Before your journey, it is recommended that you apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles you to free emergency medical care in Poland. It covers the costs of a medical consultation, an ambulance service, and also a stay in hospital if you have an accident.
All the EU citizens need to cross a Polish border is a photo ID. Residents of other countries need a passport to enter the territory of Poland.
You will find the list of countries whose citizens are not required to have a visa when entering Poland and visa rules for the other countries (agreements) at: http://www.msz.gov.pl/Visa,requirements,2346.html
The main airports are situated near the biggest cities:
WARSAW AIRPORT Fryderyk Chopin Airport Warsaw - Okęcie
ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1, 00-906 Warszawa
KRAKOW AIRPORT John
Paul II International Airport Krakow - Balice
POZNAN AIRPORT International Airport Poznań - Ławica
ul. Bukowska 285, 60-189 Poznań
International Airport Katowice - Pyrzowice
ul. Wolności 90, 41-960 Ożarowice
GDANSK AIRPORT Gdansk
Lech Walesa Airport
ul. Słowackiego 200, 80-298 Rębiechowo
International Airport Wroclaw - Strachowice
54-530 Wrocław-Strachowice ul. Skarżynskiego 36
Glewice, 72-100 Goleniów
BYDGOSZCZ AIRPORT Ignacy
Jan Paderewski Airport Bydgoszcz - Szwederowo
ul. Jana Pawła II 158, 85-151 Bydgoszcz
LODZ AIRPORT Airport
ul. Gen. S. Maczka 35, Łódz 94-328
Airport Rzeszow - Jasionka
36-002 Jasionka 942
Poland is situated in the centre of Europe. Below are flight durations to Poland from selected cities:
Berlin 1`20, Moscow 2`00, Stockholm 1`50, Oslo 1`55, Copenhagen 1`30, London 2`40, New York 9`35, Helsinki 1`55, Dublin 5`00, Amsterdam 2`05, Brussels 2`10, Luxembourg 3`25, Paris 2`20, Vienna 1`20, Lisbon 5`40, Madrid 3`30, Rome 2`20, Athens 2`35, Tokyo 22`30, Beijing 22`00, Seoul 22`30, Bangkok 19`30, Singapore 22`00, Jakarta 25`00
Flight delay or cancellation
A delay caused by a strike or technical problems, or the cancellation of a flight, is covered by EU law. In these situations, the air carriers have the responsibility to provide assistance to passengers. The airlines should inform passengers about the status of the delay and provide meals and beverages free of charge.
You have a right to compensation of between 250 and 600 EUR in two cases (a) when, because of a flight delay, you reach your destination more than three hours after the scheduled time of arrival and (b) when your flight is cancelled. The carrier won’t be obligated to compensate passengers if a delay or cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances, e.g. a strike at an airport. You have the right to a refund of the cost of the unused ticket or you can accept re-routing to your destination.
If your baggage has been lost, you should go to the information point at the airport and fill out a Property Irregularity Report (PIR), making sure you save a copy for your records.
The next step is to lodge a complaint against the airline. You have seven days to send a complaint in case of your bag being damaged, or 21 days when it is delayed. The maximum amount of compensation under the Montréal Convention is 1.131 Special Drawing Rights or roughly 1.370 EUR.
In Poland there are international car rentals.
Usually a credit card is required to rent a car. Before you rent a car, check if the vehicle has full insurance. Some promotional offers do not cover all eventualities and in the event of a collision you may not be fully protected. The insurance policy, likewise, may not cover all parts of the car. The price of petrol is around 1.40 – 1.50 EUR per litre in Poland.
Travel by train
In Poland, you can plan your journey using the following site: http://rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en? (the website is available in English).
Tickets can be purchased at the station but it is advisable to book them in advance.
If your journey was delayed by more than one hour, you have the right to compensation under EU legislation. This amounts to 25% of the ticket price when the delay was between 60 and 119 minutes and 50% of the ticket price when the train was delayed for 120 minutes or more. This refers to routes in Poland and the EU with trains like Express, InterCity, Express InterCity, EuroCity or EuroNight. The passenger should ask a conductor to confirm the delay on a ticket and then should lodge a written complaint to the rail carrier. It should be noted that regulations which allow you to seek compensation for the delay are not applicable to public transport and regional transport (e.g. cheap rail lines) in Poland.
Tickets can be bought in ticket vending machines, at bus stations, at a kiosk or from the bus driver. The prices of train and bus tickets in Poland oscillate between 0,5 – 0,9 cents.
In Poland, we suggest taking company taxis, not private ones as it is easy to fall victim to crooks. Don’t get into cars displaying a taxi sign unless the taxi company’s name and telephone number is clearly shown, and information on fare per kilometre is displayed clearly on the side window. Private taxis may provide information about fares, but these will often be very high even for one kilometre or just for commencing a drive, and displayed on the front window or in tiny font so that it is difficult to read.
Before getting into a taxi, it is useful to ask for an estimate of the total fare. The average price for one kilometre in a company taxi in host cities is 2.40 PLN (approx. 60 cents), plus a service charge of approximately 8 PLN (2 EUR). On the weekends, holidays and at night rates are roughly 50% higher.
There is a single universal system of classification for hotels in Poland. Hotels have from 1 to 5 stars:
* Hotels of a basic standard with modestly furnished rooms
** A simple middle class facilities with functional rooms.
*** A good middle class hotel offers a competent service.
**** Comfortable facilities with high standard of service and accommodation.
***** Luxurious facilities of the highest standard, designed to satisfy the most demanding customers.
If you have booked a 3-star hotel in Poland, you can expect the following:
Internet access, access to the computer (not necessarily in the room), payment by credit card, facilities for disabled people, a separate bathroom with cosmetics provided. In addition, consumers are advised to note that there is no guarantee of room service or air conditioning in a 3-star hotel.
A complaint form in English is available at the following address: http://www.konsument.gov.pl/en/kontakt/skarga-do-eck.html.
In Poland, credit cards are accepted in the majority of supermarkets, restaurants, petrol stations and railway stations. However, cash might be necessary for marketplaces, in small shops, local pubs or bars, and for some taxis and buses. Payment in Euro is rarely accepted, so it is advisable to carry Polish currency (PLN). Credit cards are not accepted everywhere.
How much does a lunch cost in a Polish restaurant?
It depends on the location and standard. A package deal which includes a sandwich, chips and drink in a fast food restaurant costs around 4 EUR. In restaurants, a main course with drinks costs approximately 10 EUR. In places with table service, it is common to give a tip (10-15% of the bill), but in some places the tip or service charge is automatically included.
As a result of changes adopted by the European Union, the roaming rates per minute within the EU are as follows: to make a call - 35 cents, to receive a call -11 cents, sending a text message - 11 cents, receiving a text message – free.
An operator is obligated to offer at least one roaming tariff complying with these rules, but it also has the option to enforce other tariffs at higher prices.
Smartphone Internet users shouldn’t be worried about large bills, because an automatic block is applied when the transfer limit of 50 EUR is reached. The maximum price payable for 1 MB is 70 cents. In Poland, there is a free WIFI Internet access in most places including city centres, stations or restaurants.
Airline lost your luggage? Polish travel agency hasn’t fulfilled the contract? Accommodation in the hotel was of a lower standard than you expected? Car rental payment collected without notice from your credit card? Problems with a product purchased in Poland? Contact the European Consumer Centre (ECC) in your country to lodge a complaint and get help for free. To find the ECC in your country visit http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/ecc/index_en.html
If you need consumer advice while visiting Poland, you can contact the Polish ECC (we also operate in English) on +48 22 55 60 118 (working hours 10am – 2pm, Monday to Friday) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a special helpline for consumers (working hours 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday). For free advice in English call +48 800 007 707 (a free number available from landline phones and mobile phones of Polish operators) or the number available for foreign mobile users +48 22 827 54 74 (charges according to the price list of your mobile operator including roaming).
The European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) informs consumers about their rights in the European Union, provides legal advice free of charge and assistance in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Consumers can submit complaints against traders operating throughout the EU, Norway and Iceland, as well as complaints related to travelling in Europe.
Road accident? Street fighting? Need medical assistance? Call the emergency number 112, which operates throughout the EU. By means of this service, you can contact the police, fire services, ambulance services, and other emergency assistance.
The list of diplomatic representatives is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland:
"I will be leaving Warsaw in a couple of days - it was an unbelievable experience for my husband and I. The staff are second to none - I was happy that my surgeon spoke English and made me feel at ease when I was so nervous in the operating room. I am still having water fall down my cheeks, but they are tears of happiness - I'm so glad I came and had the procedure!"
Lila Cugini, Canada
"I went on a journey to Poland for health and received a treatment like nothing I've experienced in the past. Now I'm on a new journey of health and healing, I really feel like I've gone back in time and regained my health. I just feel so lucky on so many levels."
Darrell Foster, Canada