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Poznań – More Than Just Football

November 7, 2011

Piotr Wójciak

As the UEFA Euro 2012™ in Poland and Ukraine draws nearer, AmsterdamTodayAUC.nl takes a look at what one of the hosting cities has to offer for thousand of football fans and tourists who plan to visit Poznan for June’s event. One thing is for certain – football is just one of many attractions here!

Poznan – located in West Poland, around 300 kilometres in a straight line from Berlin – is an ambitious, dynamic and modern metropolis with over half-a-million residents. Boasting with over a thousand years history, the city has traditionally been one of Poland’s main tourist destinations. City of Work, City of Play proudly reads the slogan on tourist guide cover, as the authorities of Poznan have long promoted the image of a city friendly to economic investment and home to an impressive nightlife. This however is only part of the story, with important artistic institutions, intriguing architecture and wide range of entertainment possibilities all in store in Poznan and its immediate surroundings.

As Poznan prepares to host the next year’s tournament, it builds upon the long-lived tradition of mass scale events held by the city over the past decades. Renowned for its excellent facilities, Poznan has been one of the most important rowing centres all over the world and a home to one of Europe’s biggest art festivals (the annual Malta festival). What’s more, three years ago, Poznan hosted an UN climate change conference, providing for thousands of international guests. Experienced and organized, the city has every right to call itself ready for the upcoming event.

The heart of the city is the Old Square Market, with a beautiful renaissance Town Hall and medieval merchant houses. Colourful and frisky, the architecture mesmerizes with its grandiose, yet sizeable charm. Located inside and around the Old Square Market are numerous bars, cafes and restaurant, offering a wide range of choice for a variety of taste. Walking distance from here is a long and bustling boulevard, a popular shopping area tipped with a popular Stary Borwar – a peculiar mix of art, design, entertainment and business centre housed in stunningly renovated Old Brewery building (voted the best shopping centre in the world in 2008). A fascinating enterprise, merging the old with the new, tradition and modernity, leisure and culture is a perfect place for an enjoyable afternoon with family or a party night with friends.

In proximity to the city centre, there is a number of sights and places worthwhile visiting and photographing. Starting with a Poznan collegiate church – one of the most imposing baroque sacral edifices in Poland, through the Archbishop Palace and the conglomeration of buildings on the island of Ostrów Tumski (the oldest part of the city where the kings of the early Poland dwelled) to the monumental Liberty Square, surrounded by classical architecture, museums and libraries. For those less interested in historical sights, Poznan has much more to offer. Vast green areas, parks, lakes and forests where one can actively spend time can be found in and around the city. Poznan is also known for its theatres, both traditional and experimental, as well as concert venues and some of the most popular and modern Polish clubs.

But Poznan is mostly about its atmosphere and the people. Enthusiastic, well educated and open-minded, the residents want to make their city enjoyable and friendly to the visitors. Thanks to the large number of students and young people, the city is vibrant with life, giving an impression that there is constantly something going on here. Discovering Poznan one would find it hard to brush off the feeling of positive energy and freshness of the city and it’s people. This is perhaps the best recommendation for visiting and staying just for a little longer.

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