Hello all! In this article we will go over some things that you will want to bring with you when traveling to Poland, especially if you are from the united states.
When traveling to Poland and pretty much the rest of Europe, you will need this.
Bring Appropriate Clothing
Poland is rather humid and rains quite often. Depending on the season, you will need clothing that is water resistant.
Learn Basic Polish Greetings
The best way to navigate a country is to learn their language. A few basic words or phrases to communicate with the locals shows respect for the culture. I have had people smile and open up to me with a simple “Dzień Dobry” (Good Day).
Get Used to Water with Gas
When you order water in Poland, they will ask you if you want regular water or water with gas. This applies to many other European countries like Germany.
Dryers Are Not The Norm
So after you are done washing your clothes in the washing machine, the Polish do not put their clothes in a dryer. They hang their clothes on a rack or a clothe hanger to dry their clothes. While it isn’t the fastest way, it gets the job done and it reminds me of how I would do it back home in Malaysia.
Drinking is the Norm (Not During The Day)
Drinking beer or vodka is a favorite pastime for many poles. However, you cannot drink in the streets during the day. Opening any sort of alcoholic drink in the public park or street is a big offence and if you get caught by the police, be prepared to pay a fine.
Polish Hesitate to Speak English
A lot of Polish folks know English well, but they don’t speak it often since its not mandatory. Most of the folks younger than 35 will be able to communicate with you in English for the most part. However, due to a lack of practice or self consciousness, they will only use it when it is required. You should encourage them to speak it when you converse.
Milk Bar (Bar Mleczny)
At first when I went to the Milk Bar, I thought it would be a place to get chocolate and milk. But, that is not the case. The Milk Bar is a place where you get to try local Polish food for an affordable price.
Asking “How Are You”
When you ask “how are you”, it literally means that you want to know how their day is going. Polish folks are very direct and rarely say things that they do not mean. This usually confuses them if you don’t know them as a friend. If this is asked on the straight to a stranger, it will be a bit of a surprise for some.
Exchange a Small Amount of Cash at the Airport
Coming from America, your US dollar comes a long way in Poland. The current conversion rate is roughly 3.3 Zloty to 1 US dollar. When you land in Warsaw or any of the smaller airports, change some zlotys with your US dollar (~$40). The reason is not all places will accept credit card, especially the smaller cities.