Old Town Warsaw
The quick travel guide to Poland and Warsaw
Poland is situated in the eastern part of central Europe on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Poland is a relatively large country with a territory of 312,680 sq km making it the 9th largest in Europe. Poland has borders on the Baltic Sea and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad to the north, Lithuania, Belarus and the Ukraine to the east, the Slovak and Czech Republics to the south and Germany to the west.
Poland has a population of around 38.4 million, which are mostly Polish with a few Ukrainians and people from other eastern European nations. The Polish capital is Warsaw which is situated in the east of the country on the Vistula river; it has a population of around 1.65 million. Other large cities in Poland are Kraków with a population of 754,000 Lodz 744,00, and Wroclaw 632,240.
During the revolutions of 1989, communist rule was overthrown, and soon after Poland became what is constitutionally known as the "Third Polish Republic". Poland is a unitary state, made up of sixteen Voivodeships, Poland is a member of the European Union(May 2004), NATO, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Polish currency is the Zloty (1 zloty = 100 groszy)
Poland’s territory extends across several geographical regions. In the northwest is the Baltic seacoast, which extends from the Bay of Pomerania to the Gulf of Gdansk. This coast is marked by several spits, coastal lakes and dunes. The largely straight coastline is indented by the Szczecin Lagoon, the Bay of Puck, and the Vistula Lagoon. The center and parts of the north lie within the North European Plain. Rising gently above these lowlands is a geographical region comprising the four areas of rolling hills. These areas are the Pomeranian Lake District, the Greater Polish Lake District, the Kashubian Lake District, and the Masurian Lake District. The Masurian Lake District is the largest of the four and covers much of northeastern Poland. The lake districts form part of the Baltic Ridge, a series of moraine belts along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.
South of the Northern Lowlands lie the regions of Silesia and Masovia, which are marked by broad river valleys. Farther south lies the Polish mountain region, including the Sudetes, and the Carpathian Mountains. The highest part of the Carpathians is the Tatra Mountains, along Poland’s southern border with the Slovak Republic.
Bledów Desert is a desert located in southern Poland in the Silesian district and stretches over the Zaglebie Dabrowskie region. It has a total area of 32 square kilometres (12 sq mi). It is the only desert located in Poland. It is one of only five natural deserts in Europe. Forests cover 28.8% of Poland’s land area and more than 50% of the land is devoted to agriculture, mostly pasture and grazing. While the total area under cultivation is declining, the remaining farmland is more intensively cultivated.
LAKES With almost ten thousand closed bodies of water covering more than 1 hectare (2.47 acres) each, Poland has one of the highest number of lakes in the world. The largest lakes, covering more than 100 square kilometres, are Lake Sniardwy and Lake Mamry in Masuria, and Lake Lebsko and Lake Drawsko in Pomerania.
Poland is a part of the global tourism market with constantly increasing number of visitors, particularly after joining the European Union. Tourism in Poland contributes to the country's overall economy. The most popular cities are Warsaw, Kraków, Wroclaw, Poznan, Lublin, Torun, including the historic site of the Auschwitz concentration camp near Oswiecim. Other popular destinations include northeast Poland's Mazury lake district and Bialowieza Forest. Poland's main tourist offers are sightseeing within cities and out-of-town historical monuments, business trips, specialised tourism, agrotourism, and mountain hiking, among others.
Location Map of Poland
Interactive map of Poland
Guide to Europe
|Travel Guide to the European Union 2013|