Details of useful facts to help you enjoy Poland
Important notes prior to travel to Poland
When you give Simply Ruritania your first name and surname to be printed on your airline tickets. Please ensure that they correspond exactly with the first name and surname on your passport. If they do not match exactly, the airline may refuse you the right to travel.
Before you travel, please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned return date. It must also have at least 2 blank pages.
Before you leave home, it is a good idea to take photocopies of all-important documents (passport data page, credit cards, travel insurance policy, air tickets, driving licence etc). Leave one copy with someone at home and keep another with you while you travel, in a separate place from the originals.
Entering Poland as a tourist
Poland is currently a member of both the European Union and the Schengen area. This means that citizens of countries that are also in the European Union and the Schengen area may stay in Poland with no permit requirements. To enter the country, they only need a valid travel document such as a passport or an ID card. For the time being, this still applies to UK citizens.
If you are a non-UK citizen and not from a country within the EU or the Schengen area you will need to apply for a 90-day Schengen Visa to be able to travel to Poland. If anyone stays in Poland longer than three months, they must notify the relevant authorities of their stay.
You can find out more about how to apply for a visa from the Visa and Consular department at the Poland embassy in London. You will still need to have a valid passport and will be required to present the visa and the passport on arrival in the country.
Carry your passport with you at all times for identification. The police may fine you or arrest you if you fail to do so.
Health and Medical Information in Poland
If you have any concerns about staying healthy while abroad and any precautions you might need to take beforehand, please consult with your doctor before travel.
If you’re from the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, it’s advisable to take a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. An EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another EEA country or Switzerland. The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, for free.
You can apply for a card free of charge using the official EHIC online application form: https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do. Please note you can obtain a card from other sites, but they may charge you a fee for doing so.
While in the country, if you need to contact the emergency services call 112. If you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
No vaccinations are required before visiting Poland, however the Medical Advisory Services for Travellers Abroad (MASTA) recommends that you might need to consider vaccinations for Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE). You can find out more and book vaccinations from their website www.masta-travel-health.com. You may also wish to consult your doctor.
Security when travelling in Poland
The Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit may have issued information about travelling to Poland. You are advised to check this information at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
A good travel insurance that covers lost luggage, money and valuables, personal liability, medical and cancellation expenses is essential. It is a condition of travelling with Simply Ruritania that you have adequate Travel Insurance. Many clients prefer to make their own insurance arrangements to suit their requirements. Please note that we will need to know the following information before commencement of your holiday:
Name of your insurers
Insurers emergency contact number
Some money tips for your trip to Poland
The official currency of Poland is the Złoty, abbreviated as Zl, with the international abbreviation PLN. 1 Złoty consists of 100 grosze, abbreviated as Gr.
Take care when using cash machines, shield your pin and be aware of other people standing nearby. If you need to exchange currency, do so at a currency exchange office or bank, never on the street as this money is often counterfeit. It is very difficult to change Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes in Poland, so we would recommend that you change this currency in the UK instead.
Major credit cards, such as Visa, American Express and MasterCard are accepted by most hotels, shops and restaurants. Try to avoid signing for optional services at your hotels, pay as you go along to avoid unnecessary delays when checking out.
In Poland, it is usual to tip in restaurants, bars, coffee shops and other similar places. Sometimes the tip is included in the bill, but mostly it is at the customer’s discretion how much of a tip to leave in a restaurant or bar. 10% is the norm if you feel the service has been good.
What temperatures and weather to expect during your trip to Poland
The temperature from early March to late May usually stays around 7°C on average in Poland. The average rainfall/snowfall averages about 43 mm.
The average summer temperature is about 16°C because it also includes mountainous areas. In reality, the temperature in the towns in June, July and August may reach as high as 33°C.
September is still relatively warm in Poland, but at the beginning of October the average daily temperature falls to 8°C. You may also get some ground frosts in the late autumn.
Winter in Poland lasts roughly from November to February and is traditionally cold, with temperatures in towns sometimes dropping as low as -30°C.
Travel and Transport in Poland:
The largest airport in Poland is the Warsaw Chopin Airport in Warsaw. The airport is on the southern outskirts of Warsaw, but it’s very easy to get to the city centre. There are several options:
You may like to refer to Warsaw airport’s official website; www.lotnisko-chopina.pl
The other international airports in Poland are:
Public Transport in Poland
As with many places, the best practice with taxis is to use only taxis that are clearly identified and that you have called by phone, not hailed from the street. Ask about the price to your destination beforehand, and if it is too high, do not get in the car. The average price of a taxi is 7 zł starting price plus 2.5 zł per km.
Buses and trains
Poland has an excellent railway network and a good bus service. Both trains and buses are reliable. In Warsaw, you’ll also find trams, buses and a metro system.
Poland Time Zone
Poland is in the Central European time zone (CET), which means it is one hour ahead of the UK. Like the UK, Poland also switches to summer time, with the clocks moving forward an hour on the last Sunday in March and back again on the last Sunday in October. The Polish usually use the 24-hour format for telling the time, although they will sometimes use the 12 hour convention in every day speech.
Electricity in Poland
The electrical network in Poland has a voltage of 230 V and frequency of 50 Hz. The sockets are the same as in France, Germany, or Belgium. You will need to use an adapter if you are using an appliance with a UK plug.
Phones and internet connectivity:
There is a good broadband service across most of Poland, so you should have no problem finding an internet connection. Wi-Fi is usually available in restaurants, cafés, bars, hotels or libraries and on some of the transport network, such as certain trams, buses and trains.
Larger cities have high speed mobile phone networks, so if you have a prepaid data allowance with your phone provider, you can browse the internet that way too. European Union regulations were brought in in the summer of 2017, which means that all EU citizens will be charged at the same rate as they would be in their home country, putting an end to expensive data roaming charges.
The international dialling code of Poland is +48 (0048).
Big companies and public authorities have toll free lines starting with 800 or 801.
If you don’t have a mobile phone or don’t want to use it, Poland still has some phone booths operated with coins or a prepaid card.
Shopping while in Poland:
Opening hours for shops, banks, pharmacies in Poland:
As a general rule, the bigger the town, the longer the opening hours.
Banks are open weekdays from 8am to 4pm. ATMs are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Shopping centre opening hours tend to be the same throughout Poland: usually from 10am to 10pm, Monday to Friday and until 9pm on Saturday and Sunday, except for public holidays.
Postal services within Poland and internationally are provided mainly by Polish Post (Poczta Polska). In the larger towns, post office branches are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and closed on Saturday and Sunday.
In Warsaw, there are several post office branches that are open 24 hours, every day, including Sundays and holidays.
Pharmacies or chemists are usually open six days a week from 8am to 8pm. They are closed on public holidays. In larger cities there is always at least one pharmacy open 24 hours a day for emergencies.
Tourist sites, historical points of interest, galleries and museums in Poland are often open every day although some are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays.
Normal hours for governmental offices are on Mondays to Friday with some of the offices being open to the public more often. Most will close for lunch, usually between 1pm and 1.30pm.
Normal business hours for shops and services in smaller towns in Poland are usually from 9am to 9pm.
Guide on prices during your trip to Poland
Here are some approximate prices of basic items that you may wish to buy in Polish shops:
Bottle of still water (0.5 l) – PLN 4
Bottled beer (0.5 l) – PLN 3
Vodka (0.5 l) – PLN 26
Bread (0.5 kg) – PLN 3
Cheese (100 g) – PLN 2
Approximate prices of admission fees and other services:
Cinema ticket – PLN 15
Theatre ticket – PLN 25 or more
Concert ticket – PLN 40 or more
If you are considering making a major purchase of handicrafts, souvenirs, jewellery, or anything else whilst in Poland bear in mind that you may be responsible for.
1. Carriage /shipping / postage and insurance charges.
2. UK Value Added Tax (VAT)
3. UK Import Duty
Should you purchase an item please note we cannot be held responsible for the quality or delivery of the goods in the UK and are not able to intercede in any transaction you may make. It’s advisable to keep in mind: ‘The buyer beware’.