Poland is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast and the Baltic Sea. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres. Poland has a population of over 38 million people. The official language spoken in Poland is Polish.
EU citizens do not require a visa to travel to Poland. Irish citizens need a passport.
Please note that you will require a visa to enter or transit Belarus. This includes anyone travelling by train on the Warsaw-Moscow route.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Poland. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Please note that Accident and Emergency departments in Polish public hospitals may not accept private insurance membership cards and may require a cash payment if a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not produced.
The EHIC is readily recognised and accepted in Poland. However, we recommend that comprehensive private medical insurance is still obtained before travelling as the EHIC covers emergency treatment in public hospitals only. For information on the EHIC and how to obtain a card please visit www.ehic.ie.
Safety and Security
Emergency services in Poland may be contacted on the number 112.
There is zero tolerance of drink driving in Poland.
If you plan to drive in Poland, you should note that roads are often of poor standard and driving can be dangerous.
Fatal car accidents are very common. Conditions are hazardous, therefore, especially in winter, you should equip your car for the severe climate.
Headlights must be on always.
Seat belts must be used in both front and back seats.
The use of a mobile phone while driving (unless it is “hands-free”) is banned. Your Irish driving license is valid in Poland.
Original vehicle-registration papers, ownership documents and insurance papers at all times.
Car theft and the theft of documents from vehicles are common.
Local Laws and Customs
While in Poland, Irish citizens are subject to Polish law, which may sometimes differ to Irish law.
In particular, public drunkenness (ie. in the streets, on public transport etc.) may be dealt with very severely by the Polish authorities who have the right to detain people in detoxification centres if they believe them to be very drunk. There have been cases where detained people have missed flights the next morning.
We would strongly advise Irish citizens who are travelling to Poland to avoid drinking in public areas which is against the law, and to avoid any appearance of being drunk.
New Road Toll System
From 1 July 2011, a new automated tolling system will be in place in Poland for all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and/or more than 9 seats. For further information, please see the Embassy Warsaw website.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Poland is in a moderate climatic zone, with four changing seasons. The hottest month in Poland is July and the coldest January. Between November and March sub-zero temperatures are usually recorded. The hottest part of Poland is the Silesian Lowland. The coldest spot is the north-eastern area around Suwalki.
Additional Country Info
Time is GMT + 1 hour
International phone code
The Irish Embassy in Poland is located in Warsaw. Tel. 00 48 22 849 66 33.
If you intend to stay in Poland for an extended period of time, you are encouraged to register your details with the Embassy. Please click here for the Embassy's contact details.