A huge cut-out of Europe that ranges from the primeval forests of Belarus to the wooded hills of the Czech borderlands, Poland is an enthralling, intriguing, and historically rich corner of the continent. Its geography has given it a tough history, with invaders as diverse as Mongol hordes and Russian tank battalions. These days, those tumultuous times are chronicled in amazing cities like Warsaw and Krakow, where you can delve into WWII museums and wander cobbled old towns topped by 13th-century church spires. Meanwhile, the countryside remains bucolic and traditional, rising up with the craggy Tatra Mountains in the south and rolling across Masuria's grassland plains in the east. Cheap flights to Poland from Australia will usually involve a stopover or two, with the best deals on tickets often available during the European wintertime.
Delve into the UNESCO district of the Krakow Old Town, where smoky jazz bars hide in the basements and a vast urban square has haunting Gothic spires and medieval market halls.
The self-proclaimed Winter Capital of Poland sits in the Tatra Mountains, complete with ski fields and cozy little Carpathian chalets.
Poland has miles of beaches on the Baltic Sea. When the summer swings around, make for the Hel Peninsula and its dune-backed coastline.