Situated in the heart of Europe, Poland covers an area of nearly 313, 000 square kilometers. It is bordered by Germany to the west, Slovak and Czech Republics to the South, the Baltic Sea to the north and Russia, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine to the east. Poland boasts beautiful landscape that is distinguished by lowland plains, mountain chains including the Sudety and Tatra Mountains, freshwater lakes, hills and ancient forests. Furthermore, you can enjoy nearly 530km of sandy beaches set along the northern coast where you can bask in the Baltic Sea.
Poland is a parliamentary republic with 16 provinces. With a population of 38 million people of mostly Polish descent, you will find that they live in the capital city Warsaw as well as other major cities such as Krakow, Poznan, Lodz, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Szcezcin.
You have a choice to travel to and within Poland by air, land and sea. Choosing your option depends on your budget and reason for entering the country. If you choose to fly, you will have a choice of landing in Warsaw, Krakow or Gdansk. They offer travel agencies, post office, car rental, restaurants, shop and a bank. If you are already in Poland and want to visit the other cities, there are airports in Katowice, Szczecin, Wroclaw and Poznan.
If you are considering coming into Poland by land, check the rail and coach services schedule. The rail and coach service across Poland is impressive and you are quite likely to arrive to your exact destination.
Furthermore, public transport is quite extensive around Poland and you are able to get a one day travel card to assist you. It is very convenient and all you have to do is simply punch your ticket on your first trip during the day.
Scandinavian nationals do not require a visitor's visa for a stay not exceeding 3 months.
For further information please visit the site of the Polish Embassy in Stockholm.
Poland has a moderate changeable climate.
Autumn – starts in September. Days are moist and foggy.
Winter – starts in December. Days are full of snow and temperature can drop a few degrees below zero.
Spring – starts in March until about May or June. Temperature varies from -1 to -15 °C.
Summer – starts in July. Hottest month of the year.
Cash: May be obtained with the use of certain credit cards in some banks and hotels.
Foreign exchange: Major foreign currencies may be exchanged for Polish Zlotys at the airport, banks, larger hotels and border crossings in unlimited amounts. Throughout the entire country there are also numerous private currency exchange offices identified by the name KANTOR. Banks in larger cities are usually open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays and until 1pm on Saturdays. Banks in smaller towns or villages have more limited business hours, usually from 5am to 1pm. KANTORS are usually open from 9am to 7pm weekdays and until 2pm on Saturdays. 24-hour services are usually available in larger major tourist centers such as train stations, border crossings and airports.
Traveler's Checks: Major traveler's checks can be exchanged (for a 1% commission) at most of the locations above, with the exception of KANTORS, who do not accept them. Travelers checks are also accepted as payment for goods and services in larger cities, though not as widely as cash. Eurocheques are accepted in accordance with standard international tourism agreements.
Credit cards: Most hotels, restaurants, larger shops, travel agencies, airlines and petrol stations accept payments with credit cards, including American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard, JCB, Master Card and VISA. Stickers on the doors and windows of business usually indicate which credit cards will be accepted for payment.
Tipping: It is customary to leave a tip of l0 to 15 % in restaurants and cafes. Tipping in self-service restaurants is not expected. Tips for porter's services in hotels and train stations are customary, but amounts for services rendered are at the traveler's discretion.
EU Regulations. More information
If you decide to drive into Poland, you will need: a valid passport, a valid driving license. If you are driving someone else's car, is useful to bring along a notarized letter permitting you to use the borrowed car. As for the driver's license, a valid Swedish license is accepted.
Poland runs on GMT plus 1 hour.
Emergency: Scandinavians are given free medical treatment, unless being treated by a private clinic. The major cities hospitals provide all form of treatment and modern equipment.
Vaccination: Not necessary, but health insurance is recommended.
Drugs: Get your prescription drugs before arriving. Poland does have a wide variety of drugs however it is best to meet your specific needs before arriving.
The national language is Polish however the most known foriegn languages are English, German and Russian.
Long Distance Dialing: If calling long distance within Poland, dial a '0' and wait. If dialing outside of Poland, do the same thing, but dial '0' again when you get the second tone followed by the country code, and then the rest of the number.
Dialing local numbers in Poland: First dial 0 followed by the area code and number. For other major cities, see the list of area codes.
The majority of border checkpoints across Poland are open 24 hrs and can be crossed via car, however there are other minor checkpoints that can only be crossed by foot or train. Most border crossings have the Polish Motoring Association (PZM) branch offices which sell an array of helpful material including maps, accessories, guidebooks and vehicle insurance. Furthermore, you will be able to take a brochure regarding Polish driving and advice for motorists.
International newspapers can be found in major hotels and newsagents. The most popular daily published newspaper is the Warsaw Voice.
1 January - New Year's Day
1 May - May Day
3 May - Constitution Day
15 August - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1 November - All Saints Day
11 November - Independence Day
25 & 26 December - Christmas Days