Running an incredible 654.5 miles (1,053 kilometers) and traversing the entire length of the country, the Vistula River (Wisla) is Poland’s longest river, passing through both Warsaw and Krakow.
In Krakow, it’s possible to explore the riverfront on a bike tour or Segway tour, while Vistula River cruises leave from the wharf beneath Wawel Castle and afford magnificent views of the royal castle, the Wawel Dragon Statue, the Church of St. Stanislaus, and the old Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz.
Boat tours also run along the River Vistula in Warsaw, or you can hop off to explore the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or stroll around the atmospheric Vistula Boulevards.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring warm clothing if traveling on an open-air boat—it can get chilly, especially in the evening hours.
- Some boat cruises are wheelchair accessible.
- Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the many attractions and beautiful scenery you’ll see.
How to Get There
Originating on the slopes of the Beskidy Mountains in Southern Poland, the Vistula winds its way north through Krakow and Warsaw until it tips itself into the Baltic Sea in the Gdansk delta. In both Warsaw and Krakow, the river runs right through the heart of the city, and it’s easy to reach the riverfront on foot from many of the central attractions.
When to Get There
In Warsaw and Krakow, sightseeing cruises typically run between March and October.
Towns Along the Vistula River
In addition to Krakow and Warsaw, towns along the Vistula River include the UNESCO-listed medieval town of Toruń, where Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born; Kazimierz Dolny, known for its striking Renaissance architecture; and the hilltop town of Plock. The vast UNESCO-listed Gothic castle of Malbork lies on the Nogat river, the easternmost tributary of the Vistula, and in Gdansk there’s even a museum dedicated entirely to the river.