Poland

Quick Facts

Government

Type: Unitary semi- presidential representative democratic republic

President: Andrzej Duda

Prime Minister: Mateusz Morawiecki

Religion

Catholic

≈86%

Language

Polish

≈97%

Currency

Złoty

$10.00 ≈ 37zł

Location

Central Europe

Bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, and the Baltic Sea

Food

Bigos (pork stew)

Pierogi

Climate

Temperate

Warm summers

Cold winters

Cost

Beer ≈ 7zł

Ice cream ≈ 1.40zł

Read More About Poland

Not-So-Quick Facts

Present Day Snapshot

At the very end of 1989 Poland became the country it is today – The Republic of Poland. It become a member of the EU in 2004 and the Schengen in 2007. In both the 2015 and 2019 elections the Conservative party was elected. In 2020 Poland saw country-wide abortion rights protests.

War: Poland is involved in to “war on terror” Afghanistan & Iraq.

Follow Laws

Identification: You are required to have ID on you at all times. You do not, though, need to carry a passport and can rather carry a photocopy of your passport plus your home license (driver’s license or similar).

Drugs: All drugs, including marijuana are illegal to possess – even in small quantities.

Alcohol: 18 is the legal drinking age in Poland. Drinking on the streets is not allowed.

LGBTQ: While same-sex couples have protection under the law, gay marriage and civil unions are still illegal.

Stay Safe

Poland is a very low-risk country for tourists. That doesn’t mean basic, petty crime doesn’t still exist. Be aware – as always, especially in highly touristed areas like Old Town square where scammers and pick-pockets do operate.

Historical Snapshot

Founding: Poland gained independence in 1918 – after World War One.

Origins: The first reference to a Polish state was found around the year 963. The Kingdom of Poland was ruled over by monarchs from the 10th to the 18th centuries. During this time the territory it incorporated was changing. The 19th century was a tumultuous time for Poland as it was partitioned, uprisings occurred, and the country fought for its independence.

 

Recent History: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the resulting Treaty of Versailles granted Poland its independence. Immediately following was the Polish-Soviet War which was fought over a land dispute. In 1921 that war ended and the eastern border of Poland was established. In 1939 Poland was invaded by Nazi troops. It is estimated that more than 15% of Poland’s population was murdered during World War Two and some of the most infamous concentration camps were built on Polish soil. Following the end of the war, Poland became under the rule of Stalinism. In 1989 Poland became self-governing and parliamentary elections were held.

Clothing Rules

There are no clothing rules in Poland.

Speak Polish

Hello: Dzień dobry /jen doh-bray/

Please:Proszę /pro-say/

Thank youDziękuję Ci /jen-koo-yi chi/

Can I have a beer please: Czy mogę dostać piwo /chi mow-gah dos-tahch pivo/

Where is the train station?: Gdzie jest stacja kolejowa? /gih-jay yest stats-e-yah ko-lay-yo-va/

pink columns with bikes leaning up against them
Warsaw
man walking on the sand with ocean in background
Gdańsk
the palace of culture and science - Stalin's Penis - Warsaw, Poland - The Country Jumper
Warsaw

Facts According to a Local

General Rules of Etiquette
Gender Relations
Tipping
Rude or Offensive Things
Religious Customs

Read More About Poland

My Time in Poland

Lesser Poland

I've visited Kraków twice. Both visits were just for a few days - one in winter and one in spring.

Masovia

I visited Warsaw as part of my trip around many regions of Poland. I spent about 3-4 days there with my brother.

Pomeranian

Gdańsk was my final stop on my trip around Poland. We spent a long weekend by the sea.

Silesia

I spent a few days in Wrocław and spotted a lot of gnomes in that time!

Wroclaw gnome why you should visit Poland
Wrocław
Potato casserole
Potatoes
silver statue of woman
Gdańsk

Additional Resources

LGBTQ

Accessibility

BIPOC

Locals

Ferris wheel
Gdańsk
Gnome
Wrocław
Warsaw
Warsaw

Before Your Trip to Poland

Watch

Starring: Adrien Brody

Biography

Movie

Based on the true story of a Polish pianist, this movie is haunting, beautiful, and moving. It follows the story of a man forced to hide out in wartime Warsaw.

Starring: Liam Neeson

Biography

Movie

Oskar Schindler is the name of a man who saved more than a thousand Jews from certain death at concentration camps. This is the story.

Read

By: Primo Levi

History

Goodreads Stars: 4.57/5

Primo Levi was a chemist before becoming a prisoner of the German hell on earth – which he sets out to remember in this memoir.

Starring: Liam Neeson

Biography

Movie

Oskar Schindler is the name of a man who saved more than a thousand Jews from certain death at concentration camps. This is the story.

By: Diane Ackerman

History

Goodreads Stars: 3.47/5

In another true story of Polish  survival – a  zookeeping couple whose animals were lost to bombs, fill the cages with Jews in an effort to keep them alive.

Book Your Trip!

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