Poland Basic Information
In Poland, you’ll stumble upon art all over its cities. Giant-scale artworks on buildings, yarn-bombed locomotives and even sneaky artworks that aren’t part of the collection in museums. Following in the footsteps of famed street artist Banksy, Polish artist Andrzei Sobiepan smuggled his work into the National Museum of Poland. His work was on display for 3 days before anyone noticed. You’ve got to love the enthusiasm! Want to find out more about Poland and its passionate people? Read on.
Aussie travellers can enter Poland and holiday for up to 90 days within an 180-day period without a visa, thanks to the country’s participation in the Schengen Convention. If you’re staying in private accommodation, you’ll need to register your place of residence within 48 hours. Also, make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, get in touch with your local Embassy or Consulate of Poland.
Despite joining the European Union, Poland has not adopted the Euro. The Polish currency is the Polish Złoty, which translates to ‘golden’. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Polish Złoty fluctuates constantly, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the exchange rate and swap your cash when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while travelling, consider using a credit or debit card.
The closest many Aussies come to Polish cuisine is probably in the smallgoods section of the supermarket. But Polish sausages are just one of the many awesome things that make up the Polish diet with mainstays including pork, chicken, beef, winter vegies, noodles, cream and eggs. Polish cuisine is influenced by and shared with many other European nations like Germany, Austria and Hungary with a sprinkle of Italian, French and Russian culinary traditions. Each of the different regions has their unique spin on Polish cuisine. There are dishes in some regions that you won’t find in others. Some traditional faves worth a taste are pierogi (sweet or savoury filled dumplings), bigos (meat and sauerkraut stew), golonka (pork knuckles), and, of course, kiełbasa – the good old Polish sausage. The most popular dessert in Poland is sernik – a cheesecake made with quark cheese, eggs, vanilla, raisins and orange peel.
Who invented vodka? The debate between Russia and Poland still rages, but there’s some significant evidence pointing towards the Poles. When you’re out on the lash in Poland, strike up a conversation with an English-speaking local to hear their side of the story. And while you’re at it, take a big hearty swig of their famous Belvedere vodka. The 2 main Polish cities with buzzing nightlife are Warsaw and Krakow. In Warsaw, you’ll party ‘til the break of dawn in loads of different venues with music ranging from rock to dance and alternative. Krakow is defined by its variety – smoky bohemian bars, stylish cocktail venues, cellars packed with students, and disco, jazz and rock clubs in the Old Town. Krakow is said to have the world’s highest density of bars, so there’s no shortage of places to eat, drink and be merry.