The capital of Poland, Warsaw, has moved fast with the times, and nowadays leftover Soviet showpieces mix with glittering glass towers and world-class bars. Rent a car to explore the Baltic coastline, maybe using the Hanseatic city of Gdansk as your base, or head to the opposite end of the country to hike the Tatra mountains.
While Poland is no longer the bargain bucket of yesteryear, it's still possible to make your zlotys go a long way. In Warsaw expect to be paying around £8 for a main course in a high-end restaurant and £2 for a lager, though these prices decline dramatically outside the capital. If you’re brave enough, try the ‘bigos’, a vile-smelling mash of meat, onion, cabbage and sauerkraut; keep some vodka on hand to wash it down.
For the full Scooby Doo experience, stay in haunted Reszel Castle, zamek-reszel.com, a creepy gothic masterpiece which sits on a craggy rock overlooking the medieval town of Reszel. Rooms have been designed by local sculptor Boleslaw Marschall with the apartments occupying brick turrets dating from the 15th century.
Wizz, EasyJet and Ryanair still land at a wide selection of Polish airports (flights take upwards of two hours from the UK). National carrier LOT flies to Warsaw and Krakow from Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Heathrow and Manchester.