The National Stadium in Warsaw was the stage for the start of the Euro today. The European Football Championship began with a big show and the first match between the Host Country Poland and former Champion Greece (2004) in the capital of Poland. Unfortunately the polish team was not able to win the very tight match but the chance to reach the Quarter-Finals is still there. After presenting the other Host Country Ukraine it's now time for an overview on Poland.
Poland is not that small as you might think: with a population of around 38 million people it is the 9th largest country in Europe and the sixth most populous member of the European Union. Due to the political problems that currently exist in the Ukraine and the fact that Poland is nowadays one of the most western oriented countries in eastern Europe 12 out of 14 national teams decided to have their team base in Poland (+ the team of Poland). Only the teams of Sweden and France chose Kiev and Donetsk as their home-base during the tournament (+ the team of Ukraine). But let's now focus on the sport and the sights to discover in Poland.
Martin P. Szymczak via Compfight
Located on the Vistula River, roughly 260 kilometres (160 mi) from the Baltic Sea and 300 kilometres (190 mi) from the Carpathian Mountains, Warsaw is with 1.7 million inhabitants the smaller capital compared to Kiev, the capital of the other host country.
Like most of the country Warsaw had to survive a number of Wars – most notably World War II where 80% of the city was destroyed. Nevertheless nowadays it is a global city and an important economic hub in Central Europe.
The National Stadium is the largest arena (58,500 seats) of the Championship in Poland and hosts 1 quarter-final and 1 semi-final beside the 3 group matches.
Travel Articles about Warsaw (Tips, Stories, Things to do)
- Warsaw: A City on the Rise (GoNomad)
- Warsaw, Poland Euro 2012 – Stadium of Passion (Mallory on Travel)
- The Ghosts of the Beautiful Game(Inside the Travel Lab)
- Euro 2012 travel guide: Warsaw (The Guardian)
- Warsaw: Travel tips by wikitravel
Simon Grubb via Compfight
With around 455.000 people Gdańsk is the largest city in the area of Northern Poland and has also a turbulent history – with periods of Polish rule, periods of German rule, and extensive self-rule, with two spells as a free city.
The Stadium of Gdańsk is named “PGE Arena” with 43,600 seats and will host 3 matches in Group C and 1 quarter-final.
Travel Articles about Gdańsk (Tips, Stories, Things to do)
- 5 free things to do in Gdansk, Poland, a city of ships, amber and history
- Poland 2: Gdańsk by iPhone
- Euro 2012 travel guide: Gdansk (The Guardian)
- Gdansk Fan Guide (Polish Guide)
- Gdansk: Travel tips by wikitravel
Olgierd Rudak via Compfight
Let me introduce you to the fourth largest city of the host country Poland: Wrocław, a very hospitable city due to the fact that it will also host FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship in 2014 and has been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2016.
With a capacity of 42,800 the stadium named Municipal Stadium will host 3 matches in Group A.
Travel Articles about Wrocław (Tips, Stories, Things to do)
- Euro 2012 travel guide: Wroclaw (The Guardian)
- Five Fun (Free!) Things to Do in Wroclaw, Poland (OfRevolt)
- Wroclaw: Travel tips by wikitravel
Logofag via Compfight
Like Lviv in the Ukraine, Poznán as number 4 on this list is a very ancient place – sometimes claimed to be the first capital of the kingdom of Poland. The town with a population of about 555.000 was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state.
The Municipal Stadium is the place where the ball rolls with 43,300 seats and will also host 3 matches in Group C.
Travel Articles about Poznań (Tips, Stories, Things to do)
- 10 Really Cheap Things to do in Poznan (Hostelbookers)
- Euro 2012 travel guide: Poznan (The Guardian)
- Poznań: Travel tips by wikitravel
More articles about Poland as a travel destination
- 6 Crazy Things to Do in Poland (Hostelbookers)
- Highlights, hints and tips when visiting Krakow (eurotribe)
- Paddling Poland: The Unexpected Beauty Of Poland's Vistula River (PHOTOS) (Huffington Post)
- Polish Guide
- Euro 2012: introducing Poland’s host cities (Lonely Planet)
That's it! Any further information you'd like to add?
Share your recommendations with the readers by adding a comment!