One of the largest countries in Central Europe, Poland has only recently emerged as a serious Medical Tourism destination and is popular with tourists from the surrounding countries, many of which travel for Dental X-Rays procedures. With its open borders, traveling between the European Union (EU) is made that much simpler. Poland hosts a mix of publicly-owned and privately-owned facilities, none of which are JCI accredited, however, local accreditations are provided by the Polish Ministry of Health and are recognized by the EU. The most common procedures include dental, cosmetic, orthopedic and bariatric, all of which are offered at considerably lower prices than its Western European neighbors. Popular medical tourism destinations outside of the capital, Warsaw, include Krakow, Jelenia Gora, and Wroclaw.
Popular Parts of Poland
Home to 38.5 million people, Poland has an extraordinary history and fourteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Often overlooked by tourists, the country actually has a lot to offer.
Warsaw, Poland’s capital provides tourists with a mix of old and new. Restored Gothic buildings and modern glass structures stand side by side. The city offers a scenic view. Wander around the streets of Old Town to see the oldest part of the city. Warsaw was also the former home of Frederic François Chopin; tourists can retrace his steps by visiting Saxon Garden, where Chopin’s family used to live next-door.
Krakow is Poland’s former capital. The city is full of charms; from cobbled streets, beautiful squares, pretty buildings, churches, and a castle. Wawel Castle, located in the Old Town area, is an architectural wonder with medieval, baroque, and renaissance style. The city has numerous museums that provide insights to its fascinating history.
Gdansk is located on Poland’s northern coastline. It is one of the prettiest seaside cities in the country. It is home to the country’s finest museums, with prospering nightlife scenes and food. Tourists should check out the street art, visit the museum, explore the Old Town, and take a food tour in Gdynia.
Poznan will amaze tourists once they see its vibrant, playful and unique treasures. As the birthplace of the Polish nation, the city offers many historical attractions as well as urban green spaces. Tour the Lech Brewery to learn more about the brewing process of beer visit the Old Market Square and find an array of bars and food stalls.
Wroclaw is not as popular as other cities in Poland. It’s actually full of attractions, incredible architecture, and hidden gems. Tourists will find dwarf statues throughout the city and can go on the dwarf trail. Market Square is the city’s centerpiece that blends colorful buildings and gives a scenic view, especially in winters.
Weather and Climate in Poland
Poland has a temperate climate and sometimes experiences rough weather. Spring starts in late March to May. The season is characterized by a wave of warmer weather with less frequent rain. It is one of the best times to visit Poland because the temperature is comfortable.
Summer lasts from June to August and the weather is more unpredictable during this season. The temperature is generally warm with an average of 18 to 30°C. Between sunny skies and high temperatures, tourist should expect frequent rainfalls and storms. Summer is tourism peak season and the prices usually increase.
September to November is Autumn, the season where the temperature starts to drop. Late September and October are still warm, while November is cold and wet. Sunny days during this season are known as “Polish Golden Autumn.”
Freezing Winter starts from December to early March. The temperature plummets to an average of 0 to -10°C, sometimes even as low as -20°C. Winter is the peak season for mountain ski resorts.
Getting Around in Poland
Most international flights arrive at Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport. It’s Poland’s largest and busiest airport. The airport serves domestic and has International connections with many cities around the world. It is the hub for LOT Polish Airlines. Budget airlines such as Wizz Air and EasyJet also operate flights from this airport. There is a smaller airport, Warsaw Modlin Airport, which handles more budget airlines.
To get to the city center, bus, taxi, and train are available. There are five public buses that stop at Warsaw’s city center; bus 175, bus 188, bus 148, bus 331, and bus N32 (night bus). Taxis are available, but always make sure to use licensed taxi services. The fare from the airport to the city center is around 40 PLN. Chopin Airport is linked to Legionowo and Sulejówek Miłosna by a railway service. Tourists can buy ZTM tickets to ride the bus and train which can be purchased at the Passenger Information Point in the arrivals hall, ticket machines at bus stops and train station entrance, or from bus drivers.
There is plenty of public transportation to get around Poland. The Train is incredibly affordable, a journey from Krakow to Warsaw will cost around 45 PLN and take three hours, while a five-hour train from Warsaw to Gdansk should cost around 65 PLN.
Within the cities, local buses in the central zone cost around 4 PLN (a single-fare ticket). Major cities offer one-day tickets for 20 PLN. Taxis are relatively cheap and tourists can get around the city quickly. Taxis are metered and usually start at around 6 PLN to 8 PLN. Unlicensed taxi drivers are most likely to cheat and charge more. There are taxis that put a fake phone number in their cars, be careful and ask your hotel staff for the number of the taxi company they have used previously. Cycling is a good way to explore the scenery in Poland. There are many bike rentals around the country, always be aware of drivers since some are careless.
In certain cities, such as Krakow, it is advised to get tourist cards that give unlimited access to public transportation for one to three days. The card also gives free or discounted access to museums.
Tourist Visas in Poland
Poland is part of the Schengen Area. Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and several other countries do not need to obtain a visa and can stay in Poland for up to 90 days. EU citizens do not need a visa and can stay indefinitely. Other nationalities must check with their local Polish embassy. All visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months.
Local Currency: the official currency is the Polish złoty (PLN). 1 USD converts to 3.82 PLN.
Money & Payments: ATMs are available in cities and towns; even small villages should have at least one. The best way to exchange rates is at banks or withdrawing money from ATMs. Credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) are accepted in most hotels and restaurants. Always carry small cash and coins for shops and cafes. Tipping in Poland is mostly optional. In restaurants, 10% is the standard. Room-service staff and porters in hotels expect to be tipped. Taxis don’t expect tips.
Local Language: The official language is Polish. Most of the locals in the tourist areas will have decent English. Foreign tourists should be aware that all official information including street signs and directions are only written in Polish.
Local Culture and Religion: Christianity is the largest religion in Poland with 87.5% of the population identified as Roman Catholic.
Public Holidays: Poland celebrates major Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter. The country hosts many festivals throughout the year such as St. Dominik’s Fair every July to August, Light & Move Festival every October, and Ice Festival every December.