Difference between revisions of "Zielona Góra"
Revision as of 00:22, 18 January 2013
Zielona Góra  (German: Grünberg), is the capital city of the Lubuskie voidodeship, in west Poland. It is famous as the wine capital of Poland as well as the northernmost wine growing region in Europe. Each year, a film festival takes place in the summer and an important wine festival, Winobranie, in the fall.
Zielona Góra is a city in the historical region of Lower Silesia, which has a quite long and unusual history for a Polish city. It has been a big wine producer for a long time, and cultivation of grapes date back to the medieval times. The decline of its wine production started with the arrival of the railway, (when it was part of Germany) and it became quite cheap for Silesia to import wines from other wine producing regions. The industry changed its profile to produce other alcohols, such as sparkling wines, brandies, and others. Wine production finally came to an end with the coming of the communist era. The growing city absorbed the countryside, and the quality of wine produced here became disastrous, so people started buying other products, especially Hungarian and Bulgarian wines. The main wine producer went bankrupt in early '90s. The tradition however is triumphing once again with growing number of small wine producers in the Zielona Góra region, the revival of the tradition is encouraged by the city and region authorities. The local products can be bought during the annual wine festival in September.
Today Zielona Góra is a vibrant city full of young people because of its university. The city is also home to a couple of hi-tech companies. Even though it is a Silesian city, it is now the capital of the Lubuskie region. The city is also known for its cabarets (comical groups).
There is a national airport  4 km away from Babimost, a city close to Zielona Gora, with daily flights to Warsaw operated by the Sprint Air. Negotiations are being held to introduce some international flights within the European Union.
The railway station is situed east of the city centre, it is just a 10-minute walk from the old town. You can also take the bus or taxi to reach every place in the city. The taxi meter starts at PLN 6.00 with increments of PLN 1.20.
By train from Berlin
First, you have to travel to a city in the border with Poland.
From the cheapest to the most expensive, the options are:
Then take a train to Zielona Gora. Always check the time table in advance. Train osobowy is the cheapest, REGIO is slightly more expensive.
You can easily get to Zielona Gora by car from Wroclaw, Poznan and Szczecin. You can get there easily from Germany as well, via well-developed crossings at the border in Świecko, Gubin, Słubice, Gubinek, Łęknica, etc.
Zielona Góra has a good road infrastructure. Parking in the city centre can be a problem sometimes, since there are few parking places to satisfy the demand.
There are many domestic connections, sometimes faster and cheaper than the train.
There are over 30 lines that connect different points in the city and surroundings. Except for a few lines, the frequency is not good. Some buses run until around 11:00 pm, most until around 10:00 pm and buses like number 12 until around 4:00 pm. Some buses do not run on weekends (e.g., bus number 5, which goes to Auchan). There are three lines of night buses. The N2, for example, runs at around 5:30 on Sunday morning (very inconvenient if you go out on Saturday night!). There are two free lines that run daily: lines 55 and 77, going to Auchan and Tesco, respectively.
Tickets (as of April 2011) cost PLN 2.40, no matter how far you travel. There are discounts for students, children and senior citizens. All buses are eqquiped with ticket vending machines, which work only with coins. You must validate your ticket.
See the website of the municipal bus company for more information and time tables.
There are lots of taxis in Zielona Góra, they are easy to find and quite cheap. Always remember to choose the taxis belonging to one of the "corporations" i.e. one of the taxi companies, they are easy to identify as they are colourful with lots of adverts and always a specific phone number on the roof of the cab.
Prices: Taxi from the railway station to the University (4.5 km i.e. 3m) 11-13zł. Of course it is dearer at night or on the weekends.
Change your money at one of the many foreign exchange spots in the city or in the supermarkets Auchan and Tesco. It is better not to withdraw money from your bank account by the bank links as they will probably charge you an important commission. Also, do bargain with the teller at the foreign exchange - you may get a better rate.
As Zielona Góra is a city with university and full of young people, it is (should be) quite easy to find a place to eat.
There are a variety of choices from cheap takeaways to luxurious restaurants. The majority of the restaurants are located in the city centre, specifically in the old town. A good choice in Zielona Góra are the pizzerias, easy to find and cheap.
As a wine centre, wine should be worth trying. However, local beers seem to be more popular. Visit for example the local brewery Haust  close to the Old Town (pl. Pocztowy 9, closed on Mondays).
There are a few of hotels in and around the city center.