Blog / Travel
Warsaw. Advice on visas, travel insurance and much more
When you think of a trip to Europe the cities of Paris, London, Rome or Prague may spring to mind...but Warsaw? Why would you go there?
In fact, there are plenty of reasons to visit the Polish capital; great architecture, historic attractions and great value for money.
Plus you can fly direct from Singapore with LOT Polish Airlines running regular flights from Changi Airport. Flight time is around 12 hours.
Good to know
Singaporeans can visit Poland for up to 90 days without a visa, provided no employment is pursued.
You should have your passports with you, though, when crossing any borders.
As immigration requirements often change at short notice, you’re advised to contact your travel agent or the Embassy of Poland in Singapore (www.singapore.mfa.gov.pl/en) for the latest information on visa requirements.
Safety and security. What to watch out for
Petty crime, such as pick-pocketing and theft, does occur, especially on public transport and in tourist areas.
Robbery is common at the main rail stations and on trains, especially overnight sleeper trains. Be vigilant
especially while boarding and leaving trains. Secure your belongings if you are on an overnight train.
Public demonstrations are a common occurrence in Poland. Exercise caution, avoid affected areas, monitor developments through the local news, and heed the instructions of the local authorities.
Check your bill in bars and nightclubs. Incidents of overcharging on debit or credit cards have occurred.
It is illegal to take photos of military and secure buildings and installations. If in doubt, check with local
Driving in Warsaw
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required for Singaporeans to drive in Poland and must be obtained before arrival. Singaporeans should also have their Singapore Driving Licence with them.
Under Polish law, you can be charged if you drive or cycle on public roads under the influence of drugs and alcohol and penalties are severe. Travellers should take note of the drink-drive alcohol limit in Poland.
Use registered and officially marked taxis. Taxis that do not display telephone numbers and company names usually charge exorbitant rates.
There is a risk of tick-borne encephalitis, a viral disease that affects the central nervous system, especially in forested areas during the summer. Take precautions against insect bites and follow local advice.
Purchase comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
And remember to eRegister with the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) so you can be reached during an emergency. For more information click here.
So, why should you go to Warsaw?
On the whole Warsaw is a very safe place to visit and there are lots of reasons why Singaporeans should go.
With a population of around 1.7million people Warsaw is the biggest city in Poland. It was more or less destroyed in World War Two and then fell under Soviet rule until the Berlin wall came down in 1989.
But the good news is that Warsaw is now back to its former glory with historic buildings and monuments painstakingly restored. It’s a great city to see on foot with all the main attractions nearby.
Start at Warsaw's old town or Stare Miasto, a UNESCO world heritage site for its Baroque churches, city walls and palaces.
Dating back to the 13th century the town was virtually destroyed during the last world war. Now restored it is virtually impossible to tell the reconstructed parts from the original. In the heart of this area is the market square surrounded by beautiful Baroque townhouses. There’s a market most days.
Getting around the sights
Get a Warsaw Pass. This is excellent value and your ticket to nearly all the major attractions.
It is valid for 24h, 48h or 72 hours and activated from the first time you use it.
For a couple of Euros extra get the Warsaw pass with the free transport option and hop and off for free on buses, trams and metro. There’s also a free tourist sightseeing bus or piano concert thrown in and discounts on popular tours.
The pass gets you free entry into top attractions, many have free tours included and you get to skip the line in all of them! Check out some of the many places included in the pass – Royal Łazienki Museum, 30th floor viewing terrace, Copernicus Science Centre, The Heavens of Copernicus Planetarium, Wilanow Palace, The National Museum in Warsaw, Zacheta- National Gallery of Art, Chopin Museum, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw Archdiocese Museum, Legia Warsaw Stadium, The Praga Museum of Warsaw, Museum of Warsaw.
The best time to go is May to September, although July and August can get busy.
The official Polish currency is the zloty, PLN or marked with short zł. 1 zł is 100 Groszy (the equivalent to cents). Many places accept Euros, so bring these too. If you get left with them you can spend them elsewhere in Europe. S$1 = 2.6 PLN
Accommodation; loads to choose from for all budgets. The vast majority are within walking distance of the old town but the only hotel actually in the old town is the Castle Inn (around S$120 for a double per night).
Duval Serviced Apartments has a certificate of excellence and is also in the old town, around S$100 per night for a double.
If you don’t mind sleeping in a dorm bed then check out the super budget option, The Orange Hostel, which has good reviews and comes in at S$15 per night for one person!
Food; around S$15 for a regular meal at a restaurant.
Warsaw awaits you!
Wherever you go, whatever you do, it’s vital to have good Travel cover.