For first-time travelers to Eastern Europe, Poland
is ideal. Before you travel to Poland, make sure you know what visas you'll need, about Poland's currency, as well as how you'll get around Poland.
Visas in PolandBefore you travel to Poland, be sure to have a passport that will be valid for the length of your stay. Citizens from the UK are permitted to stay in Poland for up to 6 months without obtaining a visa. USA, Canadian, as well as most European citizens, can stay in Poland for up to 90 days without a visa. Bulgarian, Estonian, Mongolian, Romanian, and Macedonian citizens can enter Poland for 30 days without a visa.
Registration in PolandAnyone visiting Poland must register within the first 48 hours of their stay. Hotels or campsites will do this automatically at their registration/reception desks.
Vaccinations for PolandThere are no requirements for vaccinations when traveling to Poland, though it is best to have maintained standard innoculations (tetanus, polio, diphtheria), and to obtain information about or vaccinations against tick-borne enchephalitis.
Currency and Currency Exchanges in PolandThe zloty is the Polish unit of currency. As there are usually long waits at banks, currency exchanges, or kantor, are ideal for changing dollars or euros into zloty. ATMs are also plentiful and will allow you to withdraw zloty with your credit or debit card.
Using Credit Cards and Travelers' Checks in PolandHigher quality restaurants, hotels, and shops will accept widely recognized credit cards (Visa, American Express, JCB, Eurocard, and Mastercard), though it is good to have cash in reserve for minor transactions. Travelers' checks are widely accepted in Poland, though they can only be exchanged for zloty at banks.
Trains in Poland
If you are going to be traveling between cities, it may be a good idea to get a Polrail pass, good for 1-4 weeks of unlimited travel, depending upon your needs. Express trains run between cities, and those are the way to go. Regular trains can be slow and crowded.
Buses in PolandIntercity traveling can be done by bus or tram, which run from 5:30am to 11:00pm. Purchase tickets at kiosks or ticket machines--you will punch these tickets yourself each time you board a different bus.