Sitting Pretty In Poland

The biggest new country to join the E.U. leaves its dowdy image behind

Rudi Froese / Anzenberger

Construction in Warsaw's city center, Poland.

To anyone who has not yet visited Poland, the country can conjure up grainy images of World War II, Nazi occupation and drab, communist-era decay. Though it's 15 years since the Soviet tanks left, the country has yet to shake that reputation. That's a shame: Poland may be the most underappreciated destination in Europe. From the meticulously reconstructed old square in Warsaw to medieval Cracow and the white sand beaches of the Baltic, the country boasts some of Central Europe's most unexpected pleasures. Poland is preparing to join the European Union in May, and Poles hope the higher profile that comes...

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