About the region
Podlaskie voivodeship, with its capital in Białystok, is located in north-eastern Poland, borders on the east with Belarus, on the north-east with Lithuania, and on the Polish side with three voivodeships: Warmia-Masuria, Mazovia and Lublin.
- Slow incentive in Podlasie
It is a region for lovers of nature, the starry sky, peaceful life and tasty regional food. The perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience an adventure in the spirit of words. Slow incentive in Podlasie? A conference surrounded by nature? Why not. Podlaskie is an ideal location.
The capital of the region, Białystok, is the coat of arms of the magnate Branicki family, after which the Polish Versailles, a baroque palace and garden complex of the Branicki family – a royal residence, now belongs to the Medical University. On the sacred route of the city we will see, among others, the church of St. Spirit, the largest Orthodox Church in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. It boasts the highest iconostasis. In 2000, the main church was enriched with a chandelier that is unique on a global scale, i.e. a panicadillo; Catholic churches, the House of Prayer for Muslims and the former synagogue. The capital of Podlasie can be proud of a modern face of art. There can be found nearly 40 large-format murals on topics related to the region on the walls of the local buildings, such as: multiculturalism, tolerance, and nature. Undoubtedly, the symbol of the city has become the mural by the world-renowned artist Natalia Rak “Girl with a watering can”.
- Gate to the East
Podlasie is the “Gate to the East”, a multicultural land full of rivers, lakes and picturesque landscapes. In this most idyllic and least urbanized region, there are as many as four different national parks. The most famous is Białowieski with the last virgin forest in Europe, where the largest mammals of the old continent live, i.e. bisons. In addition to the Białowieża Primeval Forest, entered on the UNESCO list, there are also Biebrzański, Narwiański and Wigierski.
It is the perfect place to feel the atmosphere of the historical Republic of Poland, a kind of melting pot of cultures and religions. In this small area, today we encounter a real mosaic of religion, from the church, through churches, mosque and synagogue. Wooden huts with painted windows and flowered gardens will be complemented by the hospitality of the inhabitants, so characteristic of the eastern regions of Poland.
- In tsarist style
One of the most interesting hotels is the Hotel Apartamenty Carskie, which is characterized by unique architecture and an atmosphere reminiscent of a bygone era, and a picturesque location in the heart of the Białowieża Forest. It is housed in a beautifully restored water tower. Next to it, there is a wooden railway station building, which was built especially for Tsar Nicholas II. The station has recently been renovated in a style reminiscent of the times of Anna Karenina. Every detail – from antique furniture and paintings to photographs and windows – has been selected with great care. On site, you can relax in a traditional Russian sauna and enjoy delicious cuisine in the restaurant.
- In a multicultural capital
The region can boast a good hotel offer. Białystok remains the undoubted leader. On the list of hotels offered, among others:
- Hotel Royal & SPA 5*****
- Hotel Branicki 4****
- Best Western Cristal 4****
- Traugutta3 4****
- 3Trio 3***
- butikowy hotel Aristo 3***
- Hotel Ibis Styles 3***
- Hotel Esperanto 3***
- Silver 3***
- Centrum Konferencyjno- Bankietowe Titanic
- Klewinowo Hotel SPA
- Hotel Loft 1898 3***
- Close to the nature
Lovers of contact with nature can choose from facilities that, in addition to accommodation, will provide conference facilities or a wellness & spa area. Among them, we especially recommend:
- Hotel Żubrówka 4****
- Hotel Białowieski Conference,
- Wellness & SPA 3***
- Dwór Czarneckiego 3***
- Borowinowy Zdrój Wellness Spa & Conference 3***
- Lipowy Most Golf Park w Supraślu,
- Amber Bay & Aque Park Augustów.
Conference and business venues
Many hotels in Podlasie have extensive wellness & spa areas, with sports facilities, ensuring contact with nature. In Białystok, in addition to the hotels mentioned above, you can rent academic rooms at the Higher School of Public Administration as well as conference rooms and training rooms of the Science and Technology Park.
Substantive support is provided by the Podlasie Regional Tourist Organization.
Podlaskie is the most culinary exotic region in Poland. The local cuisine combines the influences of former mansions and palaces and simple peasant food based on potatoes and groats.
On the Podlasie Culinary Trail we can find Korycin cheese, armorilla soup, fried kites, brine, potato dumplings, potato cake and sękacz. In addition to potato pancakes or kartacze, the Podlasie table is dominated by fish like tench in cream, roach, and recently smelt – a tourist hit in Podlasie and Suwalki region. Fish caught in winter, literally from under the ice and fried whole, in deep fat, like French fries, sprinkled with lemon, they taste delicious.
- From a Tatar yurt
For those who would like to try Tatar cuisine, we recommend the Tatarska Jurta restaurant in Kruszyniany serving tartar dumplings – kibiny, pieremiacze, cebulniki, tartar dumplings or pierekaczewnik, a multi-layer cake with meat, cheese or apples.
- Farm cheese
Podlasie often called a milk region is famous for its delicious cheese. The award-winning Korycin cheese remains the undisputed king. It is a maturing cheese, delicious right after being produced “fresh”, and with time, during the maturation process, it acquires a new depth. Korycin cheese is perfectly combined with Polish wine, and the multitude of its versions (herbs, garlic, black cumin, and even apricots) reveal new horizons for oenologists. In addition to the Koryciński cheese, the region has been producing rennet ripening cheese from Wiżajny for over 100 years.
- Delicacy of Podlasie
Fantastic smoked meats are produced in Podlasie, especially for a long time, such as kindziuk and kumpiak. The herbal cucumbers from Crimea, allegedly admired by Napoleon, will be the perfect complement to cold cuts and cheeses.
- What’s for dessert?
Sweet dumplings, sękacz or regional, delicious, layered dough with the unappealing name of an “anthill”. The cake looks like a mound or a Christmas tree. The name of the anthill because the dough is sprinkled with poppy seeds and raisins, resembling ants.
- Holy Mountain of Grabarka
The holy place of Polish Orthodoxy. The mountain, surrounded by pine trees, is covered with a forest of thousands of crosses, erected for centuries to the present day by pilgrims who came here with a specific intention. They came to bow to the copy of the miraculous Iwierska Icon of the Mother of God with St. Mount Athos.
In Kruszyniany, you will learn about the history of Tatar culture in Poland. A wooden Tatar mosque in a characteristic green color still stands today. The village was awarded to Tatars – Muslims by King Jan III Sobieski himself. Their descendants live here to this day, alongside Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Behind the mosque is the Mizar, a Muslim cemetery.
- The Land of Open Shutters
The trail of picturesque villages with preserved wooden buildings. The most famous are Trześcianka, Soce and Puchły in the Narew valley. The unique ornamentation of the exquisitely decorated houses with colorful shutters refers to Russian folk architecture and is the perfect scenery for Instagram photos. Each village is a home to an Orthodox Church.
Gothic-Byzantine, defensive Monastery of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Mother of God. In the nearby Abbots’ Palace, there is the Icon Museum – an interactive museum of Eastern Christian religious art, presenting mainly Russian icons obtained by customs services on the eastern border of Poland.
Before the war, it was one of the largest centers of the Jewish population, its memory is kept in the walls of the Baroque synagogue, the second largest in Poland after Krakow.
- Natural treasures
The Białowieża Primeval Forest with its famous bisons, the Biebrza National Park – the largest in the country, named after the river is a mainstay of about 290k species of birds, but you can see moose in its natural habitat, roe deer, deer, hear wolves and lynxes. The ruins of the never-conquered Tsarist Osowiec Fortress are a military curiosity.
Wigry National Park, where you can see the Post-Camaldolese Monastery on Lake Wigry. Its former owners, camaldolese founded, among others Suwałki. Today, you can spend the night in the monks’ hermitage, take part in culinary workshops or calm-down stays there, or take a retreat.
Suwałki Landscape Park with the deepest in the country Lake Hańcza – a mecca for divers, the Narew National Park, which is best explored by sailing rivers and their backwaters.
An idea for incentives in Podlasie
Actively in the bosom of nature
- Water Sports
Rivers such as Bug, Biebrza, Narew, Czarna Hańcza and water ponds such as Lake Rajgrodzkie and Siemianówka Pond , meet the demand for water tourism. Canoeing trips combined with the unique experience of locking on the 19th-century Augustów Canal is what Podlasie can offer.
Przez Podlasie biegną: podlaski odcinek Wschodniego Szlaku Rowerowego Green Velo, oraz Białowieskiego Szlaku Transgranicznego. Aktywność połączona z obserwacją przyrody.
The original cuisine of the region is an invitation to all kinds of culinary activities. Making dumplings, preparing kartacze, facing the tradition while trying to create a modern version of the region’s cuisine, mushroom picking, a picnic in the bosom of nature based on regional cheese and cold cuts are just some of the many proposals.
- Unique attractions in the region
Animal watch in national parks; trolley ride; winter sleigh ride, campfire, bath in a hot tub.