Out of the big city
The big cities of Poland are one thing, but when it comes to relaxing the best places are usually hidden somewhere near them or just away. When it comes to talking about Wielkopolska everyone thinks about Poznan – a great city for tourist, however, this time as it's my first blog here I've decided to take you on a journey around. I simply live nearby and in my opinion, it's worth visiting because you can come here for the weekend relax in a nice calm and peaceful area away from the big city noise.
Puszczykowo – the town
Puszczykowo is a town about 16 km away from Poznan. It is situated near Wielkopolski National Park, where you can go walking, riding a bike and enjoy the nature. If anyone wants to have a short break from sightseeing the big city just hop on a train and come here. You can get here by train from Poznań main train station in just 20 minutes. Take the train and come to Puszczykowo or Puszczykówko – they are both train stations here. The journey is quick and not very expensive – the return ticket to Poznan in about 4Euro. Be careful, the train stations are both of the same town but they can lead you to completely different locations and attractions. If you enjoy cycling you can come here from Poznań along Wartostrada which is a bicycle route along Warta River. The car is also an idea but the traffic is terrible and if it comes to the bus it takes over one hour to get to Puszczykowa from Poznań. If you decide to come from a different direction than Poznań the hints are pretty much the same.
Puszczykowo train station
If you choose Puszczykowo – you can enjoy the meal first in the local 'Lokomotywa' restaurant which is placed at the station. They serve Italian food – and the pizza is really good – I would even say it tastes as the real one in Italy. The interior of the place has a really good atmosphere, like in a train compartment as while eating you can hear trains passing by. Well, let's start from Puszczykowo – from here you can simply go for a walk to the forest, to the Warta River bank, or go for a bike ride through the forest of Nadwarciański Bór Sosnowy as it has lots of bike routes which lead to a nice picnic place at the river.
However, if I were you I would rather choose to stop at Puszczykowko train station – the town from that place is even more interesting. So, if you stop there, you have two choices. You can go left towards the Warta River bank to relax and enjoy the nature or have a walk in the woods or visit the museum of Arkady Fidler – a famous Polish traveller. In the museum, you can see souvenirs from his travels from all over the world and see or climb a ship. Leaving the station You can turn right and visit the Wielkopolski National Park with its beautiful lakes, walking paths and a mysterious castle on an island. But first, let me encourage you to try the ice cream. Yes, right next to the station there has been a place selling ice cream since I remember. It's called 'U Kostusiakowej' – the place is in Puszczykowo for over 30 years, it is open only in the summer time, to buy ice cream you need to get in line. Seriously, I admit that nowadays the scoops flavours are almost the same as everywhere else, but the strawberry flavour or so called Italian ice cream is inimitable – the best choice is to eat them combined and the price is quite low 6,60 zł for both so about 1,5 Euro. I have even eaten ice cream in Italy, and I dare to say they are not as good as those at 'Kostusiakowa'. So your visit at Puszczykowo could at least be for the ice cream. Just remember the longest lines would be at the weekend.
The town centre
The town does not only have two train stations but I would even say two parts. The inhabitants call them the Old Puszczykowo (stare Puszczykowo) which is the area close to the train stations and can be named the town's centre where you can visit a square with new buildings built the old looking way – meet the people, visit a small church or try some sports as the town can be proud of good Sport Centres like Sportoteka or Angie – a tennis club by Angelique Kerber an Australian Open 2017 winner which is in the other part of the town called The Upper Puszczykowo (Górne Puszczykowo) which is situated on the border of Wielkopolski National Park.
Wielkopolski National Park
The area of the Park in mainly in Puszczykowo and Mosina and Luboń. The idea of the Park was made by professor Wodziczko and the Park has existed since 1957. There are many nice routes and apart from the natural environment – animals and plants it is also known for its lakes. I would choose the Puszczykówko train station as the start of the walking route towards the Góreckie Lake – one of the biggest lakes where you cannot swim but the views are amazing. From the bank of the lake, you can see an island with Klaudyna Potocka Castle ruins. Near there is a Museum of Environment. From there you can go along so called Greiserówka road towards the Jarosławskie Lake – and here you are allowed to swim so in the summer time you can both enjoy the water and the environment. You can also choose the opposite way and go along Góreckie Lake towards Osowa Góra hill and visit more lakes – Skrzynka or Kociołek. The paths are all available for tourists so you can have a relaxing weekend in the park.