If, by any chance, you are somwhere close to the border between Germany and Poland, somewhere on your way to Berlin lets’ say, there’s a place you should visit. Actually, it’s a town. Or a town separated by a river, which is a natural border between Poland and Germany, so technicaly there are two towns. German one: Bad Muskau. Polish one: Łęknica. What’s so special about them? One thing they share: Muskau Park. It’s separated by the Nysa river just like to towns are. Polish part has a huge park, which turns into a forest. German park has two castles and beautiful gardens. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? So what about cute bridges, beautiful views from hills and riding round on a bike you can rent? Even better.
If you’re driving A18, you should exit it in the direction of Trzebiel and Łęknica. Than go all the way to Łęknica and take the first turn to the city. It’s a bit tricky to find a way to the park itself, as signs are tiny, so it’s good to find it on a map or in your phone beforehand. Why should you go there from the Polish side? Well, because you’re getting free parking. It’s literally a field, but it has a parking sign. Go up the road until you see a small wooden building in front of you and the other one on your right side. The first one is the entrance to the park, the second one is an information center. You can buy a map (3 PLN) and ask for bike rental. Yes, rent a bike, you’ll thank me later.
Got your bike? Ok, let’s go. Riding through the forest, along the river, across beautiful bridges, along gravel paths, along lakes and beautiful flowers. And finally around the castle. Yes, you can ride your bike to the front doors of the castle. The castle is on the German side, go back to the Polish side to ride a bit through the hills, find yourself a nice bench with a view and have a picnic. Again, you’ll thank me later.
After visiting the Muskau Park head to Geopark. What is it? Basically it’s an old coal mine turned into a park. The mine destroyed the environment severely, but thanks to all the hard work it turned into a beautiful park with strangely colored lakes. They’re blue and red and purple inbetween and orange and brownish. That’s because of all the elements in the soil. When you walk on that red soil, there’s a David Bowie’s song playing in your head and you find yourself asking a very important question “is there life on Mars?”. It all feels so surreal. And it’s a nice walk, too. 5 km of a nice walk. Bring a bike with you, so it will get even better.
When? I bet spring is the best season to visit Muskau Park with all the flowers and trees blossoming. It must be amazing. Golden Polish autumn should be nice as well, with leaves turning golden.
For how long? One day is totally fine. We arrived at 11am and left at 7pm. So if you’re driving from Berlin to Wroclaw, that’s a great place to visit.
How much does it cost? Entrance to both Muskau Park and Geopark is free. Bike rental in Muskau Park is 10 PLN for 3 hours. Parking for both things is free (in Muskau Park from Polish side)
Where to eat? In Łęknica we went to Gospoda Mużakowska. Nice food, good price, my recommendation.
Important: if you have a chance to bring your own bike, do it. It will be useful in Geopark and you can’t rent a bike there.