Poland has a moderate climate with both maritime and continental influences. This is caused by humid Atlantic air which collides over its territory with dry air from the Eurasian interior. Generally, in northern and western Poland the climate is predominantly maritime, with gentle, humid winters and cool, rainy summers, while the eastern part of the country has distinctly continental climate with harsh winters and hotter, drier summers.
Temperatures fall below zero from November to March. Polish spring lasts about 60 days, temperature is then 5-15°C. In summer temperature is often above 20°C and it is the best time to visit the country. In autumn temperature is 5-15°C. In winter temperature may be as low as minus 15/20°C with snowfalls. Winter lasts 2-3 months at the seaside and in the west of Poland, or 3-4 months in the east-north of Poland.
Poland has a population of over 38 126 000 people. It is 32. most populated country in the world, and 7. in Europe. 61.8% of its inhabitants live in towns and cities, 38.2% in rural areas. About 90% people declare themselves Roman Catholics.
Time zone in Poland is GMT + 1
Money and banking
There are five notes (10, 20, 50, 100, 200) and 9 coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 groszy, and 1, 2, 5 złotych) of Polish currency available. Grosz (gr) is a hundredth part of 1 złoty.
Banks are open Monday through Friday (usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), some are open also on Saturdays (from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
Exchange rates are published in the daily newspapers, at the banks and over the Internet. Information on exchange rate (in Polish and English) is available at Polish National Bank website http://www.nbp.pl
Banks are the safest place to exchange money, some charge a commission fee (2-3% per transaction). Exchange offices (kantory) charge no commission. It is not advisory to exchange money at places other than banks or exchange offices. Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged in authorised sales offices (e.g. American Express) and at several banks.
Debit and credit cards (Access/MasterCard, American Express, Diner’s Club, EuroCard, JCB, Visa) are accepted in most shops. MasterCard and Visa are common used with cash machines.
There are numerous bank divisions in Konin, e.g.: Polska Kasa Opieki BP, Polska Kasa Opieki S.A., Kredyt Bank S.A., Alior Bank, Credit Agricole Bank Polski S.A., Bank Gospodarki Żywnościowej S.A., Bank Ochrony Środowiska S.A., Bank Pocztowy S.A., Getin Bank S.A., Bank Śląski S.A., CITIBANK S.A., Raiffeisen Bank Polska S.A.
To make a phone call from a public telecommunication company phone a 15-, 30-, and 60-unit chip card is necessary. Phone cards are available at newsagent’s, post offices, petrol station, telecommunication customer service points (telepunkty).
There are several GSM operators: T-Mobile, ORANGE, PLUS.
Letters, cards, and parcels can be posted via Polish Post (Poczta Polska). Post offices are usually open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. An ordinary stamp in Poland (a letter up to 50 grams) is 1.60 zł, abroad 2.60 zł.
There are several post offices in Konin, the biggest is at 5 Kolejowa Street. It is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., at weekends and on holidays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There is a network of buses in the town and its suburbs. Bus tickets are 1.30 zł (student discount up to 26 years of age) and 2.60 zł. They are available from newsagent’s and Municipal Transport Company (Miejski Zakład Komunikacji) sales points. A monthly pass (miesięczny bilet sieciowy) for all MZK connections is available. In the evenings and at night taxi appears the best and most convenient means of transport – it can be taken from a taxi rank or ordered over the phone.
Polish shops are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Supermarkets and hypermarkets and are usually open all week long from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In Konin there are the following supermarkets: InterMarche, Carrefour, Kaufland, Lidl, Netto, Polomarket, Tesco. There are also convenience shops and groceries open 24/7. Late-night shopping can also be done at petrol stations. Fresh fruit and vegetables are available at the town market (straight from producers).
It is better not to go to places which guidebooks and friends warn against. Mugging is not frequent. Pick pocketing does occur, especially on crowded buses and trains. It is not wise to leave radio or other valuable objects in the car.
In Poland the following international documents are valid:
- International Student Identity Card; http://www.isic.pl
- EURO<26; http://www.euro26.pl
- Youth Hostels Association Card.
Information on Konin and Poland