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Location:Central Europe, east of Germany
Area:312,685 sq km
Population:38,185,913 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Polish (official) 98.2%, Silesian 1.4%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.3%; note - data represent the language spoken at home; shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census; Poland ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2009 recognizing Kashub as a regional language, Czech, Hebrew, Yiddish, Belarusian, Lithuanian, German, Armenian, Russian, Slovak, and Ukrainian as national minority languages, and Karaim, Lemko, Romani (Polska Roma and Bergitka Roma), and Tatar as ethnic minority languages (2011 est.)
Religion:Catholic 85.9% (includes Roman Catholic 85.6% and Greek Catholic, Armenian Catholic, and Byzantine-Slavic Catholic .3%), Orthodox 1.3% (almost all are Polish Autocephalous Orthodox), Protestant 0.4% (mainly Augsburg Evangelical and Pentacostal), other 0.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Muslim, Jewish, Church of Jesus Christ), unspecified 12.1% (2017 est.)
Things to Do
1. Explore the Old Town of Warsaw
Take a stroll through the historic Old Town of Warsaw, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the beautiful architecture, visit the Royal Castle, and enjoy the charming cobblestone streets.
2. Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine
Descend into the underground world of the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Explore the salt chambers, discover fascinating salt sculptures, and learn about the history of salt mining in Poland.
3. Hike in the Tatra Mountains
Embark on a hiking adventure in the Tatra Mountains, Poland's highest mountain range. Marvel at the stunning alpine landscapes, conquer challenging trails, and spot unique flora and fauna.
4. Explore the Bialowieza Forest
Discover the ancient Bialowieza Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the last and largest remaining parts of the primeval forest that once covered Europe. Observe European bison, explore nature trails, and learn about the forest's biodiversity.
5. Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
Pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust by visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. Learn about the atrocities committed during World War II and gain a deeper understanding of this dark chapter in human history.
6. Discover the Malbork Castle
Step back in time at the Malbork Castle, the largest brick castle in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore its impressive fortifications, admire the Gothic architecture, and learn about its rich history.
7. Relax on the beaches of the Baltic Sea
Unwind and soak up the sun on the sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea. Enjoy a swim in the refreshing waters, build sandcastles, and indulge in delicious seafood delicacies.
8. Visit the UNESCO Wooden Churches of Southern Lesser Poland
Explore the UNESCO-listed Wooden Churches of Southern Lesser Poland, a collection of historic churches known for their intricate wooden architecture and cultural significance.
9. Cruise the Masurian Lakes
Embark on a scenic cruise through the picturesque Masurian Lakes, a region famous for its pristine lakes and lush landscapes. Enjoy panoramic views, go fishing, or try water sports.
10. Explore the Historical City of Gdansk
Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of Gdansk. Visit the iconic Neptune's Fountain, stroll along the picturesque Long Market, and explore the medieval Gdansk Crane.
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Poland has a temperate climate with distinct seasons, making it a year-round destination. Here are some more details on the climate and best time to visit Poland:
Poland's climate is generally mild and temperate, with warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature in summer is around 20-25°C (68-77°F), while in winter, temperatures can drop below freezing.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Poland depends on your interests and what you want to see and do. Generally, the summer months from June to August are the most popular, with warm weather and long days. This is a great time for outdoor activities and festivals. Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are also pleasant times to visit, with milder weather and fewer crowds. Winter (December to February) can be very cold, but it's a great time to visit if you want to experience Poland's winter sports and Christmas markets.
Poland has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly to luxury, that offer different amenities like breakfast, parking, and Wi-Fi. Many hotels are located in the city centers or near popular tourist attractions.
Hostels are a great option for budget-conscious travelers or backpackers. They offer shared rooms or private rooms at a lower cost than hotels. Many hostels also have communal spaces for socializing and cooking facilities for guests.
Vacation rentals, such as apartments and houses, are a popular choice for families or groups traveling together. They offer more space, privacy, and often come with a kitchen or kitchenette, which can be a cost-saving option for meals.
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Guesthouses and bed and breakfasts are typically small, family-run accommodations that offer a more personalized experience. They often have fewer rooms than hotels or hostels, and breakfast is usually included in the room rate.
For outdoor enthusiasts, camping is a popular way to experience Poland's natural beauty. There are campsites located throughout the country, some with basic facilities and others with more amenities like showers, swimming pools, and playgrounds.
Poland has an extensive train network that connects most major cities and tourist destinations. Trains are generally reliable, comfortable, and affordable. There are several types of trains, including high-speed trains, regional trains, and overnight trains.
Buses are a popular option for traveling between cities and towns in Poland, and they are generally cheaper than trains. There are several bus companies that operate in Poland, including PolskiBus and FlixBus, which offer both domestic and international routes.
Renting a car is a great option if you want more flexibility and independence while traveling in Poland. There are several car rental companies located at major airports and in city centers, and they offer a variety of vehicles at different price points.
Most cities in Poland have a well-developed public transportation network, including buses, trams, and metro systems. Public transportation is generally cheap and efficient, and it's a good option for getting around within a city.
Taxis are readily available in major cities in Poland, and they are generally safe and reliable. However, they can be more expensive than other transportation options, so it's a good idea to agree on a fare with the driver before getting in the car.
- The currency in Poland is the Polish Złoty (PLN).
- Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas.
- It is recommended to carry some cash for small purchases and in case of emergencies.
Cash And Cards
- ATMs are readily available in Poland and accept most international debit and credit cards.
- It is advisable to notify your bank or credit card company about your travel plans to avoid your cards being blocked.
- Be cautious when using credit cards in restaurants or bars, as there have been instances of card skimming.
- ATMs are easily found throughout Poland in major cities, towns, and popular tourist destinations.
- Check with your bank regarding any fees for international withdrawals and set an appropriate withdrawal limit to avoid excessive charges.
- Tipping is not mandatory in Poland, but it is appreciated.
- In restaurants, a 10% tip is commonly given if you are satisfied with the service.
- It is customary to round up the taxi fare to the nearest whole number.
- Porters, hotel staff, and tour guides can be tipped at your discretion.
Cost Of Living
- Poland has a relatively low cost of living compared to Western European countries.
- Accommodation, transport, and dining out are generally affordable.
- Prices may vary in different regions and tourist areas.
- Grocery shopping and cooking your meals can help save money during your stay.
- Be cautious of taxi drivers who may try to overcharge tourists. Always insist on using the meter or agree on a price before getting in the taxi.
- Be cautious when exchanging currency and only use reputable exchange offices or banks.
- Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded tourist areas.
- Be cautious when approached by strangers offering assistance or trying to sell you goods or services.