In today’s post, I will address the topic of what attitude foreigners have toward Poland and Poles. In 2023, this topic needs to be considered from two angles. First, we will look at the point of view of tourists who come to Poland from Europe and the United States, and then I will tell what refugees from Ukraine think about Poles.
Foreign tourists about Poland
For many years, Poland has been a very popular destination among foreign tourists. The vast majority of foreign tourists speak highly of Poland. This is evidenced by numerous vlogs published on YouTube. Below are some of them.
The first video shows how residents of a very small village (with a population of about 1,000) react to a foreign tourist. The author of the vlog is André Traveler. Don’t let the film’s somewhat clickbait featured image fool you. Despite the fact that it is rare to see foreign tourists in small, not-so-touristy villages, the author managed to talk to a few locals.
Andrew has made nearly 30 videos in Poland. The entire playlist is worth seeing.
What assets of Poland are most often mentioned among foreign tourists?
First: openness and hospitality
Poles are usually warm, hospitable and helpful. Foreign tourists appreciate their kindness and willingness to help. Poles are eager to share their culture and traditions, which allows foreign tourists to get to know the country better.
The next vlog describes both Polish hospitality and one of the most important places for Poland – the Westerplatte peninsula – where World War II began. The author of this video is Pedro Mota. Take a look please:
Second: long history and rich tradition
Poland has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. In many cities you can admire impressive monuments, such as the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Wawel Castle in Cracow and St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdansk. It is also worth visiting the Warsaw Uprising Museum or the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum to understand the difficult moments in Polish history.
Another aspect worth praising is culture and tradition. Poland is a country that has preserved many of its regional customs and rituals. An example is holidays such as Christmas and Easter, which are celebrated with extraordinary flair and joy. Also worth mentioning is the Pierogies Festival, where tourists can taste traditional Polish dishes.
Nature in Poland
Poland’s nature is another of the country’s treasures. From the sea to the mountains, Poland offers a wide variety of landscapes and attractions. The Bieszczady Mountains, the Tatra Mountains or the Masuria Mountains are just some of them worth visiting. Tourists can hike, bike, swim, sail or enjoy winter sports.
Great Polish food
In terms of gastronomy, Polish cuisine is tasty and filling. Trying various dishes, such as pierogi, potato pancakes, żurek or bigos, is a real feast for the palate.
Relatively low prices
Finally, Poland offers attractive prices for tourists, especially compared to the United States. Accommodations, food or tickets to various attractions are affordable, making travel in Poland enjoyable and economical.
How did the Poles behave in the hour of trial?
As you are all well aware, there has been a tragic war in Ukraine (which neighbors Poland), for more than a year. In February 2022, Russia thuggishly attacked an independent country where Ukrainians wanted to lead a normal and peaceful life. When the Russian aggression began, tanks, rockets, combat vehicles attacked not only military targets, but also civilian objects. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians moved to escape the Russian aggressor. The vast majority of them fled to Poland and here obtained shelter.
Tens of thousands of Poles opened their homes to the Ukrainian refugees, but most of all their hearts. Poles selflessly invited those fleeing the war to their home. From the first day of the war, many Poles flashed to the border crossings with Ukraine to bring aid. Many civic initiatives were formed to organize and supervise the assistance of refugees. This is how it was reported by foreign media:
Finally, we will look at Poland from an interesting perspective. Meet Dave, who is both a tourist and a war refugee from Ukraine. In short: Dave lived in the US for a very long time, traveled a lot, but before the war itself he lived permanently in Ukraine where he was also born. Dave’s YoTube channel was previously called American in Ukraine. The vlogger describes his experiences while fleeing the war, and how Poland surprised him. We really like the way Dave talks about Poland. Watch these few videos, because it’s worth it: