Poland holidays

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Experience Poland

Introduction to Poland

Poland holidays can either be a quick weekend or a longer break. Either way, you will be introduced to the country that is quickly asserting itself as an up-and-coming holiday hotspot. With a history that stretches back more than 1,000 years, there is plenty of culture to soak up: from ruined castles to imposing palaces.

Poland is also a superb destination for seaside holidays. Head east and you will find spectacular beaches swathed by dense forests, rolling hills and imposing mountains. Basking in a continental climate and with long, hot summers, Poland is a country full of surprises.

Best Places to Visit

With a skyline dominated by twisting Gothic towers, Krakow looks as though it was made for a fairy-tale. Hiding castles, busy markets and open squares within its walls, holidays in Poland wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its capital. Krakow also houses a burgeoning foodie scene, with everything from rustic restaurants to fine-dining eateries serving local cuisine.

Warsaw, might not boast the same spectacular skyline as Krakow, but it does have more open spaces. Lazienki Park, populated with peacocks and friendly squirrels, is a superb destination for families. For the grown-ups, Warsaw’s nightlife is unparalleled, offering glamorous clubs and chic bars.

See Also: Weekend & City Breaks in Poland

Top Landmarks

If you’re looking for hidden gems on holidays to Poland, head over to Wawel Royal Palace; here you will find the country’s crown jewels and the Szczerbiec sword. The latter is still used in coronation ceremonies, today. The castle is a stunning example of 14th-century architecture and is surrounded by superb courtyards and glorious gardens.

For natural wonders, Bialowieza Forest is both tranquil and breath-taking. Wander through the lush greenery which has grown here for thousands of years; you may even spot some of the bison that have made it their home.

For a truly moving experience, Auschwitz is close by. This once concentration camp gives a deep and emotional insight into the Jewish community and its emergence from one of the darkest periods in history.

Entertainment in Poland

Poland breaks aren’t just about architecture and history. If you are travelling with children then there are plenty of attractions to keep them entertained. The Wieliczka Salt Mines are a spectacular, subterranean experience. The jewel in the crown must be the Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, where everything - from the glittering chandeliers to the towering statues - is sculpted from salt.

If you have factored in nightlife as part of your package holidays to Poland, Krakow is the place to go. Legend has it that the city has the most bars of any city in the world. Whether or not this is true, there are certainly enough watering holes, clubs and bars to ensure a great night out!

Alternatively, if you prefer your shots to consist of adrenaline rather than alcohol, there are plenty of extreme sports to get involved with on your Poland package holiday. Flyspot is Warsaw’s indoor skydiving centre, where you can experience the thrill of a freefall without having to get into a plane.

Our best deals in Poland

Need to know

Language

Polish is the official language of Poland, and the one most widely used across the country. However, depending on where you go on your holidays in Poland, you will encounter other languages, too. These include Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, German and Armenian. Romani is also spoken by a small percentage of the population. 97 per cent of Poland’s 40million inhabitants have declared Polish as their first language, so it may be wise to take a phrasebook with you.

Currency

The official currency is the Polish zloty. For the best exchange rates, you are best advised to change up your sterling before flying to Poland. If you do happen to run low on cash, look out for one of the many ‘kantor’ points. These work in the same way as a bureau de change and, although the rates tend to vary quite significantly, offer the best value.

While it’s possible to change up money in banks, their rates aren’t that favourable. Similarly, while ATMs offer decent exchange rates, the accompanying surcharges can see you getting less bang for your buck.

Visas

British citizens taking holidays to Poland don’t currently need a visa. If you’re going for longer than three months, you will need to check with the Polish Embassy to see what documentation you need.

Climate

If you’re thinking of cold, snowy weather on your trip to Poland, think again. While the winters see the mercury dropping below zero, the summers are hot and sunny. The best summer weather is to be found along the Baltic Coast, where you can expect temperatures to hover around 25°C.

If you plan on skiing, Poland’s cold winters offer excellent ski slopes, complete with toasty log fires and a warming tot of vodka.

Main Airports

Many flights to Poland will take you to one of the country’s five busiest airports: Warsaw Chopin Airport, Krakow, Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport, Katowice Airport and Warsaw Modlin Airport.

The length of your flight to Poland will depend on where in the country you arrive and whether you fly direct. A direct flight to Poland from London will typically take around two and a half hours. With changeovers, you can expect flights to take anything up to six hours.

Warsaw Chopin Airport handles around 40 per cent of Poland’s international flights. It has one main terminal, set over three floors. You will find a wealth of restaurants, Duty-Free shops and some excellent flight lounges built for relaxation.

The airport recommends that you check-in at least two hours before flying. If your flight is transatlantic, it’s recommended that you check-in at least three hours in advance. Many check-in desks close 45 minutes before take-off.

Flight Options

Direct flights to Poland are available from many of the UK’s major airports. Once you’ve landed, you can catch connecting flights to smaller airports, which are scattered across the country.

Other Advice

Warsaw Chopin Airport is conveniently located on the outskirts of the city and should only take around 15 minutes to get to the city centre. There are plenty of taxis on hand but, should you want to make the journey under your own steam, you’ll find car hire companies at the airport.

Bus

If there’s a road leading to a village, town or city in Poland, the chances are there’s a bus service to take you to it. The bus routes in Poland are far more extensive than the rail network and, since the bus system’s recent deregulation, there’s a good choice of private operators. This competition between the companies means fares are often reasonable.

Many bus stations are within walking distance of a train station.

 

Taxi

Taxis offer a cheap and convenient way to get from A to B on holidays in Poland. You can hail them from the roadside or book in advance on the phone. However, if you are hailing on the street, make sure only to use taxis that display a company logo and phone number; there are still ‘cowboy’ taxi groups operating, which are notorious for overcharging.

Tram

Trams are a popular form of transport in Poland and operate in many of its cities. Tickets can be bought from kiosks, shops and vending machines. These tend to be determined by the length of your journey, rather than your destination. For example, you can buy a ticket for 20 minutes, which gives you that amount of time to complete your journey. For those who intend to use the trams frequently, it’s worth buying one for a greater length of time, such as for 48 hours.

Rail Services

Poland’s rail services are quick, cost-effective, clean and convenient. Services that operate between cities offer both first and second-class travel, while local trains tend offer second-class only.

MAP

FACTS

  1. Poland shares its borders with seven countries.
  2. 30 per cent of Poland is covered in forest.
  3. The white-tailed eagle is Poland’s national symbol.
  4. Poland sports 23 National Parks and even has a desert.

FACTS

  1. Poland shares its borders with seven countries.
  2. 30 per cent of Poland is covered in forest.
  3. The white-tailed eagle is Poland’s national symbol.
  4. Poland sports 23 National Parks and even has a desert.

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