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Destination: Poland

WHY TO VISIT POLAND

With a culture and geography somewhere between East and West, Poland offers a change of scenery and extremely warm hospitality.

Warsaw, the capital, has one of the most beautiful avenues in Europe, the Royal Route, which boasts museums and palaces. The Old City was restored after World War II and it is definitely worth a visit. In addition, you will find many shows to enjoy and things to see.

Krakow, the former capital, will seduce you with its multiple styles of architecture and various museums.

Gdansk in the north has a small resemblance to Amsterdam: It is the largest port city in the country and it will charm you with its pretty streets, beautifully renovated, the amazing gates that mark its principal axes, the Neptune Fountain and the Notre Dame Church, a brick building that can host a congregation of 20,000 people.

Impossible not to make a stopover at Oswiecim, the former Auschwitz of such sad memories and make homage to the 4 million people murdered by the Nazis by visiting the remains of the extermination camp.

In the south, you will discover the Tatra Mountains with their snowy summits and the cliffs, glaciers and small traditional villages of the Podhale area: there are many opportunities for hiking in this area.

For those of a nautical nature, the Great Mazures Lakes area offers a string of lakes, canals and rivers where you can enjoy water sports, sailing and even cruises.

WHAT TO SEE IN POLAND

Top destinations in Poland are:

  • Warsaw
  • Kraków
  • Zakopane
  • Wrocław
  • Gdańsk
  • Poznań
  • Łódź
  • Szczecin
  • Malbork
  • Częstochowa
  • Katowice
  • Bydgoszcz

WHEN TO GO TO POLAND

Weather in Poland

Best period to visit Poland is from May to September.

pring is arguably the ideal season for some serious hiking in Poland’s mountainous border regions, as the days tend to be bright – if showery – and the distinctive flowers are at their most profuse. Summer, the tourist high season, sees plenty of sun, particularly on the Baltic coast, where the resorts are crowded from June to August and temperatures are consistently around 24°C (75°F).

Autumn is the best time to visit Poland if you’re planning to sample the whole spread of the country’s attractions: in the cities the cultural seasons are beginning at this time, and the pressure on hotel rooms is lifting. In the countryside, the golden Polish October is especially memorable, the rich colours of the forests heightened by brilliantly crisp sunshine, and it’s often warm enough for t-shirts. In winter the temperature drops rapidly, icy Siberian winds blanketing many parts of the country with snow for anything from one to three months. Though the central Polish plain is bleak and unappealing at the end of the year, in the south of the country skiers and other wintersports enthusiasts will find themselves in their element. By mid-December the slopes of the Tatras and the other border ranges are thronged with holidaymakers, straining the established facilities to the limit.

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Poland

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH POLAND

To travel within the country, train and bus services combine to provide an efficient transport system.

by plane, main airports are:

by train

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON POLAND

country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa

health tips & vaccination: avoid drinking tap water. No vaccinations needed.

local currency: Polish zloty

local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)

electricity: type C and E (230 V - 50 Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN POLAND

typical food in Poland

  • Bigos: dish of cabbage, sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms, and is served with rye bread or mashed potatoes.
  • Kasza Gryczana: buckwheat groats.
  • Kiełbasa: Polish sausage.
  • Polish Hot Dog: usually made with either kielbasa or a combination of beef and pork with some other additives that give it a taste distinct from traditional hot dogs. Sometimes cheese is put inside it. And, it’s usually larger than a regular hot dog.
  • Rosół: chicken soup with noodles and veggies.
  • Placki Ziemniaczane: thin pancake made with grated onion, carrot, parsnips or other vegetables. Delicious served hot either sprinkled with sugar or dolloped with sour cream.
  • Kluski: dumplings about the size of golf balls sometimes served on their own with cottage cheese or poppy seeds.
  • Pierogi: dumplings stuffed with meat, mushrooms and cabbage or cheese.
  • Łazanki: homemade pasta, fried cabbage and other vegetables served with pork.
  • Zurek: soup made with stock, bacon, onion, mushrooms and sour cream, and is given a distinctive, almost sour taste with the addition of kwas.
  • Kotlet Schabowy: pork breaded cutlet, coated with breadcrumbs made of pork tenderloin (with the bone or without), or with pork chop.
  • Krupnik: thick barley potage containing a variety of vegetables and small chunks of meat. Better known than those two, though, is barszcz (or borscht – beetroot soup), which runs thin and clear and is often served in cups with small hot pasties stuffed with meat or cabbage.
  • Gołąbki: cabbage leaves stuffed with beef, onion and rice and baked in tomato sauce.
  • Golonka: boiled pig's knuckle served with horseradish and sauerkraut.
  • Barszcz: soup of red beetroot, onions, garlic, and other vegetables, such as carrots and celery or root parsley. Sometimes made with meat or bacon and served as a thicker stew.
  • Oscypek: smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk.
  • Polskie Naleśniki: thin crepes served either sweet (with cheese and jam) or savory (with meat and vegetables).
  • Szarlotka: a dessert that's somewhere between an apple pie and a pastry.
  • Sernik: cheesecake made using twaróg, a type of fresh cheese as filling.
  • Blueberry Mazurka: treat made with blueberry preserves filling that’s spiked with blueberry vodka, pressed between layers of crumbly pastry made with brown sugar, walnuts, oats, flour and butter.
  • Chrusciki: light-as-air pastries served on special occasions.
  • Pączki: jam filed doughnuts.
  • Makowiec: poppy seed pastry cake.
  • Piernik: ark and moist honey cake made with a number of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, usually served with a chocolate glaze
  • Żywiec: fairly strong lager
  • Wódka: country's national tipple is Polish vodka, which comes in many different varieties.

souvenirs from Poland

  • Amber necklaces or bracelets
  • Traditional folk sculptures, like angels
  • Folk dressed dolls
  • Ceramics
  • Linen products
  • Wooden keepsake box
  • silver jewellery
  • leather objects
  • Pierniczki, chocolate coated gingerbread; Krówki, fudge sweets; or chocolate coated prunes
  • Sausages
  • Mead alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey flavored with cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and other spices, Polish beerVodka or Żubrówka flavoured Vodka

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: Cześć

Goodbye: Do widzenia

How are you?: Jak się masz?

Thank you: Dziękuję Ci

What is your name?: Jak masz na imię?

How much is it?: Ile to kosztuje?

Sorry: Przepraszam

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