Poland — The Basics
Not only is Poland travel affordable, but it is also extremely appealing to all types of travelers. Whether the woods are your thing, or you’re just itching for a refreshing drink, Poland has just the right thing for you. If you’re a connoisseur of castles, or you just love museums, you won’t be missing out!
It’s not a lie when you hear that Poland is a European destination with everything to offer. With any luck, this collection of travel advice can serve as a guide to help aspiring visitors put together the best Poland travel itinerary!
Poland Travel Tips
Sights and Attractions
Warsaw, the capital, is home to many exciting treasures! Museum of King Jan III’s Palace is an incredibly opulent display of the wealth of the 17th century. Constructed in the most magnanimous, boastful way possible, it’s pretty clear that its namesake was probably not the most humble of guys. Nowadays, the palace serves as a museum and venue for cultural activities and performances. It’s a vital landmark for anyone’s Poland travel plans! Other incredible attractions in Warsaw include the Warsaw old town, Lazienki Park, and the Soviet-era Palace of Culture and science. Warsaw has a little bit of everything, making it easy for travelers to get the most out of their European vacation.
A proper European tour simply must include castles! Rest assured, your European vacation won’t lack impressive stonework when you come to Poland. While there are dozens of well-preserved castles and fortifications spread throughout Poland, a couple deserves special mention. Ksiaz Castle towers over the lush green forest that surrounds it in all directions! The charming hues of red, white, and orange contrast significantly with the vibrant greenery of the forest around the structure.
As it stands on a hill, the top of the tower is the highest point around for miles and miles. Built in the 1300s, Nowy Wisnicz Castle is a robust structure also situated in the midst of the forest. Alternating blue and red roofed towers are spread around the grandiose structure. Largely destroyed by the Swedes in the struggles of the 15th century, this architectural marvel wasn’t fully restored until after the end of the Second World War!
Krakow, Lodz, and Warsaw are the three top cities for nightlife and buzz-catching in the country. In Poland, the party doesn’t stop. Music festivals, clubs, and trendy bars can be found all throughout the country, and in the major cities, they’re a dime a dozen! The modern, glowing Level 27 Bar and Club is the pride of Warsaw’s party scene. Party in the open air at this cutting edge, forward-thinking venue.
The music is fire, and the expertly crafted drinks are cool and refreshing. Europe’s modern elegance and youthful energy shine bright in this unforgettable establishment! The Klar Cocktail Bar, Kita Koguta, and Room 13 are all worth a visit if you’re trying to get your drink on and dance the night away!
Lodz has a great selection of microbrews and international pubs for the beer lover. Grab a refreshing local brew at Infinity. Chill out and sample a variety of fantastic ales, luxurious lagers, and grand gozes at the Piwoteka Pub. Your country is likely to have its own brand of Irish export bars, so why not check out the Irish Pub in Lodz to see how it stacks up.
In Krakow, Disco never died! Get your groove on and kick it to the clavinet at Frantic Club. The futuristic Shine club is absolutely out of this world. It’s a club that offers an extraterrestrial experience that will take you and your friends to the stratosphere!
Poland’s more than just nightlife! After that night of drinks and dancing, there is no better way to sober up and ease that hangover than to step into the great outdoors. In this aspect, Poland reigns supreme. With 23 national parks, Poland has mountains for hikers, lakes, and rivers for kayakers, forest trails for backpackers, and plenty of immersive wilderness sites for campers. While all of these parks are special in their own ways, Biaolowiza Forest and Ojcowski National Park stand out as truly unique among the bunch.
Poland Currency Considerations
Poland uses the Polish Zloty. The Euro won’t help you here. Zloty is an inflection of the polish word for “golden.” A very straightforward name, harkening back to a time when the currency was backed by precious metals. Your best bet is to exchange for Zloty in your own country and to avoid tourist traps if you need to restock. While Poland is quite inexpensive compared to its neighbors, don’t let yourself splurge too much. It’s tempting to pick up every little trinket at the gift shop, but every bit you spend adds up. As your money can go very far in Poland, you want to be sure to spend it on something truly memorable.
Poland is a relatively safe country, but you should still be conscious when handling money. Vigilance surrounding your hard-earned cash is a piece of travel advice that applies anywhere, no matter how safe or friendly it may be. You may think someone’s grabbing your booty because they believe you’re very attractive.
While that may be true, they’re probably just looking for a labor-free payday! You worked hard for those travel funds; you don’t want some pickpocket running away with your cash! Try to keep your wallet in your front pocket instead of your back pocket, especially in congested tourist areas. Leave your European tour with exciting stories and titillating tales. Don’t let the main takeaway from Poland be a story of how your wallet was lifted at the museum. That’s just depressing. European vacation stories should be cooler than that!
Hotels, hostels, and homestays are pretty inexpensive in Poland. Plan your trip ahead of time, then figure out which lodging options best fit your needs. Sometimes, good deals can be found for savvy travelers who dig deep before their trip. Saving a few extra zlotys on your trip will help you get even more out of your European tour.
Flights and Transportation
There are a number of international airports in Poland. Choose a flight to the one that will best fit your itinerary. A few provinces, known locally as voivodeships, have rail services, but not too many. Buses are your friend in Poland. They’re inexpensive, usually on time, and they go just about anywhere. As teleportation is not yet possible, be sure to budget realistic travel times into your journey. The GPS on your phone may say that it’ll take so long, but always add a little wiggle room. Who knows what may come up.
The national language of Poland is Polish. Nearly 30 percent of people in Poland speak English. You’ll be fine when navigating the major cities, but you may run into difficulty in the countryside. Keep a translator app or a phrasebook handy.
As Polish pronunciation is pretty alien to English speakers, refreshing yourself on the International Phonetic Alphabet will ensure that any phrases uttered are pronounced comprehensibly. Sometimes, tourists can be very rude and short with locals who don’t speak English. English is a difficult language, and you will not be in an Anglophone country. Be patient and respectful if a language barrier arises. No one owes it to you to speak English, so appreciate it when they do.
Poland Courtesy and Respect
Remember to remove your shoes when a Polish person invites you inside! This is a common custom in many countries, so always ask a local if you are unsure!
Poland has been occupied by Nazi Germany and the USSR. Naturally, these subjects are very sensitive. Don’t refer to Poland as a whole as Soviet, post-soviet, or worst of all, Russian! Poles are proud of their national identity and heritage, so show their culture some respect. Conversation regarding the Nazi occupation is best avoided unless you are visiting a Holocaust museum or occupation-era ghetto. This little piece of travel advice applies basically anywhere in Europe.
Unlike some other European destinations, Poland is a place where you are expected to tip! Ten to fifteen percent should do it.
You won’t break the bank. You won’t run out of things to do. The Zloty is a cool denomination of currency. You aren’t getting any younger. So why aren’t you booking that flight already? Poland has so much to offer. It would be an absolute waste to pass this incredible country by!
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