Poland experienced an increase in the number of tourists after joining the European Union. Tourism in Poland contributes to the country’s overall economy and makes up a relatively large proportion of the country’s service market.
Kraków was the former capital and a relic of Poland’s Golden Age of Renaissance. It contains the place of coronation of most Polish kings. It was named a European Capital of Culture by the European Union for the year 2000. The city of Wrocław, designated as a European Capital of Culture in 2016, is one of the oldest in Poland. During World War II, Wrocław was fortress (Festung Breslau), and during the Battle of Breslau was heavily damaged. The Poland’s capital, Warsaw, the 9th largest city in the EU, went through Old Town reconstruction after its wartime destruction and it offers a variety of attractions included on the UNESCO World Heritage List of 1980. Other cities include Gdańsk, Poznań, Lublin, and Toruń. There is the historic site of the Auschwitz German concentration camp near Oswiecim.
Poland’s main tourist offerings are based around city-sightseeing and extra-urban expanses, qualified tourism, agrotourism, mountain hiking and climbing as well as business trips. It is the 17th most visited country in the world by foreign tourists, as ranked by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2012. other tourist destinations include Poland’s Baltic Sea coast in the north, Masurian Lake District and Bialowieza Forest in the east, the southern Karkonosze, Table Mountains, Tatra Mountains, in which has the highest peak of Polish (Rysy) and the famous Orla Perc; Pieniny as well as Bieszczady Mountains in the extreme south-east.