10 reasons to visit Lublin

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The 10 reasons to visit Lublin mentioned below have been selected by Martin’s City Tours purely based on our own experiences. They are published in random order.

Majdanek Monument

Jewish Heritage

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

Lublin has a long and rich Jewish history. It has even earned the name of the Jewish Oxford. Famous rabbis, like the Seer of Lublin, were living and teaching in the Jewish Quarter. The Jews started to develop a community in Lublin during the 1500s. Most of them bought plots around the Castle. Until WWII, a big Jewish neighbourhood was in place there. Unfortunately, almost all Jewish residents were murdered by the Nazi regime. The Jewish Quarter was purposely destroyed during the years of the Nazi occupation. Let me quote some figures to give you an idea about the impact WWII had on the Jews in Lublin: in 1939, there were 42,830 Jews living in Lublin, a third of the total Lublin population. Only 150 Lublin Jews survived the war.

Artifacts of the horrors of the holocaust are preserved in today’s Lublin. The former Nazi concentration camp at Majdanek is now open to the public. It functions as a memorial and museum. A visit to Majdanek helps you understand what the daily life in a concentration camp looked like and what suffering the prisoners had to endure. The former office of the Sicherheitspolizei is nowadays also open to the public. In the Martyr Museum “Under the Clock“, you can see an exhibition depicting the brutal punishments and torture the Jewish and other nationalities underwent during WWII.

Thankfully, there are also brighter reminders of the Jewish culture still available nowadays. Restaurant Mandragora not only serves Jewish cuisine but also offers you an insight into Jewish life before 1939. Their bakery sells lovely fresh bread and delicious cakes.

Hotel Ilan is located in the former Yeshiva, dating back to 1930. The building survived WWII because the Nazis opened a hospital there. Lublin synagogue is located on the first floor. Shabbat and Jewish holidays are celebrated there but it is also open to the public.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: The Olive Restaurant (part of Hotel Ilan) is the only restaurant in Lublin offering high-quality certified kosher meals. Important to know: please, make a reservation for your kosher food.

Lublin Festivals

City of Festivals

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

You can easily call Lublin the City of Festivals. The city hosts more than 40 recurring festivals and events every year and a high number of one-off events all year around. From jazz festivals to fantasy and science fiction festivals – you name it, we host it! Four of them are especially worth visiting. Their programmes are composed to serve a big audience of all age groups.

The Night of Culture offers night owls a unique opportunity to absorb all kinds of culture in the nooks and crannies of Lublin. Performances take place in the most unexpected places and the doors of all cultural institutions are open until late into the night. Some people would describe this night as one big open air party.

During the Magicians’ Carnival, street performers and new circus artists perform in Lublin’s Old Town. The cool thing is that workshops for all levels are available to attend as well. Urban Highline – the biggest slackline festival in the world – forms a part of the carnival. It is one of the leading new circus events in Europe.

The Jagiellonian Fair dates back to the 15th century. Wealthy merchants were then ruling the town and many trade routes were in place. Craftsmen from mostly neighbouring countries used to come over to produce and sell their handmade goods. The festival is hands-on, with many workshops available.

The European Festival of Taste once again depicts our history as a trading town. All kinds of people with different ethnicities started to call Lublin their home. Their cuisine is still available and proudly presented during the festival. The most amazing dishes and products from all over Europe can be sampled. Meanwhile, chefs and restaurants are battling to win culinary prizes.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: A handy online calendar is available to check what is happening during your stay in town.

Plac Litewski

Krakowskie Przedmieście / Plac Litewski

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

The former main road leading to Cracow and a one-time military parade ground is so different nowadays. This partially pedestrianised leisure promenade leads you from Brama Krakowska (Cracow Gate) to the Saxony Garden (Ogród Saski). Krakowskie Przedmieście hosts many lovely local restaurants and bars. It is a great place to enjoy a meal and/or a drink on one of many terraces during the summer. Various food and cultural events take place here all year round.

It is one of few places left in Lublin where you can still come across people queuing up in front of a store. Not due to a shortage of goods like in the 1980s though. No, the citizens of Lublin are in love with the ice cream made at the Bosko parlour. It is very common to have to wait in a queue for your ice cream on summer days.

Plac Litewski (Lithuanian Square) underwent extensive renovations in 2017. The new multimedia fountains are a real eyecatcher, especially at night. Local children love the water ornaments and use them as a free outdoor swimming pool in the summer.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: If you like to act like a local, then arrange a meeting under the (new) black poplar referred to by the people of Lublin as “baobab tree”.

Lublin Castle

Lublin Castle / Chapel of the Holy Trinity

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

Enthusiasts of architecture will confirm that Lublin Castle is a great example of a Neo-Gothic building. The current edifice dates back to 1826. Still, the history of Lublin Castle Hill is much longer. In the mid-13th century the first defensive keep was erected, then later replaced by a Gothic castle in the 14th century. The Donjon and Chapel of the Holy Trinity within the castle date back to this time. The Chapel of the Holy Trinity is a unique building – a Gothic Catholic church decorated with Byzantine-Ruthenian polychromes. It is a true example of East meets West – a place definitely worth visiting.

One of the most important events in the history of Poland took place in Lublin Castle. On 1st July 1569, the Union of Lublin was signed, creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – a country 2.25 times bigger than current Poland and ruled by an elected king. Nowadays, the castle houses the Lublin Museum Lublin Museum which offers a great collection of paintings, weaponry, coins, Polish decorative art, and much more.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: Climb up the Donjon. It offers a great panoramic view of the Old Town and is an ideal location to take a few great photos.

Plac Litewski in Lublin

Ogród Saski (Saxon Garden)
and Park Ludowy (People’s Park)

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

Ogród Saski is a concealed green oasis situated in the city centre of Lublin. The history of this urban park dates back to 1837 when it was created. This hidden gem is the ideal place to relax in a peaceful surrounding when visiting Lublin. The park has about 12 hectares of land and offers quiet lanes to stroll around, with enough benches to sit on and enjoy the unique atmosphere. Locals, young and old, are using the garden in their leisure time. The garden has the status of a historical and natural monument.

Located on the banks of our Bystrzyca River is Park Lodowy. Former swamps were modelled into a park during the 1950s. The park fell out of favour due to poor (water) management starting from the 1970s. This resulted in the death of some tree species, as well as the uncontrolled growth of the park undergrowth. It became a haven for mosquitoes. The park started its new life after renovations in 2020. Nowadays, it is an amazing space for leisure. There are multiple playgrounds and areas for walking dogs. The park boasts creative artwork and sculptures, a huge skateboard park and more importantly, a wide variety of wildlife species.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: Buy a takeaway coffee from Bike Café and drink it while relaxing in the sunshine!

Old Town street in Lublin

The Old Town

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

Picturesque, colourful, bubbling, charming, full of history… these are just a few ways to describe the Old Town of Lublin. Within the borders of the former city walls, you will find a mediaeval street plan offering small cobbled streets with the most beautiful facades. The former Market Square (in Polish called Rynek) shows amazing examples of the Lublin Renaissance architectural style. Thanks to the great fire of Lublin in 1575, wealthy merchants were able to redesign the Rynek according to the latest architectural fashion.

Obviously, a visit to Lublin is not complete without buying a souvenir. We recommend a visit to our Tourist Inspiration Centre located close to Brama Krakowska (Cracow Gate) or Lublin Centre of Tourist and Cultural Information located at Krakowskie Przedmieście 6. They have a wide range of Lublin memorabilia, and they can provide you with an amazing amount of information to make the most of your stay in Lublin.

Nowadays, the Old Town offers a huge number of bars, hotels and restaurants. This was not always the case. The Old Town suffered serious war damage and it fell into neglect during the days of the People’s Republic of Poland. It used to be a no-go area. Today, it is always a great idea to visit the Old Town on the last Sunday of the month when a big flea market takes place just under the castle. Especially during the summer, high volumes of merchants offer their goods for sale – often antiquities and household goods. This gives you a great opportunity to find a bargain.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: Situated in the Old Town, Hotel Alter is the only 5-star hotel in Lublin. An amazing, luxurious spa is available there also for non-hotel guests.

Peoples Park

Lipowa Cemetery

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

Recommending a graveyard as a must-see place to visit during your stay in Lublin may sound a bit odd. However, once you have been there, you will fully understand why. The cemetery at Lipowa Street is the second oldest graveyard in Poland, opened in 1792. It consists of Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical and military sections. The cemetery and the street it is located in are named after the numerous linden trees which grew there in the past.

Many gravestones are beautiful pieces of art, showing the highest level of sculptural artistry. Every year, fundraisers take place to collect money to restore and preserve some of the historical tombstones or grave monuments. Once you have seen the beauty of Lipowa, you will understand why the citizens of Lublin are so generous with their donations.

Almost all the graves are decorated with flowers and memory lights (candles). Relatives put lots of love and dedication into decorating and maintaining the graves of their loved ones. The cemetery is still in active use. Please, don’t be concerned if you come across a new looking gravestone without a date of death. The owner of the grave is still among us. He or she is simply well prepared for the inevitable. There are not many empty graves left and the remaining available ones are in high demand.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: Visit Lipowa cemetery during the evening of All Saints’ Day (1st November). The graveyard will then be beautifully enlightened by thousands of memory lights. Act like a local and buy some memory lights yourself. Place them on graves with a low number or no lights at all. Please, double check if the grave is occupied before you put a memory light on it – see above.


The Lublin Open Air Village Museum

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

Lublin has yet another hidden gem. Our regional Open Air Museum is located on the outskirts of the city. It is a very popular leisure place among the locals. As a result, you are lucky if you can find a parking space nearby on a sunny day. The museum offers more than 50 buildings originating from all regions of the Lublin Voivodeship (province / state) – all situated among gorgeous parks and gardens. Their collection of buildings is very wide, showing the cultural diversity of the voivodeship. You can enter picturesque, wooden farm houses, workshops, a mill, and also a small town showing daily life in 1930. All buildings look as if they are still in use. When inside one of the buildings you could almost imagine a tap on your shoulder followed by the question: “Excuse me, what are you doing in my house?”.

Scattered among the historical buildings you will see various farm animals. You are allowed to pet them, which makes it an ideal attraction to visit with young children. Demonstrations often take place explaining what daily life was like for the former owners of the buildings. In addition, traditional Polish food is served in the restaurant.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: Among the buildings, there are two wooden churches: one Roman Catholic and one Orthodox. Services still take place in both of them. They offer a unique setting to worship. Please, check the museum’s website or call them for the timetables.

Lublin Restaurant

Polish Cuisine

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

Please, do yourself a favour and leave your diet at home when visiting Lublin. The traditional Polish cuisine is rich in calories. The typical dish related to Lublin is called cebularz. It is a white dough flatbread topped with diced onion and poppy seeds. Cebularz is also one of the few remnants of the rich Jewish culture which once flourished in Lublin. The locals are so proud of this dish that they have even dedicated a museum to it. You can buy a cebularz in every bakery in town.

The variety of typical Polish dishes is enormous. Nonetheless, a few meals need to be mentioned by name. First of all pierogi – dumplings stuffed with all kinds of fillings such as potatoes and white cheese (ruskie), mushrooms or sauerkraut and meat. Polish soups are definitely worth trying, too. The most famous ones are white and red borscht. The red one is made out of beetroot. It is not a clever move to eat it when wearing white clothes. If on the menu, definitely try the cucumber soup, made from brined pickles. And yes, we are eating a lot of meat in Poland, especially pork. All the same, try out the Polish salads, too. Every restaurant has its own recipes and they usually taste amazing.

This paragraph concludes with some lifesaving information if you should be invited by a local for refreshments. Regarding hospitality, food and drink, a Polish person does not take no for an answer. It is considered very impolite if they do not offer you something to eat or drink at least five times. This is especially true of elderly ladies and grandmothers.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: After a long night out enjoying local beers and vodka, there is no better breakfast than the cebularz breakfast roll at Trybunalska City Pub. It is an award-winning vegetarian breakfast roll roasted with mushrooms, Amber cheese, tomato, and egg. 

Lublin Restaurant

Lubartowska 77

10 Reasons to visit Lublin – Why should you visit Lublin? – Tourist Information

A wonderful farmers market takes place every Saturday 8.00 am – 1.00 pm in one of the former halls of the Wilhelm Hess scales factory. Local food such as dairy products and vegetables are available. Craftsmen also offer their unique handmade products. If you are lucky, you could even take part in a craft workshop. It is nice to know that all products on offer are organic. We highly recommend the locally produced coffee together with delicious homemade cakes, or maybe fresh bread with honey.

It also has an ECO shop which is open on weekdays and offers an amazing range of ecological products. And you can buy a range of wonderful local souvenirs to take home.

Martin’s City Tours insider tip: Family friendly events take place every Thursday at 4.00 pm at Lubartowska 77. Games, singing, cooking, baking, weaving, and pottery are among the superb activities on offer. It is the best way to meet locals in an amazing setting.