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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Poland

Geography

Polish Geography - Tatras Mountains
Tatras Mountains

Poland is fairly large country (relative to many of its European neighbors) located in the heart of Europe, standing in the northern part of Central Europe. It borders the Baltic Sea to its north and runs to the Carpathian Mountains in its south. Poland borders Germany (west), the Czech Republic (south), Slovakia (southeast), Ukraine (east), Belarus (east), Lithuania (northeast), and Russia (the Kaliningrad region to its north).

Geographically, Poland is fairly mountainous in the far south, but the north near the Baltic Sea and most of the country is very flat. Running from the southern Carpathian Mountains are a number of rivers that quickly drop from the mountains, then slowly drain through the lowlands, eventually feeding into the Baltic Sea. These rivers and lowlands allow easy transportation, a relatively high population density, and good growing conditions throughout much of the country.

Weather

Polish Geography - Krakow
Krakow

Poland's seasons are typically very distinct and due to geographical variations, weather patterns are inconsistent. Winters (December-February) can be cold and snowy; near Zakopane, in the Tatras Mountains, temperatures can dip to 0˚ F (-20˚ C) and average about 20-25˚ F (-5˚ C) during these months. Whereas, along the Baltic coast, the temperatures can be significantly warmer and some winters will rarely dip below freezing.

The spring and fall (autumn) are, again, unpredictable as the mountains can remain very cold, but cities like Krakow, Warsaw, and Gdansk can be rainy and near freezing one day, then sunny and 70˚ F (21˚ C) a week later depending on where the winds are coming from and what weather it brings with it.

During the hottest months (July-August) the mountains average about 60˚ F (16˚ C), while Krakow, Warsaw, and Gdansk all average about 72˚ F (22˚ C).

Wildlife

Polish Wildlife - Wild boar
Wild boar

The most common large mammals in Poland are deer and wild boar while, much rarer, are bears, marmots, and the bison. There is also a good variety of sea life as the northern border sits on the Baltic Sea and the country is home to a number of rivers and lakes.

Birds are plentiful in Poland, especially water fowl along the Baltic Sea and numerous migratory birds that come and go as the season pass. Pigeons are also a common sight in many cities.

This page was last updated: November, 2013