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Poland Travel Information

The Basics

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2, Apr - Oct).

Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. The standard two-pin European style plugs are used.

Language

The national language is Polish; however, English is widely understood in tourist areas.

Travel Health

There are few health risks associated with travel to Poland. After Brexit, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance. Medical facilities and standards of healthcare are good, but not many nurses or doctors speak English. If travellers take prescription medication along, they should be sure to bring a signed and dated letter from a doctor detailing what it is and why it is needed.

Tipping

Tipping is expected in restaurants in Poland and 15 percent is the standard for good service. In restaurants, when your bill is collected, saying 'thank you' signals to the waiter/waitress that they can keep the change. Tipping is not the norm in hotels across Poland, but taxis, tours and spas generally expect no less than 10 percent tip for good service.

Safety Information

Having said that, visits to Poland are usually trouble free, and the precautions travellers should take are merely the safety measures advised for cities all over the world.

Local Customs

Family is incredibly important in Polish society, with many citizens relying heavily on their close-knit inner circles which also may include close friends. Parties can be formal, so don't be surprised if you're introduced by your host and try to use the prefix 'Pan' for males and 'Pani' for females when addressing others. It serves as the Polish equivalent for 'Mr' and 'Ms'.

Business

Poland has an interesting mix of the old and the new, and this is apparent in the business world too. Women can expect a kiss on the hand rather than a handshake from the older generation and one can expect to be warmly offered drinks during meetings; it is impolite to refuse. Although the Polish are hospitable and friendly, business is still conducted formally. Punctuality is important, dress should be formal and conservative (a suit and tie are the norm) and business cards are exchanged. Use titles and last names unless otherwise indicated. English is widely spoken, though attempting some basic Polish phrases will be appreciated. Business hours in Poland are traditionally 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and lunch breaks are not a given as they are often unpaid.

Communications

The international access code for Poland is +48 and wifi is available in towns and cities.

Duty Free

Travellers to Poland over 17 years, arriving from non-EU countries, do not have to pay duty on 250 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1 litre wine and 1 litre spirits; cosmetics and medicines for personal use; gifts up to the value of €430. Travellers to Poland arriving from within the EU do not have to pay duty on 800 cigarettes or 200 cigars or 1kg smoking tobacco; 10 litres spirits, 90 litres wine and 110 litres beer. Prohibited items include birds and poultry arriving from countries infected with avian influenza. The export of all articles of artistic, historic or cultural value are subject to special regulations.

Become our Poland Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Poland travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Poland or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.