Explore Poland's vast mountain rages and beautiful lakes in your next vacation. Here is everything you need to plan your Poland adventure and experience of a lifetime.
How to fly to Poland:
Airports are situated in the vicinity of most of the largest cities in Poland. They are serviced by many international airline companies. Both international and domestic flights are available from airlines, amongst them LOT Polish Airlines. Many low budget airlines fly into Poland.
Around fifty cities in more than thirty countries maintain direct flight connections with the capital of Poland. Okecie Airport in Warsaw is a stop-over for around 25 airlines, among them British Airways, SAS, Air France and Lufthansa. Poland also has direct intercontinental flight connections with the USA, Canada and Israel.
Airports in Gdansk, Katowice, Szczecin, Poznan, Wroclaw and Krakow have international connections. There are also many airports in Poland which operate domestic flights.
Other Flight Connections:
The Frideric Chopin Airport at Okecie in Warsaw has connections with more than thirty countries, operated by 25 airlines, among them British Airways, SAS, Air France and Lufthansa.
Most of the Polish airports are also used for domestic flights.
Airports to fly into include:
• Szczecin- Goleniow
The Polish 'Zloty' (PLN), literally meaning "golden", is the currency of Poland.
The monetary unit [PLN] is also marked as [zl.]. 1 zloty is divided into 100 groszy [gr.] The banknotes come at 200, 100, 50 and 10 zloty, and coins in 5, 2 and 1 zloty, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 groszy.
Currency can be exchanged in banks or exchange counters (kantor).
The exchange rate for USD is around 4.00 PLN.
Polish, the official language of Poland, is the most spoken West Slavic language. It is used everyday by almost 40 million people in Poland and up to eight million Poles living outside the country.
Polish was once the lingua franca in parts of Central and Eastern Europe because of the political, cultural, scientific and military influence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Nearly 97% of Poland's citizens declare Polish as their mother tongue.
Polish is considered to be one of the more difficult languages to master by non-native speakers. Unlike English, Polish is pronounced phonetically. Once you understand where to break the word, and that the second-to-last syllable is always stressed, you'll do okay.
Medical emergencies can happen anywhere, even on vacation. It is a good idea to find out ahead of time what to expect if you need medical assistance in Poland for some reason.
Poland’s Medical Facilities
Medical facilities are available throughout the country, although those in bigger cities tend to have more staff and better equipment than those found in more rural areas. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding a doctor who speaks English but most of the other hospital staff might not. Larger facilities often have translators on hand to assist travelers. Americans will find that the cost of medical treatments in Poland is surprisingly cheap, but keep in mind that you will likely be expected to pay for your treatment in cash when you leave.
If you need over the counter medications for minor ailments such as headaches, you should have no problem finding them in pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores. Many of the more common prescription medications that Americans take can be found in pharmacies in Poland, but they might not bear the same brand name as their American counterparts. In any case, you should bring enough of your prescription medications to last the duration of your trip. It is also a good idea to bring a list that contains the names of your medications, their generic names, and the concentrations and dosages you take in case you need to replace them for some reason.
Poland’s Emergency Services
In the European Union, the number 112 is used as a general emergency number that can be dialed from any type of phone in any EU country, Poland included. You can also dial 999 for an ambulance or 998 if you need fire services while in Poland.
Check with your medical insurance provider to find out if your coverage extends to foreign hospitals and whether it covers foreign emergencies or medical evacuations. If not, it might be a good idea to purchase a separate traveler’s insurance for your trip.
Tipping in Poland is expected but not required. The amount depends on the quality of service and type of the establishment but the general rule is to tip around 10-15%. Keep in mind that when you hand back your check with cash payment and say “thank you”, it could be interpreted as an indication that you don’t want your change back. Thank you waiter after the check is all settled.
Airports are situated in the vicinity of most of the largest cities in Poland. They are serviced by many international airline companies. Both international and domestic flights are available from airlines. Many low budget airlines fly into Poland.
The railway network in Poland is well organized both in respect of convenient connections and the standard of travel. Some people have even suggested that Poland should be visited by train.
Fast and express trains run between the largest cities. Fast trains run between the larger cities without stopping at smaller stations. Express trains run between the main Polish cities.
Regional trains carry passengers to smaller towns. Traveling by slower trains you can visit smaller Polish towns and villages. These trains usually run over short routes and often stop at all the local stations.
Train fares depend on the route, the kind of train and the class. Many different promotional prices are always on offer. For details ask at the railway station.
While traveling in Poland by car, you need to be aware of the local regulations for public road users, which may sometimes be different than other countries. Traveling across Poland by car gives you opportunity to see places which you might not be able to reach by train or bus. This form of transportation has many advantages; you can choose your own routes and time and even take more luggage. What is more important, you do not need to have your own vehicle. You can rent it. Keep in mind that in order to rent and legally drive a car in Poland, US and Canadian citizens are required to have an International Driving Permit issued by AAA in the U.S., and CAA in Canada.
All vehicles are required to use headlights, night day and and all year round.
The use of seat belts is compulsory for front and rear-seat passengers. A child passenger of a car equipped with seat belts, who is up to 12 year old and up to 150 cm tall has to use child restraints or other device for this purpose, which suits to child's weight and height as well as appropriate technical conditions. It is forbidden to transport a child under 12 years at the front seat of the vehicle, without special child restraints. It is forbidden to transport a child in child restraints in the backwards position with the front seat belts of a car equipped with passenger air bags.
• 50km/h in built-up areas (60km/h between 11pm and 5am). Entry into a built-up area is marked with a white rectangular sign with the name of the town or a similar sign showing urban skyline in black; the exit point is marked with an identical sign with a red diagonal stripe.
• 90km/h outside built-up areas
• 100km/h on A-class, one lane roads (marked with a white car on blue background sign)
• 120km/h on A-class, two lane roads (marked with a white car on blue background sign)
• 140km/h on motorways
You are allowed to turn right on a red light is only if there is a separate green arrow light on. In such cases you must always let pedestrians pass first.
When leaving your vehicle in a controlled parking zone, make sure that you have paid (and displayed the ticket) as many local authorities impose steep fines and clamping charges for illegal parking. If in doubt, ask a police officer or municipal warden for help.
In case of a road traffic accident, the driver should call the police and wait for their arrival. If people are injured, an ambulance or doctor must be called. According to the Polish law, any driver involved in an accident must provide first aid to accident victims and stay on the scene of the accident.
Bus and Coach
There are local bus services in every town in Poland and connections will take you right across the country. There are numerous international coach companies serving the country, and you can travel to and from many parts of Europe to Poland. Bus stations are usually located in city centers.
Ship and Ferry
The Port of Gdansk is the largest Polish port. It is divided into two major parts: the first part is the Internal Port, the second – the North Port. Visitors to Gdansk arrive at the modern terminal and the connection with the city center of Gdansk is established by a comprehensive network of public bus lines. The Port of Gdynia is easily accessible from the sea as well as from the city owing to favorable transport connections. Similar to the Port of Gdansk, the Port of Gdynia is open for commuter ships as well.
The Port of Szczecin has been, for some time now, in close cooperation with the Port of Swinoujscie. There has been an extensive communication link created between these two cities, which is very convenient for tourists.
In the large cities in Poland the public transportation system is well developed. Traveling around a city is easily done using buses or trams. In Warsaw you can also use subway. In small towns local and regional bus services are widely provided.
There are many countries whose citizens can visit Poland as tourists without visas. These include United States, Canada and all European Union countries.
A visa is still required for a stay of longer than three months or when entering the country to take up paid employment.
Detailed information on rules covering entry and stay in Poland can be obtained from the Polish embassies and consular offices.
Poland has a moderate climate with both continental and maritime elements. This is due to humid Atlantic air which collides over its territory with dry air from the Eurasian interior.
The hottest month is July with the average temperature standing at 17.5 deg. C (63.5 F).
Hot days, when the temperature exceeds 28 deg. C (82 F) and over, occur from May to September.
The coldest month in Poland is January. Cold continental air flowing in from the east in January makes the eastern part of Poland one of the coldest areas in the country.