Our neighboring country Poland borders not only on the Federal Republic but also on the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. The often underestimated and very hospitable travel destination offers breathtaking nature with 23 national parks and the largest variety of animals in Europe. See ANDYEDUCATION for education in Poland.

Capital City Warsaw
Size 312.696 km²
Resident 38.433.500
Official Language Polish
Currency Zloty
Time Zone UTC + 1 MEZ
Telephone Area Code +48

Fast facts to know

  • Poland has 23 national parks – more than any other country in Europe.
  • A third of the whole country is covered with forests.
  • Poland has the highest animal diversity in Europe.
  • In Poland, a second breakfast is often customary.
  • Poland is one of the countries with the most lakes in the world.
  • In Poland it is appropriate to shake hands only with men when greeting.
  • Poles are known worldwide for their hospitality.
  • There are very strict alcohol regulations.
  • Contrary to many prejudices, Poland is considered a very safe travel destination.
  • The Polish Baltic Sea coast is 528 km long.
  • The largest statue of Christ in the world is in Poland. It is 36 m high (Cristo Redentor in Rio is 30 m high).
  • In the Bay of Gdańsk there is the longest wooden pier in Europe.
  • The Marienburg is the largest brick fortress in Europe and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

Exciting cities in Poland

  • Warsaw
  • Breslau
  • Kraków
  • Danzig
  • Thorn
  • Kazimierz Dolny

History of Poland

  • 5400 BC BC People settle down and practice agriculture.
  • 3100 BC The spherical amphora culture came into being, followed by the linear ceramics.
  • From about 750 BC Germanic tribes such as Goths and Vandals settled in the region.
  • 960-1386 Piast Dynasty.
  • 966 Christianization of Poles under Miezko.
  • 1025 Boleslaw becomes the first king of Poland.
  • 1138 Poland splits into the six duchies of Lesser Poland, Greater Poland, Pomerania, Pomerania, Silesia and Mazovia.
  • 1320 reunification under Wladyslaw I.
  • 1386 Lithuania and Poland are governed in personal union.
  • 1569-1791 Poland and Lithuania together form a noble republic.
  • 18th century weakened by wars against Russia & Sweden.
  • 1772, 1793, 1795 repeated partitions of Poland lead to the dissolution of the state.
  • 1918 Re-establishment of Poland after the First World War.
  • 1919 cession of territory by the German Reich to Poland.
  • Unclear border regulations lead to wars between Poland and Russia, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia and Lithuania in the east.
  • In the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the German Reich and Soviet Russia divided up Eastern Europe among themselves.
  • 1939 Occupation of Poland by the Germans leads to World War II.
  • 3 million Polish Jews are murdered.
  • After World War II, Poland falls under the influence of the Soviet Union and becomes a communist state.
  • 1945-1989 People’s Republic of Poland.
  • 1980 After numerous strikes by the workers, Lech Walesa founds the independent trade union Solidarnosc.
  • 1981-83 Martial law proclaimed & unions banned.
  • In 1989, under Lech Walesa, Poland was transformed into a market economy after Solidarity was reinstated.
  • 1989 Establishment of the Third Polish Republic.

Climate & travel weather in Poland

  • Temperate transitional climate.
  • Baltic coast with a maritime climate (humid, moderately warm summers & humid, not very cold winters).
  • East: continental climate (dry, hot summers & cold, snowy winters).
  • Lots of precipitation in the Carpathian, Tatra, Masurian and Pomeranian lake districts.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Easily accessible all year round.
    • Winter sports: Dec – March.
    • Beach holiday: June – September.

Ideas for trips in Poland

  • Marienburg
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • Climb the Kasprowy Wierch mountain
  • Hiking in the Giant Mountains
  • Observe bison in Bialowieski National Park
  • Admire the bear cave
  • Tropfsteinhöhle Raj
  • Marvel at the colorful lakes in the Landeshuter Kamm
  • The Crooked Forest
  • Auschwitz
  • Discover beautiful wooden churches

Eating & drinking in Poland

  • It is eaten hearty.
  • Lithuanian, Russian, German and Jewish influences noticeable.
  • Schnitzel and pork chop are just as popular as fish and poultry dishes.
  • But also rabbit, pheasant, geese are prepared with pleasure.
  • Poland is one of the countries with the highest meat consumption in the world.
  • Frequently used side dishes: pasta, rice, potatoes or dumplings.
  • Polish sausages are considered a traditional specialty.
  • Vegetables as a side dish are not so popular.
  • Basic ingredients for Polish specialties are beetroot, sauerkraut, cucumbers, mushrooms, sausages, kohlrabi, sour cream and herbs (marjoram, dill, caraway, parsley and pepper).
  • Breakfast usually very hearty.
  • Lunch is warm between 1pm and 2pm.
  • Bigos (stew with pork, sauerkraut and mushrooms) is considered the Polish national dish.
  • Soups are also very popular (eg soups with barley, sauerkraut and pickles).
  • Poles love sweet pastries.
  • Weekly markets are small paradises for gourmets.
  • Tea is more popular than coffee.
  • Vodka is the most commonly drunk alcohol, and beer is also very common (there are many local breweries).
  • Typical dishes:
    • Pierogi (dumplings filled with vegetables, meat or sweet).
    • Kaszanka (rough sausage).
    • Pyzy (Dampfnudeln).
    • Potato gut (Kartoffelwurst).
    • Pomidorowa (tomato soup made from fresh tomatoes with noodles or rice).
    • Rosól (chicken or beef broth).
    • Kapusniak (sauerkraut soup).
    • Ogórkowa (pickled cucumber soup).
    • Krupnik (thick barley and vegetable soup).
    • Ggolabki (cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat and rice).
    • Zrazy (Rinderrouladen).
    • Duck with apples (Ente mit Äpfeln).
    • Ges pieczona (roast goose).
    • Fasolka po bretonsku (baked beans).

Particularly scenic

  • Tatra mountains
  • Wollin Island
  • Slowinski Nationalpark
  • Dunes of Leba
  • Bledów Desert
  • Masurian Lake District
  • Dunajets Gorge
  • Pradnik Tal
  • Bialowieza Forest
  • Mickiewicz Waterfalls
  • Table mountains of the Heuscheuergebirge
  • Ojcow National Park

Poland Fast Facts

Poland Fast Facts
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