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    Warsaw: Boomtown with a past

    The Polish capital was the setting for some of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century, but you’d never guess walking around this bustling modern city today. The Old Town, almost flattened by bombing in WWII, has been artfully restored to its medieval glory, and the surrounding skyline is studded with futuristic skyscrapers, part of an ambitious

    programme of reconstruction that followed the end of the Communist rule. The traumas of the past are still remembered in excellent museums and moving memorials, but Warsaw has emerged with an undeniably positive outlook, best experienced after dark in the city’s clubs and bars.

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    Top 10 sights in Warsaw

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    Warschau, Schloss, Polen, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Palace of Culture & Science

    plac Defilad 1
    00-901 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 656 6234
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-2000

    The influence of the Soviet Union is obvious in this dramatic tower, a grand, Stalinist edifice that mirrors the Stalinskie Vysotki (Stalin’s towers) in Moscow. The highlight for visitors is the breathtaking view across Warsaw from the roof terrace, reached via a high-speed elevator.

    Royal Castle

    plac Zamkowy 4
    00-277 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 355 5170
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Wed and Fri-Sat 1000-1800
    Thurs 1000-2000, Sun 1100-1800

    The dramatic castle looks the part, but many parts of the building are skilful copies, reconstructed after the castle was devastating by bombing in WWII. Filled with period furniture and works of art, the lavish interiors whisk visitors back to the lavish reign of Stanisław Leszczyński, the 18th-century king of Poland.

    Łazienki Królewskie Park and Palace

    ulica Agrykoli 1
    00-460 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 506 0028
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0700-1900 (gardens)
    Mon 1100-1600, Tue-Wed and Sun 0900-1800
    Thurs-Sat 0900-2000 (palace)

    A former playground for the flamboyant King Stanislaw, Warsaw’s most elegant park is dotted with formal gardens, pavilions and follies. Scattered around the park are the Palace on the Water, the Belvedere Palace, the dainty White House and the atmospheric Island Amphitheatre.

    Wilanów Park & Palace

    ulica Stanislawa Kostki Potockiego 10/16
    02-958 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 544 2700
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon 0930-2000
    Tue and Thurs-Fri 0930-1600
    Wed and Sat 0930-1800
    Sun 1030-1800

    The lavish palace of King Jan III at Wilanów is a masterpiece of Italian baroque architecture. Amazingly, this magnificent edifice survived WWII with only minor damage, and almost everything on display, from the murals to the portrait collection, is original.

    Warsaw Rising Museum

    ulica Grzybowska 79
    00-844 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 539 7905
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon, Wed and Fri 0800-1800
    Sat-Sun 1000-1800
    Thurs 0800-2000

    First-hand accounts from survivors bring the Polish experience in WWII to life at this moving and thought-provoking museum, set in a former power station. Interactive displays walk visitors through this dark time in Polish history, from the first invasion to the Rising that eventually delivered independence.

    National Museum

    Aleja Jerozolimskie 3
    00-495 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 621 1031
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Wed and Fri-Sun 1000-1800
    Thurs 1000-2100

    Poland’s premier museum of art displays everything from grand Polish portraits to ancient Egyptian art, rescued from rising floodwaters after the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The medieval collection is particularly impressive.

    Frédéric Chopin Museum

    plac Defilad 1
    00-901 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 656 6234
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1100-2000

    The elegant baroque Ostrogski Palace is the perfect setting for this museum charting the rise of the country’s most famous composer. Interactive displays provide plenty of opportunities to listen to Chopin’s work.

    Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN)

    Anielewicza 6
    00-157 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel.: +48-22/47 10 301
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon, Thurs, Fri: 1000 – 1800
    Wed, Sat, Sun 1000 – 2000
    Thurs: free admission

    The Museum of the History of Polish Jews traces the eventful Polish-Jewish history since the early Middle Ages. It illustrates the fate of the Jews during the Holocaust and shows what forms Polish-Jewish life takes today. The new building, designed by Finnish architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, stands opposite the Ghetto Heroes Monument and opened in 2013 on the 70th anniversary of the uprising. In 2016 the museum was awarded the title “European Museum of the Year”.

    Copernicus Science Centre

    ulica Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20
    00-390 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel: 022 596 4100
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0800-1600

    A playhouse of interactive displays, full of buttons to press and levers to pull, covering all areas of scientific endeavour. This sprawling science museum will keep kids of all ages entertained, and young-at-heart adults too.

    Warsaw Old Town

    Rynek Starego Miasta
    00-272 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Although it looks centuries old, the Stare Miasto (Old Town) in Warsaw dates back just 50 years. This fascinating facsimile was recreated stone by stone after WWII, which destroyed 85% of the old centre. Highlights of this World Heritage-listed area include the restored Royal Castle and Old Town Square.

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    Country information

    Country overview

    One of Europe’s most underrated countries, Poland offers a huge amount for travellers of all stripes, from the wild scenery of its mountainous south, with its great skiing and hiking, to the stunning Old Towns of Cracow, Zamość and Gdańsk, and the wilderness of the Białowieża National Park and the Great Masurian Lakes in the country’s north. Poland’s scenic beauty is as varied as it is extraordinary.

    The Baltic coast has some excellent sandy beaches, as well as the Słowiński National Park with its ethereal forests, bogs and sand dunes. The Cracow-Wielun Upland with its limestone areas, caves and medieval castles is another highlight, while perhaps most beautiful area of all is around the Carpathian Mountains in the far south.

    Geography

    Poland shares borders to the east and northeast with Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, to the south with the Czech Republic and Slovakia and to the west with Germany. To the north lies the Baltic Sea. The Baltic coast provides almost 525km (325 miles) of sandy beaches, bays and steep cliffs; between Gdańsk, and the port city of Szczecin to the west there are many seaside towns offering unpolluted water and some fine beaches, with sunbeds and umbrellas available for hire. These sand and gravel deposits also form the shifting dunes of Słowiński National Park, the sand bars of Hel and the Vistula Lagoon.

    Northern Poland is dominated by lakes, islands and wooded hills joined by many rivers and canals. The Masurian Lake District to the northeast is a patchwork of lakes and forests with Lake Hańcza, the deepest lake in Poland, located here. The longest river, the 1,090km (675 mile) Vistula, or Wisła, rises in the Tatra mountains and empties into the Baltic, cutting a wide valley between the capital, Warsaw in the heart of the country, to Gdańsk on the coast.

    The rest of the country rises slowly to the Sudety mountains, which run along the border with the Czech Republic, and the Tatra mountains, which separate Poland from Slovakia.

    To the west, the River Oder, with Szczecin at its mouth, forms the northwest border with Germany.

    Poland counts almost two dozen national parks, covering an area of 3,200 sq km (1,235 sq miles), and including the oldest, Białowieża National Park, east of Warsaw on the border with Belarus, and one of the largest, Bieszczady National Park, part of the Carpathian mountain range. These parks are home to European bison (the largest mammal in Europe), brown bears, lynx, wolves and even some wild horses. And Białowieża contains a fragment of the forest that once covered Europe in prehistoric times, with some oaks dating back half a millennium. Polish forests are largely pine though, accounting for two-thirds of the total.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 38.42 million (2017)

    Capital: Warsaw

    Language

    Polish is the official language. There are a few small German-speaking communities primarily in the southwest. English and, increasingly less so, Russian are also spoken. French is also popular.

    Currency

    Złoty (PLN; symbol zł) = 100 groszy. Notes are in denominations of zł200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. The coins are in denominations of zł5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 groszy.

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz; continental plugs with two round pins.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2019 – December 2020 period.

    2019

    Nowy Rok (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2019
    Święto Trzech Króli (Epiphany): 6 January 2019
    Pierwszy dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Sunday): 21 April 2019
    Drugi dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Monday): 22 April 2019
    Międzynarodowe Święto Pracy (Labour Day): 1 May 2019
    Święto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja (Republic Day): 3 May 2019
    Pierwszy dzień Zielonych Świątek (Whitsun): 9 June 2019
    Dzień Bożego Ciała (Corpus Christi): 20 June 2019
    Wniebowzięcie Najświętszej Maryi Panny (Assumption): 15 August 2019
    Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2019
    Narodowe Święto Niepodległości (Independence Day): 11 November 2019
    Pierwszy dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Christmas Day): 25 December 2019
    Drugi dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Second Day of Christmas): 26 December 2019

    2020

    Nowy Rok (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2020
    Święto Trzech Króli (Epiphany): 6 January 2020
    Pierwszy dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Sunday): 12 April 2020
    Drugi dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Monday): 13 April 2020
    Międzynarodowe Święto Pracy (Labour Day): 1 May 2020
    Święto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja (Republic Day): 3 May 2020
    Pierwszy dzień Zielonych Świątek (Whitsun): 31 May 2020
    Dzień Bożego Ciała (Corpus Christi): 11 June 2020
    Wniebowzięcie Najświętszej Maryi Panny (Assumption): 15 August 2020
    Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2020
    Narodowe Święto Niepodległości (Independence Day): 11 November 2020
    Pierwszy dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Christmas Day): 25 December 2020
    Drugi dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Second Day of Christmas): 26 December 2020

    All information subject to change.

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    Getting around

    Public Transport

    Warsaw has an efficient integrated public transport network, operated by Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego (ZTM; tel: 022 19115; www.ztm.waw.pl). Metro trains run north to south along the west bank of the Vistula River, buses connect the suburbs to the centre, and trams trundle day and night on easy-to-follow routes to all corners of the city. Tickets can be purchased from stations, ticket machines on platforms, bus drivers and many shops and kiosks. Remember to validate your ticket in the franking machine when you board buses or trams. For sightseeing, ZTM passes offer unlimited travel for one to seven days.

    Taxis

    Official taxis in Warsaw are metered and reliable. Look for the ‘taxi’ sign on the roof and the mermaid symbol – the official emblem of Warsaw – on the doors. Be wary of unofficial taxis charging elevated fares at tourist hotspots. Reputable radio taxi companies include MPT (tel: 022 19191) and Sawa Taxi (tel: 022 644 4444). A small tip is appropriate; locals generally say ‘keep the change’.

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    Nightlife in Warsaw

    ListMap

    A love of music endured through all Warsaw’s troubles in WWII, and the music of Chopin still rings across the city, particularly during the summer festival season. For contemporary nightlife,

    take your pick from energetic nightclubs, slick cocktail bars, edgy art centres and Communist-style ‘milk bars’. The greatest concentration of watering holes is around ulica Mazowiecka.

    Paparazzi

    ulica Mazowiecka 12
    00-048 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    A cut above the average on the Mazowiecka bar strip, with friendly staff who know how to mix a perfect cocktail or three.

    Plan B

    Aleja Wyzwolenia 18
    00-999 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Popular with young hipsters, this cool lounge bar buzzes year round, particularly in summer when the action spills out into the adjacent square.

    Fabryka Trzciny

    ulica Otwocka 14
    03-759 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Arty and industrial, this edgy venue and art centre stages everything from cinema screenings to catwalk shows and dance parties.

    Klubokawiarnia

    ulica Tadeusza Czackiego 3/5
    00-043 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    A Communist-era colour scheme sets the mood at this boisterous club just a few blocks from the Palace of Art and Culture, pulling in an energetic international crowd.

    Filharmonica Narodowa

    Jasna 5
    00-950 Warszawa
    Poland
    Show on map

    Classical music has been big news in Warsaw since Chopin’s time, and this grand venue – home to the famous National Philharmonic Orchestra of Poland – is the best place to hear it.

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    Restaurants in Warsaw

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    Warsaw is the centre of Poland’s food revolution, with chefs offering innovative modern takes on traditional Polish cooking. The best place to sample authentic Polish food – hearty,

    wholesome and full of seasonal ingredients – is the area around ulica Nowy Świat; restaurants in the Old Town mainly offer bland tourist fare.

    U Fukiera

    Rynek Starego Miasta 27
    Warszawa
    Poland ‎
    Tel.: +48 22 831 10 13
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Warsaw’s oldest restaurant still exudes plenty of old-world charm; come for sophisticated candlelit dinners and the chance to spot a famous face or two.

    The Belvedere

    Agrykola 1
    Warszawa
    Poland
    Tel.: +48 22 558 67 00
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    If the grand dukes of Poland could choose one restaurant, it would be this lavish Michelin-feted eatery in the Orangery at the Warsaw Royal Bath Gardens.

    Dom Polksi

    ulica Francuska 11
    03-906 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    A lighter take on traditional Polish delicacies, served in style in the light and elegant surroundings of a grand old manor house.

    Prasowy

    ulica Marszałkowska 10/16
    00-590 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    This arty designer café takes the Communist-era concept of inexpensive food for all, and updates it for the iPad generation.

    Pierogarnia na Bednarskiej

    ulica Bednarska 28/30
    00-321 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Pierogi (Polish dumplings) are the main attraction at this homely Polish restaurant, serving dumplings just like mama made them.

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    Calendar of events

    Easter Sunday

    21 April 2019

    Venue: Various locations in Warsaw

    Easter is a huge celebration in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country and is celebrated all over Poland. In Warsaw, the day is marked by religious services that are attended by young and old alike. It is a particularly popular festival with children who decorate traditional eggs and bring them to Mass to have them blessed. Afterward families traditionally go home to a brunch or early lunch on dishes and delicacies denied during Lent.

    Constitution Day

    3 May 2019

    Venue: Various locations in Warsaw

    3 May is Constitution Day in Poland and marks the ratification of the Polish Constitution on this day in 1791. However, the constitution was to last for just a year as Poland was partitioned by invading forces who effectively disbanded the country, dividing it between Russia, Prussia and Habsburg, Austria. And it was not until November 1918 that Poland regained its independence. To this day, 3 May is an important civic holiday that is recognised throughout the country and is marked with patriotic parades and festivities in the capital.

    Art of the Street Festival

    June 2019
    Website

    Venue: Throughout Warsaw

    This rather unusual five-day event features street theatre, open-air concerts and art installations and ‘happenings’ staged unpredictably in public places such as Old Town Square, the Royal Way, public parks and even bus stops. It’s a thinking man’s flash-mob scene.

    Anniversary of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising

    1 August 2019
    Website

    Venue: Various venues, including the Warsaw Uprising Museum

    Nearly 200,000 people lost their lives in the fight against Nazi occupation during the Warsaw Uprising of 1 August 1944, which is one of the most important events in modern Polish history. Each year, Poles all over the world remember the event and the heroic men and women who took part in the fighting to defend their city. The commemorations in Warsaw include a special ceremony at the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the city comes to a standstill for a minute’s silence to remember the dead.

    Chopin and His Europe

    August 2019
    Website

    Venue: Various concert halls in Warsaw

    This two-week festival of orchestral and chamber music focuses not just on the great Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin but usually on the works of one or two other European composers as well such as Bach, Schumann and/or Debussy. It is organised by the Fryderyk Chopin National Institute (Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina) and held at various venues throughout the city, including the Chopin Museum.

    Warsaw Autumn (International Festival of Contemporary Music)

    September 2019
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    The renowned Warsaw Autumn (Warszawska Jesien), a festival of contemporary classical music from around the world, was for many years the only event of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe. Today it is one of the largest and most popular events of its kind with performers and audiences coming from all over the world to take part in a variety of concerts over 10 days. Singers, vocal groups, orchestras and chamber ensembles perform in venues around the city.

    Warsaw International Film Festival

    October 2019
    Website

    Venue: Cinemas across Warsaw

    Though not yet on the same level as Berlin and Cannes, the Warsaw International Film Festival offers a packed programme of art house film premieres, lectures and screen-writing workshops. Along with an array of prizes awarded annually and worth upwards of €40,000, the festival also features an audience prize.

    New Year's Eve (Sylvester)

    31 December 2019

    Venue: Old town square, Vistula riverbanks and various other venues and locations throughout the city

    Celebrated all over Poland but particularly in the bigger towns and cities, New Year’s Eve is a great time to be in Warsaw. Many people throng into the Old Town Square close to the Wisla River for a spectacular fireworks display. Most restaurants, theatres, clubs and bars hold some kind of event on New Year’s Eve and those that want to keep on partying after the stroke of midnight have no shortage of options to choose from.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

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    Hotels in Warsaw

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    As a legacy of WWII, Warsaw has few of the grand palace hotels found in other European capitals, but modern chain hotels abound, particularly in the Financial District. The boutique hotel scene is rapidly expanding, with some impressive art deco-inspired hotels in the centre.

    Warsaw sees a steady flow of business travellers which has elevated hotel prices compared to the rest of Poland; visit at the weekend for discount rates at business-class places.

    Hotel Bristol

    Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44
    00-325 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A lavish reconstruction has returned this historic hotel to its original neoclassical glory; come for attentive service and elegant comfort in a prime location by the Old Town.

    Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw

    ulica Kościelna 12
    00-218 Warsaw
    Poland
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    Category: Expensive

    Designer flourishes and a hint of art deco mark out this atmospheric boutique hotel, with a peaceful courtyard and great location in the reconstructed New Town.

    Rialto

    ulica Wilcza 73
    00-670 Warsaw
    Poland
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    Category: Expensive

    A step back in time to pre-war Warsaw, this sophisticated art deco hotel would make a fine location for a Poirot mystery with its period furniture and vintage light fittings.

    Ibis Warszawa Centrum

    ulica Zagorna 1
    00-441 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Modest prices, friendly staff and a handy downtown location bring plenty of repeat visitors to this modern hotel near the Old Town.

    Oki Doki Hostel

    plac Dąbrowskiego 3
    00-057 Warsaw
    Poland
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Eccentric and eclectic, this much-loved hostel is a Warsaw institution; frills are limited, but friendly faces are plentiful.

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    Best time to visit

    Today: Saturday, 07.12.2019 12:00 UTC

    light rain

    temperature


    5°C


    wind speed

    8.75 mph

    7 days forecast

    Sunday

    08.12.2019

    7°C / 6°C

    Monday

    09.12.2019

    9°C / 4°C

    Tuesday

    10.12.2019

    6°C / 3°C

    Wednesday

    11.12.2019

    4°C /

    Thursday

    12.12.2019

    2°C /

    Friday

    13.12.2019

    2°C / 1°C

    Saturday

    14.12.2019

    3°C / 1°C

    Climate and best time to visit Poland

    Poland has a temperate climate, with warm summers and winters that are not extremely cold. However, rain showers occur all year round, particularly to the west of the Carpathian Mountains and in the Masurian and Pomeranian Lake Districts. The far east of Poland is the exception: The climate here is continental, with hot summers and cold, snowy winters – ideal conditions for winter sports enthusiasts!

    The best time to visit the High Tatras and Karkonosze Mountains is January and February, when the high altitudes around Zakopane and the Śnieżka peak (1,602 meters) offer excellent snow conditions.

    Outdoor sports enthusiasts enjoy the moderate temperatures in May, June, and September.

    City trips – to Gdańsk, Wrocław or Krakow, for example – are recommendable year-round. The vacation spots in the mountains and near the lakes tend to be booked up during the Polish summer holidays (from the last Friday in June until the last Friday in August), while the hotels in the cities are more affordable during this period.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    10 °C

    -29 °C

    13 °C

    -26 °C

    21 °C

    -19 °C

    31 °C

    -6 °C

    33 °C

    -3 °C

    34 °C

    2 °C

    35 °C

    5 °C

    36 °C

    5 °C

    32 °C

    0 °C

    28 °C

    -8 °C

    17 °C

    -12 °C

    12 °C

    -25 °C

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    24 mm

    24 mm

    26 mm

    34 mm

    54 mm

    70 mm

    73 mm

    59 mm

    48 mm

    35 mm

    39 mm

    35 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    1 h

    2 h

    3 h

    5 h

    6 h

    7 h

    7 h

    6 h

    5 h

    3 h

    1 h

    0 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    86 %

    85 %

    77 %

    73 %

    68 %

    69 %

    74 %

    74 %

    77 %

    82 %

    86 %

    88 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute maxØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan10 °C-29 °C0 °C-6 °C86 %24 mm71.4 h
    Feb13 °C-26 °C0 °C-4 °C85 %24 mm72.1 h
    Mar21 °C-19 °C5 °C-1 °C77 %26 mm63.7 h
    Apr31 °C-6 °C12 °C3 °C73 %34 mm75.0 h
    May33 °C-3 °C18 °C8 °C68 %54 mm96.8 h
    Jun34 °C2 °C21 °C11 °C69 %70 mm97.9 h
    Jul35 °C5 °C23 °C12 °C74 %73 mm107.3 h
    Aug36 °C5 °C22 °C12 °C74 %59 mm86.9 h
    Sep32 °C0 °C18 °C8 °C77 %48 mm85.1 h
    Oct28 °C-8 °C12 °C4 °C82 %35 mm73.2 h
    Nov17 °C-12 °C5 °C0 °C86 %39 mm91.3 h
    Dec12 °C-25 °C1 °C-3 °C88 %35 mm90.8 h
    year36 °C-29 °C11 °C4 °C78 %522 mm944.3 h

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    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone
    Country code: +48

    Mobile telephony and Internet
    Since June 2017, EU citizens traveling within the EU, and also in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein have been able to use their cell phones and surf the Net without incurring any extra charges: In other words, customers pay the same price for phone calls, text messages and data volume as they do at home. Restrictions do apply to the constant use of SIM cards abroad, however, and caps may be set on data packages. For full details, contact your mobile telephony provider in your country. Travelers using a SIM card from a non-EU state do not benefit from the new arrangement.

    Free Internet access via Wi-Fi is possible in many busy tourist spots. When using public Wi-Fi networks, it is a wise precaution to ensure encryption of all passwords, credit card details and banking TANs entered. Use of a VPN app or security software to check the safety of a hotspot is recommended.

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    Shopping in Warsaw

    Key Areas

    Ulica Nowy Świat is the heartland for shopaholics in Warsaw, with plenty of stores selling international brands, local design, Polish delicacies and amber jewellery. Other good shopping streets include Aleje Jerozolimskie and ulica Marszałkowska.

    Markets

    Traditional market places are giving way to mega malls, but a few cling on, offering interesting browsing opportunities for visitors. The weekend Bazar na Kole, on ulica Obozowa in the

    west of the city, is a treasure trove of antiques, vintage clothes and the odd WWII relic. Seek out tasty Polish foodstuffs at Le Targ in Wilanów.

    Shopping Centres

    Mall shopping is all the rage in Warsaw. The Arkadia centre (Aleja Jana Pawła II) is one of the largest malls in Europe, with more than 200 stores under one roof. For international brands and fashion, try the central Zlote Tarasy (ulica Złota) or Sadyba Best Mall (ulica Powsińska).

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    Traveller etiquette

    Social conventions

    There are major differences between city life and life in the countryside. Rural communities are often more religious (Roman Catholic), and their lifestyles are much more traditional. People greet one another with a handshake; women will often receive a kiss on the hand.

    The standard pleasantries are also expected, and hosts always appreciate a bouquet of flowers.

    Clothing should be modest, but can also be casual. More elegant clothing is expected at good restaurants or for special occasions.

    Smoking is prohibited in some public buildings, such as train stations.

    Photography

    Photography is not permitted at military facilities, industrial buildings or important junctions marked with a camera with a line through it.

    Tipping

    Tips are not included in restaurant prices; a 10-15 percent tip is customary.

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    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    There is the risk of contracting Lyme disease from ticks from April to October throughout Poland, especially in grasses, shrubs and undergrowth. The risk can be minimized by wearing clothing that covers the skin and by using insect repellent.

    Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is also transmitted by ticks. The main provinces affected are Bialystok, Olsztyn, Suwalki, and Masuria, as well as the regions from Siedice to the Belarusian border, west of Krakow, and east of Poznan, Szczecin, and Gdansk. A vaccination is available for this disease.

    Cases of hepatitis A and hepatitis B occur in Poland. A vaccination to protect against hepatitis A is generally advisable. For longer visits or visits involving close contact with the local population, or with children and young people, the hepatitis B vaccine is recommended.

    Whooping cough occurs in Poland.

    A combined vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is advisable for travelers who are planning a longer visit, who have not been sufficiently vaccinated, or who did not have these illnesses as children.

    Rabies is present throughout Poland. Carriers include dogs, cats, forest animals and bats. Vaccinations are advised for backpackers, children, those at risk for vocational reasons, and those staying in Poland for longer periods. Victims of animal bites should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Kruk, Marek
    Medical Centre in der Botschaft der BRD
    31 Katowicka Street
    03-932 Warsaw
    Poland
    Tel. +48-226173021
    Tel. +48-6173011 ext. 240

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

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