Common Customs in Poland

Though the Polish people have struggled over the centuries to keep hold of their territory, Polish culture is rich with customs and tradition because Poles have been too stubborn to let history’s vagaries quash or dilute their identity. The following are customs that you would do well to observe:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers if you are invited into someone’s home.
  • Shake hands when you greet people (both men and women), and opt for the formal greeting when addressing someone, unless you know someone or have mutually agreed on using first names.
  • Poles love to drink – often late into the night. Expect interesting and lively conversations, often about politics and other controversial social concerns.
  • Keep both of your hands above the table while you’re eating.
  • Catholic conservatism dictates the way many Poles think, so be careful about offending people by expressing strong religious views that may run counter to tradition. In other words, keep your atheism to yourself.
  • If you visit a church, take off your hat.
  • Don’t make fun of the Pope!


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