- Drink Beer from a Straw: This inexplicable practice is especially popular among women, but occasionally you'll see Polish guys doing it, as well. The idea is to sweeten the beer first with fruit juice, usually raspberry, and then sip the mixture like a cocktail. Watch out for the consequences, though. Polish beer is unusually strong, and drinking through a straw only heightens the effect of the alcohol.
- Line up for Ice Cream: Poles are loony for lody (ice cream). Part of the attraction comes from Communist days, when ice cream was one of the few pleasures accessible to most people. Part of the attraction is also, well, because it's ice cream and it tastes really good. Each city has its own ice cream stand of choice. The best strategy is to scout around and see where the longest lines are.
- Eat Sushi: That doesn't sound Polish at all, yet the country is currently experiencing sushi mania, and some seriously good sushi joints are springing up all over. The Poles' love affair with fish is understandable. After all, Poland is right on the Baltic Sea, and dishes such as herring have been part of the local cuisine for centuries. For some of the best sushi in the country, try the Sakana Sushi Bar in Wrocaw or Edo Sushi Bar in Kazimierz.
- Feed Breadcrumbs to the Pigeons: You'll see the young and old alike at nearly every big square in every Polish town tossing breadcrumbs to flocks of pigeons. And they are the bane of city officials around the country trying to fight the onslaught of unwanted fowl. The problem is so serious that officials in Kraków even considered dynamiting the birds. But as the old saying goes -- if you can't beat them, might as well join them.
- Go Mushroom-Picking: Mushroom-picking is a popular autumn pastime for all Poles. The best strategy for success is to get up early to scour the forest floors for the fungus of choice, usually chanterelle, porcini, and milk caps. One caveat: Don't try this if you're not experienced at sorting out the edible from the poisonous varieties. If you're staying in the countryside, simply ask your host to arrange a mushroom hunt for you. Most likely, they will have an aunt or cousin who knows the best place to land a bagful of mushrooms for your morning omelet.
- Go Shopping at a Farmer's Market: Most Polish cities will have a central market filled with goodies such as fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, and meats. Often, these will also have a little pierogi stand for a quick bite. They're the perfect one-stop shop for a picnic lunch. Check out the Hala Mirowska in Warsaw or the Hala Targowa in Wrocaw.
- Have a Kebab: In recent years, Poles have developed an insatiable appetite for anything vaguely Middle Eastern. Truth be told, the quality of the street-stand kebabs is only average at best, but the mood is always festive, and you get to rub shoulders with all walks of Polish life -- students, business folks, the homeless, and late-night clubbers. In Kraków, you'll get the same local feeling by indulging in a zapiekanka, a toasted baguette slathered with cheese, ham, and ketchup, and baked in a hot oven. Find the best of these is at Plac Nowy in Kazimierz.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.