The official Polish currency is the złoty (literally, ‘golden’), abbreviated to zł and pronounced zwo-ti. It is divided into 100 groszy, which are abbreviated to gr. Banknotes come in denominations of 10 zł, 20 zł, 50 zł, 100 zł and 200 zł, and coins in 1 gr, 2 gr, 5 gr, 10 gr, 20 gr and 50 gr, and 1 zł, 2 zł and 5 zł.
Try to keep some small-denomination notes for shops, cafes and restaurants – getting change for the 100zł notes that ATMs often spit out can be a problem.
Currency can be exchanged at airports, hotels, banks and anywhere with a sign proclaiming "Kantor". Kantors will often provide better value than the banks in your home country or the ATM, though for obvious reasons be very wary of Kantors in the airports, bus stations and close to tourist sites.
When to tip: Customary in restaurants and at service establishments, such as hairdressers; optional everywhere else.
Restaurants: At smaller establishments and for smaller tabs, round the bill to the nearest 5zł or 10zł increment. Otherwise, 10% is standard.
Taxis: No need to tip, though you may want to round up the fare to reward good service.
|WEATHER in POLAND|
Poland lies in a moderate zone with mixed continental and oceanic climate influences.
It is useful to know that the weather in Poland is highly unpredictable and varied. The summertime can be really hot, though usually temperatures are around 20-25 °C. Winters can be really cold, with the chance of snow from November till March. From year to year you never know when the snow will fall and how long it will lie, except in the mountains where it usually covers the slopes all winter.
During the autumn and spring the weather is often changeable – you are likely to enjoy moderately warm temperatures from April to June and from September to October, but it is also possible to see snow in April or people wearing short-sleeves in October. Anyway, many people consider the spring and autumn to be the most beautiful seasons to visit Poland. They are good for travelling in, making for less tiring and so more enjoyable travel when you can avoid hard frost or sweltering heat.
As the weather here can be quite unpredictable, to get the best out of your Polish experience it is important to include both an umbrella and sunglasses, necessary equipment all year long.
Average temperature in September: 13.1 °C / 55.6 °F
|HEALTH & EMERGENCY|
In case of an emergency those dialling from a land line or public phone should use the following numbers: 999 for an ambulance, 998 for the fire brigade and 997 for the police. Mobile phone users should call 112 to be forwarded to the relevant department. English speaking assistance is not necessarily guaranteed, and rests on the linguistic capabilities of the operator.
English, German and Russian speakers have the option of using separate lines specifically designed for foreigners in distress: dial +48 608 599 999 or +48 22 278 77 77. Both numbers can be reached from a mobile phone or a land line and are hotlines in case you run into any troubles during your stay.
Taxis are easily available and not too expensive. As a rough guide, a 5 km taxi trip will cost around 20 zł, and a 10 km ride shouldn’t cost more than 30 zł. Taxi fares are higher at night (10 pm to 6 am), on Sunday and outside the city limits. The number of passengers (usually up to four) and the amount of luggage doesn’t affect the fare.
Taxi corporations phones:
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There are plenty of taxi companies.
- Avoid unmarked pirate taxis, which usually have just a small ‘taxi’ sign on the roof with no name or phone number.
- You can flag down cabs on the street or order them by phone. There’s no extra charge for this and many firms employ dispatchers who can speak at least some English.
- When you get into a taxi, make sure the driver turns on the meter. Also check whether the meter has been switched to the proper rate: ‘1’ identifies the daytime rate, and ‘2’ is the night rate.
Buses & trams
Polish cities offer excellent public transport. Every large and medium-sized city will have a comprehensive autobus (bus) network, while some cities will also have tramwaj (tram) and trolejbus (trolleybus) systems. Warsaw is the only city with a metro.
* Public transport normally operates daily from around 5 am to 11 pm. Service is less frequent on weekends.
* Trams and buses are likely to be crowded during rush hour (7 am to 9 am and 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm Monday to Friday).
* Timetables are usually posted at stops.
Rent a bike and enjoy biking through green Poznan. The most popular way of renting a bike is the Next Bike system, which has many rental stations throughout the city center. Although a prior online registration is mandatory, it is worth remembering that the first 20 minutes of bike usage is free of charge.
To find more information regarding Next Bike system please visit https://nextbike.pl/en/how-does-it-work/
German version: https://nextbike.pl/de/wie-funktioniert-das/
Russian version: https://nextbike.pl/ru/kak-eto-rabotayet/
Each city has a slightly different system of ticketing and fares, so be prepared to watch what the locals do and do likewise.
Most cities have a fare system based on the duration of the ride (also in Poznań), with a standard 10-minute ticket costing around 3.00 zł. There may be more expensive tickets for longer ones (30, 60 minutes).
There are many common features across Polish buses and trams:
* There are no conductors on board buses and trams. Buy tickets beforehand and punch or stamp them in one of the little machines installed near the doors once you enter the bus or tram.
* Buy tickets from newspaper kiosks like Ruch or from street stalls around the central stops, recognisable by the bilety (tickets) boards they display.
* Buy several tickets at once since you may find yourself at a far-flung stop with no chance to buy tickets locally. Note that ticket kiosks may be closed on Sunday.
- Traffic is on the right side.
- Maximun speed: 50 km/h in towns from 5 AM to 11 PM and 60km/h from 11 PM to 5 AM, 90 km/h outside urban areas, 110 kmh on dual carriageways and 140 km/h on motorways
- Permitted alcohol content in blood is 0.2 promilles.
- Head lights must be used all year long.
- Foreign drivers can use a driving license from their home country or an international driving license for up to six months after entering Poland. Afterwards they are obliged to pass the local examinations which presuppose the knowledge of the Polish language.
- Seatbelts must be worn by both front seat and back seat passengers and it is prohibited to use hand-held mobiles while driving.
- Cars must be equipped with a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit and a hazard-warning reflexive triangle.
Mobile phone: When using your own mobile phone and roaming services, you can choose from Polish operators: T-mobile, Plus, Orange and Play. It is quite easy to get a Polish SIM card, and if you stay longer this is more economical. When making calls within Poland, dial the country code +48, then the city code (Warsaw, for example, is 22) followed by the number. When calling Polish mobiles, dial +48 and then the 9-digit number.
If you want to try traditional Polish cuisine, stop counting your calories. Typical meals are very hearty and often contain a lot of meat. Just sampling them is enough to discover that they are really delicious and worth putting on a few ounces. The most recommendable dishes are: bigos, kotlet schabowy, pierogi and gołąbki (see below). Poles boast that their two basic products are bread and sausages.
The most typical ingredients used in Polish cuisine are sauerkraut, beetroot, cucumbers (gherkins), sour cream, kohlrabi, mushrooms, sausages and smoked sausage. A meal owes it taste to the herbs and spices used; such as marjoram, dill, caraway seeds, parsley, or pepper. The most popular desserts are cakes and pastries.
Poland's culture has always integrated elements from its neighbours, and there are also many recipes of Jewish origin. Nowadays the Polish menu is still changing, being influenced by various, sometimes exotic tastes. Apart from traditional restaurants specialising in Polish cooking, restaurants serving Italian, French and Asian foods are mushrooming in Poland's cities, as well as vegetarian bars.
Barszcz czerwony: refreshing beetroot soup with vegetables and sour cream or served clear with dumplings.
Żurek: sour rye soup with potato, sausage or an egg, sometimes served in a bread loaf.
Krupnik: barley soup with a smattering of vegetables and smoked meat.
Kapuśniak: sour cabbage soup.
Zupa ogórkowa: hot sour cucumber soup.
Rosół z kurczaka: golden chicken consommé with noodles.
Zupa pomidorowa: tomato soup, often with rice or noodles.
Grochówka: thick pea soup.
Zupa grzybowa: mushroom soup with cream.
Flaki wołowe: beef tripe soup.
Kotlet schabowy: traditional breaded pork cutlet (a tasty choice if you do not want any risk).
Polędwiczki wołowe: beef sirloin, often with rare mushroom sauce.
Gołąbki: cabbage parcels originally from Lithuania, they are stuffed with meat or meat and rice.
Pierogi: very traditional small white dumplings, larger than ravioli, filled with sauerkraut with mushrooms, cheese and potatoes or with fruit. They can be also with meat (z mięsem).
Bigos: appetizing, seasoned "hunter" stew made from sauerkraut with chunks of various meats and sausages, extremely traditional.
Makowiec: sweet poppy cake.
Sernik: delicious fat cheese cake.
Szarlotka: cake with apples, sometimes served with whipped cream.