Lublin is the largest city in southeastern Poland, with a thriving cultural and academic scene. That said, it’s not a looker. Lublin was ravaged during WWII and the forced industrialisation of the communist period added insult to injury. Nevertheless, the city’s historic core, the Rynek, is slowly being gentrified, and trendy clubs and restaurants are giving new lustre to the old town's impressive stock of Renaissance and baroque town houses.
Lublin is of special interest to travellers seeking Poland’s Jewish past. For centuries the city was a leading centre of Jewish scholarship, giving rise to Lublin’s nickname the ‘Jewish Oxford’. That heritage came to a brutal end in WWII, but here and there you can still find traces.