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Jan Gross

I removed the following: "In spite of the shared history of suffering, occasional religious divisions come to popular attention. For example, late last century, Jan Gross, a Polish-American-Jewish historian, authored several books alleging that some Poles willingly participated in pogroms and the destruction of Poland's Jewish community. The book prompted painful discussion and fact-finding, made especially difficult by the fact that many Poles also risked their lives attempting to save their Jewish neighbors from the Nazis during the war, and resented being lumped into that category." There has no source, and is irrelevant in this article. Not to mention that this "history" is widely unaccepted. -- 13:54, 12 January 2010 (EST)

Naming convention

I regret I have no enough time to edit this page very actively, but I'll try to help as much as I time will allow me to....

To the point:

I'm not sure what is usual convention on WikiTravel, but I think that naming of cities & reginos should be consistent in terms of language used.

So for example either:

  1. Gdansk
  2. Cracow
  3. Warsaw - the capital city.


  1. Gdańsk
  2. Kraków (Cracow)
  3. Warszawa (Warsaw)

Also if we use 'Pomerania' for Pomorskie, shouldn't we use Silesia for Śląskie, etc. (I'm not sure if wikipedia use right english names, but probably yes, see here:

And here next question. Should we use original polish writing? I mean polish letters as ó (o acute), ł (l stroke), ś (s acute), ż (z abovedot) etc.

For example province in polish is 'województwa/województwo'.

JanSlupski 19:24, 12 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Our article naming conventions are to use the most common English name for a place. I started trying to do this with Poland, but my familiarity with the place is pretty nonexistant (I just got the Pomerania name from Gunter Grass novels).
We usually try to give the "local" name of a place in the local spelling, too, when possible.
Lastly: thanks for working on Poland and all things Polish! They're really shaping up! --Evan 00:19, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)

The names of some places near the Polish-German border should be given in both languages as well as English. Some people might still look for Danzig, for instance. Pomerania straddles the border, the western part forming a state with Mecklenburg. Neither "Pomerania" nor "Pommern" means anything but a name, while "Pomorskie" means "by the sea". -phma 00:38, 13 Apr 2004 (EDT)

What ever happens please don't use "cracow" - it makes you seem like an ignorant American travel book. The word used most often is Krakow, with or without the accents. Wroclaw certainly and not Breslau which is just offensive. Similarly Poznan, Szczecin and Gdansk rather than the old German versions (with or with out accents isn't important). The only one where a specific English version is needed (except for any losses of accents or dark l) is Warsaw which is the most used form just a capital cities of most European countries use a different name than the native language when used in English.-- 20:12, 28 July 2009 (EDT)
This discussion concluded (hopefully) at Talk:Kraków#Cracow.2C_not_Krakow. I agree, anyway, "Krakow" is by far the most common name in modern English usage. I get 62.9 million to 10,100 google hits, restricted to English language pages [1]. And enough with the ignorant America bashing, please—Cracow is much more commonly found in British publications... --Peter Talk 22:02, 28 July 2009 (EDT)

Add to page

Ideas -- what else should be added to the page... -- JanSlupski 16:51, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)

  • Shopping/buying food. I edit my own posting, because I have just returned from a third poland journey. There is so far only one thing that I just can't get used too, and that is that they still don't have implemented the self service. In groceries, everything is behind glass or behind counters, and unless you have eagle eyes and know how to pronounce polish words from the labels, ordering something in a grocery can be a nightmare. In larger and more modern stores, like a bookshop where I have been in Poznan, had the book that I was interested in, behind the counter. But the clerk was walking away at a snails pace for just one customer or counting money i.e. In Poland you can in lot of situations wait until the cows come home, service is a lot slower even in the modern stores. And be aware for Poles who cut in line just before you are able to say dzien dobry.

(from Damian 18-09-2009, been to 10 Polish cities in total now)

  • Traffic/driving

It is essential that I inform you on this. Be extremely careful for reckless drivers. Maybe they have no intentions to kill you, but there are really some maniacs out there. While I was at Bydgoszcz I have seen it happen 2 times in 4 days. One unlucky person has been hit by a car and one day later someone completely wrecked his vehicle and had to be towed away. Just stay alert, look 4-6 times to be sure, and then cross the roads. I have seen it many times that drivers come so fast that you can see headlights at the horizon but it is right there in front of you within seconds.

  • driving
Re driving stuff, if much of it is common to other parts of Europe you could put it in Driving in Europe or Driving in Eastern Europe. See Driving in Australia and Driving in China for examples. Hypatia 17:23, 17 Dec 2004 (EST)
It would be not really convenient for the reader to put things to such places. Imagine you're going to Poland and then have to look for hints for driving in Europe because they are missing here in the article. Cumbersome idea. Wojsyl 02:49, 8 Jan 2005 (EST)
Hypatia, I think you are right (at least partially), but I'm not sure that driving rules are so similar country to country even in EU. AFAIR even traffic signs are not always similar. My point was mostly to list these rules or behaviours that may surprise visitors. JanSlupski 16:51, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)

Also, there is a notion of, so called, 'internal roads'. Normally on crossroads without signs you have to yield to traffic coming from your right. But there are plenty of them that are technically not crossroads. The internal roads are often not marked as such and you don't really know if it's a crossroads or not.

Also, traffic in Poland is much much more reckless and crazy than in most other countries in Europe. You could compare it to traffic in Russia, but not in Germany or Austria.

"Driving in Poland is stressful, time-consuming and dangerous, due to the poor quality of roads, lack of motorways and the driving style of the locals." - after reading this part of the article I wouldn't dare to drive in Poland and I don't know how did I succeed in driving 300000 km in this country.
A lot of roads are seeing major improvement in the terms of surface quality - in my opinion you can even compare quality of the roads in Warsaw to those in Berlin. Unfortunately apart from the surface, road network is still a problem.
Talking about the quality of the roads, take a look at this map: [2]
green means good surface, yellow - bouncy, but acceptable, red - driving with the speed limit may be impossible, blue - roads currently being built
In the fact there are couple of 'bouncy' roads, but potholes on the major (National) roads are almost non-existent (few exceptions may occur).
"driver behaviour is often very poor in terms of impatience and lack of courtesy "
Lack of courtesy? Driving style is aggressive, but I don't find it worse than for example Italy.
Getting someone letting you go is in my opinion much easier than in the aforementioned country.
Tailgating is also not worse than there. Yet I have to agree that it's hard to compare to the standards of Austria or Germany.
(JG, born and living in Poland for last 26 years)
    • about leaded/unleaded petrol

EU and EEA citizens stay duration

User:MD writes: EU and EEA citizens can enter for as long as they like, not just 90 days.

Right and wrong... EU and EEA citizens can enter, but...

Stays beyond three months' duration will require the obtainment of a residence 
permit or temporary residence permit. This requirement will not apply to persons 
who perform work or a free profession on the territory of Poland, or conduct 
business activity here, provided they retain permanent residence on the territory 
on another EU state, to which they return at least once a week.

See Advisory for citizens of the EU countries chapter 2. But you are right -- probably it should be written in other way than I did. --JanSlupski 08:56, 23 Mar 2005 (EST)

As far as I know this is only if you want to WORK or start a business. It's the same in every other EU country (don't know for sure about the UK as I've never been affected by it as I'm a UK citizen). You're welcome to work/live/start a business but to work you need some kind of permit which registers you to where you live. It's a basic necessity in any country which has a national ID system.-- 20:15, 28 July 2009 (EDT)

prices ?

Should we put prices on website ?

for example by boat From Sweden: Ystad (7-9 hours, 215 zł) by Unity Line

the time is useful but the prices change quite often so it is hopeless to update them.

Anyway people intrested to visit Poland can check the prices on the website of company.

I am not sure whether I should change into NO PRICE version of wikiPOLAND ? 

pawel [pavo]

I believe that prices do not change that often and that much, so it makes it completely useless. Moreover, even if the prices aren't accurate, they can still be some kind of quick reference to compare different services (eg. boat and plane) before you start checking in details.
Also Manual of style subsections (Attraction, Restaurant, Bar, Accommodation) suggests giving price info.
BTW boat from Ystad is currently 204-237 zł, so the average changed only a few percent.
--JanSlupski 18:09, 30 Sep 2005 (EDT)

There has been tendency to put signboard with no commission in money exchange center in old city but in reality they overcharge by giving very less rate.

List of cities too long

Hello, I find the list of cities too long. It streaches the article unnecessarily... Could somebody make it a little prettier pls? Otherwise I could try to do it. --MD 11:07, 18 Oct 2005

I have moved cities to regions articles. These left are either large cities (more than 200000 inhabitants), or voivodship capitals or has their own articles. --JanSlupski 07:29, 18 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Very good, thanks. It looks much better now. I did something similar in Wikipedia's article on Poland - I put the voivodships and their capitals in a table. --MD 12:34, 19 Oct 2005

Catholics & WW2

Remember that the Polish are very religious, so respect the Catholic Church and the Pope. 
Be careful not to talk disrespectfull of anything related World War II because Poland and 
its people were hurt badly. Be aware, however, that the locals will gripe continuously 
about this subject and if you dare to voice a contradicting opinion, they'll just wave their 
hands in the air and tell you that you don't understand.

Hmm, I think it starts to be exaggerated.

BTW, what is correct English spelling (capitalizing) of words Catholic Church and Pope? --JanSlupski 17:55, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)

Those are both correct. --Evan 18:08, 20 Nov 2005 (EST)
I agree this is a little exaggerated. Poles love talking about the War! {and the POPE!} khrystene



I want to add a link explains an ecotourism in Poland but after nice introduction to the subject there is a list of organic farm offering holidays so I presume that is against wikitravel policy. If I am not allowed to add this link than can I make a brief sub article on wikitravel/poland about ecotourism based on bellowed web and others.
pawel [pavo]
I don't see why that link would be so bad as ECO TOURISM is a very popular thing throughout the world, and so why not give an edited explanation of what it entails in PL. khrystene 14:08 4 Jan 06 (CET)

Spelling Edits and Grammar

Anal English teacher here, Polish, born in Australia, living in Torun. Hi.

Edited several English mistakes and to make some thing sound a little better. Just one question about Hitchhiking...

As in any country, you should be careful, there are several reports of Polish hitchhiking trips gone awry, so take basic precautions and you should be as right as rain.

I don't necessarily agree with this statement, particularly 'right as rain', and I think most Poles these days steer clear of Hitch Hiking as it is quite dangerous, as it is throughout most of the world. Do you think we should keep it, modify it to suggest it's not advisable, or leave it. I would lean towards the 2nd option of modification. khrystene 14:05 1 Deg C Torun 4 Jan 2006

later that day

Respect: Remember that the Polish are very religious, so respect the Catholic Church and the Pope. Be careful not to talk disrespectfully about anything relating to World War II because Poland and its people were hurt badly. Be aware, however, that the locals will gripe continuously about this subject and if you dare to voice a contradicting opinion, they'll just wave their hands in the air and tell you that you don't understand.

Sorry but I know this has been brought up,but this really annoys me. Why should people not discuss 'difficult' topics?! Poles like a good discussion, just be prepared to back up your views, and to be 'enlightened' on opposing views.

I'd like to see this removed personally. The only respect I've seen that is really not looked well upon, is the blatant 'tourism' during church services and while people are praying. Yes Poles are religious, and yes churches are open to visitors and tourists, but you should be repectful in these place, and flash photography should be avoided. IMHO! khrystene

Just spied this and removed it:

Although this is common, it does not mean that you will definitely be mugged or targeted, and public transportation is mostly safe by day. It should be avoided by night unless you are with a larger group of people.

The information was already given on how to stay safe, and this was added after the questionable information on young kids and their brothers coming onto trams and buses and beating us... sheesh! Section - "Stay Safe". It's just too much. Seriously. khrystene

Regions & Cities -> Regions, Cities

I split the section on Regions & Cities into two sections: one for regions, one for cities. Lists of which cities are in a region should go on each region page; there's more room, and it's more cogent.

I also removed the piped versions with the Polish spelling. We use the English spelling of place names because those are the ones that English readers will recognize and use. It's reasonable -- nay, necessary -- to give the local spelling of a place on that place's guide page, but we should use the English names for navigation and reference.

Finally, I trimmed the list of cities under Cities. The cities listed at the country page level are supposed to be shortcuts for the best-known or most-sought-after cities in the Country. I'm not exactly sure which these would be, so I trimmed it down to those cities I'd actually heard of. I have eclectic reading habits, so some of these may be far off. For example, I know Zakopane from Susan Sontag's novel In America, and I know Bialystok as the home of L. L. Zamenhof. So there may be others that belong on this list, but... hey, that's what wiki's all about. --Evan 12:58, 19 Jan 2006 (EST)

Removing link

We no longer use a separate section for external links - relevant information from pages outside Wikitravel should be reworked into the guide. Therefore I'm removing this link on ecotourism from the article. -- Rmx 13:02, 8 Feb 2006 (EST)


I moved these tables here for a couple of reasons

  1. It's too detailed for a country-level article
  2. It doesn't actually give a lot of information useful to travellers (ie why would someone go there? Are there places to sleep/eat/ect?)
  3. HTML makes our pages harder to edit

I'd rather see a general introduction to the national park system of Poland, with links to specific parks in the appropriate region page. Exceptions would be the 1-3 really really famous/important parks that we may want to hightlight at the country level (like the Gran Canyon or Angkor Wat). Majnoona 14:05, 9 Feb 2006 (EST)

Polish National Parks

Name Wojewodship since area (km²) near town others
Babiogórski Malopolska 1954 33,92 Zawoja UNESCO
Białowieża Podlasie 1932 105,02 Białowieża UNESCO
Biebrzański Podlaskie 1993 592,23 Osowiec
Bieszczadzki Podkarpackie 1973 292,02 Ustrzyki Górne UNESCO
Bory Tucholskie Pomorskie 1996 47,98 Charzykowy
Drawieński Zachodniopomorskie 1990 113,42 Drawno
Gorczański Malopolska 1981 70,30 Poręba Wielka
Góry Stolowe Dolnoslaskie 1993 63,40 Kudowa Zdrój
Kampinoski Masovia 1959 385,44 Izabelin UNESCO
Karkonoski Dolnoslaskie 1959 55,75 Jelenia Góra UNESCO
Magurski Malopolska 1995 199,62 Krempna
Narwiański Podlasie 1996 73,50 Kurowo
Ojcowski Malopolska 1956 21,46 Ojców
Pieniński Malopolska 1954 23,46 Krościenko
Poleski Polesie 1990 97,62 Urszulin UNESCO
Roztoczański Lubelskie 1974 84,82 Zwierzyniec
Słowiński Pomorskie 1967 186,19 Smołdzino UNESCO
Świętokrzyski Świętokrzyskie 1950 76,32 Bodzentyn
Tatrzański Malopolskie 1954 211,64 Zakopane UNESCO
Ujście Warty Lubuskie 2001 79,56 Chyrzno
Wielkopolski Wielkopolskie 1957 75,84 Jeziory
Wigierski Podlasie 1989 150,85 Krzywe
Woliński Zachodniopomorskie 1960 109,37 Międzyzdroje

City IATA ICAO Passangers Freight
air traffic Web
Warsaw WAW EPWA 6.085.111 40.541 108.245 [3]
Krakow KRK EPKK 841.123 1.806 26.171 [4]
Katowice KTW EPKT 622.612 5.038 13.803 [5]
Gdansk GDN EPGD 464.656 3.100 16.286 [6]
Poznan POZ EPPO 380.676 1.528 16.405 [7]
Wroclaw WRO EPWR 363.244 946 18.509 [8]
Szeczin SZZ EPSC 95.833 237 7.981 [9]
Rzeszów RZE EPRZ 71.930 243 8.402 [10]
Bydgoszcz BZG EPBY 26.112 0 3.904 [11]
Łódź LCJ EPLL 6.269 0 1.783 [12]
Zielona Gora IEG EPZG 4.312 0 936 [13]
Szczytno SZY EPSY 486 0 346 [14]
Sum - - 8.962.334 53.439 222.771 [15]

Article status

I wouldn't say that this article is a stub anymore - I'd rate it as quite usable, indeed. -- 16:16, 9 Feb 2006 (EST)

Location maps for cities

A Wikipedian granted me permission to license his work under CC-by-SA 1.0 so that I could make some location maps for Polish voivodships and cities. I've already placed these maps into the voivodships' articles, but I was pondering would it be wise to make maps for specific cities so that we can clearly identify the location of a Polish city for fellow Wikitravellers? Here is an example of one on Wikipedia's Lodz article. The problem with most of the maps already on Wikitravel is that they are only available under GFDL so I'll have to make to the maps and then license them under CC and GFDL. Does anyone else find something like this useful? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 01:31, 28 July 2006 (EDT)

A major rewrite

I have rewritten some parts of the article. Please let me know if you like it. CandleWithHare 15:36, 29 July 2006 (EDT)

Removed Stuff

It's me again. I have removed some sections that I think are redundant. If you disagree or sth you know what to do (better than me because I still don't know how to indent properly). CandleWithHare 16:14, 29 July 2006 (EDT) Here they are:

Outside of the tourist areas, you'll find that many Polish businesses don't like to give change.
For example, if you buy gas at a gas station and the total comes out to 52,47 zł, and you
give the attendant 53 zł, it's more common than not that you will not receive any change 
at all.

Living in this country for 22 years, I have never heard of such thing. I think it must have been an isolated case.

The USA-like emergency number 911 can be also called from cellular phones (on the Plus GSM 
network for sure).

Maybe it works, but it is not documented anywhere, so it can just stop working someday - the day when you need it most. I think it's better to give the reader only the official numbers (there's already too much of them).

There are also certain neighbourhoods in most cities that should be completely avoided by
foreigners/tourists. An example would be the whole Praga District of Warsaw; especially at night.

Praga is actually the most interesting district in Warsaw, with all the lofts, climate and artistic venues such as Fabryka Trzciny. In some cities there could be some districts better avoided, but let's write about them on individual cities' pages.

** PlusGSM prefixes: +48 601, 603, 605, 607, 609, 691, 693, 695, 697, 661, 663
** Sami Swoi (PlusGSM subnetwork) prefixes: +48 885, 887
** Era prefixes: +48 600, 602, 604, 606, 608, 692, 694, 696, 698
** Heyah (Era subnetwork) prefixes: +48 880, 888, 889
** Orange prefixes: +48 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511, 512, 513
** CENTERTEL NMT (old NMT network) prefixes: +48 690

First, I think it's too much details for a country page. Second, it is becoming outdated as people are now allowed to keep their phone number after changing the network and they're using this facility.

If you are using a cardboard sign, you should write city codes on it. The country has 16 regions,
and the first letter in car number indicates its region, the second one - city. But beware,
sometimes drivers will only know the code of their home region, not the place where they are
going to. For example WA - Warszawa, BI - Bialystok, EL - Lodz,
KR - Krakow.

Not being a hitchhiker I may be wrong, but I think it is better to write just the full name of the destination.

Polish is a very difficult language for native English-speakers to learn, although knowledge 
of Latin will help tremendously. It is notoriously difficult because of its unrelenting strings 
of consonants in words (like the city Szczecin). It's best to get a pronounciation guide
or phrasebook well in advance -- if you go in cold, you won't be able to read anything

Polish isn't a difficult language for a speaker of English. In fact, no Indo-European language is. If something were difficult, it would be the grammar, not the pronunciation, because compared to English, it is trivial (constant paroxytonic accent, no vowel reduction, spelling based on pronunciation with few exceptions). It's Mythbusters' time! :)

With all due respect, this is not correct. Native English-speakers generally find Polish pronunciation very difficult, especially compared to Romance or Germanic languages (which are close relatives of English). One of my co-workers is commonly known as "the guy with the Polish name" because people aren't sure how to translate the spelling of his surname into sounds. The diacritical marks used (Ą Ć Ę Ł Ń Ó Ś Ź Ż) are completely alien to English; I couldn't even guess at how they're pronounced without consulting a guide. I consider myself above-average with foreign languages, but I don't even know what "constant paroxytonic accent" means let alone how to apply it to Polish. Sure, pronouncing English is difficult for people who didn't grow up reading it, but our audience presumably does know how to pronounce English, and I can assure you that they don't know how to pronounce Polish. - Todd VerBeek 17:46, 1 August 2006 (EDT)
I've replied on your talk page. CandleWithHare 19:51, 1 August 2006 (EDT)
On countryside do not drive at nighttime in poland if you are new. Roads are marked minimalistic, 
and they may go up and down a lot. like this cars from opposite can appear unexpected from such a
sink in the road, it's impossible to forsee this in the dark. As well if you get into some fog, it
is very heavy fog. The air is moderately polluted making any fog very thick.

Basically: "At night, it may be dark in Poland". Please put it back if I'm wrong.

Regions and Cities and Parks and UNESCO Sites and Mountains and Lakes...

The sections at the top of the article seem to have gotten a bit out of hand. Rather than a list of the top-level regions and shortcuts to 9 or fewer major cities, and maybe a short list of non-city destinations, we also have lists of just about every possible destination in the country with sometimes dozens of examples in each. For a large and complex country such as Poland, this kind of detail should be moved to the region articles, with lists of just a few most popular sites under "Cities" and "Other destinations". I'd try editing this down myself, but I know nothing about where any of these places are, nor which are the most popular destinations. - Todd VerBeek 17:46, 1 August 2006 (EDT)

The regions section looks perfectly fine, but I'm not that big of a fan of the UNESCO section I think it's too much, because a lot of that can be explained else where. I'll take a stab at it later. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 18:33, 1 August 2006 (EDT)
I've been recently cleaning the article but I'm new here and don't want to throw my weight about. My primary objective was to correct the spelling and I think I've succeeded a little (wolfs to wolves stuff, etc.). Anyway, I partly agree. The national parks and the lakes should be listed more concisely. I think it may have a point to keep all the stuff on a single page though. This way it is more easily maintained and can be printed at once. Maybe there's some policy for or against it, I don't know. CandleWithHare 18:42, 1 August 2006 (EDT)
I'd rather see all the nitty-gritty attractions in the articles for voivodships, as they should be. Picking the nine most important national parks, however, could very well be placed on the main page, but all the UNESCO heritage sites should be noted in the respective voivodship articles. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 18:50, 1 August 2006 (EDT)
The general policy is to focus the main article about a country (or any other large region) on general information, with increasing detail the more specific the subject area. For example, a country article will tell you what the regions are, the region articles will tell you what the cities are, and the city articles will tell you what districts there are (if any), and have listings for specific restaurants and hotels. The lists of cities and "other destinations" on country articles are intended as shortcuts to the most famous destinations, so that someone who already knows he wants to read about Warsaw can do that without first figuring out which region it's in. - Todd VerBeek 19:04, 1 August 2006 (EDT)
I've removed the voivodship links. I think that from practical point of view we don't need to focus on administrative areas. Instead, we may have geographical regions mentioned, since this approach looks more suitable to me. When I look through a travel guide a don't really need to know where any voivodships are. I need to know where mountains, lakes, interesting places are. Moon5 08:46, 27 October 2006 (EDT)

Far right

Ok, anonymous; I understand your objection to the use of "far right," but why did you delete this: "Poland is now governed by a coalition of right of center and populist parties. Some people you will speak to will despise the current administration and may cause a heated debate."? The wording I've chosen, in my opinion, is fair. The PiS party is right of central, even a little, right? If so I think we should use the preceding text so to find a middle ground. Otherwise, we could even say "center-right," or does that somehow cause confusions as to how far right the current administration is? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 12:53, 20 August 2006 (EDT)

but Samoobrona is left of center. Any where You go, You'll find people passionately arguing about politics. Of course we could write something like Poland is now governed by a coalition composed of a center-right party, a radical agrarian party and a party which claims to be based on the Catholic Social Doctrine. Some people will speak to will despise the current administration while others will vehmently support it." But this strikes me as redundant. And quite frankly the original statement simply striked me as flamebait. Of course today every one has a right to criticize the government, and there are many reasons while the current one deserves to (though it's smarter to actually state them rather then say something like "oh no, it's evil fascists, let's break their legs") but a travel guide is hardly a place for this. While Your wording isn't as outright absurd as the previous one it's still meant to convey the same meaning ("Poles hate their evil government"), this may be false, this may be true but it's irrelevent in the context of this article and constitues a violation of the NPOV principle.
  • We actually don't have a NPOV policy on Wikitravel, you edit on Wikipedia, right? No worries, because most Wikipedians naturally assume Wikitravel has a similar policy, but fortunately we don't. If that was the case we wouldn't be able to meet out goals nor could we claim to be a travel guide if we weren't fair and called a spade a spade. In response to this - "While Your wording isn't as outright absurd as the previous one it's still meant to convey the same meaning ("Poles hate their evil government")" I can assure you I did not mean to convey that message. It's the exact reason why I changed 'Most people...hate the government' to 'some' people...'. If the context and the wording still bothers you coulld you please describe what you think would be acceptable and we can try to go from there. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 21:15, 20 August 2006 (EDT)
Dear anonymous — left and right can have different meanings but it's not the place to discuss them as it is not helping our goals. It doesn't hurt, however, to clarify what those current political issues are and add a Wikipedia link. If you insist on removing "far-right", then I insist on keeping the link to the Wikipedia article and the word "populist" which is used there. Now, if you want to change something about it, change the Wikipedia article first and if the change is accepted in Wikipedia, then we can discuss it here. Otherwise, it's a waste of time. I will now restore the version proposed by Sapphire. CandleWithHare 13:26, 20 August 2006 (EDT)
"populist" is used (in fact accurately) to describe those parties in an article about the politics of Poland but I doubt if it's relevent in a turist guide. Furthermore the wording, stressing that "some people you will speak to will despise the current administration", seems to be intended to overemphesize the point of view of those opposing the current government.
For future reference if you revert the edits of someone and in turn they revert those edits always bring it to the discussion page. Please, don't go from one user's talk page to another so others can come along follow the discussion and help to make suggestions. Thanks. -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 23:53, 20 August 2006 (EDT)

Country Template

According to Wikitravel rules Welcome, Wikipedians we shall use templates and be in line with them. I've noticed that there are some chapters (more or less the first five ones) to be sorted out, improved, splitted, moved etc. I'm gonna do it soon. Any proposals appreciated. Moon5 10:02, 25 October 2006 (EDT)

Hi, you don't need anyone's permission to edit the article, so just Wikitravel:Plunge forward. The template we should be adhering to is at Wikitravel:Country article template. If you want advice, I think we should get rid of useless stuff in descriptions in the first place. Examples:
  • «more bridges than any other European town except #1, #2, ..., #11»
  • «with bears, wolves and other animals» repeated 10 times
CandleWithHare 11:25, 25 October 2006 (EDT)

criticism about Paris

I do not want to change the page right now before there is a consensus. I spent my life in France (near Paris) and I can tell that anyone will be very happy of a tourist tries to speak French. No matter how. And nobody will scoff at you. Invite for comments before changing the page :)

Err, am I missing what this has to do with the Poland article? You may get more of a response if you post on the Talk:Paris page. And feel free to plunge forward and make the edit -- if someone disagrees, then you or they can start a conversation on the talk page. Thanks! Maj 16:14, 5 November 2006 (EST)
I am referring to the sentence Contrary to other tourist cities, like Paris, where natives will often scoff at how bad a foreigner's use of the native language is, (...) under the Talk section. I believe that such an opinion should not appear in a travel guide (wsw70)
Go nuts and edit. -- Sapphire 17:21, 8 November 2006 (EST)

Maps of Poland

Would it be acceptable for me to add a link to the Unofficial Map Project of Poland? UMP has created usable maps for Garmin GPS recievers and the free Mapsource program. Their site is located here (in english): ...And the install software is located here:

The maps include routing information and, for large cities like Krakow, Warsaw, Lodz, etc... fairly detailed and up-to-date street information (e.g.: the Mogilskie roundabout has been "removed" from the Krakow section).

I figured it could go in the "Get Around" section?

Automotive "thank you" blurb...

"Historically, some people also used to flash the warning lights (all indicators simultaneously) once or twice as a way of saying "thank you". This is now outdated, the proper/modern way of saying "thank you" being a right/left/right indicator sequence, or similar. The usage of warning lights is the same as in Western Europe nowadays."

This is, at least in the Malopolskie voivoidship, not at all accurate. The so-called "outdated" method is the only one I have ever observed in the two years I've lived in Malopolskie. Even the bus drivers in this area will flash their hazard/warning lights twice if you let them merge. I've never, that I recall, seen the R/L/R sequence.

ISIC discount

On the ISIC homepage [16] I found that the 37 % discount on rail travel is valid only for Polish students studying abroad. And I have the same experience. Strapontin 09:15, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

I think you're right [17] [18]; please feel free to edit the article. CandleWithHare 15:11, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Driving to Poland from the UK

What is the best way of driving from the UK to Poland (Auschwitz-Birkenau)? Would you recommend driving through Germany (via Hannover/ Dresden) or through south Germany and across Czech Republic into Poland?


does something like that really belong here? but to answer: try via Dresden. There is a direct Autobahn/motorway now. -- 11:08, 3 September 2010 (EDT)

Center of Europe is in Poland?

The article states:

"Geographical centre of Europe is situated in Suchowola - city in north-east Poland..."

I have heard/read numerous times that it is in southern Lithuania--can the above statement be verified?

Also, is the Polish language really nothing like Russian? I know only a little Russian but have been surprised how many words are similar. (Maybe the original writer had a little Polish Russophobia going on?) Journey91456 13:07, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

There is a number of centres, have a look to [19]. LukeWestwalker 14:54, 18 October 2007 (EDT)
Regarding the second issue, I've been told it's possible for Poles to understand some spoken Russian with a basic understanding of the language, but don't write any Pole something in Russian and expect them to understand it since the alphabets are poles apart. Hahahahaha. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 13:26, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

That is true, as much as for the Dutch to understand English - in both cases most of population (in Poland or in the Netherlands) had at least some classes in the other language. Similarly, there are lots of words in Dutch or Danish which sound exactly as in English, but I would not say that the languages are similar. There are quite some English living in the Netherlands but hardly anyone can say anything in Dutch, except for badly pronaunced 'goede morgen'.

"Also, do not say that Poles would be better off writing Cyrillic (an actual quote)" Where; I don't understand it; the person is not making any sense. I can write Polish in both Latin and Cyrillic like Serbo-Croatian and would not make a difference. Even if it were official, it wouldn't make a dent.

Ok, so yeah, just read this in the guide and I'm going to alter the text, because it's really kind of pointless. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 08:23, 4 November 2007 (EST)

Regions redux

It appears as though the regions hierarchy for Poland is, to put it in technical terms, all out of whack. I can't make heads or tails of it—What contains what? What are the borders of these regions? For example, Masuria is listed as a top-level region, but it's also contained within Warminsko-Mazurskie, despite the fact that that is not listed in the main article. Are they the same thing? I was hoping to use this as a guide for the Russian version, but I'm left just puzzled.

As the main (really the only) purpose of a regions hierarchy is so that it is clear where information belongs, it would be nice to get this sorted out. --Peter Talk 02:14, 14 January 2008 (EST)

Working on this right now. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 10:35, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

To be VFD'd

Assuming that we're going to stick with voivodships as second-tier hierarchical units, the following articles do not qualify as articles as per Wikitravel:What is an article?. They are all about mountain ranges which cross different regions and I would VFD them but they all contain long lists of already created village articles, so I just want to make sure nothing gets orphaned and keep them around during the coming mad structural reorganization of the Poland articles, just in case.

Texugo 10:30, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

If you want to go ahead and VFD them, feel free and I'll ensure by the two weeks' end that nothing will be missing. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 10:36, 12 March 2008 (EDT)
Done. I lifted the section from the article. Going to place it here to pick through:

Valley of Five Polish Lakes, Tatra Mountains

The Polish mountains are in the south of the country, with Rysy (2499m) being the highest point.

Texugo 01:58, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Whittling down to 9 cities

Here are some city descriptions I eliminated to get us down to 9 cities:

  • Zamość Old Town - built in the late Polish Renaissance style. Jan Zamojski, the founder, invited people from the whole Europe to settle there. It is one of the most beautiful Renaissance cities in Europe.
  • Szczecin - capital of Western Pomerania. The city was designed after Paris with a number of star-shaped squares, and is known as the “green city” - there are very few towns in Poland with comparable greenery, water areas and climate favourable for relaxation and sightseeing. Local attractions: various museums, St. James' Gothic Cathedral, 17th century historical houses, 11th-century Pomeranian Knights Castle, 14th Century Church, Baroque Palace.
  • Zakopane - Poland's winter capital with outstanding atmosphere, the best starting point for hiking trips and skiing.
  • Zielona Góra - Poland's wine capital with beautiful old town and wine festival in September. The city is located in a hilly region full of lakes and pine and oak forests.

I nominated the current nine based on nothing but population. If you feel something else is more relevant, go ahead and substitute it and explain here. Texugo 10:54, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

Map colors

Hey Sapphire, don't you think the map colors for the north and south regions are a bit too similar? Can we get some yellow or something for one of those? They are almost identical on my monitor. Texugo 01:48, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Coastal cities

Because the Other destinations should not be a repository for cities that can't make the cities list, I have removed the Seaside section. Here it is:

The Polish coast is nearly 500km long and has fine, sandy beaches as well as the highest European dunes.
  • Sopot – has the longest wooden pier in Europe and fine Art Nouveau architecture
  • Gdynia – is the biggest harbor at the Baltic Sea. It has a very interesting naval museum
  • Hel – surrounded by water, situated on the top of the Hel Peninsula
  • Kołobrzeg – is the biggest Polish spa at the Baltic Sea with many hotels
  • Świnoujście – is the most western Polish sea town on the Wolin and Uznam islands
Other famous seaside towns from west to east: Międzyzdroje, Dziwnów, Kamień Pomorski, Trzęsacz, Ustronie Morskie, Mielno, Darłowo, Ustka, Rowy, Łeba, Jastrzębia Góra, Rozewie, Władysławowo, Chałupy, Jastarnia, Jurata, Puck, Krynica Morska, Kadyny and Frombork.

Once Pomeranian and West Pomeranian Voivodships are subdivided into regions, we could link directly to the region articles. For now I just put an entry linking to the province articles.Texugo 02:45, 13 March 2008 (EDT)


Peter commented somewhere, and I agree with him: Why do we need to include the word "Voivodship" in the title of every province? Unlike Russia with its Oblasts, Republics, Rings, Regions and miscellaneous uniquely named places, all the regions at this level of Poland are "Voivodships", which seems to me the equivalent of putting "State of" in front of every state in the US, Brazil, etc.. If we use it in the introductory line of every article and cut it out of the article title, it'll save some good space in the breadcrumb navigation and calm my sense of redundancy. Can we discuss? Texugo 04:03, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Agreed that it is redundant. I was thinking about this while traveling and the idea only occurred as an afterthought. I've been grappling with spelling too and where to use English translations or Polish. Mazokwieckie, as an example, is commonly referred to by it's Polish name even amongst us I-Can't-Believe-People-Can-Speak-This-Language types. But then, in other places, use "Pomeranian".
Anywho, I'm all for getting rid of Voivodship from the titles. For Silesia, however, it might be worth it to keep voivodship, but only in parentheses. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 08:54, 16 March 2008 (EDT)
Good move. Just as a further point - most Poles would not understand the term Voivodship, so using it in communication in Poland would be rather useless. The name of the Voivodship is perfectly enough. Jamboo 05:11, 20 March 2008 (EDT)


Saying "thank you" after handing money, when paying in a restaurant/bar/hotel, will very often be interpreted as you don't want any change. Jamboo 05:49, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

"touchy" topics

the issue of Polish-Austrian relations doesn't seem touchy at all, could the people who wrote that elaborate what makes them think so?

Other destinations list is l o n g

The list of other destinations on this page (as well as on many other country articles) is just too long. Someone looking for overview information on Poland simply doesn't need that much information up front, and is likely to be overwhelmed by it (as I am). That's why we limit lists on articles (country articles in particular) to nine. That said, it is handy to have a quick reference list of all national parks, UNESCO sites, etc. in a country. I propose moving the current lists to Poland travel topics which would serve as a quick reference in the form of simple pointers to the articles in question. Then we should leave a list of the nine most notable other destinations in Poland. I think this would also be a good model to take care of this problem on other country and region articles. Thoughts? --Peter Talk 19:32, 2 August 2008 (EDT)

Basically agreed, but User:Doihaveto-wikitravel‎ jumped the gun a bit on this, and the following should at the very least be renamed. Jpatokal 13:27, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
Poland:Mountains‎, Poland:Lakes and Coastlines, Poland:National Parks, Poland:Spas, Poland:Metro Areas and Little Pearls
Please feel free to edit/rename as needed, if you feel that current versions need improvement. User:Doihaveto-wikitravel‎ 12 Oct 2008.

Bit too negative

Czesc! The section towards the end about safety, etc. is too negative. It should make clear that Poland is a SAFE country. I will accept that people who are non-white may certainly be stared at and violence has been reported (I've seen it on one occasion) however for north European tourists it's less safe than other countries. Yes if you're an asshole then you should expect trouble but that's the same in the UK. I lived in Poland for over 3 years and my Polish was not good (so always recognized as a foreigner) yet I NEVER received hostility and almost always got positive intrigue. It was great. Sure, unlit and run-down areas of big cities may be dangerous but would you venture into such an area back home? Big cities are like any other big European cities. Small settlements and villages are not a problem at all and indeed an amazing opportunity. As for the repetitive advice about tap water in the article, are there ANY sources for this? Polish people always said 'don't drink the tap water' but people say that in every country. Poland is a modern country - if tap water in an establishment isn't potable then there will be a sign (an even a nice picture sign) making it perfectly clear. Don't ruin the environment by buying yet another bottle of water like all the middle class idiots around the world who seem paranoid by the liquid that emerges from their kitchen taps! Poland is a brilliant country. The language is difficult and you'll probably never master it but there's no reason why you won't learn a lot of it and it's pronunciation is easy to get used to on the whole (it's phonetic unlike English) and when whispered into your ear by a loved one it sounds just as romantic as French or Italian.-- 19:16, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

Plunge forward. Add your experiences. --inas 19:58, 16 July 2009 (EDT)

New map and a list of ODs

I have drawn a new regions map for Poland in the Wikitravel style. If anyone spots any glaring omissions or errors please do say so here. Whilst doing this I noticed there were no OD's listed in the article. And this, the country with probably the best national parks in Europe! I have added a list of 9. Please anyone who knows Poland well suggest changes if this list does not seem right. --Burmesedays 11:23, 15 May 2010 (EDT)

Regions proposal for Poland
Awesome map! But I think we need to look at the regions a second time. They seem okay now, but as far as I know, it's a completely random way of dividing the country into a west, east, north, etc. I think it is better if we divide Poland by its historical regions. This map [20] shows the historical regions I mean, except that I would combine Pomorze Zachodnie and Pomorze Gdanskie into one Pomerania region. I also suggest we use the English names, which would make:
  • Pomerania
  • Warmia-Masuria
  • Greater Poland
  • Mazovia
  • Podlachia — could maybe be grouped with Mazovia
  • Silesia
  • Lesser Poland

If we want to keep the voivodships (not sure if its necessary), then I think it'd be logical to use them under these historical regions. Then it would be like this:

  • Pomerania — West Pomerania, Pomerania, Kujavia-Pomerania
  • Masuria — Warmia-Masuria
  • Greater Poland — Greater Poland, Lodz, Lubusz
  • Mazovia — Mazovia
  • Podlachia — Podlachia
  • Silesia — Silesia, Lower Silesia, Opole
  • Lesser Poland — Lesser Poland, Świętokrzyskie, Carpathian Mountains, Lublin

It's a bit ahistoric though, as some of the voivodships go right through historical divisions. Also, the Carpathian Mountains voivodship doesn't cover all of the Carpathian Mountains. Yet, I think this is better than the random combination we have now (leading to an Eastern Poland that is not even connected, Silesia that is cut through and a Central Poland that is way too vast). --globe-trotter 06:33, 24 May 2010 (EDT)

Given that some of the voivodship articles are quite well developed, I think we should keep them. That means that the top level regions should not slice across voivodship borders. So some serious thought required I think. In principal though, I agree with GT's suggestions. The borders bothered me when drawing the map but I just stuck to the existing scheme.--Burmesedays 08:33, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
That discontiguous "East" region bothers me much too. What can you write, say, "get in" section of such a region? So I'm in much favour of a better regionalization, and at first glance Globe-trotter's proposal looks OK to me (though not had a detailed check on it). That would mean some huge moves around, but let's do that sooner rather than later. – Vidimian 09:11, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
Alright, I now made a simple map just to show the regions division I meant earlier. --globe-trotter 09:41, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
Another minor detail about your map, Burmesedays, is that the Russian exclave and city is called Kaliningrad, not Kalingrad. --globe-trotter 10:44, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
Whoops. That's a typo. Will put right immediately.--Burmesedays 11:01, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
At first glance that division from GT looks sensible. Four top level regions would have further divisions into voivodships, and the other 3 would in effect be existing voivodships moved up a level and with no further division. I like it in principle.--Burmesedays 11:04, 24 May 2010 (EDT)
New Regions of Poland
I have now implemented this regions set-up. I also adapted the map. --globe-trotter 16:57, 14 August 2010 (EDT)
As a native when I look on this map I feel a little confused. I understand why the map was made to be easier, but the regions show on new map have a very virtual connections to each other. And Łódź is not a part of Greater Poland and never been. To say true, Łódź is stand alone part of Poland (Central Poland) . I think that the easiest way would be to show administrative regions of Poland which somehow correspondent to historical and geographical divisions of Poland. (I add my signature to my post) JakubPiotr 20:43, 16 October 2010 (EDT)
Another problem in english version You used name Podlachia (I can asume that's mean Podlasie) but it should be Podlachie (it should be male form not a female) if you ask about Podlachia most of native will be confuesed. And on the map Mazovia is not coresponding to the link Masovia . JakubPiotr 21:06, 16 October 2010 (EDT)
I explained Lodz below and why it was added to Greater Poland. This could be changed to include all of Lodz Voivodship into Masovia. The reason we use Podlachia is because it is the most common English name for the region (see Wikipedia for example [21]). It is not related to the Polish language. I fill fix the Mazovia tag on the map when this discussion has been completed. --globe-trotter 12:26, 23 November 2010 (EST)
I have now moved Lodz Voivodship into Masovia -- what do you think of this set-up? --globe-trotter 14:25, 23 November 2010 (EST)

Region : potential mistake

Łódź is not a part of Greater Poland present Województwo Łódzkie (Łódź Voivodship) covers some cities that historically had been part of Greater Poland but Łódź always been a part of Central Poland.So same changes are needed. Especially that Łódź is classified as a important City in Greater Poland —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JakubPiotr (talkcontribs) 14:27, 16 October 2010

You're right that Lodz City was not a part of Greater Poland, while parts of Lodz Voivodship were a part of Greater Poland. The reason Lodz City is in Greater Poland is that we don't want to split Lodz Voivodship into two parts. Maybe we could decide to place the whole of Lodz Voivodship into Masovia? --globe-trotter 12:19, 23 November 2010 (EST)
I have now moved Lodz Voivodship into Masovia -- what do you think of this set-up? --globe-trotter 14:25, 23 November 2010 (EST)

By Car

I have made a few additions throughout the article, but the biggest changes I made were to the By Car section as it often oscillated between moaning and slurs and was generally unnecessarily bitter and exaggerated. I've added some explanation and advice. Some of the deletions and changes with reasons:

Even busy roads are usually lacking in proper lane marking so night driving is frequently a matter of luck.

Keep your headlights on and you'll be just fine. I'm removing all sarcastic comments from here as this is a travel guide, not a therapy for authors' frustrations.

Driving in Poland is stressful, time-consuming and dangerous…

Dangerous? Leaving children with matches is dangerous. This is just driving.

As long as you keep by the main roads and concentrate (keep your wits about you) you should get to where you are going fairly easily but not quickly, and don't expect a relaxing drive.

Again, hardly informative or based on fact. What is going to happen to you if you don't stick to the main roads exactly?

If you stop at a red light, expect to have someone swing out and get in front of you.

Don't expect that. Most certainly won't happen.

If you drive below the speed limit, you will probably get tailgated as impatient drivers drive up close behind and flash their lights, attempting to force you to get over into a slower lane or on the hard shoulder to let them past. There usually is no slow lane - the roads are mostly two-lane - or half the slow lane is so pot-holed that you are likely to leave your suspension behind if you drive in it. If there is a hard shoulder, which is infrequent, do not be tempted to drive on it as it is against the law and if you hit someone or something, you will be liable. If there is no hard shoulder it is unwise to get too close to the edge since it will likely not be finished off properly and thus full of potholes. Visitors have also reported drivers aggressively pushing in front of them and then slamming on the breaks or throwing things out of their windows, presumably to vent their annoyance at not being let past.

I have explained some of it earlier in the text. Don't move to the side if you don't want to, don't cross a contiguous line. The roads are not in as bad conditions as you suggest and no one will leave his suspension anywhere. The anecdote is hardly believable. Even if it did happen to someone it is not something that should be expected.

Driving in cities can be difficult; city streets are crowded, often narrow, and you need to watch out for trams.

Just like anywhere else.

When estimating driving time, if you are not familiar with local conditions, it is safe to double your best guess, especially at peak times.

Uninformative - what is a 'best guess' that could be safely doubled? Driving in cities may take long anywhere in the world, Polish cities not being different here.

This is often not made any easier by the high kerbs, but logic and driving in Poland don't usually mix.

See my first comment.

110 km/h on dual carriageway car-only roads, and 130 km/h on motorways / freeways (autostrada).

Increased to 120 and 140 accordingly from 2011.

as there often is no logic in the assignment of priority in traffic flow

(ie. the lower quality, narrower and slower road coming in from the left may have right of way.)

The priority is given to the most frequented flow, which unfortunately isn't always reflected in the build of the crossing. LikeAPossum 22:42, 27 February 2011 (EST)

Russian and "przewóz osób"

I totally disagree with the statement about avoiding Russian language. Most of people that are in their 40s or older do speak Russian very well and using Russian is not considered as rude at all. Of course this only applies if a foreigner knows what language he is really using. Never take Russian for Polish and vice versa, this is extremely impermissible. Much more risky is using German language (except for the western Poland).

Also I think it would be worth mentioning that in bigger cities there is a service called "przewóz osób" e.g. iCar which is much cheaper than TAXI and easier for foreigners to use because the driver always tells you the price before he starts. 13:28, 7 February 2012 (EST)

Faux pas of mistaking Polish and Russian is covered in Respect section. You can change the wording in Talk section if you like. Plunge forward. iCar is covered in Kraków article, if you know this kind of services in other cities, please add them in adequate articles. Jjtk 15:47, 7 February 2012 (EST)


The list of cities is pretty random right now. I'm switching it to be based on population. Jjtk suggests we stick to a "top 9" list - thoughts? -- Doihaveto-wikitravel

Hi! Country article template says that the characteristic by which we choose these nine cities is their fame and travel/touristic importance. The list as it is right now is a result of a years long process and I don't agree it's random. Your change replaces Katowice with Bydgoszcz which I oppose, I think Katowice is better known abroad (it works as a representative for whole Silesia region), and also based on the quality of WT articles and number of attractions listed there. And anyway cutting out Katowice based on a population rule is erroneous since K is a core part of the Upper Silesian Metropolis. Jjtk 04:07, 26 March 2012 (EDT)



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