Central Europe’s Poland offers many great things to do and see for visitors. From the stunning Baltic coastline, cultural jewels, unspoiled natural areas, and medieval cities to historical war sites, mountains, and modern gems, Poland offers a fabulous selection for all.
Here is some useful information about Poland travel that is likely to come in handy when planning your exciting trip:
Visa Situation for Poland
Poland is a signatory of the Schengen Agreement, meaning that people from other signatory countries can enter Poland freely without needing a visa, or even a passport. This agreement effectively removes all borders between member countries. Other countries that are party to the agreement include the majority of EU countries, as well as Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
Note, however, that the UK is not part of this agreement, so visitors from the UK will still need a passport to enter Poland. Some non-EEA countries do not need a visa to visit Poland, including Australia, Canada, Malaysia, the USA, New Zealand, Mexico, Paraguay, Korea, Brazil, and Argentina. Many other nationalities require a visa to enter. Check with your local embassy before you finalise any travel plans.
Language in Poland
The official language is Polish, and most signs will only be in the Polish language. Most public announcements will also only be made in Polish. Many younger people can speak good English, however, so there will likely always be somebody close to hand who can help out. In major tourist attractions signs may be also be in English.
Getting to Poland
Poland has several international airports that are serviced by most European carriers. There are also direct flights to various Polish cities from the USA and Canada. Trains connect Poland to Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Kiev, Moscow, and Prague.
One can enter Poland by road at numerous crossing points. There are no border controls with neighbouring countries that are a party to the Schengen Agreement. Poland has several ports where people can enter by ferry, boat, and yacht. Regular boats link Poland to Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Finland.
Getting Around Poland
Poland has an excellent public transport system that covers most parts of the country. Tickets are relatively cheap. Maintenance, however, leaves a little to be desired, so standards may not be quite what you are used to. Road conditions are hit and miss, with many roads being in poor condition.
Visitors can travel around the country by private car, although this is likely to be a somewhat frustrating experience at times, or most areas are served by buses and trains. There are also domestic flights within Poland. With reports of unscrupulous and unofficial taxis, taxis are not widely recommended. Walking is generally safe in most areas.
Main Cities and Attractions
Poland offers a rich diversity for visitors. Some of the most popular places include the medieval and charming city of Krakow, as well as the nearby horrific Auschwitz concentration camp, the lively city capital city of Warsaw, the pretty port of Gdansk alongside the Baltic coast, Wroclaw, which is spread across 12 islands and has a long history, cultural Katowice, diverse Poznan, and interesting Wloclawek.
Trips to national parks in Poland are popular, including Karkonoski, Bory Tucholskie, Slowinski, and Bialowieza. Kalwaria Zebrzydowska monastery, Malbork Castle, the Tatra Mountains, and Wieliczka Salt Mines are also favourite places not to miss.