Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Travel  % width 64

What are Your Best Poland Travel Tips?


Rakky 9 | 217  
9 Oct 2007 /  #1
Hi, everyone,
I will be traveling to the south-eastern (Jaslo and Gorlice Counties) section of Poland next summer (probably late July or late August). I will be bringing with me my 84-year-old father, who is taking his first-ever in his life plane ride - from New Jersey, USA to Krakow. We are coming to visit the villages that his parents emigrated from in 1892 and 1903 and to enjoy the lovely countryside and people.

This is my first trip to Europe. We will be staying 6 or 7 days.
What advice can you provide to novice travelers to Poland?
If any of you live in the area of Wysowa, would you like to meet?
Thank you, my friends!
Rakky
plk123 8 | 4,150  
9 Oct 2007 /  #2
don't be in a hurry. have a back up plan. don't be affraid to hitch a ride.
OP Rakky 9 | 217  
10 Oct 2007 /  #3
Thanks. We'll only be able to go so fast with an 84-year-old with us, so I'm not concerned about hurring. Interesting point abotu a back-up plan - care to elaborate? Hitching rides is definitely NOT on the agenda, unless we break down someplace.

Thanks again!
Anybody else?
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
10 Oct 2007 /  #4
If you click on similar discussions, you'll see there are some tips in there. I have a few though.

Try all of the food. You'll find that mostly everything is tasty.

Make sure you buy a ticket for the tram. If you don't stamp one you can get a fine.

Don't cross the street when the little man is red. You can also get a fine for this.

Don't buy PL currency from anyone on the street. Some are known to sell outdated notes. use an ATM or a Kantor.

last tip....have lots of fun :)
jareck  
10 Oct 2007 /  #5
some nice lakes near lublin, but in general up north is pretty in the summer
OP Rakky 9 | 217  
10 Oct 2007 /  #6
Thanks, Fisz!

If you click on similar discussions, you'll see there are some tips in there

I'll do that - thanks.

Don't buy PL currency from anyone on the street.

Will I need to do a currency exchange? Is Poland on the Euro system? Are US dollars widely accepted? Accepted at all?
Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
10 Oct 2007 /  #7
Will I need to do a currency exchange? Is Poland on the Euro system? Are US dollars widely accepted? Accepted at all?

you have to sell $ and buy PLN (zloty), you will do it without any problems.
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
10 Oct 2007 /  #8
Is Poland on the Euro system? Are US dollars widely accepted? Accepted at all?

Yes, as Lukasz says..no problems. You can use your ATM card/VISA/MC to withdraw PL currency. This way is also the best exchange rate....from what I've experienced anyway.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387  
10 Oct 2007 /  #9
You can use your ATM card/VISA/MC to withdraw PL currency

This is probably the safest way too. It means that you only carry the cash you need when you need it.
OP Rakky 9 | 217  
10 Oct 2007 /  #10
Hi, everyone,
Thanks for all the input so far! Keep it coming - I'm feeling more confident with each message!

It means that you only carry the cash you need when you need it.

I usually carry travelers checques when I go on vacation - it sounds like this will not really be convenient in Poland, especially when it comes to exchanging currency. So I should just plan to use my charge card to get whatever cash I need? That DOES sound safe!
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
10 Oct 2007 /  #11
it sounds like this will not really be convenient in Poland

No, and you'll pay more fees cashing them.
OP Rakky 9 | 217  
10 Oct 2007 /  #12
That's a very sweet tip - thanks so much. I never would have thought of that.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
10 Oct 2007 /  #13
a back-up plan - care to elaborate?

yeah, if you figure you'll be traveling by train also look into the bus.. or the other way around.. things don't always work as they do in the west.
scots 1 | 17  
12 Oct 2007 /  #14
Kabanos are nice... :-)
Qacer 38 | 125  
12 Oct 2007 /  #15
Make sure you bring some change for the toilets. Some people charge for toilet usage.
slick77  
12 Oct 2007 /  #16
can't give you any tips but i can answer specific questions re: that region of poland.
natalka - | 46  
12 Oct 2007 /  #17
on the note of toliets...

bring tissues with you too :)
you can buy the little travel ones packs at the store when you arrive.

they surve two purposes....
1) extra napkins for dinner time ( the napkins there are sooooo thin! like tissue paper you use in gift bags)
2) "toliet paper" incase there is some lovely rough papertowel consistancy stuff....or in case there is not any at all (that goes for really...any place :)

and...

Stamp you tickets for sure!
Sometimes it is difficult to find the stamping machine for trains
(for the inner city trams, they are located on tram, but for trains is located on or before the platform)
(for example, on the train from Gdyna to Gandask, we could not find the stamping machine...and we recieved a fine of 90 Zloty!)
Eurola 4 | 1,906  
12 Oct 2007 /  #18
Good tips natalka, especially the dinner napkins. That's what I encountered 4 years ago...I'm disappointed, I'll find the same this spring, when i plan to go...Oh, well.

It's not about napkins anyway!
I appreciate the tips on the exchange, but luckily, i usually get a "better rate' from my family members! :)
natalka - | 46  
12 Oct 2007 /  #19
It's not about napkins anyway!

of course not ;)
it's about all that yummy food ^_^

also, bottled water is a must ^_^
we were told not to drink the tap water in Krakow.
However, it seemed ok...noone got sick that i remember...

but, better safe than sorry :)

also, bottled water is a must ^_^

p.s. niegazowana "no gas water" ^_^
we always looked for a little baby on the bottle ^_^
Lonman 4 | 111  
13 Oct 2007 /  #20
my only tip from my trip last week was in learn to read the train schedules. I missed two trains because I had the wrong track number or what I thought was the track number. It appears there is no standard in schedules. Also a train I thought would come on a sunder morning never came... though was on the list.

Also if you are outgoing take a chance and talk to the pretty girl next to you, you might find she speaks English and yourself have a pretty good time on a long trip.
Michal - | 1,865  
14 Oct 2007 /  #21
Hitching rides is definitely NOT on the agenda, unless we break down someplace.
Thanks again!

The train is always a nice way to the the Polish countryside. Mind you, never leave your things in a compartment without the things being tampered wit. NEVER leave opened drinks in your compartment and go out side for a while. They spike your drinks and then when you are asleep they will steal all your things. I have known for someone to wake up and find himself stripped down to his underpants!
Alicja - | 44  
14 Oct 2007 /  #22
Natalka, the tap water in Krakow is safe. It was really bad about 15 years ago in one part of the town.
Michal - | 1,865  
14 Oct 2007 /  #23
The water in Krakow is not safe to drink at all. You must buy bottled water, becoming ill on holiday is not worth while, especially if you are 84 years old.
natalka - | 46  
14 Oct 2007 /  #24
yes. better safe than sorry. really.
Alicja - | 44  
16 Oct 2007 /  #25
Don't forget your gas masks - just in case. Oh, and forget about shower -you might get dissolved. Better safe than sorry.
OP Rakky 9 | 217  
17 Oct 2007 /  #26
Sorry I've been away for nearly a week - that's what coming down with a nasy virus will do for you.
Lots of great ideas from my friends on this site - thanks for keeping them coming.
Although I don't expect to utilize the public transportation a whole lot, I appreciate the input on the unreliability of the schedules. I know a guy who was in the same area we'll be traveling to earlier this year and he confirms your comments. He was a lot more good-humored about it than I think I would be, so I'd better learn to lighten up before we get there.

What brands of toilet paper and bottled water would you recommend we buy? How much change might I need to use a pay toilet? Who the heck is doing all this drink-spiking and stuff-stealing on the trains and buses?

can't give you any tips but i can answer specific questions re: that region of poland

- hey, that's awesome! Do you live local to Wysowa or Pielgrzymka? Have you ever been to the Lemko Vatra in Zydnia? I'm going to time our trip so that we're there for that. It could be the best opportunity we have to find or get news of distant relatives.

Thanks again, everyone!
natalka - | 46  
17 Oct 2007 /  #27
What brands of toilet paper and bottled water would you recommend we buy? How much change might I need to use a pay toilet? Who the heck is doing all this drink-spiking and stuff-stealing on the trains and buses?

lol. brands of toliet paper?
you will see when you arrive there. it is not like the toliet paper in the US for sure. ^_^

Bottled water?
if you dont like the "gas water" just look for
"niegazowana" which means no gas....
i think any kind is ok?

Change for the toliet...
somthing like 1zloty

I dont know about the drink spiking and stealing? just make sure to watch your stuff...
no matter where you're at really...
Iskra 1 | 42  
17 Oct 2007 /  #28
I'll make some quick points I can think of right away....

Depends where you going and where you staying but some points for non-Polish would be:

* If you don't know the language then buy a lonely-planet guide (Polish)
* Loney Planet books themselves are wonderful and would be good investment when traveling to any country.
* Check they you do/dont need vaccinations to Poland (like Hep A , Hep B) - some countries (not sure where you are from) are fussy (Australia is increadibly fussy and exact about immunizations/vaccinations) about traveling to Eastern European countries (among others).

* Try to make at least one friend there (its easy, we are friendly people) - it will make ur traveling a lot easier :-)
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
18 Oct 2007 /  #29
bottled water would you recommend we buy

Zywiec makes good water.
Michal - | 1,865  
18 Oct 2007 /  #30
Try to make at least one friend there (its easy, we are friendly people) - it will make ur traveling a lot easier

The trouble is in Poland it will be the one person who wants to befriend you who will be most likely to stab you in the back! In Poland, I would trust nobody at all.

Archives - 2005-2009 / Travel / What are Your Best Poland Travel Tips?Archived