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Poland

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Poland is a large country in Central Europe. It has a Baltic Sea coastline and is bordered by Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast), Slovakia, and the Ukraine. Historically, it has been an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain.

The countryside throughout Poland is lovely and relatively unspoilt. Poland has variety of regions with beautiful landscapes and small-scale organic and traditional farms. Travellers can choose different types of activities such as bird watching, cycling or horseback riding.

Culturally you can sight-see at many churches, museums, ceramic and traditional basket-making workshops, castle ruins, rural centres and many more. A journey through the Polish countryside gives you a pefect opportunity to enjoy and absorb local knowledge on its landscape and people.

Visas
As Poland is a member of the European Union, citizens of the EU and of the countries belonging to the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), as well as Swiss nationals, can enter Poland with a valid passport or identity card.

Beside the countries outlined above, citizens from the following countries may travel to Poland for tourism and business purposes with a valid passport and without a visa if their planned stay does not exceed 90 days: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, USA, Uruguay, Vatican and Venezuela. Citizens of all other countries must obtain a visa in order to enter and stay in Poland legally. Always check with the local Polish Embassy or on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for updates as this can change.

Regular Visas are issued for travelers 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.

By plane
Most of Europes major airlines fly to and from Poland. Polands national carriers are LOT Polish Airlines, and a low cost airline Centralwings (owned by LOT). There are several low cost airlines that fly to Poland including WizzAir, SkyEurope, EasyJet, Germanwings, Norwegian and Ryanair.

Apart from direct air connections from many European cities there are also direct flights from United States and Canada. LOT operates direct flights from Washington D.C., New York and Chicago, however tickets for those flights are far from cheap and most people with limited budgets fly with other airlines which stopover in major European airports.

International airlines fly mainly to Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport (WAW) in Okecie. Other major airports in Poland are: Kraków-Balice (KRK), Katowice-Pyrzowice (KTW), Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport (GDN), Wroclaw Copernicus Airport (WRO), Poznan-Lawica (POZ), Szczecin-Goleniów (SZZ), Rzeszów-Jasionka (RZE), Bydgoszcz Ignacy Jan Paderewski Airport and Lódz-Lublinek (LCJ).

Domestic flights operated by LOT (under Eurolot brand) connect Warsaw with Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Kraków, Gdansk, Poznan, Lódz, Szczecin and Wroclaw. Other smaller cities don't have airports with facilities that would allow commercial airlines to operate internationally, however there are often charter flights available - of course, these are for people with thick wallets.

As the number of flights and passengers has significantly increased since 1990, a new terminal is being built at the Okecie airport which will significantly increase the airport's capacity. Also airports in Kraków and Poznan have been expanded to increase their standards and capacity.

By train
Direct connections with:

Berlin, EuroCity "Berlin-Warszawa-Express (BWE)", everyday, 6 hours, InterCity "Wawel", everyday, 10 hours
Hamburg, InterCity "Wawel", everyday but saturday, 13 hours
Frankfurt, EuroNight "Jan Kiepura", everyday, 15 hours
Vilnius, Nighat Train "Balti", 10 hours
Kiev, Night Train "Józef Chelmonski", 16 hours
Vienna, Night Train "Chopin", everyday, 9 hours, EuroCity "Sobieski", everyday, 6 hours, EuroCity "Polonia", everyday, 8 hours
Prague, Night Train "Chopin", EuroCity "Praha", everyday, 9.5 hours
Moscow, Night Train "Ost-West", everyday, 20.5 hours
Budapest, EuroCity "Polonia", everyday, 10.5 hours

For more information on traveling in Poland by train, please see the Get Around - By Train section below.

By car
You can enter Poland by one of many roads linking Poland with the neighbouring countries. Since Poland's entry to the EU, queues on border crossings with other EU countries have been greatly reduced. In most cases, it doesn't take more than a few minutes to cross the border.

However, the queues on the borders with Poland's non-EU neighbours are still large and in areas congested with truck traffic it can take up to several hours to pass. You can check the current waiting times on Polish Border Guard page (wjazd - entry, wyjazd - exit, osob. - passenger cars, autob. - coaches, ciezar. - lorries).

Information provided by Wikipedia

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