Frequently Asked Questions
We encourage you to consult the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Travel Advice for Poland page, which is regularly updated and indicates the current requirements and restrictions in place.
For the latest information on travelling to Ireland, please see the Irish Government website.
Irish citizens, as EU nationals, have the right to live, work and travel in Poland freely for periods of up to three months without having to register with the Polish authorities.
However, Irish citizens who plan to spend an extended period in Poland – more than 90 days – are obliged to register with the local voivode office (Urząd Wojewódzki) and have a Certificate of registration of residence of a European Union citizen issued.
When requesting this certificate, you will be asked to present documentation showing evidence that you are working, studying or training in Poland or that you have sufficient economic resources to maintain yourself and any dependants. Contact your local voivode office for further details.
Further information on registering your residence can be found here.
Upon registration, you should also receive a PESEL number. This is an individual identification number that will help you in your engagements with Polish authorities. More information on obtaining this number can be found here.
The Road Safety Authority has responsibility for driver licensing. The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) manages licence applications and renewals. You can renew your driver licence online if you have a Public Services Card and a MyGovID verified account. Alternatively you can visit an NDLS centre to renew your licence.
More information can be found here.
Your Irish driving licence is valid in Poland. If you have registered your temporary/permanent stay here, which has been 185 days or longer, you can replace your Irish driving licence with a Polish one, however there is no obligation to do this.
More information can be found here.
A certificate from the National Criminal Register is available in two formats:
a) On paper with a signature and an official stamp;
b) As a digitally signed electronic document.
In order to apply online for a certificate to the National Criminal Register, a safe electronic signature, verified with a qualified certificate is needed. Without this, you may need to apply by post or in person. The procedure requires a form to be filled out, signed and delivered along with a proof of payment to the Information Office of the National Criminal Register.
More information can be found here.
Public transport is generally very good in Poland. Tickets for buses, trams and metro (Warsaw only) can be purchased at ticket machines located at main bus and tram stops or at most kiosks and newspaper stands. Tickets must be validated at the start of a journey in the small yellow machine on the bus or tram. You will be fined on the spot if you are caught travelling with an invalid ticket.
The ‘Jakdojade’ mobile app is also very useful for finding your way around Polish cities. You can also now purchase tickets on the go through the app and present a QR code for inspection if required. You may also be required to validate your QR code ticket on the bus/tram, using the large printed QR codes on the wall.
Rideshare applications such as Bolt and Uber are used widely in most large Polish cities, while there are a number of official taxi companies with their own mobile applications.
Poland is generally a very safe country and crime remains low. Pickpocketing can be a problem in public areas and on public transport, especially in crowded situations.
Do not leave drinks or food unattended and beware of accepting drinks from strangers or recent acquaintances. There have been a number of reports of drinks being spiked in bars and night clubs, with tourists and foreigners often being targeted.
Be very careful using debit or credit cards in bars and nightclubs. There have been reports of large amounts of money being taken from bank cards in some bars and nightclubs in Poland. Check your bill carefully and consider paying in cash. Report any suspicious activity on your bank account immediately to your bank and to police.
It is against the law to consume alcohol in public places in Poland and fines may be imposed.
Public drunkenness (i.e. in the streets, on public transport, etc.) may be dealt with very severely by the Polish authorities, who have the right to detain people overnight in detoxification centres. If you are detained overnight in a detoxification centre, you must pay for the cost of the stay.
The drink-drive limit in Poland is 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, which is lower than in Ireland (50 milligrams).
The main number for the emergency services in Poland is 112.
The Irish Embassy in Warsaw operates a weekend out-of-hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance. If an Irish citizen is in need of emergency assistance, please ring the main Embassy number +48 225642200 and follow the instructions to reach the on-call Duty Officer.
Although rewarding, enriching and exciting, sometimes the experience of living away from home can also be psychologically or emotionally challenging. There are a number of resources that promote mental wellness available online that can be accessed in English.
WellnessWorkshop.ie – an online wellness workshop that shares practical tools to help you maintain your wellness when you are feeling good and improve your wellness during difficult times.
YourMentalHealth.ie – a place to learn about mental health, how to support yourself and the people you love.
MyMind.ie – online counselling and psychotherapy services with fees are based upon employment status, offering students affordable services.
The Samaritans – a safe place for you to chat any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. You can call the Samaritans in Ireland for free from Poland using the following freephone number: (+48) 800 012 274.
There are now over 500 full-time Irish students in Polish universities, primarily studying medicine, veterinary studies, dentistry and other medical sciences.
The Embassy of Ireland has created a Guide for Irish Students in Poland, which includes a variety of information that will be useful as you settle into life in Poland.
If you are new to Poland, or have lived here for some time already, we encourage you to register your details with the Embassy. This will allow the Embassy team to reach you in case of crisis or emergency situations in Poland. You can register here.
You can also choose to sign up to receive regular updates from the Embassy regarding Irish events and initiatives taking place across Poland. You can also connect with the Embassy on Facebook and Twitter, where they regularly post updates and information which you may find useful.
While English can be widely understood and spoken among certain age demographics in Poland, obtaining medical care in English is not always guaranteed.
The British Embassy in Warsaw have compiled a useful list of medical centres with English-speaking staff in some of the largest cities in Poland here.