The Polish resort town of Swinoujscie
The town of Swinoujscie, or in another transcription Swinoujscie, is a popular Polish resort located on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
Swinoujscie is a small resort town and port in western Poland, a few kilometers from the border with Germany. Swinoujscie is located in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, 50 km from Szczecin, the provincial capital. Swinoujscie lies on 44 islands, the largest of which are Wolin, Usedom and Karsibór. Between Wolin and Usedom flows the Swine River, which connects the waters of the Bay of Szczecin with the Baltic Sea.
The Świnoujście is part of what was once a single resort area, stretching from Kolobrzeg in the east to Greifswald in the west. At one time, this coast was considered the best place on the Baltic for beach holidays. Nowadays the resort area is divided between Poland and Germany, and Swinoujscie borders directly with the German resort of Albeck (the commune of Herringsdorf). For centuries Swinoujscie was a German town and was called Svinemünde. With the change of state affiliation the name of the town changed as well.
How to get to the city
There are many routes and ways to get to Swinoujscie. The main gateway to the resort is the city of Szczecin, located a few dozen kilometers from Swinoujscie. You can get to Swinoujscie by taking the S3 Szczecin – Swinoujscie freeway. From Szczecin you can get to Swinoujscie
- by train, trains leave every hour from 04:35 to 20:35, travel time – 1 hour 30 minutes, cost from 25 PLN;
- the bus from Szczecin bus station, departs every hour between 05:30 and 20:30, travel time – one hour and 30 minutes, price from 18 PLN
- cabs, starting at PLN 450.
Szczecin itself can be reached by train or bus from any major city in Poland, as well as German border towns and Berlin.
Another way to connect Swinoujscie with the outside world is by ferry. Ferry crossings connect this resort with ports in Denmark (Rønne) and Sweden (Trelleborg and Ystad). Estimated travel time is 6 to 7 hours. The cost begins at 600 PLN.
Climate and weather in Swinoujscie
The climate in Swinoujscie is a moderate maritime climate, with very mild winters and warm summers. Average annual fluctuations in the city are small, which has a positive effect on the health of local residents. Even in January, the average monthly temperature is positive, averaging +0.4 ° C, in July, the thermometer column shows +17.2 ° C. Temperature records are also low – only +34.4 ° C in summer and -23.6 ° C in winter months. Due to the coastal location and the influence of the Baltic the humidity in Swinoujscie is quite high – 80-90%. Precipitation falls evenly throughout the year, the rainiest month being July.
The seawater temperature usually does not exceed 20°C, so Swinoujscie is not comparable with the Mediterranean, much less tropical resorts by this index. However, of the Baltic resorts, Swinoujscie is one of the warmest.
When to go
First of all, Swinoujscie is not a sea resort, but a health resort. The abundance of sanatoriums and health resorts in the city area is explained by the presence of mineral springs and therapeutic mud in this area. Therefore you can go here all year round. If you want to combine medical procedures and sightseeing with beach revelry, the best time is the standard summer months and September.
The population of the city is about 42 thousand people. Today, the vast majority of the inhabitants of Swinoujscie are Polish by nationality, although until the 40s the majority were Germans. After World War II, the Poles from the eastern regions of Poland transferred to the USSR were resettled here.
Poland is not in the euro zone, so the national currency is the Polish zloty (PLN). It is most logical to travel to Swinoujscie with Euros because of the proximity of the city to the eurozone border. Exchange offices in Swinoujscie are mostly located in the tourist area – the central part of town and the waterfront area. However, the most favorable exchange rate is not in banks and exchange offices, but at the post office, where you can also easily change euros and dollars to zloty.
Where to Stay
Due to the fact that Swinoujscie is quite expensive for Poland resort, which has a therapeutic orientation, there are not enough inexpensive places to stay. So vacationers here are usually not accommodated in youth hostels, but in hotels, guest houses, apartments and sanatoriums.
The most famous treatment centers in Swinoujscie are Sobotka recovery center, sanatorium Swiatowid, Posejdon. Cheaper sanatoriums include Belweder, Polaris and others.
There is only one 5-star hotel in the city, the Radisson Blu Resort Swinoujscie. There is also one 4-star hotel called Interferie Medical Spa. There are quite a few 3-star hotels, some of them also have a health focus, while others are classical hotels.
The economy segment in Swinoujscie is represented by apartments, guest houses and a few hostels.
Prices for vacations
The cost of holidays in Swinoujscie and neighboring German resorts compare favorably to the Polish city. However, of the Polish vacation spots Swinoujscie is one of the most expensive. A hotel room costs from 400 PLN and a four star hotel from 650 PLN per night. Apartments and guest houses are a good deal cheaper – from 200 PLN to 350 PLN per night. A bed in a hostel is cheaper (around PLN 20), but due to the small number of hostels in Swinoujscie, they are short of room.
what to eat and where to stay
Like almost all Polish cities, cafes in Swinoujscie offer a good level of food and service and are reasonably priced. A dinner at a mid-level café for two will cost about 50 PLN, or even less. Despite being Polish, German cuisine is a prominent feature of the cafes and restaurants in Swinoujscie. This is due to the history of the city and the fact that German tourists are the main guests at this resort. So fans of traditional sausages and beer are sure to be happy here.
The coastal location makes Swinoujscie one of the centers of fish gastronomy in Poland. The tastiest Baltic fish, cooked in different ways, will please any gourmet. The most delicious fish soup is the traditional Pomeranian fish soup or, to put it simply, “ukha” (soup of soup).
There are many cafes, restaurants, bars and other catering facilities in Swinoujscie. The following places deserve the highest ratings and positive reviews:
- cafe and restaurant Mniammi (Baltic Park Alley, 1, next to the aqua park);
- Italian cuisine restaurant Toscana (ul. Marynarzhi, 2);
- Swinemünde restaurant (14 Promenada St.);
- Plażowa Cafe (Interfier Alley)
The small size of the city allows you to move around its central part on foot. However, for trips to the outskirts of the city it is better to use public transport, which in Swinoujscie is represented by buses. In total, there are 11 bus routes in the city (A, B and 2 to 10). A single ticket costs 2.6 PLN, a 12-ride ticket costs 24 PLN and monthly passes range from 84 PLN to 98 PLN. You can buy tickets at ticket booths, kiosks, and even some stores.
Another way to get around town is by cab. There are several taxi companies working in the city. The average cost of a ride is about 10 PLN. However, a bicycle rental service is also more convenient. The rental price is about 25 PLN for one bicycle a day.
The beach area of Swinoujscie stretches along the coast of the Baltic Sea from the German border in the west to the Wildlife Park in the east. The town beach of Swinoujscie is the only beach in Poland that has been awarded the Blue Flag for clean water and safe bathing. The width of the town beach in some places reaches 100 meters, the surface is sandy, the entrance to the water, like everywhere else on the Baltic Sea, is very gentle. So the beach of Swinoujscie is ideal for families and especially for children.
Sights of Swinoujscie
Since the founding of the city for centuries, Swinoujscie has been a German town, first as part of the Duchy of Pomerania, and since the 18th century as part of Prussia. After the Second World War Swinoujscie was handed over to Poland, just like the whole Pomerania. So almost all attractions of Swinoujscie are connected with its Germanic past.
Swinoujscie was one of the main ports of Prussia, so it is not surprising that the main symbol of the city is the lighthouse. The sea lighthouse of Swinoujscie reaches 65 m in height, making it one of the top 15 lighthouses in Europe. In addition, it is the highest lighthouse on the planet, built of brick. The modern structure was built in 1857 on the site of the old lighthouse. In 1945, during the retreat, the German commanders ordered to destroy the lighthouse, but the order was not carried out. Now the lighthouse is functioning, the light at the top of the tower lights up for 5 seconds, then goes out for 1 second. The lighthouse can be seen at a distance of 46 km out to sea. The structure is open to the public, and there is a small museum next to it. Address of the lighthouse: ul. Bunkrova 1. Working hours: 10:00 – 20:00. Cost of visit: 6 PLN.
Swinoujscie was not just a port, but also the “key” to the mouth of the Swine River, the Bay of Szczecin and the main city of the area, Stettin (now Szczecin). To protect the coast, several forts were built in the town, which have survived to this day. The most important of them are Gerhard Fort (1863), Fort Agnola (1858) and Zachodny Fort (1861). The fate of all fortresses was similar: heavily armed for the XIX century fortress in the XX century have lost their importance, in the years of the PRP the Soviet Navy was located there, and after the collapse of the Eastern bloc they were demilitarized. Now the Coastal Defense Museum and the Underground City Museum are open in Gerhard Fort, cost to visit: 30 PLN both museums, 17 PLN for one object. The museum’s address is at 2 Bunkrova Street. Opening hours: 09:30 – 19:00. The fortress is a museum dedicated to the history of the fortress. Tickets cost: 10 PLN. Opening hours: 10:00 – 15:00, from March to December, closed in January and February. Address: 158 Jahtova Street. The third interesting fortification of Swinoujscie is Fort Zakhodny, which has also been converted into a museum dedicated to its history. Museum schedule: 10:00 – 16:00 (November – March), 10:00 – 17:00 (April, October), 10:00 – 18:00 May, September, 10:00 – 20:00 (June – August). Ticket price: 10 PLN. Address: 8 Jachtowa Street.
The oldest church in Swinoujscie is the Church of Christ the King, a neo-Gothic cathedral built at the end of the 18th century. The temple is interesting not only for its exterior and interior decoration, but primarily for a model of a French corvette decorating its interior. The fact is that in Prussian coastal towns it was customary to decorate churches with ships. In the Church of Christ the King a model of a ship from the Napoleonic wars is hung on ropes under the arch of the nave. It used to be a Protestant church until World War II, but after the Germans were expelled from the city it was taken over by the Roman Catholic Church. The address of the church is Košelní sq. 1.
Another famous church of Swinoujscie is the Church of Our Lady of the Sea Star, which, as its name suggests, was a temple dedicated to sailors. It is the only ancient cathedral in the city, which was originally erected as a church for Catholics who migrated to Swinoujscie from the Polish-speaking area of Prussia. The church was built in the late 19th century in the Neo-Gothic style. The address of the church is ul. Piastovska 11.
Museum of Sea Fishing is housed in the oldest civilian building of Swinoujscie – City Hall. The building was erected in the early 19th century in the neoclassical style. After Swinoujscie became part of Poland, the Fisheries Museum was opened there, which is devoted not only to fishing, but also to the richness of the Baltic Sea, including amber and the history of the city. Museum address: Rybaka square, 1. Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00. Tickets cost 7 PLN.
things to do on vacation
Because Swinoujscie is a therapeutic rather than seaside resort, you can do a lot of things for your health. In Swinoujscie you can receive treatment for:
- circulatory system diseases;
- locomotor system diseases and injuries;
- skin diseases;
- Gastrointestinal diseases.
When traveling to this resort, you should definitely experience the usefulness of the local therapeutic mud and taste the mineral water from the healing springs.
For those who are interested in entertainment rather than improving their health, the resort offers plenty of activities. The Baltic Park Molo water park is located right on the coast in the beach area and belongs to one of the local hotels. The rides at the water park are classic: water slides, sauna and Jacuzzi area, surfer wave and much more. The water park is located at Baltic Park Ave. 4.
Baltic winds allow you to have active entertainment in the sea. Here you can go surfing, kitesurfing or skimboarding. As an alternative, you can go sailing on the waves of the Baltic Sea or the waters of the Szczecin Gulf. Or you can just watch the sea, because on the whole coast of Swinoujscie there are special zones with benches.
Nature lovers will also find it interesting to visit the 110 km2 Wolin National Park, located close to the town. Despite its coastal location, the park is more than 100 meters above sea level, as its banks are steeply sloping on the coast. In the park you should visit the reserve, where the bison are bred. And you can get to the park by renting a bike or horseback riding.
Tips for the tourist
If you have a Schengen visa, nothing will prevent you from visiting neighboring Germany. You can get to the resort of Albeck by train, bus or just walk. Especially romantic is the walk between the two cities directly on the beach.
When riding around town on a rented bicycle, you need to stick to the bike lanes that are highlighted on almost every street in town. These lanes are never occupied by pedestrians, so it is safe for the cyclist and others to ride on them.
Holidays in Swinoujscie can be combined with a trip to neighboring Szczecin – a much larger and older city with a lot of attractions. You can get there by several modes of transport, but the most exciting of them – on a boat or a ship of “Rocket” class on the Bay of Szczecin. You can also take a boat ride on the Baltic Sea, including the German coast.
Due to the fact that the city is located next to a national park, you should not be surprised if you meet representatives of wild fauna in the streets of Swinoujscie. Animals are indeed plentiful in the area and sometimes they come into town. Therefore, even on the main streets of the resort there are signs that prohibit feeding wild boars.
Swinoujscie is one of the main resorts on the Polish Baltic Sea coast, offering the same range of services and attractions as the neighboring German resorts, but for much less money. Despite its health orientation, it is also suitable for lovers of family vacations and active entertainment.
Swinoujscie, Poland: photos, attractions, weather, tourists reviews
Swinoujscie (Poland) is a seaside resort located on the Baltic coast. The town was founded in the second half of the 12th century. Today it is home to nearly 42,000 people. Its unique geographical location, curative climate and the abundance of attractions attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Świnoujście is a town in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland, nestled on the banks of the Świna River. It is located on three islands: Wolin, Karsibór and Uznam. The last of these islands is divided by the Polish-German border.
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It is the westernmost city in Poland. The history of Swinoujscie dates back to the end of the 12th century.
Already at that time there was a powerful fortress here. In 1290 Duke Barnim of Pomerania founded a ferry crossing of the Swina River. A little later there appeared a pilot station and a customs office. The origin of the name of the town is inseparably linked with its geographical location at the mouth of the Svina river.
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For a long time this settlement belonged to Prussia. In 1945, according to the Potsdam Agreement, the city finally passed to Poland. Swinoujscie is an important transportation hub of its country.
There is a large sea port, a shipyard, a terminal for receiving and subsequent regasification of natural gas.
Climate and weather in Swinoujscie
Poland is a humid, rainy and relatively cool country. This is especially felt on its northern coast. Compared to other regions of Poland, Swinoujscie is not characterized by large temperature variations. The proximity of the ocean and the sea air masses contribute to a milder climate here.
During the winter months, temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Snow falls in Swinoujscie mostly in February. The average temperature of the hottest month of the year July is +18 degrees. The highest temperature recorded in Swinoujscie was +36.8 degrees.
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During the year here falls up to 600 millimeters of precipitation.
Every year up to 3.5 million tourists come to Swinoujscie. These are mainly lovers of measured spa and recreational activities in the summer. The northern part of the town is a succession of hotels, villas, apartments, sanatoriums with beaches and all the necessary resort infrastructure.
Swinoujscie has been a seaside resort in Poland since the first half of the 19th century. Already in 1824 there was laid a beautiful park. In 1897 the sources of curative salt waters were found near the town. Since then, the town has been known as a balneological health resort. Today, recreational and health resort town enterprises year-round offer vacationers more than 60 kinds of different treatments.
Reviews about Swinoujscie in Poland are exceptionally positive. The beaches are large and clean. It is separated from the city by a wall of pine forest, which exudes divine scents in the summer. All beaches are equipped with deck chairs, awnings, summer cafes, attractions and lifeguard stations. The shallow depth and smooth flat bottom makes swimming in Swinoujscie safe and maximally comfortable.
The main therapeutic factors of this resort are:
- Mild maritime climate.
- The presence of healing mud on the coast.
- Sources of natural mineral waters rich in iodine and bromine.
Sanatorium treatment is recommended for people suffering from cardio-vascular and respiratory system diseases, as well as diseases and disorders of musculoskeletal apparatus.
Main attractions and entertainment
Tourists find the city of Swinoujscie in Poland unusually beautiful. Photos of its sights, streets and squares confirm this. There are not only health resorts, but also entertainment for all tastes: a large water park, oceanarium, amusement park, yacht club. In the central part of the city has a large number of cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.
In addition, the city has preserved many historical, cultural, engineering and architectural monuments. The most popular and interesting sights in Swinoujscie (Poland):
- Sea Lighthouse.
- Lighthouse-mill Stawa Mlyny.
- Gerhard Fort.
- Fort Agnola.
- Fort Zahodni.
- The Church of Christ the King.
- Church of the Virgin Mary of the Sea Star.
- The resort park.
- Fisheries Museum.
Lighthouse of the Sea
From almost anywhere in the city you can see its main attraction – the lighthouse, because its height is 65 meters. It is the highest lighthouse not only in Poland, but also in the whole Baltic region. It was built at the mouth of Swina in 1857. Light from it can be seen at a distance of up to 46 kilometers.
Another lighthouse is located on a spit, reaching into the sea. Its size is more modest, only 10 meters in height. However, this lighthouse-mill is the most popular among tourists. Its image often adorns postcards and brochures about Swinoujscie.
The Prussian era left behind a system of fortifications. Of the four brick forts built in the mid XIX century, designed by engineer Leopold Ludwig Brese, three have survived. The largest of them is Gerhard Fort. It is located on Wolin Island near the old lighthouse. It is one of the best preserved coastal forts in Europe. Originally it was designed for a garrison of 300 soldiers.
In 2010 a historical museum was opened in Gerhard Fort. It exhibits military guns, various documents, old maps and valuable photographs.
Church of Christ the King
Swinoujscie is also famous for its magnificent sacral monuments. The oldest church here was built in 1792. The place was chosen in the center of the city. In 1881, a tall and sharp tower was erected above it, which today dominates the entire historical core of Swinoujscie. From the beginning of the 19th century to the present day, organ concerts have been held in the Church of Christ the King. But the main highlight of the church is a model of an old French corvette. It is suspended on ropes under the arch of the central nave.
In the city there is another interesting church with a rather unusual name – the Most Holy Virgin of the Sea Star. It is known for its magnificent stained glass windows and original furniture of the 19th century. There is also a curious mosaic above the portal. It depicts the Virgin Mary with Jesus, sailing in a small boat in the middle of a fierce ocean. Above the mosaic is a Latin inscription, “Long live the Star of the Sea!” The Virgin Mary used to be called the Star of the Sea, as she often guided straying sailors to shore.
The park in Swinoujscie was laid out in the early 19th century on an area of 60 hectares. At that time the town was rapidly developing. A talented Prussian gardener Peter Lehne managed the lay-out of the park. In 1827 the first thousand seedlings were planted there.
In the resort park is dominated by beech trees, oaks, chestnuts and elms. There are also exotics – yews, sycamores and Crimean lindens. There are good recreation facilities in the park, including sports grounds, bicycle paths, camping and tennis courts.
Museum of Sea Fishing
The city, located on the islands of the Baltic Sea, has never lacked for fish. Sea Fisheries Museum is located in the town hall, built at the beginning of the century before last.
Its permanent exhibition tells about the history of exploration of the city, the fauna of the Baltic Sea, and the tools and equipment that were used to catch fish in ancient times.
The museum also has a collection of amber articles. A separate exhibition introduces visitors to the magical world of coral reefs.
All who have been to this resort, reviews about it leave only good. Noted merits: