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If during your stay in Podlasie you decide on an afternoon escapade to a town with soul and atmosphere, we recommend the small town of Tykocin. The old, quiet settlement occupies a plain on the pleasantly meandering, wild Narew River, which in this section is perfect for kayaking. You will eat probably the best dumplings in the area and wander aimlessly between one-story houses with distinctive wooden verandas. Be sure to also check out the local synagogue, a beautiful monument to Polish-Jewish history and culture.

The market square in Tykocin is an unobvious marriage of elegance and provinciality. The town was favored by Polish kings, often staying in this area on their way to hunt in the Białowieża Forest or to Lithuania, which for centuries formed a common state with Poland. The town’s central square is enclosed by a graceful Baroque church. Right next door, at number 11, is Pierogarnia Tykocińska. There you will eat delicious pierogi – a much-loved Polish delicacy made of flour dough with stuffing, which most likely came here from distant China. Stuffed with cheese, cabbage and mushrooms or sweet, with berries or strawberries? The choice is yours!

But by far the most important monument of Tykocin is the old synagogue. Miraculously saved from the darkness of the Holocaust, it impresses with its original polychromy and unique aron-ha kodesh altar cabinet. It is the second largest Jewish temple in Poland. Walking through the historic interior, we can for a moment imagine a world where the tragedy of World War II never happened. Near the synagogue are a couple of eateries where you can sample traditional Polish-Jewish cuisine or contemporary delicacies from Israel – in season Tykocin is a destination frequented by Jews from all over the world.

Every first Sunday of the month, antique dealers from all over the Podlasie region come to the market in Tykocin. If you like folk touches at home and traditional handicrafts, try to combine your trip with a visit to the kiermus – as this is the name of the flea market in Tykocin. You will not regret it


Große Synagoge in Tykocin