Resources

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/poland) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Polish National Tourist Office (www.poland.travel) Official tourist site.

Warsaw Voice (www.warsawvoice.pl) Polish current affairs.

Warsaw Tourist Information (www.warsawtour.pl) Official Warsaw tourist website.

Visit Kraków (www.krakow.pl) Official Kraków tourist website.

Top Tips

  • Parking can be a pain in many Polish towns – follow signs to main tourist car parks and walk into the centre rather than wasting time cruising narrow one-way streets hoping to find a space.
  • Make your first stop the town's tourist office and ask for a street map. It's the easiest way to make sense of the often random medieval layouts of many Polish towns.
  • Jaywalking is an offence in Poland – if caught by the police you will have to pay an on-the-spot fine (up to 100zł). Cross roads only at pedestrian crossings when the lights are green.
  • Some of Poland's most popular sights, including Warsaw's Museum of Jewish History, Kraków's Wawel Castle and Auschwitz I, have strict security checks. Make things easier by taking only a small handbag – backpacks, Swiss Army knives and multitools must be deposited in lockers.

What to Take

  • Passport
  • Wallet
  • Debit/credit card
  • Driving licence
  • Phrasebook
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Standard European plug converter (two round pins)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Sat-nav device (if renting a car)
  • Clothes
  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat and shades
  • Tissues
  • Umbrella
  • Padlock
  • Pen
  • Something to read

What to Wear

Poland is not a particularly style-conscious destination, though there are some undeniably trendy places in Warsaw, Kraków and Gdańsk. For most occasions, casual dress – shorts, tees and jeans – is sufficient. One exception to this would be visiting churches, where more modesty (trousers for guys and covered shoulders and longer skirts or trousers for women) is called for. For dinner at a tablecloth place or at a more formal concert or opera, a sports coat and trousers (as opposed to jeans) is usually a good choice for men, and a dress or skirt for women. A waterproof coat and sturdy shoes are a good idea in any season.

Pre-departure Checklist

  • Check the validity of your passport
  • Make any necessary bookings (for sights, accommodation and travel)
  • Check the airline’s baggage restrictions
  • Inform your credit/debit card company
  • Organise travel insurance
  • Check if you can use your mobile/cell phone
  • Find out what you need to hire a car