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Doing business in Poland

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Our new website about Poland is available at http://www.online-poland.com

Basic info about Poland

Besides Warszawa (Warsaw), Krakow (Cracow) is a city of great world renown: this former capital of Poland attracts tourists with its Royal Castle, Cathedral and hundreds of historical monuments.

Area: 312,685 square kilometres 

Neighbouring countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 

Length of state border: 2,788 kilometres 

Coastline: 491 kilometres 

Population: 38 millions inhabitants 

Capital: Warsaw (1,5 milion inhabitants) 

Administrative language: Polish 

Religion: Roman Catholic 95% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and other 5% 

Climate: Temperate, four seasons, a mix of ocean and inland climate, changeable winters, warm summers. The average daily temperature in January, the coldest of winter months is about 2oC, in July, the warmest month, about 20oC. 

Political system: Parliamentary republic 

Currency: Polish zloty - PLN (zl), 1 zl = 100 groszy. coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 groszy and 1, 2 and 5 zloty banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 zloty 

Time zone: Central European Time (CET), from April to October - summertime (GMT + 1, GMT + 2) 

Important telephone numbers

Police    997
Fire Brigade    998
Ambulance    999
Cellular phone emergency    112



Since the foundation of the first Polish State in Xth century, the borders of Poland were many time amended. The country developed in its various original areas: Great Poland, Pomerania, Silesia, Little Poland and Mazovie.

The Poles who are most famous abroad are: the Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, the Solidarity activist, two winners of the Literary Nobel Prize: Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska (both live in Krakow (Cracow)), Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first Prime Minister after the breakthrough of 1989, and Leszek Balcerowicz, an eminent economist who introduced most of the reforms. 

The Polish are proud of their natural, cultural historical and architectural values. UNESCO has identified them as a part of the World Heritage. Since 1972, UNESCO has identified the most important heritage sites in the world so that they may be preserved for posterity. Poland has 10 such sites with others waiting to be listed. Taking marvellous excursions to Krakow, Zamosc, Warsaw, Torun, Fortress at Malbork, Salt Mine in Wieliczka, National Park in Bialowieski are the essential part of family programmes.


When you look at a map of Poland, you may notice its main regions as horizontal "stripes". In the north, along with the Coast of the Baltic Sea, known for its sandy beaches, is located the stripe of hilly Lake Districts with numberless post-glacial lakes. In Central Poland you can see the stripe of Central Lowlands, south of which the uplands with diversified landscapes are situated. One of them is called the Krakow (Cracow)-Wielun Upland and its scenery abounds in picturesque lime rocks, hundreds of caves and numerous remains of medieval castles. The relatively young Carpathan Mountains lie in the very south of Poland and invite you with their six national parks. The most famous and highest Carpathan range is the Tatras, of alpine type, and the Pieniny Mountains with its unique gorge of the Dunajec River. The Beskidy mountains are worth visiting as well: although not as steep as the Tatras, its slopes and trails are very attractive, particularly in the range of Babia Gora and the S1cz Beskidy with its well-known health resorts and tranquil pastures and meadows in the yet untamed Bieszczady Mountains. It may be apt here to mention also the older Sudety Mountains, located in the south-west of Poland and famous for their scenery and legends.


Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, has made a remarkable recovery from World War II when nearly 90% lay in ruins. Situated in eastern Poland a third of its population was Jewish when the Nazis occupied the city in 1939. Today there is virtually no trace left of their heritage after the city was besieged in World War II and Jews and many other Poles were shipped out to die in concentration camps all over the country. The Soviet occupation which followed saw not just a wasteland of concrete utilitarian housing we expect from that era but also, surprisingly, a painstaking reconstruction of the original city centre. The result is its designation today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Warsaw spans the Wisla (Vistula) River with most of the tourist sites on the left bank and along the 'royal route' which runs past the palaces and gardens that somehow survived the war. Green spaces typify much of the city which is full of leafy parks that host outdoor classical concerts, popular lakes and outdoor cafes. The city's Old Town is a magnet for visitors and home to an impressive collection of cultural attractions including a string of very impressive museums.

Key attractions are the Royal Castle and its museum full of period furniture, tapestries and an impressive porcelain collection, and nearby Lazienki Park which holds a Chopin festival each summer.

The Wilanow Palace and park has a unique poster museum. Chopin left the city when he was 20 years old but the family home is open to the public.

There is a bus and tram network connecting most parts of the city as well as a small metro line. Congestion in the city centre is notorious and there are very few car parks.

Most international rail services arrive at Warsaw Central where tourists are warned to take care of belongings at all times after a spate of thefts. There are regular trains to Krakow, Berlin and Prague.

The main road route to the city is the east-west E30, connecting Warsaw with Lodz, Poznan and Berlin to the west and Belarus to the east. The north-south E77 links Warsaw with Gdansk and Krakow.

Fryderyka Chopina International Airport is 10km south of the city, one of the most up-to-date in Europe, and serves around 6 million passengers from 80 regular international destinations. Approximate flight times from London are 2.5hrs.


Poland's fourth largest city Krakow, or Cracow, has grown into a major European tourist destination. Located in the south east of the country on the banks of the Wisla River it boasts one of the best preserved medieval city centres in Europe.

Dozens of churches span almost every architectural period in a city which has been left largely intact since the 13th century. The largely unspoiled old town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With around 100,000 students it has a lively nightlife and club scene.

The city has one of the largest medieval market squares in Europe, first laid out in 1235, which continues as a market place surrounded by a leafy park that follows the old city walls, all dominated by the Wawel Castle, the bastion of kings from the 11th century.

Jewish culture is being revived after the slaughter of the population by the Nazis in World War II at nearby Auschwitz.

The sights of Krakow are easily seen on foot as most are located within the Planty, the park that girdles the historic square and old town. The castle complex overlooks the square while 10mins walk away there is the Jewish Kazimierz district.

Key attractions are the market square itself, the Rynek Glowny, with the Cloth Hall in the centre and pavement cafes and impressive period houses surrounding it.

Also of note is the Royal Castle and museum, the 11th century Wawel Cathedral and the National Museum which houses decorative art and 20th century Polish art.

Nearby is Wieliczka, the old royal salt mine and underground town - another World Heritage Site - and Auschittz-Birkenau concentration camp where a museum can only start to bring home the horrors of German Nazi occupation.

There is a city wide network of trams and buses but all main city sights are with easy walking distance and the city centre is closed to traffic anyway. Intercity trains arrive from Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Budapest at the Dworzec Glowny station.

On the roads the E77 links Krakow with Warsaw and Gdansk in the north and the Slovak border in the south. The E40 goes to Ukraine in the east and west to Dresden in Germany. To the southwest, the Czech Republic is reached by the E75.

John Paul II International Airport in 11km west of the city with services to some 40 countries. The approximate flight time from London is three hours.

There are numerous good restaurants which serve dishes of foreign cuisine: French, Italian, Jewish, Russian, Chinese, Arab, Mexican.

Wieliczka Salt Mine : In continuous operation for 700 years, it has underground tunnels and vast illuminated chambers hewn out of solid salt. The whole mine is full of interest and guides explain everything. The complete tour is a 3 km walk, lifts return visitors to the surface.


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