Trams and buses
Elbląg has an extensive tram and bus network. City transport begins operating around 5.00 a.m. and continues until 11.00 p.m. There are also night buses lines marked with the numbers 100. Tickets are available at newspaper stands (kiosks) or ticket stands. The ticket must be validated on a tram or bus by using a punch device.
Cost of tickets in Elbląg for trams and buses:
- one ticket ~ 2.80 PLN/€0.70 (normal fare), 1.40 PLN/€0.35 (reduced fare)
- one ticket bought form the driver ~ 3.40 PLN/€0.85 (normal fare), 1.70 PLN/€0.40 (reduced fare)
- one night ticket ~ 3.20 PLN/€0.80 (normal fare), 1.60 PLN/€0.40(reduced fare)
- personal ~ 85.00 PLN/€21.25 (normal fare),42.50 PLN/€10.60 (reduced fare)
- bearer ~ 125.00 PLN/€31.25
10-day personal tickets:
- personal ~ 32.00 PLN/€8.00 (normal fare), 16.00 PLN/€4.00 (reduced fare)
- bearer ~ 50.00 PLN/€12.50
When taking a taxi one should choose a cab with a chequered marked, "TAXI" sign on the roof and a meter inside on the dashboard. It is advisable to order a taxi by telephone as it is much cheaper and more secure. Examples of taxi telephone numbers: 9629, 9623, 9622, 9628, 9621.
- first fee - 7.00 PLN/€1.69
- 1st tariff - 2.00 PLN/€0.48 per 1 km in the city
- 2nd tariff - 3.00 PLN/€0.73 per 1 km in the city (night, Saturdays and Sundays)
- 3rd tariff - 4.00 PLN/€0.97 per 1 km outside the city
- 4th tariff - 6.00 PLN/€1.45 per 1 km outside the city (night, Saturdays and Sundays)
In Poland drivers keep to the right side of the road. It is prohibited to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs (remember in Poland beer is also an alcohol). If a car is brought to Poland it should be insured at the border. The cost of insurance depends on the size of the car and can be estimated at 450-700 EUR per year.
Getting to PWSZ in Elbląg
From the Main Railway Station there is around 300 meters to the School's main building.
As the Polish climate is very changeable it is necessary to bring different kinds of clothes. A warm coat and sweaters are essential for winter. Also a waterproof coat and sturdy shoes can be useful for the rainy days that occur very often, especially in spring and autumn (some winters and summers are very rainy as well). Winter clothes are needed from October/November until March.
- winter: -10°C - 5°C
- summer: 18°C - 30°C
- autumn: 5°C - 15°C
- spring: 5°C - 15°C.
Money and Banks
Polish money (PLN) is counted in złoty (zł.) and grosz (gr.); 100 groszy is 1 złoty.
Coins are issued as 1 gr., 2 gr., 5 gr., 10 gr., 20 gr., 50 gr., 1 zł., 2 zł., and 5 zł.
Bank notes are issued as 10 zł., 20 zł., 50 zł., 100 zł., and 200 zł.
- €1 ~ 4.14 PLN
- $1 ~ 3.17 PLN
Banks are open from Monday through Friday (8.00 a.m. till 5.00 or 6.00 p.m.), some are also open on Saturdays (till 3.00 p.m.). Credit cards (VISA, VISA EXPRESS, American Express, Mastercard, etc.) are usually accepted at shops, hotels and restaurants. In the town centre banks and private offices (Kantor) provide money exchange, but some take a commission.
It is also possible for foreign students to set up a bank account at some of the Polish banks. There are three choices of bank accounts in Poland:
- current account which provides a person with a cheque book for obtaining cash or making payments at the bank and at every post office; at regular intervals one receives a statement showing transactions on the account,
- deposit account which can be useful if one has other funds which may not need to use immediately and which can therefore earn interest in the meantime,
- foreign currency account.
Typical costs of living in Elbląg:
- accommodation in the students' hall of residence - 400.00 PLN/€96.72 per month
- private accommodation - 700.00 PLN/€169.27 per month
- dinner in the university canteen - 10.00 PLN/€2.42
- food per month - 500.00 PLN/€120.91
- public transportation per month - 70.00 PLN/€16.93
- cinema - 20.00 PLN/€4.84 (1 ticket)
Meals at the School
The School offers lunch in the academic bar which costs about 8-12 PLN/3-4 EUR. In addition, many buildings on the school campus have their own buffets and bars serving light snacks and meals.
Food prices may differ from one store to another and according to the season. Fruit and vegetables are cheaper in the summer than in winter. Food is still relatively inexpensive by western standards.
Approximate food prices:
- milk ~ 2.50PLN/€0.61 /litre
- bread ~ 2.00 PLN/€0.48 /loaf
- butter ~ 4.00 PLN/€0.97 /200 g
- cheese ~ 24.00 PLN/€5.82 /kg
- meat ~ 15.00 PLN/€3.64 /kg
- eggs ~ 0.60 PLN/€0.15 /each
- apples ~ 3.00 PLN/€0.73 /kg
- potatoes ~ 3.00 PLN/€0.73 /kg
- beer ~ 2.50 PLN/€0.61 /bottle
Poles usually eat three meals a day, two being cold meals and one hot. The day starts with breakfast (7.00 a.m.-9.00 a.m.) consisting of bread and butter with cheese, jam or meat. The second meal, dinner, is between 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. and usually consists of soup, potatoes with meat and salad. It can be followed by dessert - cake or ice cream. The last meal, supper, (or dinner) at 6.00 p.m.-8.00 p.m. may be similar to breakfast but sometimes also comprises warm dishes.
Smoking and Drugs
Smoking is prohibited in most public places in Poland. In the school area special places are set. Narcotics and heavy drugs are strictly prohibited.
The electric current in Poland is 230 volts with a frequency of 50 Hertz. The European standard of double-pronged outlet plugs is used.
Shops are usually open from Monday through Friday (10.00 a.m. till 6.00 p.m.), on Saturdays 10.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. Shops are mostly closed on Sundays, and nevertheless in the city centre some shops are open even on public holidays. There is also a wide range of supermarkets outside the centre that are open till 8 p.m. It is also possible to buy some products at night shops and filling stations which are situated all over the city.
Postal service and telephones
Public telephones require special tokens or magnetic cards that can be bought at any post office (poczta) or newspaper stand (kiosk). It is also possible to use Cheap Calling Cards. It is cheaper to use the telephone during off-peak hours - typically after 6.00 p.m. weekdays and on Saturdays and Sundays.
Local calls - dial the six or seven-digit local number. Long distance calls within Poland - dial 0, wait for the dial tone, and then dial the area code and a number (Elblšg area code is 55). International calls - dial 0, wait for the dial tone, dial 0 again, then dial the country code, area code and local number.
Emergency services (these calls are free of charge):
- 998 - fire department
- 997 - police
- 999 - ambulance service
- 112 - emergency (from cellphones only)
Post offices are open from Monday to Friday, usually 8.00 a.m. till 8.00 p.m., and selected ones on Saturdays. The post office at Railway Station is open 24 hours daily. Most post offices offer a wide range of services, e.g. sending telegrams, faxes, making telephone calls and selling postage stamps and postcards.
Cost of standard postal services:
- domestic post card - 1.60 PLN/€0.39
- domestic letter (100g) - 1.60 PLN/€0.39
- international post card - 4.60 PLN/€1.11
- international letter (100g) - 9.00 PLN/€2.18
- international priority letter (100g) - 11.50 PLN/€2.78
- domestic parcel (1kg) - 6.00 PLN/€1.68
- domestic telegram - 9.50 PLN/€2.30
Polish public holidays
- 1st November - All Saints' Day
- 11th November - Independence Day
- 24th December - 26th December - Christmas
- 1st January - New Year's Day
- March or April - Easter
- 1st May - Labour Day
- 3rd May - Constitution Day
- Thursday in May or June - Feast of Corpus Christi
- 15th August - Feast of the Assumption
Useful Polish expressions
- Yes - tak [tuck]
- No - nie [nyie]
- Please - proszę [pro she] e as in step
- Thank you - dziękuję [jen koo ye]
- Excuse me - przepraszam [pshe pra sham]
- Hi, hello - cześć [chesh ch] ch as in church
- Good morning - dzień dobry [jen doe bree]
- Good bye - do widzenia [doe vee dzen yuh]
- Good night - dobry wieczór [doe bree vee ye choor]
- Enjoy your meal - smacznego [smuch ne go]
- I don't understand - nie rozumiem [nyie roe zoo miem]
- How much is it? - ile to kosztuje [ee le toe kosh too ye]
- How are you? - jak się masz [yuck sh' mush]
- How can I get to... ? - jak dojść do ..... [yak doyshch doe...] doy as in toy