10 facts about Poland that most people don't know


20 January 2020

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10 facts about Poland that most people don’t know

One of world tourism trends for 2020 is discovering new destinations. Poland is well know of Krakow and Auschwitz. Rest of the state fulfill criteria of being untouched location. They are simply unknown. Every step you take you can find something new. Those are: great food, natural landscapes, interesting monuments, complicated history and famous hospitality. We’ve prepared for you 10 facts about Poland that most people don’t know. We hope you will find them interesting.

Our country is one big surprise. Here are some facts about Poland that surprised even me (and I’m local!).

Fact #1 Poland is one of the biggest European countries

Poland is 9th the largest country in Europe. Most people do not know that the state stays ahead United Kingdom, Italy or Romania. With 36,5 milion population is also one of most populated in the world (36th place). We can say that were the happy ones having high natural diversity: sea coast and high mountains. Between south and north there are thousands of lakes and a dessert (in the Lesser Poland Region). Every each from 16 provinces has something to offer. Breathtaking landscapes of Vistula River, amazing architecture or simple and good food.

Map of Poland

Fact #2 Poland - name with a meaning

Name of our state derives from tribe „Polanie” which conquered other Polish tribes. That was in 10th century. The name means exactly: people leaving on the open glades (fields). If were talking about country names: we have some quirky names for some countries, like: Włochy for Italy. Even the wisest men do not know why? It is possible that ‘Włochy’ derives from ‘włosy’: hair. So the legend is that long, long time ago one hairy Italian came to Poland. Local folks didnt know how to name foreigner so they called himHairy Man’ – Ta boom!

Polish superheroes - Kings

Fact # 3 Polish constitution was the second in the World

But… it was working only 14 months before Poland was in partitions. For next 100 years or more the country was not existing. Polish history is more complicated than Game of Thrones. Once Kingdom of Poland was one of the European powers, 100 years after was not even existing! Kings were great but sometimes also showing their weaknesses as jealousy or greediness. Wars and battles were not helping. Now, in 2020 we celebrate 100 years of our independence from foreign powers.

Poland and the neighbours

Fact #4 Polish men still kiss woman’s hand for welcome or solemn occasions

You can find very odd seeing man bowing down to grab and kiss womans hand to say Hello. It is not as frequent as it was 20 years ago. Although it’s still applicable in many situations: Name Day, Womens Day etc.

Many young women feel strange about it. Some are even shocked (as they call themselves feminists). But don’t worry! To be honest this old custom hides nothing else but kindness.

Fact #5 In Poland we celebrate Name Day

You pass the magic border between being young and matured. People call you ‘Ms’ instead ‘hey, you’ ? Then you know that’s the moment you should start celebrating your Name Day! You quit showing your birthday cake on Facebook and erase birthdate from profile bio. Only your relatives and best friends celebrate with you this date. For the rest of the world (as your boss and workmates) you bring random cakes and chocolates. You get some hugs and a bottle of wine instead. Your boss gives you flower (just one!) and he kiss your hand (look up!). That’s it! You can ask when this moment comes? Depends on the name. For Maria, Andrzej, Jan and few others who has extremely popular name it comes faster that for the others. Reasonable age is 40.

Muffins for celebrating 🙂

Fact #6 Poland is third biggest exporter of beer

Oh yes! We drink a lot but we produce even more! We are third biggest exporter of beer in European Union! Producing 36,9 hectoliters of golden liquid we are behind Germany and United Kingdom. Well known Polish brands allover the Europe are: Tyskie beer, Lech beer and Zywiec beer. But … when you come here please do not try them! Those mentioned are huge concerns and their products are simple and low quality ones. If you’re beer lover try local and regional products. Our Tastytours.pl is first DMC that created its own Beerwalk. You can find it and taste it in Bydgoszcz.

More about Beerwalk you’ll find here.


Fact #7 Poland is world the largest producer of amber jewellery.

Poland exports high quality amber from Baltic sea. Most of the people do not know that name ‘amberis restricted only for product from Baltic sea! Amber is so called ‘Gold of the North‘ and it’s well know from ancient times. What is an amber? That’s fossilized resin that is 40 milion years old. Resin was as a plaster on injured trees (by borers or birds).

Polish amber

Fot.: PAP/Stanisław Rozpędzik / PAP

Fact #8 Poland's most popular and only known fast food is 'zapiekanka'.

As pierogi is most popular polish dish, ‘Zapiekanka‘ is simple comfort food. What is ’zapiekanka’? It was very popular during the times of Peoples Republic of Poland. ‘Zapiekanka’ is half baguette topped with cheese and mushrooms. You get in on paper tray and you will be asked if you want it with ketchup or garlic mayo (my recommendation is to choose ketchup!).

Polish zapiekanka

Fot. www.polonist.com/polish-zapiekanka/

Fact #9 Polish inventors were important in world's development.

There are many examples of well known inventors who are Poles.

Among them Maria Curie Sklodowska, the only one in the world who won two Noble Prizes in two different science disciplines.

Other polish invention was latex condom (!) produced for the first time by Julius Fromm in 1912.

Fact #10 All Polish traditional last names change depending on sex.

Last name works as adjective and need to match gender in Polish. If it is woman the ending is – ska (ex. Kowalska). For man it is – ski (ex. Kowalski). But there is an exception: most of the Poles in US convert their surname to male version not to confuse the others.

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Check out the website of Polish Tourism Organisation and inspire yourself to explore Poland!