The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by kpc21  

Joined: 19 Aug 2012 / Male ♂
Last Post: 17 Oct 2016
Threads: 1
Posts: 763
From: Łódź
Speaks Polish?: yes

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16 May 2014
Travel / Best way to get from Lodz to Warsaw? [48]

In case of trains be careful, because some trains in Warsaw use now Warszawa Gdańska instead Warszawa Centralna station, due to construction works. Check timetables in all cases (Warszawa Śródm. which means Warszawa Śródmieście is practically the same station as Warszawa Centralna).

From the airport to Warszawa Centralna you can get also with the bus 175 (beware of pickpockets).
30 Apr 2014
Life / MAY 1st - Party time in Poland? What are the traditions? [9]

May 1st and May 3rd are two officially free days in a short period of time, so in connection with a normal weekend they create a "long weekend". The beginning of May is also time when there is already warm and there is often nice weather, so people tend to relax on fresh air. It's just the case.

Another similiar period is in June and it's connected with a church holiday called in Poland Boże Ciało (God's Body - I am not sure if in English the name is the same), which is always on Thursday (specific number of days after the Easter) and it's here also a public holiday.
30 Apr 2014
Language / Word usage - differences between: dowolny / jakikolwiek / żadnych [3]

Dowolny is more formal than jakikolwiek.

:Press any key to continue" as a message on the computer would be translated as "Naciśnij dowolny klawisz aby kontynuować". To another person I would say "Naciśnij jakiś klawisz" ("jakiś" is shorter and consequently more popular, but also less precise). If they then asked "Jaki?", I would answer "Jakikolwiek".

"Żaden" ("żadnych" is a plural genitive) means "none".
28 Apr 2014
Life / Exam for Drivers License in Poland; English? [99]

The "written" (which is in fact not written, but solved on computer) part of Polish driving exam has an English version, so you don't need an interpreter.

I cannot find any English-language publications on Polish highway code. The Polish version is here: (choose the lower link - D19970602Lj.pdf - it's a consolidated text, so it's fully up to date), you may try to translate it with translators and dictionaries.

Some driving schools have courses in English, you may try contacting them, for example: (this one is in Wrocław, you should find something in other cities too).

Till 2012 the driving licence theoretical test was based on a constant set of few hundreds of questions, which were available to everyone. Now it's different, there are few thousands of questions and they are secret (and in a vast part connected with short videos), but basing on the old questions' set you may prepare to the new test quite well. So if you found the translation of the old questions' set, it would be also very useful for you. Especially because the test contains also some questions on practical aspects of driving, for which you won't find answers in the highway code.
19 Apr 2014
Travel / Can anyone tell me how to get to Lwów from Zamość? [3]

As I can see in the Polish part of the Internet - there is no direct bus connection from Zamość to Lwów. The buses from Warsaw and Lublin to Lwów go through Zamość, but they have no stop there. So, going in an opposite direction you may try asking the driver of such a bus if you could leave in Zamość, but in a journey to Lwów it's practically no way to make use of them.

Another option is to get from Zamość to Tomaszów Lubelski and from there to Lwów. There is no problem with the first part, there is plenty of buses on this route. But there may be problems with connection from Tomaszów to Lwów.

Here: they write that a bus from Tomaszów to Lwów goes from Tomaszów at 6:35 a.m. 11:00 a.m. and 1:40 p.m., but I don't know if this info is still valid (this news is from a year before now) - and it is not clear, it might be understood also as 11 a.m. and 1.40 p.m. are departures from Lublin. You may try to call the bus terminal in Tomaszów - 502-371-407 - but I am not sure if they speak English. And it's never certain that the bus to Lwów will go, it must return from Lwów first.

They return bus Lublin - Lviv . Since January abolished exchange carriers were Polish and Ukrainian . Companies do not have the required permits .
After completing the formalities have already returned connection Lublin - Lviv Nikolaev by . Bus leaves from Lublin after 16.00 .
From Saturday to Lviv will be able to go from Tomaszow Lubelski , departure at 6.35 .
Probably the weekend will also ride buses from Lublin to Lviv at 11.00 and 13.40 - Zdzislaw Stelmach announces Tomaszów bus - u.
With bus connections between Lublin and Lviv are mainly used by Ukrainian and Polish students . Since January the only direct connection was through bus from Lodz, Lublin, which was before midnight.

Quite a popular option to get to Lwów from Poland is through Przemyśl, but from Zamość it's a very round way.

From Przemyśl to Lwów there are a few options:

- by train - rarely, expensive (international prices), and long time because the train have to change wheels (in Ukraine they have different track gauge)

- by direct bus - here are some timetables: - two different on a website of the same company, so I have no idea which one is valid (however, I know that they also sometimes do not go because the bus haven't returned from Lwów yet), but it seems to be the most reasonable way

- by a local bus to the border crossing, then cross the border on foot and catch a Ukrainian local bus to Lwów - they go quite often so it seems to be the most reliable, and the fastest because you don't wait so long on the border crossing

Connections from Zamość to Przemyśl you may find at Some of them are with a change in Jarosław, maybe there are some connections to Lwów from there...

I have also read about some buses from Tomaszów Lubelski to Rawa Ruska, which are used mainly by smugglers (which go officialy from the coach terminal in Tomaszów, but they are not easy to find them there) - but it was forum posts from 2009 - so this info might be outdated. However, from Rawa Ruska there is plenty of buses to Lwów.
23 Mar 2014
Language / What computer keyboards are in use in Poland? [34]

Hm... It seems that it's easier to buy one abroad than here in Poland :) I have never seen such one in supermarkets. And I don't know anyone who would use this layout.

The speed of writing is just a matter of experience. For me pressing two keys together doesn't make typing slower, anyway so is also in case of capital letters and it's not a problem.

The version with "oversized" Enter is most popular in Poland, although I meet ones with Enter of "single" height too. There are also differences in Backspace size, sometimes it's of normal "single" width, sometimes it's double (the \| key goes then into different weird places, sometimes it's next to right Shift, which is then smaller) and they are equally common here.

I meant this one:


Because the "oversized" Enter can be also in two versions. This one is most popular in Poland. Which doesn't mean that one cannot meet other British or American ones here.
23 Mar 2014
Travel / Best mode of transportation from Warsaw to Katowice? [7]

From the airport you may chatch a train or bus (line 175) to the station Warszawa Centralna (main train station in Warsaw).

All the train timetables you will find at:

5:00 PM is not late and there is many trains on this route, I think you will find something for sure.

You can buy ticket on the station without any problem (or even enter the train without ticket, then you just pay 10 PLN more). The cheapest trains are IR and TLK. EIC are more expensive, but also of higher comfort level.

And remember to buy a proper ticket for specific train category, especially in case of IR, which is run by a different company than TLK and EIC.
23 Mar 2014
Language / What computer keyboards are in use in Poland? [34]

At least most of the ppl use that keybord.

All Poland uses it. A different situation was in case of typewriters, where we used a layout based on the German one (QWERTZ). Yet in Windows XP Polish-language edition this "typewriter" layout was installed by default apart from the standard one having Polish letters under key combinations with Alt (and if I remember well, in Windows 98 this QWERTZ layout was a default setting!). I think it may be still used by people who've learnt touch typing on typewriter - but usually it's a reason of funny situations if someone switches the layout incidentally (Ctrl+Shift keyboard shortcut in Windows).

If in your country you are using a standard US keyboard, just change the keboard layout into Polish (not Polish 214! - it's this typewriter's one; in older Windows versions the proper one was called "programmer's") . Then you have Polish letters under combinations with right Alt. For example Alt+A -> Ą. The exception is -, where you use Alt+X, as Alt+Z is for Ż. All the Latin alphabet is available normally from the Polish keyboard layout.
14 Mar 2014
Travel / Suggestions for what i should do or see in Lodz? [16]

Be aware that a segment of Piotrkowska Street is now in renovation, so you won't see the Walk of Fame and (on a short segment) you are going to walk between working excavators :) Nevertheless it's still definitely worth to visit.

The suggested online guide looks very good, I can recommend it.
11 Mar 2014
Life / Where can I buy a used car / bike in Lodz? [2]

Car exchange every Sunday on Puszkina street, between Przybyszewskiego and Dąbrowskiego. There are used bikes there too.

But I think the cheapest would be to find an offer on the Internet, and buy the car from its owner.

About this cautiousness - you are right. Best would be to have a mechanic you could trust and check the car at him - but I suppose you don't have such opportunities. And check if the car hasn't been stolen (I think the police should be able to check it for you if you give them the VIN number).

Look for cars which didn't have any accidents ("bezwypadkowy") - and neccessarily ask the seller if the car really had no accidents.

What is better - bike or car - it depends. On bike you don't wait in traffic jams, it's fastest for short distances (especially in the centre), but it's hard to use it in winter.

In a car you will probably meet some congestion problems (especially because of big road works in the city centre now - Mickiewicza and Piłsudskiego street is closed for cars) and you will have to pay for parking in the centre, but it's much more comfortable. And it's more difficult to steal it.
8 Mar 2014
Study / Opinion required on teaching standards of Polands technology universities [11]

I don't know whether the programs taught in English are as good as those taught in Polish. Probably not, but it might be worth checking out.

I can't say much having no comparison to other universities, but in £ódź the TUL (£ódź University of Technology, they are still using this obsolete abbreviation) the "international" departament (IFE) is considered very high level compared to the programmes taught in Polish. It's usually chosen by school students of highest marks from matura. So comparing the unis you shouldn't take into account only the rankings concerning whole universities. Rather try to find something concerning only programs taught in English (however, I've no idea if it's possible to find something like this).

I've never seen anybody in Poland wear a university T-shirt or sweatshirt, for example, and I deal with university students every day in a city with more than 100,000 students.

On TUL campus I can see quite often people with the university scarfs. But they are usually... foreigners :) It's just not a feature of Polish students' culture.
26 Feb 2014
Language / Polish online slang phrases? [12]

Sometimes I meet ZTCW (z tego co wiem) which means AFAIK.
But most common are acronyms from English like BTW, LOL, ROTFL, IMO, WTF etc.

This is on forums. In instant messaging popular are e.g. z/w (zaraz wracam - brb), ocb (o co biega? - meaning something like: what do you want from me?). And some ones from English too - like thx.

It's easier to meet something taken from English than the Polish one :-)
10 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

Why? It is normal. "Nie znam angielskiego" = I can't even say a word in English, "Nie mówię po angielsku" (or e.g. "Nie mówię dobrze po angielsku") = I maybe know a few phrases, but I can't use English fluently / I don't speak English on a daily basis.

You're right, but for example a lady in a ticket office servicing a foreigner and not speaking English, will ask a collegue for help saying rather "Nie znam angielskiego, pomóż mi" than "Nie mówię po angielsku, pomóż mi". Actually both options are correct, Polish is generally very flexible, but I think the first one is more common.

For me "Nie potrafię jeździć na koniu" and "nie potrafię jeździć konno" would mean exactly the same, and be practically interchangeable - if there is any difference, then not in meaning. I can't ride a horse, meaning I can't get on the saddle and steer it on my own (sitting on it, at least if the horse is walking and not running, really isn't a problem, you just have to sit and that's all). If I could do it, I would "umiał jeździć konno", tudzież "umiał jeździć na koniu". "Konno" just sounds better than "na koniu". "Na koniu" rather wouldn't be used in a formal language. And that's all.
10 Feb 2014
Language / What is the difference between BYĆ W STANIE, UMIEĆ, and MÓC? [18]

Languages aren't a good example because we say just "Nie znam angielskiego", meaning literally "I don't know English" and translated as "I don't speak English". In Polish saying even "Nie mówię po angielsku", normal in other languages like English or German, sounds strange. In Polish for languages there is usually used "znam angielski, niemiecki, francuski, rosyjski, włoski, polski" or "nie znam angielskiego, niemieckiego, francuskiego, rosyjskiego, włoskiego, polskiego".

We usually also don't say "jeździć na koniu", but "jeździć konno".

"Nie mogę" is the most general. "Nie mogę pojechać samochodem" - "I cannot go by car". It's not important why. Maybe it's broken, maybe I am drunk, maybe I have no driving license, maybe there are some road works on the only route.

"Nie jestem w stanie" - suggests that I cannot do it because of my current condition or abilities, or even some external factors, but rather not permissions given by other people (although it's not very strict).

"Nie POTRAFIĘ dzisiaj dojeżdzać pociągem na zajęcia." is a very strange sentence. It would mean that somebody don't know how to use trains and have to get to classes for example from home many times during one day. "Potrafię" is for knowing how to do something. And "dojeżdżać" is something like "be doing something" in English.

"Nie mogę dzisiaj dojechać pociągiem na zajęcia" or even "Nie jestem w stanie dzisiaj dojechać pociągiem na zajęcia" - then it might be for example because railway workers are striking and trains don't go today. Or there is any other factor which stopped trains and caused that I must find another mean of transport or miss the classes.

"Nie mogę pojechać samochodem" - "I cannot go by car". It's not important why. Maybe it's broken, maybe I am drunk, maybe I have no driving license, maybe there are some road works on the only route.

And I forgot about one more case possible - there is no person who would give me a lift. In Polish there is no difference between "go", "ride" and "drive" (if talking generally about using a car for transportation, not just sitting behind a wheel and steering it), all three are translated as "jechać". Maybe except "go" as "walk", then it's "iść" instead.
1 Feb 2014
Life / Best broadband provider needed by English speaker in Warsaw [6]

What do you mean by wireless? Do you want to have wi-fi in your flat or to be able to go out with a laptop and a modem and use internet wherever you are?

In the first case look for stationary connection (from Orange if you have stationary telephone or from your cable TV operator if you have cable TV), it will be much better because of no transfer limits and stability. Then either you get a wi-fi router from the ISP, or you may buy it by yourself. In the second case you need a mobile connection - from one of mobile phone operators (Play, Plus, T-Mobile, Orange). Which one would work best? The situation is different everywhere. E.g. in your flat Plus works best, but two blocks away you get signal from another transmitter, which is busy and the connection is of poor quality. You may check it using a mobile phone (connect it to computer as a modem) and a pre-paid starter.
31 Jan 2014
Language / study, studies and studying - 'nauka' and 'studia' [4]

Nauka and studia aren't interchangeable, the meanings are different.

Nauka or uczenie się is studying for a test, an exam.
Studia, studiowanie mean being a university student.
Nauka can mean also science and all the researches carried out by universities.

If you ask somebody Jak tam na studiach?, you not necessary mean studying, but rather just being a student - all the student life etc. (although it doesn't mean that this cannot include learning).

Jak tam z nauką? will be always about learning for e.g. exam.

Lenka is right that both high school (or even primary school) and university student can say ja się uczę and only university student can say ja studiuję, but it doesn't mean the same. If someone says ja studiuję he/she don't have to learn for an exam now, it only means that he/she is on a university.
26 Jan 2014
Life / Help with Polish address - the correct way of putting that on an envelope? [29]

Postal codes in Poland were introduced just in the 70's. Believing Wikipedia, it was 1st January 1973. But probably initially they weren't obligatory, as it was something new.

In the address:

Janina Staszewska
62-560 Skulska Wieś
woj. Wielkopolskie

the house number is lacking. There would be problems with delivering it. I have no idea how the post office would behave, would they reject it or pass to the postman, who may just know this lady.

Writing the name of województwo (province, voivodeship) on the envelope is not obligatory. The recommended pattern in Poland is:

Official Polish envelope addressing pattern

And 62-560 is a postal code of not only Skulska Wieś, but also all the area of the post office in Skulsk (which can be checked on the website of Poczta Polska - Polish national mail operator). So the correct addres would be:

Janina Staszewska
Skulska Wieś [house number]
62-560 Skulsk

In such cases the village name is written instead of the street name.

If the letter is sent to a village with a post office and without street names (with house numbers only), there is no second line as in the address above and the house number is written after the name of the village/town/city with the post office corresponding to the post code. What if it's a village without post office and with street names? I don't know what is a correct version, but I would address it like the official example in the picture above writing the village name just before "ul. Cicha 132" (in the same line), separated by a comma.
26 Jan 2014
Life / No Toya box in my building in Lodz, so how can I get Internet? [11]

If you can find some channels you are interested in on this list (as I can see there are some channels from India there):

it is marked by yellow or blue background and don't have "UK" in the "beam" column - you will get them in Poland by sat. TV.

Buy a satellite tuner (if a channel is marked as MPEG4 or DVB-S2 it should be an HD tuner) and an 80 cm diameter dish. It has to be set to the 28.2 deg. E position, which is not typical for Poland.
25 Jan 2014
Life / No Toya box in my building in Lodz, so how can I get Internet? [11]

You must check if any channel from India is accessible via one of the satellites covering Europe. Then if you don't need Polish channels, just buy an FTA tuner and a private dish.

There might be some restrictions on installing a satellite dish on the building wall or on the roof (but, at least in theory, the administrator cannot prohibit to install it somewhere, they can only give restrictions). There may be also a common aerial installation for all the flats. In the last case the available satellites are usually Hot Bird and Astra.
21 Jan 2014
Travel / Przemysl and/or Rzeszow and/or Sandomierz [14]

It's no point crossing the Ukrainian border if you are not going to visit Lwów (Lviv). Few hours? You may spend them waiting in a queue at the border crossing :) Especially if you go there by coach (or train - in case of trains the problem is that they must change wheels due to a different track gauge). There is a trick to omit this, but few hours is for sure too little to get to Lwów and visit it.
21 Jan 2014
Life / Do you have middle names in Poland? [12]

I think it depends on that what names one actually uses. I have a middle (second given) name, but I don't use this - so if I met someone having the same first name and surname, for me he would have the same name as me.
18 Jan 2014
Life / Polish equivalent of CLR? (Calcium Lime and Rust Remover) [10]

They advertise it on TV that it's enough to put this Cillit on a sponge and wipe the shower head with this and it will be free of lime and rust :) But I wouldn't trust TV commercials.

On the net people recommend methods with vinegar, sometimes with addition of baking soda.
18 Jan 2014
Life / Polish equivalent of CLR? (Calcium Lime and Rust Remover) [10]

Limescale is called kamienia in Poland.

Kamień. "Kamienia" is a genitive form. So what you need is "preparat do usuwania kamienia" ("limescale removing agent"), but your problem is "kamień na słuchawce prysznicowej" ("limescale on the showerhead").
14 Jan 2014
Travel / Are there any films in English shown in Polish cinemas? [9]

In Poland you have choice, most of projections are in English with subtitles, but especially in multiplexes for example one per day might be dubbed. Check it always in timetable, subtitles will be marked as "napisy", dubbing just as dubbing.
7 Jan 2014
Law / I was fined for not having a tram ticket in Poland. How does this affect me? [68]

Actually it's not an official fine, like the one from police, but something called an "extra payment". From the side of the law, it looks as if you didn't pay for a service, and you have a debt in the transportation company (or in a special company which is only checking tickets and the transportation company has an agreement with them). They may sell your debt to a collection agency in the future. Will that agency look for you abroad? I have no idea.

Isn't there any discount if you pay the fine earlier? In £ódź there is such a thing and the discount is quite high.
5 Jan 2014
News / Y Shaped high speed rail line Poland [78]

Kraków has a half of a motorway ring, Warsaw has no motorways... But on the other hand only Warsaw has the underground. In case of diffrerent city facilities, Warsaw can do much more - not only with the money of the city, but also with some support from the country.
5 Jan 2014
News / Y Shaped high speed rail line Poland [78]

A strange thing is that in Poland constructions connected with railway take much more time then the ones connected with roads. For example they are still renovating the line from £ódź to Warsaw since 2005. Building of a parallel section of the A2 motorway lasted 2 years, from 2010 to 2012... I'm afraid, what will happen, when they will be building a parallel section of the Y railway line :)

The railway in Poland has been neglected for years and now most of the infrastructure is in a bad condition. The government still prefers to focus on roads and motorways. However, it's now much better than before.