Poland in detail


There’s a polite formality built into the Polish language that governs most interactions between people, though the rules are normally suspended for foreigners who don’t speak Polish.

  • Greetings It’s customary to greet people, including shopkeepers, on entering a premises with a friendly dzień dobry (jyen do·bri; good day). On leaving, part with a hearty do widzenia (do vee·dze·nya; goodbye).
  • Religion Treat churches and monasteries with respect and keep conversation to a minimum. It’s always best to wear proper attire, including trousers for men and covered shoulders and longer skirts (no short shorts) for women. Refrain from flash photography and remember to leave a small donation in the box by the door.
  • Eating & Drinking When raising a glass, greet your Polish friends with na zdrowie (nah zdroh·vee·ya; cheers!). Before tucking into your food, wish everyone smacznego (smach·neh·go; bon appetit!). End the meal by saying dziękuję (jyen·koo·ye; thank you).