Daily life

Living in Europe | Access to the culture of the host country/language courses, Banking | Poland
 

Wrocław University of Science and Technology

Life in Poland is a cultural composition of traits belonging to both Eastern and Western European countries. For some differences of lifestyle and culture may be astonishing, especially for citizens of countries located in distant parts of the world, while for others they may be slightly visible. That is why it is essential to familiarize yourself with basic information about daily life in Poland.

Below you will find information which can help you to settle down.

 

 

Studio of Graphic Design, Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, author: Alek Figura/ZPAF

Events

A characteristic feature of Polish culture is involvement in the life of the nation. Apart from some well-established national or international film festivals, theatre and music, there are plenty of small local feasts, fairs, contests, meetings and competitions, some of which involve local folklore and religious celebrations. A great source of various information about cultural news, events, festivals, cultural institutions, periodicals, information about artists and their works abroad, can be found on Culture.pl, which is a daily updated website about Polish culture.

It is also worth visiting the Adam Mickiewicz Institute website, where you can find information about Polish artistic projects. You can also buy the "Polish Culture Magazine", bilingual (Polish/English) quarterly which aims at promoting Polish culture abroad and focuses on its most modern - as well as vital - artistic achievements.

 

Łódź Story, Opera Musical Show, Academy of Music in Lodz, author: Dariusz Kulesza

Theatre (PL teatr)

In Poland, theatres are located in every bigger city, offering a wide range of plays every week. In comparison to recent years, today Poles visit theatres more often, due to the availability and diversification of repertoire. Plays in theatres are generally staged in the Polish language, but international theatres also come to Poland for theatre reviews or guest performances. The prices differ, depending on the play, date and the seat you chose.

 
Łódź Film School, source: Archive of the Łódź Film School

Cinema (PL kino)

In Poland, you will find a multitude of cinemas ranging from multi-cinema complexes to small cosy cinemas which often show old or original non-mainstream films. You can watch films in an original language version with subtitles in Polish as in Poland films are not dubbed either in cinema or on TV (the only exception are fairy tales and cartoons for children).

 

 

Kopytka

Cuisine & eating out

Polish cuisine is very varied, with many of its traditional meals introduced by various nationalities living in the country. The most popular dishes are Polish meats and cold meats, in particular sausage (PL kiełbasa) available in many varieties, and ham (PL szynka), mostly pork. The main course usually includes pork (e.g. the most popular pork cutlet, PL kotletschabowy), poultry (PL drób) or fish (PL ryba) served with potatoes (PL ziemniaki or kartofle) or groats (PL kasza).

Traditional Polish lunch or dinner would not go without tomato soup (PL zupapomidorowa) with noodles or rice, beetroot soup (PL barszcz, also known as borscht) served with a kind of ravioli (small meat or cabbage and mushroom dumplings) or the oldest Polish dish which is rye-flour soup (PL żur or żurek) served with a sausage and a boiled egg.

During your stay in Poland, you should also try dumplings (PL pierogi) stuffed with meat, white cheese or fruit and traditional Polish cakes such as cheesecake (PL sernik), apple pie (PL jabłecznik), poppy-seed cake (PL makowiec) or gingerbread (PL piernik). Beer (PL piwo) lovers will not be disappointed with Polish trademark brews made for centuries, some of them winning awards in international contests.

Poland has plenty of restaurants, bars and inns which offer national dishes and regional specialities, and whose owners try to outdo one another in making the style of the interior as original as possible. In most cities and towns you will find a wide choice of restaurants offering Italian, French, Jewish or Chinese but also Arabic or Mexican cuisine. Moreover, Warsaw is chosen as a one of the most vegan friendly cities in the world, according to happycow.com

Restaurants are open from Monday to Sunday, usually between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. or late night, and Polish pubs only close once the last client leaves. In smaller towns, except for tourist resorts, they open later and close earlier. Bills may include a service charge if you come with a group of people. In restaurants where you are served by a waiter, tips usually range between 5 and 10%, depending on the standard of the place.

 

Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw

Entertainment

You can spend your leisure time in Poland in a variety of ways, and the choice is particularly wide in bigger cities, where in fact most academic and research centres are situated. Entertainment centres, which house cinemas, bowling alleys, climbing rocks and playgrounds for children, are growing in number.

Those who are tired of the hustle and bustle of city life may rest in botanical or zoological gardens, or numerous urban and landscape parks.

In each region, city or town, you will find an enormous variety of places worth visiting and events worth attending. Information about such places and events is available on town’s websites and in local newspapers.

 

Useful links