VAT refunds

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Non-EU residents can have the VAT refunded in Poland, provided the items were purchased for more than PLN200 and in a shop which offers a tax-free service. Info: www.globalrefund.com, www.global-blue.com

Tourist cards (selection):
Gdańsk – a tourist card entitles you to discounts in some theatres, concert halls, hotels, spas, restaurants, car rentals and the Aquapark. In selected shops you can also receive a discount on the purchase of amber jewellery. Entry into some museums and the use public transport is free of charge. Karta Turysty • Tourist Card • Touristenkarte - „Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia Plus” www.gdansk4u.pl/kartaturysty Warsaw – the buyer of the Warsaw Tourist Card is entitled to visit 130 attractions free of charge or with discounts which include museums, art galleries, entertainment and music clubs, hotels, cafés and restaurants. The discount is also included on public urban transport. Warszawska Karta Turysty • Warsaw Tourist Card – www.warsawcard.com Krakow – Krakowska Karta Turystyczna • Krakow Tourist Card – www.krakowcard.com Poznań – Poznańska Karta Miejska • The Poznań City Card • Die Posener City-Card www.poznan.pl/mim/public/cim/pages.html?id=581&instance=1017&lang=pl

Tourist information:
Gdańsk – Tourist Information Centre, tel. +48 58 301 91 51; Gdańsk on the Internet: www.shopandsee.eu, www.gdansk4u.pl, www.gdansk.pl, www.euro.gdansk.pl Warsaw – Warsaw Tourist Office, tel. +48 22 194 31; Warsaw on the Internet: www.warsawtour.pl, www.e-warsaw.pl, www.uefaeuro2012.um.warszawa.pl Wrocław – Tourist Information Centre: tel.: +48 71 344 31 11, 342 01 85; www.wroclaw-info.pl; Wrocław on the Internet: www.wroclaw.pl, www.convention.wroclaw.pl, www.e2012.eu Krakow – Tourist Information Centre, tel.: + 48 12 432 01 10, 616 18 86; Krakow on the Internet: www.krakow.pl, www.infokrakow.pl, www.krakow.travel Poznań – Tourist Information Centre, tel. +48 61 852 61 56; Poznań on the Internet: www.poznan.pl/english, www.poznan.pl/euro2012

Poland non-stop

Practical Information

Poland Feel invited
Nature and culture - actively and healthily - good business
Ancient forests, backwaters where flocks of birds live, river beds in green meadows, mountains with views of.... mountains. Traditional products, regional cuisines, bread that tastes of bread, naturally-produced sausage and fruit and vegetables grown without chemicals. Tasty Poland Heritage and contemporary culture, masterpieces included on the UNESCO list - the genius of human thinking and imagination. A kaleidoscope of creative, playful and classical entertainment, in any form... Active and extreme - on land, on sea, in the air and underwater, whichever you prefer… In the summer or in winter – to the limits of your capabilities – non-stop adventures. A good place for sanatorium treatments (in the mountains or by the sea) to enhance your beauty and look after your stylish figure in elegant spa resorts. A great place to do good business – for business meetings and conventions.

Table of Contents
In nature’s gardens In the capitals of culture Worldly, Wonderful and Mysterious Actively and Extremely Health, Beauty and ...Business 2 8 16 22 30

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In nature’s gardens
Wonders for a photo – safari:
The Augustow Primeval Forest – the Rospuda Valley – a collection of rare plants The Warta River Mouth with the Odra River – rare birds, nesting and migratory The Biebrza River – the fabulous landscape of Europe’s largest marshlands and waterways with over 230 species of birds (1) The Bieszczady Mountains – rutting deer in the autumn, packs of wolves in the winter The Bialowieża Forest - the black grouse mating dance, bison and its backwoods The Tatra Mountains – rare mountain animals such as marmots, chamois and bears Krasnopol – Rutka - Smolany (in the Suwalki Region) – beaver lodges 1

The Amber Baltic Coast
A kaleidoscope of changing landscapes - pine forests, sand dunes, coastal lakes and wide beaches in popular seaside resorts. On the Hel Peninsula, made from sand laid down by sea currents, you can relax in the natural solariums that are the unspoilt beaches. For those who like marked-out trails, you can cycle along the international Coastal Trail (E 9). Salmon and brown trout migrate to their spawning grounds in the Parseta River (Kolobrzeg) that flows into the Baltic Sea. In September, a spinning fishing competition is held which marks the end of the fishing season.

The Singing Dunes
In the Slowinski National Park (near Leba) the shifting sand dunes, pushed by the wind, move 10m per year and reach a height of as much as 40m. At the time of the autumn storms you can hear the special “song” of the sand grains rubbing together as they are blown by the wind.

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In the mountains and caves
The most beautiful places in the Tatra Mountains – accessible on foot - include the Mietusia Valley (Dolina Mietusia), the Valley of the Five Lakes (Dolina Pieciu Stawow) (1625m), surrounded by a curtain of granite peaks and Eye of the Sea Lake (Morskie Oko), like a mountain crystal. Hikers on the Karkonosze range admire the special atmosphere and the aesthetics of the landscape. Rock openings conceal rare minerals which are sought by treasure-hunters. The essence of mountain beauty is the Rudawy Janowickie and the Small Pond (Maly Staw), nestling among the rocky cliffs. The Carpathian Bieszczady The mountains that have a natural beauty! Inspirational! A network of observation trails lead to un-forested ridges and backwoods of the Carpathian Forest which is home to wild animals. A peculiarity is the mountain pastures belonging to the historical inhabitants of these mountains – the Boykos and the Lemkos (4). In the Caves of Bears and Neanderthal Men (5) The passageways of the Niedzwiedzia (Bear) Cave (the Karkonosze Mountains) stretch over three levels (the entrance is at 800 m above sea level). They are decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, considered to be geological masterpieces. Cave bears lived in this charming interior 11,000 years ago. The Wierzchowska Cave (Jaskinia Wierzchowska) (near Krakow) is Poland’s longest tourist route of this kind 1 2 and the Paradise Cave (Jaskinia Raj) (the Swietokrzyskie Mountains), like a time machine, transports you back to the times of Neanderthal men. Traces of their occupation are included in the museum exhibition.

Natural Aviaries (bird-watching)
Fish have been bred in the Milicz Ponds (Lower Silesia) for centuries. A unique conglomeration of nature and culture has been created here with a vast bird sanctuary. This is an ideal location for bird-watchers and a culinary paradise for the lovers of fish cuisine (3). 250 000 Birds In the extensive valley of the Ujscie Warty (Mouth of the Warta) National Park, among its oxbow lakes, rushes and forests, 260 species of migratory, wintering and nesting birds build their nests. In autumn, this site is home for more than a quarter of a million birds (1). www.pnujsciewarty.gov.pl River Braids (North-East Poland) The Narew River has a rare multi-bed (anastomosing) river pattern. From a bird’s eye view, it looks like dark blue and green braids, the strands of the water and the meadows. This is the home for more than 200 species of birds, including the rare western marsh harrier, the symbol of this area (2).

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The Last Such Forest in Europe
In the Bialowieza Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, nature is preserved in its original form, without the “help” of people. Unique plants are protected along with 600-year-old oaks and 12,000 species of animals. The pride of the wildlife is the largest herd of bison (2) in the world that have been saved from extinction. Spectacular scenes are created by the spring mating rituals of the wood grouse, a bird with strange mating habits. The wooden villages on the outskirts of the Forest provide hospitality, seclusion and the delicacies of the regional cuisine.

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Tasty Poland
Polish food tastes natural, healthy and traditional. In the ecologically-cleanest regions several thousand products and preserves of the highest ecological standard are already being produced. In September, Poznan “smells” of the Tastes of Regions (Smaki Regionow) during the trade fair of natural food and regional products from the whole of Poland. A large number of regional and holiday fairs organised throughout the year in Poland also showcase a wealth of natural and healthy products. These include breads, honeys, naturally-produced sausages, fruit and vegetables grown without artificial fertilisers, home-made spirits, and sheep and goat’s cheese. These traditional and regional delicacies, all with national and European Union certificates, have exceptional flavours and are healthy.

Made according to traditional recipes, in harmony with nature: Linden and buckwheat honey Old-style Polish rye bread on a base of cabbage leaves Cheese from sheep’s milk (Bundz and Oscypek) (3) Plum preserve Slaskie oblaty (Silesian -style wheat flour filled wafers) (4) Chokeberry and cherry liquor Cucumbers from the Podlaskie Region (5) Mushrooms in a honey marinade (1) Pierekaczewnik (Polish Tatars’ dish ) (2) Lisiecka sausage Polish-style stuffed goose

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In the capitals of culture
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Gdansk – a port capital of culture
The representative streets of the Old Town, Dluga and Długi Targ, used to be the meeting place of monarchs, sailors and merchants from all over the world but now they attract crowds of international tourists. In the exquisitely decorated rooms of the Town Hall and the Artus Manor, the residents of Gdansk even today host the most prominent guests to the city. From the Town Hall tower a panoramic view extends over the Old and New Town and the old and new ports. Several dozen restaurants, cafés, tea-rooms and taverns offer specialties from Polish, Kaszubian and maritime cuisine. The Gothic St. Mary’s Basilica (ul Piwna) towers over the Old Town. This is the largest brick church in Europe (2). Behind this solid structure the stylish beauty of ul Mariacka can be seen, a street from the prosperous times of the city’s merchants, with its galleries of amber jewellery and charming cafés (3). Within old tenement houses on the landing piers of the River Motlawa, a former seaport, there are antique shops and restaurants. Vessels A Crane, which is ... a crane The oldest preserved derrick crane (1444) in Europe was used for loading cargo and standing masts on sea vessels. Inside is a wooden lifting mechanism, powered by ... the power of human muscle (the Maritime Museum) (1). Mechanical and the most accurate in the world... The tradition of the Gdansk watchmakers has been continued by the current Master of the Historical Museum of Gdansk, who has built the world’s most accurate mechanical timepiece (2011). Its time deviation is only a few dozen microseconds per day – less than the blink of an eye (www.mhmg.gda.pl). Fun at Sea and on Land (3) The Gdansk beaches are the most beautiful in the region. The seaside resort of Brzezno holds the Blue Flag every year - a sign of quality. From Gdansk you can set out to catch the “big fish” and try sea fishing and sail into Gdansk by yacht and moor in the modern marina... in the centre of the Old Town (www.marinagdansk.pl). During the Dominican Fair (4) (Jarmark Dominikanski) in August a million tourists come to haggle, buy and admire products from different parts of the world such as antiques, handicrafts and amber jewellery, but also sometimes the strange and kitsch items. There are also concerts from contemporary artists and displays by street performers (2). 1 sail from here on sightseeing trips of the port and to sea.

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Krakow - The Royal Capital of Culture
In the Royal living-room of the city Krakow lives as if in the four dimensions of space and time. Submerged in the history of the Royal capital is the contemporary modern centre of culture, science, industry and international fame – a centre of tourism. And the fourth dimension? The magic of Krakow! The Main Market Square (1) – one of the most beautiful in Europe, is surrounded by varied-style tenement houses and the Gothic St. Mary’s Church with its famous altar by Veit Stoss (known in Poland as Wit Stwosz) and the Krakow hejnal (a bugle call), played every hour from the tower. On the ground floor of the old department store (the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) you can buy souvenirs and the first floor is taken up by the National Art Gallery with collections from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Royal Way leads through the Market Square to Wawel Hill (2) with the Royal Renaissance Residence and the cathedral – the national pantheon. In the Main Market Square and the surrounding streets there are hundreds of stylish cafés (4), first-class restaurants, artistic basements and music clubs. Coming off the Market Square, Grodzka and Florianska Streets tempt visitors with trendy boutiques and jewellery and art galleries. Carnival... in the Medieval City The City of Krakow organises 50 international festivals. The Main Market Square and other surrounding squares become concert venues, the stages for street performers – the theatre of the city. Who is the performer, who is the spectator, where does life ends and art begin? In Kazimierz (3), the largest Jewish district in modern Europe there is a kaleidoscope of monuments, art galleries, antique shops and cafés and a place where the threads of Jewish, Polish, Krakowian and cosmopolitan culture meet. An alchemist’s crucible. Like the famous “Alchemia” Club, famous for its magical music and wine with its metaphysical power. Music, Peace and Love Every year in July, during the Jewish Culture Festival (5), Kazimierz resounds with a dialogue of performers from around the world. During open-air concerts, the dancing crowd and the talented musicians transform Kazimierz into the most joyful place in Krakow and the world. www.jewishfestival.pl 10

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The Gardens on the Roof of the Library (2) The Warsaw University Library (Ul Dobra) is a masterpiece of modern architecture. The shape and design of the building with its roof garden is its most fascinating feature. Unique is also the Copernicus Science

Warsaw – a Metropolitan Capital of Culture
The capital from... a falcon’s eye view The Old Town and the metropolitan centre are clearly visible from the viewing terrace of the Palace of Culture and Science (231m). The tower of the tallest building in the city has been inhabited by peregrine falcons, a species of… urban birds (1). www.pkin.pl The Capital’s Royal Route The Old Town (4) recalls the days when Warsaw was the seat of kings but it takes each day as it comes. It hosts tourists royally from all over the world in its stylish restaurants, bars and art galleries. Every one meets in the Castle Square, in front of the Royal Castle, Warsaw residents, tourists, street artists and youngsters on skateboards. The Royal Route leads to Lazienki Krolewskie (the Royal Baths) – a masterpiece of garden art and neoclassical architecture. A tradition of Lazienki is its open-air concerts of Chopin’s music. The Palace of King Jan III Sobieski in Wilanow is at the end of the Royal Route which is decorated with collections of European and Oriental art. Fun in the Capital Warsaw entertains from dawn until... dawn. It’s just a matter of taste. You can choose between multiplex cinemas, musical theatre, fringe theatre and night-clubs and members clubs. Nowy Swiat and Krakowskie Przedmiescie (5) – representational streets in the city – offer a truly royal selection of renowned boutiques, art galleries and well-known restaurants. If you’re looking for an alternative atmosphere, visitors should go to Praga on the right bank of the Vistula. Praga, once plebeian, today is a trendy art and entertainment district, in the Praga style. 4 2

Center (3). www.kopernik.org.pl

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Wratislavia Cantans This festival of classical music, considered to be among the European elite, showcases performances by world-famous musicians and orchestras. Often premieres of contemporary compositions (by Penderecki) are performed which have been written specially for this festival. A Melting Pot of Ideas Wroclaw impresses with its programme of festivals, concerts, and sporting events, original ideas for spending free time. It is one of the host cities organising the Euro 2012 group matches (4), international cultural conventions and great opera spectacles. In July, fans and film-makers of artistic and controversial films meet during the New Horizons (Nowe Horyzonty) Film Festival in Wroclaw. (www.nowehoryzonty.pl)

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Wroclaw – European Capital of Culture (2016)
A unique location on the Odra River (1) canal network, with its architecture from different eras and influences of Czech, German, Polish and Jewish cultures, which create a microcosm of a European city, that is full of innovative research projects and business ventures of European significance. A contemporary symbol of the city is the multimedia fountains next the Centennial Hall. The water shows have been orchestrated by masters of illumination, laser projection and musical illustration (3). Wroclaw’s Pearls The medieval Market Square (5) is adorned by the characteristic Gothic Town Hall, the greatest achievement of that architectural era. Today it houses the City’s Art Museum (Muzeum Sztuki Mieszczanskiej) and the seats of the City Council. The Centennial Hall (2) (designed by Max Berg) was built a hundred years ago according to an innovative design blueprint. It serves as a convention venue, a concert arena and a sports hall and has also been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Worldly, Wonderful and Mysterious
Polish Heritage as part of World Culture
The UNESCO list of World Heritage includes: • Auschwitz – Birkenau – German concentration camp from World War II • Wooden churches of the 15th and 16th centuries in Binarowa, Blizne, Debno Podhalanskie, Haczow and Lipnica Murowana near Bochnia and Sekowa • Evangelical churches of peace in Jawor and Swidnica • The Gothic Castle of the Knights of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Malbork • The Centennial Hall – Wroclaw • The monastery and religious park – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska • The Wieliczka Salt Mine • Old Towns in Krakow, Torun, Warsaw and Zamosc • The Muzakowski/ Muskauer Park – on the Polish-German border Carved in salt (1, 2) The Wieliczka Salt Mine is not only a world-class museum of mining technology and a salt sculpture gallery but also an underground sanatorium for respiratory diseases and a small town with its own post-office, mining inn, art gallery and concert and conference venue. In one of the salt chambers a quaint Guinness record was broken. An 18-metre long hot-air balloon “flew” here for 4 minutes at a height of ... 2m! The Genius of Wood (3, 4) The masterful workmanship of carpenters, wood-carvers and painters can be seen in the wooden villages, houses, mansions and Orthodox churches scattered throughout the Carpathian and Malopolska foothills. In the heritage park in Wdzydze (Kaszubia) there are more than 50 wooden homesteads, manor houses, windmills and forges with original furnishings where, in July, the regional Wdzydze Fair (Jarmark Wdzydzki) is held. 1 2

The Genius of Technology and Industry
The Era of Steam The locomotive sheds in Wolsztyn (Wielkopolska) which have been in operation for more than a hundred years, are unique in Europe. Each day a steam locomotive runs a regular passenger service. Travelling by steam train to Poznan, we turn the clock back to the era of steam (6). (www.parowozowniawolsztyn.pl) The Electric River (Kaszubia) For more than a hundred years four hydropower plants have been continuously working on the Slupia River (Kaszubia) but this, however, has not affected its natural and canoeing values. It is a popular lowland river canoeing route with a mountainous nature. A Mine of Coal and a Mine of Art 5

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In the passageways and workings of the Guido mine (Zabrze), 300m underground, on the ramps, amongst the haze of the coal dust and in illuminated chambers is a realistic exhibition of mining machinery and tools which is quite impressive. Also in this setting, concerts of motivational music, theatrical spectacles and the imaginative Nights of the Absurd (Noce Absurdu) are also staged (5). The Textile Town within the City of Zyrardow A factory district, preserved almost in its entirety, evokes the 19th century culture and the investment momentum of textile factory owners. Most of the 200 buildings still fulfil their original functions as residences (villas and multi-family buildings), factories (manufacturing halls, sewing workshops and warehouses), commercial outlets and cultural venues. It is unique and not just on a Polish scale.

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The Secrets of the Underworld and History
City Underground Labyrinths (tourist routes) The underground chambers beneath cities, carved in rock or built from stone, were used not only for the storage of goods and beer in oak barrels but also to protect people during predatory raids. In old merchants’ cities of Jaroslaw, Klodzko (2), Rzeszow and Sandomierz on the Vistula River the underground labyrinths were as much as three storeys deep. Gold is no longer mined in the old mine in Zloty Stok (near Klodzko) but visitors can see an 8m high waterfall, mining tools and a muffle furnace in which the ore was melted down to produce gold. Apparently, there is still some left (4). An Underground City – a Fortress In the 1930’s, between the Odra and Warta Rivers (Ziemia Lubuska), the Germans built a large system of underground and above-ground fortifications. There are several dozen underground bunkers, barracks and warehouses which stretch for almost 30km and are connected by tunnels and a railway line (3). The underground fortress is visited by tourists and bats, more than 30,000 regularly hibernate here (12 different species). The Mysteries of History In the rocky interiors of Gory Sowie (the Owl Mountains), near Gluszyca, there are structures built during World War II and erected at the expense of the lives of the prisoners of the Grosse-Rosen Concentration Camp. This was meant to be either Hitler’s headquarters or a secret weapon factory. A tourist route has been marked out in certain already explored underground sections, but the remainder remains a grim mystery. (www.osowka.pl) Scaling the Waterfall…. In a Ship (1) A voyage through the Elblag Canal by cruise ship is actually a journey to scale a waterfall. To climb the 100-metre difference in level, the ships are carried on special platforms five times to raise them 20m at each section. The lifting mechanism is driven by water. This brilliant solution was created by the Prussian engineer G. J. Steenke. Reputedly, the construction cost, in 1860, exceeded the value of 77 tons of gold. 1 3

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Small Museums – Unique Collections
• The Museum of Papermaking – Duszniki Zdroj (Lower Silesia) A paper mill operating since the 17th Century; a museum of paper with works on paper and paper machinery. www.muzpap.pl • The Museum of Art – Lodz. An outstanding collection of Polish Art from the 20th and 21st centuries. www.muzeumsztuki.lodz.pl • The Nikifor Museum - Krynica Zdroj (Malopolska Region). Works of the world famous and self taught painter Nikifor (Epifan Drowniak) www.muzeum.sacz.pl • The Museum of Motorisation and Technology – Otrebusy near Warsaw 300 vintage cars, airplanes, motorcycles and tanks. www.muzeum-motoryzacji.com.pl • The Amber Museum - Gdansk Amber masterpieces exhibited in a medieval tower. www.mhmg.gda.pl • House of the Uphagens – Museum – Gdansk. A tenement house belonging to the wealthy residents of Gdansk from the 18th century, lovers of art and refinement.

Chopin ...a la Polonaise
Fryderyk Chopin (1810 - 1849) was born in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw; mother – Tekla Justyna Krzyzanowska (1782 – 1861); father – Mikolaj Chopin (1771 -1844), a professor of French literature at the Warsaw Lyceum. The Early Years of the Genius – Warsaw In Warsaw, Chopin was artistically and intellectually shaped and wrote some outstanding compositions. In the Radziwill Palace, now the seat of the President of the Republic of Poland, the eight-year-old Fryderyk Chopin played his first public concert. The Composer’s Travels Chopin spent his holidays with his mother, in 1826, in Duszniki Zdroj (Lower Silesia) and gave a charity concert for orphaned children. Today, this is the International Chopin Festival.

www.mhmg.gda.pl • The Masurian Museum - Owczarnia near Ketrzyn (Masuria) An original Masurian cottage and a farm. www.owczarnia.com • The National Museum of Agriculture – Szreniawa (Wielkopolska) Depicting the history of flour-milling, beekeeping, wickerwork and the agricultural and food industry. www.muzeum-szreniawa.pl • The Museum of the Oil Industry – Bobrka (Podkarpackie). The world’s first oil well dating back to the middle of the 19th century with some of the machinery still working till the present day. The mine was managed by Ignacy Lukasiewicz (18221882), inventor of the kerosene lamp and the father of the world’s oil industry. www.bobrka.pl, www.geo.uw.edu.pl/BOBRKA/index.htm • The Museum of Folk Architecture – Sanok (Bieszczady). A unique collection of

In Szafarnia (near Golub-Dobrzyn) the 14- year-old Chopin listened to folk music from which he drew inspiration for the mazurkas. Today, it is the Chopin Centre.

wooden buildings of the Lemkos and the Boykos. www.skansen.sanok.pl • The Zamoyski Museum - Kozlowka near Lubartow (Eastern Poland). A socialist and

In 1829 Chopin visited Krakow and was impressed by the Wieliczka Salt Mine. At the Jagiellonian University Museum, there is a piano (“Pleyel”) which he played during the last tour of England and Scotland (1848). Allegedly, a few years ago, Her Majesty the Empress of Japan played this instrument during her visit to the University. When in Wielkopolska, Chopin stayed in Poznan and Antonin (near Ostrow Wielkopolski) with Prince Radziwill, for whom he composed the Polonaise, Opus 3. Chopin also gave several lessons to the talented daughter of the music-loving Prince. Today, this building houses a creative work centre.

realist art gallery – a unique collection of works created for the communist ideology between the years 1949 - 1989. www.muzeumzamoyskich.pl

www.nifc.pl
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A River Harder than Rock The most beautiful rafting is on a 15km stretch the mountainous River Dunajec. Along with the river, you “descend” about 15 stories (about 40m in height). For two hours the Dunajec River spares no emotions, meandering between 300m high rocky cany1

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Actively and Extremely
On water
The Great Masurian Lakes Route (Masuria) The Masurian lakes are connected naturally and by canals which merge to make Europe’s longest overland water route with over 100km that can be covered under sail or with oars (1). Sailing on the Sea and.... in the Mountains Western Pomerania (near Szczecin) is especially popular among sailors for its windy lakes and changing waves. In Trzebiez (on the Szczecin Lagoon) there is a renowned yachting school which teaches novices to become advanced mariners. Sailors are attracted to Gdansk Bay by its favourable winds and the entertaining attractions of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot. Solina Lake (Bieszczady) is an artificially created body of water in a mountain valley with its unique coastline “creating” extremely variable winds, perfect for mountain sailing. In a Canoe... on a Meadow and a Forest Route (2) The canoeing trail on the Krutynia River, which flows through the lakes, hills and thickets of the Pisz Forest is considered the most beautiful and not only by the enchanted canoeists. There are riverside hostels along the route with comfortable accommodation and serving regional cuisine. Other pleasures can be experienced with a canoeing trip along the Rospuda River. In places it is fast flowing like a mountain stream or blocked by fallen trees. The adventure continues for 80km. On a Surfboard and a Kite (3) The Bay of Puck (near Gdynia), with its favourable west winds, is the summer capital of windsurfing and a popular pastime for sailing with a kite (kite-surfing) is practiced in Rewa Bay near Gdynia. The conditions are

on walls and you do not know which way it will turn next. The mountain rafts men know and steer the rafts expertly in spite of the foamy currents (5).

In the Air
On the Wings of a Paraglider 5 Strong winds and good lift, a professional service with and good launch and landing sites can be found in every tourist region of Poland. The famous “Karkonosze wave” rises over the Karkonosze Mountains from Szybowcowa Mountain (near Jelenia Gora). The Zar Mountain (761 m) near Bielsko-Biala also has suitable conditions, but requires some finesse in the air. Parachute in Tandem or on a Line (6) To start your adventures with parachuting you do not need to be a commando. You just have to undergo a short training course at a parachuting club and then make your first jump, in tandem with an instructor. To prepare for parachute jumping you can try a parachute flights attached to a line. You fly over the sea whilst being towed behind a speedboat (Sopot and Lake Kisajno in Masuria) or a car in the Bledow Desert near Katowice

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not very difficult for beginners but also allow experienced kite-surfers to spread their wings.

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Underwater
Marine Diving (4) There are shipwrecks, the reminders of wars and storms, scattered along the entire amber Baltic coast, especially close to the ports. The relatively shallow waters of Gdansk Bay hide more than 200 sail-boat, motor-boat and warship wrecks. Underwater expeditions are organised by specialist companies in Swinoujscie, Kolobrzeg and Gdynia. Diving in Lakes Diving in the crystal clear waters Hancza Lake (Suwalki Lake District) gives the diver a feeling of depth (the deepest lake in Poland at 108m) where the visibility can be up to 30m. Drawsko Lake (in the Drawsko Lake District) is characterised by its steep sided banks which allow divers to easily reach its depths and with visibility usually up to 12m. Here you can encounter the now very rare noble crayfish but you must be very careful of fishing nets. 6 23

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Clime the mountains – on foot, come down – on skis
Orla Perć (Eagle’s Path) This is probably the most difficult tourist trail in the Polish Tatra Mountains. It is secured with chains, fasteners and ladders and in places requires acrobatic skills and constant awareness (1). Into the Mountains – on Foot (3) Some of the Karkonosze trails climb up to the peak of Mount Sniezka (1603m) while others wind along the rocky labyrinths of the Table Mountains, the Owl Mountains, the Golden Mountains and the Izera Mountains where there is no lack of semi-precious stones that can be found. In the Zywiec, Sadecki (2) and the Low Beskid Mountains trails climb up gently and in beautiful scenery and sometimes run through forested areas. Beskid tourist villages with taverns playing Polish folk music await tourists in the mountain valleys. Bieg Plaistow... a Long Distance Ski Race (in March) (5) The largest open ski race in Poland takes place in Jakuszyce (Szklarska Poreba). 6000 skiers from three continents struggle over distances between 10 to 50km. http://business.ovh.net/~biegpias/angielski Downhill on Skis (4) In the winter skiing capitals of Zakopane, Bialka, Bukowina (in the Tatra Mountains), Szczyrk (in the Beskids), Szklarska Poreba and Karpacz (in the Karkonosze), skiing and snowboarding trails are illuminated, artificially covered in snow, difficult (FIS), recreational, suitable for beginners and, of course, beautiful. In Korbielow (in the Zywiec Beskid) Snowpark was built on one of the most difficult Beskid mountains, Pilsko (1557m) and modern ski resorts such as Jaworzyna, Wierchomla and Muszyna near Krynica Zdroj (the Sadecki Beskid). A difficult choice, maybe here or there... What about after skiing? Geothermic pools, spas, water parks, entertainment centres, nightclubs and “Highland Tea” – very stimulating! 3 4 5

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On a Bicycle, on Horseback, on Four and on Two Wheels
Getting to Know the World Slowly (1, 4) Exploring the world on a bicycle is a healthy way of losing a few excessive kilograms. It brings you closer to nature which can be seen when travelling 2 at an unhurried pace. Riding a bicycle encourages contact with people. The trails in the Owl Mountains (Gory Sowie) are magical and magnetic as you do not want to leave this place. Masuria and the Suwalki Region (Northern Poland) have a Cycle Ring, justifying the “jewellery” name of this route. While cycling, you can discover the treasures of Masurian nature and the different culture of the Polish-Lithuanian border region. With the possibility of regional cuisine specialties, even exhausted cyclists speed up at the sight of a welcoming “tavern” sign.

Some Specialties of the Polish-Lithuanian Border Region: Sękacz (2) – a sweet cake in the shape of a pine tree which does not lose its flavour even after six months. Capelins (Kartacze) – potato dumplings stuffed with meat. Skilandis (Kindziuk) – a cold meat delicacy made from various types of dried meat. Roaming on Horseback 3 Lower Silesia, Wielkopolska, Kaszubia and Masuria or in any region of Poland you can choose from the wide range of exclusive and popular equestrian centres with different horse breeds and riding styles. Adventurers tend to choose the long-distance mountain trails, with western style amusement, or wandering from boarding-house to boarding-house, where you can gossip with a landlady whilst baking bread, listen to landlord’s stories, an old horseman, and make yourself at home. On Hucul Ponies Only in the Bieszczady Mountains you can ride a horse on the National Park trails. The Mountains, like in American Westerns, the mountain horses, the Hucul Ponies, and professional and friendly facilities guarantee the success of these expeditions. A Hucul Pony will always find its way home and is not afraid of snow, rain or fog (3). 4 On Four or Two Wheels There are many trails for caravanning enthusiasts throughout Poland (5). Popular stops include Masuria, 5 Pomerania and Wielkopolska. In July, in the towns of Lower Silesia (between Jawor and Swieradow Zdroj) the lucky owners of vintage cars parade in their vehicles as they come together in the international rally of old machinery. In Karpacz and other Masurian towns proud owners of Harley-Davidson motorcycles show off their shiny machines (July – August) (www.karpacz.pl). The “Rock Blues & Motorcycle” festival In Lagow (Lubuskie Region) has an extremely entertaining nature, rock concerts are intertwined with funny and frivolous games, in a motor and cycle style.

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Into the Mountains - on a Rope (3) Climbing in the Tatra Mountains is almost as difficult as in the Alps, not due to the altitude, as the Tatra peaks are lower, but because of the degree of difficulty. Rock climbers can find suitable trails in the Krakow - Czestochowa Jura, with climbing routes reaching up to 70m. Sokole Gory (the Falcon Mountains) (near Jelenia Gora) 2 These granite rocks are invaded by both aficionados and amateur climbers. On six natural walls there are numerous obstacles which include pillars, chimneys and cuts. Difficulty levels range from 2 to 6. Off-Road (2, 5) There is a large concentration of off-road trails in the Swietokrzyskie Mountains which are located almost in the middle of Poland with varying degrees of difficulty. One of them, supposedly “only for tough guys” is 50km of wilderness, steep downhill and uphill trails, clay, mud, sand and deep water... Good luck! Off-Road with the Police The International Police Association (IPA) in cooperation with Off-Road Poland organise off-road car 1 rallies every year of different skill categories and in various locations. Most often these are staged in Wlodawa close to the Bug River where the tracks are suitably wet and clay-like.

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Extreme!!!
Diving in a Mine and Under the Ice In the flooded opencast silicate mine, Lake Blackhead (Jezioro Czarnogłowy near Szczecin), the shore drops sharply to a depth of 25 metres. In the emerald-coloured waters you can see the silicate wall of the former pit and the branches of flooded trees. It is not an easy lake for diving and experience is required. In winter, on the ice-bound floe of Lanskie Lake (the Olsztyn Lake District) colourful figures appear and disappear under the ice. Alarm is not necessary. These are the winter diving school students practising under the supervision of experienced instructors (4). Underground Sports In the Salt Mine in Bochnia (40km from Krakow), 250 m underground, you can take part in a 12 hour relay marathon race (Guinness World Record) or a downhill bike race. www.sztafetabochnia.pl or www.underground-cycling.com Cycling to the Peak of…your Capabilities (1) The cycle trail to Skrzyczne Peak (1257m, near Szczyrk) is 11km of hellish climbing and an equally difficult 7km break-neck downhill ride, just about the right time to think about the nearest lift. To confirm your sporting fitness in Karpacz (Karkonosze) it is worth trying the mountain marathon route (MTB Poland). It is only 54 km long but has a difference in elevation of 1650m. On the steep uphill sections you can always carry your bike on your back…

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Health, Beauty and... Business
Health
Mountain Resorts The Karkonosze resorts specialise in cures of locomotive, neurological and eye diseases – Cieplice Zdroj; heart diseases – Duszniki Zdroj. Fredrik Chopin performed here during his treatment in the summer of 1826 and to this day piano virtuosos come here during the Chopin Festivals. Ladek Zdroj helps in the cures neurological, gynaecological and locomotive diseases. Another genius, J. W. Goethe, was a frequently visitor to this resort. Krynica Zdroj, the queen of mountain health resorts, specialises in cures of the digestive system, diabetes, kidney diseases and women’s illnesses. Not forgetting the beautiful mountains, 4-star spa resorts, concerts, sports and, of course, the social life. Seaside Resorts The century old tradition and international reputation of Kolobrzeg as a health resort guarantees that many thousand places in sanatoria are occupied throughout the year. The severe diseases of respiratory and circulatory systems are successfully treated by the sanatorium medical personnel with the help of the therapeutic maritime climate. Sopot – the Capital of Capitals The capital of seaside health resorts, the capital of music (popular festivals) and the tourist summer capital of Polan, Sopot has been in a class of its own for more than a century. This city is visited by more than two million tourists every year. What about health resort visitors? Like all those who love the life in Sopot, they also lie on the beach, sail, play tennis, dance, watch the Sopot Triathlon and listen to concerts by contemporary world music stars. At the casino in the Grand Hotel (often visited by the queens of show business) you can win a large fortune and, unfortunately, lose even greater one.

Good business
Business meetings, conventions, training courses and corporate events obviously require a professional service and surroundings with the best ecological and cultural values, which is the minimum standard. You also need something that will make them unique. This can be found in the modern and historic centres with genius loci and a remarkable history, a good venue for a convention, event or training, all of which are recommended by the Convention Bureau Poland (www.poland-convention.pl). Bydgoszcz: Opera Nova Convention Centre Krakow: Juliusz Slowacki Theatre, Villa Decius, the Royal Castle, Wawel, “Arlina” – the conference centre on the barge, Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory Warsaw: the Copernicus Science Centre, the Palace of Culture and Science, Central Artistic Pool (an industrial atmosphere with interesting possibilities for organising the space) Gdansk: Culture and Business Centre, the Gdansk Shipyard, the Music and Convention Centre in Olowianka Katowice: the Concert Hall of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music Bialystok: the Branicki Palace, the Medical University Szczecin: the Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes Wroclaw: the Centennial Hall, Orbita Hall, Mieszczanski Brewery (an industrial atmosphere for a corporate event), – the Ksiaz Castle (Lower Silesia) (a princely setting with English gardens) Poznan: Kinepolis Poznan, the Poznan International Trade Fair, the Zamek Culture Centre Poland’s Trade Fair Centre Poznan has been a city where good business has been done for centuries. Today it has a strong position in the league of trade fair cities within Central Europe and the largest fair programme in Poland - the Poznan International Fair.

Beauty
Precious Beauty, without the High Prices... The number and variety of SPA & Wellness offers for ladies and also for gentlemen may cause giddiness and some shuffling in your wallet. Will it be beside the sea or in the mountains, in a historic town or amongst the pine forests? Maybe you could try two in one, a spa and a resort? The Naleczow Spa Resort has a warm nature. It specialises in the cures of heart and circulatory system diseases, so a stay in the Naleczow Spa will improve both your heart and your mood. Especially, when the wrinkles disappear from your face, the cellulite from your hips and your a figure is again....

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Republic of Poland
Area: 312,000 sq km. Location: Central Europe. Poland borders on Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia. Its northern border – 500 km long – runs along the Baltic Sea coast. Population: 38,000,000. Flag: White and red. Official language: Polish. Capital city: Warsaw. Other major cities: Łódź, Krakow, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Katowice, Lublin. Climate: Temperate, the average temperature in July is 19°C (67°F), but there are many summer days when temperatures rise to 30°C (86°F). The best time of the year for practising winter sports is between January and March.

Customs regulations
Customs rules and procedures are similar to those prevailing in the majority of EU countries. Detailed information is available from the Ministry of Finance, tel. +(48-22) 694 31 94, www.mf.gov.pl.

Air
There are airports in Poland in the following cities: Warsaw, Krakow, Gdańsk, Katowice, Łodź, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Wrocław and Bydgoszcz. LOT Polish Airlines is Poland’s national carrier. In order to find the necessary information, all travellers planning to come to Poland and move around the country by air should visit the LOT website: www.lot.com. In addition, there are other carriers, including budget airlines such as Easy Jet – www.easyjet.com, Germanwings – www. germanwings.com, WizzAir – www.wizzair.com, Ryanair – www. ryanair.com, Norwegian – www.norwegian.no, Aer Lingus – www. aerlingus.com
Moscow

Stockholm Amsterdam Berlin

Warsaw

London Kiev Brussels Paris Vienna Budapest New York Madrid Rome Tokyo

Public holidays and work-free days
Non working days are Saturdays, Sundays, and following holidays: New Year’s Day (Jan. 1st), the Easter (Easter Sunday and Monday are moveable holidays), Labour Day (May 1st), the anniversary of the Constitution of May Third (May 3rd), Corpus Christi (Thursday, movable feast), Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15th), All Saint’s Day (Nov. 1st), National Independence Day (Nov. 11th), Christmas Holidays (Dec. 25th and 26th).

Train
Poland has a well-developed rail network. Major Polish cities are interconnected by Intercity express trains running between European cities. The national railway network is administered and serviced by the Polish State Railways (PKP). All necessary information can be found on the PKP website: www.pkp.pl, www.intercity.pl, www. rozklad-pkp.pl and tel. +48 42 194 36.

Where to stay?
All hotels are classified and their categories range from inexpensive to luxurious. • Rooms can be booked by telephone or Internet: www.discover-poland.pl, www.hotelsinpoland.com, www.polhotels.com, www.hotelspoland.com, www.polhotel.pl, www.warsawshotel.com, www.visit.pl, www.orbisonline.pl, www.pph.com.pl • Many historic and old buildings (palaces, castles, manors, mills) have been adapted for tourist purposes www.hhpoland.com, tel. +(48) 501 253 374 and www.goscinnezabytki.pl, tel./fax +(48 22) 412 50 13, +(48) 507 842 552 • Booking of rural B&B accommodations: tel. +(48-52) 398 14 34, mobile +(48-602) 459 137, www.agritourism.pl, www.agroturystyka.pl, federgg@wp.pl • Youth hostels: tel. +(48-22) 849 81 28, fax 849 83 54, www.ptsm.org.pl • Camping: tel./fax +(48-22) 810 60 50, www.pfcc.eu • Polish Tourist Country Lovers’ Association: www.pttk.pl.

Bus
Any place in Poland can be easily reached on the extensive network of national and local roads. Coach services are operated throughout the year by state and private bus companies across the country.

Branches of the Polish Tourist Organisation Abroad
• AUSTRIA • BELGIUM • Vienna • Brussels tel. +(43-1) 524 71 91 12 tel. +(32-2) 740 06 20 fax 524 71 91 20 fax 742 37 35 www.polen.travel www.polen.travel www.pologne.travel www.pologne.travel www.polen.travel www.poland.travel www.polen.travel www.lengyelorszag.travel www.polonia.travel www.poland.travel www.polonia.travel www.poland.travel www.polen.travel www.poland.travel www.polscha.travel info.at@polen.travel info.be@polen.travel info.be@pologne.travel info.fr@pologne.travel info.de@polen.travel info.uk@poland.travel info.nl@polen.travel budapest@pot.gov.pl info.it@polonia.travel info.jp@poland.travel info.es@polonia.travel info.ru@poland.travel info.scan@polen.travel info.na@poland.travel info.ua@polscha.travel

Taxi
Taxi stands are marked with the TAXI sign. Taxis are best be booked by telephone. Higher rates are charged for travel out of city limits, on Sundays and holidays; a special night fare is applied between 10 pm and 6 am.

• FRANCE • GERMANY • GREAT BRITAIN • HOLLAND • HUNGARY • ITALY • JAPAN

• Paris • Berlin • London • Amsterdam • Budapest • Rome • Tokyo • Madrid • Moscow • Stockholm • New York • Kiev

tel. +(33-1) 42 44 19 00 tel. +(49-30) 21 00 920 tel. +(44-0) 300 303 1812 tel. +(31-20) 625 35 70 tel. +(36-1) 269 78 09 tel. +(39-06) 482 70 60 tel. +(81) 3-5908-3808 tel. +(34-91) 541 48 08 tel. +(7-495) 510 62 10 tel. +(46-8) 21 60 75 tel. +(1-201) 420 99 10 tel. +(38-044) 278 67 28

fax 42 97 52 25 fax 21 00 92 14 fax 300 303 1814 fax 623 09 29 fax 269 78 10 fax 481 75 69 fax 3-5908-3809 fax 541 34 23 fax 510 62 11 fax 21-04-65 fax 584 91 53 fax 278 66 70

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Traffic regulations
These are compatible with the regulations in EU countries. Speed limits on Polish roads are: • 50 km/h for all vehicles in built-up areas; • 90 km/h on two lane roads; • 120 km/h on expressways; • 140 km/h on motorways; • Headlights must be switched on at all times while driving.

• SPAIN • RUSSIA • SWEDEN • USA • UKRAINE

How to Pay?
The Polish currency is the zloty (PLN). You can pay using other currencies e.g. Euro, after you have come to an agreement with the vendor, but this is not always the case. Most transactions are done in zloty. Money can be changed at banks or exchange counters (Kantor). Credit cards are accepted in most shops and for services in the whole of Poland. Cash dispensers of the different banks are available 24/24 in cities and towns. The official money is the zloty divided into 100 groszy. Polish money is in circulation as coins and banknotes. Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 groszy and 1, 2, 5 zloty. Banknotes: 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 zlotys.

Useful telephone numbers
Nationwide toll-free 24 hour emergency phone numbers are: • Ambulance 999, • Fire Brigade 998, • Police 997. Mobile Phone Assistance 112, Tourists can use the following emergency number during the summer season: • 800 200 300, +48-608 599 999. Publisher: Polska Organizacja Turystyczna / Polish Tourist Organisation 00-613 Warszawa, ul. Chałubińskiego 8, tel. +48-22 536 70 70, fax +48-22 536 70 04, e-mail: pot@pot.gov.pl, www.pot.gov.pl Editor: BRANDY DESIGN www.brandy.pl, Artintro www.artintro.com.pl; Text: S. A. Pacuła; Translation: Tom Gąsiorowski; Photographs: D. Zaród, Agencja Gazeta, POT Archives.

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