Domestic & International Calls
Poland has dropped its former system of using city or area codes, and all telephone numbers, landline and mobile, have nine digits. Landlines are written 12 345 6789, with the first two numbers corresponding to the former city code. Mobile phone numbers are written 123 456 789.
To call abroad from Poland, dial the international access code (00), then the country code, then the area code (minus any initial zero) and the number. To dial Poland from abroad, dial your country’s international access code, then 48 (Poland’s country code) and then the unique nine-digit local number.
Local SIM cards can be used in European, Australian and some American phones. Other phones set to roaming.
Poland uses the GSM 900/1800 network, which is compatible with the rest of Europe and Australia but not always with the North American GSM or CDMA systems – check with your service provider.
Most smartphones are multiband, meaning that they are compatible with a variety of international networks. Before bringing your own phone to Poland, check with your service provider to make sure it is compatible, and beware of calls being routed internationally (very expensive for a 'local' call).
If you have a GSM multiband phone that you can unlock (check with your service provider), it is generally cheapest and easiest to buy a Polish prepaid SIM card. They sell for as little as 10zł and can be obtained relatively quickly and painlessly at any provider shop (GSM, Orange etc). No ID is required, and top-ups can be bought at phone shops, newspaper kiosks and even some ATMs.
Even if your smartphone is not compatible or unlocked, it can still be used as a wi-fi device. To avoid any unwanted charges, simply switch your phone to ‘airplane’ mode on arrival, which blocks out calls and text messages, and then enable wi-fi. Also turn off your phone’s ‘data roaming’ setting to avoid unwanted roaming fees.
Public phones usually require a phonecard, which you can buy from post offices and newspaper kiosks. Orange/TP cards cost 9/15/24zł for a 15-/30-/60-impuls (unit) card. A 60-impuls card is enough for a 10-minute call to the UK, or an eight-minute call to the USA.
Alternatively, buy a calling card from a private telephone service provider, such as Telegrosik (www.telegrosik.pl), whose international rates are even cheaper.