Climate & weather
Lodz in located in the central of Poland, and although people believe Poland to be a cold country, it isn’t as cold as People think. Lodz has real seasons, so yes the winters are chilly, with temperatures averaging out at around -3” and you are guaranteed a white Christmas with snow falling between December and March. In the summer it can be extremely hot, with average temperatures in the mid 20s, and regularly hitting above 30″ degrees Celsius in July through to September.
Crime in Polish cities
statistically crime in Polish cities like Lodz is lower that western European counterpart cities of a similar size, but it wouldn’t be prudent to walk around with an open bag or leave your wallet and cell phone on the table while you nip to the bathroom, so be smart.
Polish people have a rich culture and history full of traditions. To the best part this is because of the strong Catholic upbringing, which even today plays an important role in 99.6% of people’s lives. The Polish are a conservative, bunch and not the most tolerant race, personal space is important while loud outlandish behaviour is not accepted and often looked down upon.
Currency & prices
Luckily for Jamboree, Poland has not yet converted to the Euro currency and so the prices are still very cheap when compared to EUR countries. In Poland they use the Polish denomination called the Złote (PLN). This ranges between 4.8 – 5.2 PLN to 1 GBP and around 4.10 – 4.30 PLN to 1 EUR. The Polish Złote can be exchanged in most exchange offices, major banks, post offices and airport exchange bureaus throughout Europe.
In terms of prices, Lodz is one of the cheaper cities in Poland, prices are much lower than that of Warsaw and Sopot, and considerably lower when compared to other major cities in Europe for food, drinks and leisure entertainment. However, as with all Polish cities, durable goods, electrical items are on par. The average earnings in this region is from between 36,000 to 48,000 PLN.
Healthcare in Poland
As a member of the European Union, Poland provides reciprocal free healthcare on producing a valid European Health Insurance Card. Just show this along with a passort or other form of ID and you should be treated. Some may say that healthcare in Poland is not of the same standard as in other Western European countries, and so it may be advisable to take out private medical insurance just in case.
Language and foreign languages
Polish is a Slavic language like Czech and Slovakian, so to the untrained ear it is really hard to decipher anything. Pronunciation is almost impossible, but having said this, if you dear to make the effort, the locals will really appreciate it, and works as a great icebreaker.
Regards other foreign languages, you’ll notice that in Lodz, English, some German and some Russian are used. Younger people do tend to have a higher level of English because it is a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
Poland has joined the ever increasing list of countries undertaking a smoking ban in public places. So all restaurants, cafes and bars do follow the rules, but as with everything Polish, there are exceptions so some venues will offer a smoking section.
Leaving tips isn’t really popular in Lodz, but it is accepted as a gesture of appreciation. So to top 15 or 20% for good service wouldn’t go unappreciated-ly.
Traveling around Lodz
The Lodz has a rather low cost cheap and effective public transport system with buses (MPK) and trams (also MPK) Travelling across town on a single tick should cost no more than 3.40 PLN.
Like all Polish cities there are taxi ranks all around the city and when compared to Scandinavia and Western Europe they are very cheap. Please note that whilst most drivers are honest in characters, there are always some bad apples who will try to take advantage of foreigners, so always check the price before getting in.
Wi-Fi internet connection
A decent and free wi-fi connection can be found in and around Lodz city centre and main streets. Also nearly all hotels have a connection readily available for guests as do many bars and cafes.