Every now and then we like to bring an overlooked European city to the attention of our readers. Today’s overlooked city? The Polish city of Szczecin, Poland’s biggest and most important Baltic seaport.
Szczecin has a Mitteleuropa ambiance all its own. Its architecture reflects the ownership ping pong the city has experienced as it has passed between Germany and Poland over the centuries. Hanseatic German sits alongside Old Polish, which perches next to not-so-old Communist utilitarianism.
Strolling along the river, you can still catch a flavor of the expansive seafaring life of former days. In the heart of the town and in the castle district, large squares and fountains are spacious.
Prices are low for dining out, with fish dishes a speciality. Shop here for amber and silver jewelry, and take home some Polish sweets for the kids. Candy can be mixed by the kilo at any number of old-fashioned specialist sweet shops.
Szczecin can be effortlessly added on to a visit to Berlin (we recommend traveling by bus, which takes two and a half to three hours). Low-cost carriers serving Szczecin include Ryanair from Stansted and Centralwings from Dublin.