Impressions of Szczecin: Colourful Squares and Great Coffee

Some of Szczecin’s trademark houses clustered around the squares of Stare Miasto, the Old Town.

A Day Trip to Szczecin, Western Pomerania

Living in Berlin, it is really easy to go on a number of day trips, including across the border into Poland. I was getting itchy feet during the week, as I hadn’t been aboard since my holidays in the mountains of Panama. So it was time to shake things up! After a short convo with a friend, we were Szczecin-bound. Szczecin is a bit off the beaten path for tourists from further afield, but is well connected to Berlin for day trips or weekend escapades.

This is a city that oozes history, founded well before the 10th century AD. During the war, quite a lot of it was bombed, leaving way for Berlin-style Neubau buildings to pop up between gothic archs and red-brick mansions. Lonely Planet describes Szczecin as an architectural patchwork. Wandering the streets, I couldn’t help but agree even more at every turn.

Szczecin day trip
Szczecin’s city centre streets – a mix of styles and colours

Thoughts on Szczecin

I really enjoyed discovering Szczecin. It was my first foray into Eastern Europe, and I loved the mix of architecture, as well as the colourful houses, especially those around Stare Miasto. I just wish I had more time to dig deeper beneath the surface.

Szczecin is a very modern city, with affordable high end dining options and all the usual brands – including a new Karl Lagerfeld boutique. I would like to go back in the summer, to wander along the Oder River and hopefully catch some sun from the Ducal Palace’s rooftop (more on that below)!

For solo female travellers, Szczecin is very safe.

Szczecin day trip - ducal castle
Szczecin’s Ducal Palace, which looks like it’s coming out of a fairytale.

Szczecin Day Trip Tips

Here are some of my top tips for visiting  Szczecin:

1. Follow the red arrows! Red marks on the ground connect 40 key sites in the city. These start off close to the central train station and make their way through the old town. This is a sure way to catch all the main attractions, from the Ducal Castle to the House of Parliament.

2. Try Pierogi! If this is your first visit to Poland, you have to try this local speciality. Sort of like dumplings, filled with either meet or vegetables and cheese. But these are so heavy that 5 or 6 are probably enough to keep you full for a while! We had lunch at a lovely, family-run restaurant, called Cztery Pory Roku.

3. Finish off your meal with coffee. Maybe we lucked out, or the coffee in Szczecin is amazing. We found a little cafe close to the castle, Kafle Vege, which was cosy and served the best latte I’d had in months. And I had mine with soy milk, which is how I judge whether or not coffee is actually decent (coffee snob insight from an ex-Melbournian).

4. For panoramic views of the city, take the elevator up to the castle’s rooftop terrace. Unfortunately, it was raining in the afternoon and the doors to the outdoor area were locked. But once the weather warms up, this would be a wonderful place to get photos of the streets, harbour and river below.

5. Don’t forget your passport or national ID card! This goes for all cross-border travel, these days, even if you’re staying in the Eurozone. You might get checked on either side of the border by the police.

View of Szczecin from the Ducal Castle

 

The castle’s inner courtyard

Szczecin Day Trip Logistics

If you head to Szczecin for a day trip, you have many options. There are trains and buses leaving Berlin every hour. Private coaches can also be booked. The journey takes approximately 2 hours by car or train, and about 2.5 hours by bus.

Have you been to Szczecin? Are you planning a Szczecin day trip? Let me know in the comment section and if you liked this post, feel free to share it on social media!

 

4 comments Add yours
  1. Mmmm I love pierogi!! My mother makes the best ones (she’s Polish). I’ve never been to Szczecin, or maybe once when I was a child but I don’t remember it. Would love to visit!

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