Our recommendation to visit Poland
Our recommendation to visit Poland and neighboring countries
Vacations to Poland
Multi country tours including Poland
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Poland Travel advice
Events and festivals in Poland
Popular festivals in Poland are distributed practically throughout the whole year. Every month there is an event or festivity to celebrate in this beautiful country, so whenever you travel, you will coincide with a traditional celebration.
Polish people are mostly Christians, so their popular festivals are marked according to the calendar of Catholic festivities. However, the most traditional Polish popular festivals bring together popular beliefs as well as Catholic customs. For this reason, in many small towns, there is still an important syncretism of old customs.
Take note of the following festivities in Poland to enjoy your visit to this country even more.
January - New Year
In addition to the New Year or Nowy Rok, in Poland on 21st January the day of the Grandmother is celebrated. On the other hand, even in the small towns, an old tradition remains which is related to the celebration of the Three Kings' Day.
On the sixth of January, it was customary to carry the star of Bethlehem in procession from house to house while singing carols. The ride was made up of a group of locals dressed up as different characters. The procession knocked on every door, and in return, they received drinks and food. The custom considered this representation as a symbol of good luck.
February - Polish folk festivals
During this month two of the most peculiar Polish folk festivals take place. On the one hand, it is on 2nd February when the feast of Our Lady of Candlemas is celebrated. During this celebration, the faithful go to church to light candles, which they carry to their homes without them being extinguished. According to popular belief, this ritual grants them protection from fires, storms, and demons.
Also in February, Fat Thursday is celebrated, a day in which extremely high-calorie foods are consumed. This day is celebrated on the last Thursday of Carnival, before the fast of Lent, currently, Fat Thursday is still celebrated on but the fast not so much.
March - Marzanna
On 21st March Polish people, especially children, celebrate the Marzanna. This tradition is very old and consisted of carrying a straw doll in procession through the town to end up drowning or burning it. The doll symbolized winter, and also evil, which ended a dark period, to welcome the spring.
Today, this Polish popular festival has become a social event for the youngest. It is a holiday for students, who take the opportunity to go out and have fun coinciding with the improvement of temperatures.
April - Holy Week
Another popular holiday in Poland, as in all Catholic countries, is Holy Week. During this festivity, the most remarkable are the techniques of decorating Easter eggs. Each of them is a unique work of art, which will leave you open-mouthed if you see the country during this month.
On Easter Monday, in some small Polish villages, an ancient tradition called smigus-dyngus is still preserved. This tradition consisted of the boys wetting the girls with water to wish them good luck and future good omens.
May - Swieto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja
On the third of May, one of the most commemorative events in Poland is celebrated: the Swieto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja. This day is Constitution Day, signed in the year 1791. Together with the Day of the Flag which is celebrated on day 2, and Labour Day on 1st May, these three days are known as Majówka, and are holidays throughout the country.
June - Jarmark Swietojanski
The Night of San Juan is another of the festivities in Poland which coincides with the Catholic celebrations. As in other European countries, the Poles take to the streets, but this time dressed in traditional Polish clothing. Bonfires are made, and the Fair of San Juan or Jarmark Swietojanski is celebrated.
July and August - Harvest Festival
The summer months are a reason for the celebration of popular festivals in Poland, especially those related to agricultural tasks. In the smaller towns, the Harvest Festival is still celebrated, with fruit and vegetable stalls, traditional music and abundant liquor and beer.
One of the biggest events in Poland is the Jagiellonian Fair in Lublin during the month of August. During the celebration, various festivals and theatrical representations take place, amongst a lot of music and typical Polish food.
September and October - Warsaw Contemporary Music Festival
During the autumn, Poland is filled with culture, first with its Warsaw Contemporary Music Festival in September, and then with the Dialog-Wroclaw International Theatre Festival in October
November - Independence Day
The month of November is the time when the Poles celebrate their Independence Day or Narodowe Swieto Niepodleglosci. On 11th November, the anniversary of independence is celebrated with parades and public events.
And on the 29th of this month, the San Andrés Vigil takes place, a celebration which brings with it the tradition of melting the wax and submerging it in cold water to create figurines which will be used as an oracle.
December - Pierwszy Dzien Bozego Narodzenia
Christmas can't be missing from the list of popular festivals in Poland. This celebration, known as Pierwszy Dzien Bozego Narodzenia, is like in many other Catholic countries, a date for the family to gather around a good table full of delicacies.
Whenever you travel to Poland, you can certainly participate in some of its popular festivals and events, so your memories will be even more precious.GO TO EVENTS
Food in Poland
Polish cuisine is very influenced by German and Slavic cuisine, therefore, when it comes to knowing what to eat in Poland, you have to keep in mind that it is mainly a very taste-rich and high-fat food.
Polish food also has Turkish, Hungarian, Jewish, Armenian and even French influences. This mixture makes the typical dishes of Poland varied and very substantial. Take good note of the main typical dishes which you will find during your trip, and which you should try.
This typical Polish dish consists of pastries stuffed mainly with meat, mushrooms, potatoes, and also cured cheese or even cottage cheese. If you add a touch of blueberries or vanilla, you also have sweet versions with sugar on top.
Something which you must also eat in Poland is this giant ravioli stuffed with meat. You can also find it stuffed with cheese, mushrooms, and cabbage. A culinary delight in the Polish style.
If you like roast beef, be sure to try this typical Polish dish, which consists of baked pork knuckle. For its elaboration fermented cabbage is used and it is accompanied by vegetables.
Another dish to eat in Poland, this time as an entrée, is borsch, a beet soup, to which a giant croquette is sometimes added at the time of serving.
Continuing with the soups, Zurek is prepared with rye flour, mushrooms, sausages, and boiled egg. This is one of the typical Polish dishes which is mostly consumed in winter because it is so caloric that it is perfect to kill the cold.
This dish, with a clear German influence, is a stew of meat and sauerkraut (sour cabbage).
Its preparation is slow and can take three days for all the preparations; it can also include bacon, onion, dried plums and also red wine.
Another traditional Polish soup is this cream made from cooked beets which are typical of the summer months. Also in summer, you can order Chlodnik, a bowl of cold beet soup with yogurt, in the style of gazpacho, which is very good.
This pork chop, very similar to the Wiener Schnitzel typical of Germany, is another of the rich things to eat in Poland, especially if you love meat.
Kasza gryczana ze skwarkami
Within the food of Poland, this dish is made from buckwheat with pork rinds. It is a very nutritious and caloric recipe, like all Polish cuisine, which also contains kefir and sausages.
Kaczka z jabłkami
More delicacies than food in Poland: roasted duck with apples or Kacza z jablkami. For the preparation of this typical dish, duck, butter, marjoram, rosemary, salt, and pepper are also used. All this is placed in the oven and served with roasted apples.
If you know the French ragout, this typical Polish dish is very similar. To cook this dish cooked beef is used, to which a horseradish sauce is added.
The Polish goulash has beef, onion, pepper, and paprika, as in most Eastern European countries. Sometimes it is served with spaetzle, a kind of small and tasty gnocchi, or with a salad of potatoes and parsley.
You will also find it with the name of Golumpki, and it is a typical Polish dish based on cabbage leaves cooked with meat, tomato sauce, and rice.
The Ziemniaczane are potato pancakes, bathed in tomato sauce and grated cheese. They also have pickled cucumber and vegetables with sour cream. It is one of the typical dishes to eat in Poland with a more clear German origin.
As a snack or quick dinner, you can find this invention of Polish food which consists of a kind of baguette with mushrooms, vegetables, and cheese. You can also add ham, sausages or whatever you prefer.
They are similar to crepes and are filled with cottage cheese or fruit; you can also find them with extra cream and sugar.
In addition to the main dishes and snacks, in Poland, you also have a variety of desserts and cheeses. As for the cheese, you can't miss out on trying the Oscypek, cured and smoked sheep's cheese. In the dessert menu, you have the Faworki (fried cupcakes), the Galaretka (fruit jelly), the Makowiec (poppy seed cake), or the Szarlotka, a delicious apple pie.
Accompany your culinary journey with a delicious Polish beer, such as the Tyskie, the Zubr or the Tatra. There are plenty of varieties of beers in Poland, but these three are the ones which have won the most awards and recognition. And if you don't like beer, don't worry; that doesn't detract from the delicious taste of this country's cuisine.
Shopping in Poland
If you are asking yourself what to buy in Poland on your next trip to this Central European country, you should know that there are many souvenirs that you can bring home in your suitcase. This Central European country which borders the Baltic Sea has traditional products that will delight you.
The Polish Republic attracts an increasing number of visitors to its beautiful landscapes, its rich history, and cultural attractions. When you visit the country, don’t forget to take one of the following Polish souvenirs back home with you.
As in many other countries, Polish handicrafts are generally the most valued souvenirs. In the case of Poland, their gold and silver metalwork is outstanding, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to buy a traditional Polish artisan item. In this case, the colored glass vessels with silver lids are the perfect gift as a souvenir of the journey.
The designs and colors of Polish ceramics are very reminiscent of the Russian patterns used to decorate tableware and items for the home. If you are a fan of this type of product, you will love the coffee sets, the vases and urns, and all the popular ceramics from this country. A place that is recommended for buying good items is the city of Boleslawiec, which is a production center of distinction.
Baltic amber is one of the most traditional items to buy in Poland. This type of amber is known throughout the world because of its quality and, for this reason, it is much used in jewelry and different artisan crafts. The cities of Gdansk and Warsaw are the two places recommended for you to buy it.
Perhaps you already know about the salt lamps and their countless benefits in the home. These attractive lamps are made of salt from the mines at Wieliczka and are therefore guaranteed to be authentic. Without a doubt, this is one of the souvenirs to buy in Poland that will hit the mark.
The Wawel Dragon
If you visit Krakow during your journey, don’t forget to take a figurine of Wawel Castle and its dragon back with you as a souvenir. It is the perfect gift for the children, as well as for more grown-up dreamers.
Of all the things to buy in Poland, slippers to wear in the house are really warm. They have wool interiors and are finished with leather on the outside, so they are both attractive and practical. You will certainly want to take pair back as a souvenir.
For antique lovers, and particularly for those who collect objects from the Second World War, Poland is the perfect place to find unique treasures. In many markets and antique shops, you can find helmets, medals, decorations and much more.
One of the most exclusive Polish souvenirs is the chess board, particularly those manufactured in Krakow. So if you like this game, or you want to surprise someone with a great present, this is a perfect choice. At the market in Sukiennice, there is an endless variety of chess pieces and chess boards of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
But handicrafts are not the only traditional Polish products you buy. We should also include food and drink.
Liquors and Vodkas
Krupnikas is the best-known Polish liquor at an international level. Honey, aromatic herbs and various spices are used to prepare this drink. But apart from this well-known drink, Poland has a great variety of honey-based drinks of different types.
Vodka is so ingrained in the Polish culture that it competes with Russian vodka in quality and consumption. There are many varieties of vodka, each with a different flavor, and you can find honey, fruits, flowers, and spices. If you want to take the most famous traditional Polish vodka home, choose Zubrowka.
And for lovers of beer, Okocim and Zywiec are the stars of the country, although there are many other brands throughout the length and breadth of the country.
In the south of the country, they make an artisan ewes cheese which is hard and smoked. This product will delight cheese lovers. The Oscypek is popular throughout the whole of Poland, so much so, that there is a tasting route for the cheese consisting of 19 Polish cities.
If there is something to buy in Poland which will be a sure-fire success, it is the ginger biscuits. Not only are they delicious, but they are created with designs inspired by fairy tales. Each biscuit is a little work of art in itself, and they are also packed in little boxes which are perfect as gifts.
This and much more, including the famous Russian dolls, are the best things to buy in Poland during your trip. A journey that you will surely want to repeat.GO TO SHOPPING
Poland tourist attractions
More information about Poland
Stylishly combining well-appointed, historic cities with bundles of unspoiled natural landscapes, Poland is a diverse, yet underrated travel destination. Its cities may have long been popular as city-break destinations, such as Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk, but there’s plenty more to explore on a package holiday to Poland, from the remote highlands of the Carpathians to the beautiful lakes and waterways of northeastern Poland and the Jewish heritage trails of cities such as Lodz.
Situated in Central Europe and bordered by Lithuanian, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Germany, Poland is well-known for its tragic World War II history and its magical medieval cities.
A holiday to Poland will open your eyes to a charming nation, filled with traditions, magical cities, heaps of natural beauty and fairytale castles, such as Ogrodzieniec Castle in Silesia. The capital, Warsaw, reveals a more modern side to Poland as its a thriving center of business, whilst Krakow, the cultural capital, dazzles visitors with its well-preserved UNESCO protected old town center and Wawel Castle.
On the other hand, the pretty port city of Gdansk is the center of the world’s amber trade, making it a must-visit for travelers with an attraction to the finer things in life.
History of Poland
From medieval castles to Bronze-age archaeological sites and poignant reminders of World War II, in Poland, history is a living and breathing entity. Western Poland, a Slavic tribe, dominated the region and gave Poland its name in around the 8th-century AD.
The Kingdom of Poland unified in 1025 and the country prospered, opening its borders to German merchants who founded German towns, especially in Pomerania. The 13th-century was marred by Mongol invasions and the defeat of the Polish by this mighty eastern kingdom, although they retreated shortly thereafter, only to be followed by the Teutonic Knights of the Crusades. In 1569, Poland joined with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and enjoyed a successful few centuries as one of Europe’s most populous and liberal kingdoms. Despite ongoing territorial disputes, the early 20th-century saw Poland solidify its independence with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, but, unfortunately, World War II had a devastating effect on the nation. Around 6 million Polish citizens died during the conflict, leaving the country unrecognizable. Many of these citizens were taken to concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, an emotional place to visit during a Poland tour package. Following the war, Poland became part of the Soviet Union until 1989, when it emerged as an independent democratic republic. Today, Poland is a member of the European Union and home to an amazing 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which showcase its rich history.
Nature in Poland
From the breezy Baltic Coast to the snow-capped Tatra Mountains in the south, Poland is vast, diverse and, in large parts, untouched, with three lake districts, 70 mountains over 2000 meters in height, and thousands of square kilometers of virgin woodland. There’s far more to Poland than its cities and if you get the chance to explore off the beaten path, you’ll be greatly rewarded. One of the most impressive natural wonders to explore on a trip to Poland is the Tatra National Park, a land of rock and ice, home to the country’s highest peak, Mount Rysy. Ski-fields and hiking trails help to keep visitors entertained in the breathtaking pristine environment. In the lowlands, an unmissable natural wonder is the primeval Białowieża Forest, one of the last vestiges of the ancient woodland which once covered Central Europe. A highlight of any tour of Poland, the Białowieża Forest is home to colossal oak trees and wandering bison. Up in the north on the Baltic Sea, in the region of Pomerania, you can find the charming Polish seaside and Slowinski National Park, a huge, drifting sand dune, with excellent walking trails and beautiful coastal views. Poland also boasts rich and diverse wildlife. Many species long-gone from the rest of Europe can still be found in Poland’s untouched habitats, such as the grey wolf, Eurasian lynx and brown bear.
Culture in Poland
A largely homogenous population means Poland is rich in unique traditions and folklore. Much of the population is Roman Catholic, perhaps most famously the first Polish Pope, John Paul II. The official language is Polish and, unlike many other European travel destinations, you’ll be hard-pushed to find public signage written in English, so it’s a good idea to learn some basic words in the native language before you travel to Poland. Easter and Christmas are a big deal in Poland and during national festivals, you’ll see locals in traditional dress, which tends to be highly embroidered and colorful. A rich literary, artistic and musical heritage is at the heart of Polish culture, meaning its museums and galleries are plentiful and great places to escape the weather during the colder winter months. If you visit Poland, be sure to check out one of the many open-air ethnographic museums, known as ‘Skansens’ to learn about traditional life throughout the centuries. Poland is also a must-visit for foodies with big appetites. Expect simple ingredients, huge portions, and perfectly executed home-cooking to keep you fuelled for your sightseeing adventures.
From the fairytale steeples of Krakow to the medieval streets of Gdansk, Poland has much to offer the culture-hungry traveler. A tour of Poland is the chance to get beyond the tourist sights, explore the natural beauty of the country’s lesser-traveled the countryside and experience the unique, age-old culture of this proud nation.
Poland travel information
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Visa not required for stays up to 90 days
UTC + 01:00.
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220 V. No adapter required.
Other useful information
The climate in Poland is humid continental: Winters are cold (average -5C) and summers are warm (average 19C).
There are no mandatory vaccinations.
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