When you decide to visit Poland I recommend and encourage you to pay a visit to my home city of Radom. Located in the Mazovian Plain, in central part of the country, it is a home to the biggest fruit orchards area in Europe. The city is situated conveniently hundred kilometres south of Warsaw, country's capital and the biggest city, and two hundred kilometres north of its former one, the place of magnificent architectural beauty and heritage – Krakow.
Radom has preserved medieval urban arrangement under city charter, unique in the country. For those interested in culture it has a rich offer ranging from the centrally located museum of Jacek Malczewski, famous XIX c. Polish painter of Symbolism style and that of Jan Kochanowski, one of the most renowned Polish poet of XVI c. Renaissance epoch, whose house has been preserved in a beautiful and picturesque village of Czarnolas (Blackwood).
Because Poland used to be culturally and religiously diverse country, the reminiscences of its former religious tolerance can be traced with ease in Radom. There is an unique opportunity to visit Orthodox church and a Jewish cemetery, as well as, of course, churches of Roman Catholic denomination. Probably the most spectacular of the latter is the Benedictine Church, just a short walk from the city's old town. This magnificent church, with spacious interior and stained glass windows, is adjacent to little park where monks used to grow vegetables.
The superb air quality due to little pollution and surrounding natural beauty serve the purpose of tourism perfectly. Because of that walking and bicycle tours are very popular and the nature trails are abundant.
Definitely not-to-be-missed is the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Oronsko (www.rzezba-oronsko.pl) – some fifteen kilometres southwards from Radom. Located in a breathtaking forest it houses specialists' workshops like metalworking (blacksmith works, milling, welding, sculpting tools), foundry (bronze models, furnaces and kiln), ceramic, stone cutting and woodworking. A stroll in the adjacent park, dotted with numerous sculptures and installations, will take you aback with its focal point - five-story high interactive installation of an ear created with hundreds of interlocking metal pipes which, once touched, transfer the sound upwards, creating various tones.
Museum of Rural Life in Radom (www.muzeum-radom.pl) will provide a glimpse into the past. Accessible conveniently by the city's public transport it is located in the tranquil broad-leaved forest on the city's outskirts. This heritage park boasts rich and rare collection of the traditional buildings that were dismantled at various original locations in Radom province and recreated at the present site, f therefore orming an unique combination of different architectural styles. One would be amazed with windmills, of which some are still fully equipped and, on request, can be explored form the inside, church with belfry and many manor buildings like manorial granary, hen house with dovecote, apiary, forge and many others.
Short drive from Radom there is a town called Kazimierz Dolny, a centre to Polish Bohemia and a architectural marvel in itself. It is popular destination for weekend breaks and short get-aways for families, the youth and the elderly alike. Town's central square, surrounded by gift shops selling folk handicraft and local artists' paintings and sculptures, is towered by a castle only a short, uphill hike away. From there, there is a breathtaking view of the town, nearby area famous for tobacco fields and biggest Polish river – Vistula. This is also where, on occasion, music concert take place. Kazimierz Dolny is a must in an itinerary of your visit in Poland.
City of Radom hosts biannual Air Show (next due 2013), the biggest such an event in Poland, where there is tens of air planes on display ranging from the early years of aviation all the way to state-of-art modern machines. The event is attended by hundred thousands of spectators from all over the world admiring air acrobatics of great complexity.
With cheerful and open to foreigners people, you will find yourself like at home with an ease. In the evening you will be glad to find vibrant music scene ranging from pop and reggae to rock and dubstep. Numerous clubs and bars offer a selection of styles and entertainment and you will be partying until early morning hours. To quench your thirst try locally brewed beer – Warka, named after the city where the brewery is located. Sampling local cuisine is also a must and you will be tasting mouthwatering pierogi (dumplings stuffed with meat, cabbage and mushrooms, quark – confusingly called Russian dumplings – or various fruits during spring and summer seasons) and a wide selection of delicious soups that Poland is famous for , as well as the bread that comes in numerous variations and tastes. However if you prefer to stick to Asian cuisine there is a great chance you will find it in Radom too, as there are Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants present.
Last but not least, it was rightly pointed to me, that one cannot miss kart racing (www.automobilklub.radom.pl). The track of such a quality is one of a few in Poland and compulsory for all seeking adrenaline boost.
It is of the utmost difficulty to present this beautiful place in a short article like this and I am certain that you will not regret a minute spend there and you will be coming for more, as Radom is a perfect base for exploration of Poland, a jewel in Central Europe.