Travel to Poland - Tips - II

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Let us continue with guidelines for our readers who are going to see Poland. I hope that the first article about this subject did not scare any tourists from visiting Poland. In writing the article (especially this second part and the final third part) I used the help of the members of our forum. These are advises for these who want to go away from standard tourist routes.

What is the most intersting to see in Poland? (besides typical historical objects - like old churches and castles)

Farmers markets or bazaars are almost all around Poland in all big and small towns. They offer fresh and cheap vegetables, fruit, meat and other food especially in the morning. What is specific for Poland as compared with the USA - fresh fruit and vegetables, tasty sausages, potatoes and cheese. We have a farmers' cheese that you cannot buy outside Poland, some kind of yogurt (called maslanka) which is just a Polish delicacy. On the bazaars you can buy sometimes Polish amber, Russian watches and lots of other stuff much cheaper than in the stores around. Usually bazaars and small shops are hidden from the tourist routes and not often visited by tourists.

Do not drink fresh running water. Mineral water is very good and cheap!

What should I buy in Poland?

Good chocolate, amber, products from wood, crystals, pottery, tablecloths, rugs and other products with handmade crafts. Pisanki (painted eggs) for Easter and the nativity scenes during Christmas. If you are visiting the mountain area or any folk regions - there are plenty of regional souvenirs to choose from. Labor in Poland is still relatively cheap, so there is lots of cheap handmake products available.

What attractions do Poland have (besides historical monuments, cozy streets in the downtowns with caffeterias etc)?

There are many, one of them - storks in summer. Poland had the highest amount of storks from any European countries. One fourth of all storks worldwise live in Poland! Read more about storks and solve a puzzle with a beautiful countryside picture with storks . One member of the forum wrote: "My wife got some great pictures of some Storks, nesting in their nest above the street, on a telephone pole. 'Those are some BIG nests'!
The folklore in the villages, the wooden architecture in the mountains in worth to see because it is slowly disappearing or disappeared in other European countries.

How to behave?

Poles have a different way of greeting than Americans. Men sometimes kiss women in hand. People kiss each other three times in cheeks during welcome. Read more about these habits in an article: How to Impress Polish Lady on the First Date . When you go to visit somebody take flowers for the lady of the house and the alcohol for the host. People are very hospitable and they would have a table full of good food.

It is good to know some Polish because not too many people especially in smaller towns and villages know English. Poles know (especially older generation) in some areas German language also.

One member of the forum wrote:

My Polish is very limited (not much more than count to 10 and 'where is ....). In larger cities like Warsaw, Krakow and Poznan, it seems everyone speaks a little English, or there was someone around who did, especially at the hotels. They did seem to like the fact I would try Polish first, but no one gave me a hard time about speaking English. In the smaller towns in was much harder to find someone who spoke English, but I was still able to get a hotel room, order food, and buy train tickets (I carry the ES Polish phrase dictionary and study guide in my pocket - it is very thin and not noticeable) we used Polish, English, pointing, writing, and phrase book, and it always worked.

Part III of the article contains valuable advises from one of our forum's member (Polish American) from his travels in Poland. It also contains a dictionary of useful words.

written by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, May 2001 (article #35)

Do you want to travel around Europe? Train passes to Western and Eastern Europe (also Poland) at affordable prices are available from a site below:

I recommend Berlitz Polish Phrase Book

Another language book by Alexander M. Schenker, is entitled:
Beginning Polish

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