Poland’s beaches are not usually the first thing thought of when considering what to do in Poland. People typically think of Mediterranean or Greek beaches when deciding a place to go swimming. And while the water in those destinations might be warmer than in Poland, Poland still has stunning beaches that are a worth a visit, even if just for tanning, relaxing, and other water activities.
Despite the colder waters, Polish beaches still can get really crowded! This should be a testament that Polish beaches should be considered as much of a potential destination on a trip to Poland as cities and castles.
An important distinction to make is that Poland has two different types of beaches to offer. First, there are the sandy Baltic beaches. Poland’s only water border is the Baltic Sea, and there are 770 km (478 mi) of glorious coastline to explore on Poland’s northern frontier.
These beaches will tend towards being more developed, with resort-style accommodation and activities, and more people. These beaches are also usually easy to access from major population centers in northern Poland such as Gdańsk.
The other type of beach Poland offers are those on rivers and lakes. Poland is home to over 9000 lakes, and it is no surprise that there are many desirable beaches on the shores of these lakes.
Masuria, in the northeast of Poland, houses many of Poland’s largest lakes, and some of its best beaches. But also, Polish rivers have a few nice beaches, these rivers including the Vistula, Oder, Warta, Brda, and more.
However, in many places, these rivers flow too fast to swim in, so these beaches are more dedicated to every beach activity other than swimming. Also, due to the vast number of lakes and rivers in Poland, it would be impossible for me to cover every single one, so if you find yourself near a lake or river I do not mention, odds are there is a very nice beach to go with it!
So, in this blog, you will find my 15 top beaches to visit in Poland. I have selected them based on user reviews, beauty of scenery, amenities available, and my personal opinion if I have been to them (unfortunately I have only been to three of them, but I hope to visit more soon!).
I have also separated the beaches into Baltic beaches and lake/river beaches as prescribed before. Generally speaking, you cannot go wrong with most Polish beaches, so if you are staying near any of the 15 below, I highly recommend visiting them!
Baltic Beaches in Poland
We start with perhaps the crown jewels of all Polish beaches, those found on the beautiful Baltic Sea. Because there is not too much coastline of the Baltic in Poland, if you rent a car, it is easy to hit many of the beaches, and more, that are mentioned on this list. Generally, almost every place on the Baltic is a nice beach. However, some are better served for tourists due to their location, and some have a unique aspect that makes them especially worthwhile. Below, you will find 8 Baltic beaches that are worth your time.
1. Sopot Beach
Sopot is a small resort town found in the Trójmiasto (three cities) of Pomerania in northern Poland, along with the much larger Gdańsk and Gdynia. Thus, with Gdańsk being such a popular tourist destination, it is no surprise that the wonderful sandy beaches of Sopot have become widely popular. On a recent holiday weekend, it felt like Disneyworld while walking through the crowded central street of the Sopot Promenade. But do not let the crowds scare you away; it is still worth visiting if you are already going to Gdańsk, and it is not always as busy as I described.
Sopot’s beach is sandy and generally very wide from Gdynia to Gdańsk, and its centerpiece is the Pier in Sopot. While not like a pleasure pier in England, this paid-admission pier allows you a stellar view of the Gulf of Gdańsk and the various ships cruising around and docked at the pier, as well as a restaurant at pier’s end. If this is not your style, there are also many beachside bars where you can grab a Mojito or Aperol Spritz and enjoy the sea breezes and Polish sun without getting into the water. The city itself also offers many restaurants to try and interesting buildings to visit, such as Krzywy Domek and the church Kościół św. Jerzego w Sopocie. During the busy season, there are also playgrounds available on the beach for your child to enjoy, and a very nice (but busy) bike path to leisurely peddle down.
Generally, getting to and staying in Sopot is very easy. You can stay nearby in Gdańsk or Gdynia, or in Sopot directly (for a bit of a higher price). If you choose to stay outside of Sopot, there are trains that leave every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. A roundtrip ticket from Gdańsk to Sopot only runs about 12 Złoty using the (currently) blue and yellow SKM regional trains. It will be only about a 20-minute train ride, and then a 15-minute walk, to the beaches of Sopot from Gdańsk!
2. Jelitkowo Beach
If Sopot sounds too busy for you, Jelitkowo Beach might be the one for you. This beach is in Gdańsk south of Sopot’s beach and is equally sandy and picturesque. While it may not have the name-brand appeal of Sopot, it is still worth a visit, and is also easily reachable if you are staying in Gdańsk. People laud it for its cleanliness, access to amenities, soft sand, and nearby restaurants. If you walk towards the very southern reaches of the beach, you can visit the free Brzeźnie Pier, which has beautiful views of the sea. You can also walk the wooded oasis of President Ronald Reagan Park, found just steps from the beach, and full of many playgrounds, sports fields, trails, and places to relax.
Getting to Jelitkowo Beach is very simple. Because parking is sparse, you will want to take advantage of the great public transportation Gdańsk offers. Trams 2, 6, and 8 run directly to a point close to the beach consistently throughout the day from Gdańsk Main Train Station, and this journey takes about 40 minutes and costs approximately 5 Złoty. With showers and changing rooms available at the beach, you do not even have to worry about being wet and sandy on the ride back. Additionally, you can choose to stay in the Jelitkowo neighborhood if the beach is your main interest, as there is enough infrastructure and relatively affordable Airbnbs available to make it worthwhile.
3. Hel Peninsula
The Hel Peninsula is a spit, a narrow strip, usually a sandbar, surrounded by water. This spit extends from the very top of Poland, and is close to the Trójmiasto, making it a fun place to visit if you are already in the area. And because it is surrounded by water on three sides, this means triple the beaches are available! The beaches on the west side are sheltered from the waves of the Baltic, while the eastern beaches are pounded daily by the relentless Baltic Sea, resulting in wide sandy beaches to relax on. Some of the best beaches to visit are Helskie Dunes Nature Reserve with its dunes to run around on, Helska Otwarte Morze, which receives rave reviews from its visitors due to peacefulness and beautiful sand, Beach Cyplu Helskim on the very tip of the spit, with amazing views of the mainland and the Baltic Sea.
Getting to Hel is a little bit complicated (as one might expect). However, there is water taxi service from every city in the Trójmiasto, which makes Hel a possible day trip. Additionally, there is car access via a road, although due to the shape of the spit, this drive takes about 90 minutes from Gdynia. The same goes with the semi-frequent train service from Gdynia to Hel, with this journey taking you on a 16-stop trip through the northern reaches of Poland in about 85 minutes. You can also choose to stay in the main city of the peninsula, also called Hel. This city of about 10,000 people has all the amenities you need for a peaceful, off the beaten path, beach vacation. Generally, if you want to visit the Baltic and want a quieter beach, Hel is probably your best choice.
4. Słowiński National Park
Słowiński National Park is a massive park found in Pomerania in northern Poland. Thus, it is also found on the Baltic Sea, and the Baltic has helped create the characteristic feature of this national park that makes it worth a visit. This feature is the moving dunes. These dunes have helped sculpt the unique landscape of this park that makes its beaches worth visiting. The large Lake Łebsko was previously a bay until the wind blew the dunes enough to create this now large lake. While relaxing on the beach, you might catch a glimpse of deer and wild pigs, and this is also a great place for birdwatching. While tourist amenities are not as high here, the beaches are still stunning, with the dunes looming behind you. Climbing up the dunes supplies one of the best views of the Baltic you can get anywhere in Poland.
Unsurprisingly, due to its national park status, there are no restaurants, bars, or playgrounds on the beaches. Thus, the beaches tend to remain peaceful and serene, so if you just want to relax as the waves crash in front of you, this is a good place. Getting to the beaches can be a bit of a challenge, as there is no city directly next to the dunes, but there are roads and parking. Generally, renting a car (or a bike if you can) will be your key to accessing these beaches. On the east side, the main city is Łeba, which is small, but has everything you need. However, the closest train station, in Lębork, is about 30 km (19 mi) away, so hiring a taxi would be necessary. On the west side, the main city is Rowy, a small, isolated village. To reach Rowy, it would be necessary to take a train to Słupsk and drive or take a taxi the remaining 29 km (18 mi). But the beauty of this national park should not be missed if you get the chance.
5. Gdyni-Orłowo Beach
Back to the big cities, Gdyni-Orłowo Beach is a beautiful beach in the Orłowo neighborhood of Gdynia, at its southern edge. Gdynia is often overlooked when compared to its sister cities of Gdańsk and Sopot, but the beach here is certainly not worth missing. The main draw is the beautiful cliff, which on a clear day, provides imagery that looks straight out of a painting, with the browns of the cliff and blues of the sea contrasting each other perfectly. So, make sure to make the trek up the cliffs to get these perfect views, and join the many other Poles taking their Instagram or family photos there. There is also a very nice beach and a little pier to hang out at, with restaurants, cafes, and other amenities available.
Getting to this beach is as simple as taking one of the WKM Regional Trains from Gdynia, Gdańsk, or Sopot to Orłowo Station, and taking an approximately 20-minute walk to the beach from there. You can also choose to take a bus from Gdynia, or drive, but parking is very limited. Staying in Gdynia in this neighborhood is also a choice, as it is not as popular as Gdańsk or Sopot, and thus less expensive.
6. Kołobrzeg Beach
Kołobrzeg, one of our best cities to visit in Poland, is found on the Baltic Sea in the far northwest of Poland. Its isolation makes it not quite as busy, but Polish and German people are very aware of its beauty, which still makes it quite popular amongst tourists. Beachgoers appreciate the cleanliness and large number of restaurants and bars available right next to the beach, and the water is clear to go with the soft sandy beaches. There is also Kołobrzeg Pier, which offers an Instagrammable photo opportunity with some angel’s wings, and cafes and gift shops to enjoy while sitting at a table with a view of the city and the water. There are also many other classic seaside amenities, including Kołobrzeg Lighthouse, a Ferris wheel, and more.
Kołobrzeg, as a mid-sized city, has lots of tourist amenities to stay at for a reasonable price. Within the city, the best way to get around is on foot or by renting a bike. Getting to Kołobrzeg can be a bit of a trek if you are starting in Warsaw for example, with the train ride being over 5 hours. Starting from Gdańsk might be your best possibility, as this cuts the journey in half. You can also get there by bus or train from Szczecin, which is also where the closest airport is found.
7. Dziwnów Beach
Dziwnów Beach is a quiet little beach found in the small Polish seaside town of Dziwnów, a short drive from the German border. Due to its remote location, this beach is not visited nearly as much as other beaches on this list. However, it is no less beautiful. This beach is amazing for watching the sunset over the sea and relaxing. There is also a boardwalk to stroll along while enjoying the views, and other amenities available in other larger beach towns. There are also three pirate ships that one can take for a cruise on the Baltic if you want a break from the beach.
Getting to Dziwnów is relatively difficult, although once you are there, there are plenty of hotels and restaurants available to make your stay comfortable and convenient. There is no train service available, but you can take a 2-hour bus ride from Szczecin, which itself requires a long train ride or flight from Warsaw or another major Polish city. So, it might be best to rent a car if you choose to visit Dziwnów, but the relative peace and quiet means you should consider visiting if that is what you wish while still having a beautiful Baltic beach to relax on.
8. Ustka Beach
Ustka Beach is found near Słowiński National Park. So, you can hit two beaches in one if you choose to stay in the charming town of Ustka. With approximately 15,000 residents, and a town dedicated to the sea, there is a lot to do here, centered of course the typical Baltic sandy beach. One of the unique parts of the beach is a visit to the much-loved Syrenka Ustecka, a statue of a mermaid that guards the pier. There is also the beautiful Promenada Nadmorska, which houses bars, restaurants, ice cream, and events during the summer. You can also walk on the Breakwaters for stellar views of the sea.
Getting to Ustka is very simple. You can take any number of the Intercity trains that journey to the larger city of Słupsk. As Słupsk and Ustka have a partnership, there is regional train and bus service between the two every day in greater amounts than you might expect for a town of this size. Within the city, there is a limited bus service that navigates the city streets, but as is typical of most Polish towns, it is easy enough to walk around or rent a bike and explore the city this way. This town is also made up of a ton of rentable apartments and hotels, so you are sure to be able to find a good deal for a stay in Ustka.
Lake & River Beaches in Poland
As mentioned, Poland also has beautiful lakefront and riverside beaches to visit. Poland is full of lakes, so this list of 7 is certainly not exhaustive of the endless swimming spots that could be found. I have chosen to focus on beaches on lakes of note, with 4 beaches in Masuria, one on another major lake closer to Gdańsk, and the final two being Vistula River beaches in Warsaw. Generally speaking, the lake beaches are easiest to reach by car due to Masuria’s lack of easy bus and train transportation between cities, so budget friendly Olsztyn might be the best starting point for these lakes. Finally, the river beaches in Warsaw are reachable using public transportation.
9. Suchy Róg Beach
Suchy Róg is a very small village found on the north shores of Lake Śniardwy, one of Poland’s largest lakes found in the lake district of Masuria. Lake Śniardwy is such a lake that allows for all sorts of watersports and boating. The beach itself is not very large, and is typical of a Masurian beach, with large grassy areas turning into a small sandy beach, with a stunning view of the entire lake from the north side. Coming out to visit this village is quite the trek; the 70 inhabitants live in an isolated part of the lake. However, if you want to swim in Lake Śniardwy, this may be your best choice, as other popular beaches appear to be littered with glasses and other sharp objects. If you want the true Polish village experience with a lake and a very little-used beach, this is the one for you.
10. Mamry City Beach
Another of Poland’s beautiful lakes, Lake Mamry is found extremely close to the Russian border (but is completely safe) and is attached to other Masurian lakes through a series of canals, meaning if you like to boat from the beach, you can make it quite far from Mamry City Beach. The beach itself is a 30-minute walk, or alternatively 7-minute bike ride, from the town of Węgorzewo, whose size allows you to stay and shop without too much trouble. The beach is perfect for kids, as it is sheltered from the lake itself and has regular lifeguard service, and a bar for adults. For a more typical lakeside experience in Masuria, Mamry City Beach will have what you are looking for.
11. Pisz City Beach
Not far from Lake Śniardwy sits Lake Ros, a relatively small lake that still boasts an excellent beach in the Pisz City Beach. Pisz is a mid-sized town with a full set of amenities, so you will not have to worry about anything while staying there. The beach itself also has a lot of amenities for a Masurian lake beach, with a restaurant, lifeguards, changing rooms, laundry, toilets, boat hires, volleyball, and much more. The beach itself is a small strip of sand, but the water is mostly protected by a dock, making it a safe swimming spot. Swimming at Pisz means swimming mostly with locals, so if you want to learn some Polish or practice your Polish, this would be a good place to do that too! Generally, swimming and boating in Lake Ros is a fun small-town experience.
12. Giżycko Beach
Located on the shores of Lake Niegocin, Giżycko Beach is another beach on a cluster of close-together Masurian lakes that can all be toured by boat. This city beach serves the town of Giżycko, with a size of about 30,000 people, and thus has more amenities than other Masurian lakes. You can rent pedal boats, play basketball and volleyball, and swim to your heart’s content. Since the beach is not very big, it can get a bit crowded during the busy season of the summer, but there are enough other activities to take a break. And due to its size, Giżycko is also served by train routes and a city bus, so getting around is easier, and there are also a few shopping malls in the city itself. So, for a slightly busier feel, visit Giżycko Beach, and enjoy the refreshing waters of Lake Niegocin.
13. Wdzydze Port Beach
For a nice lake beach outside of Masuria, try visiting Lake Wdzydze, found about an hour from Gdańsk. What this lake lacks in star power it makes up for in pure beauty. This lake is also called the Kashubian Sea due to it being the main lake of the Kashubian people of Poland, who have their own official language that differs from Polish, a unique cuisine, music, and more. Thus, visiting Lake Wdzydze to swim also means a unique look at a subculture of Poland. To swim, I recommend swimming at Wdzydze Port, which is home to a small, and quiet beach, that will make you feel like you have rented a beach entirely for yourself.
14. Poniatówka Beach
Now, we move to the river beaches of Warsaw, with Poniatówka Beach being a beautiful beach found on the east banks of the Vistula River. These banks supply a stunning place to view the growing city skyline of Warsaw and watch the sunset. While you cannot really swim in the waters, you can kayak and do other boating. But, perhaps the most popular thing to do at this beach is bring a barbecue grill and have a meal with your friends while sitting back and relaxing in the summer sun. Just be warned that public drinking is not allowed in Poland, but you may see people doing it anyways on Poniatówka Beach. Getting there is easy. Trams 7, 9, 22, 24, and 25 leave from the city center and stop about a 10-minute walk from the beach, or you can take the M2 Metro line to the Stadion Narodowy stop and walk a bit further.
15. Romantyczna Beach
The other beach worth visiting on the Vistula in Warsaw is Romantyczna Beach, which literally is called romantic beach. Here you will find an abundance of summer activities, including barbecues, beach chairs, volleyball, and other amenities. You can also build a bonfire here if you choose to. What is also cool about this beach is that there are little wooden boats that will ferry you across the river during the summer months that are free of charge and run on Saturdays and Sundays. There is also nearby commerce to pick up your barbecue needs. It is possible to reach this beach using a variety of city buses, including Bus 146 from the Gocław neighborhood in eastern Warsaw.
Best Beaches in Poland: Conclusions
Poland has its fair share of beaches to offer those who like to tan in the sand, or swim in relaxing waters. From the Baltic Sea to the Masurian lakes, Poland is a water paradise, on top of everything else it has going for it. While the beaches might not be as well-known in the sphere of Europe, you will not have to fight for space as in other countries. The Baltic Sea especially has pristine sandy beaches in some unique locations, although the water does tend to be cold. The Masurian lakes and the Vistula River also supply much water entertainment on a hot summer’s day. So, if you choose to visit Poland, whether for the beaches or not, do not skip the beaches Poland has to offer!