Poland Traveler information- Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Poland Traveler Information guide.
At AARDY.COM we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Poland Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Poland.
Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: Six months remaining validity strongly recommended; at least three months remaining validity beyond planned departure from the Schengen area is required.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: None.
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not required for stays under 90 days.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: 10,000 euros.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: 10,000 euros.
Embassies and Consulates
Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31
00-540 Warsaw, Poland
Telephone: +48 (22) 504-2000
American Citizen Services: +48 (22) 504-2784
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +48 (22) 504-2000
Fax: +(48) (22) 504-2088
U.S. Consulate General Krakow
Ulica Stolarska 9,
31-043 Kraków, Poland
Telephone: +48 (12) 424-5100
American Citizen Services: +48 (12) 424-5129
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +48 (60) 148-3348
Fax: +(48) (12) 424-5103
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Poland for information on U.S.–Poland relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
Poland is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Poland for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay in Poland. You need to show sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our U.S. Travelers in Europe page. Please visit the Embassy of Poland website for the most current visa information.
If you are transiting Poland en route to other countries, know all entry and exit requirements for your final destination. You may be denied boarding for your connecting flight if you have incorrect documentation or not enough validity on your U.S. passport beyond the planned stay in your destination country. If you are denied boarding, you will need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket or an itinerary that does not require entry into the Schengen zone.
- Passports must have at least three months remaining validity beyond your date of planned departure from Poland. If you travel to and from Poland to other Schengen countries, it is recommended you have at least six months remaining validity on your U.S. passport beyond departure from the Schengen area. Air travelers to Poland may be denied boarding if their passports lack this remaining validity.
- Polish citizens (including U.S.-Polish dual nationals or those with claims to Polish citizenship) must enter and depart Poland using a Polish passport. Dual nationals who entered Poland only with a U.S. passport, especially those who stayed in Poland over 90 days, may be unable to depart Poland until they obtain a Polish passport.
- You need a visa for stays longer than 90 days or to work or study in Poland.
- Non-EU visitors must obtain a stamp in their passport upon initial entry into a Schengen country in order to depart the Schengen area without difficulty.
For further information on entry requirements and current visa information, please contact the consular section of the Embassy of Poland, 2224 Wyoming Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, (202) 499-1700, or a Polish consulate in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, or Houston.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Poland.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks, but all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
We urge U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations. Public demonstrations on a variety of political and economic issues are common in Poland. U.S. Citizens should monitor local media coverage, review their personal security practices, and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even peaceful demonstrations can escalate into violence with little or no notice. Travel Advisory and Security alerts can be found on the U.S. Mission to Poland’s website.
Crime: Poland has a low crime rate overall with the highest crime rates being in major cities.
- Safeguard your belongings in public areas. Thieves and pick-pockets operate at major tourist destinations, railroad stations, on trains (particularly overnight trains), trams, and buses. Report incidents of theft to the police.
- Do not leave valuables in plain sight inside vehicles.
- If someone directs you to pull over or signals that something is wrong with your car continue driving until you reach a safe spot (a crowded gas station, supermarket, or a police station) to inspect your vehicle.
- Only change money at banks or legitimate exchange kiosks (kantor). ATMs at commercial banks, large hotels, shopping malls, and airports are safest.
- While casinos and gaming establishments are government-regulated, some are affiliated with, or have attracted the interest of, organized crime.
- Avoid adult entertainment venues. Such establishments have presented foreign customers with inflated bills as high as tens of thousands of dollars and have threatened those who refuse to pay.
- Travel in a group when going out after dark to nightclubs, discos, bars, or high-tourism areas, such as the Market Square in Krakow and Old Town in Warsaw.
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizens, victims of sexual assault should first contact the local police. Report crimes to the local police by calling 112 (multilingual emergency dispatch centers serving Poland and EU countries), and contact the U.S. Embassy at +48 (22) 504-2000 or the U.S. Consulate in Krakow at +48 (12) 424-5100. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
- a list of organizations providing assistance programs for victims of crimes in Poland is available at the website of the Ministry of Justice: Assistance to Victims of Crime
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. A U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. While under Polish law, a person holding both Polish and U.S. citizenship is deemed to be a Polish citizen, dual U.S.-Polish nationals may still ask to see a U.S. consular officer. See our webpage for further information.
Special Circumstances: Polish Customs enforce strict regulations concerning the export of items such as works of art. Contact the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., or a Polish consulate in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, or Houston for specific information regarding customs requirements.
- Taking pictures of Polish military buildings or other national security/restricted objects is illegal.
- Penalties are severe for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Poland. Expect long jail sentences and heavy fines if convicted.
- Local police can request identification at any time to establish your identity and submit you to further questioning.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following Department of State webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
- Human Rights Report – see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on consensual same-sex sexual relations between adults or on the organization of LGBTI events in Poland. Polish law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Though the government generally enforces these provisions, the social acceptance of LGBTI individuals is not as prevalent as in the United States.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Polish law states that buildings should be accessible for persons with disabilities, but many buildings remain inaccessible. Public buildings and transportation generally are accessible, although older trains and vehicles are often less so and many trains and subway stations are not fully accessible. In Warsaw and other major cities, some of the new public buildings are accessible. Wheelchair users will still find many challenges, as Warsaw is very hilly, with lots of steps and few curb cuts. Outside of major metropolitan areas, accessible public transportation is less common.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.
Adequate medical care is available, but the quality of hospital facilities and nursing support may not be comparable to U.S. standards in all regions of Poland. Emergency services may be lacking in small towns and rural areas. Physicians are generally well-trained, and many doctors speak English (nurses and staff may not). While medication and treatment is generally substantially less-costly than in the United States, doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment prior to treatment. Medication, while generally available, may not be U.S. brand-name drugs.
We do not pay medical bills, and U.S. Medicare is not valid overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers in Poland accept cash and credit card payments prior to service. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure the medication is legal in Poland. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Poland differ significantly from those in the United States. Road fatalities are high in Poland, placing it among one of the more dangerous places to drive in Europe. Driving, especially after dark, is hazardous. Roads are sometimes narrow, poorly lit, frequently under repair (especially in summer), and are often also used by pedestrians and cyclists.
- Polish roadside services, while not equal to those in the United States, are adequate The Polish Automobile Association (Polski Związek Motorowy Auto-Tour) has multilingual operators and provides assistance countrywide 24/7. Call (22) 532-8403 or email email@example.com.
- Flooding has closed bridges and significantly disrupted road travel in the past.
- The police emergency number is 997, fire service is 998, ambulance service is 999, and the general emergency number is 112.
Traffic Laws: You must have a U.S. driver's license AND an International Driving Permit (IDP) (obtained prior to departure from the United States) in order to drive in Poland. U.S. citizens cannot obtain IDPs in Poland. If you stay in Poland for more than six months and continue to drive, you must obtain a Polish driver’s license. You can find information on obtaining an International Driving Permit here.
- Seat belt use is mandatory.
- You must use headlights year-round and at all times.
- Children under 12 must sit in rear seats. Children under 12 and shorter than 4’11” must use a child’s car seat.
- Using hand-held cell phones while driving is prohibited.
- Polish law provides zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs. Prison sentences for DUI violations or accidents caused by impaired drivers can range from two to twelve years.
- Fines for traffic violations can be substantial. Non-residents are expected to pay the police officer issuing the ticket immediately. Be prepared to pay in cash in local currency.
- Headlights must be turned on when the vehicle is in motion, regardless of time of day or time of year.
Public Transportation: Public transportation in Poland is generally efficient, inexpensive, and safe. A ticket is usually required when boarding a bus or tram. If the ticket is not validated upon entry, you may be fined. In cities, taxis are available at major hotels, designated taxi stands, and can be ordered in advance by phone.
Avoid taxis without a company name and/or telephone number printed on the light bar. Make sure that the driver displays his or her license inside the vehicle, has a functioning meter, and uses the meter when starting your trip. At airports in Poland, including Warsaw’s Chopin Airport, only use taxis found at designated stands and avoid unregistered taxi stalls.
Internet-based ride services, such as Uber and iTaxi, are legal in Poland and growing in popularity as a safe ride option. However, some internet-based ride services may not be authorized to drop off or pick up patrons in some downtown tourist areas.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Poland’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Poland’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Poland should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at Maritime Security Communications with Industry Web Portal and information specific to Poland can be found on The Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation website. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s website. Weather warnings specific for Poland are available in English, and German on The Institute of Meteorology and Water Management website.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Poland. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.
Recent AARDY Travel Insurance Customer Reviews