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Backpacking in Poland

Poland, the neighbouring country, is becoming more and more popular with travelers of all kinds. Hidden behind an iron curtain for decades, the country could only be visited by a few Western European backpackers. Thanks to a constantly improving tourist infrastructure, backpackers are increasingly attracted to discover the tourist highlights. And there are many of them, both geographical and cultural.

The former kingdom, which often became the plaything of the big neighbouring countries and even disappeared completely from the map several times, is dotted with countless lonely lakes lying in deep forests. In the spring and summer months the landscape is filled with colourful meadows and in winter the endless forests are often covered with a thick layer of snow. Backpackers and adventurers can literally let off steam in the endless expanses of Masuria. Four large lake districts (Masurian Lake District, Kashubian Lake District, Pomeranian Lake District and Wielkopolska Lake District) lie close together.

Polen Pieniny Gebirge

Polen Pieniny Gebirge

Almost untouched glacial valleys wind their way through the Polish lowlands in the south. Trekking, rafting, canoeing or kayaking, biking or riding a horse you can explore the moraine and river landscapes as well as the numerous lakes in Silesia and Masovia. Further adventures await you in the Holy Cross, one of the oldest mountains in the world, in Ma?opolska with five national parks worth visiting and five world cultural heritage sites, in the Carpathian foothills, where you can still meet real bears, or also in the numerous old culturally rich cities such as Krakow, Warsaw or Lodz. Even those who love the sea and rustic beaches will get their money’s worth in Poland on the Baltic Sea. After all, Poland has almost 500 km of coastline. Mountaineers and climbers, who go to the airy heights, can look forward to 21 mountains, each with more than 2000 m altitude.

Traveling to Poland does not necessarily mean having to plan with a large travel budget. The cost of living and also the transport costs are below the German standard, without having to do without much comfort. Youth hostels, hostels, inexpensive guesthouses and campsites in various categories are scattered all over the country. The rail network is dense with over 22,000 km and there is an extensive intercity bus network that can be used at moderate to cheap prices.

Dress warm because Poland does not have a Mediterranean climate. As soon as the summer months are over, it gets fresh. You don’t have to worry about a continuous supply of cash, except in remote regions. Poland has a comprehensive ATM network.

Arbeiter aus Polen

Arbeiter aus Polen

Culture in Poland

When you visit Poland, you will be welcomed by a hospitable people. However, you should take a closer look at the Polish mentality in order to avoid possible misunderstandings. In Poland, the family is at the core of social interest. Respect the customs within the family and in any case leave out political and world war issues. You should know that Poland is an arch-Catholic, which does not mean that every Pole runs to Mass every day.

Nevertheless, church traditions are held high, especially in the countryside. It is said that Poles have a special tendency towards “Polish nagging”. Many things are badly spoken. But isn’t that also known from Germany? Just accept the people on your backpacker trip as they are and enjoy the hospitality and the enchanting palate temptations. You can expect tasty beers, strong main courses and breathtaking desserts.

More Backpacker information about Poland

Poland is not a cheap country to travel to, but backpacking is also affordable for the small wallet for several weeks. During the peak season, prices in Polish tourist resorts can rise sharply. Between 30 and 65 Euros per day should be enough to get the most important things, including admissions, and to live well. Take advantage of the savings offers on regional travel and transport sites. Stay away from the tourist centres in high season, if you want to consume something, don’t do it on the main road.

Poland has a lot to offer for adventure and culture backpackers. Discover them on foot, by bike, by train, by boat or whatever. Depending on the season, think of the right backpacker clothes. Adventures in the mountains and forests or discovering the cultural wealth in the old Polish cities are just a few possibilities.

Poland is no longer a cheap backpacker travel destination. This became clear to many visitors at the latest after the European championship show. Those who travel in summer sometimes have to dig deep into their pockets. As always and everywhere the main season and the absolute tourist places have to be avoided. Or to go there in the low season.

Poland also has something to offer in culinary terms. Strong soups and hearty meat meals, but also light fish dishes and sweet temptations are available in every Polish region.

As you travel backpackers through Poland, you’ll discover some strange local customs and habits. Which and what you should have seen plus some insider tips can be found below.

As a German citizen you will have no problems entering Poland. Make sure that your documents are valid. You don’t have to worry about tropical infectious diseases. In Poland you will find first class medical care.

Backpacker Budget in Poland

Budget in Polen

Budget in Polen

The backpacker adventure in Poland is pleasingly inexpensive, which does not mean ridiculously cheap. Even those who don’t have a large travel budget can spend weeks in the country. Neither the use of public transport is cost-intensive nor the accommodation offers.

Certainly the category “quite exclusive” can be chosen when choosing the accommodation offers, but those who like it quite simply will find a nice place for a few Euros. The same applies to the cost of living. You need a fraction of the cost of living you need in Germany – especially in the country.

Let’s have a look at the prices in Warsaw, the capital of the country. The taxi ride from the airport to the city costs around 10 euros. If you take a public bus, then the ride costs you just a little more than 1 Euro. But in Germany no bus driver opens the door for you. Otherwise, you pay for 3 kilometers of taxi driving around the 5 euros.

If you take the bus or the metro in the city centre, then you have to pay half a Euro (maybe a little more). You have to pay to enter some museums, even as a student. The entrance to the Chopin-Museum costs around 3-4 Euro. The entrance fee to the National Museum is about 2,5 Euro. If you want to see the magnificent royal castle from the inside, you will have to pay about 4 Euro.

If you want a refreshing drink, then you have to pay a little less than the German prices. The same applies to a menu in a restaurant. The costs fall further the further you move away from the urban centres and especially the tourist resorts. Already the consumer index between Warsaw and Katowice shows a strong difference.

Costs for the bus

Bus travel in Poland is casually said ridiculously cheap. Not exactly the same as cheap East Asian backpacker destinations, but similar. Which prices you have to calculate for which routes on your domestic tours, you can see best on the homepage of the Polish bus company The site is also available in English. Make sure that when you use a bus you know when and where you can get off if it’s not the final destination of the trip.

Costs for domestic flights

Longer distances, which you have to cover quickly in the country, you can also tear off with a domestic flight. But you shouldn’t necessarily do that, because backpacking through Poland is only really enjoyable if you take your time. The best way to find out about fares is to check out the websites of local airlines, including Enter Air, Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT, SkyTaxi, Small Planet Airlines, Sprintair and White Eagle Aviation.

Rail costs

Also train journeys are usually quite inexpensive. However, it depends again on the choice of class. The simplest class costs only a few Euros, even over long distances. The best website that informs you about all possible travel costs by bus or train in Poland, and about which you can also book tickets, is the German-language There you will find everything in one: Prices for trains, buses and city transport. You can also download the site to your mobile phone as an app. For the long-distance connections to Germany, you can best use the German long-distance providers.

Backpacker Route for Poland

Backpackers in Poland will find a country with a multi-faceted, partly grandiose geography. Untouched and pristine landscapes, in which bear and fox say good night in the truest sense of the word, along with many other animals that have died out in most European countries, line up next to each other.

Sea waves strike the Polish shores just as hundreds of lakes are reflected in the sunlight in different lake plates. Mountains, rivers, swamps and dense forests are other places to go for backpacking adventures in Poland. In addition, there is a flourishing cultural landscape based on an ancient and traditional history. Numerous ancient cities, which are peppered with a World Heritage program, can be visited. What Polish highlights should you have seen at all costs?

Route 1: The Classic

  • 3-5 days to explore the Polish capital Warsaw (Warszawa)
  • 6 – 10 days to get to know the cultural cities of Gdansk, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan and Lodz
  • 3 days visit the historically interesting and picturesque small towns Kazimierz Dolny, Sandomir and Przemyśl
  • 2 days to discover the wooden churches in the south of Ma?opolska
  • 2 days roaming the jungle of Bialowieza
  • 1 day visiting peace churches in Swidnica
  • 1 day Zakopane, the winter sports capital especially in winter visit
  • Get to know one of the 23 national parks in Poland, depending on the time.

Route 2: Backpacker Intensive Trip (up to 40 days and more)

  • 3-5 days to explore the Polish capital Warsaw (Warszawa)
  • 6 – 10 days to get to know the cultural cities of Gdansk, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan and Lodz
  • 3 days visit the historically interesting and picturesque small towns Kazimierz Dolny, Sandomir and Przemyśl
  • 2 days to discover the wooden churches in the south of Ma?opolska
  • 2 days roaming the jungle of Bialowieza
  • 1 day visiting peace churches in Swidnica
  • 1 day Zakopane, the winter sports capital especially in winter visit
  • Get to know one of the 23 national parks in Poland, depending on the time.
  • 4 Days Lakes and Crusader Castles Warmia-Masuria
  • 2 days roaming the Heiligkreuz mountains
  • 2 days brown bear photography in the Bieszczady Mountains
  • 4 days Poland mountain regions High Tatras, Western Tatras, Gorce and others with national parks get to know
  • 3 days enjoying the lake district in Kashubian Switzerland
  • 2 days insect life on the islands Wollin and Usedom

Travel times in Poland

You can travel in Poland all year round. Everything is a question of how you want to bake through Poland, when and where. Poland is not small and not big, but it has a lot of climate differences in the course of a year. The average annual temperature at the Baltic Sea is just 8 degrees.

If you want to swim, you should come in June, July and August, when the water reaches 21°C. In the mountain regions you must always reckon with fresh temperatures. Especially in autumn it can come to longer lasting rain showers. Most sunshine hours, about 7-9 hours, are registered on average in July in Poland. Nevertheless, as always applies. There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.

Backpacker accommodations in Poland

Poland as such, at least as far as metropolises and tourist-oriented cities are concerned, can be integrated into Western Europe in every respect by standard. Not everything is perfect, but where is it already? But as a backpacker, the focus is not on comfort, but on the experience. And that’s what you’ll certainly find the further away you get from the inhabited areas. Poland offers pure adventure after all.

Anyone who believes that Poland is a cheap travel destination is mistaken. Especially during the season the prices rise, no matter in which accommodations, partly strongly. It is therefore worthwhile for backpackers with a small budget to look for hotel alternatives. There are certainly hostels and youth hostels available in all major cities, but private accommodation is also an alternative.

Now you can also look around on the well-known apartment pages for private accommodation, but you won’t always find cheap offers there. Try your luck at the pages Options are student dormitories, which can often also be used in the form of privately run dormitories. Even cheaper can be the stay in Polish host families. Have a look at, homestay, or

What about the hostels and the prices for an overnight stay?
You can get an overview of the prices on the market at Hostelworld. There you can see that the price for an overnight stay in a Dorm bed is as follows:

  • Krakow €9.87
  • Warsaw €13.37
  • Gdansk €10.98
  • Wroclaw €10.39
  • Poses €7.07
  • Zakopane €10.31
  • Katowice €9.28
  • Lodz €9.52
  • Thorn €10.08
  • Lublin €10.02

Camping in Poland

Camping is also popular in Poland. But you should only pitch your tent on campsites. You can find camping sites in almost every region and also in or near the national parks. The prices depend on various factors, such as the number of people, location and standard. The costs for good places must be compared with German prices. Especially at the sea and at the lakes the prices rise strongly in the summer months. Find out about the location and costs at or

Backpacker Trips, Tips & Highlights in Poland

Discovering Poland can be quite adventurous. Especially when you are in the bushes or in the woods. There are regions where you won’t meet a soul. But there are mighty brown bears that you can’t joke with. Poland also offers a magnificent cultural landscape. Old castles, fortresses and picturesque small towns where life seems to have stopped can be visited.

Wandern in der Tatra

Hiking in Poland (Tantra)

Backpacker Highlights

One of the highlights is certainly a trip to the Chopin birthplace in Mazovia Voivodeship. The musical genius left behind some unforgettable works. In the same region you will find more manor houses, wide fields and avenues of weeping willows reminiscent of fairytale landscapes. Enjoy also the nightlife in the big metropolises. Warsaw and Wroclaw in particular can boast above-average nightlife. If you want it a little more rustic and natural, then discover the endless sandy beaches and dunes in the Slovenian National Park.

A real physical challenge can be trekking in the Tatra region, which lies on the border between Slovakia and Poland. Fight there on the tours from one Karczma (that’s the name of the rest stops in the mountains) to the next. Demanding tours with a lot of adventure flair also offer trips to the Polish Forest Carpathians at the border triangle. The Copernicus Trail, which runs through Central Poland, is more geared towards culture. And don’t forget to take a look at German history in Auschwitz. Take a few days and enjoy the small towns and the many excursion possibilities at the Great Masurian Lakes. If you visit Poland in autumn, you’ll have to go to the Warsaw Autumn Festival.

Backpacker insider tips

Often in the shadow of the big cultural cities small places like Brieg and Łańcut disappear, which you should have a look at. Cycle along the Amber Road, where the towns and sights of Wroclaw, Rogalin Castle, Kornik Castle, Biskupin, Thorn, Gdansk and Marienburg are located. A kayak tour along the Brda in Pomerania is also worthwhile. A similar tour can be made along the Czarna Hańcza. The lake Hańcza is with 100 m one of the deepest in Europe. In the Krakow-Czêstochowa Jura you can discover the Ojców National Park. A pub crawl through Krakow is definitely on the agenda.

Food & Drinks in Poland

Surely you won’t starve to death on a backpacker trip through Poland. In the old cultivated country, people have been cooking well and sometimes heartily for thousands of years. The specialities of the different regions are also quite different due to their location. The dishes on the lakes and by the sea have little in common with the specialties in the forest and mountain regions, although there may be overlaps in some areas. Look forward to a strong cuisine that is full-bodied and nutritious. Even more substantial are the hearty drinks. Slibowitz, who can strike devastatingly, is only one of them. Also the beers have it in themselves.

Everything about food

Vegetables of all kinds are usually cooked well and then enriched with fried breadcrumbs. The hearty stews are also well-known and popular. Sweetmouths also get their money’s worth. Vegetarians have to look for their luck, because the Poles are among the consumers with one of the highest meat consumption values ever.

Did you know that the bagel comes from Polish cuisine? Fish lovers can also look forward to a variety of fish recipes based on herring, cod and Baltic salmon, along with other sea and freshwater fish. The Bigos stew is considered the Polish national dish. Sausages in a variety of ways are also served at every opportunity. Of course, you can also eat in the well-known fast food chains that you can find in every major city, but you would miss out on some culinary delicacies.

What to drink there

Poland is a beer nation. Beer, often brewed in the Pilsen style, is served on many occasions. But black tea with lemon and sugar is also served everywhere. It will certainly be dangerous if you start to take the very good vodka, here Żubrówka Vodka, with the locals. Attention! The boys are used to a lot. It is even said that the vodka comes from Poland. In the pubs today vodka is consumed in the form of 4cl glasses, but also the old sizes up to 100 ml can be ordered.

Backpacker Visa and Vaccinations in Poland

Since Poland is part of the EU, as a German citizen you usually have no problems crossing the border. But make sure that your papers are complete and up to date when you go backpacking in Poland. In the recent past there have been problems due to the refugee crisis. Keep up to date with the situation on pages such as the Foreign Office’s website about the situation there.

According to the Foreign Office, you need the following entry documents in order to enter Poland without any problems. German citizens can enter Poland with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Provisional passport: Yes
  • Identity card: Yes
  • Temporary identity card: Yes, must be valid.
  • Children’s passport: Yes
  • Still valid child ID according to old model: Yes
  • Important also: Every child needs his or her own ID document.


As a German you do not need a special visa for Poland, as Poland is an EU country.

Medical Information & Vaccinations

Due to its geographical location, Poland does not suffer from tropical diseases and viruses. In case of an illness you can hope for a good medical help, especially in the cities. If you visit Poland, your vaccination card should still be complete.