My last trip saw me heading out to Eastern Poland and since it was my first time visiting Poland I wanted to make it special. When most people think of Poland the main places that come to mind are Krakow and Warsaw, which are places worth visiting but I wanted to see more of the country.
After a couple of days in Warsaw (it couldn’t be missed out completely!) it was off to Lublin. I highly recommend visiting Lublin but this post is to celebrate an almost hidden secret found while taking a day trip out of Lublin.
Zamość is a beautiful town which was even added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1992 and for good reasons! When I was looking into places to take a day trip from Lublin this place was just calling out to me. So was I disappointed by the decision to come here… I think you know the answer is no!
Getting to Zamość
I’ll admit I ran into difficulties getting here, mainly because I wasn’t prepared. I had previously been told I could get a bus from the bus terminal next to Lublin Castle and decided that was enough information. What I hadn’t realised is there was just a bus leaving in the very early hours of the morning and another one late in the evening. There were no daytime buses to Zamość from Lublin.
Thankfully there were trains from Lublin that went straight to Zamość in just over two hours. Like with the bus, there wasn’t many trains heading to Zamość but there were three trains going that way. The first was at 9:30 am so this gives you a chance to have some sleep before heading out.
Looking at the trains home, there was one leaving at 4pm and the next after that was 7pm. A slight gap! But having four hours would have to be enough as I knew the place was fairly small anyway.
The Journey to Zamość
If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I love traveling by train. There is just no better way of exploring a new place. So for two hours I just sat back and took in the sights of Poland, the real Poland, not just the big city. Even though there wasn’t much to see I loved every minute of it.
Once I arrived at Zamość station I knew I really was somewhere that doesn’t get visited often. There wasn’t much to the place and there was that worrying feeling that the main building would still be shut later and it wouldn’t be possible to get tickets back to Lublin. But who wants to worry about going home when you’ve just arrived! Don’t worry there was someone on the train to buy it from!
There was only one way out of the station, towards the main road and when I reached it I noticed a zoo opposite the station. I hadn’t read that in the guide books so it was completely unexpected but I still had the main town to find at this point so no time to get distracted by a zoo. I looked left to right down the main road and when I looked right I could just about see some church spirals in the distance. Surely that had to be the way!
Reaching the Walls of Zamość
Reaching the town which still has its fortification walls I was amazed at just how well kept the walls were. A lot of places only have ruins of an old fort but the layout here was exactly the same as it had been in the past. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the original walls as it has been rebuilt but it is still amazing to be able to see how the town originally stood.
My childish side was taking over as I approached the gate. It felt like I was entering a fort and my child like side was excited. If you can’t tell I love things like this so this was a real joy for me. I live in a city that is forever changing so to go to a place that celebrates its history is a real delight.
Until I arrived in Poland I never truly understood how religious the country actually was but every place I went to was full of beautiful churches and cathedrals and Zamość was no exception! The main cathedral was built between 1587 and 1598 and is absolutely stunning. I walked in and was instantly impressed by the interior design. It was just the most stunning cathedral I had ever been in. It had an elegant charm about it.
The Bell Tower
Two centuries after the cathedral was built, between 1760 and 1775, a stunning bell tower was added but unlike other cathedrals, this one was not connected to the main building. In the summer months the tower is open to visitors where, at 47 meters high, they can get a view of the town. Sadly visiting in October I was unable to go up.
The Market Square
The market square was definitely the highlight of the visit and probably the main reason people visit Zamość. I stood in the middle of the square and had to take a few moments just to take in its renaissance charm. I have never seen anything like it and I was completely blown away.
What struck me most were the absolutely stunning and colourful Armenian Tenement Houses. The architecture was simply amazing and I wish my pictures could do it justice but it really is something you need to see in person. Sorry Denmark, but it gives the colourful new harbour in Copenhagen a run for its money!
The square is also full of restaurants and bars so you can sit back, enjoy some good food with a fantastic market square in the background. The square was so amazing I didn’t even let the cold October air stop me from eating outside! Thankfully the restaurant had blankets so I could keep myself warm.
The Town Hall
The most prominent part of the market square is the grand town hall that stands so proudly on the north side of the square. What stands out the most when you face the Town Hall straight on is the fan-shaped double stairway that are perfect when posing for pictures!
So Should You Visit Zamość?
Hopefully be now you are screaming yes at your screen after seeing what this beautiful town has to offer. I’m really not lying when I say the pictures don’t do it justice. This place is truly magnificent and you really are missing out if you never visit!
It’s only 90km from Lublin so I’d say a must visit if you’re in the area but it’s also only 247km from Warsaw and only 60km from the Ukraine border so if you find yourself driving through Poland to Ukraine and will be stopping off at Warsaw then you definitely won’t want to miss out!
And if you need one more reason to visit here’s a delicious cake I enjoyed here…
Where to Stay in Zamosc
Perhaps this charming town has captured your heart and you want to spend more than a day here? With the trains not running too frequently it could be a good idea to spend a night or two here. Zamosc has plenty of accommodation options both within the old town and just outside it.
If you’re looking for luxury Artis Hotel & Spa or Hotel Zamojski & Spa could suit your needs. Or if you prefer a more modest hotel Pokoje Stare Miasto is a good option. Zamosc even has a hostel if you want to budget a bit more you can book a stay at Hostel Starówka.
Planning Your Poland Trip?
Need some inspiration for planning your Poland itinerary? I personally love the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides (that’s how I found out about Zamosc) and buy one for every country I plan to visit. Click on the image below to get one
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