Useful Information

List of emergency numbers (when calling from a landline or public phone):

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important numbers
  • 999 – Ambulance Service
  • 998 – Fire Department
  • 997 – Police
  • 986 – City Guard (Straż Miejska)
  • 601 100 300 – Mountain Rescue Patrol (GOPR)
  • 601 100 100 – Water Rescue Patrol (WOPR)

LOCATION:

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location

Poland is located in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Russia to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometers.

POPULATION:

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Poland has a population of over 38 million people. The capital of Poland – Warsaw – has 1.7 million citizens. There are several other major cities, such as Krakow (Cracow), Gdansk, Wroclaw, Poznan, Szczecin, Lodz, Katowice, Lublin…

LANGUAGE:

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The official language is Polish. English and German are widely spoken in hotels and the tourist industry.

TIME:

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Poland is in the Central European Time Zone: GMT + 1. Summertime is applicable from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October when they set the clock back one hour.

CLIMATE:

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Poland has a moderate climate. The average temperature in July is 20°C. There are, of course, very hot days when temperatures exceed 30°C. The coldest winter months are January and February, when average temperatures drop to a few degrees below freezing.

CURRENCY:

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The official Polish unit of currency is the Polish Zloty (1 PLN = 100 groszy). The Polish Zloty exchange rate may fluctuate many times during the day. Major foreign currencies may be exchanged for Polish Zlotys at banks or exchange counters, identified by the name KANTOR. They are located in many places like hotels, train and bus stations as well as main streets in cities. The bank notes: 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 zlotys. The coins: 5, 2, 1 zloty and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 grosz

CREDIT CARDS:

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An increasing number of establishments in Poland accept credit cards. Among the most popular are VISA, MasterCard, Diner’s Club, American Express. Special information stickers are put on the doors and windows of business offices which accept payment with credit cards.

TIPPING:

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Tips of 10% to 15% are customary in restaurants and cafes. Tipping in self-service restaurants is not expected.

Costs in Poland

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fast food

Fast food bar

20 PLN/4 EUR

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mid-range restaurant

Mid-range Restaurant

70-100 ZŁ/25 EUR

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beer

Beer(0.5 liter bottle)

8-10 PLN/2 EUR

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water

Water (1.5 liter bottle)

2-3 PLN/1 EUR

Polish inventions

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Cryptologic bomb is a special-purpose machine designed about October 1938 by Polish Cipher Bureau cryptologist, Marian Rejewski to break Enigma-machine ciphers

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Kerosene lamp (paraffin lamp) constructed by Polish inventor Ignacy Lukasiewicz in 1853

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radium polonium

Radium and Polonium discovered by Maria Sklodowska-Curie and her husband Piotr Curie

Polish tidbits

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Oscypek is a smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk exclusively in the Tatra Mountains region of Poland. Oscypek is a protected trade name under the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin geographical indication

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Zubrowka (Bison Grass Vodka) is a brand of dry herb-flavoured vodka distilled from rye, 40% alcohol. It’s name comes from zubr, the Slavic word for the wisent, which are particulary fond of the herb

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heather honey

Heather honey is a highly valued product in moorland areas, with many beehives being moved there in late summer. Heather honey is a protected trade name under the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin geographical indication.