Domestic & International Calls
All telephone numbers, landline and mobile, have nine digits. Landlines are written 12 345 6789, with the first two numbers corresponding to the area code (there is no zero). 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.
Poland uses the GSM 900/1800 system, the same as Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It's not compatible with most cell phones from North America or Japan (though many mobiles have multiband GSM 1900/900 phones that will work in Poland).
If your mobile phone is unlocked, a cheaper and often better option is to buy a prepaid local SIM card, available from any mobile-phone shop. Prepaid SIMs allow you to make local calls at cheaper local rates. In this case, of course, you can’t use your existing mobile number.
However, modern 'smartphones' like an iPhone or Android device are not easily unlocked. With these phones, it's best to contact your home provider to consider short-term international calling and data plans appropriate to what you might need.
There's also the option of using an internet phone service such as Skype.
Most payphones in Poland require a phonecard, which you can buy from post offices and newspaper kiosks. Alternatively, buy a calling card from a private telephone service provider, such as Telegrosik (www.telegrosik.pl), whose international rates are even cheaper.