Tap water in Poland

Hot? Feel like having a glass of water? Check key facts and recommendations on the burning question of tap water during your trip to Poland.

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Priceless experience?

4 euro or US dollars for a small bottle of still water?! Unfortunately, it may be true in some cases in bars and restaurants in Polish cities… In many countries fresh drinking tap water is served for free, but in Poland it is still rare and it is better not to expect that. But more and more often you may get it if only you ask! That would be our first tip, because it is

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Safe! but first ask

Poles fall into the old stereotype that tap water is not safe for drinking but many official sources claim the opposite. Cities launch social campaigns to convince people that it is a safe choice but people’s mentality changes slowly. General tip for you in this regard: before drinking or refilling your bottle, always better ask if the tap water in the given city, hotel or the place you’re staying at is checked and recommended to drink, filtered ect. And once it’s confirmed…

Let’s save the planet!

Poles are living more and more eco friendly, as the last few years marked a significant rise in awareness that natural resources are limited and climate change threatens us all. And if you’re living an eco-friendly lifestyle yourself, why not continue when travelling! We will not guarantee that it will be possible everywhere but it’s at least worth asking, checking and making other people think of their everyday choices!

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Glass over plastic

If no other option, please remember that you may quite easily buy a Polish bottled water in glass – less frequently available than plastic bottles that are everywhere… but much also with a better design 🙂

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Why Poland is the best holidays option for you?

Closer than you think

For Europeans reaching Poland by plane travel may take no longer than a few hours, including a wide range of direct flights not only to the country’s capital, Warsaw, but also Cracow or Gdańsk (much less options unfortunately). So if you don’t like wasting too much time just to reach your destination, that’s your best option! By car your travel will take longer, but leaves the opportunity to already do some sightseeing on the way:) The quality of motorways in Poland is really good (on the local roads it varies). Strongly recommended for their unique ambience and eco reasons are of course trains. This is a highly underestimated way of travelling, also to discover Poland when you are already visiting the country. Centrally located in Europe, Poland is within reach for most Europeans easily, and EU regulations make all the formalities smooth and transparent – no passport needed in this case.

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Different from what you know

Not only are you interested in discovering true European diversity of cultures but maybe even eager to experience a bit of the Eastern vibes? Cities, regardless of the individual historical architecture, still are full of communists artefacts; many rural areas even close to big cities preserve the local and slightly outdated charm, with strong Catholic Church influence visible at every turn. And the closer you get to Eastern border of Poland the more recognisable become Ukrainian, Belarus, Lithuenian and Russian influences and Slavic elements that co – shaped the local culture, music and cuisine for the past centuries. The sense of novelty you will experience in Poland may also concern the language or even the currency: Poland has been a member of the European Union since 2004 but still stays outside of the eurozone.

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Easier than expected

Regardless of the current pandemic restriction, it is worth underlining that Poland is a safe country to visit, also for women travelling alone. Of course all the basic reasonable ways to stay safe are needed everywhere but modern highways and friendly city centers offer a good framework to enjoy your holidays with no greater risks involved. To the surprise of many, Poland is also technologically well advanced, even compared to the richer European countries. Thanks to the significant wave of investments over the last 2-3 decades it’s a rather common thing in cities for instance to be able to buy a ticket in the vending machine in the bus with your card or connect to the internet on the fast train. All in one that makes it quite easy to travel throughout Poland even if you don’t speak Polish.

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Rooted in the history

If you are interested to know where your ancestors come from, visit places only last seen on the faded pictures in the family photo album there’s a chance your research may lead you at some point to Poland. Centuries of the turbulent and complex history, including a long period of being a multicultural pot for many different nations, then two world wars of XX century made Poles as well as many Europeans suffer and millions dislocate. In Poland historical heritage is often well preserved and cherished and it is still possible to find at least a trace of old familial history in small villages, archives or museums – so precious for some. The same applies to people interested in history, especially looking for iconic places related to World War II.

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Greener side of Europe

Great variety of natural landscapes (high mountains like Tatras, Masurian Lakes, the Baltic sea, but even a desert – Błedowska!) and a great number of the wilderness makes Poland a unique place to experience clean environment and wild nature. ⅓ of the country is covered with forests, with a significant number of protected areas that enables traveling throughout the country and relaxing in nature. And there’s one place that attracts people from around the world to come to Poland – Bialowieza Forest. The last primeval European forest with the biggest European bison herd living there freely is often compared to the Amazon Forest and is a must-see for all the nature lovers. But a visit to Bialowieza may become a great holiday also for families with children as the region offers diverse opportunities to relax, from more advanced forest trekking to biking or discovering local Estern culture.

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5 Polish writers you need to know

Olga Tokarczuk

Popular and honored with numerous awards, but with the Man Booker Prize and later the literature Nobel prize in 2019 her popularity skyrocketed. Titles like Primeval and Other Times, House of Day, House of Night or The Books of Jacob are among her most popular pieces. Tokarczuk often includes mythical threads in her writing and does not avoid reopening the old wounds like she did in her historical novel The Books of Jacob, about complex Polish-Jewish relations in the 18th century Poland and eastern-central Europe or in Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead – a detective story targeted at conservative society rules and hunters community. Tokarczuk is very active in public debate about democracy, human rights and environment protection in Poland. Especially Flights, an extraordinary philosophical take on the contemporary travels and the state of our world may become your first brilliant encounter with her stunning artistic creation.

Remigiusz Mroz

Polish Stephen King, just much younger:) He’s a master of crime, legal thrillers and science fiction. Definitely recognized as the most popular contemporary Polish author in recent years. Among his emblematic characters you will find a series featuring Joanna Chyłka, Police Chief – Forst and Parabellum. Being only 33 he has already written 33 books and rumor has it that under the mask of the modest young intellectual there’s a whole team of writers hidden, “producing” new bestsellers at least twice a year:) First translations of his books are expected soon.

Mariusz Szczygiel

A celebrity among journalists and authors, not only thanks to his literary work but also because he was the co-presenter of the first talk show in Poland that started in mid 1990. He is best-known for his brilliant reportages on the Czech nation – books Gottland or later Make Your Own Paradise, but also as the editor of the anthology 100/XX: Anthology of Polish Reporting of the 20th century – an epic compilation depicting modern Poland. One of his latest book of reportages There Is No is a touching story of absence and loss in our lives.

Jakub Żulczyk

“Young” (37 yo) Polish writer and screenwriter. Author of successful novels like Do me some harm, Blinded by the Lights (that became also an HBO series) and co-author of the script to the popular TV crime series Belfer among others. His last novel Black sun is a controversial dystopian, rough vision of the future of Poland depicting arising facism.

Andrzej Sapkowski

If you think of Polish fantasy, you say: Sapkowski, having mostly in mind his iconic saga of The Witcher. Most recognisable Polish fantasy writer (maybe except for Stanisław Lem – have you read his novel Solaris or watched a movie?). What started as a story written at a request of his son has over years turned into one of the most popular culture plots and become a screenplay for a role-playing game and Netflix TV series just to name some. You may choose to read his books in of the over 20 languages they have been translated into.