impressive list of prominent national and international guests including: Polish president, prime ministers, artists, ect. http://www.restauracjastarka.pl/cms/en/nasi-goscie/
The restaurant consists of three rooms. The first room is in the Bavarian, ‘country style’, the second is more elegant and is called the ‘Banquet Room’. Last but not least there is a covered patio’’ or veranda with a great view on the Odra river, a must to see.
The food is delicious and the service really fantastic. The waiter who helped us immediately knew how to address my two daughters to keep them satisfied. They were called princesses and they immediately got various drawing books to keep them busy.
The place is extremely popular so you have to book it in advance.
Opole checked and approved. A real family holiday place.
- Lots of interesting and beautiful places to see including: The Open Air Museum of Opole Countryside, Opole Zoo and the Old Town with its endless streets.
- Starka hotel and restaurant
- Very friendly people and sphere
Text and photos: Communications-Unlimited
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Polish Tourist Office : http://www.polen.travel/nl/
Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Trade and Investment Promotion Section: https://haga.trade.gov.pl/en
Stone-Harbour : www.stoneharbour.nl
Medical Centre Vita-Glob : www.vita-glob.com.pl
Miss Poland Benelux: http://www.misspoland.nl/
Zuyd University of Applied Sciences : www.zuyd.nl
Department Hotel and Facility Management