Poland is not just Warsaw and Krakow, there is a lot more to see! Some of the best places are true hidden gems but they are very easy to reach!
Some this places are Bydgoszsz, Torun, Lodz and Poznan, each city has a special charm, and even if they are not so famous as Krakow, it doesn't mean they lack a strong turistical network, because some of them are visited every year by thousands of locals.
The easiest way to reach any of this places is from Warsaw, reachable by Polskibus, and again, use Polskibus.com to book your ticket to each city, why Polskibus? Because is not only the cheapest way (if u book it with enought time) but also the easier to organize since you just need a code and not a printed ticket, and there are a lot of buses doing the same route everyday. Just pay attention to the bus stops (check them in google maps) and remember that there are two Polskibus stops in Warsaw: Mlocyny and Wilanowska, reachable by metro, but far from each other.
For some people this is the ugliest city in Poland, but for almost every friend who came here, it surprised them with its special charm. The city is one of the main industrial hubs of the country and in the past used to be even more important, keeping a lot of red brick factories open for tourist. You can see it all in one day, but I recomend to see it in the afternoon and spend a night to keep seeing it in the morning, since sleeping is really cheap here.
The main place where you should be hosted is around the Piotrowska street, a very beautiful and long pedestrian street, most buildings are renovated and doesn't envy those in Viena, making this street one of the most beautiful ones in Poland. Here you can find many shops and places to eat and drink, as well as the tourist information, but what makes this city unique is not in this street, it's that you have the oportunity to see old industrial complexes mixing with XXI century like in Manufaktura, a huge old factory now hosting museums, cinemas and restaurants. In the city map, all those old factories are marked, you should not miss the old mill and the textile factory since they really look from the end of XIX century (actually they are).
In one corner of the city there is also the Jewish Cementery, build to bury the victims of the Holocaust, and just close to it is the Radegast train station, where the trains to concentration camps were departing.
Also, Lodz is cheaper than Krakow and Warsaw, so don't miss this oportunity and go to a proper Polish restaurant and try a lot of beers in one of the several breweries the city has.
One of the most beautiful cities in Poland, well preserved and full of student life. This city has a more serious feeling as it's in fact a important city for the country.
Here the Polskibus leaves you kinda in the middle of nowhere, don't panic, take a tram to the train station Dworzec Glowny and once there look for one to cross the bridge and go to your area in the city centre, and if your place is close to the university you can simply walk. When you will depart from Poznan, you don't need to go again to that far away parking in the outskirts, the stop is in the Bus-Train station this time, and has a shopping centre to spend your waiting time.
The old town is like most of the Polish big cities, with a square shaped main square and colorful houses around as well as many beautiful churches. To visit it properly you should go to the tourist information, where there are some of the most skillful employees I have ever seen, they will make you a guide in a few minutes and will answer most of your questions.
The musical instrument museum is a must if you are interested in music, since it has a very big collection of all kind of instruments, some of them used by Chopin too, and a hidden secret: An Oscar awarded because of best sountrack.
As many old clocks in central Europe town halls, the one in the town hall has a special action, everyday at 12, two goats go out and clash their horns twelve times, later you can see them closely in the museum inside the town hall.
But the city centre is not just the old town, if you go to the east side you will see the oldest cathedral of Poland, just crossing the bridge, and if you go to the west side, you will be in the magnificent university district, which combines old architecture with modern art. Do not miss the Poznan university since the building is really unique.
In this city there are a lot of nice turistical places to eat and drink, but if you are looking for really cheap and good food go to the restaurant of Explorers hostel (Wszystkich Świętych 6), where you have a dish of pierogi for 8 PLN, and is just 2 minutes from the main square. Also if you want to party, there are several places to go since it's a student city, it even has a branch of the most famous discos: Pacha.
You should book your accomodation around the city centre, it doesn't need to be inside, can be around it since everything is easy to walk once you are in the old part, and the prices will be higher the closer you get to Ratusz.
Update 2016: I recommend the touristical restaurant: Wiejskie Jadło in the main square, also visit Park Citadela, and Manekin, a restaurant where you can eat 300 gram crepes for just 3 euro!!! Also Galeria Browar is a shopping centre you should consider visiting, since it's a huge restored beer factory.
This is probably the city with less things to do of the whole group, but it can be a calm destination if you are looking for a rest, or it can be seen in the morning in your way to Torun.
The bus leaves you on the other side of the river, you need to cross the bridge (follow the big red brick tower) to get to the old town, but remember the place since you will need to come there again to get the bus, if you need to keep busy while waiting for it, there is a mall just 100m from it.
As I said before, this town can be seen quite fast, like 3h but it has nice things to see. They have a very nice simple map, which highlights the main things to see, ask it in the tourist information in the main square. You should not miss the views from the water tower in the southern hill, or the mill island, since both places are sometimes overlooked. Around the main square there are some cozy streets and once you cross the main bridge (which has a very nice view) you will see a bigger kind of streets, more from the XIX century, there are some nice buildings and statues in this streets such as the statue to one of the mathematicians who broke the Enigma machine code, who was born here.
This town is the cheapest, since is not that turistical, you will see it in the prices. If you want something from other country, I recommend the Ukrania restaurant in Dluga street, the food is similar to the Polish one but the waitresses and the atmosphere is 100% Ukranian, which can be a nice change since probably you would have been eating Polish food for some days.
Torun is among my top 3 of beautiful cities in Poland, because instead of being a big XIX century city, it's more medieval, and has a lot of building still standing from that age, the old town is so cozy that you will believe that you are not living in XXI century anymore.
The bus stop is in one corner of the Old Town, so in 3 minutes you will be in the tourist area, if you arrive by night, check the map closely since many streets look similar.
Again your first stop should be the tourist information, because this city is full of museums an each person likes different things, I recomend to see Nicolas Copernicus house, to see how the famous Polish astronomic had his studio. Another interesting museum is on the main square, the house of exotic things, which has inside a wide variety of objects and furniture from all over the world, from a majestic stair, to a nice colection of chinese ceramic as well as a budist temple in the coutyard. A nice small museum is the Tony'Ego Halika exposition, which tells you the life of this famous cameraman who traveled the world with his camera in the XX century, and you can see his pictures and things he brought from his adventures. The city itself is so nice to walk, with so many towers and churches to see, also pay a visit to the old Teutonic castle, one of the first places where the people revolted against medieval lords.
There are a big amount of hostels and cozy hotels inside the old town walls, so I recomend to be located there (but it doesn't need to be in the main square).
As you can see, Poland has amazing places to see, not just Krakow and Warsaw, for me it's the best country to do tourism as student, since the infraestructure is perfect and the prices are affordable.
Dare to spend a month in this country and discover it all!
In this section you will find all you need to become a little expert in the guide place, without expending a lot!