Poland is a country located in east Europe with name that begins with letter P. With an area of 312,000 km², Poland is somewhat smaller than the neighboring country Germany, but has only half as many residents, namely 38.5 million. The most important cities in Poland are the capital Warsaw with 1.7 million residents, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Kraków, the textile city of Łódź (Lodz) and Wrocław (Breslau) and Gdańsk (Danzig) on the Baltic Sea. The Wieliczka salt mine and the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in the south of Poland, which are a memorial to the darkest epoch in recent European history, are among the country’s places of interest.
The largest river in the country is the Wisła (Vistula). Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter P.
Poland belongs to the Schengen area. Citizens of the EU and Switzerland need a passport or identity card to stay in the country.
High humidity, frequent rainfall and windy weather are characteristics of the moderate transitional climate in Poland. Dry continental air meets humid Atlantic currents over Poland. In the north on the Baltic Sea and in the west of the country a temperate maritime climate dominates, in the east and south-east the continental influence. The winters are long, poor in light and severe, the summers are short and hot.
Food and drink
Beetroot soup, Bigos mushroom and cabbage meat stew, Gołąbki cabbage rolls, smoked sheep’s cheese, Pierogi ravioli and saurek sour flour soup are among the traditional Polish cuisine classics. The most popular drinks are black tea, beer and not to forget vodka, which was first mentioned in a Polish document in 1405, which is why it is believed that it originally came from Poland.
Poland is one of the core countries of Catholicism and is very proud of “its” Pope John Paul II. When entering churches, one should be appropriately dressed. Visits are not permitted during trade fairs. Even in places with a warning character – for example in the former German concentration camps on Polish territory – it is important to ensure tactful behavior.
No special vaccinations are required to travel to Poland. The standard of medical care does not quite reach Western European levels; the pharmaceutical infrastructure is very good for this. Nevertheless, it is advisable to bring a personal first aid kit with you. Drinking tap water is not recommended in Warsaw and other cities. Bottled water should be used here.
Poland is a very safe country. Only the big cities have an above-average rate of theft of cars. As new, you should therefore only park in guarded parking spaces. Pickpocketing occurs again and again, especially on public transport, so you should exercise appropriate caution.
- The consumption of alcohol in public is prohibited.
- Hikers exploring the green border between Poland and the Russian exclave of Kalingrad are strongly advised to stay on the Polish side. Illegal violations are severely punished by the Russian side.
Climate and travel time
Central European transitional climate, in the east of Poland the continental influence is already more pronounced than in Austria (slightly hotter and drier summers, slightly colder and drier winters). In most of Poland the climate is comparable to the climate in the flatlands of Austria and Germany. However, spring and summer are usually much drier with similar temperatures. In the mountains (High Tatras) there is a climate comparable to the Northern Limestone Alps. Zakopane is about 800m above sea level. Autumn is a little less foggy and a little sunnier than in Austria.
According to Wetterkontor.de: Average highs in July in Warsaw 23 degrees, in Gdansk 21 degrees. In May and September these temperatures are about 4 degrees lower (about 19 degrees in Warsaw).
All about money
The exchange rate of the local currency is 4.0 zloty = 1 euro and is quite stable.
You can exchange money almost anywhere. If you are unsure, ask your guide. Credit cards are accepted in many restaurants and larger shops. Cash can be withdrawn with the debit card or credit card.
Other essential information
Electricity in Poland
The voltage in Poland is 230 volts / 50 Hertz. An adapter for the sockets is usually not necessary as long as you only use flat plugs (e.g. charger for cell phones).