Poland has always been a country rich in culture and history, but in the last two decades, the country has seen such rapid economic growth that it is increasingly resembling the West. Underneath the sparkling surface, however, there is a culture deeply founded in Eastern hospitality and communal values, and interesting traces of the violent history abound. Poland is also a nation of great natural beauty, with picturesque lakes, beaches, and mountains that give a pleasant contrast to the city's cultural rigors.

Spring is undoubtedly the best time to go trekking in Poland's hilly border areas, since the days are sunny – if rainy – and the unique flowers are at their most abundant. Summer, the tourist high season, brings lots of sunshine, especially along the Baltic coast, where resorts are packed from June through August and temperatures hover around 24°C (75°F).

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