Excursion to Kazimierz Dolny

Kazimierz Dolny Travel Blog

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I've been in Warsaw since February and have been hearing about Kazimierz since I arrived.  I've read that this city is called "the Jewel of the Renaissance," that it's something of an artist colony with lots of galleries and exhibition and that the surroundings are beautiful, so it's time to go and check it out!

I decided to go by car with my friends Juan Carlos, Michal and Alicja.  Kazimierz is 145 kms east of Warsaw in and I expected it would take me about an hour and a half to drive there. I checked my itinerary, got some maps and we headed to Kazimierz on Saturday morning.

This is my first real driving experience in Poland.  It wasn't too easy finding my way out of the city, but once on my way, save a couple of slight detours that my copilots helped me out with, things went smoothly.

  Driving in Poland is definitely not boring!!!  There are few highways, and for most of the time we were on a two-lane highway which we shared with everthing from trucks, tractors and trailers going 40 km/h to fancy sportscars that must have been doing over 160 when they passed me. 

So, as far as driving goes, the main thing to keep in mind while driving here is that you need to make it easy for people to pass you - slower traffic often drives on the shoulder to let others pass easily.  Aside from that, you need to be aware that the speed limit can vary from 50 to 90 depending upon where you are and there are radar stations here and there that will ticket you if you're speeding. Another thing is that if you notice that someone flashes their emergency lights at you after passing, that's their way of saying "thank you" for letting them pass easily.

Rynek (Market Square) looking up towards the Fara church. Kazimierz Dolny, Poland.
  All in all, I found the driving enjoyable!  The weather was nice and the scenery was very beautiful along the way.  Very green forests - lots of pines, poplars and oak trees (those were the ones that I recognized but there are a lot more), farmlands (lots of cows!) and towns.

The drive to Kazimierz was pleasant, but it took a lot longer than I expected - over two hours to get there.  Once we arrived, finding a place to leave the car was no problem at all.  There are a number of parking areas - both guarded and non-guarded.  Parking for the day cost 10 PLN.

Fantastic Sights:

  • The fabulous landscape surrounding the town.  This is definitely a place where you can take a lot of great pictures. The view of the Zamek castle ruins and Wieza tower on the windy hill above the city is impressive.
    Zamek. Castle Ruins. This is worth walking up to, both for the ruins in themselves and for the great view. Kazimierz Dolny, Poland.
  • Granaries before reaching the town.  Kazimierz at one time was a very rich area and the revenues came from transportation of grain down the Vistula River.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to take any pictures of these, but you can't miss them.
  • The urban area with unique monuments including some old Mannerist houses from the late years of the Renaissance and some quaint wooden houses with balconies and gardens full of flowers.
  • Rynek (Market Square).  This square is pretty.   We met a lot of gypsy ladies trying to sell us things or tell our fortune!  It reminded me of a trip to the Alhambra!! I'd never encountered them in Poland before!
  • Castle Ruins (Zamek) and defensive tower (Wieza).  It's an uphill walk, with a lot of stairs, but the views, the ruins and the tower are well worth the effort!
  • FARA church dedicated to St.
    Fara Church. This church is dedicated to John the Baptist and St. Bartholomew. It is a gothic structure that was remodeled with Renaissance elements after a fire destroyed much of the original in 1561.
    John the Baptist and St. Bartholomew.  A gothic structure from 1325 that was remodeled with renaissance elements after a fire in 1561 destroyed the church.
  • Church of the Annunciation.  The steps to this church are enclosed in a wooden structure.  The church wasn't as pretty as the Fara, but was nice to visit as well.  There were weddings going on all over the place.  We must have seen at least six brides in Kazimierz Dolny last Saturday!
  • Many art galleries and gift shops.

I had heard that there were many cool restaurants and cafés, but we didn't have an easy time finding a nice place for lunch. Eventually, our search really paid off.  We had lunch at a place called Pod Wietrzną Górą which I recommend.

Churchyard. Church of the Annunciation. Kazimierz Dolny, Poland.
  The name means "Under the Windy Hill" and the name is really appropriate, we walked up the hill later and it was incredibly windy up there!  The food was great, the service was friendly and the atmosphere was pleasant! 

After lunch we walked up to the castle and tower - I really enjoyed this and took a lot of pictures.  This was a great way to work off some of the big lunch!  I really recommend climbing the stairs up to the top of the defense tower above the town.  The view is spectacular.

Four or five hours is plenty of time to see the major attractions in Kazimierz.  I could have spent more time checking out the galleries and shops, but some of our travelmates were "speed walking" and we headed back to Warsaw at about 5 p.m.  This was a nice day trip and I recommend it to anyone who comes to Warsaw.  I haven't investigated Lublin yet, but maybe a trip there could be combined with the visit to Kazimierz and a weekend can be made of it!

boxinbcn says:
Thanks! It's nice to know someone out there is seeing this! Steve
Posted on: Apr 17, 2008
moreno1968 says:
Enjoy reading it.

Cheers:JoJo ;-)
Posted on: Sep 17, 2007
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Rynek (Market Square) looking up t…
Rynek (Market Square) looking up …
Zamek.  Castle Ruins.  This is wor…
Zamek. Castle Ruins. This is wo…
Fara Church.  This church is dedic…
Fara Church. This church is dedi…
Churchyard.  Church of the Annunci…
Churchyard. Church of the Annunc…
Entrance to church of the Annuncia…
Entrance to church of the Annunci…
View of the Vistula River from the…
View of the Vistula River from th…
Zamek.  Castle Ruins.  Kazimierz D…
Zamek. Castle Ruins. Kazimierz …
Wieża.  Defensive tower above Kaz…
Wieża. Defensive tower above Ka…
Some of the steps up the Wieża (D…
Some of the steps up the Wieża (…
Kazimierz Dolny
photo by: EmyG