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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

How To... Pick The Best Time To Visit Poland

My dear friends,

Poland is such a wonderful and magical place that each season has its wonders. Each month there is some festival or market fair or conference that would be worth to see. Poland lies in a moderate zone with mixed continental and oceanic climate influences. The warmest areas of the country are the Silesian Lowland and Sandomierska Upland, while the “coldest pole” of Poland is the town of Suwalki on the north-eastern edge of the country. The average annually temperature is about 6-8 degrees Celsius while the rainfall is estimated at 700 mm (source). It is useful to know that the weather in Poland is highly unpredictable and varied - I ALWAYS carry a small fold-on umbrella with me, no matter the season! though sometimes the winds are so strong that it is better suited to just take cover and don't go outside unless you are absolutely forced to do so!
The summertime can be really hot, though usually temperatures are around 20-25 °C and the best time to take a holiday here is August, which is generally sunny and very warm with some hot days. Now I have never been to the Polish seaside and each time I asked people about it they told me that no matter when you will go, the water will always be chilly. If you are lucky enough you may catch some sunny days and have the normal "hot" weather for the beach. If not, it will be grey and windy... but on the bright side it will still be good for your health due to the high concentrate of iodine ;) All this basically means it is not like our Romanian Black Sea, where people start bathing since the 1st of April...
The climate here in Poland is a bit different from Romania, for example - the winters are colder, with bone chilling winds and the summers are less hot than one would expect, and sometimes altogether quite rainy... very close to the English weather, especially in May - June. The temperatures in the summer months can get up to 30 - something so it can get hot (heat waves), and there are places where one can cool down even in the city - Kraków has a small man - made beach next to Wawel Castle or you can try the outskirts and have fun at the lakes (there is some sand there as well...). We were lucky enough this year to have a fair June and July with weather constantly over 28 and no rain (count off the lat week of July though, as it was cloudy and there were huge storms - one lady was killed in her car when the tree came down upon it).
I personally like the autumn's in Poland as there are so many trees and shrubs... so many forests everywhere... that it is indeed a pleasure to see the leaves changing.  It is neither too hot not to cold, you don't have to layer up like an onion, the days are still long and the air smells of crumbled leaves, pumpkin and apple pies (the Polish name for the apple pie is szarlotka ;) remember it and use it with care as it is a delicious treat!)... the market fairs are open in the main city centre of the big cities and you can spend your time basking in the last rays of sun... bliss! The only minus of autumn is the huge amounts of students coming back to their studies. If you plan on visiting one of the bigger cities in Poland, that is also a University center, make sure you take that into account. Things will get crowded!  If you travel to Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan, Warsaw around September - October take into account that you will be packed in the public transport and train tickets should be bought in advance ;)
Krakow Weather Info - source
Actually many people consider the spring and autumn to be the most beautiful seasons to visit Poland. During the autumn and spring the weather is often changeable – you are likely to enjoy moderately warm temperatures from April to June and from September to October, but it is also possible to see snow in April or people wearing short-sleeves in October. Minus the heat or the cold waves but having nice temperature and less rain... those are the seasons I would pick ;) Also, you could pick Krakow & Warsaw, let's say, for the spring and then have the summer vacation in Greece maybe? Or even in Barcelona... and then come again in autumn in Poland, maybe for a bit or Wroclaw and Poznan. How does that sound?! :)
Winters can be really cold, with the chance of snow from November till March. From year to year you never know when the snow will fall and how long it will lie, except in the mountains where it usually covers the slopes all winter, so skiing conditions are generally good, especially December to February. The best place to visit during Polish winter are the cities that are in the mountain region. Take for example Zakopane - no matter the weather the place just has a magic of its own. To be fair though, it looks the prettiest during wintertime. Of course you cannot drop a pin as there are so many people, but it is quite nice to get there and enjoy the view while eating the traditional smoked cheese. 

My Preference:  Visit Poland during autumn (or spring) for the best weather, but don't forget to buy an umbrella (you may need it!). If you are a fan of winter sports and you love the mountains, I recommend wintertime but make sure you are well prepared / dressed as things can get quite chilly here ;) Try to avoid summer unless you want to get really hot and really wet - all in the course of the very same day. Poland also has seasons of floods, so it is better to check that in advance, especially if you travel by car. Plane would be the best transit & the international trains that work really well ;) Have a safe trip everyone - I am here in case you have any questions ;)

Embrace the subject and read one of the articles below - How To...
  1. Do Shopping In Poland - Currency
  2. Pick The Best Time To Visit Poland
  3. Get To Poland - Transit - scheduled 25/08/2015
  4. Eat Like The Locals - scheduled 01/09/2015
Yours truly, 
The Twisted Red LadyBug - here to help the travellers of the world ;)

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