Climate & weather
The Lower Silesia area is surprisingly warm and, even in January and February, Wroclaw is normally around 0°C. During June, July and August the region usually receives plenty of sunshine and temperatures generally range from 15-25°C.
Crime in Wroclaw
Wroclaw, like many Polish cities has, in general a much lower crime rates than western European cities but petty theft and pick pocketing can be a problem for tourists, especially in busy public places.
Polish culture has a rich history of traditions, in part because of their strong Catholic upbringing, which is still very important today. People are therefore a lot more conservative, especially with regards to personal space, and hence loud outlandish behaviour is often frowned upon.
Currency & prices
Poland has not yet converted to the Euro currency and still uses its own Polish denomination, the Złoty (PLN). At the moment there are around 5 PLN to 1 GBP and around 4.50 PLN to 1 EUR. The Polish Złoty is readily available for exchange in most major banks, post offices and airport exchange bureaus throughout Europe.
Comparing prices in Wroclaw with those of major Western European cities, groceries and household goods tend to be notably cheaper while clothes, electrical items and property are at a similar level. The average earnings in the Wroclaw region range from 40,000 to 45,000PLN.
The comparison chart below shows the average prices in Wroclaw compared to other well-known European cities.
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 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.
With regards to foreign languages, English, German and Russian are all fairly widely-spoken. Young people tend to have a strong command of English, as it is now a compulsory part of the school curriculum, but German is also a very popular second language here as a result of the city’s history and location.
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. In public places such as at bus stops or on train platforms an on-the-spot fine of around 200PLN can be awarded if found smoking.
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 Wroclaw
Wroclaw has a good public transport system, comprising of buses and trams (both MPK), and a single journey within the city costs 3PLN.
There are also plenty of taxis, very cheap in comparison with Scandinavia and Western Europe, but tourists should be wary of overcharging and it is a good idea to check the price before getting in.
Wi-Fi internet connection
In the city centre there is usually a strong Wi-Fi connection available and many bars, cafes and hotels also offer customers a connection to their networks.