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Białowieża National Park

Green, lush and mysterious, Białowieża National Park covers an area of about 105 sq km and is part of a bigger forest known as the Białowieża Forest (Puszcza Białowieska), which straddles the border between Poland and Belarus. Białowieża (byah-wo-vyeh-zhah) park is famous for two reasons. First, it's home to the European bison, the continent's largest land mammal.

Second, the park shelters what's considered to be Europe's largest swath of original lowland forest, known in Polish as puszcza (primeval forest). Much of the park has been undisturbed for centuries, leaving a fascinating mix of old- and new-growth forest. It's been designated both a Unesco World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve.

These days, the village of Białowieża is a popular summer weekend destination. People come mainly for the chance to hike, bike and, possibly, spot a bison (aside from the one on the label of a bottle of Żubr beer).

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Białowieża National Park.

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