Republic of Poland

REPUBLIC OF POLAND

POLAND IN BRIEF


Area

312,68 ha (9th largest country in Europe)

Capital city

Warsaw

Population

38 million

Major cities

Gdańsk, Katowice, Karków, Łódź, Poznań, Wrocław

Government

parliamentary republic

Time zone

UTC + 1 in winter UTC + 1 in summer (EST)

Language

Polish

Currency

złoty (PLN)

EMBASSIES


List of foreign embassies in Poland, see www.msz.gov.pl (section: About MFA; Diplomatic Protocol).

  • Labour Day (1st May) – typically a day of rest
  • Constitution Day (3rd May – on this day in 179l Poland proclaimed its modern codified constitution. It is often marked with parades and other public displays of celebration.
  • National Independence Day (11th November) – on this day in l9l8 Poland regained independence after 123 years of partition. It is also a day devoted to Saint Martin, one of the most popular saints among Poznań citizens. His military cloak, which he cut in half and shared with the beggar, had been a symbol of Christian duty to the poor for many centuries. The celebration takes place in the city center, all along St Martin Street. The event begins with a colourful parade whose central figure is Saint Martin. Numerous platforms taking part in the parade are accompanied by live music.

On this holiday, the confectioners of Poznan bake amazing number of croissants, made specially for this occasion. You should definitely try it!

  • 1 January – New Year’s Day
  • Easter Sunday, Easter Monday
  • 1 May -lnternational  Worker’s Day
  • 3 May – Constitution Day
  • Day of Pentecost
  • Feast of Corpus Christi
  • 15 August – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • 1 November – All Saints Day
  • 11 November – Independence Day
  • 25 & 26 December – Christmas Days
  • Easter (a non-fixed holiday) – one of the most important public holidays, which is full of tradition, eggs are painted and special food is prepared, celebrated in March or April.
  • Corpus Christi – Celebrated 60 days after Easter (mostly in June), Corpus Christi is both a national and a religious holiday. It is marked by religious processions through towns and villages, prayer, and attendance of church services.
  • Ascension of Virgin Mary (15th August) – August 15th celebrates the Virgin Mary’s assent into heaven. The day is marked by religious observances, including church attendance,
  • All Saints Day (1st November) – on this day people go to cemeteries to light candles and pray for the ones who have passed away.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas (25th -26th December) – Christmas Eve is the most important Christians holiday in Poland and is called Wigilia, It is marked with a special meal, often made up of 12 meatless dishes, and observance of Christmas Eve traditions. The Christmas tree is typically decorated on this day. A large dinner may also be prepared for Christmas Day.

ACCOMMODATION


Poland offers choices for everyone’s budget. You may stay at a big, exclusive hotel located in the city centre or in a smaller, yet delightfully situated one, a bit away from the city centre. One can also choose to stay at one of the city’s camping sites or hostels located in the city centre. Credit cards can be used are accepted in most places. For complete list of available accommodation options, please visit the website at www.poznan.pl 

There are many Bed and Breakfast, B&B, rental apartments, guesthouses, budget and luxury hotels and holiday lets in Poland

TRANSPORTATION


Poland can boast a wide range means of transport. To travel around the country one may use trains, airplanes and buses. Depending on the distance, getting from one side of Poland to the other is possible within a day.

MOBILE PHONES


There are a numer of mobile networks in Poland. Each one offers you two types of contract:

  • Subscription when you need to pay monthly fee for using your mobile
  • Phone card when you need to recharge your phone whenever you need it

Mobile networks available in Poland:

POST OFFICE


The opening hours for public facilities such post offices are normally from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

The post office at ul. Głogowska 17, near the central train station, operates 24/7.

GOOD TO KNOW

We would just like to bring to your attention that from the 15th November 2010 a new no smoking law came into force. From now on this smoking ban is extended to all public places and this includes hospitals, trains and buses, offices, restaurants and pubs, bus and tram stops, railway stations and airports, and lots more. Smoking in public places is allowed only in special zones created for smokers which you will have to look for. Restaurants will be for non smokers only if the establishment cannot provide a specially ventilated and separate room for smokers. The penalty for a smoker is a 500 zł fine, for the restaurant owner 2000 zł. To help you find a restaurant or a club where smoking is allowed please look for this icon on our listing of restaurants, clubs and pubs. No sign means that the facility is a smokeless zone.

TIPPING

It has changed a lot since the good old bad days when everything had to be tipped. Today it is understood that you tip because the service was good, or you want to tip. Those receiving tips can consider it as a form of appreciation for their service. So if you were satisfied with the service leave a tip. However you have to bear in mind that catering staff, restaurants, clubs, etc are paid a very minimum wage. They are expected to make tips and most of them understand that good service will bring in tips bad will not. So if you think it was worth it, add 10% to the bill as a tip and try to pay it cash to your waiter or waitress. If the service and atmosphere has been very good you can even add more. When paying for a taxi, round up the bill, it saves hunting for change. Generally taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped. So if you do the driver will be surprised, and happy.