Coach holidays to Poland
Currency: Polish złoty
Time Zone: CET/GMT+1
Tipping: If you pay a bill in Poland and say 'thank you' this will be seen as telling the waiter to keep the change, so if you are expecting the change back, stay and wait for it.
With a history dating back to the turn of the first millennium, there's a multitude of sights to see and things to do on your Poland holiday. History buffs tend to flock here due to the many connections it has with World War II. Tragically Poland felt the sheer force of these battles and there are many monuments and museums dedicated to these historical moments and the country's remarkable survival. You'll find during your tour of Poland, it has a strong Jewish heritage to be proud of, one of the many reasons why Holocaust Memorials and synagogues are being restored with an element of sensitivity. Should you wish to, you can trace this history at your own pace following heritage trails from Lódź and Lublin.
Warsaw is Poland's capital and is a must-see when considering any holiday to this spectacular part of the world. Unfortunately, during World War II, the city was flattened and ever since the people here have been trying replace what was previously lost. Kraków may have the beauty but Warsaw has one of the most sought-after club and music scenes in the world. It's events calendar is overflowing with Chopin-inspired music festivals, trendy gallery openings and fabulous street entertainment. Whilst in Warsaw, plan visits to the Royal Castle, Chopin Museum and don't forget to fully explore the back streets of the Old Town and the New Town.
Kraków in Poland is usually at the top of touring itineraries for visitors who wish to marvel at its stunning architecture which has evolved over the years. Celebrating its 750th year in 2007, Kraków is home to more than 2 million historical buildings ranging from wondrous medieval castles to gothic churches and awesome synagogues. Visits to the Rynek Glówny (Main Market Square) and the Jewish Quarter of Kazmierz are a must.
Ensure you visit the Polish port of Gdańsk where you'll find plenty of architectural delights, see the shifting sand dunes of Slowiński National Park, explore the Tatras Mountains in beautiful Zakopane and admire the Renaissance splendour of Zamość. A visit to the North, along the Vistula, will reward you with the awe-inspiring red-brick fortress of the Teutonic Knights.
Holidays to Poland typically include; return flights, accommodation in good standard hotels, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can see the best bits leaving you wanting more and planning your next holiday here.
Things to do
The majority of people visiting Poland tend to immediately head for the tourist haunts of Krakow and Warsaw but dig a little deeper and you'll come across a variety of sightseeing gems such as these:
You'll find over a thousand years of history waiting for you when you visit the beautiful port resort of Gdańsk. The area is very distinct in that it does not contain the usual Polish architecture and this is due to the influences of merchant sailors who graced these shores many years ago. Remember to wander around the narrow cobbled streets, marvel at the stunning red brick churches, improve your knowledge of the area with visits to a multitude of museums then rest those weary sightseeing feet with a tempting delicacy from one of its many character-filled cafes!
Add a little vibrancy to your Poland break with a visit to Poznań especially the Old Town which can be found to be heaving with people heading to the many restaurants, pubs and clubs. The area has a noticeable different feel compared to the rest of Poland, due mainly to its high student population and the variety of international business travellers attending trade fairs etc in the area. The city centre contains a multitude of historical attractions. Train buffs will love Poznań as it is home to Europe's last surviving steam-hauled passenger service.
This is the place to come to if you're a culture vulture as the area is jam-packed with unique architectural delights to be admired and found in the beautiful Market Square. Visit the Salt Square which was formerly a salt market but is now a colourful flower market. See the stunning cathedrals on Ostrow Tumski and to add a little romance to your break, explore the brick-stoned streets that feature oil lamps that are hand-lit every night. Relax in Eastern Park, admire the light displays at the Wrocław Fountain, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Centennial Hall and enjoy the views from the top of the Cathedral.
This is one of the country's favourite mountain resorts and is a major draw for tourists choosing to take a break in Poland. Many combine a visit to the Tatras Mountains with spending time in this beautiful resort nestled at its bottom. In the winter, this area is popular for those wishing to ski and to enjoy other winter sports. Zakopane changes in the summer months when people tend to opt for hill walking or mountain climbing. Amazing views can be found of the Valley of the Five Lakes and there is some wonderful architecture to admire in the town itself. Don't leave without sampling local delicacies along Krupowki Street, one of the most popular destinations in Zakopane.
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Tips & Advice
The beauty of travelling in an escorted tour is that you'll be in the safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in China, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Health and Travel Insurance
Medical standards in Poland tend to be of a similar standard to the UK. Private facilities tend to be cheaper than the UK and are still of a high standard. English is not always widely spoken by Doctors and Nurses, so you may encounter communication difficulties.
Before you visit Poland, you should ensure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This will entitle you to state provided medical treatment should it become necessary during your trip. Any treatment issued is on the same terms as Polish nationals. Despite having an EHIC, you will still need to have travel insurance, to cover any costs incurred and also some extra funds to cover the cost of repatriation in extreme cases. The EHIC does not cover the cost of this or on-going/non-urgent medical treatment. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
If you need assistance from an ambulance whilst in Poland, dial 112.
Most tourists who visit Poland do not experience any problems, however you should always be alert to street crime. Keep all valuables and passports out of sight, especially in busy tourist spots where bag snatchers or pickpockets may operate. If you can, leave any valuables in the hotel safe or perhaps leave them at home before leaving for your holiday to Poland.
Be aware of unregistered taxi's operating, they often overcharge. Genuine taxi's will have a rate card in the window of the vehicle.
Never leave food or drink unattended. Always buy your own drinks and never accept them from new-found acquaintances.
Local Laws and Customs
Polish authorities are strict on public drunkenness. You may be taken to a clinic to be assessed by medical staff and you will not be released until you are sober. You will incur costs for the stay.
You should only cross roads at designated crossing points, if you are caught crossing at an unrecognised point you will be fined.
British Citizens visiting Poland do not need visas to enter the country. Your passport must be valid for the entirety of your visit and you do not require additional validity beyond this.
Any other nationality looking to visit Poland must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
More information can be found from the official tourist website for Poland at poland.travel