Poznan, the capital of Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) and a bustling city of 600,000 people, is known mostly for its numerous annual trade fairs. Its tourism potentials are (mistakenly) underrated, hence during weekends, you don't have to jostle with crowds, reservations aren't required in most restaurants, and hotel rooms are available at reduced rates. The city works well as a base for exploring the Piast Route and is a vibrant business and academic hub.

Poznan has a history of prosperity that's directly attributable to its position along the main transportation routes and astride the Warta River. A fortified settlement has been located here as far back as the 9th century. It was a key settlement of the Piast Dynasty, which ruled Poland from the 10th to the 14th centuries. During the Prussian occupation, when the town was known as Posen, it became one of the region's leading industrial centers, a position it retains to this day. Poznan's prosperity is evident in the sheer size of the square and in the many handsome buildings that stretch out along it in all directions. The Old Market Square has been the city's cultural and commercial center for centuries. Although much of it, and the city proper, were destroyed in World War II, many of the buildings you see today are faithful reconstructions of the originals. Currently, as the city prepares to host matches during the Euro Cup 2012 Football Championship, more accommodation and food options have sprung up.