Beer in Poland
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Drinking Age in Poland: Everything you need to know!

Do want to visit Poland but wondering about the drinking age in Poland?

When you visit a new country, it can be exciting because each country has its own culture, customs, and laws. To me, Poland is a beautiful European country but it also has its own set of laws. So, how about the drinking age in Poland?

If you’ve ever thought about the drinking age in Poland or how strict or easy their laws might be, this blog post will answer your questions.

So, let’s dive in and find out!

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Poland?

Poland has a long and interesting history with a long list of laws. When it comes to drinking alcohol, Poland also has specific laws that protect the health of its people.

In this Central European country, you must be 18 to legally drink alcohol. This age limit isn’t just a random number; it actually fits with many other age-related events in Poland, like being able to vote or getting a full driver’s license.

drinking age in Poland - Polish beer
Polish beer

In many ways, the age of 18 is a sign of adulthood. By the age of 18, it’s commonly accepted that young adults can make mature choices, also about drinking alcohol. All places that sell alcohol, like bars, restaurants, and shops, are following this law.

When they aren’t sure of your age, they often ask for your ID. By making 18 the legal drinking age, Poland strikes a mix between respecting the freedom of (young) adults and making sure to keep on eye on the health of its younger people.

Is Poland strict with alcohol?

Did you know that Poland has a long history of brewing and consuming alcohol, especially beer and vodka? However, just because alcohol is a big part of society, this doesn’t mean there aren’t laws. But yes, Poland is very strict with drinking laws.

Even though many Polish people like to drink beer and vodka, the country has clear laws about who can drink and where you can drink.

You have to be 18 or older to buy or drink alcohol. Shops and clubs often check your ID to see if you are old enough so it’s always a good idea to bring it with you just in case.

Can you drink alcohol in public in Poland?

It’s good to know that in Poland, drinking alcohol in public places is generally prohibited. This includes areas like streets, parks, public transportation, and other open spaces.

There are hefty fines for if you’re caught consuming alcohol in public areas, and police can issue on-the-spot fines to you.

However, there are some exceptions. Some events, festivals, or public gatherings might have designated zones where alcohol consumption is permitted.

drinking age in Poland - folk festival
Polish Folk festival

But there are some other places like outdoor terraces or gardens attached to bars or restaurants where drinking is allowed, as these are considered extensions of the establishment.

Can I drink 1 beer and drive in Poland?

In Poland, drinking and driving is a serious thing. The country has a very low limit for the amount of booze in a driver’s bloodstream.

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is more than 0.02%, you are considered over the limit. For most people, even one beer will put them over this limit.

If you are found driving with a BAC of more than 0.02%, you could face heavy fines, a suspended license, or even jail time. It’s always good to just avoid alcohol when driving!

Is Poland cheap for alcohol?

Yes, compared to many other European countries, alcohol in Poland is really a lot cheaper. Here are some examples:

  • Beer: A pint of local beer in a normal bar might cost you between 8 and 12 PLN (Polish zloty), which is about €1,80 to €2,60. Imported beers might be a little bit more expensive, but local beers are usually quite cheap (and tasty)!
  • Vodka: Poland is super famous for making vodka. A bottle of good quality local vodka in a store can cost you anywhere from 30 to 50 PLN, which is about €6,50 to €11. Of course, premium brands may cost you a bit more.
  • Wine: Poland isn’t as famous for its wine as France or Italy, but you can still get a good bottle in a store for about 20 to 40 PLN (€4,50 to €9). Imported wines might cost you a bit more.
  • Restaurants: A glass of beer or wine might be a little more expensive than in a shop, but it’s still a good deal. For instance, a glass of wine might cost 10 to 20 PLN (€2,20 to €4,40).

But prices can change depending on where you are in Poland. Touristic places may be more expensive than local spots or smaller towns. But overall, if you’re from the US or Western Europe, you’ll probably find alcohol prices in Poland to be quite affordable.

Drinking age in Poland: FAQs

The information below is related to the drinking age in Poland and will give you some more great insights!

How do you ask for a beer in Poland?

When you’re in Poland and you would like to order a beer, you can say: Poproszę piwo. In case you wonder how to pronounce this, which I would understand, it’s like poh-PRO-sheh PEE-voh and means A beer, please.

But if you’re trying to be extra polite or if you want to mention how many beers, you’ll say Poproszę piwa and it’s pronounced poh-PRO-sheh dva PEE-vah. I know, it might look similar but that’s not the case!

Lovely place for a drink in Poznan
Lovely place for a drink in Poznan

Remember that in Polish, piwo is a single beer and piwa are multiple beers. For five or more, you usually use the singular form in the genitive case, but as a tourist, the phrases above should get you through most cases.

Can you use Euros in Poland?

Even though Poland is part of the European Union, it hasn’t made the euro its official currency. The Polish zloty (PLN) is the official currency used in Poland. If you want to buy wine or anything else in Poland, the best way to do so is with zloty.

But in places with a lot of tourists or bigger businesses, euros might sometimes be accepted, but this is not the standard. Also, if they do take euros, the rate of exchange might not be good.

Polish Zloty
Polish Zloty

So, if you want to buy a bottle of the famous Polish vodka or go to a bar for a local beer, it’s best to have zloty on hand to avoid problems with payment or bad exchange rates.

When visiting Poland, you can either exchange your euros or dollars for zloty at a currency exchange office or get zloty from an ATM, which is (to be honest) easier and usually gives you better rates!

Drinking Age in Poland in Comparison with Other European Countries

The age of 18 in Poland is pretty normal for most of Europe. Countries like Germany, Spain, and Italy all have a legal drinking age of 18.

But some countries, like the UK for example, let you drink beer or wine at 16 if you are with an adult at a meal.

What is the lowest drinking age in the world?

Several countries around the world don’t have a set minimum age for drinking alcohol, which officially makes them the countries with the lowest legal drinking age.

In Cambodia, Togo, and Sierra Leone, for example, there is no minimum age set by law for drinking alcohol. Even if there is no law about drinking age in these places, cultural or social norms can affect how people drink.

Also, the legal drinking age in some countries is very young. Austria and Switzerland, for example, let people as young as 16 buy and drink alcoholic drinks like beer and wine in certain places and situations.

I would like to emphasize that even though the law says one thing, the cultural background and customs can mean something different. It also depends how you grow up and where you grow up.

So, even if it’s allowed in a country for people under 21 to drink, it might not be a common or widely accepted thing to do.

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    The Wrap-Up: Drinking age in Poland

    When it comes to drinking age in Poland, you need to be 18 in order to legally drink your glass of alcohol. Poland has quite some strict rules when it comes to alcohol.

    Knowing the legal drinking age, how the country deals with drinking and driving, and a few simple phrases will make your time much more pleasant in Poland.

    Always remember to follow the local customs and drink in moderation. Safe travels, and na zdrowie (cheers) to your trip to Poland!

    If you want to know more about Poland, check out some of my other posts about Warsaw in a day, the cost of living in Warsaw or the national animal of Poland.

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

    Your restless voyager,

    Dustin

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