Muszyna. Let this beautiful spa town surprise you
Muszyna is primarily a spa town, which makes it an ideal place for family holidays. It is worth taking an interest in the offer of spa parks and recently revitalised and developed green areas. One such place is the Antoni Jurczak Baszta Spa Park, located along Szczawniczek Creek. Holidaymakers find many attractions here. In the park, there are, among others, castle ruins, two mineral water pump rooms, outdoor gyms, a team games field, stone chess boards, and rest shelters. On hot days, you can even sunbathe and relax on the banks of the creek while enjoying the view of the picturesque cascades. More active visitors can take advantage of the charms of the cycling path and the hiking trail that connects to the green route leading to the nearby Jaworzyna, the highest peak in eastern Beskid Sądecki Mountains. Another spa park is Zapopradzie Park, with a walking trail along the river. This beautiful place invites visitors to stroll along alleys crossing picturesque ponds and paths decorated with antique-style sculptures, flowerbeds and fountains. The walk ends with a water-tasting session in the pump room.
Theme gardens: traditional and unusual
Besides the spa parks, Muszyna has plenty of places to relax in nature. The Sensory Gardens (the Gardens of the Senses), which relax and stimulate all the senses, are beautiful. For example, in the tasting area, you can try the fruits of plants of different varieties, while in the hearing area, gravel crunches under your feet and caresses your ears with the soothing sound of a stream. In the Sensory Gardens, a viewing tower offers a panoramic view of Muszyna and the picturesque surroundings, and the place is particularly magical at sunset. Undoubtedly, one of the most compelling curiosities to be visited is the Bible Gardens, whose exciting arrangement presents some of the most important biblical stories. The gardens feature compositions of plants from the pages of the Bible and that are found in Jerusalem or Palestine. The gardens are divided into five zones and relate to particular scenes and themes from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. For instance, one section is dedicated to the salvation story, and another is a garden of biblical landscapes. Interestingly located within the parish, it provides a place for contemplation, an encounter with nature and experiencing faith differently. Those seeking respite and moments of quiet reflection can spend time in the Magic Garden with relaxation ponds. The gardens were created on the model of ancient Greek gardens, and the vegetation is home to many exotic species of birds.
Mineral water pump rooms
Muszyna is a place rich in mineral water springs with a health-promoting composition. It is worth stopping for a while during a walk at the ‘Milusia’ mineral water pump room or the ‘Antoni’ water pump room. You can also sample the water in the Zapopradzie Spa Park. Those going for longer walks may use the seasonal ‘Wapienne’ and ‘Grunwald’ pump rooms. A bottle of healthy and mineral-rich water will be a perfect gift and souvenir from your trip.
Castle in Muszyna
It’s impossible to not notice the medieval castle from the 15th century while visiting Muszyna. Only fragments of the walls have survived, and the castle is still a place of archaeological research, so it is not open to the public. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort to climb Baszta Hill, as there is a stunning view of the Poprad Valley and Muszyna from the castle.
Charming town centre and local streets
Muszyna is a town where the historic urban layout has been preserved; the town centre has an irregular shape, determined by the roads – former trade routes – that cross here. The market square is surrounded by a network of streets that climb up the slopes of Malnik Mountain from the south. Interestingly, beneath the market square are the cellars of the former town hall, which will be open to the public in the future. The historic St. Florian and St. Jan Nepomucen Chapels are at the square as well. Also, the iconic ‘Szarotka’ cafe, serving delighted café-goers for almost 60 years, will be an important place for gourmands to take a break and try delicious coffee and homemade cake. A must-see curiosity is the historic complex of terraced residences of Muszyna’s burghers and haute-bourgeoisie on Kościelna Street. The houses – all characterised by a wooden front gate with a semi-circular lintel – are set parallel to the street and date to the turn of the 20th century.
The baroque 17th-century St. Joseph Church, with a bright façade and a tall tower, is a must-see, and inside it, you can admire Gothic sculptures.
For days with whimsical weather, a great way to spend some exciting time is to visit the Regional Museum of the State of Muszyna, which is located in a reconstructed historic inn from the 17th century. The ethnographic exhibition is devoted to the history of the region and covers the history of Muszyna beginning with the trade route to the State of Muszyna and the curiosities of Lemko and Jewish cultures, to the mysteries of the Orthodox Church. In the exhibition halls, visitors can see memorabilia that had belonged to the starosts, Muszyna burghers, Lemkos, and Jews who had lived there. A separate room is devoted to the work of self-taught native artists, with Nikifor's works at the forefront.
The Lemko, a distinct ethnic group, had once inhabited Muszyna and its surroundings. Many traces of their presence have survived and can be seen in many places in Muszyna and the surrounding area. It is worth paying attention to the tombstones and the numerous chapels whose architecture and design is characteristic of the Lemkos. The most remarkable traces of Lemkos' material culture are the Orthodox churches. Those who enjoy hiking and cycling can follow the trail of Orthodox churches; the ones closest to the town include those in Szczawnik, Złockie and Powroźnik. The churches are located on the Wooden Architecture Route. No visit to Muszyna is complete without partaking of the many specialties of the old-fashioned, time-honoured Lemko cuisine and of the local restaurant fare that draws its inspiration from traditional Lemko kitchens, such as the delicious saffron milk caps in butter and sour rye soup with pickled saffron milk caps.
Hiking and cycling trips
An original curiosity in the Muszyna area is mofettes, which resemble the bubbling springs of Iceland. These springs are cold and occur due to the escape of underground gases to the atmosphere above ground. The gas that escapes is mainly carbon dioxide, and it bubbles up on the surface of the wetlands. This is an excellent alternative for those who like active leisure; while in the vicinity of Złockie, you can visit ‘Bulgotka’ and ‘Dyszawka,’ and also get there by bike. The area around Muszyna is very attractive in terms of nature. Apart from hiking along the Beskid Sądecki trails, you can spend your free time actively on a bike. There are many picturesque and safe cycling routes in the area. You will thank yourself for taking the trouble to enjoy the charming surroundings, and the beautiful views will repay all your efforts biking and hiking through this spectacular countryside. Also noteworthy is the Poprad Landscape Park and its educational trail, and of course, you are invited to go rafting down the Poprad River.
The most information about the attractions of Muszyna and entireMałopolska can be found at: Tourist Information Centre Muszyna
The Tourist Information Centres are part of the Małopolska Tourist Information System (MSIT), providing the most necessary information on the Małopolska tourist attractions and cultural offers. They are in 30 places. Besides, MSIT covers the portal you are reading now and the VisitMałopolska mobile application. MSIT makes it easier to travel around Małopolska, find the most valuable but not always well-known sights and access the local attractions.