Poland unforgettable memories

Tips and Tricks

Tipping

Service in restaurants and bars is usually included, but giving some change to the waiter while paying the bill is regarded as a polite behaviour and gratitude for good service. Standard tip is about 10% of the bill and it usually means rounding the figure of the bill. The money may be given to the waiter or left on the table. If you give it to the waiter and say thank you (or in Polish: dziękuję) it means you don't want any change back.

Etiquette - Savoir Vivre

In Poland you may see a man kissing a woman's hand while greeting or saying goodbye. It is an old Polish custom, common among elderly people and nowadays rather not used among youths. Shaking hands is a usual behaviour. Very close friends or relatives of either sex kiss three times, alternating the cheeks.

If you visit someone at home, it is the done thing to bring a gift, especially if you were invited. Flowers or chocolates are always a good choice. If you buy flowers, remember to buy an odd number, because an even number is bought for funerals.

Men usually hold doors and chairs for women in Poland.

Men don't wear hats or caps indoors.

Public Toilets

In Poland women's toilets are usually labelled with a circle and men's with a triangle. There's often a fee of ca. 1 zl to be paid before using the toilet.

Nearly all gas stations have toilets free of charge, there are toilets railway stations (usually paid) and those at pubs and restaurants (free for customers).

At big events, organizers provide plastic boths toilets called toi-toi toilets (test it only in an emergancy).

Electricity

Electricity in Poland is 230 Volts, 50 Hertz. If your device doesn't accept these parameters, you will need a voltage converter. You'll also probably need a plug adapter as Polish outlets only accept plugs with two round pins.

Costs

For Western Europe travellers Poland is not an expensive country, although it depends on the demands. Staying in budget hotels, eating in cheap restaurants and using public means of transport it is possible not to exceed US $ 35 per day.

Agricultural tourism is the cheapest way of visiting Poland. Then you may spend little money on accommodation and food (even below US $ 20 per day) but you'll need your own car or a lot of time for transport because vacation farms are usually far from the cities. You also should know a few words in Polish because your hosts may not speak English.

Some typical products and prices (based on exchange rate 1€ = 4.738 Polish zloty (10th of March, 2009)

  • 1 coca-cola (can 0,33 l) = 2.00 Zl   (Tesco) or from 4.50 Zl (pub)= 0.42 euro / 0.95 euro (pub)
  • 1 żywiec beer (can 0,5 l) = 2.70 Zl (Biedronka) or from 4.50 Zl (pub) = 0.586 euro /0.95 euro (pub)
  • bar of chocolate (100g) 1.30 Zl   (Biedronka) = 0.28 euro
  • loaf of bread (500g) 1.50 Zl (Biedronka) = 0.32euro
  • milk UHT (2%) 1l 1.75 Zl   (Biedronka) = 0.37 euro
  • cigarettes Marlboros (20 pcs) 8.75 Zl (Biedronka) = 1.90 euro
  • apples (Polish origin) 1 kg (bazaar) 2.00 Zl= 0.26 euro

Quick currency converter to your local currency (based on current exchanged rate) - click on http://www.xe.com/ucc/full/ or http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

Discounts

Discounts are for students with ISIC student cards, EURO<26 , for children, families (not very often), for invalids, for people over 70 and for the owners of city travelcards.

Smoking

Smoking in Poland is forbidden in public places in general, like airports, railway stations, bus stops, schools, airports, cultural centres. Selling cigarettes to people under the age of 18 is forbidden, too.

Alcohol

It is not permitted to drink alcohol in public. However, it is very common to see people, mostly the locals, drinking beer in parks, city streets or in front of shops (usually in small towns or villages).

Measurments

In Poland the metric system is used. Below some helpful examples:

  • 1 meter (1 m) = ca. 1.09 yard
  • 1 kilometer (1 km) = ca. 0.62 mile
  • 1 kilo (1 kg = 1000 gram) = ca. 2.205pound
  • 25 °C = 77 °F
  • 20 °C = 68 °F
  • 0°C = 32 °F

To convert more units check converter: http://kalkulator.jednostek.pl/temperatury or: http://www.convertit.com