25+ Poland Facts: Points About the Country, Culture, History & Other Trivia

Summary:

Curious to learn some Poland facts? We’ve got fun and interesting facts about Poland and its history, culture, flag, people, food, architecture, and more!

plac Zamkowy, Warsaw, Poland
Plac Zamkowy, Warsaw, Poland. Taken by A. Topolyanskiy via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Are you eager to learn some Poland facts?

Whether it’s because you’re traveling to Poland sometime soon or you just want to prepare for some very specific trivia night questions, we’ve got dozens of facts about Poland right here.

So, let’s get started!

Here are 25+ interesting Poland facts to know:

General Poland Facts for Everyone

Here are some basic facts about Poland (population facts, size statistics, etc.):

  • Poland is the sixth most populous country in the European Union and the 38th in the world, with 38.3 million people. [source]
  • There is only one city which has more than 1 million inhabitants in Poland, which is the capital of the country, Warsaw.
  • Even though Poland joined the EU in 2004, the official currency of Poland remains the Polish złoty (which means “golden” in Polish).
  • The size of Poland by area is 312,696 km² (120,733 mi²).
  • The highest peak in Poland is the mountain Rysy (8,199 ft) in the High Tatras.

Related Read: 15+ Things to Do in Poland: Best Sites to Visit, Polish Places to Go & More

Facts about the Polish Flag

flag of Poland
The flag of Poland.
  • The colors of the Polish flag are white, which represents purity, and crimson red, a symbol of bloodshed and courage.
  • There are two official Polish flags, one consisting of two equal horizontal stripes, with the top one being white, and the bottom one being red (above). The second flag is more sophisticated, with the coat of arms which lies in the middle of the white stripe.
  • The second variation of the flag (the one with the coat of arms) is restricted for diplomatic missions, consulates, civil airports and aircrafts, and merchant ships.
  • Poland celebrates its official Flag Day on the 2nd of May.

Related Read: 10+ Poland Travel Tips: Things to Know Before Going to Poland

Trivia and Facts about Architecture of Poland

Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is one of the best places to see in poland
The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork. Taken by E. C. G. via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].
  • Malbork Castle, located in the north of the country, is considered to be the largest castle in the world in terms of land area.
  • The Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw’s best-known landmark, was a “gift” from Joseph Stalin to the Polish people. Even now it is a controversial building, and many residents state that it is the ugliest construction in Warsaw (though there are plenty of those who do not agree or simply do not care about the subject 🙂 ).
  • The Palace of Culture and Science is also the tallest building in Poland, at 237 m (778 ft) in height. However, it doesn’t quite make it onto the list of the 100 tallest buildings in the world.

Captivating Facts on Polish History

  • The word Poland comes from the tribe Polan, which inhabited some part of the modern territory of the country in the 6th century. It literally means “people who live on the open field.”
  • Mieszko I was the first historically recorded monarch in the history of Poland. He was the one who adopted Christianity in the country in 966, and you still can check out how he looks like by simply taking out a 10 PLN banknote from your wallet if you are in Poland.
  • For many centuries, the history of Poland was very difficult and complicated, and the country vanished from the map of Europe by the end of the 18th century, divided by the neighboring countries. It obtained its independence only after World War I.
  • Because of this tangled and confusing history, many of the Polish towns can brag being the capital of Poland (or its part) for some time. Among the former Polish capitals are Kraków, Gniezno, Poznań, and Płock.

Related Read: Poland History: A Quick Timeline of Polish Historical Events

Facts about the Culture of Poland

  • You will be surprised if you decide to watch a movie on Polish TV, as all foreign TV shows and movies are dubbed. But that’s not the crazy part! There is only one male voice that dubs all the characters, so it might be really annoying for those who aren’t used to it. It looks different if you go to the movie theater, however. All the movies can be watched with the original voiceover and subtitles, except cartoons, which are dubbed in a regular manner using different voices for the different characters.
  • Poland gradually implemented a Sunday trade ban, and as of the beginning of 2020, all shops are closed on Sundays, except for a few strategic Sundays preceding major holidays.

Related Read: Polish Holidays: Important Events & Days Off for Poland

Flavorful Facts About Polish Food

  • Among the most popular alcoholic drinks for Poles is piwo z sokiem, a mix of regular beer with a fruit syrup with the most popular flavors being raspberry, ginger, cherry, and banana. 
  • Poles have an official holiday for devouring as many donuts as possible! It is called Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) and many centuries ago it was celebrated as one of the last opportunities to eat whatever you want before the Easter Lent. Right now, however, the main tradition of this day is to eat at least one donut (but the more, the better!), specifically Polish pączki, to have happiness and luck during the whole year.

Personable Facts about the Polish People

  • There are many well-known and outstanding people originating from Poland. Among them are Marie Skłodowska Curie, Frédéric Chopin, and John Paul II. And, of course, there’s Nicolaus Copernicus, the guy who said that the Earth, in fact, is not the center of the universe. 
  • There have been 18 Poles who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 19 Nobel Prizes that they received. Why? Marie Skłodowska Curie was a Nobel laureate twice.
  • Our lives would also be a bit duller without some inventions and discoveries made by Polish people. Among them include:
    • Max Factor, who created a globally-known cosmetics empire,
    • Casimir Funk, who established the concept of vitamins and their influence on the human body, and
    • Andrzej Sapkowski, the father of book series The Witcher.

Well, that’s all the Poland facts we have for you now, but we’ll be adding more here and there. To learn more about Poland and traveling to the country, check out our Poland travel guide.

Got any questions, feedback, or other facts about Poland we should include? Let us know in the comment area below, and, if it checks out, we’ll happily add it to our list! Thanks for reading!

Mariia Kislitsyna
Written by
Mariia Kislitsyna
Join the discussion

Dauntless Jaunter