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Facts
Poland
Population
38,180,249 - whereof 1,689,559 in Warsaw (2004)
Capital city Warsaw
Initials
PL
Area 312685 square km
Bordering countries Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia & Ukraine
Religion: Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox & Protestant 95 percent, other 5 percent
Foreign Visitors: 84.514.900 (2000)
GDP per Capita: 8790 USD (1999), Average monthly salary 2289 PLN (2004)
Daylight Saving Time: 26th of March til 29th of October
Time: Central European Time (CET) = (GMT+1); Summer: GMT+2
Electricity 220 Volts AC, 50 Hertz, Two pin plug ins
Video system PAL/SECAM
International Access Code 00
International Country Code +48, Warsaw +48 22,
Mobile phone codes +48 60, 66, 69, 88, and many more
Language Polish
Currency Polish Zloty - PLN - 100 Groszy is 1 Zloty. Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100 & 200. Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 & Groszy as well as 1, 2 and 5 Zloty.
Exchange rates check here
Climate Continental, hot summers, cold winters.
More facts and figures: The The World Fact Book Poland The Central Statistical Office in Warsaw
 
Climate
Weather forecast for Warsaw
 
Time
Central European Time (CET). Normally GMT + 1 hour except from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October (summer time counting) GMT + 2 hours.
 
Money
Poland is European Union Member since 2004 May 1st, but that does NOT mean that Euro is used. It will take a few years until there will be an referendum about the Euro in Poland and only if the majority is voting for it the Euro will come. United Kingdom and Sweden are EU members, but voted against the Euro and will keep the local currency.

You will get the best change rates if you use credit cards at ATMs in Warsaw. But if you want to change cash you may do that at airports, banks and exchange offices ('Kantor'). Kantors offer usually a better rate than banks (Kantors don't charge a fee, don't require any paperwork) - except the Kantors at the airport or at train stations. Avoid them if possible. Do not buy polish currency abroad. That's too expensive. We advise not to take the risk of changing money in the street: you may receive counterfeit money and such transactions are ille gal.
If you choose to change at the border you can exchange an unlimited amount of most currencies but beware that not all border crossings supply this service and when they do, the rates tend to be poor. Unless you need cash urgently, go to a kantor downtown.

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Credit Cards & Traveler checks & Money Transfer
Visa, Euro/Mastercard, Diners Club are widely accepted. American Express is only accepted by 'Millenium bankomats. At some shops it may take ages to process the transaction.
You may use traveler's checks. Traveler's checks can be exchanged at the larger hotels (commission, for guests only) or at Banks like Pekao, PKO or NBP (fee of 1 up to 3 percent for processing it plus paperwork). Only at the American Express office it's free of charge and the rate is OK. (ulica Sienna 39 - next to ulica Emilii Plater - Phone 581 51 00 Mon-Fri 9 am till 6 pm).

If you need to send or receive cash to or from abroad you may use http://www.westernunion.com.

ATMs
ATM are called 'Bankomat' in Poland. There are a lot everywhere in Cracow. The exchange rate is the best you can get.

Bank accounts for foreign currencies
There are many banks - all of the banks run accounts in foreign currencies.
 
National Holidays
  • 1st of January, New Year
  • Easter Monday
  • 1st of May, Labour Day
  • 3rd of May Constitution Day (1791)
  • 14th of June Corpus Christi
  • 15th of August Assumption
  • 1st of November All Saints Day
  • 11th of November Independence Day (1918)
  • 25th of December Xmas
  • 26th of December Boxing Day
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