Best Time To Visit Poland

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What is the best time to visit Poland?

Like many countries in Europe, Poland is an excellent place to travel all around the year, depending on your choice of weather. However, the best time to visit Poland is during spring (March-May) and fall (September-November). This country has a typical European temperate climate with six distinctive seasons where summers are mostly hot and wet while winters are frigid. Despite these seasons and their typical conditions, the weather in Poland is highly unpredictable. During spring and autumn, the weather is neither too hot nor too cold and is just pleasant for roaming in and around the cities of Poland and engaging in several events and activities that Poland has to offer. From a tourism point of view, summertime in Poland is fully crowded, so fewer tourists travelling during this period is an added advantage so you won’t have to wait in a long queue outside the tourist spots.

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High Season/Peak Season in Poland

Summer is the peak season in Poland, where tourists flock in large numbers. This time of the year is mostly sunny with temperatures soaring high, and one can expect a few unpredictable spells of rain. The crowd mostly comprises of school kids on vacation and those tourists who are not keen on visiting this country during the gloomy winter season. Places of attraction like national parks and museums are open and in full swing during this time of the year. The summer season in Poland also calls for a host of events and festivals lined up, which is also one of the reasons why summertime is full of tourists in Poland. Unquestionable this time of the year is also the most expensive time to travel to Poland as due to the rush; hotels and plane ticket prices start rising. So it is best if you book your reservations months in advance.

Shoulder Season in Poland

The months of March, April and August mark the shoulder season in Poland. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, and this pleasant weather makes it a pretty good time to travel to Poland and explore the main cities. March marks the beginning of spring but is still a bit chilly, so you will need to carry a light jacket. In October, winter winds start creeping in so you will need a light jacket for the cold evenings as well. Few attractions remain shut entirely or may have shorter hours, so check the timings beforehand. During the early days of March, due to the cold, but by April everything is back to business. Tourists do not flock in large numbers, so hotels, flight tickets and other attractions are available at cheaper rates.

Off Season/Low Season in Poland

Although winter is the perfect time to travel for some, mostly those who like winter sports and the Christmassy feeling for most people, it is not a good time to travel and hence low season in Poland is mostly the months of November through February. Temperatures drop below freezing point very frequently and it is always chilly during this time of the year. Unexpected spells of rain occur during this season and since cold and rainy season is never a great combo, Poland remains fairly scarce of tourists during this time of the year. Most of the tourist attractions are shut due to heavy snowfall, barring the winter activity spots. Even though the winter season in Poland has several winter festivals, it is not the best choice for most people so hotels and plane tickets are relatively cheaper but accommodation prices still remain high especially in the Ski resorts.

Summer in Poland (June-August)

Weather in Poland
Summer months in Poland are usually very hot with temperatures soaring on some days but you can also expect sudden bouts of rainfall, though it varies from region to region. You should definitely pack light clothes like t-shirts and shorts for summer in Poland but also carry an umbrella and a light jacket for the evenings, in case it gets chilly. In certain parts of parts Southern Poland, like in Tarnow and Warsaw, the average temperature during the summer season is as high as 30 degrees whereas, in Krakow, the temperature rises to around 23 degrees in summer. Warsaw and Zakopane are the wettest regions in Poland during the summer. Despite the unpredictability of the Polish weather during the summer season, tourism peaks here during this time of the year. All major cities in Poland like Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Warsaw and Poznan are full of tourists and hotels are hard to find if not booked in advance. Lesser-known destinations in Poland like Torun, Lubin, Zamosc and Tarnow are better options if you want to avoid the heavy crowd in the popular destinations. 

Key Events in Poland during summer
  • Fair Hetmanski, Zamosc ( first or second week of June): To mark the anniversary of granting Zamość a town charter by the King , a fair is put up where folk artists from different parts of Poland come to participate. You can try interesting activities like oil pressing, clay pot making, buy traditional products and listen to music and dance shows put up by the artists. 
  • Jewish Cultural Festival, Krakow (June): This festival goes on for nine days every year, where different cultural events,shows, workshops, lectures and plays are organized. At this festival, you can learn all about Jewish history, traditions,cuisine and culture.
  • Malta International Theatre Festival, Poznan (June): The Malta International Theatre Festival in Poznan is one of Poland’s oldest festivals, which started more than 25 years ago.Initially, it was only restricted for theatre enthusiasts but now it includes dance,music,art and even films. All the performances are held on the streets mostly and everyone is free to watch.
  • International Street Arts Festival, Warsaw (July): This festival is Warsaw’s largest outdoor festival featuring musical and dramatic arts in some of the most popular public spots in the city. 
  • Open’er Heineken Festival(July): One of the most famous music festivals in Poland, Open’er Heineken Festival attracts tourists from around the world during summer. In this festival, you can get a chance to see Florence, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Machine, Chemical Brother and many more such starts live.
  • Crossroads Traditional Music Festival, Kraków(July): Crossroads is an annual music festival held every year on the streets of Kraków with folk music from Tatra Mountains. Several concerts take place in Kraków's Market Square where  musicians put up their own versions of traditional music, mixed with other genres like jazz.
  • Good Taste Festival, Poznan (August): Good Taste Festival in Poznan is on every foodie’s bucket list. This international food fair hosts culinary shows, workshops, competitions and workshops every year. Every year, for one night, the city's museums, art galleries, and other creative institutions stay open late at night for tourists. The exciting part about this event is mostly the late-night street parties which you can attend after visiting the museums.

Fall in Poland (September-November)

Weather in Poland
Starting from mid-September, Poland’s natural beauty is at its peak as the Polish foliage takes the centre stage. The shoulder months of September or October are the best time to visit Poland as the temperatures during this time from 5 to 15 degrees and are quite pleasant in the day and the temperature usually falls at night. Kazimierz Dolny, Pieniny and Kaszuby are few places you should definitely visit in Poland as they offer stunning picturesque views during foliage and the weather being pleasant makes these places a must-visit. As November creeps in, the weather starts becoming quite chilly. So you should carry warm clothes like a light jacket during this period. Although these most are much dried compared to the rest of the year, especially in places like Zakopane and the High Tatras some areas in Poland still receive rainfall during these months so do check the weather forecast and carry a good umbrella to keep yourself protected.

Events in Poland during Fall
  • Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music (September): This highly esteemed music festival presents classical contemporary music, performed by different artists from around the world. The performances are usually held at the National Philharmonic Hall and other venues across the city.
  • Cross Culture Festival, Warsaw(September): During this festival in Warsaw, Musicians from all around the world gather at the Palace of Culture and Science for week-long concerts, and celebrate world music in all its diversity. Several workshops and films also conducted on the program.
  • Festival of Four Cultures, Lódz(September): The festival of four Cultures namely, Polish, Jewish, German and Russian, is celebrated at the city’s traditional crossroads with popular music, culture, and a popular film festival.
  • International Film Festival, Warsaw (October): This famous festival at Warsaw is one of Europe’s largest film festivals which attracts a large crowd every year. It festival presents unique films that you might never get a chance to watch again.
  • Rawa Blues Festival, Katowice(October): Known to be the world’s largest indoor blues festival, it takes place every year at futuristic Spodek concert hall in Katowice.
  • European festival of Taste, Lubin (September): This festival in Lubin, celebrates food, music and culture with food stalls offering traditional food, alcohol and other regional items, open-air concerts and much more.
  • All Souls' Jazz Festival, Kraków(November): Every year on All Souls' Day (Nov 2), musicians from around the world come to Krakow and perform at bars, churches and other areas. This is Poland’s oldest jazz festival. Every year on All Souls' Day (Nov 2), musicians from around the world come to Krakow and perform at bars, churches and other areas. The All Soul's Jazz Festival in Krakow is Poland's oldest jazz festival.

Winter in Poland (December-March)

Early winter (Przedzimie) in Poland
Just before peak winters hit the cities of Poland, there is a short period of early winter known as Przedzimie. During this period, the weather is cold and chilly winds blow throughout the day but it does not snow as yet. Sudden spells of rain make this season even colder just without the snow. Early winter season varies from region to region and there is no certainty about it.

Weather in Poland
Winter months in Poland can be quite a challenge for those who are not accustomed to harsh conditions. Chilly winds and heavy snowfall are prevalent especially in Eastern Poland and Zakopane. Temperatures in these regions tend to hover around 0 to -10 degrees. Sometimes temperatures can even fall as low as -20 degrees so you need to bundle up with multiple layers of sweaters,jackets,mufflers,woollen socks, hats etc. You should also pack a pair of sturdy boots to keep you feet protected from the cold.  It is mostly quiet during this season in Poland but the winter loving tourists usually flock to the famous ski resort in Zakopane, to enjoy the winter wonderland, despite the harsh weather. Izerskie Mountains. Wisła & Ustroń Szczyrk are among the other popular places filled with tourists during winters. If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the winter sports at the same time, you can visit Świętokrzyskie Mountains,Bieszczady,Spisz.

Events in Poland during winter
  • Kraków Christmas Cribs(December): This is an unusual competition where the person who builds the most amazing Christmas crèche wins. Christmas Cribs festival is a fun festival and one can just spend an entire winter day looking at how the participants build the crèche.
  • Barbican Christmas Market, Warsaw( December): Christmas is celebrated throughout the country but the city of Warsaw is especially beautifully decorated with market stalls selling traditional home made bakery and other cuisines, gift stalls and a lot more. The highlight is the christmas tree at Zamkowy Square which is lit all night.
  • Kraków New Year(December): Kraków's main square celebrates New Year’s Eve with great live shows and a stunning fireworks display sharp at midnight.  This brings in large crowds and hence screens are put up everywhere to  help them see all the action onstage.
  • Fat Thursday( February): This fun festival is all about gaining calories! It is a day fully dedicated to eating sweets like pączki and traditional donuts filled with rose marmalade, faworki which is a crisp pastry finger sprinkled with powdered sugar and many more such mouth watering items.
  • Shanties: International Sailors' Song Festival, Kraków(February):Kraków hosts an international festival, every year in February, which is dedicated to maritime and sailors' songs. Events like nautical poetry and ballads are held all around the town.

Spring in Poland (March-May)

Early spring (przedwiosnie) in Poland
It is a short period between winter and spring when the temperature is higher than in winter but is not as warm as spring. Winter frosts don’t appear in this season anymore. The temperature usually ranges between 0 and 5 degrees for a short period of time, with sudden spells for snow and rain mixed, a weather conditions are known as ‘odwilż’ meaning warming weather with snow melting or ‘plucha’ meaning a patchy rainy weather Przedwiośnie season is usually is chilly, gloomy and rainy with overnight frosts, but at the same time, the sun appears from behind the clouds. This season marks the arrival of flower blooming season along with warm and pleasant weather.

Weather in Poland
After the short duration of early spring where the weather still remains chilly, the spring season begins, and it brings with it pleasant weather, which makes it one of the best times to visit Poland. The temperature starts to rise slowly and by the time April arrives, the weather starts becoming warmer and springtime is at its peak as beautiful flowers start to bloom all around. However, April sometimes sees a few spells of rain so do carry an umbrella. Also, carry a light jacket in case you feel chilly in the evening. Spring is an ideal time to visit Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia and Malbork as the weather is just perfect and natural beauty is at its peak.

Events in Poland during spring
  • Ludwig van Beethoven Festival, Warsaw(April): Even Though this festival bears Beethoven's name, it's not just all about him. This program features classical composers from around the world, who perform in concerts that are held in the city. The festival goes on for more than two weeks and is timed perfectly to coincide with the Easter holidays.
  • Florianski Fair, Warsaw(May): This is a popular street fair which takes place across the river in Warsaw's district of Praga. The highlights of this festival are live music shows, and a street full of art and craft, food and local celebs.
  • Juwenalia, Kraków(May): Juwenalia is a  fun fair dedicated to the city's students, where the mayor gives the students the keys to the city. Lots of concerts, shows, and parades are held along with food and alcohol.
  • Film Music Festival, Kraków(May): For film and music lovers, this three-day concert is a must-visit. It pays tribute to all the music composers on the silver screen with live performances and film screenings. Composers also join the audience for concerts accompanying film screenings.
  • Night of Museums, Warsaw(May): Every year, for one night, the city's museums, art galleries, and other creative institutions stay open late at night for tourists. The exciting part about this event is mostly the late-night street parties which you can attend after visiting the museums.

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