1. Poland is a large country: If you’re looking for an island that is small and quaint, then don’t bother. Poland is one of the largest European countries surrounded by an interesting mix of Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia, It’s in the middle of the continent and is rather more Central Europe than Eastern Europe.
2. Poland has too many aspects to it: If you’re looking for just the beach or just the mountains then you’ve come to the wrong place: Poland is a wonderful blend of beaches, lakes, forests, mountains, and interesting cities with lots of history. Quite like Germany in fact!
3. Poland is cheap: If you want the 5-star treatment at 5-star prices then go to Japan. I know that Berlin has modest prices but prices in Poland are even, dare I say it. Cheaper. If you’re looking for a bit of an adventure and the budget is not as much as you would have liked, then you could do worse than to go to Poland.
4. Polish food is going to knock you for six or perhaps even for seven: If you’re looking for pizza and chips then stay at home. If you are willing to experiment, then exotic items like zurek (soup made from sour rye flour and pieces of varied meat) and pierogi (a type of dumpling) is there for the taking.
5. Poland is an old country: If you’re looking for clean lines, modern buildings made of glass and skyscrapers every second (2nd) street, then you must have mistaken Poland for Hong Kong!
Poland is an ancient country with over 1,000 years of history so of course, things are going to be old.
The churches and synagogues are old.
The castles are old.
Even the cobbled streets are old.
Rather annoying if you want to zip down the street with the latest sports car!
6. Poland is traditional: Forget the hordes of drunken stag night drinkers. There are kids and senior citizens everywhere, and lots and lots of churches that people actually go to on a Sunday. So please don’t vomit on the church steps! Tradition and family values are still pretty important in this country and if you can’t deal with a bash on the head and a huge shove by an old woman, don’t go there!
7. Be ready and prepared for anything: Poland might be a country that has existed for thousands of years but in modern terms, it’s still pretty “new” and as a result, things can be slightly…. Unpredictable! If you’re looking for certainty and boredom, then Poland is not the place for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed my bus stop or even taken the wrong train, but if you can’t stand taking a chance and working with the outcome, then book the next extremely swift train with excellent service, to Switzerland!
8. Tourist friendly: Well not really. Poland has loads of little towns that are not really packed with tourists. Some Americans. Some Germans.
Yes alright, but hardly what you would call, the holiday package group. I mean when did you last hear of friends taking a package holiday to Poland?
So if you are into that, Spain is rather pleasant at this time of year.
Tourists and travellers who do venture into Poland take either high standard hotels or decide to live with the locals which, generally means a hostel or living with the family – pension / B&B style.
I wouldn’t recommend a “package.”
9. People use public transport: OMG! Get me out of here ‘cos I have to use the scenic train and horror of horrors, the bus! Packed with local people who. Talk. To. You. and Help. You. With. Your. Bags. How can that be?
If you don’t want local interaction and prefer to be on your lonesome, please don’t go to Poland.
The people are quite friendly. Some even take photographs of you!
10. City destinations: With a delicious mix of variety such as Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk (Danzig), Lodz, Warsaw or Poznan that include old style flavour and modern interests, Poland is not the place if you’re on the search for the glamour of Vegas or the romance of Paris, and if you’re expecting a pack of howling hounds and beggars with bowls of soup outside your hotel door, you’ll be disappointed.
Perhaps, just the once!
But what do we know about Poland anyway?
Whenever I say that I’m going to Poland, my German friends look at me as if I’ve gone mad.
Let me correct that.
My West German friends look at me as if I’ve lost my marbles!