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Mobile internet for tourists in Poland?


enric 1 | 3
14 Aug 2013 #1
Hi, I'm visiting Poland again in September for 10 days and I'd like if you could clarify (and advice) me on the issue of getting a SIM for mobile Internet.

My telecomms provider (from another EU country) is quoting me 0.45€ per Mb while roaming in Poland (around 2zl) while I've read somewhere that you can get on-the-go cards in Poland which give you 1Gb traffic + SMS + calls for just 15zl. That's nearly 1000 times cheaper than my f**ing provider is quoting me!

If that's so, I have some questions:

1.) Can I, as a tourist -that is no contract no Polish address, etc- get those cards? Where and from which provider?
2.) I assume I'm going to need an ID (passport?) to buy them, won't I?
3.) Is mobile internet reliable in major cities (WAW and KRA)? I supose you'll say yes but what I want to know is the real u/d speed, not the one advertised!

Thank you for your input and any other advice...

PS: ****!, this is the politics forum, can a mod move this post to the correct one ??? Thanks
kpc21 1 | 763
15 Aug 2013 #2
1. Yes, you can. Orange, Play, Plus, T-Mobile...
2. No, you buy it normally, like a newspaper, in almost every newsagent's.
3. In cities centres it might work not very well due to big network traffic, but generally it's usable. Real speed depends on traffic and avaliable technology (HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE). HSDPA theoritically allows you to achieve 7,2 Mbps, but it refers to ideal conditions.

There are special SIM cards only for Internet (Orange Free, Play Online, iPlus, Blueconnect) and normal SIM cards for calling and text messaging, which you can also use for Internet, but then it is profitable to buy additional Internet package (X MB for Y PLN).
Harry
16 Aug 2013 #3
Avoid Play if you're going to be outside the major cities (their network is rubbish out there).
OP enric 1 | 3
16 Aug 2013 #4
Gonna be mainly in Warsaw and Krakow... which one would you recommend then?

I'm most interested in Internet traffic (checking maps, googling things, etc.), therefore I look for reliability and good speed connection. If the card also offers calls is a plus, but not required as I'll have Skype.

Where should I get this card?. I'm arriving at Chopin Airport on a week-day at around 14:00... then making my way to Stare Miasto in Warsaw.

Lastly, any idea on which "plan" should I ask for?. I don't want to spend a fortune thought.

Thanks a lot
Harry
16 Aug 2013 #5
I'm most interested in Internet traffic (checking maps, googling things, etc.), therefore I look for reliability and good speed connection.

In that case go for Play: they're the cheapest and the best if you're only going to be in city centres.

Where should I get this card?

Pretty much anywhere that sells newspapers will also sell SIM cards.

Lastly, any idea on which "plan" should I ask for?

Sorry but I can't help you on that, have a look at playmobile.pl
OP enric 1 | 3
16 Aug 2013 #6
Harry

Last question ;)

Am I correct to assume I just go to a news stand and ask for a "20zl SIM Play Online Card" from Play, as per their info here:

play.pl/uslugi/doladowania-play-online-na-karte ????

Do I have to do anything else to start using it?

Play doesn't seem to offer an English version of their site and the Google translation of this page is a bit, well, funny so I want to make sure I understand correctly.
Harry
16 Aug 2013 #7
Am I correct to assume I just go to a news stand and ask for a "20zl SIM Play Online Card" from Play, as per their info here:

Yep. I'd suggest going to the 'Relay' newsagent in the arrivals hall of Warsaw airport and asking there (as the staff there usually speak English). From memory the instructions with the card are in Polish and English. If you have any problems, you can go to the Play shops in any of the shopping malls (the one in Zloty Tarasy is apparently the best of the bunch).
Cemal -Istanbul
30 Dec 2014 #8
Hello guys,

I will visit Poland for business visits in January and will travel from Gdansk to Krakow in 8 days.
So I need a GSM package containing around 500 minutes and 4 GB internet.

1) I read that Play is not the best choice for travellers, then which provider is best for internet and call coverage? T-Mobile, Orange?
2) Can anyone find such a package for me on web sites of T-Mobile or Orange with the offers I mentioned above?
3) Of course I'm looking for a non-contract deal which will be active for at least 8 days; so 1 month is preferred.
4) Price does not really play an important role here, since using my own provider's service would cost me around 200 Euros for so many minutes and GB :)))

So I can pay upto 30-50 Euros.

Thx so much in advance!
Cemal
Cardno85 31 | 976
30 Dec 2014 #9
If you go with play you can put in a code and get unlimited internet for 10zl for 30 days. I don't have the leaflet any more but you should be able to get it done in any Play shop. I do that for my iPhone each month, this is for 3G though, might cost a bit more for 4G but there's certainly a way of getting what you need, in major cities the staff in any of the mall outlets will speak English and you can ask there. Provided you can get from the airport into town without internet you should have no problem comparing offers between suppliers in any mall.

Depending where you are landing, the train from KRK airport goes straight to a shopping mall and there's a big one next to Warszawa Centralna train station.
kpc21 1 | 763
30 Dec 2014 #10
It seems that Cemal lands in Gdańsk.

It seems that from the airport in Gdańsk you have a bus 110 to the Gdańsk Wrzeszcz train station (it is NOT the main station in Gdańsk) - or N3 every hour at night (but if you are going to go to a mall, which probably opens at 10 a.m., it won't rather be useful) - and next to it there is a big mall Galeria Bałtycka.

ztm.gda.pl/rozklady/rozklad-110_20130513-1-2.html
ztm.gda.pl/rozklady/rozklad-0N3_20140104-1-1.html

If you take a taxi, it shouldn't be problem at all.
pigsy 7 | 305
31 Dec 2014 #11
(the one in Zloty Tarasy is apparently the best of the bunch).

Wrong 2 times there was noone who speaks english,when your turn comes the answer is "I dont speak english" and sometimes noone there does.
Cemal -Istanbul
2 Jan 2015 #12
Hello again, thx for your replies.

Well, we'll land in Warsaw Airport, buy the SIM cards, rent a car and directly drive to Gdansk from the Airport. So we should better buy the SIM cards at the airport. Is there no shop there?

@Cardno85, thx for the great tip, but for us the coverage is more important than free usage. I mean if Play mobile internet is not strong in-between cities, it won't be useful even if it costs no money. So I would rather buy a little more expensive alternative if its coverage is better. Does T-Mobile or Orange offer such talking and internet packages??

Some new questions;

1) You all say that English is not spoken by a large majority. What about German? I hear that Polish people speak German more right?
2) While driving from a city to another, which highways should we prefer for both speed and safety?
Our route is as follows: Warsaw - Gdansk - Torun - Warsaw - Radom - Lodz - Ostrow Wielkopolski - Katowice - Krakow - Warsaw

3) What is the highest speed limit on the highways? And do the police fine the faster driving people a lot?

Thx again in advance for your hospitality guys :)

@Cardno85; you said unlimited internet costs 10-smth Zloties, and what about a talking package of about 1000 minutes? Is there something like that as well?
Harry
2 Jan 2015 #13
Well, we'll land in Warsaw Airport, buy the SIM cards, rent a car and directly drive to Gdansk from the Airport. So we should better buy the SIM cards at the airport. Is there no shop there?

You can buy prepaid SIM cards at the Relay shop in the arrivals hall (it mainly sells newspapers, magazines, sweets, drinks, cigarettes, etc). Look for the red Relay sign.

You all say that English is not spoken by a large majority. What about German? I hear that Polish people speak German more right?

More people here speak English than German. Most people under the age of 30 will speak at least some English.

Wrong 2 times there was noone who speaks english,when your turn comes the answer is "I dont speak english" and sometimes noone there does

How amusing you should say that. I happened to be in that store earlier this week with my step-daughter, she was speaking Polish to the assistant while I listened, I asked her a question in English and the assistant promptly (and without being asked) switched to English. According to him all of the staff there have to know English in order to work at the shop (a management decision). But I can understand that they might not want to help certain people.
Cemal -Istanbul
2 Jan 2015 #14
Thanks so much Harry. I have some points to clear as listed below;

1) I assume that buying a prepaid Play card will costs 5 zl and will have 5 zl credit when I activate it. Can I directly load credits from the Relay shops?

2) The other friend said I can buy unlimited internet connection from Play for 10 zl. If I want to buy a talking package of about 500/1000 minutes, is there something like that in Play? And how much would it cost?

@Cardno85, can you give me the code for unlimited internet for 10 zl??
Harry
2 Jan 2015 #15
1) I assume that buying a prepaid Play card will costs 5 zl and will have 5 zl credit when I activate it.

I assume so. Haven't used one in Poland for so long that I really don't know for sure.

Can I directly load credits from the Relay shops?

Yes, most certainly.

If I want to buy a talking package of about 500/1000 minutes, is there something like that in Play? And how much would it cost?

I don't know; there probably is, why not check the Play website?

By the way, outside of major city's Play's coverage is rubbish (with the data connection being especially bad). Even in major cities the coverage is not good.
Cemal -Istanbul
2 Jan 2015 #16
why not check the Play website?

I've checked the website on this link: play.pl/en/. But can't really understand what the packages offer.

outside of major city's Play's coverage is rubbish

This is a very big problem since we will drive for 2000 km, which will probably take more than 20 hours and if we don't have internet connection it will be extremely boring :)

Do you have no commercials showing such complete packages? I'm from Turkey and the providers offer packages for example including 500 mins/4GB-data/1000SMS for 60 Turkish Liras and it makes around 20 Euros. So I'm just trying to find something like that. Well, maybe T-Mobile and Orange have call centers with English instruction. Let me try that way :))
vjmehra 16 | 80
2 Jan 2015 #17
Orange do a 20zl 1GB data package, but no idea what their coverage outside of the main cities is like (it may be fine, I've just never tried it)!

Also if you need a nano SIM you will need to get someone to cut it as they only do regular or Micro SIMs.
Happy Xmas
2 Jan 2015 #18
Orange works just fine outside city centres. It's the old TP SA network, the oldest in Poland.
Slutsk by name
2 Jan 2015 #19
Be careful if you come near here (Belarus). Telecom build huge towers to attract foreign phone signals and then charge huge prices to the unlucky suckers who don't know their phone has roamed to Belarus network.
kpc21 1 | 763
3 Jan 2015 #20
Our route is as follows: Warsaw - Gdansk - Torun - Warsaw - Radom - Lodz - Ostrow Wielkopolski - Katowice - Krakow - Warsaw
3) What is the highest speed limit on the highways? And do the police fine the faster driving people a lot?

Highways (blue sign with a viaduct at the beginning, blue direction signs, mostly paid) - 140 km/h, expressways (almost the same standard as highways, blue sign with a car at the beginning, green direction signs, free of charge) - 120 km/h. Normal roads inside built-up areas (marked by white signs with black town buildings shape) - 50 km/h, apart from the nighttime between 11 pm and 6 am - then 60 km/h. Outside: if they have one roadway - 90 km/h, with two roadways - 100 km/h.

I understand that you have to visit all these cities and towns.

By DK (for "droga krajowa" - "national road") I will denote the main roads (white numbers on red background), by DW ("droga wojewódzka" - "province road"), if I will need, the secondary roads (black numbers on yellow background).

From Warsaw to Gdańsk I would go by DK10 to Toruń and then A1. If you prefer highways, you may choose A2 to £ódź and then A1. It would take probably slightly more time, and definitely more fuel, but at the route Warsaw-£ódź-Toruń highways are free of charge. For the section from Toruń to Gdańsk you will have to pay 30 PLN. If you don't have to pay, you may choose the DK91 instead A1. It's the old DK1, from before the construction of the A1. It's also a good, wide road, but with only one roadway and many built-up areas. It's definitely slower and less comfortable.

Back to Warsaw through Toruń - the same route.

From Warsaw to Radom - choose DK7, whose big section is now an expressway S7.

From Radom to £ódź I would choose DW740 to Potworów, then DK48 to Tomaszów Mazowiecki, and then DW713 to £ódź.

In £ódź there is many road construction works, so be careful. For the best, tell us where you accurately have to go in £ódź, we will give directions. Driving in £ódź is quite tricky now as a lot of streets is closed for traffic.

From £ódź to Ostrów Wielkopolski - To Sieradz you have a new expressway, S8. Then you have to leave it, drive DK12 to Kalisz and then DK25 to Ostrów. Unfortunately you have to go through a city - I mean Kalisz.

From Ostrów to Katowice - you have a road DK11. It may be quite crowdy, but it's probably the best choice.

From Katowice to Kraków - the most comfortable will be the A4, but it's also paid, like the A1 from Toruń to Gdańsk. You will pay 18 PLN. As a free alternative I may recommend DK94.

From Kraków to Warsaw the best will be probably DK7 through Kielce and Radom, whose parts are modernised to the expressway standards and marked as S7. You don't enter Kielce at all as there is a bypass road; the road through Radom seems to be straight and simple.

You may see practically all the roads on Google Street View, it covers Poland very well. I recommend it especially in terms of how to go through cities, and how the places where you have to turn left or right from the main road look like. Unfortunately it don't have the newly built roads (S8 from £ódź to Sieradz) and it won't show the current road interruptions in £ódź.

About the mobile phone - according to the Polish websites of the operators, it seems that:

* in Plus:
you buy a SIM for 5 PLN, top up and then you can choose by a special code an offer (it will take money from what you have topped up):

- unlimited calls to all phone networks in Poland - 25 PLN / 30 days
- unlimited calls and text messages (as above) - 30 PLN / 30 days
- unlimited calls, text messages and 500 MB for Internet - 35 PLN / 30 days
- unlimited calls and messages within Plus network - 10 PLN / 30 days
You may use also Internet packages:
- 300 MB - 7 PLN, active for a month
- 500 MB - 9 PLN (as above)
- 1 GB - 15 PLN
- 3 GB - 25 PLN

* in Orange:
You can buy such SIM card sets: (I neglected these that rather won't be interesting, for example a "safe" one for children)

- Orange Yes: 5 PLN or 10 PLN - you get 200 MB of Internet, and you may activate free calls or free messages wto other people in Orange network (in Poland)

- Orange Smart: "Facebook" set for 5 PLN - bonuses of MB with each top-up (table is here: orange.pl/kid,4002009309,id,4003784071,article.html) and at the beginning 500 MB or 50 text messages for free; you may also activate free access to Facebook and a few other (but Polish) websites

- for 20 PLN - free 1 GB for internet at the beginning and then bonuses for internet with each top-up
Internet packages:
- 200 MB active for 1 day - 2 PLN
- 200 MB active for a month - 5 PLN
- 1 GB (active for a month) - 12 PLN

* in T-Mobile
SIM for 5 PLN and then you may activate:
- "Jump" - 10 PLN/week, free calls and text messages within Poland and 50 MB of Internet
- "Frii" - to choose, everything for free:
1. free calls within Polish T-Mobile and Heyah
2. free text messages within Poland
3. 50 MB of Internet every day
Internet packages:
- 250 MB for 1 day - 2 PLN
- 250 MB for a month - 6 PLN
for a month:
- 1 GB - 10 PLN (unless you have "Jump", mentioned above, then 500 MB only for this price)
- 3 GB - 20 PLN
- 6 GB - 30 PLN

* in Play:
5 PLN for a starting set with SIM and then to choose:
- "Formuła SMS" - free messages within Play, for 7 PLN/month
- "Formuła 3 w 1" - free messages within Poland, calls within Play and 100 MB - free for the first 7 days ("to try") and then 14 PLN/month

- "Formuła 4 w 1" - as "Formuła 3 w 1" + calls to networks other than Play within Poland for 0,09 PLN/min and 1 GB Internet - 21 PLN/month

- "Formuła Mini Max" - if you spend more than 9 PLN for text messages and more than 29 PLN for calls, they will be free within all Polish networks (for a month beginning from the moment you started spending these money)

- "Lubię To" - bonuses of data transfer after every top-up
packages of MB available (valid for 1 month):
- 300 MB for 5 PLN
- 1 GB - 9 PLN
- 3 GB - 20 PLN

These are the main networks, I didn't check the virtual operators. For more details you have to search the Polish versions of the operators or find a selling point of the specific network where somebody is able to speak English.

You may check also:
play.pl/en (all the information are much more readable than in the Polish one, even for me, although it is lacking of details, for example that in "Lubię To" the "free" data transfer has limited speed so that it's practically impossible to use it)

I can't unfortunately find English versions of other operators webpages.
Cemal -Istanbul
6 Jan 2015 #21
@kpc21:
Wow, what an inspiring contribution. Thank you so very much my friend. Below are my notes;

You may see practically all the roads on Google Street View, it covers Poland very well.

Wonderful guiding information about the transportation between cities with info about prices and maintenance works etc. I have found a map of Polish highways in this link, do you find it helpful: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highways_in_Poland#mediaviewer/File:DocelowyUkladDrog.svg

* in Plus:
you buy a SIM for 5 PLN,
- unlimited calls and text messages (as above) - 30 PLN / 30 days
- 3 GB - 25 PLN

How do you find the internet coverage of Plus on the rural areas and cities? If it's not the worst, then we can use the above usage packages.

But I have 2 questions;
1) is this "unlimited calls" valid to all networks including mobile and landlines?
2) do I have to use a code to activate these packages? If yes, do you know what codes I must use and how I can use? Do I have to send an SMS to a number or do I have to dial smth with # and *??
kpc21 1 | 763
6 Jan 2015 #22
The map you've found is the target highway network in Poland that is going to be built, many of roads from this map don't exist yet.

Here:
skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1310317
you've got a map on which the condition of the roads is marked. Descriptions are in Polish, but below the map you have exemplary photos what each color means.

Here:
skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=869740
two maps with all the roads that are currently being built or having already some documentation needed to build them - with the official dates of their opening. In this case you have to translate the descriptions if you want to read something from it.

Plus coverage is OK. The free calls and SMS-es in Plus are only to mobile phones in Polish networks. First you buy the SIM set and top-up the account so that you have at least 30 PLN on it (a top-up is "doładowanie" in Polish - pronounciation: dowadovanye; a set with a SIM is "starter" pronounced normally like in English). Then to activate it you need a code: *136*11*15# and normally it renews after 30 days if only you have enough money on the account, unless you deactivate it with the code: *136*00*15# (don't do it before the 30 days are almost up, I am not sure, but probably you don't have then all the bonuses any more unless you activate it for 30 PLN again).

It's here:
plus.pl/na-karte the second tab.

Here are all the call and SMS prices:
plus.pl/documents/16/ca46084c-6d67-4ea5-97c8-3450c0f394e6?title=Cennik_taryfy_Plus_na_Kart%C4%99_bez_limitu.pdf
(it doesn't take into accont the additional bonus you activate with the code)

The internet packages are here:
plus.pl/uslugi/pakiety-internetowe-w-plusie-na-karte

I made a mistake and gave you the information on the internet packages for those who have contracts with the operator and pay every month according to this contract.

On the page I gave you now the code for activation are in the 3rd column, for deactivation in 4th column. I think the rest of this table is readible for foreigners to :)
Cemal -Istanbul
6 Jan 2015 #23
My dear friend thank you once again very much for your precious effort. It means and will help us a lot.
I will check the links you gave and will write back if there are any questions but I'm sure they will help us.
Take care!
waldmattis - | 1
18 Jun 2015 #24
Merged: Need prepaid mobile internet for one month in Poland. I will cycle the coast Świnoujście to Gdańsk

Good morning.
In june I will go by bicycle along the coast from Świnoujście (old name: Swinemünde) to Gdańsk (old name: Danzig).
These are my first vacancies in poland - so I am completely unexperienced ;-(

So I need polish mobile internet for four weeks only.
It should be reliable in rural/ coastal areas as well as in the cities.
And, if possible, low cost, since I don`t have much money.

Are there prepaid SIM cards (four weeks only) with
- most use internet, little use for phonecalls inside poland
- if cheaper, internet only?

If yes, where to buy?

Thank you in advance.
Karl
groovyg 3 | 70
28 Jul 2015 #25
orange will give you 6gb for 6zl during summer months (it's a promotion). google it. just buy an orange sim card for 10zl and then deduct 6zl for the promotion. if you run out you can buy yet again (using the same sim card).
Marline - | 1
8 Oct 2015 #26
Merged: Mobile internet or 3G

Hello!
I am going to Warsaw soon. Could you advice where can I buy sim card with cheap internet (gprs, 3G), and are there any provides with free wi-fi in Warsaw? And where can I buy a sim card with service installation? Thank you!
kpc21 1 | 763
8 Oct 2015 #27
Such threads appear quite frequently, just look at the forum...

The offers of the main networks:
play.pl/oferta/play-internet/internet-na-karte/
orange.pl/kid,4003445692,id,4003784086,article.html
t-mobile.pl/pl/oferta_specjalna/internet-na-karte
plus.pl/internet-na-karte

Just compare the offers (Google Translate, or just a dictionary, may help) and look for the cheapest one. We do not know, how big data package you want.

The SIM cards don't demand any registration (although it's possible), they work immediately after inserting them into a device.

It shouldn't be a problem finding a free wifi in Warsaw.
Ali Gill
2 Jan 2016 #28
prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Poland
robo28 - | 3
20 Apr 2016 #29
I rented a pocket WIFI system while traveling in Japan, and it was a life saver. I used it for Google Maps, to overcome language barriers and for travel suggestions. Since I am traveling on my own in Poland in June, I'd like to rent one for the trip. I have seen only one company offering Poland pocket WIFI systems: Polish WiFi.

I also have option to buy the SIM card, but I would like also use the internet on a laptop, tablet so I guess it will not be the best solution.
jon357 74 | 21,900
21 Apr 2016 #30
I would like also use the internet on a laptop,

Just put it in a USB dongle.


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