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 What is this?
The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!

Travel Guide for Poland

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Poland that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Poland Page.

Basic Facts

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Official Country Name: Republic of Poland/Rzeczpospolita Polska
Capital: Warsaw/Warszawa
Population: about 38,6 mln
Religion:Catholic 90,7%
Telephone Code: 0048
Time Zone: GMT+1 (Middle European Time)or GMT+2
Area: about 312.685 sq km
Language(s): Polish/polski
Ethnic Groups: Poles/Polacy (98,7%), Ukrainians/Ukraincy, Belarusians/Bialorusini
Highest Mountain: Rysy 2449 m above ... more

Attractions and Things to See and Do

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A lot of pictures from all regions of Poland

No trip to the Krakow (crakow) area can be complete without a sobering visit to the death camps of Auschwitz I (Oswiecim) and Auschwitz II, better known as Birkenau (Brzezinka). Getting there however can be confusing or some work, neither of which it has to be. You can take the train from Krakow to Oswiecim, then a bus (or walk 1.6km) or you could simply take a bus from Krakow. The bus ... more

Maps

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http://www.pilot.pl/ -interactive online map.

Here you can include references to maps that are somewhere on the internet. Two conditions apply: they cannot be protected by copyright, (or you have to make sure that we are allowed to use them), and you have to make sure that it is ok if we call them up from here. If that is a problem, you can also send us the image file and we will upload it to our server.

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

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Suggested Itineraries

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1 Day, 1 Week, 2 Weeks, 1 Month ...

Transport

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Getting there and away: to most of the biggest cities u can get by plane Polish Airports http://www.polish-airports.com/ • Gdansk, Poland (Rebiechowo)
• Poznan, Poland (Lawica) http://www.poznan-airport.com.pl
• Krakow, Poland (Balice/John Paul II Intl.)
• Szczecin, Poland (Goleniow)
• Warsaw {Warszawa}, Poland (Okecie)
• Wroclaw {Breslau}, Poland (Strachowice)
, Getting around by Air, Train, Bus, ... more

Accommodation

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If you do not want to stay with other HC members, or noone is available, here is what other members suggest. Hostels Hotels Camping Other Options

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

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Restaurants, Supermarkets, Street Food, Local Specialties ...

food in Poland.....

first of all - if you dont have lot of money and you want to check our traditional food (just little bit worse than at home, but it is normal), go to ´Bar Mleczny´ - milk bar. you can meet many interesting people there, but be ready to meet also people who could ask you to buy them something to eat :(

typical food:
“Bigos” ... more

Money and Costs

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Currency:złoty (abbrev. zł) consists of 100 groszy (abbrev. gr); coins: yellow(more copper-like) 1, 2, 5 gr; nickel: 10, 20, 50 gr, 1zł; yellow ring with nickel center: 2zł and reversed, bigger: 5zł; banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 zł, to see them, External Links is your friend, Exchanging Money in every bigger town you may find money exchange or bank, ATM's may be of some use here, especially in big tourist centers and near the border,
Credit C ... more

Visa and Documents and Embassies

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http://www.learn4good.com/travel/poland_visa.htm yo will find there useful information also adress of polish embassies add by shadowmaker schuba@wp.pl

Borders and Customs

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Post and Communications and Internet

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Post,
Telephone: You'll find mainly TP's phone booths (de facto monopoly). You buy 'pulses'; one pulse is:
  • local:
    • 8-22: 3min.
    • 22-8: 6min.
  • countrywide:
    • 8-18, Mon-Fri: 43.5sec.
    • 8-18 weekends: 58sec.
    • 18-8: 87sec.
  • international (there are 9 zones):
    1. 14.5sec. (mainly EU)
    2. 12.5sec. (Eastern Europe)
    3. 11.2sec.
    4. 10.3sec. (Russia)
    5. 9.32sec.
    6. 8.7sec. (USA)
    7. 8.3sec.
    8. 5.4sec.
    9. 2.8se ... more

Questions and Answers or Forum

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Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospi ... more

Hospitality Club Meetings

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Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.

Travelogues

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Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.

Photos

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Photos of Tatra mountains:
http://kongresonkol.io.gliwice.pl/piotr/poltw.html
Photos of Warsaw:
http://www.warsaw.prv.pl/
Photos of Gdansk:
http://www.trojmiasto.pl/galeria/

Activities and Sports

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Football - national sport :) our national team is not very good and we have few jokes ( hmm we have jokes abou every popular sport .. ) about them we are really excited when they win, but when they loose we say "as usual" "i knew it"if you like to play you wil always find somebody to the game. Sky jumping - we reallly love this sport cuz we have great champion Adam Malysz Golf - in poland there is more golf fields than gamers :) not very popular Baseball - what a hell is this ??? :) ... more

Nightlife and Entertainment

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Bars, Cafes, Discos, Cinemas... Best place to have fun in Poland is Kraków
  • in polish - site of pubs/clubs: http://knajpy.krakow.pl/
  • in english - site for tourist looking for fun: http://knajpy.krakow.pl/
and Gdańsk/Gdynia/Sopot on coast! (People from Warsaw will kill me for not mention about Warsaw :) )

Population and People

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38,6 million people (data for year 2000)

Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

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some info about our culture/dont miss

movies: Agnieszka Holland (Europe Europe), Krzysztof Kieslowski (Three Colours), Andrzej Wajda (Man of Marble, Man of Iron), Roman Polanski (Rosemary´s Babe, the Pianist), Stanislaw Bareja (all cult movies like ´Rejs´, ´Mis´)

music:
- classic: Fryderyk Chopin, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Krzysztof Penderecki
- movie: Zbigniew Preisner, Marcin Pospieszalski
- rock: Kult, Hey, Maanam,
- poem-rock: Swietliki ... more

Language and Useful Phrases

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Polish language is very difficult to pronounce, anyway we'll be very, very happy to hear you trying.
  • Good morning - Dzień dobry
  • Hi - Cześć
  • Sorry/Excuse me - Przepraszam
  • Please - Proszę
  • Beer - Piwo
  • Thank you - Dziękuję
  • Thanks - Dzięki
  • Good bye - Do widzenia
  • Bye - Cześć
  • See you - Na razie

Here are some hints how to pronounce Polish ... more

Events and Holidays

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Festivals, Sports, Concerts, Public Holidays...

National Holidays
  • 1 May - National Holiday of people of work
  • 3 May - National Holiday of 3rd May - the anniversary of the proclamation of Constitution of 3rd May
  • 11 November - Natinal Holiday of Independence - The anniversary of regaining independance by Poland
  • 15 August - The Virgin Mary Assumption
  • 1 November - All Saints' Day
  • 11 November - Natinal Holiday of Independen ... more

Climate and When to Go

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For information about climate visit:
http://www.polandembassychina.net/en/climete.htm

if you are from worm countries dont come first time or for longer in Autumn or Winter - it is really cold and days are short - you could get depressed. only if you love snow or somebody in Poland it can help you to survive ;)But we have beautiful Spring and hot Summer.

Geography

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Environment and Flora and Fauna

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Dangers and Warnings

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Tourist Traps

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WASHING YOUR CLOTHES This is not a real tourist trap but you should know it as a tourist. If you look for a place where you can wash your clothes: there is none! Apart from private people's washing machines. Students normally go home to their parents on weekends so there is no need to have public laundromats.

Health

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History

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Try to read "Gods playground" written by Norman Davies there is almost everything :) our history is quite dramatick so this could be quite interesting added by shadowmaker schuba@wp.pl

Government and Politics

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Some resarcher claims that our coutry is still intransition peroid (it is time when one regime is changing to another ) in late 80ties there were revolution that (provided by "Solidarnosc" - SOLIDARITY ) overturned comunism and now we have democracy. We have republick with bicameral parlament (460 deputies )and president ( actually Aleksander Kwasnieski ). Parlament is quite strong but president is also very important ( like in all postcomunism coutries ). Most known parties SLD (postcomunist )S ... more

Economy

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Ministry of Economy Web page in english:
http://www.mpips.gov.pl/english/index.php?dzial=28
and economy report for 2003 (in pdf):
http://www.mpips.gov.pl/pliki_do_pobrania/reporteconomy2003.pdf http://www.mpips.gov.pl/pliki_do_pobrania/reporteconomy2003.pdf

Arts

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Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...

you will find everything in Culture... probably I putted my info in wrong place, but let it stay there....

Media

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Newspapers gazeta wyborcza (www.gazeta.pl), rzeczypospolita (www.rzeczypospolita.pl) tabloids - Fakt.Super Expres Magazines Polityka, Wprost,Newsweek it is no problem to get The Times, Financial Times. Guardian added by :shadowmaker schuba@wp.pl

Religion

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Roman-catholic at large.

Volunteer Opportunities and Work

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Service Civil International - Polish branch - One World Association (www.jedenswiat.org.pl), (workcamps, long term projects, human rights education, refugees, street campaings against racism, intolerance)
you have also many possibilities to become EVS volunteer in Poland - check internet for Youth Program. ask me for more details.

Organized Tours

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What to Bring or Packing List

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Shopping

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Books and Further Reading

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Important books for traveler :) 1. if you are going to visit my great coutry :) and if you want to know more about Poles read Xenophobe's Guide to the Poles by Ewa Lipniacka this book is quite funny but you wiil find there lots of important informations about poles , culture customs svoir vivre etc . 2.To better understand Poles you should know a little bit abot their history the best book for foreinger is God's playgroun by Norman Davies. added by :shadowmaker schuba@wp.pl

Other Information

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You can find lot of information you need about Poland like small dictionary, prononciation, info about food, travel and so on Polish branch of Service Civil International www.jedenswiat.org.pl - 'welcome to Poland' guide, which is prepared for volunteers coming to Poland

External Links

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Official Country Website: Poland (eng) or Polska (pl)

More currency information: Banknotes

http://www.what-where-when.pl/

Database of polish milk bars (bary mleczne): http://smupo.achjoj.info/bary_mleczne

Only add really valuable resources here. Also, p ... more

Offtopic Messages

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Here you can add messages that are not exactly related to the aims of the Hospitality Club (but related to the country). Do you need a visa invitation? Looking for an internship, job or a flat to rent? Just add this here, and if you are lucky other members will read it and contact you. Remember: do not send messages like this directly to members - after giving you this space here, we will fight spam even more strictly!
Disclaimer: The Hospitality Club has no control over the information above and accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this website. Please correct false information or send us feedback about it.
Copyright: Feel free to use the text on your website as long as you notify us and include a clearly visible link to www.hospitalityclub.org above the text.

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