Poland belongs to the European Schengen zone. So, once you have a passport or ID card from one of the countries in the zone you do not need a visa to visit Poland up to 90 days. It is enough that you have the ID card or passport on you when entering the country. See http://mfa.gov.pl/en/travel_to_poland/entering_poland/entering_poland for comprehensive and official information regarding visa requirements.
2. Time zone
The time zone is the same as in the majority of European countries like France, Italy or Germany. Comparing to the UK we are one hour ahead which means that when in Krakow is e.g. 10 a.m. then it is 9 a.m. in London. The www.timeanddate.com webpage is an excellent reference for what time, time zone, sunrise time etc. is anywhere in the world.
3. Currency, exchange rates
Poland is in the European Union but we do not use Euro as currency and thanks to that the country has its independent monetary policy. The currency is called Złoty (PLN) and because it is strongly undervalued, the prices are very affordable when compared to other European countries. As of August 2017, you will get more than 4 PLN for 1 Euro and little less than 4 PLN for $1 or 1 CHF. For 1 GBP you will get nearly 5 PLN. A pizza will cost you 25 PLN (6 Euro) and a meat dish in a good restaurant approx. 35-50 PLN (10-12 Euro). A glass of beer (0.5 liter) is 2 Euro.
Exchanging your currency to PLN is not a problem – you can pay by your debit/credit card nearly everywhere or pull out PLN from an ATM. However, depending on your bank you may be charged quite a big spread on the exchange rate. So it is much better to change your money in one of the exchange offices. But do pay attention, whereas some offer very competitive rates and are very close to the Reuters quotes, there are some which want to rip you out of your money. You can find good exchange offices in the Old town in Florianska and Szewska streets. There are several on each street so its easy to compare the prices and make the math before exchanging.
See also: Prices in Krakow
See also: Souvenirs from Krakow
4. Transfer from and to airport
Krakow’s international airport is located in Balice, just 15 km north-west of the Main Square. The small distance from the center together with the fact that it is also a very small airport makes it very fast to get to or get out from. There is a bus number 292 which operates every 20 minutes (between 5:30 a.m. till 11 p.m.) and takes approx. 40 minutes to get to the main train station. There is also a night bus 902.
There is also Airport Taxi which will take you to the centre for approx 100 PLN (25 EUR) in 15-20 minutes or so. The cars are limusines, drivers speak English and wear suits. But if you think that it is not really worth the money you can easily pay half the price by calling one of several regular Taxi chains, e.g. Barbakan tel. +48 196 61.
From September 2015 a train line is operating between the Main Station and the airport and it takes only 20 minutes to get to the city center at the price of 8 PLN! (2 Euro). The train runs every half an hour.
5. Tourist information
The best way to obtain tourist information is just to ask at the reception of your hotel. If they will not know the answer they will point you to the nearest tourist information office. Anyway, one information point is at the airport:
tel.: +48 12 285 53 41
Another one is in the Jana street very close to the Main Square and the St. Mary’s church.
ul. św. Jana 2
tel.: +48 12 421 77 87
Polish language (surprise!) is spoken in Poland. But you should be able to communicate in English nearly anywhere especially in touristic places as most middle class people below 40 or so and practically all students speak English. Other languages are by far less popular.
7. Emergency numbers
A general emergency number (for any type of an accident) is 112.