Czech tourists increasingly eye Poland for their summer vacations

Baltic Sea beaches have emerged as a sought-after alternative to those in pricier and overcrowded Croatia.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 13.07.2023 14:26:00 (updated on 13.07.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

After a love affair with Croatia spanning decades, Czech tourists have found a new recreational hotspot in Poland. They are attracted by the Baltic Sea's pleasant climate, which is cooler than Croatia, and the diverse range of services, well-maintained roads, and uncrowded sandy beaches. Poland is also now significantly cheaper than Croatia, which adopted the euro at the start of the year.

Ladislav Veselý, director of the discount portal Slevomat, told the Czech edition of Forbes that, for the first time, Poland is among the most popular summer destinations for Czechs. “In a year-on-year comparison, sales of stays in Poland increased by 50 percent," he said, adding that he expects the trend to continue.

Travel agency Invia said that interest in trips to Poland has doubled compared to last year. Agency spokeswoman Jiřina Ekrt Jirušková said Poland offers many attractions, including beautiful historic cities, well-preserved monuments, and untouched natural landscapes.

According to Invia's data, Czechs spend an average of just under CZK 9,000 on a vacation in Poland. "Most services, whether they are accommodation, restaurants, or entertainment attractions, are cheaper in Poland than here," Jirušková said.

Croatia, on the other hand, has become significantly more expensive. This year's introduction of the euro significantly fueled price growth as well as inflation, which currently stands at around 15 percent.

This year, the Polish Tourist Organization established a branch in Prague. Its marketing and promotional activities have also helped boost interest in visiting destinations in Poland.

Positive reviews from Czech tourists

Polish news site Gazeta Wyborcza asked several Czechs why they chose to visit the northern neighbor.

Zuzana, who had been visiting Croatia annually, expressed a desire for a change. Her friends had previously visited Poland and raved about its beauty. Other Czech tourists, eager to explore Polish culture and nature, said they had already visited Croatia, Italy, and Austria, and Poland offered a fresh experience.

Matouš and Eliška, two young Czech tourists visiting the Polish seaside with their parents, praised the abundance of attractions in Poland, surpassing their experiences in countries like Italy or Bulgaria. The siblings expressed their fondness for Poland's offerings, indicating a high level of satisfaction with their vacation.

Prague resident Vojtěch noticed a significant increase in the presence of Czech tourists in Poland. While spending time in a square in the coastal town of Gdynia, he encountered Czech visitors who discussed their preferences, highlighting good prices, quality food, well-maintained roads, and the kindness of Polish drivers.

He contrasted this with his experiences in the Czech Republic, where cyclists often face hostility on the roads. He attributed the rising popularity of Poland to the growing realization among Czechs that Poland's infrastructure and services have surpassed their own country.

The stereotypes of Poland as a backward nation offering nothing but cheaper groceries and fuel are gradually fading, as more Czechs acknowledge its progress in terms of infrastructure and services.

Czech travelers have also been sharing their experiences in Polish cities like Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków, and the Baltic Sea, posting an unprecedented number of photos on social media.

Convenient to reach by car, train or plane

Bartłomiej Barski, head of the tourist association for the city of Sopot, said that last year Czechs ranked among the top three groups visiting the seaside city's tourist information centers. Barski attributes the interest of Czech tourists to the convenient highway connection between the two countries, allowing Czech tourists to reach Polish resorts in just a few hours.

Moreover, a new Ryanair flight route to nearby Gdańsk from Prague launched in March, has further facilitated travel between the two destinations.

Łukasz Magrian, director of the Pomeranian Regional Tourist Organization (PROT), noted the seasonal train connection between the Czech border and the three-city area of Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot was another factor driving the influx of Czech tourists.

Magrian also noted that people, especially families with children, are increasingly interested in visiting neighboring countries that they can reach with their own transportation. These families have already visited the Adriatic and are now looking for new destinations.

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