It is VERY popular in Poland that you book accommodation directly with the landlord via email or a phone. Most of so called "private accommodation" (kwatery prywatne) are not listed on booking.com or airbnb, because prices in Poland are still quite low and the fees would increase it. The website looks legitimate, so I'd say there's no big risk.
On the other ...
According to the wayback machine, the contact number for this site in 2013 was +48 666 111 001 which is the same as it is today. They were also renting out the place in 2013 and have the same photos. If you call that number and get to speak to someone who you can confirm is the same person the booking was made with, I'd be pretty confident it's not a scam. ...
At least the most telltale warning signs are missing.
First, it contains Polish, German and English which is to be expected because
Germans are one of the main tourists (and Masuria is really beautiful). The German is very good and I can say from experience that scammers have severe problems with it.
The address seems also to be correct, the Hotel Europa ...
I travelled the opposite direction by train (fast train) recently and while I did spend part of the journey sleeping, I can say that I don't recall seeing anything spectacular outside the windows while I was awake. It's flat land and a you will see rural landscapes plus the odd look in someone's backyard every once in a while.
Personally I would make my ...
I used to do Postcrossing a lot a few years ago and I can tell you that the shipping times for unregistered mail are just plain unpredictable. Sometimes you can get a letter from the other end of the world in 1 week and sometimes it takes 40 days to get a postcard from a neighboring country. Obviously the median times follow a certain trendline, but you can'...
Generally a Visa card can be expected to work for (almost) every currency in the world. If the currency of the transaction is different from the currency the card balance is kept in, the issuer will seamlessly convert the money according to the exchange rate for the day.
You pay for this service in the form of slightly worse exchange rates than wholesale ...
Traveled this route both by bus and by train, no big difference for me. Consider required level of comfort and the time/money you're ready to spend.
Mostly you'll see flat land, villages. If you're interested in local people life then bus is preferable: you'll cross many villages and towns.
This has nothing to do with your visa, this is stamped by NADRA (the issuing agency for Pakistani passports).
You'll note, its the same as the booklet number (printed on the bottom right of the photo page, after the tracking number) and is used for tracking of the passport when it is being produced.
Things to consider:
data roaming is very expensive
you're charged for incoming calls in roaming
you're charged local cost + roaming surcharge for outgoing
If you have a sim-free second phone, your best option is to buy local sim.
Pay-as-you-go (called pre-paid here) are very popular and inexpensive in Poland.
You can get them as low as 5PLN ($1.60 CAD)....
It's possible to do both in one day, but I wouldn't recommend it - it's a lot to take in, and makes for a very long day. There's so much to see in Krakow old town, that it's worth spreading them out and spending your down time on a city tour or just walking around trying random foods in old restaurants or seeing the performers in the main square, or just ...
This is the case in most Central European countries, surely in Czech Rep. and Slovakia as well.
The reason is that, usually, you tip when you pay, so it goes like this:
Customer: Bill, please.
Waiter (brings the bill): It's 158, sir.
Customer (gives 200 bank note): One hundred seventy.
Waiter (gives back 30): Thank you, sir.
Customer: Thank you.
I'm Polish and that route is not scenic. But train ride should be faster. If its direct connection than it should take 2.5-3h. Which train ride exactly you were looking at? Koleje Mazowieckie?
If you would take a bus - then probably you should take Polski Bus which was mentioned here. It's kinda nice - it has WiFi and usually they'll give you small ...
Poland is now in the Schengen border-free zone so there should not be any border check at all.
As noted in the comments, you will still need a valid ID to fly, but that is generally true even on domestic flights in Europe. It is purely for the sake of air security. That said, it is always best to have your passport when flying within Schengen as it is the ...
I find it interesting that you consider "the bank transfer itself" to be a "Red Flag". In my opinion, that is the result of media attention on the bad instead of the good.
To address your concern of overreaction, I have a theory that the proportion of completed bank transfers that are instigated with malicious intent is microscopically insignificant ...
Wow. Interesting question, and one we don't get here very often.
As a Polish citizen, you are allowed to enter Germany and Poland and to cross the border as often as you like. The problem is proving your Polish citizenship since you have no passport. I think you are required to have a national ID card, too, I don't know how that applies to expats.
As a ...
Nobody will be offended. It is a common practice among children to search for amber or shells. However I would not expect too much. Amber can be easily mistaken with other rocks and if you ever find something it would be rather of a small size.
The beaches along the whole coast are easily accessible and I can hardly believe in the existence of hot spots.
I've stayed in Warsaw for a week as a tourist last year and slept in many dorms in central/eastern Europe.
Is it safe to stay in a dorm?
First of all: check the reviews of the dorm you've selected (there are many websites to do that). It'll give you an idea of the "risk" encountered. Security may vary a lot depending on the location of the building.
Actually, this border is pretty painless to cross (especially for residents of 'rich' countries). You can find estimated waiting times here. If anything, the return could take more time (never happened to me, crossed it twice as a Polish citizen) as inbound control to Schengen tends to be stricter. If you can, I'd highly recommend taking the train, as some ...
Women come in different shapes, some carry their weight well spread all over or do not carry extra weight, others carry more on the belly and waist area, those are the basic left of the chart.
Some girls though keep most of the extra weight on the hips and upper legs. If you have a standard tights but she is wide there, they would not stretch enough, ...
The tour group can't and won't do anything unless what they're doing is illegal, or the guide is really passionate about something.
The one thing you can try sounds painfully obvious, but hey, if it works...
Try saying something to them.
It sounds like a whinge, but some people just don't consider what they're doing or realise they may be being offensive. ...
city bus, line 406 - ticket 2.40 PLN (~0.56 €)
night bus, line 249 - ticket 2.80 PLN (~ 0.66 €)
taxi - less than 50 PLN (~ 12 €)
If you are taking 406 day bus and want to get to main market square, quit bus at "Renoma" stop and follow Świdnicka street.
If you want to get to train or bus station, quit bus at "Dworcowa" stop (the last one).
Actually there is no direct connection between Zgorzelec and Wroclaw, you will have to go from Zgorzelec to Wegliniec and there hop on a train to Wroclaw, both trains are operated by the same local railway company "Koleje Dolnoslaskie". (You can buy tickets here https://www.kolejedolnoslaskie.eu/en)
All of the polish railway companies (there is just a ...
I travel for much longer durations than your planned trip. This is what I do in basically all countries:
Have at least two cards that work on one or more of the Cirrus, Maestro, Mastercard, Plus, or Visa systems. More systems is better. More than one bank can be better. If you have cards from the same bank make sure they are linked.
Primary card is a debit ...
The border guards will only care whether your visa is valid at the time you actually enter the Schengen area. It should not matter how long time you have been traveling by then to get there.
There might be a risk that the airline's check-in/boarding agents at wherever you depart from could be unaware of how the rules work, and therefore try to deny you ...
Assuming that card works like a standard Visa/Mastercard, it will work fine. Whenever I have used my (GBP) Mastercard in Poland, the card machine has asked if I want to pay in Złoty or convert to GBP (and siliar in other countries with other currencies)
Note that the conversion rate is usually much worse than the Visa/Mastercard rate, so it's generally ...
There is such custom, but it's not very strict rule and even many people in Poland doesn't know about it (but waiters probably do know).
It's quite natural, because when you give money and say "thank you" ("dziękuję" in polish) it looks like transaction is ended. But if you give money and say nothing, expecting for something, then it may look that you are ...
You may be able to make a Eurail Pass work for you.
Oh so dear but oh so wonderful global pass
Regional passes here
eg Germany Poland here
Eureka! - There are "Select Passes" allowing 3 or 4 or 5 countries of your pecification. These were not shown in the general menu.
Eurail 2013 routes map PDF download. Large and impressive.
For anyone stumbling upon this question, or for your future hikes in Tatra Mountains.
I recommend this website: mapa-turystyczna.pl
It is in Polish only, but it uses interactive Google maps, which is self explanatory and great for planning routes. All you need to know is that:
"z" means "from",
"do" means "to",
(and after clicking on a point) "ustaw jako ...
Sleeping in dorms / hostels
Relating dorms specifically in Warsaw I can't answer but I have stayed in all kind of dorms and never had any trouble. Of course you hear stories and strange things really happen. I remember a guy once, in the next room, whose belongings were stolen. This was classified as a safe hostel by the reviews.
In the end it's up to you ...