Poland Country Profile Travel Guide Business Information

Poland Country Profile Travel Guide Business Information

Polish population Poland religion Polish history Poland economy Poland road travel

Related pages  Contact the Polish Consulate / Cities  Warsaw / Krakow / Gdansk  / Auschwitz & Birkenau

Poland Country Profile

Poland Recent History

After a century of occupation by Austria and Russia, Poland regained its independence at the end of WW1. In 1939 Western and Central Poland was invaded by Nazis Germany and then a fortnight later eastern area of the country were occupied by Russian Forces.

In 1941 the Nazis occupation extended to most of country following the German attack on Russia. The city of Warsaw was severely damaged and by the end of the war over 700,000 of its citizens were killed with nearly half of them dying in Nazis Concentation Camps – see the euromost Warsaw City Guide. About 6m Poles died during WW2. Many other fled the country and joined the Allied forces with many Polish pilots serving the in the British RAF.

In 1945 it was liberated from the Nazis by the Russian Red Army who having occupied the country imposed Communism upon it. At the time of the Hungarian Uprising (1956) and the Prague Spring (1968) there were unsuccesful protests against Communism.

By the late 1970’s opposition to the Communist authorities became stronger and the Solidarity Movement, born in the shipyards at Gdansk was formed. The election of the late pope John Paul 11 (see the Euromost Krakow City Guide) in 1979 and his public endorsement of Solidarity on a visit to Poland a few months later made it impossible for the ever popular Solidarity to be silenced.

In 1989 an agreement between Solidarity and the Communist authorities, led to the first elections in Poland for 60 years. The outcome of these elections was that Poland became the first former Eastern Bloc country to overthrow Communism and a few months later Solidarity leader Lec Walesa became President.

Poland Population Poland has a population of 39m of which 2m live in the Capital Warsaw. 97% of the population are Polish, just over 1% are German with the remainder being Byelorussian and Ukrainian. Poland Religion 95% of Poles are Catholic with Protestant and Eastern Orthodox being the leading minority religions.

Poland Language The official language of Poland is Polish. Poland Currency Poland’s currency unit is the Polish Zloty. Poland Currency Regulations Visitors entering or leaving Poland with cash in any currency which exceeds 10,000€, must declare it to customs officials.

Poland Economy Business

Poland has a free market economy with an annual growth rate of 3-4% and an inflation rate of 2%. Unemployment has risen to over 20% in rent years. Its major industries are the manfacture of machines, iron, steel glass, coal mining, textiles and food processing. It has attracted more investment from blue-chip British companies than any other ex- communist country. Its major international trading partners before the UK are Germany, Italy, Russia, Netherlands France & the Ukraines.

Poland Tourism

In May 2004 Poland become an European Union Member State. Since then it has become a very popular tourist destintation, with GdanskKrakow Warsaw in particular benefiting from the introduction of low cost flights to and from the United Kingdom.

Info On Other Places For information on other Polish towns and cities including Bydgszcz, Katowice, Lodz, Posnan, Rzeszow, Szczecin & Wroclaw. there may be an official local tourist board or city tourist office. Where available these tourist boards can be found through the Polish National Tourist Office link above.

Emergency Medical Treatment In Poland

Poland has a good standard of healthcare and arrangements with several countries including the UK nationals for the provision of emergency medical treatment. If you are travelling from the UK you will need a European Health Card.

Bird – Avian Flu In Poland

Evidence of Avian Influenza in wildfowl has been found in some locations of north western and northern Poland. The risk to humans from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low.  You are advised not to visit markets selling live animals, caged or wild birds and poultry farms. All egg and poultry dishes should be cooked thoroughly

Drunken Behavoiur In Public

Polish society does not tolerate this and police will often arrest people appearing to be drunk and only release them when they are sober and have been exanined by a nurse or doctor. The release only happens once you have paid for all the costs including medical care of your stay.

Travelling With Children

Lone parents & adults travelling with children are required under Polish law to have documentary evidence including a letter of consent & a birth certificate. See the euromostconsulate page – Polish Consulate link for more information.

Road Travel In Poland

The infrastructure of Polish roads including motorway type routes has not been developed with the growth in the Polish economy over the last decade. During this time the country has become a main thorough fare for commercial vehicles travelling between Western and Northern Europe and other parts of Central Eastern and Southern Europe. Consequently many of Polands major roads some of which only have one lane are very crowded and slow going. Overtaking on these roads can be very dangerous. Journeys between major towns can take considerably longer to cover than an equivalent distance would in Western Europe.

In general Polish roads are not well maintained, few have markings and they are frequently very narrow and at night any street lighting is unlikely to make an impact on global warning. In rural areas (including the main road from Krakow Airport to Krakow) it is not unusual to be held up by agricultural vehicles and vehicles being pulled by horses both of which are very slow moving. Though this can be very fustrating its ‘quaintness’ is one of Poland’s many appeals.

Driving standards are very poor, especially at road junctions and traffic lights which some drivers seem oblivious to. The death rate on Polish roads is 250% higher than in the United Kingdom.

Visitors with driving licences from any EU country can drive in Poland. All drivers must carry their original vehicle registation documents and insurance policy with them at all times. If you have hired the vehicle you must have your hire contact with you. If you have borrowed the vehicle you must have the written of the owners consent for you to drive it along with contact numbers and addresses that will confirm this. Drivers who do not meet this criteria whether entering or leaving Poland will have their vehicle confiscated. If this vehicle is later released you will have to pay an administration cost to cover the cost of its confiscation, impoundment and return.

The Polish Authorities have a policy of zero tolerance of drinking and driving. Any motorist found to have just 1 unit of alcohol in their blood can be fined on the spot. More severe penalties can be applied to higher levels of alcohol.

You must carry original vehicle-registration papers, ownership documents and insurance papers at all times.  This is a legal requirement.  They will be asked for if you are stopped by the police and, in particular, when crossing borders.  This also applies to rental vehicles.  If you do not have these papers when stopped by the police they have the right to impound your vehicle and charge you for this.

Speed limits in Poland officially are 50 – 60 KPH in towns, 90 KPH outside built up areas and 130 KPH on motorways. Headlights have to be switched on at all times. Seat belts in the front and back of cars are compulsory and must be worn. Only the use of a hands free mobile is permitted when driving.

Cautionary Driving Notes

Theft of vehicles and items in them is a problem anywhere Poland. There is also a problem in country areas and the ski regions of criminals posing as policemen with the objective of robbery. If you are stopped you should not get out of the car , lock the doors and ask for their id.

Driving in Winter

The weather in Poland can be very severe in Winter with heavy snow and very low temperatures – see the euromost city guides for GdanskKrakow Warsaw . Motorists travelling in Poland during the winter are advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out.

Vehicles should be fitted with winter tyres or snow chains. They are also advised to carry mobile phones for use in an emergency along with emergency supplies of food and warm drinks especially when going on a long journey.

Poland Travel

Crime Cautionary Notes:

Petty crime targetted at tourist is a problem in Poland Tourists are particulary vunerable to picket pockets and thieves targetting their luggage at and in the immediate vicinity of mainline railway stations especially in the capital Warsaw. These problems can also occur on trains with night services and ovenight sleeper trains a favourite haunt of luggage thieves. Airports are also a favoured by the same. To be safe never leave your luggage. You should also be streetwise when using any ATM machine.

Very occasionally street robberies may occur in deserted badly lit streets where the victim is walking alone. Having said this violent crime is Poland is far less common than in Western Europe.

Credit Card Fraud

This has become an increasing problem in Poland especially with the rise in tourism to the country since Poland joined the EU in 2004. When paying with a credit card you should ensure that you can see the card throughout the transaction. You should also be aware some criminals will identify themselves as plain clothed policeman and who in the course of their conversation with you will ask to see your passport credit cards and for the pin no of the cards. your pinwith since the country

Air Travel In & To Poland

Air travel to and from Poland is very popular and competitive. Euromost has airport info for GdanskKrakow Warsaw Other airports are at Bydgszcz, Katowice, Lodz, Posnan, Rzeszow, Szczecin & Wroclaw

 

 

 

 

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TRAVEL ADVICE RUSSIA & THE UK..The attempted murder in England of a former Russian  Spy / double agent  has  heightened the strained political tensions between Russia and the UK. Consequently visitors to these countries may not feel comfortable or safe when travelling around. Sources of Advice on the Home Page

 

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