The Republic of Poland has nearly 40 million
inhabitants. It is bordered by the Baltic Sea and numerous
countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine,
Belarus, Lithuania and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad Oblast.
The Kingdom of Poland was established in the 11 Century, but the most
significant recent impact on Poland has been the result of World War
II. Although Poland was a member of Allied Forces, the Nazis took
control and established concentration camps such as Auschwitz in
Poland. After World War II Poland was denied independence and fell
under the control of the Soviet Union. It wasn't until the 1980s
that the labor movement led by Lech Wałęsa eventually led to Polish
independence in the 1990s. Today Poland is a full member of the
European Union and also joined the Schengen Zone in 2007.
Poland participates in the Schengen
Zone and Schengen Visa requirements. That means there
are no border controls between members and no border inspections by
rail or vehicle when traveling from Poland to Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia. Some countries that are not
members of the Schengen Zone require a Schengen Visa to enter Europe. More
than 40 countries outside the Schengen Zone do not require a visa.
Exemptions include citizens of Australia,
Canada, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United
States. For a list of countries that will
not require a visa, visit the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland or check your specific country at
For a list of exempt countries, visit Project
Poland's official currency is the złoty.
Poland's climate is moderated in its northern and western regions by the
Baltic Sea, but this is offset by a colder continental climate along its
eastern border. In general, temperatures are warm and comfortable in
summer, while temperatures hover near freezing in winter.