Szczecin may look like a desperate last move in a scrabble game, but it is in fact capital of the new Western Pomeranian Province. Pronounced “scheh-scheen”, it has been an important point in trading routes across Europe since its establishment as a Slavonic settlement in the seventh century. The reign of the city that followed is complex and involved the Pomeranians, Polish, Germans, Russians and Danes. Sadly this rich cultural and historical heritage was lost in the Second World War. The Old Town and much of the area around the Odra river, which the city is set at the mouth of, was completely wiped out. Following the war, people from across Poland immigrated to Szczecin and the area was regenerated. The history was held firmly in mind whilst this was done, and the Old Town that stands now complements the remaining historical sites. The transport routes are extensive, with a motorway to the A6 into Germany, a busy trading port with passenger ferries to Denmark and Sweden and the nearby Goleniow International Airport. The city’s character is heavily influenced by the transport infrastructure, with frequent comparisons to Paris owing to its star-like shape. Beyond the historical attractions in the centre, lies a picturesque natural heritage consisting of enormous lakes and forests.


Pomeranian Duke’s Castle – Located on Korsarzy Street, the castle stands out among the Old Town. Despite being rebuilt after the Second World War, the building still carries a sense of majesty and strolling round the interior gives a great impression of what it would have been like during its former glory. The castle also sees a range of chamber, classical and ancient concerts, some with costumed performers. Two of the wings are home to regular art and historical exhibitions including photographs and paintings of the castle and old town.

[ Bismarck Tower] – These towers were built to honour the ex-chancellor and cult figure Otto von Bismarck and exist across the world. The example in Szczecin was built relatively late compared to some others and is sealed to visitors. Those who make the 6km tram journey outside the centre to find it will be rewarded by the bizarre phenomenon and its rustic setting.

[ Kana Theatre] – The theatre has been doing its own productions for over thirty years and is also hailed as the centre of alternative culture in Szczecin. The theatrical centre has art exhibitions, festivals, concerts and workshops run by local and international artists.


[ Galaxy Centrum] is one of the most modern and exciting shopping centres in Poland. Built to capitalise on increased wealth in the area and visitors from Sweden and Denmark, the centre has most high-end shops selling clothes and fashion accessories. The futuristic interior also houses some decent coffee shops, fast food restaurants and cafes, although none are much good for more than a passing snack. Those feeling adventurous may like to try their hand at the climbing wall or you can kill time in a more sedentary fashion at the cinema which often holds all-night “filmathons”. The centre has the more standard Polish souvenir, fashion and confectionary shops and an outdoor market at Zolnierza Polskiego which sells solely Christmas decorations and trees from November.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Central Szczecin has some decent options for eating out, but doesn’t quite match the standards of nearby Gdynia. Tradtional Polish food as widely available and can be found very cheaply, as can pizza and the usual fast food. For more exciting and expensive versions, Avanti is held with very high regard for traditional Italian dishes and game. The Bombay restaurant on Partyzantowa Street is another family run affair with a great menu and friendly service. Cafes in the centre also serve decent coffee and smaller dishes and are so cheap there’s little reason not to stop as often as you like while exploring.

The 36,000 strong student population supports a lively and thriving nightlife. The proximity to Germany means that some “uber-stylish” minimalist electronica and techno does sneak in, although the rest of the music is as you’d expect. Some hard dance and alternative rock is available with the majority being pop and mainstream techno and house. More discerning clientele would be well advised to try one of the many cafes that stay open a little later or the Brama Jazz Café.

Tourist Information

Tourist Information OfficeNiepodleglosci 1 Street

Cultural and Tourism Information OfficeKorsarzy 34 Street
  • Telephone: 4891630
  • Website: []


Goleniow International Airport is 40 kilometres outside the city centre and only has flights to other major cities across Poland despite its international status. Berlin International Airport can be reached easily by train for flights to the rest of the world. The nearest airport in the country is Gdansk, which takes six hours by bus or three and a half by train.