When making travel plans to visit Europe, countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and England are typically at the top of people’s wish list. Though these countries are incredible travel destinations, there are so many other unique places to explore throughout the European Union. One of our favorites? Poland! Poland is one of those countries that tend to fly under the radar, but it sure is a gem. There are countless things to do and see in Poland, and if you’re still not convinced, here are 20 quick fun facts about Poland that will make you want to visit:
People and Community
1. Nicolaus Copernicus Was Polish
Copernicus was the first astronomer to propose that the Earth is not the center of the universe.
2. Marie Curie Was Polish
The groundbreaking scientist is closely associated with France, but she was born and raised in Poland. Her given name was Maria Sklodowska.
3. Over 96% of Polish Citizens Identify as Roman Catholic
That said, freedom of religion is a right in Poland.
4. The Polish City of Wroclaw Hosts a Myriad of Festivals Every Year
Annual festivals that take place in Wroclaw celebrate literature, jazz music, and one-actor performances.
5. Polish People Like to Celebrate Their Name Days
Many people in Poland celebrate their name day instead of their birthday. All of the most common Polish names are associated with a particular day of the year. These are feast days for particular Catholic saints.
Government and History
6. Polish History is Very Complicated
If you’re someone who loves history and battles, try taking a peek into Polish history. The country has been invaded or fought for its freedom more than 40 times. The medieval era was a particularly complicated one for Poland, and it even disappeared from world maps for a period in the 1700s.
7. Poland Has the Second Constitution in the World
Following the United States, Poland adopted its own constitution in 1791. Unfortunately, Poland’s first constitution only lasted a little over a year.
8. Poland Has the Second Oldest University in Europe
Jagiellonian University was founded way back in 1364.
9. Poland is Home to the Oldest Restaurant in Europe
The restaurant Piwnica Swidnicka has been in operation since 1275.
10. Poland Has One of the World’s Oldest Salt Mines
The Wieliczka Salt Mine was built in the thirteenth century.
Historical Sites and Geography
11. Poland is Bigger Than Both Italy and the United Kingdom
Poland is the eighth-largest country in Europe (or ninth if you include Russia). It’s just a little bit smaller than the state of New Mexico.
12. Poland’s Land is Very Diverse
The country is home to beaches and lakes, forests and mountains, and even deserts.
13. Poland is Home to 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Thanks to its long and complicated history, Poland is home to a number of culturally significant monuments. Perhaps the most famous UNESCO site in Poland is the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz Birkenau.
14. Poland Has 24 National Parks
This includes Tatra National Park, Ojcowski National Park, and Slowinski National Park.
15. Poland is Home to a Number of Beautiful Castles
With many of these castles being open to the public.
Other Facts and Tidbits You May Not Know
16. Polish is a Hard Language to Learn
It is considered one of the most complicated languages in the world thanks to additional tenses, letters, and difficult pronunciations.
17. Poland Makes Some Great Vodka
Vodka is an important beverage in Poland, and a lot of the best vodkas in the world come from Poland. There is some debate, but many experts believe that vodka was invented in Poland. It was originally used as a medicine.
18. College in Poland is Free
If you’re a Polish citizen, you can attend a state-run university without paying tuition.
19. Pol’and’Rock Festival is One of the Largest Free Music Festivals in the World
The festival has been held every summer since 1995.
20. Americans Don’t Need a Visa to Visit Poland
If you have a US passport, you don’t need to worry about obtaining a Poland visa.
Poland is an amazing country that everyone should try and visit at least once in their life. The culture, people, food, history, and beauty of Poland is something that you don’t want to miss!
If you plan on visiting Poland or another international destination and are in need of a passport, we’d love to help! You can begin the process of obtaining your passport on the Swift website, and if you have any questions at all in regards to obtaining a passport, please contact us. Our knowledgeable team would love to answer any questions that you may have. Safe travels!