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Trip to Poland. Short guid by Usagi. Money, traditions, history, threads and folk

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Trip to Poland. Short Polish-English guid for turists who want to travel to Poland
If you want asking for something feel free to ask. Trip to Poland. A short Polish-English guide for tourists who want to go to Poland.

Why is Poland a good place for a trip?
It is a tourist-friendly democratic country. The official language is Polish. Most young people know English because they learn it at school. In most hotels and restaurants in larger cities (and in tourist cities) you can communicate in English. ATMs, ticket machines and some museums have several language options to choose from (other European languages). In the north of the country there is the Baltic Sea and in the south there are mountains. There is a lot of flat ground in the middle. There is a lot of greenery, forests and agricultural areas. There are places where industry dominates. The country lies in the temperate zone, there are four seasons. Everyone will find the right place and time. There are a lot of historic buildings from different times. You can visit castles, churches, museums, charming markets (old city centers) and eat local delicacies. You can also choose sport, mountain hiking or a trip to the forest. There is no terrorism, no earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis or plague. There are floods (locally) and flooding after heavy spring rains. Large groups of people are safe. You can get around by train, bus, public transport or taxi. There are two metro lines in Warsaw. There are 12 civil airports in Poland. You can choose any airport and go to a different place by bus from the airport to the train station and by train. Check connections before departure.

Money and shopping
In most stores you can pay by card. Change money in an exchange office and have money (Polish zloty, PLN) with you for food, tickets, taxi and other needs for one day. Poland is a country of choice because of low prices. The minimum wage is PLN 2,200 gross in 2019 and PLN 2,600 in 2020. The average wage in 2019 was PLN 5,084 (gross). Probably many things in stores will be cheaper than in your country. The prices of electronics, cars and some services are comparable to other countries. Seasonal vegetables and fruits are extremely cheap and tasty. Accommodation prices depend on the location and date. Choose hotels in the center or near the metro / tram. Arriving by bus can be difficult and take a long time. Many hotels and public places (large stations, shopping centers) have free Wi-fi. It is good to check the route on the Internet. You can shop freely from Monday to Friday. Shops close earlier on Saturdays. Some Sundays are commercial and some are non-commercial. On non-commercial Sundays, you can have dinner in a restaurant, drink coffee, visit a museum (museums are closed on Mondays), buy flowers at the florist, buy a ticket at the station, go to the cinema or to the pub. Pharmacies are on duty, there is always one in the city or in the district is open. Small grocery stores, some kiosks and souvenir shops are open. On Sunday, non-commercial shopping centers have only cafes, restaurants and cinemas open. There are gas stations, hotels and airports open every day. Most small shops are closed on national and church holidays. Shop early.

Traditions
Poland is a Christian country, most holidays and customs are derived from religion. In public places such as airports, stations, trains, hospitals, bus and tram stops, subways, restaurants and hotels, smoking and electronic cigarettes are prohibited. In some music clubs smoking is allowed or smoking areas are designated. Restaurants allow smoking in the gardens before / after the premises. Smoking on the street is allowed. The remains of the cigarette should be put out and thrown into the bin. Drinking alcohol on the street is prohibited. You can get a ticket for drinking or littering. You can cross the street only in designated places (pedestrian crossings). Do not cross red. If you are caught by the police or city guard you will pay a fine. Alcohol can be drunk only in designated places, at home, at alcohol parties and in clubs. You must not wear a visible bottle of alcohol on the street. It must be hidden. You can't bring your own alcohol to concerts, matches and most mass events. In restaurants, bars and clubs you cannot eat your own food or drink your own alcohol. It can be consumed earlier. Right-hand traffic applies. You must not drive a car, bike or motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol. The new year is celebrated most often by playing music and watching fireworks. On this day, it is allowed for all adults to fireworks in safe places. The carrying of large knives and weapons is prohibited. Chewing gum is considered uncultural and you cannot chew gum at work, in church, in court, at school. You may be asked to leave. Don't spit, don't litter. You can wear scanty clothes, you can't walk in underwear or naked (mandate). You can wear swimsuits in the seaside towns and around bathing areas. If you want to visit churches you have to cover your shoulders, cleavage, avoid shorts and short skirts as well as flip flops. You may be asked to leave. If you want to drive a car, check the traffic rules. In other countries, the attitude towards alcohol and traffic regulations is different.
Threats
Poland is a country generally friendly to tourists and emigrants. Use common sense. Do not wander lonely streets at night in a suspicious area. Choose bright and full of people places. Just avoid trouble. That's easy.
Thieves - don't leave your wallet or documents unattended. Hide your credit card. Look after your purse. Close the car and door in the hotel room. There are minor thefts.
Skinheads - a subculture with nationalist (often fascist) views unfavorable to foreigners. They often shave their heads bald, have tattoos related to patriotism (eagles, he knew Fighting Poland) or tattoos related to fascism (swastikas). They like paramilitary clothes, boots, chains. They confuse patriotism and fascism, cultivate racism. They are aggressive under the influence of alcohol. Avoid them and avoid contact.
Not every bald man is skinhed. Tattoos are very popular in Poland and usually have no meaning. The skinhead subculture should not be confused with metalhead. They are metal music fans, have long hair, wear boots, dark clothes and boots. They often have tattoos but are nice and tolerant.
Independence Day celebrations 11.11 - peaceful demonstrations of a patriotic nature. People celebrate independence, wear flags and sing songs. Unfortunately, at the end of the day many demonstrations are disturbed by nationalists. People with radical views use smoke flares and show the flags of their organizations. They are aggressive. Never visit the capital on this day. There are problems in Warsaw every year. Be careful in other big cities, don't leave in the evening.
Football fans, hooligans - aggressive and warped supporters of the football team. There are acts of vandalism after matches. Groups of hooligans fight each other. They may or may not be associated with nationalist circles. Their views are less radical, they are dangerous in groups, in large cities. They dress sportily, very ordinary. On the day of the match, they have scarves and T-shirts of the teams they support. They behave loudly. Avoid.
Equality parades - peaceful demonstrations of people who support homosexuals and the LGBT community. Religious persons and political circles do not support such persons. People with liberal views want to support minorities. Unfortunately, such demonstrations are sometimes disturbed by nationalist circles, which is why I place them on the list of tourists dangerous.
Authorities and police are fighting aggression and vandalism, trying to ensure people's safety. It is difficult when there are a lot of people. If you see a lot of police cars and a lot of police - ask about matches and demonstrations. Change your schedule if necessary.
Once I met a Japanese man who was wearing a white eagle T-shirt (Polish emblem), waving a scarf with the inscription "Poland" and shouting the names of Polish national heroes. I am glad that he liked my country but it was not sensible behavior.

History
Poland is a country with a long and complicated history. He developed in the Christian tradition after being baptized by the ruler Mieszko I in 996. It was good for development and economy among other countries in Europe. Successive kings and princes ruled the country. Poland was a large country connecting many cultures and nations (for some time Poland and Lithuania were one country). Unfortunately, in 1772 the country was attacked and robbed by three other countries simultaneously, and from 1795 it disappeared completely from the map of Europe. Poles attempted to fight the invaders. On November 11, 1918, Poland regained independence. New country borders were set. During World War II, Poland was invaded by the Germans and the USSR. Poles were forced to fight against each other. The attackers also killed many people in Poland. German troops withdrew from the country after losing the war. Poland was under the political and economic influence of the USSR (Russia). Communism was not conducive to economic development. In 1989, Poland freed itself from communism (workers rebellion and support of the Polish Pope) and became a democratic country.

Folk costumes and traditions
On the internet you can find a lot of information about places that are worth visiting. The most interesting (and best connected) are provincial cities. There are also many smaller cities with attractions. Some can only be reached by bus, but the tour is worth the trip. List of interesting smaller cities.
Sandomierz - a beautiful, historic market square and romantic streets. You can go along the wine route and visit wine cellars and vineyards and admire the scenery. For lovers of larger cities definitely Lublin.
Biskupin - reconstruction of a settlement from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron era as well as the Lusatian culture (various buildings), archaeological museum, workshops and shows (from May to September). There are many events organized there. An admission ticket of PLN 15 can be bought in the reserve. Guided tours (English, German, Dutch, Russian) - PLN 150; to be arranged in advance.
Wieliczka - a closed salt mine that can be visited. Sculptures and chambers of salt. Beautiful and amazing experience many meters underground. Check your opening hours and book your ticket (100 PLN) before your visit. Guided tours only. Museum tours included (tourist route). Wait for the group to gather. You can join a language group other than Polish (e.g. English or German). Various routes available: tourist route (salt chambers), mining route (trip in the miner's costume) and route for children. Warning! It's cold in the mine, wear comfortable shoes.
Grunwald - A city where the great reconstruction of the Battle of Grunwald takes place every year (1410). Lots of people in medieval costumes and armor. Staging of fights, souvenirs and a tourist and historical route. Museum of the battle.
Zdrój - cities with the name "Zdrój" usually have deep water pump rooms or hot springs. There are healing water springs and numerous sanatoriums. Spa cities are exceptionally well cared for and tourist-friendly. They are a great alternative to agglomerations such as Krakow and Zakopane. The spa cities have cleaner air and tourist routes are less crowded. Hotels add a spa fee - it is not large but increases the bill for a longer stay.

List of major cities worth visiting
Krakow - the magnificent Wawel Royal Castle. Cloth Hall, Basilica, Cathedral (it is not recommended to visit churches on Sundays because people pray). This city was once the capital of Poland. Wonderful historic buildings and a beautiful market square. Museum of stained glass, art gallery, underground market, aviation museum and Folk Show (evening with folk songs, a show of folk dances in traditional costumes. A lot of cultural events. Unfortunately, many tourists.
Zakopane - houses with sloping roofs and hotels stylized as highlander's cottages. Souvenir sellers and coachmen dressed in traditional highlander costumes, restaurants with traditional food, tons of souvenirs, museums and many events. Great mountain trails at your fingertips. Mountain lift, ski trails. The disadvantage are large numbers of tourists. If accommodation prices are unusually high and places are low - you have probably chosen the time of the ski jumping competition or the long weekend (when the day off extends the weekend). Change the date of the visit. Note the names of the peaks, trails and passes. They are difficult to remember even for a Polish tourist.

Toruń - a beautiful historic city, known for gingerbread and the Nicolaus Copernicus museum. To visit the Old Town Hall, the Leaning Tower (we do not go inside), churches in the old town, Castle, defensive walls, gates and towers, ruins of the Teutonic Castle. You will also see the Teutonic castle if you visit Malbork.

Warsaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Krakow, Wroclaw - in my opinion, the most beautiful and worth visiting cities full of beautiful places and attractions. You can easily find photos and objects worth visiting.
Warsaw - the least monuments and old buildings you will find in Warsaw - the capital was badly damaged during the war. The city makes up for it with newer buildings and lots of attractions. Watch out for changes in traffic during various social events and diplomatic visits by politicians. During rush hour, it's best to take the subway.
Look for local delicacies and traditional cuisine in every visited city and town. Check out the schedule of cultural events and concerts because you can find a folk dance show, historical reconstruction (on national holidays), releasing wreaths on water (St. John's Night), amusement park, Christmas market, flea market, festival with food and tasting of local delicacies (e.g. honey) ), souvenir stalls, indulgence (a lot of stalls and a large crowd on the occasion of a solemn Mass in the church only in the villages). You can also hit a regular concert, juwenalia, match or ski jumping. If you are not a fan of a given group or sport, it may make sightseeing difficult by taking places in hotels or having to change the route. Most events take place on days off, on holidays and in summer. The easiest way to check is typing in the search engine "City (city name)" and viewing the page via Google Translate.



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