Poland is the perfect tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts, architecture lovers, and history buffs alike. Hike the mountains, visit protected nature areas, or go sailing on picturesque lakes to get your fill of fresh air. Explore town centers to get a look at medieval architecture or visit a small village where bright, hand-painted flowers bring the buildings to life. Or, visit what has become a sobering memorial to one of the darkest times in human history. Poland has all this and much more.

01Tatra Mountains

Rybi stream flowing out of the Morskie Oko lake, Tatra Mountains, Poland ewg3D / Getty Images

The Tatra Mountains form the natural border between Poland and Slovakia to the south. Often called the miniature Alps, the landscapes are similar, though a trip to the Tatra Mountains is infinitely more affordable. This area was designated a National Park in 1955 and is home to stunning mountain lakes and a variety of flora and fauna. Hiking trails provide plenty of opportunities for spotting bears, wolves, and marmots.