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General Info about Poland

Visa Requirements
Citizens of USA, the UK, Spain, Ireland and most other European countries need a valid passport to enter the country for 90 days (180 days for UK citizens). Citizens of Australia, South Africa and Canada still require a visa to enter the country. To ensure you are aware of your nationality’s entry requirements contact your local embassy/consulate before travelling.

Currency
The official currency in Poland is the Zloty (Zl) which is divided into 100 grosz (gr). Notes come in denominations of Zl10, Zl20, Zl50, Zl100 and Zl200. Coins used are 1gr, 2gr, 5gr, 10gr, 20gr and 50gr.

Language
Poland’s official language is Polish.

Climate
The best time to visit Poland is during the summer months (June-August) when it stays warm for the most part and temperatures rise to mid-20s in Warsaw and Krakow. September is still relatively warm and temperatures begin to drop again from October on. Spring can be quite cool too.

Medical Care
Medical care in Poland is very good and in all major towns and cities you will have no problem finding a pharmacy/hospital/doctor.

Make sure to check your travel insurance policy to see if you are insured medically overseas before travelling.

Time Zone
GMT + 1 hour.

Opening Hours
General high street shops open from 9am-6pm Monday to Friday and some close for half days on Saturdays. Newsagents/grocery stores can open a bit earlier than that. The majority of shops are closed on Sundays.

Museums open from 9am-5pm but these hours can be extended during high season. Check with the museum before visiting.

Tourist Offices
You will find tourist offices in most of Poland’s larger cities where you can buy maps and pick up brochures for information on the area. Look out for PTTK (Polish Tourists Association) offices as well.

Tax
There is a sale tax of 19% imposed on goods in Poland.

Currency Exchange
Cash is easier to change into Zloty than travellers cheques. Credit cards and bank cards can be used at ATMs to withdraw cash, once they show the Cirrus symbol and credit card logos.

Electricity
220 volts, 50 Hz AC

Telephones
When you are calling Poland from overseas you need to dial the international access code, then 48 (Poland’s country code) followed by the area code and then the local number. If you are in the same area code you just dial the local number.

If you are calling abroad from within the Poland you dial 00 (Poland’s international access code), followed by the country’s code, area code (remembering to drop the 0) and local number.

Post Office
Poland’s postal company is Poczta Polska and they have post offices in most major towns and cities.

Tipping
Tipping is usually added as a service charge on your bill in restaurants, but if it isn’t don’t feel obliged to leave one.

Public Holidays
Poland’s national holidays are New Years Day (January 1st), Easter (March/April), May Day (May 1st), Anniversary of the proclamation of Constitution (May 3rd), Corpus Christi (May/June), The Virgin Mary Assumption (August 15th), All Saints’ Day (November 1st), National Holiday of Independence (November 11th), Christmas Day (December 25th), Boxing Day (December 26th).

It is worth taking note of Poland’s national holidays are as most shops and businesses close on these days.

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