Border Countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia
Population: 38 million
Time Zone: CET (UTC+1); summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Members of: EU, UN, NATO, OECD, WTO and many other. Since December 21, 2007, Poland has been part of the Schengen Area, a zone with no internal borders which comprises the territories of 25 countries.
Currency: Zloty (PLN, zł), 1 zloty = 100 groszy. PLN may be exchanged in numerous bureaux de change (KANTOR in Polish) or in banks.
ATMs of various networks and banks are popular and easily accessible in larger towns and cities. Cash may be taken out of them, usually 24h per day. A bank card is a very popular, safe and convenient means of payment in Poland. It may be used without any problem in supermarkets, at filling stations, in restaurants or hotels.
Bargaining over the price is not a very well developed custom in Poland. In shopping centres and chain stores the customers almost never negotiate prices with the sales personnel. However, buyers may negotiate prices at bazaars, markets or fairs.
Tips are not mandatory in Poland and there is no obligation to give them. It should only be done when you are satisfied with the service. The usual amount of tips reaches 10% of the bill, in some better restaurants it is automatically added to the bill as the payment for service. Tips for hotel service personnel may be between PLN 5 and 20, depending on the standard of the hotel in which we stay. There is no custom of tipping taxi drivers in Poland.
International airports: the biggest Polish airport is Warsaw Chopin Airport. Other important: Warszawa (Modlin); Krakow (Balice); Katowice (Pyrzowice); Gdańsk (Rębiechowo); Wrocław (Strachowice); Łódź – Władysław Reymont Airport; Poznań (Ławica); Szczecin (Goleniów); Bydgoszcz (Szwederowo)
Trains: the Polish railway company called Polskie Koleje Państwowe (PKP) is main provider of railway services. Fast trains, operated by PKP Intercity, are divided into the categories: EuroNight, EuroCity, Express InterCity, Express InterCity Premium, TLK (interregional trains, slower, but cheaper) and international fast trains. There are also other companies which operate local passangers train (REGIO). Information about the timetables of all operators may be found at the Website www.rozklad-pkp.pl
Cars: Poland has right-hand traffic. Fastened seatbelts are compulsory for drivers and passengers both in front and back seats. Children up to 12 years of age must travel in special certified child seats. Compulsory dipped headlights (day and night) all year round.
Health: citizens of other states must pay when making use of medical care services within the territory of Poland. That is why it is recommended that you acquire insurance for the time of travel in the insurance company in your own country. Persons authorised to receive healthcare under Community coordination regulations are entitled to free medical services during their stay in Poland. Such persons should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling.
Every Sunday offices do not operate and there is a trade prohibition. There are some public holidays too: 01.01; 06.01; Easter (Sunday&Monday); 01.05; 03.05; Corpus Cristi; 15.08; 01.11; 11.11; 25.11; 26.11.
Source of information: www.en.poland.gov.pl and www.poland.travel/en