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I'm going to Poland in September!


regionpolski 33 | 153  
19 Jul 2007 /  #1
The wife and I are heading to Poland in September!! Any advice for a first time traveler? Do I have to change a certain amount of dollars to zloty? Can I use my American Express card in Poland?
krysia 23 | 3,057  
19 Jul 2007 /  #2
Yes, you will need to exchange your dollars for złoty. Not all places accept American Express, you can always ask before purchasing.
Food in Poland is VERY good.
If you use the taxi, and if they know you're a foreigner, they sometimes might jack up the price on you. But most are honest. Enjoy your stay.
hello 22 | 891  
19 Jul 2007 /  #3
Food in Poland is VERY good.

... as long as you avoid Tesco's and other big supermarkets and buy in Polish local shops...
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
19 Jul 2007 /  #4
Can I use my American Express card in Poland?

In my experience the ourageous merchnat fees that Amex were charging meant that less and less merchants were accepting it. Much better with Visa/Mastercard.

As Krysia said watch the taxis. Try to agree a price in advance. In Warsaw, at least, avoid the taxis parked in ranks on the main streets and call one of the main cab firms instead (it's easy when you know how). The ones on the streets are oftern controlled by 'them'.
krysia 23 | 3,057  
19 Jul 2007 /  #5
And if you decide to rent a car, make sure it's locked up and the windows rolled up and hide any "attractive looking things" anytime you leave it.

There are many interesting beautiful historical buildings and churches in Poland worthy of investigation. People are nice and friendly.
Toilets are different, most door-knobs aren't round, hot water is on the right marked with red, they park cars on sidewalks on either side of road facing the opposite way, and other differences you'll experience yourself.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
19 Jul 2007 /  #6
We'll be staying in Gdansk. We will only be in Warsaw to change planes. My wife's daughter is there, and she has a condo near the beach ( maybe 3KM away ) so we will not need a hotel. We may also stay in my wife's mother's condo, which is in an older section of downtown, but as I understand it, within walking distance of shopping, dining, etc. I'll only be there for 10 full days; my wife will be staying longer.

I intend to eat well. I want to avoid Polish Wal-Marts, and I speak just enough Polish to get by. Most younger people speak some English, so I will be comfortable in the smaller shops. I plan on budgeting $1000 for spending for the 12 days I'll be there. That includes my arrival and departure dates.
krysia 23 | 3,057  
19 Jul 2007 /  #7
Looks like you are in very good hands and will really enjoy the visit.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
19 Jul 2007 /  #8
We're flying LOT. I've heard good and bad things about the airline. I couldn't beat their price. $150 less than any other airline.
krysia 23 | 3,057  
19 Jul 2007 /  #9
Hey, LOT isn't bad. I flew on is last year and this year. I also flew Scandinavian Airlines which were better because you have your own little TV in front of you. But otherwise LOT is good.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
19 Jul 2007 /  #10
If I do rent a car, what are the chances I could get an automatic transmission?
Rakky 9 | 217  
19 Jul 2007 /  #11
Ooh, I envy you. September is exactly when I'd like to travel there - it's prime time for mushroom hunting.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
19 Jul 2007 /  #12
I'd like to travel there - it's prime time for mushroom hunting.

You would have a big competition, many people here like mushrooming.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
19 Jul 2007 /  #13
Mushrooming is actually on our " to do " list. We'll see if we can actually get out to the forest. So much to do, so little time.
scottie1113 7 | 898  
20 Jul 2007 /  #14
LOT is fine. I flew from O'Hare to Warsaw and back last summer and really enjoyed the flights. I bought my tickets from Orbitz-the price was good. I'm flying again August 8 and after a month in Warsaw getting my CELTA I'll head to Gdansk via train to find a teaching job. I love the tri city area.
Rakky 9 | 217  
20 Jul 2007 /  #15
You would have a big competition, many people here like mushrooming

Yes, so I've been told. The competition isn't so fierce here, but there are still the "old" Poles and Italians you have to look out for. Usually I can find whatever I want when the season is right, so it's no problem. I know I'd be up against many more shroomers in the "old country," but even if I don't find much I would enjoy the activity anyway.

Mushrooming is actually on our " to do " list. We'll see if we can actually get out to the forest.

Enjoy it! If you can, please post some photos - I'd love to see what people pick there.
davidpeake 14 | 451  
20 Jul 2007 /  #16
mushrooms yummy, we had some last year on our plot, hoping to get some more this year.
Michal - | 1,865  
28 Jul 2007 /  #17
If you rent a car you maybe all right as a foreigner but when I was in Swinoujscie many years ago, they had a car called a syrenka everywhere and it was called a silnik dwusuwowy, literally a two stroke engine and you had to mix oil with the petrol but maybe now they have four stared petrol. who knows. I have not been there for many years but I do remember the cars being very strange with only two doors tough metal but very very old!! You may do better not to take a different car overseas to Poland as they will not know what to do with it. I remember driving back towards to boarder and a tire burst. My brother in law got out of the car and fixed it. I said that I had break down insurance and he almost laughed. This is Poland he said. So beware!
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
28 Jul 2007 /  #18
Kmiot, you're trying to be funny ?
Shawn_H  
28 Jul 2007 /  #19
These are the latest cars coming from the production lines, awaiting the eager consumer....



alana 6 | 30  
28 Jul 2007 /  #20
I just went to Poland for 2 months it is very very nice country and it was difficult to come back to my country. any advice... change your money to their currency but you can also pay with your card. Better prevent than cured so you better have more money on you than just your card. For me everything was cheap despite i am not from a very rich country. the people are very nice if u are nice to them. willing to help. have a nice stay and for my part despite it was in summer when i went there, sometimes the use of pullovers was necessary.

Despite all this it is the best country i ever visit
have fun
Alicja - | 44  
28 Jul 2007 /  #21
Michal you must have beei here in 60s or 70s. It's nice to see that you have pretty good memories...
Michal - | 1,865  
28 Jul 2007 /  #22
These are the latest cars coming from the production lines, awaiting the eager consumer....

That looks exactly like them. I saw them on the streets of Swinoujscie all those years ago. I hhave heard that they can catch a fair sum of money today. I wish that I had one!
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
28 Jul 2007 /  #23
Is there a mininum amount of money I have to change?

I don't think I'll rent a car for the duration of the trip. It's too expensive, and we won't use the car enough to justify its cost.

That said, I fire one hare-brained scheme after another, and here's my latest:

We change planes in Warsaw, and we have a layover of nearly five hours. I could surprise my wife by renting a car and driving from Warsaw to Gdansk. Of course I don't really know where I'm going, but that's never been a problem. There are a lot of details that would have to be worked out, but I'm up for the challenge. So, how's the highway between Warsaw and Gdansk?
Michal - | 1,865  
28 Jul 2007 /  #24
s there a mininum amount of money I have to change?

you used to have to pay for a visa and change officially £10 per day unless you had a an International Student's card. You could spend foreign money in the PEWEX but all that has changed now. Warsaw to Gdansk is a fair way to drive though there are plans but I do not know how much it would cost. Where in Gdansk does she live? I have been there and even visited the University of Gdansk but that was in the days of Solidarnosc.
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
28 Jul 2007 /  #25
Where in Gdansk does she live?

We will stay with my wife's daughter. We are a 15 minute walk from the Baltic, and we can see the Baltic from her window on the eighth floor. My wife's mother's condo is a twenty minute walk to the Court of Artus, and the Neptune Fountain.
Michal - | 1,865  
28 Jul 2007 /  #26
Yes, I know the Neptune Fountain in the centre of the Old Town.
Alicja - | 44  
28 Jul 2007 /  #27
Unfortunately there is no highway between Warsaw and Gdansk. Moreover, there are loads of crazy drivers here who like to overtake on a bend. I don't recommend driving from Warsaw to Gdansk unless you know how to survive here.
Michal - | 1,865  
28 Jul 2007 /  #28
The train should be nice
OP regionpolski 33 | 153  
28 Jul 2007 /  #29
There's no highway between two major cities??!!!!!! The flight will probably be just as quick as the train, and less of a hassle.
Michal - | 1,865  
28 Jul 2007 /  #30
The flight is wonderful, especially at night. I traveled to Gdansk by plan in the evening and we had a wonderful view of all Warsaw and the flight lasts only about forty minutes. I like train journeys too so take your pick! Yes, there must be a highway between Gdansk and Warsaw.

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