Tourists coming to Poland have a huge choice of accommodation, from cheap hostels and camping sites to luxury hotels
Many large international hotel chains can be found such as Hilton, Holiday Inn, Ibis, Marriott, Radisson SAS, Sheraton, Sofitel, Novotel or Qubus Hotel. Those looking for less uniformalized places can choose them from many stylish and charming hotels situated in historic buildings, castles and palaces. Those who like to start the day with personally brewed coffee, can reside in a rented apartment. There is something suitable for everyone’s needs and pocket. In hotels and many other places credit cards are accepted, but in places with lower standards cash may be necessary.
Here is a short presentation of the types of accommodation by categories.
Hotels are classified according to the star system, rated from 1 to 5 stars. The most luxurious offer tennis courts, golf courses, fitness centers, sports equipment, retail outlets and private marinas. Services don’t differ from the standard of European hotels. It means that the price includes breakfast and the staff is able to communicate in English (or German). But however, is not necessarily the rule, especially in towns where tourists do not venture often.
Hotel “Sheraton”, Warsaw / photo: Marek Angiel
Pension (Polish: pensjonat)
They are common in the popular seaside or mountains resorts. Their standard is varied; sometimes it is necessary to search for a long time to find something suitable. More luxurious pensions offer well appointed rooms, also with net access; in the cheaper only basic equipment can be find and bathrooms and toilets may be shared.
Pension “Ornak”, Zakopane
Hotels in Poland are quite often situated in historic buildings such as palaces, castles and noble houses. Their advantage is their locations normally situated outside the town, away from the hustle and bustle, surrounded by beautiful parks. They are often equipped with stylish furniture. Another advantage is that the castle or palace restaurant serves traditional Polish cuisine.
Castle Karpniki, Lower Silesia / photo: Renata Głuszek
Information about such places are located on the following page:
In the larger Polish cities (Warsaw, Krakau, Breslau, Danzig, Pozen), as well as in holiday resorts, it is possible to rent a fully furnished and equipped apartment or studio (2 to 6 people), with a kitchen or kitchenette and a bathroom. These flats represent a different standard, from basic to luxurious, with a nicely arranged interior in many cases. The advantage of this choice is that apartments are situated mostly in the old towns areas or nearby. It can also be a disadvantage as there is limited road access. Prices are very modest.
Apartment in Cracow
Holiday houses (Polish: Dom Wczasowy – DW)
They are designed for people vacationing in resorts for 1-2 weeks. Holiday house is usually a building with dozen rooms. Their standard varies from the modestly furnished room with washbasin and shared bathroom facilities up to a very decent, with its own bathroom.
Former dom wczasowy
Motels and inns (Polish: zajazd)
Tourists travelling by car can stay in a motel or inn (zajazd), which in large quantities are common along major roads. Zajazd is the equivalent of a motel, but is generally placed in the building of the regional style.
Polish campsites are generally opened from early May to late September, some only during school holidays (July – August). They all have positions for tents and caravans, are equipped with electrical connections (220 V), offer warm running water (sometimes theoretically only however), toilets, dishwashing positions and preparation of meals and are fenced and guarded. Unfortunately, the standard of typical Polish campsite differs much from Europe. Only few of them are ranked with 4 stars. A worse variation of the campsite is so called “tent field” (pole namiotowe).
These are the rooms to rent in both towns and villages located in the attractive tourist areas. Their standard is usually not high. Informations are available at the rent agencies and tourist information centers.
Photo: “pokoje” = rooms (for rent)
This is a different attraction for city dwellers who want to live for a while in the country, see a cow, and go fishing or horseback riding. Usually these are separate rooms within the owners farmhouse, but it becomes more common now to rent separate houses with rooms with bathrooms. Very good for a kids adventure break.
www.agroturystyka.pl (Polish only)
Tourist House (Polish: Dom Turysty)
Accommodation mostly in multi bed dorms. Tourist Houses of the higher category may offer single or double room with a bathroom.
Dom Turysty PTTK, Ślęża
Hostels, Youth hostels
Hostels are much cheaper than hotels, but are also less comfortable. Polish youth hostels are divided into year-round and seasonal (summer) – the latter usually are located in school buildings. To stay in such shelters it is necessary to have the membership of the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF).
Hostel in Warsaw / Photo: Marek Angiel
International Student Hotels
This role is played by the student dormitory during holidays (July-September). Renting places shall be made directly at the site.
Their standard varies from the primitive up to luxury. Since the chalet accommodation may not be refused to tourists, who arrive in the evening, it may happen that the floor will be used for bed. The most common are PTTK shelters. (PTTK – Polskie Towarzystwo Turystyczno-Krajoznawcze – Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society.)
Chalet “Kondrackie”, Tatry mountains
These facilities are located along the waterways. The standard is not high.
These remote houses act as bases for students. Usually are located in the mountains. They form a network of excellent accommodation for tramps, which do not look for great comfort but interesting people, bonfires and singing. Often there is no electricity or running water and the visitors have to wash in the stream, but such a stay can be remembered for years!
Student cottage “Lasek”, Beskid Żywiecki mountains
foto: Wikimedia Commons, Marek Angiel, Renata Głuszek, www.noclegi.pl