波蘭的基本旅游攻略 – basic traveling informations about Poland

My first ever post from Poland, wow! Finally after 32h long trip I made it home. I still suffer from jet lag lotnisko20_smalland food coma (thank you Mom and Dad for leaving all the sweets in my bedroom, you’re da real MVP) so I didn’t have much chance to go out, but I already want to write my Polish-series soooooo badly!

I want to start with some basic informations you need while traveling to Poland. It’s based mostly on Wroclaw, my hometown, but should apply to most of the big cities. It’s my personal choice that might make your life easier!

Paying by your credit card

It’s not really a big problem, some places still might want you to spend a minimum of X PLN before you use a credit card, but what’s an issue in my opinion is the currency they charge. Sing and few people I know had that problem – your local bank will probably give you the best exchange rate, just like ours, and choosing PLN is quite pointless but people will automatically pick PLN for you before they hand you a credit card terminal make sure that they pick your local currency.

Forget about using a subwaywroclaw_tramwaje_dzienne_2000

Unless you visit Warsaw, but don’t think it’s impressive. With 1 subway line in one single city we cannot call our country ‘the most public-transport-riders-friendly‘, but when it goes to buses and trams they will take you everywhere. Especially in Wroclaw it’s really easy to get practically everywhere in max. 2 hours even if you live really far away. And for most of the city’s attractions you can simply WALK. Now that’s convenient.

Discounts

Most of places have their individual discount rules, but public transport is quite generous, especially to students – including international students. Just be sure to make/take an ISIC – International Student Identification 4ce669965f39a_k2Card. It will not only let you get a cheaper transportation but if you go to http://www.isic.org/benefits/ you can find really good deals all around the world. Pretty useful while traveling in general.

If you stay in Poland for longer I would suggest you get a ticket-card. Comparing to Hong Kong’s Octopus or SF Bay Area’s Clipper you don’t use it as a second wallet and pay for every ride. You charge it in a machine and keep it in your wallet until you’re asked about the ticket. From my small experience the same thing is in Copenhagen – unless someone doesn’t ask you, you don’t need to do anything with your valid ticket. Also when it goes to a card in Wroclaw you can connect it to your bank account for free! The only trick is your bank account should be in WBK which I personally hate (not to mention their horrible exchange rate!). For more information click here to get to URBAN CARD official page.

Plugs and voltage

spread-of-plugs-around-the-worldIf you are a traveler from Europe/Russia you shouldn’t be worried about getting the adapter, but it’s always good to check the chart below, I also give you a spread of plugs around the world – as for Poland:

  • Voltage: 230 V
  • Frequency: 50 Hz
  • Power sockets: type E

Don’t worry if you forget to bring it with you – big shopping malls for sure have places like Euro RTV AGD, MediaMarkt or Saturn where you can buy an adapter for few PLN.

Outlets_All_Type_WA,w900_v

Mobile Network Operators

This one is totally subjective, but in my opinion very important. If you have different opinion, please feel free to share. As all of us know nowadays mobile Internet is extremely important. You might get lost, you starter-internet-3g-play-orange-t-mobile-era-iplus-2-3506374939might need to check something, you might need to post your lunch on Instagram. In America I can recommend you 30USD/month T-Mobile plan that gives you unlimited Internet access (up to 5GB of LTE speed) and 100 minutes to talk. I use up all 5 GB and maximum of 10 minutes, only if Sing uses it. So if you are an Internet addict I cannot recommend you a better offer. But it’s Poland’s month so let’s move on!

I never used a mobile Internet on my phone but now since I have very little time and I still want to stay in touch with you guys (and remind Sing to clean the litter box, even when there’s no WIFI around), I decided to get myself a starter. I cannot say a thing about Plus’ offer, but from three main mobile carriers – T-Mobile, Play and Orange – I can say the best choice is Play.

I had high expectations of T-Mobile since it gives me a great plan back in the US, even their site mentioned up to 6GB for 30PLN, but a guy said it’s just a commercial and from start we can get 500MB. Is there anyone who can confirm this? Because I don’t know if that guy was just too lazy to do any business or they really suck. PLAY-starter-19

Orange didn’t really have a good offer too, but this year just like in previous one, they made a promotion – 6GB for 6 PLN that can be used in 60 days. You could even activate it on the very last day of summer (promotion starts from 8.07 till 31.08). So check it out if you’re traveling next summer – remember it can only be used if you’re having one of the following plans: Orange Yes, Orange One, Orange POP or Nowe Orange Go.

I chose Play Online Na Karte – you get 2GB for 19PLN that can be used in 14 days, then you get extra data for charging your phone account (you can check how much the data costs here – click) or you can ask for a FREE starter with 300MB of 4G/LTE data for testing and just ask them to charge your account right away. That’s the way I got my 3.3GB to use for a month! And it’s available everyday. If I have to recommend I would pick Play’s offer, but as I said before – it’s my very subjective choice.

When to come

I love how beautiful my country is during every time of the year, especially the Christmas Market that 6670786_cztery-pory-rokudworek-jana-matejkitakes place every December in the city center, but winter time can be extremely cold (even -15/20C!) so traveling, even with lots of snow, might not be a good idea. Imagine your train getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with no heating… it’s more common in Poland than you might think. One politician who is in charge of the train system said literally ‘Sorry, taki mamy klimat’ – ‘Sorry, that’s the climate we have’, but saying ‘sorry’ instead of ‘przepraszam’ is really impolite. It’s now like a meme in Poland.

I personally would just pick any time I don’t come – I always bring a bad weather, but my favorite time is Spring and Autumn – both are not too hot, not too cold but the views are amazing. Everything is blossoming or you’re drowning in golden leaves. It’s simply amazing, little bit like those Windows XP wallpapers. I know most of us cannot control our days off from work, but if you have a choice I’m strongly recommending you May or September.
klimat-2
Is there anything important anyone traveling to Poland should know? Or if you’re Polish yourself, maybe you can add some of your own experience into this. Make your suggestions! I also want to know what is the most bothersome for you when you travel!

And if you want please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, especially since this weekend I will be writing about BEAUTIFUL KRAKÓW!
http://www.facebook.com/myhongkonghusband
http://www.instagram.com/myhongkonghusband
http://www.twitter.com/my_hk_husband
http://www.youtube.com/user/legendofamoonbunny

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31 thoughts on “波蘭的基本旅游攻略 – basic traveling informations about Poland

  1. The Los Angeles subway also has an honor system of trust. Sometimes police or guards go on the train and look at your ticket, and you could get fined, but that almost never happens.

    Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to travel to Poland someday!

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  2. Those power plugs remind me of a nightmare at work. I once purchased some German branded equipments from the MALAYSIAN DISTRIBUTOR, it came with those 230V power plugs (we use 240V), when I berated the distributor, he had the nerve to challenge me back: “You did not specify you needed Malaysian power option, of course we will send you the German version!” :/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you very much for your wonderful discussion about your country. It is such a useful guide for foreigners like me to keep informed of some vital travelling matters, for example the weather and transport. I would definitely wish to visit to Poland in the future!

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  4. Middle Europe mobile phone contracts suck badly!! Just arrived Tuesday night in Germany and checked the first offers from Telekom and stuff….just terrible. For ten euros they give me max 500mb normal slow speed and afterwards decrease it to 64kb/s. I can pay like 40 euros for 2000mb per month or 80euros for lte speed but well, those prices are just sick. I really wonder what they are thinking. Don’t let me start even with the usual internet connection for home. Just let me say that for the 7 euros I paid in Finland for a 110mb/s connection flat rate they offer me in Germany probably an old drum to communicate with my neighbors, no internet speed available for that price…and maximum speed is anyway so low as it hasn’t improved in the past fifteen years here.

    I heard some stuff about the pretty poor street networking Poland, such as the terrible few highways and normal streets being too much used and always full with cars resulting in loooong travels when you want to get anywhere.

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  5. Hmmmm…. I saw something (dramatic pause)…. interesting in your post. (stroking my chin and thinking back to one of your momzilla posts). A HA. YOU are a witch, too, my dear! 😀 How has the weather been so far???? :D😆😆

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  6. Thanks for the write up on mobile data plans. And can you enable threaded comments? It’s hard to read your comment replies sometimes because the comments are not threaded.

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  7. Hi there, am about to visit wroclaw, just wanna know.. is it easy for me to have bus/tram from town to zerniki /wroclawskie area? this is my friend’s address. thanks

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