POLAND IN BRIEF
- Official name: Republic of Poland (short form: Poland), Rzeczpospolita Polska (short form in Polish: Polska). means “people living in open fields”. It originates from the name of the tribe Polanie
- Official Language: Polish. English and German are spoken and widely understood in tourist areas.
- Location: Central Europe. Poland borders Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia (the Kaliningrad exclave)
- Capital city: Warszawa (Warsaw: population 1.7 million / Warsaw agglomeration: 2.5 million)
- Population: 38 million. Poland has the seventh largest population in Europe (omitting Russia), and the sixth largest in the European Union.
- Time zone: Poland belongs to the Central European time zone (GMT + 1 hour / UTC + 1 hour), except for between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October when it switches to daylight saving time.
- Climate: The Polish climate is moderate continental, with relatively cold winters (from December to March) and hot summers which extend from June to August. January temperatures average -1°C (30°F) to -5°C (23°F). July and August average temperatures range from 16.5°C (62°F) to 19°C (65°F), though some days the temperature can reach even 35°C (95°F)
- Tipping: Tipping is widespread but not obligatory in Poland. Small gratuities from 10 to 15% can be offered for excellent service in restaurants .In addition, small change is welcome by taxi drivers, hotel poters , hairdressers and room service. Some of the more expensive restaurants may already include a service charge on restaurant bills.
- Safety: Poland is considered to be a safe country. However, like in every country tourists should be alert to the risk of robbery especially in tourists sights in large places such as hotels, markets and banks, railway stations and public transport . These places happen to be quite popular among thieves.
- Communications:The international access code for Poland is +48. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Cheap rate is between 10pm and 6am, and at weekends. Mobile phones work throughout the country, local operators use GSM networks, which may not be compatible with some US cell.
- Currency: 1 zloty (PLN) = 100 groszy (current exchange rates: www.nbp.pl)
- Calling code: + 48; Internet domain: .pl
- International organisations: Poland is a member of the European Union (EU), the Schengen Area, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Trade Organisation (WTO) and many others.
- Visas –Visa free travel to Poland is available to citizens of many countries outside the European Union. Detailed information on rules covering entry and stay in Poland can be obtained from Polish embassies and consular offices.
- Food & Drinks: It is said the most popular dish in Poland is Bigos – a hearty stew of cabbage, potatoes, cuts of pork, pureed tomato, mushrooms and red wine. Also, pierogas (pierogi) are our landmark. They are of kind of boiled dumplings of unleavened dough filled with varying ingredients such as mushrooms, sauerkraut , mashed potatoes, cheese or meat. They can be ordered in all restaurants and bars .Polish cuisine is rich in a number of delicious and totally unique snacks that are definitely worth a taste. Diners will find a wide choice of international cuisine across the country that should satisfy every taste during a stay in Poland. As the Polish people say” smacznego”/ enjoy your meal/
- Shopping Working Hours: Shopping hours are usually from 9am until 7pm on weekdays and until 2pm on Saturdays. The exception to this is in the more popular tourist areas of the city which will work longer hours.
- Drinking in Public Places: In Poland it is prohibited to drink alcohol and beer in public places with the exception of properly licensed designated places such as bars, restaurants, open air café gardens, etc.
- Smoking in Public Places: Smoking is now prohibited in many places marked with special signs ( a cigarette). However, such places have designated smoking areas. Therefore, in restaurants, pubs, on trains, in theatres, colleges, etc. smoking is allowed only in designed smoking section.
- 17 Nobel Prize Winners were born in Poland
- There’s more to drinking than saying „ Na zdrowie” – that’s how Poles say „ cheers” and it means „ to health
- Poland’s Consitution Was the 2nd in the World
- During the WWII Warsaw Was Almost Completely Destroyed and Had to be Rebuilt Completely
- Marie Curie Was Actually Polish
- Bison: Europe’s Heaviest Animals Live in Poland in Białowieża
- Malbork: the World’s Biggest Castle
- Kissing Woman’s Hand is Still in Fashion in Poland
- Name Day: is celebrated by Poles
- Amber: Poland is World’s Biggest Exporter of this stone
- Mushrooming: a popular Family Activity in Poland
- Zapiekanka: The Unofficial Traditional Polish Food
- Poland is One of the Most Religious Country in Europe
Emergency & Important Contact Numbers: To call an emergency service using a landline or a public phone, please dial:
999 – Ambulance
998 – Fire Brigade
997 – Police
986 – Municipal Wardens (Straż Miejska)
To call an emergency service using a mobile phone, please dial local code before the number, for example: 22 – 997 to call the police in Warsaw. Emergency calls from phone boxes are free of charge. If you do not know the local code, dial the general emergency number for mobile phones: 112. Then you will be transferred to the appropriate emergency unit
Please note: the numbers above should be used only in cases of emergency – never to obtain tourist information.
Holidays in Poland in 2020
January 1st – New Years Day
April 12-13 th – Easter
May 1st – Labour Day
May 3rd – Constitution Day
June 11 th – Corpus Christi
August 15th – Assumption of Virgin Mary
November 1st – All Saints’ Day
November 11th – National Independence Day
December 25th – Christmas Day
December 26th – Boxing Day