PolandOfficial Name: Republic of Poland
See our World Youth Day 2016 Fact Sheet to help you plan a safe and enjoyable trip to Poland.
Six months validity recommended; three months validity beyond planned departure date from the Schengen area required.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Not required for stays under 90 days
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
Amounts over 10,000 Euros or equivalent must be declared at customs.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Amounts over 10,000 Euros or equivalent must be declared at customs.
Embassies and Consulates
Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31
00-540 Warsaw, Poland
Telephone: +48 (22) 504-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +48 (22) 504-2000
American Citizen Services: +48 (22) 504-2784
Fax: +(48) (22) 504-2122
U.S. Consulate General Krakow
Ulica Stolarska 9,
Telephone: +48 (12) 424-5129
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(48) 601-483-348
Fax: +(48) (12) 424-5103
U.S. Consular Agent - Poznan
Ulica Paderewskiego 8,
Telephone: +(48) (61) 851-8516
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(48) (22) 504-2000
Fax: +(48) (61) 851-8966
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Poland for information on U.S.–Poland relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
- Passports should be valid for at least six months beyond your stay. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.
- Poland requires Polish citizens (including dual U.S.-Polish citizens or those with claims to Polish citizenship) to enter and depart Poland using a Polish passport.
- U.S. citizens may enter Poland for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.
- You will need a visa for stays longer than 90 days or to work or study in Poland. Visit the Embassy of Poland’s website for the most current visa information.
- Non-EU visitors must obtain a stamp in their passport upon initial entry into a Schengen country. You may need to request a stamp at an official point of entry, so that you can show your entry stamp when you depart Schengen.
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, or New York.
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; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
Demonstrations: Public demonstrations on a variety of political and economic issues are common in Poland. Although the majority of demonstrations are peaceful, they often cause traffic disruptions and occasionally attract counter-demonstrations. Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations and check local media for updates on the situation. Security messages about demonstrations can be found here on the U.S. Mission to Poland’s website.
Crime: Poland has a low rate of violent crime and a moderate level of street crime. Major cities have higher rates of crime.
- Be alert to criminal schemes. Theft continues to be the crime that impacts U.S citizens the most when travelling in Poland. Organized groups of thieves and pick-pockets operate at major tourist destinations, in train stations, and on trains (particularly overnight trains), trams, and buses in major cities.
- Do not leave valuables in plain sight inside vehicles.
- If someone indicates you should 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.
- Be sure to use "radio taxis" or taxis whose company phone number and name are printed on the light bar. Check to see that the taxi has a functioning meter and that the driver uses the meter when starting your trip.
- Travel in groups, especially after dark, to nightclubs, discos, and bars, as well as within high-tourism areas, such as the Market Square in Krakow and Warsaw’s Old Town.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by calling 997 or 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy at +48 (22) 504-2784, or +48 (22) 504-2000 after business hours, if you require assistance. 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
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
- support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further 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 at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from 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 Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
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. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
- 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.
- There is a virtually zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and penalties are severe, including significant jail time.
- Local police can require you to produce identification to establish your identity upon request and submit you to further questioning.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately - particularly if you are a dual U.S.-Polish national. A person holding Polish and U.S. citizenship is deemed by Poland to be a Polish citizen. 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, or New York for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or 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 prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, and the provision of other state services. In Warsaw and other major cities, public buildings and transportation generally are accessible. Outside of major metropolitan areas, accessible public transportation is usually less prevalent.
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 most younger doctors speak English (nurses and staff may not). Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment prior to treatment. Medication, while generally available, may not be U.S. brand-name drugs. Medication and treatment is generally less costly than in the United States.
- We do not pay medical bills and Medicare does not provide coverage overseas.
- Obtain supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
- Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas, and be prepared to make cash payments for services to overseas medical providers. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
- Carry prescription medication in its original packaging, along 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 & 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 rapidly improving. The Polish Automobile Association (Polski Związek Motorowy Auto-Tour) has multilingual operators and provides assistance countrywide 24/7. Call (22) 532-8403 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 virtually 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.
Public Transportation: Public transportation is generally efficient and inexpensive in Poland. 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. At Warsaw Airport, only use taxis found at designated stands and avoid unregistered taxi touts.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, visit Poland’s National Tourist Office and Poland's Ministry of Infrastructure and Development for road safety information.
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.