Poland is a country in Central Europe. The country of many sceneries – from the stunning shore and waves of the Baltic Sea to daring mountain views – has a rich history and many famous landmarks. The imagery of its picturesque, historic cities such as Krakow, Warsaw and Gdansk is famous around the globe. However, Poland is not famous solely for its difficult history and beautiful urban architecture.
In fact, Poland is a county of much natural beauty. It comes as no surprise that 23 areas throughout the country are recognized as national parks. Furthermore, eight of them also hold the status of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and two parks were declared World Heritage Sites.
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List of national parks in Poland
Without further ado, the following list contains all national parks in Poland and a map for easier navigation.
Babia Gora National Park
The second-largest mountain massif in Poland is the very heart of this national park. It lies in the south of the country, near the border with Slovakia. Babia Gora National Park stands out for its indisputable natural beauty. Furthermore, its highest peak is Diablak and it attracts hundreds of hikers each year. Particularly, it is famous for its stunning views of the mountain slopes and their surroundings. However, the only tourist infrastructure is made up of the 11 well-kept hiking and trekking trails throughout the forests. Also, visitors can spend the night in a hostel for a small fee.
Bialowieza National Park
Bialowieza National Park is centred around the last primeval forest complex in Europe. The lush green trees that form the forests are hundreds of years old. Furthermore, the park also has a restricted and well-protected area that can be entered only with a licensed tour guide. Also, visitors can explore the park by taking some of the hiking, walking or hiking trails. Another famous attraction in the park is the Bison Show. Interestingly, some areas of Bialowieza serve as a bison sanctuary. However, the entrance to the aforementioned show must be purchased separately.
Biebrza National Park
The largest national park in Poland is centred around the beautiful Biebrza river. It lies in the northeast of Poland and attracts hundreds of tourists each year. The river and wetlands dominate the park scenery and serve as a habitat for several rare bird species. Thus, the park is extremely popular among ornithologists and birdwatchers. Furthermore, there are many trails in the park. Particularly, 8 cyclings, 14 hiking, 10 educational and several horseback riding trails. Also, those who wish to take their time and soak up the nature of Biebrza can spend the night at one of the campsites.
Bieszczady National Park
The stunning slopes and peaks of the Eastern Carpathians are the heart of Bieszczady National Park. It lies in the southeast of Poland near the Ukrainian border, and it is one of the most internationally known national parks in Poland. Furthermore, in 2021 it received the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The scenery of the Carpathians is beautiful year-round, and the mountains treasure some of the most beautiful sunsets in Europe. Additionally, the park has numerous hiking, horseback riding and cycling and ski trails. Visitors who wish to spend some extra time here can spend the night at one of the designated campsites.
Tuchola Forest National Park
This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve protects the nature of a pine tree forest complex, various lakes and wetlands. Specifically, the lobelia lakes that are scattered throughout the park. Furthermore, the scenery of the park contains is composed of green trees and clean lakes that serve as a habitat for various and biodiverse species. Visitors of the park can explore its wonders by following various hiking, cycling or trekking trails. Additionally, they can explore the park by the water. Kayaking tours and trails are also available in Tuhcola Forest National Park.
Drawa National Park
The park is situated in the northwest of Poland, in the Rownina Drawska plain. The park is centred around two major rivers, Drawa and Płociczna, and several smaller ones. Moreover, the park protects the lakes that these rivers form. Drawa National Park is an ideal destination for those who seek peace. The atmosphere is tranquil and the silence is only broken by the wind in tree branches and bird songs. Furthermore, it is possible to enjoy various activities. Fishing is allowed at Lake Sitno and Lake Ostrowiec from 1st April until 30th November. In addition, there are various trails and a campsite.
Gorce National Park
Gorce National Park lies in southern Poland and encompasses a fraction of the Gorce Mountains. The park is in almost its entirety covered in forest and is an ideal place to visit year-round. In fact, during winter, it becomes a snow-covered wonderland and during summer it bursts with life and colours. Furthermore, the park is quite close to Krakow – and is a great day-trip destination. Some of the activities in the park are hiking and cycling. Because the area is so picturesque, it is also an ideal place for photography.
Stolowe Mountains National Park
The park on the Czech-Polish border protects the Polish section of the Stołowe Mountains in the Sudetes. The park’s name literally translates to The Table Mountains, and it is a name that foreigners sometimes use to talk about the park. In particular, the park protects sandstone rock formations that create exciting labyrinths. However, the park is quite attractive for its trails are surrounded by evergreen trees among which rock formations stand tall. Furthermore, the main attractions of the park are Szczeliniec and Bledne Skaly. Szczeliniec guarantees breathtaking views of the park, and Bledne Skaly is a stunning rock formation labyrinth.
Kampinos National Park
The national park on the outskirts of Warsaw is in beautiful contrast with the urban life of Poland’s capital. The quiet, tranquil atmosphere of a centuries-old forest makes Kampinos an ideal day-trip destination. Furthermore, UNESCO recognized the riches and importance of the park and included it on its BIosphere Reserve list. Furthermore, the park scenery is a combination of swamps, rivers and pine trees. Also, the park has a great tourist infrastructure. There are many hiking, cycling and horseback riding trails in Kampinos. Additionally, the clearings have picnic areas and children’s playgrounds.
Karkonosze National Park
Karkonosze is another national park in the Polish Sudetes. It stretches along the Czech-Polish border and protects the highest part of the mountain range. Interestingly, the highest peak is Snieznik at 1400 metres altitude. Furthermore, the park lies between the rivers Elbe and Oder. Also, it serves as a geographical border between the Baltic and the Northern Sea basins. Visitors can experience the park through hiking, cycling or horseback riding. Additionally, there are ski areas in Karpacz and Szklarska Poreba. Those who enjoy the adrenaline rush can book a paragliding experience.
Magura National Park
The Polish authorities established Magura National Park for two reasons. First, to protect the upper basin of the Wisłoka river. Second, to protect the Beskid Niska mountains in the Carpathians. Hence, Magura is a link in the chain of national parks that stretch along the Polish Carpathians. It also has many interesting attractions. Namely, the natural reserve in the very heart of Magura Park and the Devil’s Rock are the main attractions. The natural reserve stands out for its sandstone formations and several caves. Also, visitors can explore the park on foot, on a bicycle and on horseback.
Narew National Park
Narew National Park protects a section of the Narew River in north-eastern Poland. Generally, it is a flooded, swamp valley with many channels and wetland. In fact, 98% of the park’s total territory is temporary or permanently flooded. Hence, visitors can explore it only by water trails. There are two options available for river exploration – kayaking and canoeing. Furthermore, there are three loop river trails of varying lengths that flow through different areas of the park. Additionally, those with more experience can explore Narew through the Narew Maze.
Ojcow National Park
The smallest national park in Poland is only 15 kilometres away from Krakow, about an hour away from the city centre. Forest covers over half of its surface. Also, the park protects the valleys of two rivers: Pradnik and Saspaika. However, the most attractive feature of the park is its cave system. There are 400 of them, and they serve as home to various species. Furthermore, there were several archaeological findings in Ojcow, and the oldest remains are around 120 000 years old.
Pieniny National Park
The limestone slopes of Pieniny mountains surround the pristine Dunajec river that cuts through them. Together, they form the Dunajec Canyon which is the heart and the main attraction of the Pieniny National Park. Thus, it is a fantastic location for both mountain and water activities. As such, it is possible to take a relaxing hike or do adventurous rafting on the river. Furthermore, the main hiking destinations are the Three Crowns and Sokolica peaks which have beautiful panoramic views of the park. Also, visitors can buy souvenirs at souvenir shops and enjoy a meal in nature at the park restaurant.
Polesie National Park
This national park is a part of a larger West Polsie Biosphere Reserve that UNESCO declared in 2002. Furthermore, the park encompasses a large territory with swamps, bogs and various types of forests. As such, Polesie is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. There are several trails in the park. Some of the most attractive are the Czahary trail, the Dominik Oak Thailand Spławy trail. Visitors who can explore it for several days can spend the night in one of the nearby villages that offer accommodation.
Roztocze National Park
The national park on the Polish border with Ukraine protects the segments of the Roztocze mountain range. In the past, the land of the park belonged to the generations of a noble family. However, the mountains aren’t the only breathtaking aspect of the park. Its river, streams and lake are clean and beautiful. The overall atmosphere is tranquil, and thus it is a great getaway location. Furthermore, the park is popular for its cycling trails. In fact, in 2021 the authorities opened the Central Cycling Trail on which visitors can explore all areas of the park.
Slowinski National Park
Another national park in Poland found its place on UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve list. Slowinski National Park lies on the Baltic coast, and it is one of the only two coastal national parks in the country. Interestingly, the park is also known as “The Land of Water, Wind and Sand”. Its magnificent dunes and seaside lakes form unique scenery. Hence, thousands of people visit the park annually. Furthermore, visitors can explore the park in various ways. It has many cycling trails and a bike rental option. Also, a cruise experience is possible during the summer season.
Swietokrzyski National Park
This park protects the area of the oldest mountains on the Polish territory. Namely, it encompasses the Lysogorskie mountain range and Lysa Gora. Furthermore, two beautiful rivers surround the park and they are the main source of water for the area. The vast territory is divided into eight different districts. Because of its size, the park has several main attractions. However, undoubtedly the most popular attractions are the Jodlowa forest and the peculiar rock outcrops.
Tatra National Park
The Tatra Mountains form the natural border between Poland and Slovakia and the heart of the Tatra Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. Furthermore, the Tatra are the only high-mountain area in Poland. Thus, it was difficult to access the mountains for centuries. Such geological features made them intact for centuries which helped in preserving the natural beauties of the area. Furthermore, Tatra National Park is a beloved tourist destination. Hiking and cycling trails offer magnificent views. Additionally, the park has many caves to explore. Among them, the Mrozna Cave is the main attraction.
Warta Mouth National Park
This national park lies near the Polish-German border. It is a large, wildland filled with meadows and wetlands. Furthermore, the mouth of Warta River is an important breeding and nesting place for many bird species. In fact, around 270 species live in the park temporarily or permanently. Because its weather is prone to sudden changes, and the water can flood some areas in the park, it is not always possible to explore the park in its entirety. As for the exploration, visitors can travel through the park in their cars, on foot, or on bicycles. In addition, they can rent kayaks at the tourist information center.
Wielkopolski National Park
This national park is only 15 kilometres away from Poznan. Hence, it is a perfect getaway destination in quiet, calm nature. Many are aware of its beauty, hence it is no surprise that Wielkopolski National Park welcomes over a million visitors each year. Furthermore, the park is divided into 18 protected areas through which 15 tourist trails pass. Those who visit can explore Wielkopolski on foot or on a bicycle. The paths lead through the beautiful scenery that meadows, glacial lakes and the Warta River compose.
Wigry National Park
Named after the largest lake within its boundaries, Wigry National Park is a destination famous for its many lakes. Interestingly, the 42 lakes are of glacial origin, which means that glaciers formed them thousands of years ago. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the park each year and discover its beauties. They can travel through the park by following several trails. In fact, they can do so on foot or by renting a bike. Furthermore, the lakes become a sunbathing, swimming and water sports destination in summer. Then, windsurfing, kayaking and canoeing become popular activities among visitors.
Wolin National Park
Wolin is an island at the mouth of the Oder River and the only island national park in Poland. Undoubtedly the most dominant aspects of the park landscape are its tall cliffs, the blue waves brushing against them and the lush forest that covers the majority of the land. Visitors can explore the park on two trails: the Red Trail and the Blue Trail. The first is also commonly known as the “Baltic Shore Trail”. It gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the island’s shore. However, the second trail passes through the island forest. Also, the three viewpoints and the lighthouse stand out as the main attractions.
Entrance to the national parks in Poland
All national parks charge entrance fees of some kind. While most parks require payment to enter their grounds, some of them only require entrance fees for the main attractions. Furthermore, the prices of single tickets for adults range between 3 and 8 Polish złoty. School-aged children, students and pensioners can buy tickets at discounted prices. Children under the age of 7 can enter all parks for free.
Map of national parks in Poland
National parks in Poland FAQs
There are 23 national parks in Poland.
The largest national park in Poland is Biebrza National Park.
The oldest national park in Poland is Białowieża National Park.
The newest national park in Poland is Warta Mouth National Park.