You can read this article also in : 日本語 (Japanese)
Do you know what kind of country Poland is?
Although quite minor in Japan, Poland is actually a country with many fans who are fascinated by its charms and visit again and again.
In this article, we introduce 5 attractions of Poland. After reading this, you might want to go there now too ^^.
Basic information for those considering or preparing a trip to Poland is also included.
These are the 5 main things you need to know about Poland
We have compiled a list of five essential points to know about Poland.
1. medieval city of Krakow, Chopin’s city of Warsaw
Krakow & Warsaw, the two largest cities in Poland, are definitely not to be missed when visiting Poland.
Krakow, the ancient capital of Poland, is a charming city that seems to have retained its medieval atmosphere, and is always bustling with tourists from all over the world.
Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Pit can also be reached in a day trip from Krakow.
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is famous as the place where Chopin grew up, and a Chopin concert is always held somewhere every day.
The Church of the Holy Cross, famous for housing Chopin’s heart, is also located in Warsaw.
Warsaw is also known as the Green City, with parks, gardens, and green spaces making up a quarter of the city.
On summer Sundays, visitors can enjoy free outdoor concerts in front of the Chopin statue in Wajenki Park.
Warsaw has many good restaurants only in the capital city. It is a city where you want to travel at a leisurely pace as if you were living in the city.
And accessibility between Krakow and Warsaw is excellent!
The high-speed train, Poland’s version of the bullet train, will get you there in 2.5 hours. Moreover, a one-way ticket costs about 1,500 yen and up (when the early bird discount is applied).
There is no reason not to go ^^^.
2. low cost of living, which is hard to believe in Europe
The cost of living in Poland is so cheap that it is hard to believe it is Europe.
Breakfast is available from 300 yen and up.
At the Aioli restaurant in Warsaw, breakfast includes a cafe latte for only about 350 yen!
There are many restaurants that offer a great lunch set (appetizer + main course + dessert) for around 600 yen.
Even if you eat a full meal at a high-end restaurant, the cost is usually around 3,000 to 5,000 yen per person.
At Stary Dom, an upscale Polish restaurant in Warsaw, the chef prepares beef tartare right in front of you. Still, the price is only 40 zloty (about $1,100)!
There are many inexpensive and delicious restaurants in Poland that suit the Japanese palate.
Accommodation costs are also lower than in other European countries.
Depending on the time of year, you can even stay at the Hotel Bristol, a long-established 5-star hotel in Warsaw’s Old Town, for around 10,000 yen!
Poland is a very wallet-friendly country ^^.
3. good public safety
Security in Poland is very good. It is safe for women traveling alone.
While there are some petty crimes such as pickpocketing, they are much less common than in Italy and Spain.
There have been no terrorist attacks on Polish soil. (Information as of September 2019)
Polish people are very kind and willing to help those in need.
It is even safer because most of the young people speak English.
4….The number of fans is growing rapidly! Polish Tableware
Polish tableware has a lovely appearance and is rapidly gaining popularity among Japanese women.
All are handmade, but they are also practical and can be used in microwave ovens, ovens, and dishwashers.
Some people even visit Poland for the Polish tableware.
Celebrity Yukorin (Yuko Ogura) is also a fan of Polish tableware and often appears on her Instagram.
Boleslawiec, the birthplace of Polish tableware, also hosts a big festival of Polish tableware once a year. This popular event attracts fans and buyers from all over the world.
5. direct flights from Japan! Access to other countries is also available!
Polish Airlines offers direct flights to Japan between Warsaw and Narita. There are daily flights in the summer and five days a week in the winter.
The flight time is around 11 hours.
I often fly direct with Polish Airlines and it is very easy ^^.
In addition, Poland has good access to other European countries, so it is possible to visit several countries.
For example, you can fly from Warsaw to Prague, Budapest, or Vienna within 1.5 hours each.
Other Basic Information about Poland
What is the name of the arrival airport for direct flights from Japan?
Warsaw Chopin Airport
（Warsaw Chopin Airport (English: Warsaw Chopin Airport / Polish: Lotnisko Chopina w Warszawie / Airport code: WAW)
Formerly known as Okenche Airport.
How long do I need my passport to be valid?
You will need the duration of your stay in Poland plus 3 months.
The passport must be valid for the period of stay allowed in Poland plus three months.Embassy of Japan in Poland -> From Entry and Stay
Do I need a visa?
Not required if the trip is for sightseeing purposes for 90 days or less.
A visa is not required to enter Poland with a Japanese passport for a stay of less than 90 days for tourism, business, etc.Embassy of Japan in Poland -> From Entry and Stay
Currency used, currency exchange, credit cards
Zloty (złoty, zł, PLN)
Zloty is a Japanese name, pronounced “złoty” in Poland.
One zloty is approximately 27 yen (as of September 2019). When shopping, you can roughly convert the zloty amount to Japanese yen by multiplying the zloty amount by 30.
Euros are not accepted. (It is occasionally accepted in some souvenir stores.)
Credit cards can be used at almost all stores and in small amounts.
What is the time difference from Japan?
7 hours during daylight saving time
Climate and Clothing
Like Japan, it has four seasons.
It is not too far off the mark to imagine what you would wear on a trip to Poland as if you were going to Hokkaido.
What is the best season for sightseeing?
Best season is summer (June-August).
The nights are bright until after 9:00 p.m. and there is no humidity like in Japan, so it is very comfortable. And when the weather’s nice, it feels like heaven!
Autumn in Poland is also called Golden Autumn, and if you are lucky, you can see beautiful autumn leaves.
International Phone and Internet
Free Wifi is available at airports and cafes.
Polish SIMs are recommended because they are cheap and convenient.
If you don’t have time, Wifi rental from Japan is also available.
Voltage and plug
The voltage in Poland is 220v and the frequency is 50Hz.
The plug is C type.
Recent digital cameras and smartphones are compatible up to 240v, so you can use them without modification. However, do not forget to use a conversion plug since the shape of the plug is different from that of Japan.
The plug type in Poland is C-type, but if you buy one of the universal type, you can use it in any country.
Article in preparation
Most toilets in Poland are free to use. (Some require a tip of about 2 zlotys.)
Many cafes and fast food restaurants have restrooms with locks. You can open them by entering the code written on the bottom of the receipt.
Article in preparation
Open on Sundays and holidays
There is a law in Poland that restricts stores from opening on Sundays.
Supermarkets and retail stores are not allowed to open except on working Sundays. (There are some small stores that do open on some exceptions.)
Working Sundays remaining in 2019 are 10/27, 11/24, 12/15, 12/22, 12/29.
In 2020, the number of working Sundays will be reduced even further, with only 7 working Sundays in the year. (Two weeks before Christmas, one week before Easter, and the last Sunday of January, April, June, and August.)
Restaurants, cafes, and tourist facilities are open on Sundays.
Note that most stores are closed on holidays as well, and tourist facilities are often closed on holidays.
A tip of about 10% of the price is often given at restaurants and other places. However, it is not obligatory.
Manners in Restaurants
Basically, it is table accounting. When paying by credit card, the waiter will bring the card machine to your seat.
Many restaurants have a system whereby you are in charge of your table, and you need to speak to the staff member in charge when you need to order, pay the bill, or do other things.
Let’s go to Poland♪
Poland is not as glamorous as Paris or Rome, but it is a country with a simple and relaxed atmosphere.
Why not visit and discover something interesting and different from Western Europe?