Pocket Travel Guide - Poland
Poland, located in Central Europe, celebrates its 30th
anniversary of escaping communism and Russian superiority this year. The
country expanded greatly over those years in many areas, such as economy and
global relations, but it’s still underappreciated in the tourism spheres.
90% of the people I talk to about Poland are surprised to hear how much it has to offer. And polish people, on the other hand, are surprised to hear that our own Mazury made it on the National Geographic’s list of Top Places to visit in 2016.
Even though it does not offer blue oceans and tropical weather, it has something for everyone- access to the Baltic and SPA resorts to the North, breath-taking rocky Tatra mountains to the South, and a land of blue lakes in its North-Western part. In addition tourists can explore strongly European architecture, experience vibes of 1000+ years old cities, eat great food and listen to a very distinctive language.
So whenever you decide to be one of those who visit this small country, I hope you will fall in love with it, and you may find some of the basic travel information below helpful.
Poland has developed great public transportation, not only
within the cities but also across the country. In every big city, whether it’s
Warsaw or Cracow, a bus, tram or train will quickly and easily get you to every
If you decide to visit a bigger chunk of the country and move from one city to another, the best and easiest way is to use a train (called PKP or Intercity), which would take you e.g. from Gdansk to Cracow in 7-8 hours for about 20 GBP, and there are over 15 times during the day to choose from.
A cheaper but longer option would be a bus, and there is a variety of buses and times to choose from. Air travel within Polish territory is not very good and super expensive.
2. Money and prices
Poland’s currency is the Polish Zloty (PLN), which stands for ‘gold’. Currency Exchanges are very common, usually marked with a big word KANTOR, but do not worry about getting too much cash, 98% of stores, restaurants etc will take a card. To be honest, more places accept cards nowadays in Poland, than e.g. in Germany. You should, however, gear up in cash when visiting farmers markets, or village stores. Also be aware that some smaller stores may have a minimum card amount, usually 10-20 zlotys (~2-4 GBP). I’s say prices are fairly cheap. To give you an idea, some of the prices in a touristy area are:
-A meal for 2 in a good restaurant with drinks ~100 zlotys (~20 GBP)
-Pint of beer in a pub ~8-14 zlotys (1,60-3 GBP)
-Basic cup of coffee ~6 zlotys (~1,20 GBP)
-Loaf of bread ~2,50 zlotys (~ 0,50 GBP)
3. What to eat
Poland offers different types of regional food in different areas, meat-lovers will be especially happy there, but there is bunch of vegetarian options as well. Some of the must-try’s are:
·Pierogies (dumplings with filling; cheese and potatoes- ‘ruskie’ are the most common)
·Oscypek (found in the South, a smoked sheep cheese)
·Flounder and 20+ types of spiced herring (found in the North, regional Baltic fish)
·Toruń gingerbread cookies
·Zurek soup (regional Southern soup, but can be found everywhere, made of fermented cereals often served in a bread bowl)
4. Hidden gems (outside of the big cities everybody knows about)
- Zakopane (a ski resort in the Tatra Mountains)
- Sopot (Baltic sea resort with the longest wooden pier in Europe)
- Malbork Castle (a 13th century Teutonic Order castle)
- Biskupin (open-air museum with a real size model of an Iron Age settlement)
- Toruń (a home of Nicolaus Copernicus and a capital of
The more I think the more I could expand that list, but it’s best to just come and discover it for yourself!
About the Author
My name is Klaudia and I am an Archaeology and Anthropology student at the University of Bristol. I am a passionate travel blogger and photographer, who during the 23 years of her life visited 24 countries and dreams about a career in the travel writing industry.
Link to my blog: https://adventurnik.com/