Me and a couple of workmates plan an annual trip during the Christmas holidays, with previous jaunts including Amsterdam, Brussels and Nuremberg. Budapest and Prague were the cities of choice originally but in July we stumbled across £30 flights to Poznan. I’ll admit I knew little about the place other than it was in Poland and fans of their football team are well known for turning their back to the game and jumping around… ‘doing a Poznan’.
The main factor when deciding any destination for our December trip is… ‘does it have good pubs?’ and following a quick search online it was quickly established that, yes, Poznan does have good pubs and lots of them! – a given considering it is a large student city in the beer loving country of Poland. We also managed to find a bargain apartment, so it was no-brainer on the price front – flights and accommodation for £90 each!
We arrived via a quick 1hr 50 flight and had no problems getting a taxi outside the airport, luckily our driver was an absolute legend, giving us a rundown of the city and arranging to pick us up when we were going home (a taxi to the centre, is around £11). Our apartment which was unbelievably nice for what it cost was 5 minutes from the main square, with a supermarket literally around the corner, perfect.
The main square is very picturesque with tall, typically European buildings surrounding the impressive town hall and what was immediately apparent was the sheer amount of places to get a beer. I wouldn’t say Poznan is particularly catered to tourists but for a ‘lads trip’ it is hard to beat, with most places charging around £1.50 for 500ml of beer. The student influence is clear to see with plenty of hipster, craft beer pubs and quirky, themed underground bars. Unfortunately we were there out of term time so the city is much quieter compared to previous months, meaning the big night clubs like Pacha were closed but we were still able to stay out until the early hours.
One thing that does let down the main square is the number of strip clubs in the corners, with pushy women trying to get your custom. We gave in at one point and went inside while very inebriated but quickly left when we were told the rip off price of drinks. These clubs just seem out of place on an historic square and should be banished to a seedy side street but I suppose it all comes down to who will pay the most rent!
The next morning saw all three of us suffer one of the worst hangovers we’ve ever experienced, not helped by the cheap vodka we drank in the apartment or the ridiculous concoctions we downed in Czupito. I couldn’t guess how many bars we visited on our first day but i’m pretty sure it was over 20 so no surprises in regards to our horrible condition. The second night was a bit quieter but not by much with double vodkas and cocktails costing less than £3.
It wasn’t all boozing though with us making a conscious effort to go to the Fort VII concentration camp, having been to one before I wasn’t overly keen but my friend was determined to see one. As expected, it was an horrific place and although we couldn’t read the Polish signs, the pictures showed you all you needed to know. Word of warning, if you get a taxi there then make sure you sort out a return journey as we had an absolute nightmare flagging one down to get back to the centre and ended up walking for an hour in a sketchy part of the city.
For a sight seeing trip I imagine you would be quite limited in Poznan and would need to venture out of the city to find things to fill your day; it isn’t the most beautiful of cities and is quite run down away from the old town and the business districts. However, if your main purpose for visiting is a good night out then Poznan gets a big thumbs up from me, loads of choice and very easy on the pocket.