Złota Jesień. Golden Autumn. This is the term the Poles use to describe the autumn season in Poland. Autumn in Poland is a magical season that you need to see with your own eyes. The colors are golden and the climate is mild. The autumn months in Poland are defined as September, October and November. Continue reading to find out more information about visiting Poland during this season including weather, holidays and what you should see and do. If you’re still trying to decide if autumn is the best time to visit Poland, head over to our article on 6 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Poland In The Autumn.
September (aka Wrzesień) is a relatively warm month and can often feel more like summer than autumn (temperature wise). The average temperature in September runs about 14C/57F. The daylight hours are still long in September.
October (aka Październik) is a complicated month as some days can feel quite warm and others rather chilly. The average temperature is around 9C/48F. This year, daylight savings takes place on the 25th of October resulting in much shorter days.
November (aka Listopad) is when the temperature really starts to drop and averages around 4C/39F. The days also start to feel much shorter, darker and colder during this month. Typically, there is no snow in November (not including the mountainous regions).
These are holidays where most shops and attractions are closed.
The 1st of November is All Saints Day. This is a public holiday in Poland where families across the country visit cemeteries to bring flowers and light candles on the graves of their loved ones. It is also a holiday where many distant family members come together to visit with each other. After dark, the cemeteries glow with the lights of the candles that burn through the night.
The 11th of November is Poland’s Independence Day and a public holiday. There are many ways that people celebrate this holiday including an official parade in Warsaw and other ceremonies around the country.
In addition to Poland’s Independence Day, the 11th of November is also Saint Martin’s Day, which is celebrated in Poznań. Saint Martin’s street is the main street in the city where the parade is held. It is on this day that Saint Martin’s Croissants are baked and sold, not only in Poznan, but all around Poland.
The 30th of November is when Poles celebrate Saint Andrew’s Day (also known as Andrzejki). On this day, many parties are organized and people try to predict the future through a number of different methods including pouring hot wax through the hole in a key into cold water to try and guess what the solidified shape represents.
Where to Visit in Poland During the Autumn
All of the regions in Poland are beautiful and unique. Though they are all worth visiting, here are the three areas of Poland I would highly recommend seeing during this season.
Gdańsk and the Polish Baltic Coast
Though autumn may not be the ideal time to go for a swim in the Baltic Sea, it is an ideal time to explore the Tri-City area (Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot). During the summer months, this area is packed full of both Polish and international travelers. In most places in Europe, the first day of school is September 1st so come autumn, most families have returned home. This makes it the perfect time to explore.
It is also the perfect time to visit some of the museums, castles, galleries and other cultural sites since they will not be overcrowded and you will also find lower off-season prices. These spaces are also a great place to hide out of the weather takes a seasonal turn. Gdańsk is home to the incredible new Museum of the Second World War, which is a must see.
Walking along the Baltic beach is also lovely during the autumn. This area is the main place you will find Baltic Sea amber that washes up on the beach after a storm. Learn more local tips about visiting Gdańsk and the Baltic Sea here.
Wrocław and Lower Silesia
Wrocław and the surrounding areas are an incredible place to visit during the autumn. Wrocław is both a lively modern and historic city so you will find the perfect blend of interests. My favorite thing to do in Wrocław, no matter the season, is to walk the market square. There are some wonderful walking tours that take you behind the scenes and share some of the hidden places and stories of the city.
The area surrounding Wrocław is known for its endless forests and castles. Since the temperature is ideal in the autumn and the trees are starting to shed their golden leaves, it is a great time to spend some time outdoors. My favorite place to explore is around Zamek Ksiaż in Wałbrzych. The area around the castle is filled with endless rolling tree-covered hills that change color with the season. There are many walking and biking trails that lead to abandoned historic ruins and castles that the forest has taken over. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place.
Kraków and Zakopane
Kraków and Zakopane are two very different places, but due to their proximity to one another, you can easily experience both. Kraków is a great place to base your autumn trip to Poland. It’s a beautiful city with endless things to do including walking through the market square (or diving underground into the museum that holds the historic market square), visiting Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wawel Castle and more. The list goes on and on!
The city is decorated autumn colors and it’s the perfect time for taking a walk through one of the many parks around the city. There are also numerous cafes you can cozy up in and grab a hot drink and sweet treat. Sit back, relax and take in the scene.
Zakopane is a beautiful hour and a half drive from Kraków. Though it is located in the Tatra Mountains, it is not too chilly to explore in the autumn. All of the hiking trails are still accessible and will lead to extraordinary views of snowy towering peaks and cozy wooden mountain huts to warm up in. There are many cafes to taste some of the local delicacies including oscypek - a smoky cheese served warm with a side of cranberry sauce. Highland culture in Poland is very unique and emits a cozy nostalgic feeling in itself. It's the perfect time to experience it.
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