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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Warsaw

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Warsaw each year. The main ones are listed below:

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

On the evening of New Year's Eve, Polish restaurants offer gourmet menus and special events, and residents line the streets or gather with family and friends to celebrate the event. At midnight, fireworks are set off in the biggest cities—and Warsaw sparkles.

Last Sunday in March: Half-marathon Warsaw (local)

Each year, more than 10,000 runners from around the world attend the 21.97-kilometre run through the streets of the city.

Late March – early April: Easter Monday (national)

Easter weekend is an event not to be missed in Poland. Saturday, churches and cathedrals attract hundreds of faithful to fervent celebrations. On Sundays, the streets are deserted: very often practitioners, families gather to celebrate the resurrection of Christ around a great meal. On Monday, the Poles engage in huge water fights in the streets of their city.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

This holiday is the opportunity, in Poland, for many workers' demonstrations.

May 3: Constitution Day (national)

In 1791, Poland was in conflict with several of its neighbours. King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski II drafted the Constitution of May 3, 1791, the first in Europe and the second in the world, in order to strengthen his kingdom and prevent its decline. This date is the occasion for the Poles to express their national pride through official ceremonies and military parades.

June 15: Corpus Christi (national)

60 days after Easter, this famous Catholic celebration marks the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It is very well-loved by the Polish, who decorate altars dedicated to saints, the Virgin Mary, or Jean-Paul II in their backyards—an event that becomes a real contest! The streets are also the theatre for huge processions.

Last week of June: Arts Festival of Sztuka Ulicy Street (local)

This week dedicated to street theatre is Warsaw's biggest open-air cultural event. Live performances (theatre, mime, dance), produced by Polish and international troupes, are presented in various locations in the city, including parks and squares.

August 15: Assumption (national)

This festival dedicated to the Virgin Mary is very important in Poland. Altars in honour of the Virgin are erected in the streets of cities, and processions involving a large part of the population take place.

November 1: All Souls (national)

On this day celebrating the dead, Poles come together for a family meal and gather around masses devoted to their dead.

November 30: St. Andrew's Day (national)

This day is not a holiday, but it is certainly festive! The last evening before Advent, it is the opportunity for Poles to predict major events in the coming year. During a dinner with friends or family, it is traditional that the guests pour hot wax over a key above a pan of cold water. Those present can then see, in their imaginations, the symbol of a wedding, a trip, a birth, or a flow of money in the pattern thus formed in the water.

Night of December 24 to 25: Christmas (national)

Christmas festivities occupy a very special place in the hearts of the Poles. At midnight, the night of December 24 to 25, the majority of them go to mass.

December 26: Christmas (national)

Boxing Day is the opportunity for a second holiday: the tradition is that everyone stays home for a warm and intimate moment shared between friends.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Warsaw

The city of Warsaw has a humid continental climate. To enjoy pleasant temperatures and avoid precipitation, it is best to visit Warsaw during the months of May to September. From December to February, it is very cold (-5 to -15 ° C), but Warsaw also has its charm in the snow.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -5/23 1/34 26/1.0 Not the best period to go
February -5/23 1/34 31/1.2 Not the best period to go
March -1/30 7/45 26/1.0 Not the best period to go
April 4/39 13/55 36/1.4 Not the best period to go
May 10/50 21/70 45/1.8 Good period to go Good period to go
June 13/55 24/75 68/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
July 16/61 25/77 95/3.7 Good period to go Good period to go
August 15/59 24/75 64/2.5 Good period to go Good period to go
September 11/52 20/68 42/1.6 Good period to go Good period to go
October 6/43 14/57 37/1.4 Not the best period to go
November 2/36 7/45 30/1.2 Not the best period to go
December 1/34 -2/28 43/1.7 Not the best period to go
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Chopin International Airport

The Chopin International Airport (Lotnisko Chopina) is located 10 kilometres (6 miles) south of Warsaw.

  • One terminal:
  • TA (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Warsaw and back:
  • Car
    • Access: the centre is accessible from the airport in about 20 minutes via Avenue Zwirki i Wigury. The airport counts four parking facilities located nearby the terminal.
    • Kiss&Fly parking (cars cannot be left unattended): free for the first 7 minutes, PLN 30 for 15 minutes, plus PLN 1 per extra minute.
    • P1 and P2 provide short-term parking. Rates are PLN 10 for 1 hour and PLN 120 for 24 hours.
    • P4, long-term parking, with 820 spots. Rates are PLN 220 for 1 to 5 days, and PLN 300 for 15 days. Add PLN 10 per extra day.
    • Several car rental agencies have a counter in the arrivals hall.
  • Bus
    • Bus line 175 reaches the Warszawa Centralna station in 25 minutes and the city centre (Centrum stop) in about 30 minutes.
    • Line 188 connects the right bank with eastern districts (Praga, in about 40 minutes, then Grochow and Gocław) via Polytechnika (25 minutes).
    • Line 148 makes the Airport-Praga trip via Ursynow. Buses run from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., every 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Line 331 connects the airport to the Wilanowska metro station. Buses run every 10 to 15 minutes.
    • The night bus line 32 runs from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., about every 30 minutes, and stops at the Warszawa Centralna Station.

You can purchase bus tickets at newsstands or directly from the driver. Price is PLN 4.40.
  • Train
    • The S2 train line runs to Srodmiescie Station in the city centre while the S3 line connects the Warszawa Centralna station. Trains run one to three times per hour, from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. The ticket price is 4.40 PLN. The station is located next to the arrival hall in the lower concourse.
  • Shuttle Buses
    • Some hotels offer shuttles to the centre or back to the airport. Check with your hotel.
  • Taxi
    • The official taxi companies are located in the middle of the arrivals hall. Fares are fixed: approximately PLN 40 to the centre (PLN 50 on Sunday and holidays). Beware of “independent” taxi drivers who try to attract you in the lobby: their rates are usually much higher than the official companies.
  • Services: shops, bars, restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi), banks, exchange offices, a post office, ATMs, restaurants, luggage storage, rest rooms, a prayer room, and a first aid centre available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +48 22 650 42 20
  • Website: https://www.lotnisko-chopina.pl/en/index.html

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GETTING AROUND Warsaw

The means of transport are numerous, varied, and safe. Bus, metro, tram: Tourists and travellers will be spoiled for choice!

By car

Traffic in the city is pretty well organized and relatively fluid, apart from unavoidable jams during peak hours. Parking is payable from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PLN 9 per hour in the city centre, PLN 3 for more remote parking areas.

By bus

Warsaw counts 200 bus routes, running daily between 5:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. every 5 to 15 minutes depending on the lines. Line 180 serves the 'royal road' through all the tourist points of the city. Night buses run between 11:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. every 30 minutes.

Conventional tickets, 'ZTM Warszawa', provide access to all means of transport. You can buy them in vending machines at stops or in newsstands.

Fares: Single ticket with transfers, PLN 7, PLN 4.40 without transfer. Tickets valid for 24 hours cost PLN 15. Weekend tickets, valid from Friday, 7:00 p.m. to Monday, 8:00 a.m.: PLN 24. Children under 7 and adults over 70 travel free. Students can receive a 50% discount upon presentation of ID.

By tramway

Trams are an ideal means of transportation around Warsaw. About 30 lines criss-cross around town. Fares : tickets valid for 20 minutes are PLN 3.40, tickets valid for up to 75 minutes on the same line are PLN 4.40, tickets valid on the whole network for 90 minutes are PLN 7, day passes are PLN 15 and weekend passes are PLN 24 (valid from Friday, 7 p.m. to Monday, 8 a.m.)

By metro

The Warsaw Metro has a north-south line, connecting the Bielany district to that of Ursynow. It runs every 8 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 12:15 a.m., and every 5 minutes during peak hours. A second line connects the Rondo Daszyńskiego station in centre-west to the Dworzec Wileński station in the centre-east. The agglomeration of Warsaw is divided into two zones: Zone 1 (downtown), and zone 2 (suburban). The price of a ticket is PLN 4.40 for zone 1 and PLN 7 for zones 1 and 2.

By taxi

Several taxi stands are available in the city centre. Fares begin at PLN 8. The price per kilometre is displayed inside the taxi: it varies according to the covered area (city or suburbs), day and night, holidays and weekends. Allow about PLN 2.50 per kilometre for a day fare in the city centre, PLN 4.50 per kilometre at night, on weekends and holidays, PLN 6 per kilometre for suburban travel during the day and PLN 9 per kilometre in the suburbs weekends, holidays, and at night. Beware of “independent” taxicabs (they show no telephone number nor company logo): their pricing is usually far higher than most official competiton.

By bike

Veturilo, the bicycle-rental network, was inaugurated in 2012. It has 160 stations in many parts of the city, for a total of 2,500 bikes. Several cycling trails run through the city, especially along the left bank of the Vistula, which offers a very nice promenade.

The service is active from March 1st to November 30th. You can rent a bike with a credit card directly on one of the terminals present in the rental stations. Bicycles can be rented and returned to any station, provided you respect a maximum period of 12 hours. The first 20 minutes are free. Thereafter, bikes cost PLN 1 for the next 40 minutes, PLN 3 for the second hour, PLN 5 for the third hour, and then PLN 7 per hour from the fourth hour.

By tourist train

Throughout the year, a little tourist train (Kolejka Staromiejska) runs through the old town and the new districts of Warsaw. The start and finish of the circuit is found on Zamkowy Square (Castle Square Royal). The ticket, available from the driver, is PLN 25 (adults) or PLN 22 (children).

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Warsaw, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Warsaw Tourist Offices

Tourist Information Centres

  • Chopin International Airport, Ul. Zwirki i Wigury 1 Terminal A (arrivals, exit 2)
  • Rynek Market Square, Starego Miasta 19/21/21a Warsaw
  • Praga Koneser Centre, Konesera 2 Square, Warsaw

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Poland is the Polish Złoty (PLN).

EUR 1 = PLN 4,36

PLN 1 = EUR 0,23

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Warsaw counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required for travel to Poland, but it is recommended to be updated for the usual vaccinations: diphtheria-tetanus-polio.

For more information, contact the Air France international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no food safety risks in Warsaw.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Warsaw.

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ADMINISTRATIVE FORMALITIES

Entry requirements for Poland

Citizens of certain countries must obtain a visa before entering Poland. For a list of nationalities requiring no entry visa to Poland, visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of Poland:

https://www.msz.gov.pl/en/travel_to_poland/entering_poland/visa_free/visa_free_countries

For more information, visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of Poland:

https://www.gov.pl/web/diplomacy

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Poland, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are some practical phrases in Polish which may be useful during your stay in Warsaw:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Dzien dobry

Good evening: Dobry wieczor

Good-bye: Do widzenia

Yes: Tak

No: Nie

No, thank-you : Nie, dziekuje

Thank you very much: Dziekuje bardzo

Please: Prosze

I don't understand: Nie rozumiem

Could you repeat? : Prosze powtorzyc

What time is it? : Ktora jest godzina?

Sorry: Przepraszam
Excuse me: Przepraszam

Airport: Lotnisko

Train Station: Stacja kolejowa

Taxi: Taxowka

Hotel: Hotel

Hospital: Szpital

Bank: Bank

Phone: Telefon

I'm (…): Jestem (…)

I'm looking for (…): Szukam (…)

How much is (…)?: Ile kosztuje (…)?

Do you have (…)? Czy macie (…)?

Where can I find (...)? Gdzie mozna znalesc (…)?

Where can I buy (...)? Gdzie mozna kupic (…)?

I'd like (...): Chcial bym (…)

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Good to know

+48
+ phone number (without 0)
1 : 00
of time difference with
Dublin
Daylight Savings Time start date: last Sunday in March

Daylight Savings Time end date: last Sunday in October

Banks
Generally open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Government Offices
Generally open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping

Tipping is not mandatory, although it is sometimes added to the bill (up to 10% of the total).

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