The main Polish cities of Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań and Gdańsk are all best explored on foot, so a good street map is a must (these can be obtained for free from the tourist information offices in each city, or even sent to you in advance by the Polish tourist board). The winding old towns of these cities can be a little disorienting, so you may have to ask for directions, although there are usually signposts indicating the location of key attractions. Churches tend to be the main landmarks, so it is worth paying attention to their names when you are exploring a new town.
Public transport in Poland is generally good, with express train services being an interesting way to travel from one city to another and to see a bit of the Polish countryside. Trams are better than buses in many places since they are unaffected by heavy traffic. Although antiquated and often crowded, trams also offer an efficient, regular and cheap service, with a one-way journey usually costing less than a dollar. Ticketing systems vary from place to place, but tickets can usually be bought from newsstands. It is important to punch your ticket as soon as you get on board. Tram and bus etiquette is taken seriously in Poland, so if it is crowded be quick to offer your seat, with a gracious proszę (“please”) to anyone who looks more deserving than you!
Taxis are also a very good way to get around. Calling a radio cab (or getting your hotel to call one for you), is the best way to ensure a fair price — some private taxis on the street charge excessively, and a flat fare can usually be negotiated for airport runs or long trips. Tipping is not compulsory, but you will probably want to round-up the fare if the driver has done a good job or handled your luggage for you.
Here is a vocabulary that could be helpful:
|Gdzie jest…||Where is…|
|Skręć w prawo||Turn right|
|Skręć w lewo||Turn left|
|Idź prosto||Go straight|
|Tam||It’s over there|
|Tutaj||It’s just here|
|Stare miasto||Old town|
|Centrum miasta||Town center|
|Plan miasta||Street map|
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)