Etiquette

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

  • Greetings It’s customary to greet people, including shopkeepers, on entering 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 stay silent inside. Wear proper attire, including trousers for men and covered shoulders and longer skirts (no short shorts) for women. Refrain from flash photography and 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).