Poland has suffered over the last century from war and invasion. But the Polish are resilient and determined. What remains to be seen now are some incredible castles, amazing market squares and churches. If you’re looking for a budget holiday, Poland is just the place to visit. But before you head off on your grand adventure, there are just some things to know before travelling to Poland and we cover them all in this ultimate travel guide.
Before any trip, you should always research the country, including how to stay safe, the currency, the language and so much more. In this ultimate travel guide to travelling to Poland, we help you have the best holiday, by providing tips on when to travel, visa requirements, how to stay safe, staying on budget and more.
Travelling to Poland: Everything you need to know before you go
Travel to Poland made easier with this simple travel guide to everything you need to know before you go.
When to travel
Poland is seasonal. During the winter months the weather gets bitterly cold and can experience snow, while the summer will be hot and sunny, if only for a short period of time.
But when is the best time to travel to Poland?
If you are solely looking for the warm sunny months, then summer months of July – August will be the ideal time to visit. But, with good weather comes large crowds of tourism and prices increase.
But if you’re budget travellers, then travelling either off season when the weather is the coldest and prices are cheapest. Or, we would recommend travelling during the shoulder months of May-June or September to October. The weather is getting warm but prices are still very low.
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You do not require any jabs or vaccinations before travelling to Poland. However, we might recommend that you are up to date with your booster jabs.
Health care is readily available, should you require medical treatment. Standard over the counter medical supplies such as painkillers, cold and flu remedies etc., can be purchased in pharmacies.
We would recommend obtaining an EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) before you travel. EHIC cards can only be obtained by European citizens and covers most medical care and non-emergency treatment.
EU (European Union) and EEA (European Economic Area) citizens on a short stay or holiday do not require a visa. However, you will need to provide your passport or identity card at immigration. To find out more about living and working in Poland, head over to the local government website.
Citizens of Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and a number of other countries do not require a visa to visit as a tourist of up to 90 days. If you intend to stay longer, then please contact your nearest Polish embassy or consulate.
All other tourists will require a visa before entering Poland. To find out more about visa’s and if you require a visa, head over to your local Polish embassy or consulate.
The currency used in Poland is the (zt) Zloty.
We would recommend purchasing the currency before travelling to Poland and always make sure you have enough for your trip and in the event of an emergency. Please check with your bank prior to departure about using a debit/credit card and if any charges will apply.
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Packing is essential when going on holiday, but you have to be smart about what to pack.
Depending on the time of year, you’ll need the right clothes, such as summer, you’ll want nice cool clothing, but in winter, you’ll need warm if not thermal underlayers.
It isn’t just the clothing you need to consider; you’ll need to pack the correct documents such as passport and visa if this is required, money, driving licence, insurance, first aid kit, camera phone, phrase book, bum bag, snacks, and water.
You also need to be aware of the weight restriction you’ll encounter with the airline. Only pack the essential items and do not over pack. If you take all of these tips into account, you’ll be effective at packing and have everything you need before you travel to Poland.
The official language in Poland is Polish. In most large cities and tourist locations, the Polish can speak English. But you will find in some rural locations that they are not fluent in English. Should this be the case, then a phrase book could come in handy.
Looking to travel somewhere on a tight budget, then Poland is the ideal place to visit. Not only did we live like queens in Poland, but we didn’t spend half the money that we anticipated when we set our budget.
But you must still budget for your trip to Poland, if you don’t it is still possible to overspend.
To help you set a budget, then check out the below:Poland Travel Costs
Staying safe in Poland
Overall, Poland is a safe place to visit. But it would be wise to continue vigilance at all times.
Watch out for pick pockets, especially on public transport and other tourist spots.
Always research the safe and unsafe areas that you are travelling in Poland, you really do not want to walk into a gang related area unbeknown to you.
Only take small amounts of cash with you. Keep some with you and the rest in a safe place back at your accommodation. If your belongings are lost or stolen, you have only lost a small amount, not all of your money.
Need more tips on how to stay safe in Poland, then check out our in-depth post on How to stay safe while Travelling.
Getting around Poland is relatively easy and most areas have very good public transport services. Some remote areas, may not have a reliable public transport network. If you are travelling to a remote area, you may wish to hire a car, or travel with a tour company if they cover that region.
Here are just some of the types of ways you could get around Poland:
There’s a number of large airports that transfer passengers internationally and within Europe. You can also travel domestically between Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow, Poznan, Wroctaw and Lublin.
Driving is a great way to get around Poland. A road trip is ideal to get you out of the city into the rural areas to explore.
You can hire vehicles in Poland, either at the airports, or other areas around the country. If you intend to hire a vehicle from outside Poland, always check you are covered by the hire company, as some companies may not allow the vehicle to leave the country you have hired it in.
Poland has a great train service connecting large towns and cities with other areas of the country as well as other European countries.
Large cities will have a tram or underground service to connect you with other areas and outskirts of the city.
Buses are a way to get around the localised area. Tourists looking to get to more rural locations may find it difficult to take the bus, a car could be a favourable way to get around Poland if you are looking to get to more rural areas.
There are bus services that connect Poland with other European cities.
Walking is our most favoured method of getting around the city. Not only is it free, but it is environmentally friendly and great for your health. But walking allows you to take in the area and the sights, which you could miss if using public transport.
Ferry services connect Poland from the port of Gdansk, Gydnia and Swinoujscie with Scandinavia.
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Food and Drink
Polish food is a real stand out, with a variety of different dishes that you may not have come across in your home country. Here are just some of Polish signature dishes:
That’s right this is beetroot soup. You can get red or white. Red is made from beet-root, which has the brightest of red, but tastes delicious and would recommend this. The white beetroot soup is made from wheat flour and sausage.
We had this dish at least once a day, consisting of a flour dumpling normally stuffed with cheese, mushrooms or meat. Again, a budget friendly dish and one we would recommend.
A yummy but hearty sour soup made with sausages and hard-boiled eggs.
You will now have a good idea on how to stay safe, how to get around Poland, how you can budget for your trip and more with this travel guide to Poland: Everything you need to know before you go. We hope you enjoy Poland as much as we did and it won’t be long before you’ll want to be visiting again soon. We can’t wait to get back out there and explore more of Poland.
Where have you visited in Poland? What was your favourite place? Do you have any tips on travelling to Poland that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know, by leaving a comment below.
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