One does not simply walk into Mordor! ;))) kidding aside, Poland is not a 3rd world country. Poland is a highly development country, on the rise, facing huge economic growth. You need not be afraid of coming to Poland - people are warm hearted, places are clean, public transport is good and on time, food is finger-licking good and the architecture is lovely! But it is good to know a fee things before coming to Poland, so you would be prepared. Here are a couple of things you should know - do's and don't:
Vegan/Vegetarian/Healthy Food - Slow Food:
- If you are ever in a mood for healthy sandwiches and sugar free cookies I recommend going to ZdroweLove (Healthy Love)
- If you like sushi you need to try the first #japanesefood restaurant in Krakow - Miyako Sushi
- Also you could try the 77 Sushi on Sw. Anny - located in the City Center Old Town - and you can also read my post on How To Eat Sushi, for the Beginners ;)
- I Love GREEN - 100% Natural, Organic and Polish - fresh pressed juices & smoothies made in Poland - Krakow (order them online or buy them in selected restaurants)
- Naturalny Sklepik - Or Where To Buy Natural & Organic Products in Krakow - Krupnicza 8
- Sztuka Śledzia - The Art Of Herring - under the umbrella of Naturalny Sklepik
- For Vegan Donuts & smooth Iced Coffee you can try House of (Cards) Donuts ;)
2. Don't even try speaking the language - it's a pain, and you won't learn it during you short stay. Exception: Asian people, who seem to have a predilection for this frightening language! Polish language stands in the top 3 most hardest languages to learn, in the world. Also the grammar is mostly made out of exceptions from the rule... I was told more than once that even Polish people don't speak it correctly, so don't even try! You can get along, in the big cities, mostly with English language.
3. Be courteous and learn the basics: Hello, Goodbye, Sorry and Thank you. I know... you just read point 2 and now I am coming back to you, saying you should learn the language. It's not a must but it may help you - or at least you will be seen more polite and in touch with the culture you are visiting. For Hello and Goodbye you can use the same word "Czesc". For Sorry - this is a hard one - you will use "Przepraszam" and for Thank you: "Dziekuje". You will hear them very often so open your ears and pay attention. Repeat after Google until you make it ;)
5. Don't feel obliged to leave a tip, if you feel the service was not up to your expectations. It is common, amongst the travelers in Poland, to leave around 10-15% of the cheque, no matter what. Tipping is not obligatory and you can tip as much as you wish! :) most of the times I have seen locals that do kit tip at all, even if the product and services are impeccable. The locals reply mostly on the tips from the tourists. If you feel the service was good, be generous!
6. Don't overdo the drinking and don't drink in public places! It is illegal to drink in public places and if you are caught you will get a fine. If you are standing outside a bar/club and they have outside seating, and if you have a beer or a glass of wine in your hand, this can be acceptable if you are out for a short time - out for a smoke.
8. Topics of conversation - Attention!!! When it comes to conversation skills, people in Poland love to complain ;))) starting with weather to politics to sports to... everything! They live to enter discussions and contradict. The touchy topics that you may encounter are: World War 2, Red Army / communism, relations with Germany (though relations with Russia is even a more touchy subject!), religion (especially John Paul the 2nd).
9. If in Kraków you encounter people who ask you if you are a Wisla or Kraków fan, just say you are a tourist and walk along! These 2 are the main football clubs in Kraków and the fans always get in a fight one over the other... be careful! Especially if you are around one of their games - the crowds of fans will get very much wild during the major soccer matches. Especially if it is between these 2!
Bucket List and do zorbing or tandem parachute jumping... Poland is the place to be!
Embrace the subject and read one of the articles below - How To...
- Do Shopping In Poland - Currency
- Pick The Best Time To Visit Poland
- Get To Poland - Transit
- Eat Like The Locals
- Spend One Day In Krakow
- Be Prepared For Coming To Poland
- Recognize Tourists In Poland - scheduled 22.09.2015
The Twisted Red LadyBug - here to help the travelers of the world :)