In Polish, it takes some time before adults become familiar enough with one another to refer to each other using the equivalent of "you" "ty", equivalent to the French "tu". Often, people who have worked together or have lived as neighbors for years still do not use the form "you" when speaking to one another. Men are called "Pan" and women "Pani" in direct address; as Polish nouns are declined, the form of "pan" and "pani" change depending on how they are used in a sentence. That said, most Poles would just use their first names when speaking in English or in another language without a similar form. If you are speaking in Polish, make sure to use the correct form.
Some men, particularly older men, may kiss a woman's hand when greeting or saying goodbye. Kissing a woman's hand is considered to be chivalrous by some, but is more and more often seen as outdated. Handshakes are quite common; however, it is very important to remember that men should not offer their hand to a woman - a handshake is only considered polite if the woman offers her hand to the man first. For a more heartfelt greeting or goodbye, close friends of opposite sex or two women will hug and kiss three times, alternating cheeks.
A fairly common practice is for people to greet each other with a dzień dobry good day when entering elevators, or at the very least, saying do widzenia good bye when exiting the elevator.
It is also customary to greet shop-keepers or shop-assistants with "dzień dobry" upon entering a shop or at the beginning of a transaction at the cash register, and to say "do widzenia" before leaving the shop or at the conclusion of the transaction. Some Poles also use these greetings to the people standing in line when they enter a post office.
It is normal to say "dzień dobry" when entering a compartment on the train and to say "do widzenia" when you leave the compartment at your final destination, even if you have no other interaction with your fellow-passengers for the duration of your journey.
It is usual to bring a gift when invited to someone's home. Flowers are always a good choice. Florists' kiosks are ubiquitous; be sure to get an odd number of flowers, as an even number is associated with funerals. Poles will often bring vodka or whisky, but this depends on the level of familiarity, so tread carefully. Boxes of chocolates are also a very common present when invited to someone's home for a meal or special occasion; at First Communion time May, you will find special boxed chocolates with First Communion pictures on them for the occasion.
It is customary to hold doors and chairs for women, as well as offering help with heavy packages to acquaintances, getting heavy luggage down from overhead racks on the train even strangers, and - if you know the woman - helping her on and off with her coat. Polish men in general have great respect for women and show women especial courtesy in these ways.
On busses and trams, seats are set aside for the elderly, handicapped, pregnant women and women travelling with very small children who must sit on their mothers' laps. These seats are usually at the front of trams. You can find pictures indicating which seats these are. It is permitted for anyone to sit in these seats, but the young, men, and the able-bodied are expected to give up their seats to the less able, pregnant women and the elderly, especially those seats clearly marked for such people.
Men should not wear hats indoors, in particular when entering a church. Most restaurants, museums, and other public buildings have a cloakroom, and people are expected to leave bags and outerwear there.
The practice of placing one foot on a chair while reading or studying something is very much frowned upon. You can expect to be rebuked by other passengers if you put your feet up on the seats in a train while wearing shoes in stocking feet, it may be accepted.
Poland can be described as either Central or Central-Eastern Europe. Poles themselves refer to the "old" EU west of its borders as "Zachód" West and to the states created after the break-up of the USSR as "Wschód" East. Poles would not, however, consider Poland to be part of Western Europe or the "West". Try to avoid referring to the country or its people as Eastern European, otherwise you will be looked at as if you know nothing about the world. Geographically this is borne out by drawing a line from the tip of Norway to Greece and from the Urals to the coast of Portugal. For better or worse, Poland remains at the cross-roads of Europe, in the continent's center, however in all definitions, always west to the centre. Religion, alphabet and political affiliances of Poland are clearly western, too. Unless you lived through the Cold War, relegating Poland to Eastern Europe will not be forgiven easily.
Another small faux pas involves confusing Polish language with Russian or German. Poles value their language highly as it was kept at a high price during a longer period of oppressive depolonization during the partitions and WWII. For example this means not saying 'spasibo' or 'danke' for 'thank you' just because you thought it was Polish or you didn't care. If you're not sure if your 'Polish' words are indeed Polish or not it would be seen as extra polite to ask.
The European unified emergency number 112 is being deployed in Poland. By now, it certainly works for all mobile-phone calls and most landline calls. There are also three "old" emergency numbers that are still in use. These are:
Ambulance: 999 Pogotowie, dziewięć-dziewięć-dziewięć
Firefighters: 998 Straż pożarna, dziewięć-dziewięć-osiem
Police: 997 Policja, dziewięć-dziewięć-siedem
Municipal Guards: 986 Straż Miejska, dziewięć-osiem-sześć it is a kind of auxiliary Police force found only in large cities. They are not armed and their role is primarily to cope with parking offenses and minor cases of unsocial behavior.
Most public toilets have turned to pay-per-use schemes; expect to pay PLN1-2 to use a public restroom, eg. at a bus station or at a fast-food place unless you're a customer there.
Toilets for women are marked with a circle on the door, and toilets for men are marked with a triangle.
All restaurants and bars are forced by law to have toilets inside but not all comply. It's not a common practice to use their toilet without ordering at least coffee, but if you ask a waiter, he wouldn't mind in most cases. Sometimes you have to get a key to the toilet at the counter. If there seems to be a lack of public toilets you may want to try to visit McDonald's or another fast food place just to use the toilet.
In case of larger events or remote venues, organizers provide so called toi-toi toilets from one of companies that service them. From outside, they have an appearance almost identical to the American "Porta-Potty." They are narrow plastic booths, usually blue, not very comfortable, often not very clean, and hardly ever with water or paper. Expect them to smell bad.
Due to the extremely painful experiences of Soviet occupation and brutal communist rule, the topic of communism or socialism are quite controversial and sensitive in Poland. While some tourist-oriented businesses might be playing with communist symbols or offer "communist-style tours" especially in Cracow, many Poles see communist symbols and rhetoric as only slightly less unacceptable than Nazi swastikas or slogans. Unlike in the West, few people in Poland and especially few elderly people find communist symbols romantic, funny or trendy. For most of the Poles, communist times were marked by shortages of consumption goods, state-terror and closure of borders. Many Poles are proud of the Solidarity movement and its part in the breaking down of the European communist system. Bear these issues in mind if communism is brought up in conversation with Polish people and make sure not to disrespect anyone's memory or feelings regarding this issue.
It is illegal to drink alcoholic beverages or use drugs in public, though it's quite often done by the locals, especially in parks, on some buses, and some of the more congested city streets. Doing it puts you at risk of a small fine from 20 to PLN100 and being scoffed at by the City Guards. And losing your booze.
It is illegal to be drunk in public, if you behave in bad way - you may be taken to special place izba wytrzeźwień to sober up... but it is not a very interesting place to find yourself in - you will be treated as an alcoholic and won't be released until sober. And you'll have to pay around 240PLN for that experience.
polish telephone numbers
All telephone numbers in Poland are 9 digits long, and never start with 0 - although they used to do so. Sometimes numbers are written the old way, that is often only the last 7 digits are listed, in which case you need to prefix the now obligatory area code eg. 22 - Warsaw, 61 - Poznan, 12 - Krakow - OR a 0 is included in the beginning, in which case it must be skipped. As of yet, it does not matter whether you call from a landline or a mobile.
There are some special numbers, notably:
800 xxxxxx - toll-free call from a landline phone and from a phone booth, but may still cost something from a mobile phone
801 xxxxxx - reduced fare, costs as much as a local call from a landline phone at most but will cost more from a mobile phone
70x xxxxxx - premium fare, can be very expensive - read the fine print in that advert you've got the number from :) On the other hand, cheap international calls can often be made through special numbers beginning with 708.
Also, texting = sending SMSes to:
7xxx - Premium SMS, 2nd digit is cost in Zloty plus 23% tax, eg 72xx costs PLN2.46, 70xx is less than one Zloty.
7xxxx - can cost quite much again, read the small print
8xxx - is toll-free
When calling overseas, use 00, or +, and then country code.
Poland has a thriving media landscape, though the media is largely restricted to the Polish language and will largely not be understood by visitors. However, English-speaking visitors can still remain informed on national, provincial, and local news in the country through a variety of sources.
Radio Poland - English language arm of national public radio broadcaster Polskie Radio, broadcast from Warsaw. Covers European, domestic, cultural, and sports news, along with interviews and commentary. Radio Poland's website additionally offers a 24-hour English stream for Internet listeners. There are additional Belarussian, Russian, and Ukrainian language services.
Warsaw Business Journal - weekly English language newspaper. Despite its Warsaw base, the publication largely covers national, economic, political, and cultural news.
Polish Press Agency - daily Internet-based English news service. Basic summarization of major national and economic news.
New Poland Express - weekly Internet-based English language publication, based in Sopot. Covers national and provincial news, sports events, and business.
The Warsaw Voice - monthly English language newspaper. Offers national, Central European, economic and cultural news, often geared for expats.
The Krakow Post - monthly English language magazine, based in Kraków. Offers local, national, economic, and cultural news and commentary, as well as provincial news from Lesser Poland.
Wrocław Uncut - daily-updated English language internet publication. Covers news, sports, and cultural events in Wrocław and Lower Silesia.
Lodz Post - regularly-updated English language Internet publication, based in Łódź. Covers local, national, and cultural news.
holocaust and world war ii
The Holocaust was the genocide of European Jewry. The Nazis murdered 90% of Poland's Jews. In addition other ethnic, religious and political groups were also targeted. It is now estimated that the Germans killed 3 million Polish Jews. Additionally, over 3 million non-Jewish Poles were also murdered, and many others were enslaved. Many members of minority groups, the intelligentsia, Roman Catholic priests, and political opponents of the Nazis were among the dead. The Soviets who invaded Poland shortly after the Nazis and later occupied it after the World War II also were determined to exterminate various sections of Polish society including, among others, members of the anti-Nazi resistance, business owners and democratic activists. Between the census of 1939 and the census of 1945, the population of Poland had been reduced by over 30% from 35 million to 23 million.
In this context, it is important to be sensitive to the fact that the time of war and Soviet occupation was a tragedy for not only Polish Jews, but most all of Polish society. Poland was the only Nazi-occupied region where helping Jews was punishable by death to one's entire family - a policy that was to a large part implemented in response to the widespread solidarity between Jews and non-Jews in occupied Poland. It is seen in Poland as offensive to downplay the sufferings of non-Jewish members of Polish society during World War II. At the same time, there was some collaboration between Poles and Nazis "szmalcownicy", and this topic is still being hotly debated in Polish society.
Similarly to Germany and Austria, displaying Nazi symbols is illegal, except when used for educational purposes, and holocaust denial is a crime in Poland; both could result in a prison sentence. While exceptions are technically made for the Swastika when used in a religious context for Buddhists, Hindus and Jains, you may be subject to lengthy questioning by the police, if you choose to wear a swastika. That said, the laws against swastikas are not enforced nearly as strictly as they are in Germany, and neutral display of the symbol will almost never be a problem, although it is sure advised against. Prosecutors have been known to dismiss charges against swastikas due to the ambiguous nature of the symbol.
Poczta Polska is the national postal service in Poland. If you wish to send letters by post, look out for the red post boxes though they are not as plentiful as in developing countries but are still available. A stamp to Europe for a standard letter or postcard costs 5 PLN whilst a stamp to the rest of the world costs 5.20 PLN and can usually be paid only with cash.
There is the de facto monopoly operator for landline phones - TP Polish: Telekomunikacja Polska, a subsidiary of France Telecom, renowned for its leaving-much-to-be-desired services. There is also a number of smaller, often regional operators Dialog, Netia, NOM, Energis. They are mainly serving the business market.
The official language of Poland is Polish.
Foreign visitors should be aware that virtually all official information will usually be in Polish only. Street signs, directions, information signs, etc. are routinely only in Polish, as are schedules and announcements at train and bus stations airports and a few major train stations seem to be an exception to this. When it comes to information signs in museums, churches, etc., signs in multiple languages are typically found only in popular tourist destinations.
Most of the young people and teenagers know English well enough. Since English is taught from a very young age some start as early as 4 years old, only Poles who grow up in isolated towns or communities will not be given English lessons. Older Poles, particularly in rural regions, will speak little or no English at all. However, it is highly possible that they will speak either French, German or Russian, taught in schools as the main foreign languages until the 1990s.
It is wise to refrain from speaking Russian on account of the countries' historically turbulent relations. In spite of this, German is still taught in many schools throughout the country, and is especially popular in the Western districts. Ukrainian also has many similarities to Polish.
A few phrases go a long way in Poland. Contrary to some other tourist destinations, where natives scoff at how bad a foreigner's use of the native language is, Polish people generally love the few foreigners who learn Polish or at least try to, even if it is only a few phrases. Younger Poles will also jump at the chance to practice their English. Be advised that if you are heard speaking English in a public setting outside of the main cities and tourist areas people may listen in to practice their understanding of English.
Do your homework and try to learn how to pronounce the names of places. Polish has a very regular pronunciation, so this should be no problem. Although there are a few sounds unknown to most English speakers, mastering every phoneme is not required to achieve intelligibility; catching the spirit is more important.
Poland's recent history has made it a very homogeneous society today, in stark contrast to its long history of ethno-religious diversity; almost 99% of the population today is ethnic Polish; before World War II, it was only 69% with large minorities, mainly Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Germans and less than two-thirds Roman Catholic with large Orthodox and Protestant minorities as well.
Poland also had the largest Jewish community in Europe: estimated variously at 10% to 30% of Poland's population at the time. Outside of the very touristy areas of the major cities, you'll find that there are few, if any, foreigners. Most of the immigrants in Poland in the main Ukrainians and Vietnamese stay in the major cities for work. Poland's small group of contemporary ethnic minorities, Germans, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Silesians and Kashubians all speak Polish and few regional dialects remain except in the south and in small patches of the Baltic coast.
There are Polish language schools in Łódź, Kraków, Wrocław, Sopot and Warsaw.
Poland is a member of the Schengen Agreement.
There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty - the European Union except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country or you may have to clear immigration but not customs travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country.
Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are.Regular visas are issued for travellers going to Poland for tourism and business purposes. Regular visas allow for one or multiple entries into Polish territory and stay in Poland for maximum up to 90 days and are issued for the definite period of stay. When applying for a visa, please indicate the number of days you plan to spend in Poland and a date of intended arrival. Holders of regular visas are not authorized to work.
Ukrainian citizens do not require a separate visa for transit through Poland if they hold a Schengen or UK visa.
The Poles may well be the most devoutly Catholic people in Europe. The late Pope John Paul II in particular is revered here, and the Church is held in generally high esteem. Bear this in mind if religion is brought up in conversation with a Pole. Also be sure to dress modestly if you enter a church, especially during services. Poles typically dress in their "Sunday best" for Mass; dressing in sloppy or very casual clothes will be seen by many as a lack of respect, unless it is clear that someone probably does not have more appropriate clothes for the occasion for example, a poor person or a traveller.
It is generally considered offensive to enter a church for purely touristic purposes while a service is going on. Many churches that attract tourists such a major cathedrals post signs indicating that tour groups should not enter the church during services, but these signs may not be in your language. Also, do not talk loudly or take flash photos inside a church when there are people present kneeling in prayer as there almost always will be.
Non-Catholics can attend Catholic worship, but should never go forward for communion not even for a blessing - there is a general blessing at the end of Mass. Instead, non-Catholic visitors can remain seated or kneeling when the congregation goes forward.
Catholics customarily genuflect bend the right knee, touching it to the floor or at least stop and bow when passing in front of the tabernacle usually behind the altar; look for a metal - usually gold - box, and for a light - often red or an oil lamp or candle - that is burning near it. Failure to make some gesture - such as a brief pause, turning toward the tabernacle - can be seen offensive to the faithful, especially in churches where non-Catholic tourists are not common.
For the faithful, a light burning near the tabernacle indicates the presence of God in the Eucharist, inside the tabernacle. This light is burning 364 days of the year in every Catholic church i.e., it is only turned off once per year, when the tabernacle is empty and left standing open. Thus loud talking, running, audible conversations, eating and drinking, taking flash photos, posing for pictures or other behavior that seems oblivious to the presence of God is highly offensive.
Men and boys should always remove their hats upon entering a Catholic church and keep them off while inside the church.
Several national holidays of Poland follow the religious calendar; i.e., Catholic Holy Days of Obligation are also national holidays. These include the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God January 1; the Epiphany of the Lord January 6; the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ Corpus Christi; in June, the date varies; the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary August 15; All Saints' Day November 1; Christmas December 25; and Easter the date varies. Poles also traditionally go to Mass and have the day off on the Feast of Saint Stephen December 26 and Monday in the Octave of Easter the Monday after Easter, though these are not Holy Days of Obligation in the Church calendar. You can expect parish churches to have the normal Sunday Mass schedule on these holidays. You can also expect most businesses to be closed and busses and trams will probably be running on the Sunday/holiday schedule.
The most famous religious shrine in Poland is the Shrine of our Lady of Częstochowa. Her feast day is August 26th. Pilgrims from all over Poland walk some ride bicycles or take motor vehicles from their home parishes to the shrine especially in the period between May and August, though year-round there is a constant stream of pilgrims to the site of the shrine, the monastery of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa.
In Warsaw, Roman Catholics can attend English Mass at St Paul the Apostle of Nations Church in Radna Street.
In Wrocław, Roman Catholics can attend English Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation at the church of Sw Karol Boromeusz Charles Borromeo in Krucza Street. The Pastoral Centre for English Speakers in the parish also offers confession and can arrange weddings and baptisms in English, as well as catechesis for converts and pastoral care in English.
Be aware that in Poland the comma is used as decimal point, and the space to group numbers. eg. 10 500,46 zł is ten thousand five hundred złotych and 46 groszy. That said, the period is increasingly often used as the decimal point, especially on price tags and bills. Occasionally a dot is also used as the separator for groups of 3 numerals rather than a space.
To call abroad from Poland:
From a landline phone: 00 Your Country Code The Number Abroad
From a mobile phone: + Your Country Code The Number Abroad
To call to Poland from abroad, dial the Polish country code,48, then the number without the leading 0, as if calling from a domestic mobile phone.
International and roaming calls are expensive. To reduce your bill you can:
buy "phone cards" for international calls
activate a Polish pre-paid account to make or receive calls the cost can be as little as PLN20
talk over the Internet
get virtual number from your country (https://www.kolmee.com/en...)
There are four mobile phone operators in Poland: Plus (http://plus.pl) code 260 01, T-Mobile formerly ERA (http://www.t-mobile.pl) 260 02, Orange (http://www.orange.pl) 260 03 and Play (http://www.play.pl). Most of them have information avalible in Polish only. Their prepaid servicies are often calls "na kartę". Prepaid brands or virtual brands with english information on it's web sides are as follow: Heyah (http://www.heyah.pl/english), Klucz (http://www.klucz.net), Lycamobile (http://www.lycamobile.pl/en/) and Vectone (http://www.vectonemobile.pl). About 98% of the country's surface is covered by the standard European GSM 900/1800 MHz network, the remaining 2% are wildlife reserves or high mountains. UMTS is available in in about 50% of the country. Domestic call rates are roughly the same across all services. Prepaid starter kits with SIM card called starter in Polish are widely available in reasonable prices from 5 to 20 PLN, of witch most is available for calls, in many shops for example Żabka and most malls. Ask for starter and be sure to name the network You want. Accounts are valid for outgoing calls for few days, so it is good to fill them up for, lets say, 20 PLN Doładowanie [do-wa-do-va-nye] in Polish, be sure to give the value you want.
The quality of Polish roads has greatly improved in the recent years mainly due to the EURO 2012 preparations and it is now generally safe and comfortable to travel across the country. At the same time, there is still room for improvement, so be careful and watch out for potholes, especially in the country-side. Polish drivers often tend to ignore speeding restrictions despite great numbers of speed cameras and hefty fines, do not feel compelled to do the same, as penalties for speeding are quite severe. Non-EU drivers are obliged by law to pay their fines on the spot and the EU ones can get their fines posted to their home countries.
Children younger than 12 years old and who are shorter than 150 cm 4’11” must ride in a child car seat. You must use headlights year round, at all times, day and night. The use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited except for hands-free models.
Alcohol consumption is frequently a contributing factor in accidents. Polish laws provide virtually zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol defined as above 0.2‰ of alcohol in blood, and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are extremely severe.
Note that that this zero-tolerance policy extends to cyclists. By Polish law one is not allowed to cycle under the the influence of alcohol and the penalties for doing so are equally severe and may include a prison sentence.
As a result of German and Soviet terror, modern Poland is a very homogeneous society. While quite a lot of east Asian and rather fewer African migrants have settled in the larger cities in the last couple of years, it is still quite rare to see non-Caucasians on the Polish streets. If you are a non-white traveller do not be surprised or alarmed if some people especially young children stare at you with curiosity. The overwhelming majority of Poles are warm, hospitable people who are often curious to learn more about other cultures. Racist incidents are extremely rare, but, just like anywhere else in Europe, have taken place, so exercise caution and common sense. If possible, try to avoid football stadiums during and right after the matches and confrontations with football supporters' groups.
Poland is generally a safe country. In fact, you are much less likely to experience crime in places like Warsaw or Krakow than in Paris or Rome. Overall, just use common sense and be aware of what you're doing.
In cities, follow standard city travel rules: don't leave valuables in the car in plain sight; don't display money or expensive things needlessly; know where you're going; be suspicious of strangers asking for money or trying to sell you something.
Pickpockets operate, pay attention to your belongings in crowds, at stations, in crowded trains/buses especially to/from the airport, and clubs.
In any case, do not be afraid to seek help or advice from the Police Policja or the Municipal Guards Straz Miejska. They are generally helpful, professional and can speak English if in larger towns or touristic spots.
Violent behavior is rare and if it occurs it is most likely alcohol-related. While pubs and clubs are generally very safe, the nearby streets may be scenes of brawls, especially late at night. Try to avoid confrontations. Women and girls are generally less likely to be confronted or harassed since the Polish code of conduct strictly prohibits any type of violence physical or verbal against women. By the same token, in case of a fight between mixed gender travelers, Polish men are likely to intervene on the side of the woman, regardless of the context.
LGBT issues remain very controversial, still very much taboo although decreasingly so, and routinely exploited by conservative politicians. Polish culture also has a long tradition of chivalry and strong, traditional gender roles. That said, in larger cosmopolitan areas, gays and lesbians shouldn't have a hard time fitting in, although trans visitors will immediately attract attention.
Iplus simdata - cost: 20 pln - 67mb data included - 0,30 pln / 1mb (http://www.iplus.pl/indyw...)
If you're bringing a laptop, Wireless LAN Hot-Spots are available in distinct places, sometimes free, otherwise not very cheap. Best chances of finding one are at airports, railway stations, in cafés, shopping malls and universities. You can ask in your hotel, but be prepared to pay. For those who need to connect at an internet cafe, fear not, because Poland's major cities have internet cafes.
With your mobile phone you can use: CSD, HSCSD, GPRS or EDGE, but the cost may be unattractive. UMTS/HSPA is available in almost every big and mid-size cities. If your phone is not SIM-locked, you may consider purchasing a pre-paid SIM card designed for data access. Every mobile operator offering his own pre-paid internet offer. You may purchase Era Blueconnect Starter, iPlus Simdata, Orange Free na kartę or Play Online na kartę. Internet service from Era, Plus and Orange covers all country area with GPRS/EDGE technology. In almost every big, medium and some small size cities it's possible to recive 3G/3.5G signal.
T-Mobile (former Era)
Blueconnect starter - cost: 25 pln - 83mb data included - 0,30 pln / 1mb (http://www.era.pl/pl/indy...)
Orange free na kartę - cost: 20 pln - 65mb data included - 0,30 pln / 1mb (http://www.orange.pl/port...)
Play online na kartę - cost: 19 pln - 1gb data included (http://web.playmobile.pl/...) note: play network does not cover the entire country. you can use internet service only in cities listed on this map (http://internet.playmobil...). despite this, voice services are still available in whole country. play internet is only 3g capable. it means, that you need modem or phone that supports 3g technology. play also limits speed of his internet up to 1mb/s to provide satisfactory speed connection for reasonable price.
You can refill your Play account with 30 or 50 PLN
Top-up for 30 PLN - 2GB data traffic valid for 28 days
Top-up for 50 PLN - 4GB data traffic valid for 56 days
You can also consider buying a wireless 3G modem from Play
Starter kit with HSDPA modem + 1GB data traffic valid for 14 days costs 269 PLN
Starter kit with HSDPA modem + 31GB data traffic valid for 365 days costs 499 PLN
If you want to communicate with Poles, you'll need two programs - Gadu-Gadu (http://komunikator.gadu-g...), a Polish language instant messenger program, or Skype (http://www.skype.com). Gadu-Gadu will be difficult to use for non-Polish speaking people, but alternatives such as Adium (http://www.adiumx.com) Mac OSX, Kadu (http://www.kadu.net/w/Eng...) Mac OSX/Linux, and Pidgin (http://www.pidgin.im/) Linux, Windows, all of which can be used in English, can be helpful.