What's the first thing you think about when you think about Poland? Did you say vodka?! Poland’s roots go back to the turn of the first millennium, leaving a thousand years to explore from energetic cities like Warsaw, chic medieval spots like Krakow or amber shopping meccas like Gdansk. Once you finished sight seeing and have put down that glass of flavoured vodka (try zubrówka with some apple juice), Poland is renowned for its good home cooking, just like your grandmother used to make, with local and fresh products topped off with a delicious and palate teasing dessert. What else could you want? This Poland travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Poland Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Polish power voltage is 230 V 50Hz; Plug C & E
- The Polish currency is the Polish Zloty and is around 3.70 PLN to 1 USD
- Outside of the very touristy areas of the major cities, you'll find that there are few, if any, foreigners. So if you plan on heading off the beaten path, make sure to bring along a Polish language dictionary as many people in rural areas will speak little to no English.
- Refer to people you don’t know well as “pan” (Mr.) or “pani” (M’am).
- When conversing with Poles, World War II, communism, religion, and relations with Germany and Russia might be touchy subjects to some. Approach with caution.
- Eat, eat and eat! Polish food is largely meat-and-potato style, however travellers should definitely not leave Poland without trying ruskie pierogi — ravioli-like dumplings with an assortment of fillings from cheese and potatoes to mushroom and meat – they even have dessert pierogies filled with fruit! They can be boiled or fried, and sometimes served with sautéed onions.
Top Packing Tips for Poland Travel
The climate of Poland is temperate with warm (sometimes very hot) summers, crisp and sunny autumns and cold winters. Snow covers the mountainous area in the south of Poland (mid-December to April).
- Layer up – Layering is key during spring and fall months. Poland is a country that gets four distinct seasons, so there’s a chance it could be both warm and cold during your time there. During the winter months make sure to pack warm layers – a coat, gloves, a warm hat and scarf. For extra warmth pack a pair of long thermal underwear. Don't forget the boots!
- Shoes – In the winter months it is likely to be either snowing, frosty or wet on the ground in Poland so take a quality pair of warm boots that have a sturdy grip on the soles. The grip also helps for the cobblestone streets which are frequent in Poland. Cobblestone means that if you want to pack a pair of fancy shoes, opt for wedges instead of flimsy stilettos.
- Pashmina – not only is it a versatile piece that can dress up any outfit, if you plan on visiting any religious site, it also can be used to cover up your shoulders. Remember that both genders must cover shoulders and legs out of respect when visiting Catholic Churches.
Check out our Packing List for more ideas on what to bring with you.