Poland covers an area of 312,700 square kilometers and is located in central Europe. Poland's borders are formed by the Baltic Sea to the North, Germany to the West, the Czech and Slovak Republics to the South and Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia to the East. Poland is a parliamentary republic and is divided into 16 administrative provinces, and then smaller poviats and gminas.
Poland has 38 million inhabitants, The capital of Poland – Warsaw has 1.65 million citizens. There are several other major cities, such as Cracow (Krakow), Gdansk, Poznan, Katowice, Lodz, Szczecin, Wroclaw.
On the 1st of May 2004 Poland joined the European Union. Visitors arriving from the EU don't need a visa, but should carry a passport or other valid identity document confirming the nationality of the bearer. Please note that some nationals of certain non-EU countries also do not need a visitor's visa. For further information please visit the website of the Polish Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Poland has a temperate changeable climate. Spring starts in March with temperatures varying from the mid 30's to the low 60's °F (-1 to - 15 °C), until about May or June. July is the hottest month, but the rest of the summer is also quite warm with temperatures ranging from the mid 70's into the low 90's °F (21 to 32 °C). September marks the beginning of Poland's autumn, when the days become more damp and foggy until about December. In winter time temperature drops to a few degrees below zero.
Poland is not a member of the Euro currency system. The Polish currency is the Polish Zloty (PLN) = 100 groszy. Average exchange rates in January 2011: 1 Euro = 3,87 PLN, 1 $ - 2,85 PLN, 1 GBP = 4,55 PLN. Actual exchange rates always on our main page. Major foreign currencies may be exchanged for Polish Zlotys at banks or exchange counters, identified by the name KANTOR located in many places like hotels, train and bus stations as well as main streets in cities. You can import and export foreign currency without any restriction up to 10.000 Euro. Most shops, restaurants, hotels, travel agencies, airlines and petrol stations accept payments with credit cards. There are over 8,500 automatic teller machines (ATM's) in Poland.
To drive a motor vehicle in Poland EU nationals need a valid ID, vehicle registration documents (log book) and a driving license. If you are driving someone else’s car, it is useful to have the owner’s written permission to use the borrowed car. A valid EU license is acceptable.
Poland runs on GMT plus 1 hour. Traveling from the west you lose time (e.g. 1 hour traveling from London). Poland counts time on a 24 hour clock, and the week starts on Monday. So 1 PM is 13:00, 2 PM is 14:00 and so on.
1 January - New Year's Day; 1 May - May Day; 3 May - Constitution Day; 15 August - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 1 November - All Saints Day; 11 November - Independence Day; 25 & 26 December - Christmas Days
Emergency telephone numbers:
Fire rescue 998
Using Mobile phones 112
Distances between Warsaw and some other Polish cities:
Białystok – 194 km Olsztyn – 216 km
Bydgoszcz – 265 km Opole – 313 km
Czestochowa – 220 km Poznan – 303 km
Gdansk – 345 km Przemysl – 356 km
Karpacz – 480 km Rzeszow – 299 km
Katowice – 295 km Tourn – 211 km
Krakow – 294 km Wroclaw – 348 km
Lublin – 163 km Walbrzych – 414 km
Lodz – 133 km Zakopane – 403 km