The national language in Poland is Polish. English, German and Russian must be mentioned among the better known foreign languages. Note that English (and also German) is especially popular among the younger people, while older people prefer speaking German. In all the main tourist venues there are usually some people, who speak English.
Poland is not a member of the Euro currency system. The official Polish currency is Zloty, which is equal to 100 Groszy. Major foreign currencies can be exchanged for Polish Zlotys at the airport, banks and hotels. Note that there are also numerous private currency exchange offices in Poland, which are called KANTOR.
All the main hotels, restaurants, shops, travel agencies, airlines and petrol stations accept payments with credit cards. There is also a variety of ATM in Poland, which accept following cards: Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, Eurocard/MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club, PolCard, PolCard Bis, PolCard Tempo. Traveller's cheques are often accepted in large cities, but not as widely as cash.
Banks in the main cities are open from 9 a. m. till 4p. m. on weekdays and until 1 p. m. on Saturdays. KANTOR offices are open from 9 a. m. till 7 p. m. on weekdays and until 2 p. m. on Saturdays.
Large shops are generally open on weekdays from 9 or 10 am till 9 or 10 pm and some are usually open round-a-clock.
Post offices are usually open from 8 a. m. till 8 p. m.
Poland runs on GMT plus 1 hour and counts time on a 24 hour clock. So 1 p. m. is the same as 13.00., 2 p. m. is 14.00., and so on.
Medical standards in Poland are similar to those in other countries of Europe. EU nationals can get free of charge medical treatment. All major hospitals feature various forms of treatment and modern diagnostic equipment. Private clinics with the paid services are also available.
Note that in many polish pharmacies prescriptions for the majority of medications are required.
Emergency phone numbers
Phone numbers, necessary in emergency situations are free and valid nationwide:
Fire Brigade 998
Public holidays1 January - New Year's Day
1 May - May Day
3 May - Constitution Day
15 August - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1 November - All Saints Day
11 November - Independence Day
25 & 26 December - Christmas Days
Easter - 8 & 9 April 2007, 23 &24 March 2008, 12 & 13 April 2009
Ascension - 17 May 2007, 1 May 2008, 21 May 2009
Corpus Christi - 7 June 2007, 22 May 2008, 11 June 2009