When you ask a random tourist about Poland, you will hear about beautiful cities, nature, pierogi, vodka, over a thousand years of history, communist government, Pope John Paul II, Robert Lewandowski and Euro 2012. You will learn that this is a nation of hard-working people who have survived decades of difficult times to become one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and the world.
The Republic of Poland is located in the heart of Central Europe. It borders seven countries: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany. The northern border runs along the Baltic Sea coast. In terms of area, it is the 9th country in Europe, occupying more than 312,000 km2. It is currently inhabited by 38,413 million people.
The beginnings of the Polish state date back to the 10th century - then ruler Mieszko I was baptised. Throughout the following centuries rulers and dynasties changed many times, wars rolled through the country, and after all in 1795 the Polish state disappeared from the maps for 123 years, dismantled by neighbouring countries. At the end of World War I, Poland regained its independence, and after 1945 it gained its borders, which it still holds today. Since 2004, it has been a member of the European Union and is a member of the Schengen Area. The official currency is the Polish zloty (PLN), and the area code is +48. The capital and, at the same time, the largest city of the country is Warsaw, situated on the Vistula River, with the Palace of Culture towering over it, from whose viewing terraces you can admire the panorama of the city.
It can be said that Poland is a relatively cheap country – food, public transport and accommodation are cheaper than in Western European countries. On the other hand, restaurants serve pizza with ketchup, which is not so popular elsewhere in the world. In Poland cars under the FIAT brand licence were produced – the most popular of them became the Fiat 126p – commonly called “Maluch” – which stole even Tom Hanks' heart and he has one of them in his car collection.
Rzeczpospolita boasts a wide range of attractions both in the form of beautiful cities and corners full of wild nature. Coming to this part of the world it is necessary to visit Cracow - one of the oldest Polish cities, where you can meet the Wawel Dragon, visit the Castle and the Old Town. Cracow is located in the shadow of the Tatra Mountains - the highest mountain range in Poland. Its highest peak is Rysy (2503 m), and coming down from the mountains it is worth staying in Zakopane for a while. It is a charming town always full of tourists, where you can meet highlanders and eat oscypek - traditional Polish salty smoked cheese.
If someone prefers water, there is also something for everyone in the Vistula country. The Baltic coast is full of resorts, which are vibrant with life every summer. It's worth visiting Sopot and walking on the over half a kilometre long pier. Nearby there is also Gdańsk – an old port city famous for its amber, the beginning of the Solidarity movement and beautiful Długi Targ . Poland is also famous for Masuria - an area full of lakes, lagoons and canals. You can sail or kayak there and explore the beauty of the wildlife in the company of skittish animals.
Everyone loves Polish culture, everyone loves the complicated language, everyone loves food and history from across the Vistula, but when we ask ourselves if what we actually know about Poland and Poles is true - we may have different answers. It is best to check it out on your own! Come and feel the spirit of Poland. It is worth it!
Are you intrigued by the Polish Slavic culture? Will you like the complicated, rustling Polish language? Will you enjoy Polish dumplings and other specialties of Polish cuisine? Will you be fascinated by the history of the Vistula River country? Check it out on your own! Come and feel the spirit of Poland. You won't regret it!
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