The Crooked Forest is one of the weirdest and interesting places in Poland that not many people actually know about. If you want to experience something completely different you should definitely consider a trip to the Crooked Forest. It’s a great place for taking pictures and if you are into creepy places don’t hold back and visit it at night.

Where is the Crooked Forest located?

The Crooked Forest is located outside Nowe Czarnkowo in the West Pomerania Voivodeship (województwo zachodniopomorskie).

What happened to the trees?

The Crooked Forest consists of 400 pines planted there around 1930 when the area was a German territory. There are many theories explaining the strange shape of the trees.
The Crooked Forest in Poland is one of the most exceptional nature monuments
It is generally believed that the pines were formed this way by some tools or planting techniques, but the motive of such actions is still unknown. Another theory states that the forest looks like that because of the tanks rolling over the young trees during the Second World War which forced them to grow in a less conventional way. Some people also believe that the woods were grown like that on purpose, created by the Compass Timbers (which are used in shipbuilding). Finally, some people believe that the place is hunted and is a result of dark powers bending the trees.

Whatever the answer is, it’s a great place to see so don’t hesitate to start planning your trip!

Gołąbek (plural gołąbki) is one of the Polish dishes that appear in the same sentence as pierogi, schabowy (Polish schnitzel) and barszcz (beetroot soup), that is to say, the king of Polish tables. Polish people appreciate this dish so much that it is taken for granted that gołąbki will be included in Poland’s top 10 favourite foods list. Funny enough this dish is far from being uniquely Polish and variations of it can be found in many different countries, but we will get to that later.

What are gołąbki?

Gołąbki are simply cabbage rolls made of mince meat (pork or mix of beef and pork) mixed with rice, onion and spices wrapped in cabbage leaves (almost any cabbage type can be used) and slow cooked to perfection. The recipe changes slightly depending on the region and season (in winter gołąbki will be served on a bed of rich potato mash and covered in a creamy tomato sauce, opposite to the spring version that takes advantage of young vegetables and fresh herbs like dill). It’s safe to say that every family has its own way of preparing this dish and one should never argue who’s gołąbki are better as far as they don’t want to lose their friends.

Where did gołąbki get their name from?

Firstly, you should know that the word ‘gołąbek’ has a double meaning in Polish. It is, of course, our wonderful dish but also a dove (a type of bird). This may confuse a lot of people, including Poles who often question this weird name choice. There is, however, a method to this madness because the word ‘gołąbek’ came to Poland in the 19th century from Ukraine where a very sophisticated dish was served during aristocratic feasts and parties called ‘hołubci’. ‘Hołubci’ consisted of a dove stuffed with other wonderful things and wrapped in cabbage leaves. The idea of hołubci came to Poland and got not only translated but also adopted by poor masses. The dove got replaced with much cheaper mince meat and rice (the poorer the cook, the more rice would be added to the dish) and only the original cabbage wrap was preserved.

Are gołąbki really specifically Polish?

The short answer is no. Very similar dishes are popular in Sweden, Croatia, Germany, Russia, Hungary, Greece, Israel and Turkey. The difference is always down to the type of meat and cabbage used to make the dish and not less important, the sauce that is served with the dish. For example in Jewish cuisine, meatballs are wrapped in cabbage leaves and served with sweet and sour tomato sauce called holiszkes. In Croatia, they use pickled cabbage and their sarma is served with creme fraiche (thick cream) instead of sauce. In Germany, an almost identical dish is served with a dark brown sauce and it’s called kohlrouladen. And in Greece, everyone loves dolmadakia – lamb mince meat wrapped in wine leaves.

Traditional Polish gołąbki recipe

Now, when you know the complicated history of gołąbki it’s time that you make your own. Here is a traditional and hundred times tested recipe.


  • 700 grams of pork mince meat
  • 100g of dry rice
  • 1 white or savoy cabbage
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 spoon of good quality of breadcrumbs
  • 1.5 litters of vegetable or chicken bullion
  • 2 spoons of oil
  • 2-3 bay leaves, salt and pepper

What to do

Start with cooking the rice al dente and peeling and chopping the onion. Heat up oil in the pan and fry the onion on a slow heat until golden. Put it aside and let it cool. Do the same with the rice.

In a big bowl, mix the meat, rice, fried onion, salt and pepper. Add the breadcrumbs, just enough to make sure everything sticks together.

Now the hardest part: cut the middle of the cabbage (the core that keeps the leaves together). Boil water in a big pot (as big as you can find, 5 litters should be enough for a middle size cabbage). Put the cabbage in the hot water and cook for 10 minutes, then turn it around and cook for few minutes more. Take it outside and let it cool. The leaves should easily fall off.

Stuff each leave with the meat and rice: put the stuffing on one side and roll the top and bottom sides to the middle and then roll it tight to create a roll. Keep up the good work and stuff all the cabbage leaves.

Put some leftover cabbage that couldn’t be used to make the rolls at the bottom of a big pot (for example the one you used to boil the cabbage). Put each gołąbek tight next to each other, leaving as little space between them as possible. Keep creating the layers and poor the bullion evenly over it. Cover the pot and put it on a low heat. Cook it for at least 45-60 mins (if you leave them to cook for longer they will become softer). You can easily reheat them the next day and to be honest, they taste the best the next day.
Serve with mash potatoes and a few spoons of sauce created from the bullion and the meat juices. Add some fresh dill to finish it off.

The culinary guide to Poznan

Poznan’s cuisine has a long history and traditional specialities that are hard to beat. Some sources go as far as prehistoric times to explain and analyse the complexities of food tradition in this region. In the past Poznan (and the whole Wielkopolska which Poznan is the capital of) was famous of its exquisite roasted duck, red cabbage and dumplings, simple potato dishes (people from Poznan are teasingly called ‘pyry’ meaning in the local dialect potatoes) and pastries. Today though Poznan has much more to offer than those delicious dishes and the local food scene is rather exciting.

Here is our guide to the most interesting Poznan’s restaurants and cafes:

Locals’ favourite restaurants and cafes in Poznan

Ptasie radio, restaurant in Poznan
Brunch, source: Ptasie radio

Location: Swiety Marcin (map)
Price: 15-25 PLN for a main dish, cheap drinks
Notes:the hot chocolate is to die for

Ptasie Radio

#solid-choice, #lovely-decor, #central-location

Ptasie Radio is a lovely decorated, full of character restaurant and cafe that offers breakfasts, lunches and dinners. It offers traditional and modern dishes, great drinks (check out in winter their thick hot chocolate) and a relaxed atmosphere that makes this place very popular and busy. The food won’t blow your mind, but it’s a solid choice that won’t leave you disappointed. All in all good value for money.

Republika roz, Poznan
Source: Republika róż

Location: Plac Kolegiacki, city center (map)
Price: 20-40 PLN for a main dish
Notes: buffet breakfast on Fridays & Saturdays is worth checking out

Republika róż

#great-breakfasts, #lovely-decor, #central-location

Republika róż is a bright and happy place that is family-friendly and great for brunch with friends or a quick bite. You can find there delicious soups and mains, great hot chocolate and magnificent cakes. On Fridays and Saturdays, Republika róż offers buffet breakfast (think: salads, scrambled eggs, bread, quiche, fruits, muffins, cakes in unlimited amounts).
The atmosphere is lovely and the decor is really welcoming and cosy.

Manekin in Poznan, pancakes
Pancakes, source: Manekin

Location: Kwiatowa (map)
Price: 10-20 PLN for a pancake
Notes: don’t let long queues to put you off


#pancake, #lovely-decor, #cheap

Manekin is a great place for people that love pancakes and those who are looking for a cheaper place to eat. There are probably over 200 different savoury and sweet pancake variations so prepare yourself for a hard choice. The portions are generous, taste is great and the interior is pleasing to the eye. Locals love this place and most of the time there is a long queue at the front of the restaurant. But hey, this is the price of an affordable and delicious meal, take it or leave it.

Fine dining in Poznan

Food in Toga restaurant, Poznan
Oysters with raspberries, source: Toga

Location: Plac Wolnosci (map)
Price: around 120-150 PLN for 3 course meal with wine
Notes: service can be slow


#traditional, #with-a-twist, #central-location

Toga is centrally located a little restaurant that is run with much love. Traditional dishes and flavours of the local cuisine are mixed with Mediterranean and modern influences and are presented in the simple, but impressive forms. Staffs speak English and are friendly. You should make a seat reservation in advance if you want to make sure you can have dinner there.

Kuchnia wandy in Poznan
Home-made bread, source: Kuchnia Wandy

Location: Swiety Marcin (map)
Price: around 100-120 PLN for 3 course meal with wine
Notes: menu only available in Polish

Kuchnia Wandy

#traditional #home-made-bread #central-location

If you’re looking for some traditional flavours Kuchnia Wandy is worth checking out. You can find there amazing home-made bread, roasted meats and traditional soups (if you haven’t had zurek yet this is your chance). Good desserts and well put together wine list are worth mentioning too. The small obstacle can be the menu that unfortunately is available only in Polish, but that could be your chance to practice your language skills (let’s be positive here!).

source: Papierówka

Location: Zielona street, city center (map)
Price: around 100-150 PLN for 3 course meal with wine
Notes: great for a date or a special ocasion


#polish, #european, #with-a-twist

Papierówka offers very creative food inspired by the traditional cousin (think: duck breasts, beef ribs and hearty soups). The food presentation is top notch, the interior is elegant yet exciting and the service is very attentive. Papierówka has a very high standard and if you enjoy fine dining in other European cities you are going to be pleased with the price.

World food restaurants in Poznan

Ramen in Poznan
Ramen, Source: Yetz tu

Location: 10 minutes walk from the city center (map)
Price: between 25-35PLN for a bowl of ramen
Note: long waiting time without a booking

Yetz Tu

#asian, #ramen

Perhaps Yetz Tu is not a place for an intimate date or long discussions about the beginning of the universe but if you are looking for authentic and honest ramen in Poznan this is your best bet. Food is delicious and service is speedy and friendly. A bit of worrying, the restaurant can get very busy and without a reservation, you may have to wait even an hour for a table (still worth it though)!

Humhum in Poznan
Source: Humhum

Location: Srodka (map)
Price: 10-20 PLN per dish
Note: if it’s warm enough seat outside and enjoy the views


#lebanese #vegeterian-friendly

Humhum is located in a nice area near the Warta river and in the summer there are seats available outside with great views. The food is mainly Lebanese, so prepare yourself for lots of hummus, falafels, kofta and aromatic teas. The menu is small but sufficient to cover any dietary requirement, including vegetarian and vegan diets. Service is not the best, so focused on your food and beautiful surroundings.

Pad thai in Raj i ruina in Poznan
Pad thai, source: Cafe Raj i Ruina

Location: Srodka (map)
Price: around 30-40 PLN for a main dish, 14 PLN for cheesecake
Note: it’s quite far from the city center

Cafe Raj i Ruina

#asian-inspired, #cheesecake-heaven

Cafe Raj i Ruina is two in one, a cafe and a restaurant that combine energy, good vibe, delicious food and above all, spirit of travelling. And perhaps because of the travel theme it attracts a lot of expats and foreign tourists. You can find there asian-inspired dishes (like pad thai, green and red curry) and scrumptious cheesecakes.

Pan Gar, Poznan
Source: Pan Gar

Location: Jezyce (map)
Price: around 15-20 PLN for a main dish
Notes: it’s quite far from the city center

Pan Gar

#georgian #stuffed-bread

If you like Georgian food (or you would like to try it) Pan Gar is your place to go. You will find there traditional Georgian specialities like Chinkali, Chaczapuri and delicious local wines. The interior is quite particular but relates to the Georgian tradition. Prices and fair and if you stay late you may be able to listen to some live music.

Many foreigners could argue that almost every Polish word is unpronounceable, but most of the time learning them requires only a bit of patience and practice. Undoubtedly, though there are a few special words that make even Polish people sweat when they have to use them. The most troublesome feature of Polish orthography is what linguists call complex consonant clusters ‒  series of consonants without any vowels. On top of that, those hardest words often contain Polish diphthongs: ‘sz’, ‘cz’, ‘rz’ and special Polish characters like ł, ś and ć. What may seem at first incomprehensible series of letters is actually your new challenge!

1. Szczęście sound3

Ironically, the word that means happiness makes lots of people (mostly foreigners) very unhappy. It consists of a sequence of two Polish digraphs (sz, cz), a nasal e sound, the Polish diacritic ś, another digraph (ci), and a final e. Apparently those who learn how to pronounce it are the most likely be happy in the future.

2. Źdźbło sound3

That is probably the most bizarre word in the Polish language. With just one vowel and five consonants it may look like a joke, but unfortunately it is not. The only good thing about źdźbło, which means stalk, is that you are not likely to use it often.

3. Żółć sound3

Żółć (bile in English) is a real challenge as the word is made only of Polish letters. So if you want to stand a chance, you need to learn the specific pronunciation of each sound and then try to put it together.

4. Następstwa (and następstw) sound3

The Polish word ‘consequence’ is difficult due to the cluster of four consonants. Następstw is genitive plural form of the następstwa and is even harder due to the lack of the vowel in the end (if you don’t know what genitive plural is, don’t bother to google it, it will only cause you a more headache).

5. Bezwzględny sound3

Yet another difficult to pronounce word due to the big number of constants like w,z and g. It means ruthless which seems very appropriate.

6. Chrząszcz sound3

One of the most favourite Polish tongue twisters,’chrząszcz’ means a beetle. If you are able to pronounce it, you can basically consider yourself a genius.

7. Pszczoła sound3

This word is not only a nightmare for foreigners but also for school kids. Polish word for a bee features three consonants one after the other (the digraphs sz and cz stand for one sound each) making it really difficult to pronounce for foreigners and hard to spell for the natives.

8. Ślusarz sound3

Another unpronounceable Polish word, ślusarz means ‘locksmith’. There is nothing special about it except that you probably can’t pronounce it!

9. Ołówek sound3

Apparently ‘ołówek’ is especially difficult for German speakers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if English, French or Spanish speaking countries struggled with it too. The word means ‘pencil’ and many have been wondering why Polish people came up with something so difficult to pronounce for something so simple.

10. Trzcina sound3

Last, but not least, trzcina – Polish word for ‘cane’. It simply follows the pattern,consonant clusters and very little number of vowels. The combination of the first three letters ‘trz’ seems especially difficult, but no one said it was going to be easy!

Do you want more?

Check out the funniest Polish sayings.

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Studying in Poland has its benefits and not only in the sense of partying, meeting new people and having fun all the time. Being a student in Poland gives you an amazing opportunity to try many new things and to enjoy life much cheaper than in any other stage of your life (being old is expensive, didn’t you know?). Students in Poland have a lot of privileges and perks that all students (domestic and foreign) can take an advantage of. If you are only considering studying in Poland you need to know first what you are singing up for and if you are already a student make sure you make the most out of it.

What is great about being a student in Poland

There’s a great list of places, activities and things that are available for you cheaper than the regular price. We won’t give you the full list of places because it’s almost impossible to do but we can give you a general image of what you can expect:

1. Cheaper tickets to cinemas, theatres and museums

It’s a common standard now that holding a student ID allows you to get in touch with the latest movie premieres, the best plays and the most amazing expositions without emptying your wallet. It’s possible because you only pay half of the price of a regular ticket.

2. Cheaper gym membership and other sports actvities

It’s not a problem to stay in shape or get fit as you probably have a great variety of sports facilities in your city. But, we all know that while we probably want to lose some extra kilos from time to time, we still want our wallet to look as big as possible. If you’re a student, it’s common knowledge that you divide the fee of gym registration, an hour of swimming or renting the tennis court by two.

3. Pubs and clubs

This one will be quick. If you’re a student not only you can get yourself into a party for free or for cheaper entry but also you can get a nice surprise at the bar whilst looking at the prices of drinks. All of that to make sure you will be able to learn faster the day after the party and that your body is well-hydrated before the next day of hard study.

How to benefit from the students perks in Poland?

You can get all of these things by simply carrying a student ID with you. It sounds simple and it actually is that way if you’re a student at a Polish university or college. Polish student IDs are honoured and well-recognized and you shouldn’t have any problems in getting the discounts. A problem might occur if you’re a foreign student and you came here on Erasmus or another kind of student exchange. In such situations, you have to arm yourself with one of two student cards.


The international student identity card gives you a benefit of using the discounts for all the listed places. For Polish officials, even if you’re not a student of a Polish university or college, the ISIC proves your official student status. Although some people working in pubs, gyms, museums might not know it and question whether you should get a cheaper ticket/entrance, just explain to them who you are and that the card is the equivalent of Polish student ID.

Find out how to get the card by clicking here.


This card is less powerful than the previous one. It’s not recognized by the Polish Railways (PKP) or public transport operators (MPK) so you are not able to travel for less. It also doesn’t give you a chance to buy cinema tickets cheaper or to register at the gym for half price but it still gives you a pretty wide range of discounts on many services like language or dancing courses and many, many more. Oh, sometimes you can also buy some things cheaper! How cool is that?

To find out how to get the card, simply go here.
To find the full list of discounts in Poland, go here (this one is only in Polish :().

Studying in Poland can be one of the best experiences in your live. Polish universities offer a lot of courses taught in English and the general level of education is high. However there are two paths you can take, you either choose to do your Erasmus in Poland or you decide to do the whole degree over here. Before you make up your mind here is some basic information about the Polish higher education system and about studying in Poland.

Basic information about studying in Poland

The first thing you probably want to know is how long you have to study before you will receive your desired degree. A bachelor’s degree can be usually achieved within 3 years of studying while a master’s degree equals 5 years of your hard work. Why? Well, usually you might be so into university that you’ll forget to pass your exams, you’ll focus on meeting new people, attending many parties in the city which might result in repeating a year or two. However, you will have to work very hard to do this as if you focus on studying during the exam session – you should be alright!
After you graduate, you receive a diploma and you’re ready to conquer the world.

Types of higher education institutions

There are many types of the institutions of higher education in Poland with two of them most common – universities and universities of technology. Within these two kinds, there is a variety of ones who take their name from the faculty they focus on – for example artistic university is for the people whose heads are into art.

One more hint for you – universities are usually more focused on theory and the science itself while universities of technology in most cases focus their attention on practical skills. But as we said – it’s only in general and there are exceptions to these rules.

Private vs public

There was a time when each and every higher education institution was public. These times have changed (probably forever) and nowadays you can choose from the public and private universities. What are the most important differences between these two? Well, the general difference is that you have to pay for all the daily, full-time courses at the private universities. There’s also one thing you should know. By many people private universities are considered to be less specialised and also to have a lower level of education. On the other hand, this kind of institution has a greater chance to hire the greatest minds and professionals to run the courses as they simply have money to do so. Which one should you pick? The choice is yours, however we have one tip for you. If you really want to start studying at the private universities make sure that the one you chose is in the registry of the non-public universities of the Ministry of Education. This is also the proof that your diploma will be eligible and recognized not only in Poland but also abroad.

Free courses for everyone! Really?

This paragraph only relates to the public universities. As we said before, these institutions are free of charge and if you get admitted you can study free of charge (but some fees may apply depending on the university and the origin of the student).
This rule only applies to the daily/full-time courses. If, for example, you’re a person who work from Monday to Friday and want to study part-time or during the weekends then you will have to pay the tuition fee. How much? It depends on the faculty and on the university you choose. Find out more about it on the university website before you make your decision!


This one isn’t as complicated as you might think. To become a student first you have to take part in the admission process. It looks more or less the same for all of them:

1. Find the faculty of your dreams
2. Check what are the requirements to take part in the admission process:
– school leaver’s certificate/bachelor’s degree grades/results
– required language knowledge
– graduating from the specified school/faculty
– some other requirements you can find on the university website

3. Fill out all the application form (nowadays you do it mostly online)
4. Pay the recruitment fee
5. Wait for the results!
If you’re lucky/good enough you will have no problems with becoming a student at the faculty of your dreams. After it happens, you will have to deliver a couple of additional documents personally to the dean’s office at the university of your choice. To find out what kind of documentation we’re talking about you need to visit the recruitment section on the university website.

Poland Unraveled helps thousands of jobseekers and employers find the right fit. It’s quick and easy, just fill out the form below.


A gateway to Europe, and a thriving investment destination in its own right, what should you know about setting up a business in Poland?

After emerging from the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s, Poland’s transition to market economy, and prominent member of the European business community, was swift. Now considered one of Central Europe’s financial success stories, Poland’s economic achievements continue to impress: in 2017, Poland’s GDP growth rate was estimated at 4.6%, with forecasts for 2018, set at a similarly impressive 4.2%.

Unsurprisingly, Poland’s sustained economic success has attracted entrepreneurs from across the industrial landscape, and the world. Like any popular destination however, getting the most out of Poland means getting to know the business environment, and becoming familiar with the logistical and administrative challenges that organisations face.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the key considerations of Poland’s business set-up process…

Registration of a business in Poland

While business registration in Poland isn’t overly complicated, it’s no less important than any other major international destination. After you’ve decided on the legal structure your business will assume (LLC being the most common option for foreign investors), the subsequent registration process involves:

  • Articles of Association: Prospective business in Poland must prepare Articles of Association before registration. These documents include information like business name, business activities, and minimum share capital (PLN 5,000 for an LLC).
  • Premises: All businesses in Poland are required to have a registered office in the country.
  • Polish Court Register: The most important step in Poland’s registration process is entry into the National Court Register – after which REGON (Statistical) and NIP (tax identification) numbers can be issued.
  • Social Insurance: Businesses must identify themselves to the ZUS (Social Insurance Institution) in order to make social insurance payments.
  • Bank Account: All businesses in Poland must have an in-country bank account
  • VAT: Once entered onto the National Court Register, businesses must file an application to register as a VAT payer.

Government Support

Poland offers businesses setting up in the country a number of incentives drawn from domestic and EU sources – so it’s certainly worth exploring the options available to you. Specific initiatives include:

  • Government grants: The Polish government has a grant programme in place for investments in specific sectors. Qualification for grants is based on factors such as job creation, business location, and investment expenditure.
  • Special Economic Zones: Poland hosts 14 Special Economic Zones (SEZ), which offer eligible businesses tax incentives – ranging from 15-50%.
  • Research & Development: To stimulate investment in the R&D sector, Poland offers businesses engaged in qualifying activities a range of grants and tax incentives.

Tax & Social Security

Income tax: Income tax in Poland is progressive, and charged at rates of 18% on earnings up to PLN 85,528, and 32% on earnings over that amount.

Social security: A range of is required in Poland, including pension, illness, disability, and unemployment benefits. Social security contributions are made by both employers and employees, and charged a variety of rates. Total contributions may range from 19.21% – 23.91%.

Foreign businesses unfamiliar with Poland’s tax legislation may wish to outsource their payroll to take advantage of pre-packaged compliance expertise – at least until they get up and running.

Recruitment & Mobilisation

Setting up in Poland will mean having to hire local employees, mobilise employees from their home location – or some combination of the two. Fortunately, Poland’s labour force is amongst the most skilled in Europe, with high levels of English proficiency and an abundance of expertise in science, IT and engineering fields.

On the other hand, businesses which need to mobilise employees to work in Poland during set-up and beyond should be aware of the country’s immigration regulations. Poland is an EU member-state, so employees from other EU states may come to work in the country with minimal restriction. Employees from outside the EU will, however, need to obtain a visa.

Poland is a developed and prosperous nation, which means living and working in the country shouldn’t be too daunting. Poland’s capital, Warsaw, is a metropolitan and multicultural urban centre with plenty of desirable residential areas, modern amenities and luxuries, and children’s education options.

Author Bio: Graham McKechnie

Graham McKechnie is activpayroll’s Global Tax Director. With 25 years’ professional experience, Graham works with employee populations all over the world to deliver insight and advice on a range of global mobility concerns, including immigration, employment law, income tax, social security and payroll. Graham had held positions in both the public and private sectors, with roles at HMRC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, PWC, and Deloitte.

If there was only one statement that could get every Polish person really worked up, it would be saying that Poland is an Eastern European country. The understanding of the concept of Central and Eastern Europe is an ongoing source for debate, varying considerably from nation to nation, and also from time to time. To fully answer whether Poland is an Eastern European country, we need to think broader about the meaning of ‘Eastern Europe’ and look at the geography, history and culture as defining factors. And once the roots of Eastern Europe are understood, it is easier to understand the apprehensive sentiment towards this categorisation so embedded in Polish people.

Where is Eastern Europe?

There are several different definitions of Eastern Europe but they all lack precision and can be interpreted in many ways. The geographical border of the eastern edge of Europe is defined by the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, however, the west side of ‘Eastern Europe’ is a subject to overlap and historical changes.

European regions according to EuroVoc: green – Western Europe, red – Eastern Europe, blue – Northern Europe, yellow – Southern Europe. According to this split Poland is part of the Eastern Europe (source:

If the geographical center of Europe is taken into consideration, Poland very often happens to be exactly in the middle, although everything depends on where the furthest points of the continent are defined. In the most accepted theory one line is drawn from the north coast of Norway to the south coast of Italy and the second one from the south-west coast of Portugal to Ural Mountains in the north-west of Russia. The two lines cross in Polish town Bialystok making Poland the geographical center of Europe.

European regions according to the World Facebook: green – Southern Europe, yellow – Western Europe, light blue – Central Europe, blue – Northern Europe, orange – Eastern Europe. According to this split Poland is a part of Central Europe (source:

The most common and accepted geographical division of Europe places Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland in Central Europe and Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia in Eastern Europe.

Historical approach

We see that the current geographical theories place Poland outside Eastern Europe. How come than that Poland is still often considered an Eastern European country? Of course, because of history. The cold war has created a division that influenced generations of Europeans and has an impact to this day. Historically, all countries that have been under the influence of the former Soviet Union were considered an eastern bloc (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia). This cold war legacy influences the perception of Western Europeans and despite big historical shifts (most of the countries from the former eastern bloc joined the European Union in early 2000’s) associations between these countries and the former Soviet Union are still being made.

Why Polish people don’t like being considered Eastern European?

The historical reasons behind the split between Western and Eastern Europe are the same reasons why Polish people can be offended when Poland is being categorised as an Eastern European country. Polish people want to cut off from the past and they see themselves much more Western than Eastern. Times of the cold war are left far behind and Poland in the last 30 years did everything to move away from Russian influences.

Poland has developed itself rapidly over the last 30 years and is one of the fastest growing economies in central Europe. Businesses and Tourism are flourishing and people are positive about the future. Countries such as Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova have economies that are up to -70% GDP per capita compared to Poland. A combination of poverty, lack of respect towards democratic values by sitting governments and lack of general freedom are usually the first connotations that come to mind if a Polish person is asked about the East.

Politically, Poland made all possible steps to move even further away from the former Soviet sphere. In 1997 the country joined NATO and a few years later, in 2004 became a proud member of the European Union. Polish economy is tightly connected with Germany and the rest of Western Europe (rather than Russia).

It makes sense that Polish people don’t like being called Eastern Europeans if they do everything to move away from the negative view associated with that part of Europe. It may take another few generation though to forget about the cold war and historical divisions.

If you are interested in Poland you should also check out Facts about Poland.

Setting up a business in a new country without knowing all the rules and regulations might sound like a challenge but in fact it is relatively easy. In this ”know-how” section we will explain to you in detail how to start a business in Poland.

First things first – two hints before we go through the procedures

Hint 1 – in order to set up a company you are required to have a PESEL number.

Hint 2 – there are many types of business entities available to choose from in Poland. To learn more about the differences between them and to see which one suits you best we recommend to read our type of business in Poland article.

Registering your company

We have decided to describe the most popular type of business you might want to set up – self-employment or in other words ”a one man band”. No matter whether you decide to be self-employed or prefer to create a different business entity, when you want to choose from one of the many types of business available in Poland, the first step is always the same – type in in your web browser.

After that, the hardest part begins – filling out the registration form. But no worries! As we promised we made things much easier for you and recorded a video showing you how to fill it in a fast, proper and fancy way.

The filled-out form is not just an application to start your business but also function as an application for three additional things:
1. The registration in the Krajowy Rejestr Urzędowy Podmiotów Gospodarki Narodowej (The National Official Register of the Nationalised Industries Units) to receive a REGON number.
2. The application to the Tax Office to receive a NIP number (if you don’t have one yet) and choose the form of taxation.
3. The identification of the insurance contributions payer in ZUS (Social Insurance Institution) which is the person who will be responsible for paying the insurance contributions for themselves and the employees.

If you want to change some information regarding your company in the future, you can easily use the same form you have submitted during your registration.

Classification of business activity

While filling-out the form you also have to define the type of business activity number. You can find the one that describes your kind of business in the Polska Klasyfikacja Działalności (Polish Classification of Activity). Basically, you just put all the business activity numbers you think you might want to do in your company – you can write down as many numbers as you want actually.
The full list of business activity numbers can be found here.

Congratulations! Your entry should be valid and visible the day after you submitted the registration form. To show your family and friends that you run your own business – click here and find yourself among the other entrepreneurs.

What’s next

Now that you have set up your business you are obliged to make social insurance (ZUS) and tax contributions. As always, we are here to walk you through it so check out the tax guide for small businesses and how much you need to pay to be insured in Poland.

If you require any further legal advise for your business application you can contact us via our legal advise form.

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