Fire and rescue services
Exercise normal safety precautions in Poland.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Poland.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is ongoing. The security situation continues to be volatile. Exercise caution while travelling in the regions bordering Ukraine.
Do not travel from Poland to Ukraine.
Australian citizens can enter Poland from Ukraine by road, train or foot. Vehicles are subject to ownership and registration checks. There may be delays at border crossings. You can check border wait times at the State Customs Service of Ukraine website.
You must have a valid Australian passport when crossing the border into Poland. You'll be subject to a passport and security check.
Violent crime is rare in Poland, but petty crime is common.
Muggings, carjackings and theft from vehicles happen in large cities, including Warsaw.
Take care in the tourist areas of large cities. Pickpocketing is common. Thieves often work in small groups.
Watch your belongings:
Regularly check your bank statement. Report any suspicious items to your bank.
Thieves target central railway stations at:
Thieves can target passengers on:
Only use official, registered taxi companies. Unregulated taxi drivers operate in Poland. There have been reports of attacks against passengers, Including sexual assaults, in unregulated taxis and cars booked using ride-sharing apps.
Ask the price of drinks before you order in bars and nightclubs, particularly those that lure you in with special deals. Check the bill amount and currency carefully.
Be careful of drink spiking and theft. To stay safe:
There's an increasing number of reports where travellers have been scammed with drink spiking and credit card overcharging in venues frequented by tourists, particularly those that entice you in with special deals. People have been lured in and overcharged for drinks on credit cards while under the influence.
If you're a victim, report the incident to the police and contact your bank immediately.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Avoid public demonstrations as they may turn violent.
Public protests and events can draw large groups of people. Avoid protests and large public gatherings, as they may turn violent. Monitor local media and follow instructions of local authorities.
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Poland, they can still happen.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide. Terrorists have attacked some European cities.
Poland can experience very low temperatures in the winter. Take care in snow and ice conditions.
In the cities, roads are quickly cleared of snow, but black ice is hazardous.
Snow can block highways and roads in rural areas for extended periods.
Heavy snowfalls can disrupt train travel.
Severe flooding can occur in Poland, particularly in spring. If there's flooding or severe weather:
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Same-sex relationships are legal, but same-sex marriages and civil partnerships aren't recognised under Polish law. The social acceptance of LGBTI people is not as widespread as in Australia. Individuals have experienced harassment. Public displays of affection may attract unwanted attention.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least eight weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Poland. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Tick-borne encephalitis is a risk.
Ticks are common in both urban and country areas. They're active year-round, especially from spring to autumn.
Regularly check your body for ticks during and after visits to parks, gardens and forest areas.
If a tick bites you:
Measles cases can routinely occur in Poland, which is currently experiencing increased measles activity. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date before you travel.
Air pollution levels can be very high.
Get medical advice if you have a pre-existing heart or lung condition.
H1NI (swine flu) (World Health Organization) has been reported. Get the annual seasonal flu shot to lower your risk.
Public hospitals are of a reasonable standard in large cities. Services are limited in rural and border regions.
Most doctors and hospitals will need payment up-front or evidence of medical insurance before treating you, even in an emergency. Don't presume you're covered for medical costs if you're a dual citizen. Check with the Polish Social Insurance (ZUS).
If you're seriously ill or injured, you'll need medical evacuation to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
When reporting a crime to the police, it's a requirement for a sworn 'approved' translator to be present regardless of how fluent the officer is in English. You may have to wait for a translator to arrive.
Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include mandatory prison sentences.
There are strict alcohol laws in Poland.
There's zero tolerance for drink driving. The blood alcohol limit is 0.02%.
If you drink and drive, you face up to five years in jail and substantial fines. Drink drivers involved in accidents face up to 16 years in jail and significant fines.
It's illegal to be drunk in public. You may be arrested or taken to a facility to sober up. Expect to pay for the cost of your stay.
Drinking alcohol in public places is illegal, including parks and picnic areas.
Poland has no specific surrogacy laws in place. Seek independent legal advice.
The Australian Embassy can't provide:
It's illegal to take photos of some buildings.
Look for signs on buildings that forbid photos. If you're not sure, check with local authorities.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Poland doesn't recognise dual nationality.
Under Polish law, Australian-Polish dual nationals must enter and exit Poland using their Polish passport or Polish national identity card (only within the Schengen zone).
If you're a dual national, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Poland is a part of the Schengen area, meaning you can enter Poland without a visa in some cases.
In other situations, such as working, studying or staying long-term, you'll need a visa.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Poland for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
You can’t enter Poland via the land borders from Belarus and Russia (Kaliningrad).
If you're staying in private accommodation, you must register with the local registration office.
You'll need proof of registration if you apply for a visa extension.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You could end up stranded if your passport isn't valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing an 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
The currency of Poland is the Zloty (PLN).
You can easily change all major currencies.
If you're travelling between Poland and any non-EU country, declare currency equivalent to 10,000 euro or more. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
If you don't declare currency or give incorrect information, you'll be fined.
You should check with local authorities in the countries you are leaving, entering or passing through whether you must declare higher amounts of currency.
Carry your passport when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area. Be prepared to show your passport to authorities at any time.
If you're travelling by road or train, allow extra time for possible disruptions or delays.
Do not cross into Belarus or Russia from Poland.
You can't enter Poland via the land borders from Belarus or Russia (Kaliningrad) – limited exceptions may apply.
Do not travel from Poland to Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is ongoing. Heavy fighting is occurring in parts of eastern and southern Ukraine. Missile strikes and attacks are ongoing in some locations across the country, including in major cities. Exercise caution while travelling in the regions bordering Ukraine. The security situation continues to be volatile.
If, despite our advice, you travel by road to Poland, you may face additional security measures when crossing from Ukraine into Poland. See 'Safety - Border with Ukraine' and the Ukraine travel advice for more information.
You can drive in Poland for six months if you have both:
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
If you want to drive for longer than 6 months, you must get a Polish licence. Ensure your driver's licence is current.
There is a high rate of motor vehicle accidents in Poland.
Drink driving is a major cause of road accidents. Stay below the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.02%.
Hazards for drivers and pedestrians include:
Many highways are not dual-carriageways or are under construction. Overtaking lanes are rare.
Severe weather in winter can make driving more dangerous. Some roads are closed in winter.
If you drive in winter, use winter tyres and carry chains.
By law, you must always have your headlights on when driving.
Children shorter than 150cm must use a safety seat. Check with your car rental company or the police.
Using mobile phones while driving is prohibited unless they're fitted with a hands-free device.
Poland's road rules are different from Australia's. Know the rules to avoid fines and insurance issues.
Check the vehicle rental company rules before hiring a car or motorbike. You must meet both Polish and Australian vehicle operating and licence laws (e.g. hold the appropriate licence for the vehicle you drive).
The process of paying road tolls varies across the country. More information is available on the toll operator website.
Only use official taxis. They have the name and number of the taxi company on the door and on top of the taxi, next to the light. They will also show a rate card on the window of the vehicle.
Taxis with a crest but no company name are not official taxis.
Unregulated taxis can overcharge passengers. There have been reports of attacks against passengers, including sexual assaults, in both unregulated taxis and cars booked using ride-sharing apps.
Pre-book taxis using a reputable taxi company or an English-speaking app. You can also ask staff at hotels, hostels or tourist areas to book you an official taxi.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Poland's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
If you need consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Warsaw.
Rondo ONZ 1
00-124 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: (+48 22) 521 3444
Fax: (+48 22) 521 3443
Facebook: Australia in Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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