12 things you should know before going to Poland
Mark Walters of Walters World on YouTube came to Poland and we did not miss the opportunity to listen to someone who was everywhere in the world and can easily identify the subtle differences between one culture and another. Here are some tips for those of you who intend to visit Poland
Do not call the Poles “Eastern Europeans”
Poland for the Poles is the center of Europe and therefore they consider themselves as “Central Europeans”. In fact, if you look at the map you’ll see that they are not utterly wrong. Poland is indeed located in north-central Europe and for them the immediate linking to Eastern European countries does not appeal much.
Do not shake hands on the doorstep
To the Poles it feels strange to shake hands on the doorstep so you have to decide, either you go outside or inside and only then shake hands.
Do not wear shoes in the host’s home
If you are invited to a local house and the host is wearing slippers or walking barefoot, you are also supposed to take off your shoes. It’s rude in Poland to get into a house where everyone else goes without shoes.
Do not underestimate the learning of a little Polish
A few words in Polish will do a lot for you while you are in Poland. Words like thank you or please will help the locals to open up.
Do not worry about your checking account when you’re in Poland
Vacation in Poland is considered relatively cheap. A recreation that begins at the museum and ends with a good meal including a dessert will not bust your budget.
Do not drink alcohol in public places
Although Poland is considered cheap when it comes to food and drinks, Mark Walter pleads with you – if you come to Poland – not to drink alcohol in public places. This can attract attention from the local police and end up with a fine. You can drink of course in pubs and restaurants, but not outside.
Do not forget to walk around with an ID document
Mark Walter says he goes out with a photocopy of his passport while the passport itself is locked in a hotel room. He also takes his driving license with him. The Police do not usually bother tourists while on vacation in Poland, but these documents should be with you for safety.
Do not use large bills
ATMs will get big bills of fifty or a hundred but you’ll always be asked to pay in smaller bills, say twenty or ten. It is recommended to use large ones when possible and break them in smaller bills.
Do not forget to give a tip
The usual tip in Poland is ten or fifteen percent. Do not say “thank you” while you pay in cash because then the waiter will think that the entire amount is for him.
Do not be late
The Poles, like their German neighbors, are punctual. If you are going to a meeting, update the Polish with whom you are about to meet.
Do not be tempted by nature trips in Poland
During your stay in Poland you will see many advertisements for beautiful places all over Poland that are worth visiting. However, if this is the first time for you in Poland, it is recommended to concentrate on the cities themselves, such as Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Lublin and others, and give up the trip to those pastoral sites.
Do not worry about transportation
There is excellent public transport in Poland that will bring you to any point.