Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.
I want to ask a question about getting from poland to vilnius.
Im planning to visit a friend in vilnius, i noticed that tickets there are more expensive than ones to poland.
So I would like to know if getting from poland to vilnius is possible by train/bus? if so, which part of poland? how long by train or bus? Which would be safer and how much would it cost? and are these methods of transport safe for me (23 yr old asian female)? Also, i dont know any polish, wud this be a problem when trying to get tickets?
I can get a ryan air flight to krawkow or bialystok for about 20 pounds return, so going from any of these two would be good?
The info would be much appreciated.
There's one express train a day from Białystok to Vilnius. It takes about 6 hours 20 mins, changing at the border (Sestokai). I think it could be a problem buying the tickets if you don't speak Polish, but if you had the details written down or printed off the internet it would help at the station.
Try googling 'PKP' (Polish railways) and there's an online timetable in English. Vilnius is 'Wilno' in Polish.
Don't bother with the buses, it could be a real hassle getting tickets or even finding where they leave from.
One last question. I decided i may aswell stop in Krakow for a couple of days on my way to vilnius, but a friend just sent me bunch of stuff about racism in poland. I know the media can blow things out of proportion, so whats the situation really like?
I'm a British pakistani/Iranian girl, but i look more like im from one of the former soviet places, eg been mistaken for being from georgia, armenia, caucuses, kazakh/turkmen/uzbekistan type countries.
Honestly, Do you guys think i will get hassle for this?
You do get some Poles who are dark haired and olive skinned. Some could pass for mediterranean or northern asian. In Krakow in particular you get quite a lot of people with dark eyes/hair.
I'm sure other forum members will have something to say on the matter, but my comments come from direct experience.
Two years ago I helped organise a two week trip to Poland for an English outdoors club. There were two asian guys in the group of 14. We went to Krakow and Bieszczady (a remote area in far south eastern Poland) They experienced absolutely no racism of any sort. We all felt very welcomed in both locations. I think Poles are getting very used to foreign tourists now.
Based on what I have read on this site there are isolated incidents of racism. There was a recent debate about it on here. Unless things have changed drastically in two years I cannot see why you would experience racism.
Please let us know how you get on.
There are also a lot of Gypsies and a growing number of Turks in Poland.
um.... and what has that to do with the price of kielbasa Hans?
Good luck You may need it.
A visitor to Poand probably wouldn't have much problem with open racism. There are places that somebody polish might not want to walk in at night, but these are few and far between.
Any racism is more likely to be beneath the surface. The only problems I've heard about involve attacks on black men, usually because they are seen out with a Polish wife/girlfriend in the wrong part of town, and the local empty-headed, drunk rednecks feel their manhood is threatened.
A woman of Asian appearance would have no problems here.
I knew quite a few asians in Poland from Embassy staff to kiddies most had problems.
Maybe not in Warsaw but out of big cities, be carefull. Many of the staff from a large chinese/Polish company were warned about aggression.
A number were atacked and had verbal abuse.
I only said be carefull, on the whole no problems but .....
Maybe this happens in the north, but Krakow is pretty relaxed. You're more likely to get hassled for the usual reasons (because you are a woman alone) than for any racial reason. People generally mind their own business in krakow. They might stare, but they do that to everyone.
If you plan to get a train from Krakow to Vilnius, you're in for an ardous journey with an overnight stay somewhere. You're better off getting a connecting flight in krakow.
I know an American Indian (out of all things) who does business in Poland and never had any problems while traveling.
I have also never witnessed any racist attacks in Poland. On the contrary, in places like Krakow most people are friendly.
It’s just like anywhere else – don’t end up on the wrong side of town and you will be just fine.
Mike C is right, avoid seedy places and you'll have no problem.
The racism that manifests itself here is most likely to be on saturday night in a provincial discotheque by drunks. Restaurants, galleries, good clubs or the classier sort of bar would be fine.
The story below (from today's New Warsaw Express) is a good example of the way racism occurs here. In the daytime in Kraków or Warsaw people aren't hassled and a lady shouldn't worry. It's sad that the guy was forced into this though, and I hope they prosecute the drunks and not him.
""Dutch Man Knifes Four
Two men were hospitalised in serious condition
after a black Dutch man slashed them
and two of their companions in retribution for
racist remarks they allegedly made. The incident
took place in early morning hours of
Thursday in the heart of Wrocław, when the
four victims were leaving a disco after a night
of drinking. According to the IAR news agency,
the men tried to impress their girlfriends
by being rude to the unidentified Dutch man,
apparently a well-known DJ, who fell into a
rage and stabbed them with a switchblade.
At press time prosecutors had not decided
what charges to file against the attacker.""
A short while ago I asked a question about possible racism in krakow, as i was going there for a couple of days on my way to vilnius, and one of your forum users 'another ania' i think requested i let the forum know how i got on in Krakow.
So basically, Krakow was awesome! I had a great time, and experienced only friendly, helpful, and welcoming behaviour from polish people of all ages and genders. Young and old, from the first to the last moments in krakow, were just lovely to me and my friend, both women in our early twenties (me a British Pakistani and my friend a British Turk). We felt safe at all times in krakow, even late in the night, and the only rowdy behaviour we witnessed was a small group of drunk English men acting 'laddish'.
Overall, I cant speak highly enough of Krakow had a great time and will definately return at some point!