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Sitting in the northwest of Poland, Szczecin is a major seaport sitting on the southwestern shore of Dabie Lake straddling the Oder River near the Baltic Sea. It is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. With a hodgepodge history spanning back to the 8th Century, today the city is the administrative and industrial center of Polish Western Pomerania. It is home to the University of Szczecin, Pomeranian Medical University, Maritime University of Szczecin, West Pomeranian University of Technology and the Art Academy of Szczecin. The city is also the site of the headquarters of NATOs Multinational Corps Northeast.
A buzzing city due to the large number of students meandering its streets, there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants dotted around this town of mismatched muddling architecture from various eras. You can stumble across crumbling German-era art nouveau tenements and mansions plus derelict buildings and overgrown empty plots of land, then go head first into urbanscapes of modern glass and steel buildings. Apparently the government has given up on attempting to renovate its past and is now a slave to creating retail spaces down entire streets with little thought to its history.
There is however the renovated 19th Century Pomeranian Dukes' Castle sitting at the Chrobry Embankment to stroll around with its plethora of cafes and restaurants that the tourists haunt, plus the 14th Century St James Cathedral with its stained glass windows and jaw dropping views. The Gothic Old Town Hall is where you will find the National Museum's exhibitions on Szczecin's culture and history. The old town area has been nicknamed the "Brand New Old Town" by the locals and is the place to sit and sip espresso as the world passes you by. If you crave a breath of fresh air and to stretch your legs then head to the promenade on the Oder River and check out the port area.
If none of the above puts a smile on your face then grab a kayak and take in the Oder River via the water, or go to the Crooked Forest National Park via the train and put yourself in the middle of 400 very crooked trees.