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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Warsaw

Each year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Poland.
Below are the main dates for these festivities:

1 January: New Year's Day (national)

On the evening of New Year's Eve, Polish restaurants offer gourmet menus and special events, and residents line the streets or gather with family and friends to celebrate the event. At midnight, fireworks are set off in the biggest cities—and Warsaw sparkles.

Last Sunday in March: Half-marathon Warsaw (local)

Each year, more than 10,000 runners from around the world attend the 21.97-kilometre run through the streets of the city.

17 April 2017: Easter Monday (national)

Easter weekend is an event not to be missed in Poland. Saturday, churches and cathedrals attract hundreds of faithful to fervent celebrations. On Sundays, the streets are deserted: very often practitioners, families gather to celebrate the resurrection of Christ around a great meal. On Monday, the Poles engage in huge water fights in the streets of their city.

1 May: Labour Day (national)

This holiday is the opportunity, in Poland, for many workers' demonstrations.

3 May: Constitution Day (national)

In 1791, Poland was in conflict with several of its neighbours. King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski II drafted the Constitution of May 3, 1791, the first in Europe and the second in the world, in order to strengthen his kingdom and prevent its decline. This date is the occasion for the Poles to express their national pride through official ceremonies and military parades.

15 June: Corpus Christi (national)

Sixty days after Easter, this famous Catholic celebration marks the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It is very well-loved by the Polish, who decorate altars dedicated to saints, the Virgin Mary, or Jean-Paul II in their backyards—an event that becomes a real contest! The streets are also the theatre for huge processions.

Last week of June: Arts Festival of Sztuka Ulicy Street (local)

This week dedicated to street theatre is Warsaw's biggest open-air cultural event. Live performances (theatre, mime, dance), produced by Polish and international troupes, are presented in various locations in the city, including parks and squares.

15 August: Assumption (national)

This festival dedicated to the Virgin Mary is very important in Poland. Altars in honour of the Virgin are erected in the streets of cities, and processions involving a large part of the population take place.

1 November: All Souls (national)

On this day celebrating the dead, Poles come together for a family meal and gather around masses devoted to their dead.

30 November: St. Andrew's Day (national)

This day is not a holiday, but it is certainly festive! The last evening before Advent, it is the opportunity for Poles to predict major events in the coming year. During a dinner with friends or family, it is traditional that the guests pour hot wax over a key above a pan of cold water. Those present can then see, in their imaginations, the symbol of a wedding, a trip, a birth, or a flow of money in the pattern thus formed in the water.

Night of December 24 to 25: Christmas (national)

Christmas festivities occupy a very special place in the hearts of the Poles. At midnight, the night of December 24 to 25, the majority of them go to mass.

26 December: Christmas (national)

Boxing Day is the opportunity for a second holiday: the tradition is that everyone stays home for a warm and intimate moment shared between friends.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Warsaw

The city of Warsaw has a humid continental climate. To enjoy pleasant temperatures and avoid precipitation, it is best to visit Warsaw during the months of May to September. From December to February, it is very cold (-5 to -15 ° C), but Warsaw also has its charm in the snow.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -5 1 26 Not the best period to go
February -5 1 31 Not the best period to go
March -1 7 26 Not the best period to go
April 4 13 36 Not the best period to go
May 10 21 45 Good period to go Good period to go
June 13 24 68 Good period to go Good period to go
July 16 25 95 Good period to go Good period to go
August 15 24 64 Good period to go Good period to go
September 11 20 42 Good period to go Good period to go
October 6 14 37 Not the best period to go
November 2 7 30 Not the best period to go
December -2 1 43 Not the best period to go
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The Chopin International Airport

The Chopin International Airport (Lotnisko Chopina) is located 10 kilometres south of Warsaw.

  • 1 terminal:

TA (Air France)

Travelling between Warsaw and the airport:
  • Car

    • Access: the centre is accessible from the airport in about 20 minutes via Avenue Zwirki i Wigury.
    •  Rentals: agencies for most major car rental brands are available in the arrivals hall.
      • P1, parking with 1,500 spots on several levels, provides short term parkingParking: Chopin airport has three car parks located near the terminal.
      • P3, non-covered short-term parking with 300 places.
      • P4, long-term parking, with 820 spots.Rates are from 8 PLN for 15 minutes, 24 PLN for 15 minutes to 1 hour, and 24 PLN per additional hour.
        Rentals: agencies for most major car rental brands are available in the arrivals hall.
  • Bus
    The 175 Centralna bus gets to the station in 25 minutes and the city centre (Centrum stop) in about 30 minutes.
    Line 188 connects with the right bank districts of the east (Praga, in about 40 minutes, then Grochow and Gocław) via Polytechnika (25 minutes).Line 148 makes the Airport-Praga trip via Ursynow. Buses run from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., every 15 to 20 minutes.The night bus No. 32 runs from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., about every 30 minutes, and stops at the Centralna Station.You can get your bus tickets at newsstands or directly from the driver. The price is 4.40 PLN.
  • Shuttle Buses
    Some hotels offer shuttles to the centre or back to the airport. Check with your hotel.
  • Taxi
    The official taxi companies are located in the middle of the arrival hall. They practice fixed prices: Approximately 40 PLN to the centre. Beware of ‘independent' taxi drivers who try to attract you in the lobby: their rates are usually much higher than the official companies.
  • Services
    There are banks, exchange offices, a post office, ATMs, restaurants, cafeterias, luggage storage, rest rooms, a prayer room, and a first aid centre.
  • Train The train line S2 goes to Srodmiescie Station in the city centre. The S3 line goes to the Warszawa Centralna station. Trains run one to three times per hour, from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. The ticket price is 4.40 PLN. The station is located next to the arrival hall in the lower concourse.

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GETTING AROUND Warsaw

The means of transport are numerous, varied, and safe. Bus, metro, tram: Tourists and travellers will be spoiled for choice!

Car

Traffic in the city is pretty well organized and relatively fluid, apart from unavoidable jams during peak hours. Parking is payable from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.—3 PLN for one hour, 3.60 PLN for the second hour, 4.20 PLN for the third and 3 PLN for each additional hour.

Bus

Warsaw is traversed by 200 bus routes, running daily between 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. every 5 to 15 minutes depending on the lines. Line 180 serves the ‘royal road' through all the tourist points of the city.

Night buses run between 11:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. every 30 minutes.

Conventional tickets, ‘ZTM Warszawa', provide access to all means of transport.

You can buy them in vending machines at stops or in newsstands.

Prices: Single ticket with correspondences: 4.40 PLN. One-trip ticket: 2.80 PLN. Tickets valid for 24 hours cost 15 PLN. Weekend tickets, valid from Friday at 7:00 p.m. to Monday at 8:00 a.m.: 24 PLN. Children under 7 and adults over 70 travel free. Students can receive a 50% discount upon presentation of ID.

Tramway

Trams, numbered 1 to 50, run daily from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. They work well on the east-west axes, which are less well served by other means of transport. Ticket prices: see the ‘Bus' section.

A historic tram (T) runs through the city on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays in June, July, and August. You can discover the major tourist attractions of the Polish capital, aboard pre-war cars and those from the 1950s. The ticket price is the same as that of other public transport. The point of departure and arrival is Narutowicza Square.

Metro

The Warsaw Metro has a north-south line, connecting the Bielany district to that of Ursynow. It runs every 8 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., and every 5 minutes during peak hours. A second line (east-west) is under construction. The agglomeration of Warsaw is divided into two zones: Zone 1 (downtown), and zone 2 (suburban). The price of a ticket is 4.40 PLN for zone 1 and 7 PLN for zones 1 and 2.

Taxi

Several taxi stands are available in the city centre. Fares begin at 8 PLN. The price per kilometre is displayed inside the taxi: it varies according to the covered area (city or suburbs), day and night, holidays and weekends. Allow about 3 PLN per kilometre for a day fare in the city centre, 4.50 PLN per kilometre at night, on weekends and holidays, 6 PLN per kilometre for suburban travel during the day and 9 PLN per kilometre in the suburbs weekends, holidays, and at night.

Bike

Veturilo, the bicycle-rental network, was inaugurated in 2012. It has 160 stations in many parts of the city, for a total of 2,500 bikes. Several cycling trails run through the city, especially along the left bank of the Vistula, which offers a very nice promenade.

The service is active from 1 March to 30 November. You can rent a bike with a credit card directly on one of the terminals present in the rental stations. Bicycles can be rented and returned to any station, provided you respect a maximum period of 12 hours. The first 20 minutes are free. Thereafter, bikes cost 1 PLN for the next 40 minutes, 3 PLN for the second hour, 5 PLN for the third hour, then 7 PLN per hour from the fourth hour.

Tourist train

Throughout the year, a little tourist train (Kolejka Staromiejska) runs through the old town and the new districts of Warsaw. The start and finish of the circuit is found on Zamkowy Square (Castle Square Royal). The ticket, available from the driver, is 25 PLN (adults) or 22 PLN (children).

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Warsaw, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Warsaw Tourist Office

Palace of Culture
Place Defilad 1
Warsaw

+ 48 22 194 31

http://warsawtour.pl/

Tourism info centre

Frederic Chopin Airport
Ul. Zwirki i Wigury 1
Terminal A (arrivals, exit 2)

Tourism info centre

Central Railway Station PKP
Warsaw Centralna
Central Hall (Hala Glowna)

Tourism info centre

Old Market Square
Rynek Starego Miasta
Warsaw

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Poland is the euro (€).

1 € = 4,21 zł

1 zł = 0,24 €

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

The city of Warsaw has good quality medical and hospital facilities. In case of a medical emergency, dial 999. Do not forget to ask for your European Health Card from your insurance company at least 15 days prior to departure.

LIST OF OBLIGATORY AND RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS

No vaccinations are required for travel to Poland, but it is recommended to be updated for the usual vaccinations: diphtheria-tetanus-polio.

For more information, contact the Air France international vaccination centre:

FOOD SAFETY

There is no special requirement for food safety.

WATER

Tap water is potable in Warsaw.

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ADMINISTRATIVE FORMALITIES

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR OTHER COUNTRIES TRAVELING TO POLAND

Citizens of certain countries must obtain a visa before entering Poland. For a list of nationalities requiring no entry visa to Poland, visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of Poland:

http://www.msz.gov.pl/en/travel_to_poland/entering_poland/visa_free/visa_free_countries

For more information, visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of Poland:

http://www.msz.gov.pl/

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Essential phrases

Here are some practical phrases in Polish which may be useful during your stay in Warsaw:

Hello (morning and afternoon): Dzien dobry

Good evening: Dobry wieczor

Good-bye: Do widzenia

Yes: Tak

No: Nie

No, thank-you : Nie, dziekuje

Thank you very much: Dziekuje bardzo

I do not understand: Nie rozumiem

Thank you very much: Dziekuje bardzo

I do not understand: Nie rozumiem

Could you repeat please? : Prosze powtorzyc

Please: Prosze

What time is it? : Ktora jest godzina?

Excuse me: Przepraszam

Airport: Lotnisko

Station: Stacja kolejowa

Taxi: Taxowka

Hotel: Hotel

Hospital: Hospital

Bank: Bank

Phone: Telefon

I am (…): Jestem (…)

I'm looking for (…): Szukam (…)

What is the price of (…)?: Ile kosztuje (…)?

Do you have (…)?: Czy macie (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Gdzie mozna znalesc (…)?

Where can I buy (…)?:  Gdzie mozna kupic (…)?

I would like (…): Chcial bym (…)

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Good to know

+ 48
00 + country code
0 : 00
of time difference with
Amsterdam
Daylight Savings Time start date: 27 March 2016
Daylight Savings Time end date: 30 October 2016

Banks
Generally open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Government Offices
Generally open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
220 Volts, 50 Hz

TIPPING

Tipping is not mandatory, although it is sometimes added to the bill (up to 10% of the total).