When I decided to travel to Poland for a week, I didn’t know much about the country or the language. But I thought ‘what the heck!’ lets go! I wanted an easy and exciting get away that wasn’t going to break the bank. Flights to Poland are very inexpensive early in February, which was the week I had planned to go. My friend Sally was coming along, hence I wouldn’t be alone.
5 Things To Know When Traveling to Poland
- First of all, even though English is widely spoken, you will still find a lot of people do not speak English. So I suggest doing a little research before getting there. Try learning words like, Good morning, Thank you, and Please. When Sally and I took a couple taxis the drivers did not speak English. Luckily, we had written down where we needed to go (seeing as I knew we would not be able to pronounce it correctly). After showing him the piece of paper he knew where it was. This helped a great deal.
- Take taxis! Don’t wear your feet out walking everywhere. For example, in Warsaw some of the sites are a little spread out, so don’t spend all your time and energy walking. We found the taxi fares very affordable. Our first ride was about 20 minutes, and it cost us 18zł (Polish Zloty) which is about $5usd.
- Tipping. Generally, the exchange rate of money will be in your favor. This means going out for a meal or drinks does not come at a high price. On average most people tip 10-15%. When you get good service, don’t be stingy. Your meal isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg. So give them what they deserve. Sally and I had a 3 course meal plus a glass of wine for roughly 125zł ($32usd).
- Know where you need to go. Do some research on how to get where you are planning on going. We thought we would just catch a bus or a tram around the city. Polish is a very tricky language for those of us who only speak English. Which means reading street names and destinations is not the easiest. Find out before hand the train or bus you need to catch, and what time to be there. This will help ensure you catch the right train to the correct destination.
- Try the Cuisine. Go out of your comfort zone and try things you normally wouldn’t. Once again, do some research on the best restaurants in the area you are visiting, and make sure you try some traditional Pierogi’s. We ate a restaurant called Radio Cafe in Warsaw. It was easy to find, the food was amazing, and the service was very friendly.
In conclusion, I hope you have found this very helpful in planning your trip. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or where to get a good bite to eat. Make sure you explore all Poland has to offer and the copious amounts of history. Most people are very friendly, welcoming, and hospitable. I loved my short time there and would go back in a heartbeat.
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