Poznan, Poland with Kids
Poznan, Poland blends old city charm with its bustling business center. We arrived in Poznan by train from Wroclaw and combined some “off the beaten path” sights with some of the more popular tourist destinations. Poznan felt more metropolitan and busy than sleepy Wroclaw, but offered a plethora of activities for both adults and children.
We stayed at the Sheraton Poznan Hotel conveniently located next to the train station. This location put us adjacent to a cute neighborhood full of local finds and a short walk into the old town. The Sheraton has a pool, although we did not take advantage of it.
After quite a lot of sitting (and iPad) on the train we headed directly to the Stare Zoo, just behind the Sheraton. The zoo is the oldest in Poland and is free to visit. There are playgrounds and a plethora of animals.
Within the zoo there are several paid activities as well. The kids wanted to try the ropes playground, so we paid a few Polish Zloty for them to make one round on the playground. The other option was an all-access pass to the course. Having this zoo and park near the hotel was perfect. We took the kids several times just to burn off some energy in the morning and evenings.
On the walk between the zoo and the hotel we spotted a small pierogi place. We went inside Pierogata Chata and were charmed. We immediately called my parents to meet us there for dinner.
I didn’t grab any photos of the pierogis because we scarfed them down too quickly. Our favorites were the vegetarian ones, although everything we ordered was delicious. The restaurant has a little kids play area in the corner so we were able to have a lovely dinner while the kids played.
The next morning we headed to Panjeck for breakfast. This place was delicious. There is plenty on the menu to delight anyone. Plus there are kids toys scattered around the place.
We tried to come back on Sunday for breakfast but their opening time was too late for our early risers. This is a great stop on any Poznan itinerary.
The second morning we ended up at Jaglana, a great little place just off the old market square. The atmosphere is quiet, so we brought activities for the kids, but there are plenty of kid-friendly food finds. They have gluten free and lactose free meals as well if you’re looking for those. You’ll find lots of light and healthy breakfasts here, which suits me perfectly.
The old market square is of course gorgeous and worth taking a stroll through. The town hall clock features mechanical goats that butt heads at noon. You will also find the Poznan Croissant Museum here, which is worth a visit. We just strolled around the center and let the kids run wild in this car free square.
The Poznan town hall sits in the center of the old town square. It now houses the Poznan Historical Museum.
Just a block off the main square is Stodkie Czary Mary where you can watch them make hard candy. Their display of traditionally made candy is very impressive. If you ask politely, they sometimes have a box of hard candy for you to taste.
Just across the street is a pierogi place where you can watch them being made in the front window. The kids thoroughly enjoyed this, plus the pierogi are tasty!
Over on Cathedral Island there is plenty to keep you occupied. You can pick up an audio guide to the island at Porta Posnania. They have a bag you can check out for the kids that includes activities to keep them occupied while you take the audio tour.
The Porta Posnia Interactive Heritage Center was a huge hit with the kids. Entry is timed, even when it’s not crowded so expect a bit of delay when you arrive. Entries are every 10-15 minutes.
Porta Posnania has audio guides for everyone, including the kids and plenty of hands-on activities that we all enjoyed. The museum covers the history of Poznan and is great fun for everyone. We were surprised how long we stayed here.
Just a few minutes’ walk from Cathedral Island is an amazing playground, Wartofrajda Plac Zabaw. It had plenty of equipment geared for all three of our kids. Our only complaint was the complete lack of shade. They did have a coffee cart though so it was hard to complain!
As we always love to look at plants and animals a visit to the centrally located Palmiarnia was a huge hit. It is a large greenhouse full of plants and animals. It even has a small aquarium. They have a scavenger hunt that kids can complete. In order to get a medal at the end though you have to pay a few euro. The kids all thoroughly enjoyed this outing and it was perfect to do with the grandparents.
We used the Poznan public transit system to head out of town to the Morasko Meteorite Nature Reserve. It was easy enough to navigate using Google Maps’s transit setting. We took some light rail out of the city that connected to a bus that runs to the meteorite sight.
The meteorite site is a wonderful circle trail in the woods. There are informative signs throughout the walk.
The craters themselves are mostly filled with water now. You have to use your imagination a bit to see the full crater. They are mostly secondary craters from the impact of the crater hitting the ground. To some, that might be a turnoff but we didn’t care.
Jeff enjoyed the astrological phenomena of the walk. The boys just needed a bit of time out of the city and this was a great way to get that. They could run around and enjoy some outdoor time with sticks.