Polish cafe town square

Cheers in Polish: How Do You Toast in Poland!?

Looking for a great trip to Poland and curious how to say cheers in Polish?

Poland is a country in Central Europe with a long history, many different cultures, and a long-standing tradition of being friendly and welcoming. Polish people like to have parties, and drink is often a big part of them! So, how about saying cheers in Polish?

Whether you’ll find yourself on a wedding, a birthday, or just a regular get-together; Poles love to drink.

As a tourist or someone who wants to make Polish friends, knowing the basic rules of drinking, like how to say cheers in Polish, will get you a lot of respect.

Let’s dive in!

How do you say cheers in Polish language?

So, the big question.. Cheers! in Polish is Na zdrowie!, which is pronounced as nah ZDROH-vee-eh. When raising a glass and making a toast, this phrase is used everywhere in Poland and by people who know Polish all over the world.

And what does it exactly mean? Well, Na zdrowie! means To your health! in English. It’s a popular way to wish someone well, and it’s similar to toasting phrases in a lot of other languages. Just like Santé! in French and Salud! in Spanish, which all mean to same.

Cheers in Polish - Zywiec beer
Polish beer

Na zdrowie is also used by Poles when someone sneezes, which is similar to how we say bless you in English. It is a traditional phrase that can be used in both informal and official situations.

No matter if you are at a family party, a wedding, or a relaxed get-together with friends, you will probably hear Na zdrowie a lot. It’s an important word to know and use at any social event in Poland or with people who speak Polish.

If you want to have a great evening out and try some of the best Polish vodka in Warsaw with a local expert, I would really recommend the Best Polish Vodka Tour:

Book Your Polish Vodka Tasting Tour in Warsaw here!

How do you toast in Polish?

Toasting is like a ceremony in Polish society, and there are a few important steps that you should follow. It’s not just about clinking glasses and taking a sip; it’s an important gesture that shows respect and good wishes.

  • Wait for the Host: The first thing to do when toasting is to wait for the host or person in charge of the toast to start. Usually, the speaker or someone else chosen to do so starts the toast.

    It’s quite rude to raise your glass and start drinking before the person who invited you has started the toast!
  • Make Eye Contact: It’s always important to look at each person at the table when you raise your glass. This shows that you value and care about them. This is a very important tradition in Poland, and it is rude not to make eye contact.
  • Say Na Zdrowie!: The next step is to say Na zdrowie! (nah ZDROH-vee-eh), which means To your health! This is the most popular Polish toast, and it can be used in both formal and casual situations.
  • Clink Glasses: It is usual to clink glasses with everyone at the table after saying “Na zdrowie!” Start with the person to your left and move to the right, making sure not to cross arms with anyone else.

    This is an important part of the toasting tradition, and it shows that everyone is celebrating together.
  • Take a Sip: Once the glasses have been clinked, you can take a sip of your drink. It’s actually rude to put your glass down without drinking from it first!

Remember that toasting is a big part of Polish society. It’s a way to wish people well, celebrate special events, and show respect for others. If you do these steps right, it will show that you understand and value Polish tradition + you’ll have a great time!

The importance of toasting in Polish culture

Toasting is an important part of Polish society and has a big impact on how people interact with each other. It’s a lot more than just a ritual to raise a glass. It’s a way to wish someone well, show respect, and enjoy special events or accomplishments.

I can tell you that Polish people take toasting very seriously, and it is thought rude not to take part in a toast or to refuse a drink at a party! When you take part in a toast, it shows that you are a part of the group.

cheers in Polish - cafes in Bydgoszcz
Charming cafes in Bydgoszcz

It is also a way to strengthen bonds and build a feeling of community. Toasts are popular at formal events like weddings and business dinners, as well as at less formal events with friends and family.

If you want to meet Polish people and go to Polish social events needs to know how important toasts are and how to act properly.

What is the national drink of Poland?

Vodka is THE main drink in Poland. That’s the sweet and short answer! This clear, distilled liquor has strong roots in Polish history and culture, and it is generally agreed that Poland, along with Russia, is one of the places where vodka was first made.

Polish vodka is known for being of high quality and having a smooth taste. This is because it is made using traditional methods. Vodka is usually made from grains or potatoes, and Poland has a lot of well-known brands that are enjoyed all over the world.

Vodka drinking is not only a Polish custom, but also a source of national pride! They are very proud of their long history of making vodka, and it is a popular drink served at formal and informal events alike.

Vodka is often drunk neat, which means without any mixers, or used as a base for drinks. A small bite of food, called a zakąska, is also often eaten after a shot of vodka.

Overall, vodka is more than just a drink in Poland. You could really say that it’s a symbol of the country’s history and a big part of its culture. You could also take it home as one of Poland’s best souvenirs!

The Best Polish Vodkas to Try

Poland is known for its vodka, and if you get the chance, you should try one of these brands:

  • Belvedere: This high-quality vodka, called Belvedere, is made from Dankowskie rye and distilled four times. It tastes smooth and a little bit sweet.
  • Chopin: This vodka is named after Frédéric Chopin, a very well-known Polish musician. It is made from potatoes, which give it a smooth texture and a rich flavor.
  • Wyborowa: This is a traditional Polish vodka made from rye. It tastes smooth and clean, and vodka fans have been drinking it since 1823.

You’ll have a great evening when you try one of the vodka’s that Poland has to offer!

Cheers in Polish: FAQs

The information below is related to clinking your glasses in Poland and will give you some more great insights!

How do you say basic phrases in Polish?

When going to Poland or talking to people who speak Polish, it can be very good to know a few basic Polish phrases. Here are 10 Polish words about drinking and getting together with friends, along with how to pronounce it:

  1. Cheers!: Na zdrowie! (nah ZDROH-vee-eh)
  2. Let’s drink!: Pijmy! (PEE-my)
  3. One more, please!: Jeszcze jedno, proszę! (YESH-che YED-no PRO-sheh)
  4. Do you want a drink?: Chcesz coś do picia? (KHEH-sh cosh doh PEE-chya?)
  5. I would like a beer: Poproszę piwo. (poh-PROH-sheh PEE-vo)
  6. I would like a glass of wine: Poproszę kieliszek wina. (poh-PROH-sheh KYEH-lee-shek VEE-na)
  7. I’m drunk.: Jestem pijany/pijana (male/female). (YES-tem PEE-yany/PEE-yana)
  8. It’s my round: To moja kolejka. (Toh MOH-ya KOH-ley-ka)
  9. Where is the restroom?: Gdzie jest toaleta? (Gdzheh yest twa-LET-ah?)
  10. The bill, please: Rachunek, proszę. (RAH-hoo-nek PRO-sheh)

These basic phrases will help you out during your evenign out with local Polish people and you might even impress them!

Other Polish toasts

Well, Na zdrowie is the most popular Polish toast, but there are a few others you might hear or find useful in different situations.

For example, Sto lat! (pronounced stoh lat), which means One hundred years! in English, is something you’ll hear on birthdays and anniversaries to wish someone a long and happy life.

Na szczęście! (nah SHCHEN-shcheh), which means Good luck!, is another popular toast. People often use this toast to wish someone well before they start a new project or trip.

Another great toast is Na miłość! (nah mee-WOSHCH) what means To love! in Polish. It is a great toast for romantic events or weddings. Also, Na twoje zdrowie! means To your health! and is a more official version of Na zdrowie!

These are just a few examples of the many toasts you might hear or use in Poland. No matter what the event is, it’s important to make eye contact, raise your glass and join in the fun!

What do Polish people say before eating?

Before you start your – usually very delicious – meal in Poland, it’s common to say Smacznego! (pronounced as smach-NAY-goh) to everyone at the table to wish them a good meal.

Polish Bigos dish
Polish Bigos dish

And when you want to have a nice glass of vodka next to your great meal, you now know how to make a great toast!

What is the legal drinking age in Poland?

In Poland, you have to be 18 years old to get a drink. This means that you have to be 18 years old or older to buy and drink drinking drinks. This is true for all kinds of alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine, spirits, and liqueurs.

It is tightly enforced, and you may be asked to show ID when buying alcohol or going into bars and nightclubs to prove your age. It is also against the law to give booze to people under 18 years old.

Places that sell alcohol to children can get fined a lot or even lose their right to sell alcohol. It’s important to remember that the legal age to drink is the same as the legal age to vote or get a driver’s licence.

When travelling or living in Poland, it is important to be aware of and follow the laws and rules about drinking alcohol.

If you want to know more about this in detail, check out my post about drinking age in Poland!

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    The Wrap-Up: Cheers in Polish

    Poland has a long history of drinking and making toasts. It’s important to know how to say cheers in Polish and know how important toasting is in Polish society, whether you’re having a party or just having a drink with friends.

    So just remember that Na zdrowie! is the most usual way to say cheers in Polish, and that vodka is the national drink of Poland!

    So, the next time you raise a drink in Poland, make sure to look the person in the eye, say To your health! and enjoy the high-quality vodka that Poland has to offer.

    If you want to know how to say cheers in other languages, check out my post about cheers in Hungarian!

    And when going to Poland, check out my post about what not to wear in Poland!

    Your restless voyager,


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