Passports and Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Polish Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
Poland uses the Polish zloty, which means "golden" and is pronounced ZWO-ti. Though the country has plans to one day use the Euro, no date has been set for that transition. You can change US dollars at banks and currency exchange agencies for the best rates, hotels and some shops can also change them for you, but the rate will likely be much higher. ATMs, available in most towns and cities, are also an efficient way to get money in the local currency. Credit cards are accepted by many establishments, though it is also handy to keep some small-denomination notes for shops and restaurants.
Poland has 230 V at 50 Hz, with a type C or E socket. America's electrical currents are 120 V at 60 Hz, with a type A or B socket, so you'll need a converter and an adapter.
Wireless and wired Internet access is widely available throughout the populated areas of Poland. Many of the hotels we use offer this service free or at a small charge. There are also Internet cafés in the cities that allow you access, usually for a small charge. In the larger cities you may also find a number of Internet hot spots in Polish hotels, restaurants, airports, train stations and other tourist locations.
Phoning home from another country can be expensive. All hotels will add a service charge to the cost of any phone calls you make from your room. This charge can be very high. It is always cheaper for you to use public telephones (payphones) if your cell phone is not set for international calls. Your Travel Director can explain how to dial internationally if you are unsure.
Souvenirs and keepsakes are a part of any vacation, and Poland's many shops brim with uniquely Polish treasures. Popular items to take home include all kinds of interesting Polish folk art and handmade crafts, from dolls and peasant rugs to local artwork, holiday decorations, wood carvings, chessboards, wooden eggs, religious paraphernalia and native attire. If you're shopping the markets for a few edible souvenirs, be on the lookout for marinated mushrooms, herb honey, spicy mustards and gooseberry preserves.
Fine collectibles from Poland also include embroidery, lace, glassware and crystal and antiques since 1945, as anything before this date cannot be exported.
We suggest the following tipping rates: Taxi drivers won't expect a tip, but rounding up the fare on the meter is appreciated, Restaurants and bars 10-15% of the total bill.
As with most of Europe, traveling within cities and towns can be easily done on foot, by bus, tram or taxi. If your travel plans include two or more cities, bus and rail networks will get you to and from. Driving may prove to take longer and come with more headaches than the abundant public transportation in Poland, which is quite inexpensive.
Generally, casual jeans or slacks, shirts, sweaters, a jacket and comfortable walking shoes are all you'll need. If you plan on an evening at a nicer venue, dressier clothes may be called for. An umbrella and rain jacket may also come in handy on a Polish vacation.