Poland Travel Guide

The Country of Poland

Flag of Poland on Poland Travel GuidePoland Travel Guide, a website about the central European country of Poland. Are you planning to visit Poland as a tourist? A great polish holiday is more than just lying on a beach or shopping until you drop, to get the most from your travel adventure in Poland you need to know where to find tourist information that will enable you to get the best from your visit. Poland is a country waiting for you to explore and discover its cities, towns and villages, people and culture. The country is also known as Polska or Polonia.

Witamy na Poland Travel Guide, w odniesieniu do Polski i kraju Polska w sercu Europy.

The full title of the country is the Republic of Poland or in Polish, Rzeczpospolita Polska. Over time Poland Travel Guide will be populated with information about travel, tourism, geography, history, culture, aviation, the economy and many other fascinating details about the cities, towns and villages across Poland.

A Little bit of Polish History

Poland or Polska, is an ancient nation that was created in the middle of the 10th century. Foreign agreements between 1772 and 1795 by Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. Although Poland regained its independence in 1918 it found itself overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II and became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant and progressive.

Problems with the labour force in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union “Solidarity” that eventually turned into a major political force and by 1990 had held parliamentary and presidential elections. Reforms carried out in the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. This process continues to-day. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country, Poland is actively involved in many Euro-Atlantic organizations.

Polish history goes back over a 1000 years with many battles fought over territory during this period. Many of the towns and cities date back to the beginning of the nation. The current population is about 38.1 million. Four out of the ten transport trans-european network corridors run through the nation.

Located between Germany to the west and the Baltic Sea and Russia to the north with Belarus and Ukraine in the east, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south. It covers about the same physical area as the United Kingdom and Ireland, somewhere around 312,677 km, (120,727 sqm) is about 680km at its widest point and about 650km from north to south. It is about 1000 miles from the UK.

Many of the towns and cities in the Republic were destroyed during World War II, Krakow being the exception. The polish are putting a lot of energy into rebuilding their towns and cities. When I went there in October 2008, June 2009 and again in March 2010, it was very evident that construction work throughout the nation is a top priority. Clearly, the country of Polska and the polish people wish to become a great nation in Europe once again.

This European country of Poland has always been a bridge between the East and West and is cosmopolitan in its make up, due to its ever-changing borders. It’s people come from Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Belarusian’s and Germans and they love to travel around the world. The Polish can be found in almost every country but are proud of their heritage and traditions. In the past Jews also have played their part in its history.

Its architectural heritage includes Teutonic castles, Italian Renaissance palaces, French Baroque mansions and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Provinces of Poland

A Polish travel guide to the 16 provinces or regions of Polska, (wojewodztwa, singular – wojewodztwo); Dolnośląskie (Lower Silesia), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (Kuyavia-Pomerania), Łódzkie, Lubelskie (Lublin), Lubuskie (Lubusz), Małopolska (Lesser Poland), Mazowieckie (Masovia), Opolskie, Podkarpackie (Subcarpathia), Podlaskie, Pomorskie (Pomerania), Śląskie (Silesia), Świętokrzyskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie (Warmia-Masuria), Wielkopolskie (Greater Poland), Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomerania).

The public administration system in Poland works on the decentralization principle, which ensures that the decision making and executing processes take place at the lowest possible level and closest to the citizen.

The Polish public administration system has many common qualities with systems of other European countries but also has typical elements exclusive to the Polish nation, due to historical, social and economic reasons.

This Polish travel guide includes information on the 16 Voivodships (provinces) of Poland, 315 rural districts (Powiats), 65 municipal districts and 2,478 communes. The Provinces of Poland today are mostly named after the historical and geographical regions of the country, while those in existence prior to 1998 generally took their names from the cities on which they were centred.

A Powiat (pronounced povyat) is the second level of Polish administrative division, between Voivodships and Communes. As such it is roughly equivalent to counties or districts in the United Kingdom. There is no official equivalent of the name in English.

Some of the towns in a Voivodship can be centres of more than one powiat. The reason is that in several cases the town itself and its surroundings form separate entities of administrative division. This is usually the case for large Polish cities, but can also apply to several smaller towns.

Tourist Information in Poland

This Polish travel guide will include details of  other Tourist organisations operating in Poland. They are welcome to contact me for details on how to display their information on Poland Travel Guide.

PTTK – Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society is a non-profit organisation that you will find in many places in Poland.

It is one of the oldest tourist societies in Europe and was was created by the merger of two societies: Polish Tatry Society (1873) and Polish Country Lovers Society (1906).

Official Tourist Information Centres in Poland are divided into 1*, 2*, 3* and 4* Certified and Non-Certified.

All Certified Tourist Centres provide information in one or more foreign languages and have an expanded range of services as compared to the Non-Certified.

Polska is Poland’s official travel and tourist website.

Transport in Poland

In order to explore and write articles for Poland Travel Guide I have found getting around Polska is easy as it has very good transport links both internationally and internally with many airlines now flying to the country.

The railway network in Poland is improving (slowly) but the task is humongous and will take a great amount of effort and finances. Large cities and towns are beginning to update and modernise the stations but the tracks and signalling equipment will take sometime so many people in Poland still travel by bus as it is very often faster and cheaper.

The road network has seen the most development over the past few years with new roads being constructed and old routes being upgraded. A number of new motorways are under construction across the country.

By far the most common mode of transport (after the car) is to travel by bus. You will find small minibuses everywhere in Poland as well as the municipal services. However, new larger bus operators are now entering the market place, some with brand new coaches offering a high class of service. There are also a number of international services that will take you to and from Polska to many European destinations.

Here are some useful websites to help you find your way to Poland.

British Airways is well known for it’s service right around the world flying to many destinations in Poland. Flying midweek to the capital, Warsaw is about £230 outside of the main tourist seasons. It possible would be cheaper if you book in advance.

Easy Jet is a low cost airline. It does not fly to Warsaw but midweek prices to Krakow are about £170 outside of the peek seasons. It may be cheaper if you book in advance.

Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT S.A. trading as LOT Polish Airlines, is the official flag carrier of Poland. It is based in Warsaw, the capital and was established in 1929, making it one of the world’s oldest airlines still in operation.

According to the airlines website it has a fleet of 39 aircraft, LOT operates a complex network to about 50 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Asia. Most of the destinations are served from its hub, Warsaw Chopin Airport.

A midweek fair to the capital, Warsaw is about £215 outside of the tourist seasons. It is most likely cheaper if you book in advance.

RyanAir is an Irish low cost airline flying from many locations in the UK and Ireland. Midweek fairs to the capital, Warsaw (Modlin airport) are about £136. It is cheaper to book flights in advance.

WizzAir is an east European low cost airline based in Hungary flying from Luton, East Midlands Liverpool and Glasgow. Prices to the capital, Warsaw are about £125. You may find them cheaper by booking in advance.

Eurolines is an European international coach company. Prices from London to the capital, Warsaw are about £125. The journey time is about 27 hours.

Poland Travel Guide can do no better than send you to Seat61.com for rail travel information on London to Warsaw and Poland by train. You will find very helpful details on the site.

e-podroznik.plBus & Train Timetableswww.e-podroznik.pl
Warsaw Chopin AirportAirportwww.lotnisko-chopina.pl
Warsaw Modlin AirportAirportwww.modlinairport.pl
Przewozy RegionalneRailwayswww.przewozyregionalne.pl

Flag of Poland on Poland Travel GuideAbout Poland Travel Guide –  is a travel exploration and educational project with the aim to provide a clear and easy to navigate site, showing useful travel and tourist information on various subjects about Poland including  articles on the villages, towns and cities found throughout Poland, accommodation, restaurants, out-door activities and great things to do while visiting Polska.

Each place listed will have it’s own page that includes information on, accommodation, activities, attractions, geography, history, museums, places to eat, tourist information, travel information and a listing of websites.

The first stage in its development will be articles on the cities, towns and villages of Poland. For an example on how a place will appear on Poland Travel Guide you may like to visit our Warsaw Travel Guide page.

About the Administrator

Created in July 2009 originally under the name of WebPoland, and until October 2014 called Poland Explorer Travel and Tourist Guide, now goes under the name Poland Travel Guide and is administered by me, David Smith, an Englishman currently living in Hampshire in the United Kingdom. I have now been travelling to Poland for over six years and try to visit it about three times a year to gather information and experience the culture of the country.

Having previously been involved in the financial world for many years I have now turned my attention to tourism with a special interest in exploring the country of Poland.

I have other websites, one is based on the county I live in, Hampshire, UK called Hampshire Travel Guide.

So Why, “Poland Travel Guide”, you may ask? – It is strange how our course in life can be changed by someone else but that is what has happened to me and so I have now embarked upon researching and learning about Poland Polska and the Polish and have created Poland Travel Guide.

As for my Polish friends, I wish them and their families all the best for the future and will always remember you all and be grateful for giving me an interest in your country. Take care of each other and may God bless you and your families where ever you go.

Advertising on Poland Travel Guide

Advertising hording on Poland Travel GuideYou are welcome to advertise your products and services 365 days a year as Poland Travel Guide provides Polish organisations and businesses with a quality and effective media platform.

With clear and easily accessed advertising by the viewer, the service is designed to be both cost effective and informative.

We offer low cost advertising for accommodation providers and restaurant owners and through our directory. See our, “Advertising on Poland Travel Guide” for further details.

Poland Travel Guide uses Vidahost which we are pleased to recommend to those that are looking for a reliable website hosting provider.

Internet Explorer

You may experience a problem with viewing Poland Travel Guide if you are using Internet Explorer version 8 on XP. In order to see the site correctly please use another browser such as Firefox.

Polish Businesses and Organisations

Although Poland Travel Guide is a travel and tourist guide, as part of my wanderings through Poland I come across many Polish businesses and organisations so I have decided to start a section where these can be listed. Any one wanting to add their business or organisation should refer to the advertising section of the website.

I anticipate that the framework (addition of pages) for this section will be completed by the end of 2014.

An Ever Evolving Site

I am constantly changing and updating Poland Travel Guide and I hope that you will enjoy looking through the many and varied pages about Poland. If you are Polish or you have an association with the country I would be delighted to receive your own articles about Poland. Especially articles about where you live or about the local economy, travel, culture, geography, history or tourism, and don’t forget to include photographs of your village, town, or city.

How to use Poland Travel Guide

As Explained elsewhere Poland Travel Guide is primarily a city, town and village guide of places within Polska.

There are a number of ways you can locate and find the place you are interested in but if you are just browsing, you may wish to find the region (province) that interests you and then click on the place you want to find out about.

All the places shown on this site have their own individual page so, lets say you wish to discover information about the regional city of Krakow in the province of Malopolska, you can type the url directly as http://www.polandexplorer.com/krakow travel guide and it will transfer you to that place. You will of course need to type in the spelling of the place as it is shown on this web site.

We have now updated the standard search option with a better one which can be accessed on the “Contact” Page.

If you look at the bottom right corner of the page, you will see a “Sitemap” link. On the sitemap all the pages on Poland Travel Guide are listed in alpha order. Clicking on the link for the page you are interested in will transfer you to that page. We have also added this the main menu under “Contact & Search”.

I believe that a website should be well designed and easy to use with clear and useful information, so that is our aim. Please let me know if you think I can improve Poland Travel Guide.

Jeśli jesteś Polakiem lub masz wspomnienia z Polski, zapraszamy do przysłania artykułu na naszą stronę. Bardzo chciałbym otrzymywać artykuły na temat polskiej gospodarki, kultury, geografii, historii i walorów turystycznych Polski. I nie zapomnij dołączyć zdjęcia swojej miejscowości, miasta czy regionu.

I hope you enjoy visiting Poland Travel Guide and exploring the country of Poland with me. Don’t forget to look on the “Blog” for details of my latest trips and other thoughts. Please feel free to contact Poland Travel Guide with your articles and photographs to enable me to make it even more interesting for all our viewers.

David Smith

Poland Travel Guide – A Polish travel guide in English