Welcome to Poland
Poland is situated in the centre of Europe. It represents in many ways a bridge between Eastern and Western part of continent and this is reflected culturally in its charming mix of modern city skylines and traditional village based culture.
Poland has a good access to the Baltic Sea and is located at the crossroads of import and transit routes, that enhance the development of country’s economy, trade and all sorts of international relations. Poland is the largest of the East European countries which joined the European Union in May 2004
Poland is a stable democracy with truly fascinating history, great cultural heritage and wonderful natural areas. Polish cities are sure to welcome tourists with a plenty of things to see and do, offering distinctive sights and rich cultural programs. Whether you are into museums or kite-surfing, sleeping by the Masurian Lake, folk crafts or fine dining, dancing in a bar, or listening to classical music in an ancient church, you will not be disappointed.
Transport in Poland involves air traffic, waterways, roads and railroads. As a country located at the cross-roads of Europe Poland, with its highly developing economy, is a nation with a large and increasingly modern network of transport infrastructure. Air travel is generally used for international travel, with many flights originating at Warsaw Chopin Airport. Airports are also situated in the vicinity of most of the largest cities in Poland and are serviced by public transport, shuttle buses and taxis.
Poland is served by an extensive network of railway. In most cities the main railway stations are located near a city centre and are well connected to the local transportation system.
The international routes crossing Poland have been constantly developed and modernized. Main international roads give connections with neighbouring countries
History of Poland is an immense tale. Forever sandwiched between two powerful aggressive neighbours, it has over the past millennium defended its freedom and sovereignty on innumerable occasions, only to be overrun and subjugated to occupation by foreign powers time the largest country in Europe to completely disappearing off the world map and seen its population devastated in two world wars. Yet it is testament to the astounding resilience of the Polish people that Poland has not only bounced back from every crushing blow but also had the energy to hold strong to its own culture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed as site of outstanding culture or humanity. There are 27 World Heritage sites in Poland.
Culture and science
The culture of Poland is closely connected with its intricate thousand-year history. Its unique character was developed as a result of its geography at the confluence of various European regions. Polish people have traditionally been seen as hospitable to artists from abroad and eager to follow cultural and artistic trends popular in other countries. In 19th and 20th centuries the Polish focus on cultural advancement of ten took precedence over political and economic activity. These factors have contributed to the versatile nature of Polish art with all its complex nuances. Nowadays Poland is a highly developed country that retains its tradition. The list of famous Poles begins with scientist Nicolaus Copernicus, who studied at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, founded in 1364 by Casimir the Great from proceeds of his Wieliczka Salt Mine. Poland is the birthplace of many distinguished personalities among whom are: Fryderyk Chopin, Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Lech Wałęsa and Pope John Paul II.
Nature and health
On the North of Poland is the Baltic Sea, and on the south stretch the mountains. With the coastline, mountains and the lakes region, Poland has natural attractions that will rather to the taste of all nature lovers. There are 23 National Parks in Poland with total area approximately 780,000acres, which take up about 1 percent of the country’s total area. Polish National Parks are unique in Europe for their diversity of wildlife, their size and varying geographical features. Poland has a tradition (dating back to the 13th century) of Spas and Health Resorts. Europeans have long been flocking to Poland to take advantage of its health of natural resources – its picturesque landscapes, excellent climatic conditions, mineral rich water and therapeutic mud deposits. Presently Poland has as many as 40 health Spa municipalities and 70 health resorts.
38 million, 6th largest in the European Union, Poland neighbours are Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania.
The summer, which often seems to start off very strong in May and then flatters to deceive in June and July, before returning with a glorious – but often all too brief – revival in August and September, can be glorious but given climate change is not as predictable as it once was. In winter, however, temperatures can drop to below zero (Celsius) and in the north-east of the country can even fall as low as -25 degrees – and the winds can bite, so a big warm coat and decent boots/shoes are a must. Gloves, hats, scarves might also play a role here, between late October and mid-March.
In Poland it is 230 volts 50 Hz. Plug sockets are round with two round pin sockets. Foreign appliances could require an adapter.
The official language in Poland is Polish, but many Poles, particularly younger people, speak English.
Health & Emergency
No vaccination certificates are required on entry except for those countries registered in epidemic areas. In case of an emergency those dialling from a land line or public payphone should use the following numbers: 999 for an ambulance, 998 for the fire brigade and 997 for the police. Mobile phone users should call 112 to be forwarded to the relevant department.
Poland is in the Central European time zone (CET, GMT +1). Polish summer time (GMT +2) starts and ends on the last Sundays of March and October.
Catholicism is the main religion in the country. The deceased Polish-born Pope John Paul II remains a genuine source of pride for all Poles.
The standard unit of currency of Poland is zloty (PLN). Currency can be exchanged at airports, banks and currency exchange offices (kantor). In the hotels Polish zlotys or credit cards will be accepted.