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Poland in brief

Time

Local time is GMT +1.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz.
The standard two-pin European style plugs are used.

Language

The national language is Polish. English and German are spoken and widely understood in tourist areas. In other places tourists can encounter some problems.

Health

Generally ,there aren’t any health risks associated with travel to Poland. It is safest not to drink water from the tap to avoid stomach upsets. There is a reciprocal health agreement with the UK and most EU countries, whose citizens are entitled to free emergency medical treatment on presentation of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In addition, there is a wide range of private clinics. Full health insurance cover is advised.

Visas

Visa free travel to Poland is available to citizens of many countries outside the European Union. Detailed information on rules covering entry and stay in Poland can be obtained from Polish embassies and consular offices.
A list of addresses of embassies and consulates.

Tipping

Tipping is widespread but not obligatory in Poland. Small gratuities from 10 to 15% can be offered for excellent service in restaurants .In addition, small change is welcome by taxi drivers, hotel poters , hairdressers and room service. Some of the more expensive restaurants may already include a service charge on restaurant bills.

Safety

Poland is considered to be a safe country. However, like in every country tourists should be alert to the risk of robbery especially in tourists sights in large places such as hotels, markets and banks, railway stations and public transport . These places happen to be quite popular among thieves.

Communications

The international access code for Poland is +48. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Cheap rate is between 10pm and 6am, and at weekends. Mobile phones work throughout the country, local operators use GSM networks, which may not be compatible with some US cell.

Money

The official currency is Zloty (Zl), divided into 100 groszy. American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard are accepted in places visited frequently by tourists. Some smaller independent stores do not accept credit and debit card payment especially for low value purchases. ATMs are also beginning to exist in Polish cities, where they can be recognized by the sign 'Bankomat. Money can be exchanged at banks, hotels or exchange offices called "kantors".

Food & Drinks

It is said the most popular dish in Poland is Bigos - a hearty stew of cabbage, potatoes, cuts of pork, pureed tomato, mushrooms and red wine. Also, pierogas (pierogi) are our landmark. They are of kind of boiled dumplings of unleavened dough filled with varying ingredients such as mushrooms, sauerkraut , mashed potatoes, cheese or meat. They can be ordered in all restaurants and bars .Polish cuisine is rich in a number of delicious and totally unique snacks that are definitely worth a taste. Diners will find a wide choice of international cuisine across the country that should satisfy every taste during a stay in Poland. As the Polish people say” smacznego”/ enjoy your meal/

Shopping Working Hours

Shopping hours are usually from 9am until 7pm on weekdays and until 2pm on Saturdays. The exception to this is in the more popular tourist areas of the city which will work longer hours and some even open on Sunday mornings.

Drinking in Public Places

In Poland it is prohibited to drink alcohol and beer in public places with the exception of properly licensed designated places such as bars, restaurants, open air café gardens, etc.

Smoking in Public Places

Smoking is now prohibited in many places marked with special signs ( a cigarette). However, such places have designated smoking areas. Therefore, in restaurants, pubs, on trains, in theatres, colleges, etc. smoking is allowed only in designed smoking section.

Emergency & Important Contact Numbers

To call an emergency service using a landline or a public phone, please dial:

999 – Ambulance

998 – Fire Brigade

997 – Police

986 – Municipal Wardens (Straż Miejska)

To call an emergency service using a mobile phone, please dial local code before the number, for example: 22 - 997 to call the police in Warsaw. Emergency calls from phone boxes are free of charge. If you do not know the local code, dial the general emergency number for mobile phones: 112. Then you will be transferred to the appropriate emergency unit

Please note: the numbers above should be used only in cases of emergency - never to obtain tourist information.

 

Holidays in Poland in 2012

January 1st - New Years Day

April 08-09th - Easter

May 1st - Labour Day

May 3rd - Constitution Day

June 7 th  - Corpus Christi

August 15th - Assumption of Virgin Mary

November 1st - All Saints' Day

November 11th - National Independence Day

December 25th - Christmas Day

December 26th - Boxing Day