If you are planning to visit Poland in winter, there are a few essentials that you need to know. The weather might be challenging if you are not prepared for it, and you will not be able to do certain activities or visit some places.
In this article, I am going to share with you all the useful information on how to prepare for your winter trip, to get the most out of it.
The Winter Season In Poland
Winter in Poland usually lasts from December to February. The most popular holiday during the season is of course Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
There are two winter school breaks, one is during Christmas, about 10 days off. The second break lasts is called “ferie”. It lasts two weeks and varies for different provinces.
The Weather During Winter In Poland
The temperature can drop to -10 °C (14 °F) or even lower, especially in the eastern and southern parts of the country. Snow is common, and it can accumulate to significant depths, especially in the mountain areas.
How To Prepare For Winter In Poland
Expect The Unexpected
It has always snowed in Poland, and it is always cold during winter, Yet, every year, the cold, and freeze surprises Poles, and they are always truly taken by the first snowfalls.
It is sweet to see people being mesmerized by tiny snowflakes falling on their hands but on the other hand, snowfalls surprise road services in the same way, and traffic can turn into real chaos.
Expect some delays in public transport, as all traffic slows down. Occasionally, in case of very heavy weather conditions, some trains, or flights can be canceled.
Expect Some Attractions To Be Closed For The Winter
Obviously, you will not be able to go sunbathing in winter, and a trip by bicycle could be a bit difficult, but there are other attractions, that are closed for the winter, that are not so obvious.
National Parks close some trails for the whole of the season, outdoor museums exclude parts of exhibitions. Also, tourist places that thrive during summer and are related to summer activities will most probably be closed during winter.
Mark The Holidays And Plan Your Shopping
Winter is a time of many public holidays, and in Poland shops close during this time. In general, you will find many supermarkets operating 24/7 on the weekdays, and at the same time, everything closes on Sunday.
The same goes for holidays. Here is the list of days, that you will not be able to pop into a bakery for a fresh breakfast, or do any other shopping for that matter…
- 25th December
- 26th December
- 1st January
- 6th January
- 31st December – make sure to buy your champagne early, as shops close around 3 pm.
Prepare For Long Evenings
Days are really short during winter, as the sun goes down around 3 pm. Make sure to plan your trips well, especially when you are up in the mountains, or in the forest.
And since short days are a disadvantage when it comes to sightseeing, they surely make up a good time to socialize, sipping nice hot chocolate in one of the coffee shops, or indulging in a glass of wine.
A museum, theater, shopping center or cinema are good ways to spend the day too.
Dress For The Weather
“Onion style”, is the winter style.
What is it? Wearing many layers of loose clothes. It’s better to wear multiple layers of clothing than one thick jacket in winter.
With layers, you can adjust your clothing to changes in temperature, which is useful when you get on and off heated public transport. You can add or remove layers as needed to stay comfortable.
Keep Yourself Warm With The Right Food.
The best tip to function in challenging weather conditions is always to follow with what locals do, wear, and eat. And food is essential when it comes to winter in Poland. Poles have plenty of tasteful dishes, that will warm you up for the inside.
A good soup is always a remedy to all problems, but in winter it will also warm your stomach up.
Here is a list of the most popular Polish soups, you can get them in restaurants or milk bars.
- kapuśniak – sour cabbage/sauerkraut soup
- ogórkowa – sour cucumber soup
- rosół – broth
- barszcz czerwony–Polish Red Borscht
Bigos, pierogi are good winter dishes, and they are also a traditional meal, that you must try.
Prepare For Winter Activities
Winter in Poland offers so many wonderful things to do. Skiing, skating, visiting illumination parks, and strolling around the Christmas markets are just a few to choose from.
If skiing is your way to spend winter holidays, Tatra Mountains is what you need.
However, I mentioned it already, remember the school breaks and bank holidays. You will be better off booking the place to sleep in advance to secure your trip.
Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland, is a good base for visiting mountains. You will fall in love with this town, its stunning natural scenery, and its rich culture.
The place is vivid all the time, and especially Christmas and New Year’s Eve are great to enjoy yourself and to party.
Watch the video I made in February 2023 when I was visiting Zakopane with my family.
Interesting Reads About Winter In Poland
In this blog, You will find much useful information regarding winter in Poland. Have a look at the list below, and get all you need to know, to plan your trip and get the most out of your winter stay in Poland.
- Winter in Gdańsk
- Winter in Warsaw
- Winter in Zakopane
- Tips for visiting Poland for the first time
- Polish Christmas traditions
- Best souvenirs from Poland
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