Poland Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Poland
How safe is Poland?
Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel advice for Poland is to remain cautious to the possibility of street crime and minor thefts, as thieves target tourist-heavy areas, and often swing past pedestrians on scooters and snatch their belongings. Ensure they are kept close to you at all times.
COVID-19 Situation in Poland
Due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Poland, the country has introduced more stringent lockdown restrictions on the 22nd of March until at least the 9th of April, requiring elderly people aged over 70 to stay at home unless going out for essentials, limiting capacity in public transport to 50%, banning public gatherings over 5 people, closing entertainment venues and non essential shops in shopping malls and retail parks, and shutting hospitality venues including hotels, restaurants, cafes and pubs (except for takeaways or deliveries).
To control the spread of the virus, the use of face masks is compulsory in indoor and outdoor public places and people must maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meter with each other.
International travellers who enter Poland by airplane, train and coach must quarantine for 10 days on their arrival.
For more advice on preventive measures to follow, refer to our healthcare section.
Security in Poland
The Polish government have refused to accept any refugees into their country amongst safety and security fears. The rate of violent crime in the country remains relatively low, and as such there are no significant security risks.
Poland is frequently subject to heavy rains and thunderstorms, especially throughout the summer months. This can sometimes lead to localised flooding and it is advised that you keep up to date with the regional weather forecasts and listen to any announcements from the local authorities.
Poland's International Relations
Poland’s membership in the European Union has enhanced its international position. Its responsibility of hosting the next NATO summit in 2016 has arguably improved already strong bilateral ties with the United States, as NATO’s presence is increased in Poland. Further relations with countries include France, Germany and Ukraine.
Travelling around Poland
EU law means that driving licences from an EU country are valid for use in Poland. You must carry this with you when driving, along with registration, ownership and insurance papers at all times. International visitors may have to apply for an international driving permit, so you should check with your local embassy before driving.
When travelling by car in Poland, British nationals do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) but a motor insurance green card issued by their car insurer is required to drive a UK-registered car in the EU.
The highway system is frequently upgraded, this is due to the heavy traffic flow on the roads as lorries transit between Eastern and Western Europe. Roadworks are a common occurrence, so delays should be expected. Many smaller roads are in poor condition as focus remains on highways.
Tourists should be aware that unregulated taxi drivers operate, especially around busy tourist areas. They often charge large amounts, so only use official taxi companies which can be recognised by the company’s name and telephone number printed on the side of the vehicle.
Road accidents are common and Poland has one of the highest mortality rates in Europe. There is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to driving under the influence, so do not consume alcohol or drugs before driving a vehicle. It is vital therefore that you remain aware and alert on the roads at all times.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency services in Poland
Police emergency: 999
Fire emergency: 998
Medical emergency: 997
The international emergency number 112 is also in use.
Currency: Złoty (PLN)
Time now in Warsaw:
Consular information for Poland
U.S. Embassy Warsaw
Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31
Telephone: +48 22504 2000
Telephone: +48 22504 2000 (Out of hours)
British Embassy Warsaw
ul. Kawalerii 12,
Telephone: +48 22 311 00 00
Visa requirements for Poland
A valid passport for at least three months may be required to enter Poland. Most tourists can enter the country for a maximum of 90 days visa-free, however if you are unsure if this applies to you, please contact your nearest Polish embassy.
As the UK is no longer part of the EU, British nationals can travel without a visa to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, to stay longer than 90 days in Poland whether for work, study, business travel or any other reasons, a visa will be required. Please note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days will be cumulative and will count towards the 90-day limit.
Healthcare and Immunisations
If you are a British citizen, your UK EHIC card remains valid when travelling to an EU country until it expires, providing access to state-provided healthcare in Poland. After that, British citizens must apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which will cover them for state-provided healthcare in the EU. Nevertheless, you will be required to show proof on arrival that you have travel insurance for your trip.
COVID-19 is present in Poland and there is no vaccination against it. Protection is through following preventive measures: self-isolate, avoid travel unless necessary, don't gather in public places and apply good hygiene precautions.
It is advised that visitors to Poland are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Hepatitis A and Tetanus vaccinations. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Tick-borne Encephalitis as it is present in some parts of the country. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Be cautious in areas of dense forest, as this is where tick-borne encephalitis is most common, especially during the summer months.
In smaller towns and rural areas, medical care and facilities may be limited. Most other areas have adequate health facilities, however you should still purchase comprehensive health insurance in case extensive treatment is required.