In addition, the city is steeped in Poland’s deepest history, having been the nation’s first capital. Head for the city’s Stary Rynek (Old Market Square), the lively heart of its beautiful Old Town. In pride of place is the graceful 16th-century Town Hall, a gleaming white structure reminiscent of a wedding cake. Inside the Town Hall, the Historical Museum of Poznań is worth a visit, its attractively decorated rooms housing exhibits explaining the city’s complex past. At noon, join the throng of onlookers outside the building to watch two mechanical goats butt horns above the clock, echoing an old legend. There are several other museums – covering diverse topics – in and around the square, including the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Archaeological Museum and the Wielkopolska Military Museum. The newest institution is the Croissant Museum, devoted to the St Martin’s croissants associated with Poznań.

There are also historical facades to admire. The colourful Fish Sellers’ Houses make for a great snapshot, as does the impressively grand exterior of the Parish Church. You’ll pass communist-era modernist buildings before arriving at the grand German-era Kaiserhaus, which is now home to the culture hub Centrum Kultury Zamek. Nearby in Plac Mickiewicza is the Monument to the Victims of June 1956, a stark reminder of a protest crushed under communist rule. Then visit the Porta Posnania Interactive Heritage Centre opposite Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island). This cutting-edge museum plunges you deep into Poland’s past, explaining Poznań’s earliest days as a fortified settlement. After that, cross the footbridge to the island, to enter Poznan Cathedral. Dating to the 10th century, it’s been rebuilt several times following war and disaster, and is a symbol of Polish faith and endurance. The interior is packed with reminders of the past, including ancient tombstones.

Poznań has plenty of students along with visiting business people and so its entertainment options cover a wide range of budgets and styles. The nightclub scene is similarly varied. The Van Diesel Music Club has DJs offering varied sounds in a premises on the Stary Rynek, while Czekolada is a more up market venue serving cocktails beneath chandeliers.
Poznań’s airport is 7km west of the city centre, connected by regular buses. There are flights from several European cities including Warsaw, London and Dublin. The city is also a major rail hub, situated on the main line between Warsaw and Berlin. Trains depart from Poznań Główny train station to most Polish cities and to the German capital. Another transport option is bus. The private firm Polski Bus is the best option, connecting Poznań to many Polish cities as well as Berlin and Prague.

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