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Basic information for tourists travelling to Krakow

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VISA INFORMATION
 
Apart from the citizens of the EU countries, citizens of the following countries are not required to be in possession of a visa when entering Poland for less than 90 days:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macao (Special Administrative Region), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican (Holy See), Venezuela.

Visa is not required also for: holders of United Nations "laissez-passer";

Citizens of all other countries must obtain a visa in order to enter and stay in Poland legally.
Visa approval to access Poland gives right of stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland only.  
 

 CUSTOMS DUTY

 
If you are 17 years of age or over, you may legally bring into Poland goods for your personal use and consumption, free of customs duty, as long as the quantity of the goods does not exceed:

polish cigarettestobacco products:
  • 200 cigarettes
  • 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars
  • 250 g of tobacco
  • a proportional quantity of all of these various products combined;
spirits and alcoholic drinks:
  • alcoholic beverages with alcohol volume content of more than 22% and pure ethyl alcohol with alcohol volume content of more than 80% - 1 litre,
  • alcoholic beverages, wine- or alcohol-based aperitifs, taffia, sake or similar drinks with alcohol volume content up to 22%; sparkling wines, liqueurs - 2 litres
  • non-sparkling wines - 2 litres
You must not bring with you (unless under a special permit) such banned goods as:
  • unlicensed drugs (e.g. heroin, morphine, cocaine, cannabis, etc),
  • offensive weapons (e.g. firearms, flick knives, knuckledusters, swords, etc)
  • indecent and obscene materials featuring children and other pornographic materials which are considered illegal in EU countries.
  • counterfeit and pirated goods and goods that infringe patents (e.g. watches, CDs, etc)
 

 CUSTOMS

 
polish customsThe Polish people are hospitable and easy-going, they appreciate when tourists can say even a few words in Polish. Shaking hands is an accepted form of greeting. Women can experience the old Polish custom of being kissed on the hand, however this tradition is fading away and it is considered old-fashioned by the younger generation.

Smoking is restricted in public buildings.

The Polish people are used to eating early in the morning. Breakfast is usually served between 7 and 8 a.m., lunches between 12 and 2 p.m. and dinners usually between 6 and 8 p.m.

Coffee shops are very popular in Poland and are the favourite places for social meetings from early morning to late at night. Alcoholic drinks are available throughout the day.
 
 

 MONEY

 
polish zlotyPoland’s national currency is zloty (PLN). One zloty equals 100 groszy.

Banknotes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 zloty and there are 1, 2 and 5 zloty, and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy coins in circulation.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at the airport, hotels, banks and exchange offices (kantor).

Many hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, petrol stations and larger shops accept American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards. There are numerous cashpoints.
 

 FOOD

 
polish foodA single main meal in the restaurants within the Old Town cost 25-50 PLN, a dessert about 8-12 PLN, a coffee – 8-10 PLN, a beer – 8-10 PLN.  The price of a beer in a pub varies from PLN 6 to 12 . The majority of larger restaurants accept credit cards.
 
Do not forget to try the Polish specialities: bigos , made of sauerkraut or fresh cabbage, onions and some meat (mostly pork). Polish starters (przekaski) include: pike in aspic, marinated fish in sour cream, salted and rolled herring fillets with pickles and onions, kulebiak (a large mushroom and cabbage pastry) or Polish sausages such as the long, thin and highly spiced kabanos or the hunters’ sausage (mysliwska) made with pork and game.
 
Soups such as barszcz (beetroot soup, excellent with sour cream) or rosol (beef or chicken boullion) are often served in cups with small hot pasties stuffed with meat or cabbage.
 
Popular dishes also include zrazy zawijane (mushroom-stuffed beefsteak rolls in sour cream) served with boiled kasza (buckwheat) and pig's knuckles. A traditional Polish fish dish fish  is carp served in sweet-and-sour jellied sauce, and poached pike with horseradish in cream. Also herring (sledz) is popular and served in many various dishes
 
There is a wide selection of delicious Polish pastries (ciastka).
 
There are a few kinds of good Polish vodkas,e.g., zubrowka (bison grass vodka), tarniowka (sloe plum), sliwowica (prune) and pieprzowka (vodka with ground white pepper). The best bottled Polish lager is Zywiec.
 
In most restaurants and hotels tips are not included in the receipt and small additional amount for the staff is appreciated.
 

 ELECTRICITY

 
The electric current is 230 Volts AC, 50 Hertz. There are European two-pin plugs, so for the 3-flat blades appliances (like in the British Isles), a plug adaptor is needed.
 

 TELEPHONES

 
polish telephonesCountry code: + 48
 
Mobile Phones: When calling from aboard, dial Poland’s international code (48) followed mobile number dropping the initial 0. The easiest way for foreigners to lay their hands on a mobile is to buy a “pay as you go”, non-subscription phone card: Plus GSM (Simplus), Orange (POP) and Era GSM (Tak Tak). You can get Sim Cards from any shop displaying Plus GSM, Orange or Era logo.
 
Telegram: Services are provided at all main post offices.
 
Post : Service to Western Europe takes up to four days. Poste Restante facilities are available at post offices throughout the country. Post office hours: 0800-1800 Mon-Fri
 
 

 LAPTOP LOGINS

 
Use an ISP, or (if you`re travelling with a laptop) the telecom company (TP S.A.) and pay the cost of a local call.

Dial-Up Networking:
Serwer typ: "PPP: Internet, Windows NT Serwer, Windows 98"
Protocols: "TCP/IP"
TCP/IP Properties: "IP Adress 194.204.152.34"

Use tel. 0202122
login: ppp
pasword: ppp
 

 HOLIDAYS

 
The following days all institutions, offices and shops are closed.

1st January - New Year`s Day
30rd March - 1st April - Easter Monday
1st May - Labour Day
3rd May - the 3rd May Constitution Day
26th May - Corpus Christi
15th August - Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady
1st November - All Saints' Day
11th November - Independence Day
25th and 26th December – Christmas
 
 

 TIME ZONES

 
Poland is among countries using Central European Time (GMT + 01:00). This time zone applies for Spain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, or Hungary and many other countries.
 
Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles time: -9h
Chicago time: -7h
New York, Toronto time: -6h
Buenos Aires time: -5h
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo time: -4h
London, Dublin, Lagos, Lisbon time: -1h
Helsinki, Moscow, Athens, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Johannesburg: +1h
Abu Dhabi, Yerevan: +2h
Beijing, Manila: +7h
Tokyo, Adelaide: +8h
Sydney, Canberra: +9h
Auckland time: +10h