Are you wondering about public holidays in Poland? Here you will find all the information you need: the updated calendar of public holidays (also called bank holidays), a brief explanation of those holidays which are specific to Poland and therefore not observed in many other countries, and useful tips for those intends to travel to Poland during the holidays.
In fact, if you are planning a trip to Poland it might be useful to know if public transport will operate regularly, as well as if shops, restaurants and museums will be open. Public holidays in fact affect both private and public sector workers, and in some cases even in larger cities, such as Krakow and Warsaw, you may find almost everything closed on major public holidays.
While the Polish bank holidays can provide an opportunity to experience unique cultural traditions and celebrations, they can also result in limited access to certain services and amenities. From national independence day to religious festivals and secular observances, Poland’s public holidays offer a glimpse into the country’s diverse history and cultural identity. Whether you are planning a trip to Krakow, Warsaw, or any other city in Poland, understanding the impact of these holidays will help you make the most of your visit.
Calendar of Public Holidays in Poland 2023
|New Year’s Day
|All Saints’ Day
|Second Day of Christmas
What are the most important public holidays in Poland?
Poland is a country with a rich history and vibrant culture, and its public holidays are an important part of this heritage. From national holidays that honor the country’s independence to religious festivals that mark important events in the Christian calendar, these holidays provide an opportunity for Poles to come together and celebrate their history and culture.
One of the most important public holidays in Poland is Independence Day, which is celebrated on November 11th. This holiday marks the anniversary of Poland’s independence from Russia, Austria, and Prussia in 1918, after 123 years of partition. On this day, Poles celebrate their country’s hard-won freedom with parades, speeches, and patriotic events.
Another significant public holiday in Poland is Constitution Day, which is celebrated on May 3rd. This holiday marks the adoption of Poland’s first modern constitution in 1791, which was a significant step towards the country’s independence. On this day, Poles pay tribute to the country’s founding fathers and celebrate the country’s democratic traditions.
Other important public holidays in Poland include Easter, which is a major religious holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Easter celebrations, similar to other countries in the world, include family banquets with the exchange of gifts and greetings, religious celebrations (the traditional Easter mass, for example), Easter egg hunts, and traditional meals.
Poland also celebrates a number of other religious holidays. Probably the most important celebration is Christmas, which as usual in the Christian religion is celebrated on December 25th. However, in Poland, family celebrations with traditional meals and hearty feasts usually take place on the evening of December 24th. Christmas in Krakow is a special time, and celebrations are held throughout the old town, with handcrafted nativity scenes, carols and the famous Krakow Christmas Markets held in the Main Market Square. Even in Warsaw, Christmas is celebrated with illuminations, concerts and stalls in the heart of the old town.
In addition to these national and religious holidays, Poland also celebrates a number of other important events and festivals throughout the year. One of these is All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on November 1st and is a time for remembering and honoring the country’s deceased loved ones. Another important public holiday is Pentecost, a Christian holiday which is also celebrated in many other countries around the world, but which, unlike in many other Christian countries, is a public holiday in Poland. It is also known as Whitsunday and is observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter. It is usually celebrated with masses, parades and religious processions.
Furthermore, another Christian holiday which is a national holiday in Poland is Corpus Christi, which is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is the first Sunday after Pentecost. Corpus Christi is a celebration of the body and blood of Jesus Christ and is traditionally marked with processions, church services, and other religious observances.
Poland Public Holidays: What’s Open and What’s Closed?
- On New Year’s Day, banks, malls, and larger stores are usually closed, but some convenience stores may be open. Many restaurants and bars will be open, and concerts are a common occurrence at various venues. Most museums and galleries will also be open.
- Epiphany is a religious holiday, and banks and stores are typically closed. Some museums and restaurants may be open.
- In the days leading up to Easter, including Good Friday and Holy Saturday, some museums and shops may have reduced hours, and some bars, restaurants, and shops may be closed for the entire week. Supermarkets, malls, and transportation services are generally open and operating as usual.
- Easter Sunday is a significant Polish holiday celebrated with a morning mass to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, followed by a large family breakfast. Most shops are closed on this day, and many museums and attractions are also closed. On Easter Monday, which is traditionally a day when people playfully douse each other with water, most things will be closed.
- Labor Day or May Day is public holiday for most people, although some may participate in marches for workers’ rights. Many businesses, such as banks and malls, will be closed, but some museums and restaurants may still be open.
- Constitution Day is a patriotic public holiday often celebrated by taking a few days off. While some shops may remain open, it is likely that many restaurants, bars, and public attractions will be closed.
- Pentecost Sunday is mainly a religious holiday, and smaller shops may be closed. The holiday may affect the opening hours of some restaurants and museums, but larger shopping centers and primary attractions are usually unaffected.
- Corpus Christi is a Polish festival that involves an outdoor procession in every parish and includes closures for banks, malls, large stores, museums, and galleries. However, restaurants and bars will remain open.
- Assumption Day and Polish Army Day are military-focused (patriotic) public holidays with historical and religious significance in Poland. While banks, malls, large stores, and most museums and galleries will be closed, restaurants and bars should remain open.
- All Saints’ Day is a religious and public holiday in Poland, which often results in closures for most shops, including larger ones, as well as some restaurants. Some small convenience stores may still be open, and public transport is usually regular.
- Independence Day is a patriotic holiday in Poland marked by parades and other celebrations. Banks, museums, and most shops and shopping centers will be closed, but restaurants and bars should remain open. Public transport is usually regular.
- On Christmas Eve, some stores may close early, around 2pm, and it is recommended to make reservations at top restaurants in advance as Christmas dinner is typically held in the evening. Museums and shopping centers should have regular hours and public transportation should run as usual.
- Christmas Day is a major holiday in Poland, with all businesses, including banks, shopping malls, and museums closed. Most restaurants and bars, as well as some convenience stores, will be open. Public transportation may have reduced service. The Second Day of Christmas is also a public holiday, so banks, offices, and most shopping malls will be closed. Many museums will be open, as well as restaurants and bars. Public transportation is expected to run smoothly. If you’re traveling to Krakow for Christmas, find our guide to Christmas in Krakow here!
- New Year’s Eve, or Sylwester is not a official holiday in Poland but is still widely celebrated, especially in cities like Krakow and Warsaw. Some businesses and shops may close early, around 5pm, and it is recommended to make reservations at top restaurants in advance. There are often celebrations in main squares in various cities, and Krakow and Warsaw have events and parties at clubs and famous pub crawls that attract many young people eager to celebrate the new year. If you’re traveling to Krakow for New Year’s Eve, here’s our guide to New Year’s Eve in Krakow!
Useful tips to better plan your trip to Poland
Planning your trip to Krakow? These are our in-depth guides with everything you need to know to plan an amazing trip to Krakow:
- Krakow Travel Guide: Things to do in and around Krakow
- How to Visit Auschwitz and Birkenau: All You Need to Know
- Experience the Wieliczka Salt Mine from Krakow
- All You Need to Know Before Going to Krakow (Best Tips for Planning Your Trip)
- Krakow Food Tours: Discover the Best of Authentic Local Food
- Krakow Free Tours: The Best Free Walking Tours of the Old Town and its Most Beautiful Neighborhoods