What to Wear
Poland is not a particularly style-conscious destination, though there are some undeniably trendy places in Warsaw, Krakow and Gdansk. For most occasions, casual dress – shorts, tees and jeans – is sufficient. One exception to this would be visiting churches, where more modesty (trousers for guys and covered shoulders and longer skirts or trousers for women) is called for. For dinner at a tablecloth place or at a more formal concert or opera, a sports coat and trousers (as opposed to jeans) is usually a good choice for men, and a dress or skirt for women. A waterproof coat and sturdy shoes are a good idea in any season.
What to Pack
»Mobile phone charger
»Standard European plug converter (two round pins)
»Sat-nav device (if renting a car)
»Sun hat and shades
»Check the validity of your passport
»Make any necessar_y bookings (for sights, accommodation and travel)
»Check the airline ’s baggage restrictions
»Inform your credit/ debit card company
»Organise travel insurance
»Check if you can use your mobile/cell phone
»Find out what you need to hire a car
There’s a polite formality built into the Polish language that governs most interactions between people, though the rules are normally suspended for foreigners who don ’t speak Polish.
It’s customary to greet people, including shopkeepers, on entering with a friendly clzieﬁ dobry (jyen do-bri; good day). On leaving, part with a hearty do widzenia (do vee-dze-nya; goodbye).
Treat churches and monasteries with respect and keep conversation to a minimum. It’s always best to wear proper attire, including trousers for men and covered shoulders and longer skirts (no short shorts) for women. Refrain from ﬂash photography and remember to leave a small donation in the box by the door.
When raising a glass, greet your Polish friends with na zdrowie (nah zdroh-vee-ya; cheers)! Before tucking into your food, wish everyone smacznego (smach-neh-go; bon appetit)! End the meal by saying dzigkuje (jyen-koo-ye; thank you).
ATMs are ubiquitous in cities and towns, and even the smallest hamlet is likely to have at least one. The majority accept Visa and MasterCard. Change money at banks or, more commonly, kantors (private currency-exchange offices). You can ﬁnd these in town centers as well as travel agencies, train stations, post ofﬁces and department stores. Rates vary, so it’s best to shop around. The easiest way to carry money is in the form of a debit card, withdrawing cash as needed from an ATM; check with your home bank about transaction fees and withdrawal limits. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted for goods and services. The only places you may experience problems are very small establishments. American Express cards are typically accepted at larger hotels and restaurants, though they are not as widely recognized as other cards.