15 things I learnt about Poland

Last year I spent July in Poland, more specifically in Katowice with IFMSA internship. In addition, all foreign students went on trips on every weekend. To Kraków, Wroclaw and Gdansk. It was one of the best times of my life, and I cherish all the memories I have.

Here are some things I learnt about this beautiful country during my stay there.

  1. Poland in more than 3 times bigger than Hungary. Its surface is 312 000 square kilometres while Hungary’s is 93 000 square kilometres.
  2. It is surrounded by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Kaliningrad and the Baltic Sea.
  3. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025.
  4. Polish weather is unpredictable. We can state, that it is almost 10 degrees less in the summer than in Hungary with random surprising rains. (Today it’s 23 degrees in Warsaw, for example.) So prepare warmer clothes, even you are travelling there in the summer.
  5. Although Poland’s capital is Warsaw since 1596, the former capital, Kraków is more popular among tourists. Kraków has been the city of kings, and even Polish people say you should rather choose to visit it over Warsaw.
  6. Therefore, Kraków is a bit crowded all through the year.
  7. Polish people are really kind and they like having guests.
  8. Polish and Hungarian people has a special bond. As the proverb says: Polak, Węgier — dwa bratanki,i do szabli, i do szklanki. Which means, Pole and Hungarian, two brothers, fight and drink wine together. This friendship dates back to the Middle Ages. The two nations had mutual kings, like Louis the Great. March 23rd is Hungarian-Polish Friendship Day in both countries.
  9. Hungarian and Polish folk embroidery has many similarities.
  10. All Polish cities are well reserved and very clean.
  11. Both local and intercity transportation facilities are well equipped.
  12. Polish dishes often contain pork and cabbage. Usually in the same dish.
  13. Their most famous traditional dish is pierogi, which is basically a dumpling that can be filled with almost everything and can be eaten appetizer, main course and dessert as well. During my one month in Poland, I ate pierogis filled with pork, cabbage, cottage cheese, salmon, spinach and peach.
  14. The best Polish street food is definitely zapiekanka, which is a hot sandwich made of a long baguette. It exists in many forms, but my favourite was the one with mushrooms, pickles, ham and cheese.
  15. Their national alcohol is vodka.

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