Lublin is a charming, large, regional capital in Poland. It makes a great day of trip from Warsaw, with there being lots of things to do in Lublin. From exploring beautiful buildings in the restored Old Town, to walking in beautiful nature at some of the many gardens in the city, to visiting some solemn museums recounting local history and the Holocaust, Lublin has something for everyone. And, as Lublin is only a 90-minute train ride or drive from Warsaw, and is even served by its own international airport, Lublin is a Polish city worth a visit.
This article holds the 10 best things to do in Lublin, with a short description, information about relevant costs and opening hours, and some transit information. You should be able to find every relevant piece of information you need about Lublin in this guide. Additionally, at the end of the list, you will find some other information about Lublin, such as the best hotels and restaurants. Also, I will answer some questions about transportation and travel time. Read on to find out all the answers to your questions about Lublin, Poland’s underrated daytrip city.
Best Things to Do in Lublin
1. Explore the Lublin Old Town
Description: The Lublin Old Town is the center of the city and a place I am certain you will spend most of your time. It is the most important part of Lublin, a cultural monument of Poland, and certainly one of the best things to do in Lublin. The Old Town, compared to Old Towns in other famous Polish Cities such as Warsaw, is mostly original, with 70% of building having survived wars and history to remain today. Additionally, this Old Town is packed into a small area on top of a hill in Lublin, making it stand out and making a walk through it a cozy experience. These two things make a trip to the Old Town a must.
There are many sights of historical significance with the Old Town, some which merit their own spot later this list. If you enter the Old Town via the south like many tourists, you will arrive through the Cracow Gate, a 14th century Gothic style gate that looks like the landmark St. Florian’s Gate in Kraków. It is a perfect place for a photo as you enter.
Then, the streets become narrow. One such street is Ulica Ku Farze, once forgotten and bricked up, but given new life after WWII, and featured in a famous Polish documentary. Nearby you will find Plac Po Farze, the former sight of a cathedral that was destroyed, and is now currently occupied by the remaining foundation pieces, where one can walk, sit, or snap a picture of the nearby sights.
Of course, the center of everything is the Rynek, the market square with its beautiful, restored Crown Tribunal building. When I was there, a wedding photoshoot was happening, and this is a place where you want to get photos too. There are many beautiful colorful houses on the Rynek, and its small cozy feel is a joy. From the Rynek, you can take any number of alleys to explore the rest of the Old Town. It may be small, but do not be deceived, the Lublin Old Town is one of the best in Poland, and certainly one of the best things to do in Lublin.
Costs: Walking around the Old Town is entirely free. Some of the activities that cost money in the Old Town will be covered later as separate entries on this list.
Hours: The Old Town is open at all hours of the day. It is least busy earlier in the morning and later at night, although there will still be a decent number of people at night at some of the bars in the Old Town.
Transit Information: There are a few bus stops around the Old Town. The stops entitled Brama Krakowska are south of the Old Town, with many buses leaving almost anywhere in the entire city from here. Otherwise, there are quite a few buses that also arrive north of the Old Town next to the central bus station. Here you will also find the main car park for the Old Town, at Plac Zamkowy. Overall, the Old Town is directly in the center of the city, and is easily accessible by bus, and should be within walking distance of most hotels or other lodgings you might stay at.
2. Admire the Lublin Castle
Description: Visiting the medieval Lublin Castle should be high on your list of things to do in Lublin. It sits prominently on a hill looking across to the Old Town. The castle is centered around the tower, a stone keep built and surviving from the 13th century. The castle has survived since then in various forms, with a church added with beautiful frescoes later in history. These two pieces of the castle make up the main part of sightseeing here, and it is even free to walk around the grounds and take pictures.
If you want to go inside and learn some history, for example about how it was a prison for over a century, including during WWII, you can visit the branch of the National Museum of Poland inside the castle, an offspring of the fantastic museum in Warsaw. Here you will find paintings from many centuries and styles of art, relics from ancient eras, and information about the history of Lublin and the surrounding area. If you are into history and art, Lublin castle should be your number one on the list of things to do in Lublin.
Costs: A ticket to all the permanent exhibits costs 20 PLN/15 PLN reduced. If you want to go into the chapel, a ticket costs 15 PLN/10 PLN reduced. To climb the viewing tower, tickets cost 10 PLN/8 PLN reduced. If you would like to spend more time at the castle and do all three, a combined ticket costs 40 PLN/30 PLN reduced. Tickets can be bought in advance online, but unless you are going on a weekend in the summer or have an exact specific time you want to visit, this should not be necessary. You can also just walk around the grounds for free.
Hours: All the castle exhibits are open Tuesday to Sunday. The chapel and castle tower are also open on Mondays. The hours change depending on the season, but range somewhere between 9 AM and 7 PM throughout the year but check the website for up-to-date hours for your visit.
Transit Information: Like in the Old Town, you can park in Plac Zamkowy for a small fee, or for free at weekends. If you are already in the Old Town, you can just walk north across the elevated walkway to the castle. If you are arriving to the castle first, it is right across the street from the Bus Station, or alternatively you can arrive by city bus at the Bus Station bus stop, or at Tarasy Zamkowe to the east of the castle.
3. Visit the solemn State Museum of Majdanek
Description: The State Museum of Majdanek is not the first concentration camp that comes to mind when thinking of Poland (a sad statement indeed), but it is worth a visit if you are interested in reflecting on the horrors of WWII. This concentration camp was named after the district of Lublin where it was placed and has been a museum since soon after WWII ended. Lublin had a high population of Jews, and the surrounding region as well, so Majdanek was built by German Nazis to take in these Jews as part of the Holocaust. Over 150 thousand were sent to the camp, with over half killed during the war.
Today, you can come reflect on these tragedies in a quiet part of Lublin. There is a museum which includes a detailed history of what happened in the camp. There are additionally some monuments worth a visit for further reflection. Finally, you can also walk around the former grounds of the camp. It is a very solemn experience indeed, and a necessary part of understanding the history of Lublin if you can make it here.
Costs: Visiting the museum is entirely free. The only fees would be if you want to take a guided tour, with tours being available in Polish, English, or German.
Hours: The museum is open every day except Monday throughout the year, with the grounds being available for touring every day. The only exception is that the entire complex is closed between December 25th and January 2nd, and all national holidays. The hours change depending on the season, so check the website for the most up-to-date hours, but except them to generally be daylight hours. Also note that the last admission is an hour before closing time.
Transit Information: Majdanek does have parking available for a price. A car costs 10 PLN, a motorcycle 5 PLN, and a larger van (for those of you with large families) 25 PLN. There are also bus stops right outside the complex. Bus 158 takes you from near the Saxon Garden, and Bus 23 will take you from near Lublin Castle and the Old Town.
4. Learn at the Lublin Village Open Air Museum
Description: The Lublin Village Open Air Museum recreates what a village in the Lubelski region, and Poland as a whole, would have looked like a few centuries ago. The Museum is entirely outdoors, and covers a sprawling place, making it a fun place to explore, especially for children. As you wander the grounds, you will see a variety of traditional buildings, from farmhouses to a church still in use. The attention to detail is very high, with the replica houses even having the initials commonly painted on doorframes by priests during the celebration of Three King’s Day.
There is also lots of nice farmland to walk around, as well as a beautiful pond. You will even find some relaxed animal friends along the way, taking care of the grass. What this museum does not have is a ton of signage explaining everything. There are some limited signs, but not much information is provided. But honestly, this didn’t matter to me, I just enjoyed exploring, and I think you, and especially your kids, will too.
Costs: A ticket costs 25/15 PLN. Children under 7 are free. There are three ways to buy tickets. You can pay with cash or card at the museum desk on the same day. Or you can also buy your tickets directly from the ticket machine by the entrance only with a card. Finally, you can buy tickets ahead of time via card, and have them on your phone to enter.
Hours: The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from November until March, and daily the rest of the year. The museum always opens at 9 AM but closes at a different time depending on the season, so please check the website for when you are going. Also note that the last entry is 1 hour before closing.
Transit Information: This is one of the places in Lublin better reached by car. There is a free parking lot directly in front of the museum for people going to the museum. Turn onto ul. Agronomiczna to access it (I found it quite confusing). To get to the museum by bus, take Bus 20 to the Skansen bus stop, which takes about 15 minutes from the Saxon Garden, which is the closest bus stop to the Old Town (approximately a 10 minute walk).
5. Walk around the Lithuanian Square
Description: The Lithuanian Square is the modern center of Lublin, and certainly one of the best things to do in Lublin. A short walk from the Old Town, the Lithuanian Square gets busy during peak season, and is certainly one of the things to do in Lublin that you cannot skip. Poland and Lithuania have always had close ties, partially due to their shared history, when under the Union of Lublin, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was created. This square commemorates that prosperous time in Polish history.
There are three specific things related to the square worth a visit. The first is the Multimedia Fountain, Poland’s newest, which offers weekly shows throughout the summer, and runs daily without special shows. The second is the Vilnius-Lublin Portal, a unique feature you will not find anywhere else in Poland. It is a live webcam placed in a stone circle, with a live feed of a street in Vilnius. Here you can wave to real people over in Lithuania, a continued celebration of the kinship between Poland and Lithuania. Finally, you are going to want to walk up and down the attached Krakowskie Przedmieście. Like the one in Warsaw, it is home to shopping, restaurants, and more.
Costs: It is free to enjoy this area. Of course, you might pay money at one of the many restaurants in the area, but that is your choice.
Hours: The area is open 24/7. It will be busy around mealtimes, on weekends, and during performances of the Multimedia Fountain. But, in the offseason, it should be empty most of the time except in cases of special events that sometimes happen here.
Transit Information: The Lithuanian Square is an easy walk from the Old Town, so you should not need a bus to get there. But, if you are arriving to the Lithuanian Square from another part of the city, there are almost 10 different buses that stop at the Plac Litewski 01/02 bus stops from all parts of the city, including near Lublin Castle. For parking, you must pray that some street parking appears, or park in one of the paid lots nearby. But again, it is an easy 10-minute walk from the Old Town.
6. Climb the Trinitarian Tower
Description: If you are looking for a good view of Lublin, consider climbing the Trinitarian Tower. The tower is in the Old Town, at the south end. Climbing to the top gives you a perfect 360-degree panorama of the entire Old Town, and the rest of Lublin. There are great views of Lublin Castle, the Lithuanian Square, and other important sights in Lublin. The 60-meter (197 ft) tower is not an easy climb, with a narrow spiraling staircase most of the way up, with people going in both directions. But the views at the top are worth it and make it one of the best things to do in Lublin.
I would recommend going up the tower as early as you can, or after the sun sets if you can manage it depending on the time of year. I would also not recommend doing this tower when it is raining. While the view is great, there is no protection at the top, a fact I learned the hard way as it was pouring rain (as you can see in the picture). Admittedly, it usually closes in bad weather, but based on my experience, bad weather must be the worst rain you have ever seen. At least there is a nice café at the top where you can sit down and warm up with a cup of coffee.
Costs: Climbing to the top of the tower costs 10 PLN/8 PLN reduced.
Hours: The tower is open from Wednesday to Sunday. The hours vary by day. On Wednesdays and Thursdays the tower is open from 10 AM to 6 PM, on Fridays it is open from 2 PM To 9 PM, and on Saturdays and Sundays it is open from 12 PM to 8 PM. Note that the there is a daily 30-minute break midway through the day (check the website for the exact time) when the tower is closed. Also, the last admission is 30 minutes before closing, including the midday break, so there is an hour each day during opening hours when you cannot enter the tower.
Transit Information: Transit information for this is the same as for the Old Town, so check the information under that entry.
7. Go inside the Dominican Abbey
Description: Most Polish cities have a central place of worship found within their respective Old Towns. For Lublin, this is the Dominican Basilica and Monastery, and this means this is one of the things to do in Lublin you should not skip. The Basilica is a grand building found at the end of one of the many alleys of the Lublin Old Town. It was initially founded in 1342 and has lasted ever since. It has historical significance, as the dignitaries responsible for signing the union of Lublin had a large feast afterwards within the Monastery, and there are also some relics that are credited with saving Lublin from fire.
Whether you believe in miracles or not, this is a sight you must see. The interior has almost a dozen different chapels, all in 18th century styles, full of decadent statues, icons, paintings, and other religious figures. Like most Catholic churches, the roof is high, and the interior decadent. The Monastery takes a more reserved feel, and here you can appreciate an exhibit about the history of the Monastery and the treasures it holds. All in all, you should take a step inside since you will already be in the Old Town!
Costs: Visiting the Basilica and Monastery is completely free. However, there is the ability to give a small donation of what you want for seeing the Monastery especially.
Hours: The Basilica is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM, except during times when services are conducted. The Monastery is open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Transit Information: Transit information for this is the same as for the Old Town, so check the information under that entry.
8. Visit the Botanical Garden of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University
Description: If you are looking for another nice walk, consider a visit to the Botanical Gardens of UMCS. The garden was founded at the university’s start in 1946 and has been in its current place west of the city since 1958. In the gardens you will find many beautiful flowers to explore and walk through. But these gardens are deceivingly massive. As you work your way down the hill, you will find a variety of smaller gardens to explore, as well as some quiet forested paths to stroll down. Eventually, you will make it to the bottom of the hill, and find the garden’s pond, surrounded by leafy trees and a perfect spot for trees.
There are also a few other points of interest within the gardens. Firstly, there is the greenhouse, open on weekdays, a nice place to warm up on some of the colder days when the gardens are open, or just a nice place to learn something new. Additionally, you can view the interior of the manor house on site and take a step back in history. But, overall, the appeal of these gardens is indeed the gardens, and you should include this stop on important things to do in Lublin.
Costs: A regular ticket for just the gardens costs 14 PLN/9 PLN reduced. If you want to go into the manor, this costs 16 PLN/12 PLN reduced. Tickets can be purchased online in advance, but I would only recommend doing this during the summer season and during peak hours. On a Sunday in October, my girlfriend and I walked right in, with barely anyone but us in the gardens.
Hours: The list of hours for these gardens is one of the most extensive I have ever seen. Quite frankly, they change every month, and even all public holidays across the year do not have the same hours. However, the gardens are only open from sometime in mid-April (it depends on the weather) until the end of October. And the gardens do remain open 7 days per week, the hours just vary greatly. The greenhouse is only open from Monday to Friday, however.
Transit Information: This is another destination in Lublin easier reached by car, with a free parking lot with an extensive number of spots in front of the main entrance. If you want to arrive by bus, Bus 2 arrives near the gardens at Tarasowa from either Lublin Castle or Saxon Garden, or you can take Bus 7 from either Plac Wolności or the Saxon Gardens.
9. Learn some local history at Grodzka Gate-NN Theatre Center
Description: The Grodzka Gate is one of the most important places of historical significance in Lublin. Yet, most people walk beneath it on their way between Lublin Castle and the Old Town, and do not realize the history. The Grodzka Gate used to be the passage between the Jewish district and the Christian part of Lublin. Today, you will find the Grodzka Gate-NN Theatre Center inside, a mix of a museum and cultural center, that aims to preserve the memory of the past Jewish inhabitants of Lublin.
The main way you can do this is through visiting the exhibit inside the gate, entitled “Lublin: Memory of a Place.” It tells the history of the Jewish population of Lublin, and of the tragic events of WWII and the Holocaust that almost entirely wiped out the Jewish population in Lublin. If you want to know more, the center’s website offers a list of tourist routes you can follow self-guided, learning about history along the way. Altogether, the work done by the center is worthwhile, and certainly worth your time as one of the best things to do in Lublin.
Costs: Entering the center’s exhibit requires being led by a tour guide. In Polish, this costs 18 PLN/12 PLN reduced. In English, Russian, or German, this costs 35 PLN/30 PLN reduced. Taking the self-guided tours in the surrounding city is of course free. If you are coming with a large group, contact them in advance to set it up.
Hours: The center is open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM from Monday to Friday. As mentioned, entry does require a guide. There are specific entry times at 10 AM and 2 PM in Polish, and at 12 PM in English. If you want a tour outside those three specific times, or in German or Russian, contact them ahead of time.
Transit Information: Transit information for this is the same as for the Old Town, so check the information under that entry.
10. Admire the free Saxon Garden
Description: The Saxon Garden in Lublin is, like its sister in Warsaw, a great place to visit. However, this park has a completely different vibe. The park is very heavily shaded, so on a hot day, it is a great place to get some relief and respite from the sun. There are many places to sit and enjoy the shade. There are also places to grab a coffee, or an ice cream in the summer. The park’s beauty of course makes it very popular, so expect lots of people to be there with you, as well as many screaming birds above.
The park is full of duck-filled ponds, flower gardens, monuments, a nice playground, and other activities to enjoy. There is also a large field to the west of the park that is a nice place to enjoy a picnic. The other main activity in the park is attending a concert at the amphitheater in the gardens. The Culture Center in Lublin puts on concerts during the summer and other nice days, including some music festivals. Even without an event, the Saxon Garden in Lublin is one of the best things to do in Lublin, so do not skip a walk here.
Costs: The Saxon Garden is 100% free of charge when it is open. Poland does a great job of making its most beautiful landscapes publicly available and well-kept, and Lublin is no exception. One extra thing to note is NO DOGS or BIKES are allowed in the park to help keep the park pristine without charging for entry.
Hours: The gardens are supposed to be open 24/7. However, I would not trust that entirely, as some gates may be locked, if not all gates, during the night. The Saxon Gardens are not like all parks in that they have gates. So, go during daylight hours if you for sure want to go inside!
Transit Information: There is a long list of buses that stops at the Ogrod Saski bus stop right outside the park, including buses from near the Old Town and the Lithuanian Square. Or it is about a 20-minute walk from the Old Town, and the street there is very nice, so I recommend walking there. The bus ride is usually only 1 or 2 stops anyways. There is paid parking at the back of the gardens, which is on the north side, off ul. Stanisława Leszczyńskiego.
BONUS: Take a Day Trip
There are three cities within a day trip’s distance of Lublin that are worth visiting. If you are visiting Lublin and planning to spend at least one night there, consider adding a day trip to your itinerary. Depending on which other city in Poland you are going to, you can easily visit one of these cities on your way back to that city. However, this is mostly dependent on having a car, but it is possible to reach some by public transportation. There are specifically three cities near to Lublin that are worth a visit.
- Kazimierz Dolny: This is a charming village found on the banks of the Vistula River, the same river that flows through Warsaw. If you are driving to Lublin from Warsaw, visiting Kazimierz Dolny is a perfect stopping point. Here, you can walk along the banks of the river and enjoy a meal, admire the perfect town square, or climb one of the beautiful tree-covered hills surrounding the city to visit the Three Crosses or the Kazimierz Castle. All in all, to get a true European village experience, visit Kazimierz Dolny. It is easiest reached by car, or you can buy a bus ticket from Lublin.
- Zamość: Zamość is the largest city of the three by far. It is found not far from Lublin by train or car, in a farther southeastern corner of Poland than even Lublin. The main attraction and reason to visit Zamość is its stunning Old Town, which many consider the most beautiful in all of Poland. If it is good enough to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, consider visiting, especially since it is the easiest of the day trip cities from Lublin to reach without a car.
- Sandomierz: Sandomierz is another beautiful city found along the Vistula River, but south of Kazimierz Dolny, a city Sandomierz is often visited in tandem with. Like Zamość, the historical center and Old Town are why Sandomierz is worth a visit, as its Old Town is also stunningly beautiful, with buildings as old as the 13th century, landmark churches, and tenement houses. Sandomierz can also be reached easiest by bus from Lublin.
City Guide to Lublin
This next section holds some key information relevant to your planned trip to Lublin. You will find a short list of hotels and restaurants worth a visit when staying in Lublin, with some of the restaurants personally tested by my girlfriend and me. You will also find some information about how to get to Lublin, how to get around Lublin, and how long to stay in Lublin. Safe travel!
Best Hotels in Lublin
Lublin has lots of decently priced hotels spread throughout the city. Even budget options are within a reasonable distance of the city center. Of course, if you are looking for an even better deal than a hotel, there are many boutiques that work via Airbnb. My girlfriend and I stayed at one of these, a short 10-minute walk from the Old Town for around 200 PLN per night.
If you are a super budget traveler, there is Hostelworld approved hostel in Lublin, called Kujawska Rooms. However, privates are only available, for around 100 PLN per night, but this should be the cheapest price in the city. Unfortunately, you must stay 5 km (3 miles) from the city center to achieve this price, which is not worth it in my opinion. So, staying at an Airbnb would be your best bet.
Now, read about 5 of the best hotels in Lublin.
- IBB Grand Hotel Lublin: For a fancy stay in an upscale building found right next to the Lithuanian Square, this hotel has you covered. The interior is decadent, and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. The food and breakfast are fancy, and other amenities include terrace dining, and a spa. A room at this 4-star hotel will start from around 400 PLN in the offseason but expect quite a bit more during the summer.
- Hotel Alter: For the fanciest stay right in the heart of the Lublin Old Town, stay at Hotel Alter. Located steps from Lublin Castle via the Grodzka Gate, staying here is staying in style. With fancy rooms with rustic interiors, and access to a modern pool with a waterfall, everything you would expect of a 5-star boutique hotel will be achieved by staying at Hotel Alter. This fancy and convenient stay comes with a price tag, starting from 600 PLN in the offseason, and even more in the summer.
- Hotel Focus Lublin: If you are looking for a fancier hotel with a lower price tag, consider Hotel Focus Lublin. It is cheaper because it is found outside the city center a bit. But there is a consistent bus service to the city center within 15 minutes, and there is also a parking lot at this hotel. Here, you can get lavish exteriors, mini apartments and more, at a more budget price tag. During the offseason, prices start around 250 PLN per night.
- Ibis Styles Lublin Stare Miasto: Like most Ibis hotels, this one is a budget hotel found in a convenient location. You will get a basic hotel room, but this Ibis is higher class than other ones and is even in a brand-new building. The breakfast buffet looks especially nice. And, found just across the street from the Old Town, it could not be more convenient. Prices start from around 350 PLN in the offseason.
- Hotel Victoria: Hotel Victoria is another budget choice that still has a fancy feel but is found closer to the city center than Hotel Focus. Located a 5-minute bus ride from the Old Town, Hotel Victoria is in a charming neighborhood near many green spaces, including Park Ludowy. Rooms are modern with nice views if you are on a higher floor. You can also get some fine dining, and there is even a casino attached. Rooms start from 250 PLN in the offseason.
Best Restaurants in Lublin
Polish food is delicious, and Lublin has chances to try both local food and some international classics. My girlfriend and I enjoyed a few meals in our short time in the city, and I wished I had more time to try some more of the many lovely restaurants spread throughout the city. Most of the popular ones are in the city center, but there are some hidden outside the center worth a visit too. Read on to find out more about 5 of the best restaurants in Lublin.
- Pub U Szewca: Pub U Szewca is an Irish pub and restaurant. The interior makes you feel like you’re in Dublin instead of Lublin, with the walls covered in a bunch of random things. You can of course get your craft beers on tap including Guiness. But you can also get a lot of delicious food. I had the Country burger, full of vegetables, bacon, tangy cheese, and a good sauce. My girlfriend enjoyed the fish and chips. There are many other good options on the menu, and service is good to boot. Prices for entrees will be around 40 PLN.
- Restauracja Magia: For an extensive list of European classics in a fancy environment found in the main square of the Old Town, Magia has you covered. Here you can get all the classics you will find in Poland, from pierogi, to pasta, to pizza, with lots of vegetarian dishes also available. You will also find many delicious meat dishes, from duck to the Polish classic pork knuckle, as well as soups and salads, and delicious desserts. Main dishes start from 40 PLN.
- Mandragora żydowska: Having Jewish cuisine in a town that used to be a third Jewish before World War II, Mandragora will give you that chance. Also found on the main square in the Old Town, you can enjoy some Jewish classics, such as hummus, bagels, dumplings, soups, fish, and more. You can enjoy this meal inside a rustic interior set to look like the interior of a Jewish home, or out in their interior patio. Meals run between 30 and 50 PLN.
- Pelier Bistro: Pelier Bistro is a delightful breakfast spot found near the Lithuanian Square. We arrived shortly after opening on Sunday, and within 10 minutes, the entire restaurant was full. So, do yourself a favor and get a reservation, or get there early if you want to eat breakfast there. They have a menu full of delicious sandwiches and omelets, with both my girlfriend and me. I would recommend their full English breakfast, served in a delicious pretzel. In the evening, they serve entrees including tacos. Breakfasts cost around 20 PLN per person and up.
- Restauracja Zielony Talerzyk Lublin: If you are looking for vegan or vegetarian food to eat in a charming environment, Zielony Talerzyk, literally meaning green plate, is the place for you. Lublin aims to be like its close friend Warsaw in serving delicious meatless dishes. Here you can get vegetarian pierogi, delicious salads, and crepes, as well as many other delicious dishes. Entrees cost between 30 and 40 PLN.
How to Get to Lublin
I personally got to Lublin via rental car. I rented the car in Warsaw, and my girlfriend and I then drove the comfortable 90-minute drive via expressway to Lublin from Warsaw. However, you do not need a car to get to Lublin; however, it is a good choice if you want to take some of the day trips mentioned earlier, as these cities are more expensive or time-consuming to get to without a car. A car also makes it easier to reach some of those museums on the outskirts. Be warned that the drive to Lublin is full of people driving extremely fast, so do not choose this way unless you feel confident in yourself driving in a foreign country!
If you do not want to arrive by car, the typical options are still available. A train from Warsaw takes anywhere between 90 minutes to 2 hours and will be relatively low cost (it should not cost you more than around 15 euros each way depending on the day and time). However, Lublin is harder to get to by train if you are in Kraków, as most trains run through Warsaw, so you would have to take a train to Warsaw and then to Lublin, which would take almost 5 hours! In cases like these, it is better to take a bus, with there being frequent bus service between many Polish cities and Kraków.
If you are looking for the fanciest choice, consider flying to Lublin Airport. This airport is a small airport, serving less than 500 thousand people per year, that serves Lublin and the surrounding area. Within Poland, you can fly from Warsaw and Gdańsk! And it serves some international routes too! While most of the routes are summer routes to sunny resort destinations such as Antalya or Split, there are frequent flights with Ryan Air to London Luton, Dublin, and Milan Bergamo! While that is not too many options, it is a possibility if you are able. And the airport is served by trains and buses from the city center, so it is easy to get to and from.
How to Get Around Lublin
Lublin is an easy city to get around. There is good public transportation throughout the city and to the major points of interest, especially those on this list. For example, Bus 1 will take you directly from the main train station to the center of the Old Town. There are also frequent buses and regional trains from the airport too. Tickets are also affordable, with a single ticket costing 4.60 PLN, and a 24-hour ticket clocking in at 13.20 PLN. So, the bus is a good way to get around the city.
Lublin is also a better city to drive around then others in Poland. Paid parking is everywhere in the city, whether on the side of the streets, or in private lots. The main place to park in the city is Plac Zamkowy, right next to Lublin Castle and the Old Town. Parking here is free on the weekends, or available at a low cost per hour during the weekdays. Just make sure to get there early to snag a parking spot before the lot becomes full. Other sites in Lublin have free parking attached as well. You should overall have no problem driving around.
How Long to Stay in Lublin
I believe that if you really wanted to, you could treat Lublin as a day trip from Warsaw. With approximately 8 hours, you can leisurely see the entire city and a few of the extra spots outside the city center, and then spend another 3 hours getting to and from Warsaw to Lublin. If you want to really get to know the area and maybe take some day trips to nearby smaller cities in Poland, 2-3 nights would be sufficient. But a day is all you need; my girlfriend and I saw almost everything in about 24 hours.
Conclusions about the Best Things to Do in Lublin
So, Lublin is a charming city worth a visit, with there being many fun things to do in Lublin. Lublin supplies a perfect extra day to your itinerary if you are taking a trip to Warsaw or can supply some extra entertainment if you are doing a complete trip through Poland. The best part about Lublin is that it is relatively tourist-free, you should run mostly in Polish tourists when visiting the city. And, if you visit anytime other than in the summer, you should find even fewer tourists! All in all, these things make Lublin a great short stay in Poland, I recommend it fully.