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About Białystok


The history of Białystok is several centuries old. It is a city of a cultural borderland, therefore it is exceptionally picturesque, diverse and somewhat mysterious. Back then in the past it was the same as it is today. The specific character of Białystok has been shaped in an atmosphere within many nationalities, religions, cultures, customs and traditions have been able to coexists.

The city has always been the home of Poles, Belarussians, Jews, Lithuanians, Germans, and Tatars, what was one of reason for Ludwik Zamenhoff to create the universal world language – Esperanto. Białystok is the biggest city of the north-east Poland. It is also the capital of the province called the Podlaskie Voivodship. The present population of Białystok is almost 300 thousand inhabitants. It is the administrative, economic, scientific and cultural centre of this part of the country which is called the Green Lungs of Poland owing to extraordinary treasure of its natural environment.

Many people treats Białystok as a base from where can explore the wilderness of the Białowieska Primeval Forest, the marshes of the Biebrza river valley, the many charming towns and villages and quiet spots of the region of Podlasie.


The distance from Warsaw to Białystok is only 188 km, while only 54 km separates Białystok from the border with Belarus. The city’s close location to the neighbouring states of Belarus, Lithuania and Russia, together with the convenient motor and railroad links, make this place an ideal one for the development of economic and cultural contacts with the countries of both Western and Eastern Europe.

For further information about Białystok, see:

Getting to Białystok

To go to Białystok from Warsaw Airport (Lotnisko Okęcie) you either take bus or train, but we rather recommend you to take the train, because timetables are more flexible and trains depart quite often to Białystok. To go from the airport to the main train station in Warsaw (Warszawa Centralna), you can take taxi or go by bus. Taxis in Warsaw are very expensive, so the best option is taking bus. You can take bus number 175. The journey to Białystok takes more or less 2 and a half hours.

City life


Białystok is the seat of many cultural institutions, associations of culture promotion and artist unions.

The local philharmonic plays host to many outstanding performers from Poland and abroad. Festivals, such as the Modern Arts Day, Autumn with the Blues or the Cathedral Organ Concerts are notable events in the life of the city. The courtyard of the old town hall is the place of summer performances of actors, folk bands and other musicians playing various types of music, from the blues to classical. The Theatre’s repertoire includes plays for adult viewers as well. The “Arsenal” city gallery, presenting modern art, including performance art and fine art, events promotes professional artistic creations. Shopping is easy in Białystok. The town center is a place of many boutiques and large stores offering national and international brands. There are also several hypermarkets, like for example “Auchan” and “Makro”. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

Other cultural institutions are:

  • Cinemas; there are four in Białystok: “Pokój”, “Ton”, “Syrena” and “Forum” presenting films from all over the world.
  • Some Museums are: the National Museum in Białystok – Ratusz, the Sculpture Museum of Alfons Karny, the History Museum, the Military Museum. There are also interesting museums around Białystok, for example: in Tykocin, in Bielsk Podlaski, in Choroszcz, in Supraśl,
  • Bars, pubs, discos: Białystok has a wide variety of pubs and cafes, with any kind of styles and they serve all kind of beverages. The standard price of a beer is about 5 zloty. Most of the pubs are located in the centre of the city.

City transport

The city transportation network in Białystok is well developed. The buses are known for their punctuality. Tickets can be purchased in all newstands and kiosks. There are many taxi companies in the city, and taxi fees are rather cheap. Some taxi telephone numbers are: 744 44 44, 9626, among others.

Sports and leisure

Białystok is a very green city, with many parks (including a zoo), forests and squares. Due to the lack of heavy industry, the air is clean and walking through the streets is a real pleasure. If you like sports, you can find in Białystok tennis courts, a lot of fitness clubs and gyms, horseback riding clubs, ice skating rink, swimming pools, etc.

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