Situated in the central European area, with its western border on Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia on the south, parted by the Baltic sea with Sweden and adjoined with Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine at the East, Poland is one of the biggest countries in European Union, approaching the number of 38 millions of citizens.
Contemporarily Polish GDP reaches the level of 13799 US, the official language is Polish but every year the number of population speaking different languages increases significantly. There are a few small German-speaking communities primarily in the southwest. English and Russian are also spoken.
Poland offers a huge amount for travellers of all stripes - from the wild scenery of its mountainous south, with its great skiing and hiking, to the stunning old towns of Krakow, Zamosc, Wroclaw and Gdansk and the wilderness of the Bialowieza National Park and the Great Malsurian Lakes in the country's north.
Modernising and changing fast, the Polish capital Warsaw with 2 million population at present was almost totally destroyed during WWII, when it was home to Europe's most notorious ghetto. After WW II it was painstakingly recreated.
Yet most tourists head straight for the country's biggest draw, Krakow, the country's royal capital and a stunningly preserved architectural marvel that has somehow managed to survive the many wars that have used Poland as a battle ground.
Poland is a nation with a proud cultural heritage, in all spheres. The former textile city of Lodz is proud of its film school, alma mater to directors Roman Polanski and Krzysztof Kieslowski. Toruå boasts of being the hometown of astronomer Nicholas Copernicus and Warsaw claims Marie Curie and Frederick Chopin as natives. The country's biggest port and northern boomtown, Gdansk is best known as the origin of Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement, which was founded in 1980 and eventually lead the country out of communism and into democracy in 1989.
Poland's scenic beauty is as varied as it is extraordinary. The Baltic coast has some excellent sandy beaches, as well as the Slowinski National Park with its ethereal forests, bogs and sand dunes. In the country's northeast are the Great Malsurian Lakes, a playground for boat enthusiasts of all kinds with its hundreds of pristine lakes broken up by dense forest. The Krakow-Wielun Upland with its limestone areas, caves and medieval castles is another highlight, while perhaps most beautiful area of all is around the Carpathian Mountains in the far south.
Foreign travellers are advised to obtain travel insurance.
Zloty (PLN; symbol zł) = 100 groszy. Notes are in denominations of zł 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. The new coins are in denominations of zł 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 groszy.
Poland is within the European Union. If you are travelling e.g. from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragance, fashion accessories, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, gifts and...
* Beer = Piwo * Closed = Zamkniete
* Danger = Niebezpiecznie / Niebezpieczenstwo
* Do you speak English? = Czy mowi pan po angielsku? (to a man) / Czy mowi pani po angie sku? (to a woman)
* Doctor = Doktor * Eight = Osiem * Eighty = Osiemdziesiat * Entrance = Wejscie
* Exit = Wyjscie *Fifty = Piecdziesiat *Five = Piec *Forty = Czterdziesci
* Four = Cztery * Friday = Piatek * Hello = Dzien dobry * How are you? = Jak sie masz? / Jak sie pan ma?
* Goodbye = Do widzenia / Do zobaczenia * How much does it cost? = Ile to kosztuje?
* I don't understand = Nie rozumiem * Hotel = Hotel * I feel ill = Jestern chory(a)
* I'm very well = W porzadku / Miewam sie dobrze * Monday = Poniedzialek
* Menu = Jadlospis * Nine = Dziewiec * My name is = Nazywam sie ...
* No = Nie * Yes = Tak * Ninety = Dziewiecdziesiat * Open = Otwarte
* One = Jeden * One Hundred = Sto * One Thousand = Tysiac
* Please = Prosze * Restaurant = Restauracja * Saturday = Sobota
* Seven = Siedem * Seventy = Siedemdziesiat * Six = Szesc
* Sixty = Szescdziesiat * Sunday = Niedziela * Ten = Dziesiec
* Thank you = Dziekuje
* Thirty = Trzydziesci
* Three = Trzy
* Thursday = Czwartek
* Today = Dzis / Dzisiaj
* Toilets = Toalety
* Tomorrow = Jutro
* Tuesday = Wtorek
* Twenty = Dwadziescia
* Two = Dwa
* Wednesday = Sroda
* Where is ? = Gdzie jest ?
* Wine = Wino
The most important historical facts:
2006 - Poland chosen as a host for the football UEFA EURO 2012
2004 – Poland accession to European Union
1999 - Poland accession to NATO
1980- 2002 - two Nobel Literature Prizes for Polish poets, Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska
1990 – Lecha Wałęsa wins the presidential elections
1989 - the beginning of the round table negotiations starting the process of political transformation within the former soviet block
1983 - Nobel Peace Prize for Lech Walesa
1980 - the beginning of strikes at Polish seaside in main dockyards, initiating the SOLIDARITY movement, the exceptional great social organization for freedom and people’s rights
1944-1945 - final liberation battles of the II world war with the significant participation of Polish troops (Major General Stanisław Maczek formation) in the biggest battlefields: Monte Cassino, Tobruk.
1939 - German invasion for Westerplatte, fights in Gdansk and the beginning of the II world war
1920 - date of Karol Wojtyla birth, chosen for pope John Paul Ii in 1978
1918 - oPoland gains independence after about 200 years of Polish territory partition between three occupying countries: Austrian Hungary empire, Prussia and Russia
1867 - date of Maria Curie – Sklodowska birth, Polish discoverer of radium and polonium, receiver of Nobel Chemistry Prize
1810 - date of Fryderyk Chopin birth, famous Polish Composer and pianist
1791 – Polish Constitution of the 3rd May statement – the first constitution in Europe
1683 - Polish King John II Sobieski fights Turkish army and saves western Europe from Turkish empire invasion
1592-1599 - Polish –Sweden union and Sigismund’s III Waza reigning in Poland
1473 - date of Nicolaus Copernicus birth, Polish great astronomer
1385- 1795 - Polish – Lithuanian Union
1410 - the biggest medieval battle with the Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital in Jerusalem on Grunewald (Grunwald) battlefield
1025 - the coronation of the first Polish King Bolesław Chrobry
966 - the christening of Poland, official introduction of Christianity at Polish territory
Before Poland was a territory crossed by the trade track for Romanian legions, a place of Vikings invasion and later became the earth of Slavic settlement.