Climate & weather
The west of Poland isn’t as cold as you may think. The winters have become considerably milder in recent years and, although snow is guaranteed between December and February, temperatures rarely drop beyond -10 degrees Celsius. In the summer it can be extremely pleasant with maximum temperatures regularly hitting above 30 degrees Celsius in the summer season.
Crime in Polish cities
Polish cities have a lower crime rate than their western counterparts but petty theft and pick pocketing can be a problem for tourists, especially in busy public places.
Polish culture is largely based on agricultural tradition and, with a population which is 88% Roman Catholic, religion is also very important. People are therefore a lot more conservative, especially with regards to personal space, and extravagant, outlandish behaviour is often frowned upon.
Currency & prices
Poland has not yet converted to the Euro currency and still uses its own denomination, the Polish Złoty (PLN). At the moment there are around 5 PLN to 1 GBP and around 4.50 PLN to 1 EUR. The Polish Złoty (PLN) is readily available for exchange in all major banks, post offices and airport exchange bureaus through-out Europe.
In terms of prices, Poznan is considerably cheaper than other major cities in Europe when comparing food and drink. However durable goods, electrical items and property prices are on par. The average earnings in this region range from 40,000 to 48,000PLN.
Healthcare in Poland
As a member of the E.U., Poland provides reciprocal free healthcare on provision of a valid European Health Insurance Card, for further information visit your Post Office. However, the public healthcare system is not of the same standard as in other Western European countries and it is advisable to take out private medical insurance before your visit.
Language & foreign languages
Polish is a Slavic language and, to the untrained ear, may sound similar to Russian or Czech. Pronunciation is notoriously difficult for foreigners but the locals will certainly appreciate you making the effort.
Because of Poznan’s history and close proximity to Germany, German is widely spoken by the city’s older residents. The younger people tend to have a better command of English, as it is now a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
Poland has joined the growing list of countries that have adopted a no smoking policy in public places. All restaurants, cafes and bars follow this rules, however some venues will offer a special smoking section.
Leaving tips isn’t standard practice in Poland and a large extravagant tip can be taken offensively rather than as a gesture of appreciation. To leave a 15 or 20% tip is acceptable.
Travelling around Poznan
Poznan has a very cheap and effective public transport system, comprising of buses (MPK) and trams (PST). Travelling in and around the city should cost around 2.20PLN for a 15 minute journey.
There are also plenty of taxis, very cheap in comparison with Scandinavia and Western Europe, but tourists should be careful of overcharging and it is a good idea to check the price before you get in.
Wi-Fi internet connection
In the city centre and main streets of the Poznan, there is usually a strong Wi-Fi connection available. Also, many bars, cafes and hotels offer customers a connection to their networks.