DO’s & DON’Ts – rules of living in Poland

It is said, that ignorance of the law is harmful. We see it especially when we are in a different, unknown country, where everything is so puzzling. Have you ever thought about common rules in Poland that you might not know? There are probably a few or even plenty of them and the reason is simple. It’s because it is tough to find them out. Here are some of the regulations, knowledge of which can be really helpful.

Smoking & drinking

Once upon a time in Poland people could smoke cigarettes everywhere they wanted to. But it wasn’t easy for opponents of smoking to tolerate it. So they came up with the idea to prohibit smoking in some places and the concept was accepted. Now there are spots in polish cities, where smoking is banned. For example in clubs and pubs it is forbidden, but in most of them there are specific areas, where you can do it. If there aren’t, then it is your fate to smoke outside. It’s also problematic, because “outside” doesn’t actually mean everywhere outside. Bus stops are places where you’ll have to restrain yourself.

When we are on the topic of outdoor areas and drugs, then we should probably tell you about another rule that concerns alcohol. You cannot drink it in public places or even have the bottle open. It means that if you are caught by police with an open drink for example in the town centre, you will be fined.


Usually for foreigners, knowledge of polish language is an abstraction, but somehow there is a bunch of words, that most of them know perfectly. We love to teach curses and listen to how you can repeat it. If you already know these magic words, you should remember that generally it is banned. Most of the people use them anyway, but the police have a right to punish you for it, so just be careful when learning the language.

Being a good pedestrain and a driver

When it comes to going around a city you have to face traffic rules, like millions of other regulations are not enough for one man. Pedestrians have it easier for sure, because of the smaller number of rules. They have to cross the street at the pedestrian crossings and if there are traffic lights somewhere, they go when it’s green and stop when it’s red (notice to yourself that crossing on the red light or not on zebra crossing is fined once noticed by a policeman). These two main rules can keep you alive in city. Drivers on the other hand have a much harder task. Besides international rules of driving, there is some extra entertainment. All of Poland is like one big movie set, there are cameras round every corner. The difference is that movie stars don’t have to pay for being in the pictures.

Obligation of having an ID

When you are going out somewhere, no matter what time it is, there is one thing that you have to keep in your pocket or bottomless bag. Identity documents are not only for showing friends funny picture of you a few years ago. Remember to always carry an ID card and you will avoid getting into trouble.

Life after 10 p.m.

Of course we have to remember that every party eventually has an end. In the law and according to prayers of neighbours it should be at 10pm. and this includes especially parties at home. With patience and kindness of neighbours this rule can be stretched, but they also have a right to call the police and complain, if they can’t stand the noise. 10pm is a special hour, because the next principle is referring to it as well. After ten only people aged 18 or over can travel around a city, unless an underage person is with guardian. The rest of the minors have to stay politely at home. The time when polish children legally become an adult is at 18 years old and only from this moment they can drink alcohol and get a driver’s license.

Obviously this is only a small part of many rules that are more or less common in Poland. Remembering all of these points above isn’t easy, but it can be helpful, when you don’t want to pay for having fun.




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