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Is Poland Eastern Europe: Where is Poland situated?

Interested in the beautiful country of Poland and wondering is Poland Eastern Europe?

When we think of Europe, we usually think of how big and different it is. There are many countries and regions in Europe, and each one has its own history, society, and features. But I find that many people often ask, “is Poland Eastern Europe?

History, geography, and politics are all wrapped up in this question, even though it seems easy at first glance.

My purpose of this blog post is to talk about Poland’s place in Europe, including its location, cultural ties, and government ties.

Let’s dive in!

Is Poland considered Eastern Europe?

So, this is a fun debate, according to the United Nations and its Regional Group of Member States Report, Poland is categorized in the Eastern European part of Europe. However, I have my own view on this and I believe Poland is 100% Central Europe.

You could say that it depends on the situation whether Poland is considered to be in Eastern Europe or Central Europe. Due to its close ties with the Soviet Union on both the political and economic levels, Poland was often thought of as part of Eastern Europe during the Cold War. In spite of this, many people think of Poland as being in Central Europe because of its location and culture.

Poland on the European map
Poland on the European map

The fact that Poland lies in the middle of Europe, has historical links to other Central European countries, and is a member of the European Union and other Western political and economic institutions makes many Poles and people from other parts of Central Europe (including me) think of Poland as part of Central Europe.

If you look at it from different angles and use different standards, Poland could be in either Eastern or Central Europe. However, most people believe it is in Central Europe. In fact, I know a lot of Poles who would get pretty upset if you call them Eastern Europeans (same goes for Czech people). So, Central Europe it is! Let’s continue..

The Visegrad Group

Did you ever hear of this group? Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are part of the Visegrad Group, which is also written as V4. They work together on politics and culture.

This group was made to help them work together and become more like the rest of the European Union. Poland’s strong membership in this group shows that its politics and culture are similar to those of Central European countries.

Where is Poland on the map of Europe?

So, if Poland is in the middle of Europe, what are some of its surrounding countries? Well, around its edges are seven countries.

Russia is to the northeast, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania are to the east, and Germany is to the west. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia are more to the south. Poland lies in the center of Europe, right in the middle of where trade and cultural exchange happen.

Does Poland belong to EU?

The answer is yes, Poland is a part of the EU. It officially joined the EU on May 1, 2004, as part of the union’s biggest single growth at the time. This was a big event in the history of Europe.

Europe had been split in two during the Cold War, and this expansion was meant to bring them back together. Poland’s joining the EU was a big step in its post-Communist change. In terms of politics, the economy, and the law, it brought Poland closer to Western Europe.

Countries in Central Europe

Central Europe is a very important link between the East and the West of Europe. It is full of history, culture, and beautiful nature. This area is known for its beautiful landscapes, lively cities, and unique mix of customs. These are the countries:

  • Poland: This country is known for its beautiful old towns and long past. It is a place where old traditions and modern life come together.
  • Hungary: This country is known for its unique food, hot baths, and beautiful capital city, Budapest. The country is a mix of old and new art forms.
  • Czech Republic: The Czech Republic is home to the beautiful city of Prague and has many other beautiful buildings, medieval towns, and famous beers.
  • Slovakia: This country is great if you love the outdoors and history because it has beautiful mountain scenery and a rich folk culture.

All four are great countries to visit!

Is Poland similar to Central European countries?

Polish culture is very close to that of its neighbors in Central Europe, which makes it an important part of this area. It is in the middle of Europe, surrounded by Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Slovakia.

This means that its culture and history naturally overlap with those of those countries. In the past, Poland has been a part of important events that happened in these other countries, especially during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the changes in Europe in the 20th century.

There are clear similarities between cultures when it comes to customs and social norms. For example, Polish food is a lot like food from its neighbors. It’s hearty and uses a lot of local products. Also, the languages in this area are different, but they all come from Slavic languages, which shows that they share a deep linguistic history.

Polish Kwasnica in is Poland Eastern Europe
Polish Kwasnica

Poland is very close to its neighbors in Central Europe, especially now that it is a member of the European Union. This is true both economically and legally. Their shared approach to economic growth, government, and social programs has become even stronger since they became more connected.

All of these things—geography, history, culture, language, economy, and politics—show that Poland is more like countries in central Europe than like countries in eastern Europe.

Is Central Europe worth visiting?

Okay, so I might be a tiny bit biased here but it’s hard to believe how much history, culture, and natural beauty can be found in such a small area within central Europe.

Just think about the magic towns first. Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest come to mind. The Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle are more than just tourist spots in Prague. They represent the city’s past and present. Budapest, which is split in half by the Danube River, has beautiful buildings and well-known thermal spas.

But hey, this part of Europe isn’t just towns, though. In Poland, for example, you can go hiking or skiing, based on the time of year. This area’s countryside is full of small towns and woods that are great for day trips and activities outside.

Polish Tatra Mountains in is Poland Eastern Europe
Polish Tatra Mountains

Central Europe has many similarities yet it has a lot in common. It’s easy to see how the past and present fit together here. You can visit a modern art gallery or museum like the Warsaw Uprising Museum in the morning and a castle that is hundreds of years old in the afternoon. The area is always interesting and surprising because it has a mix of old and new things.

Interested to visit this region? Check out my post about the best Central Europe Itinerary! And in need of a rental car? Don’t worry, I can wholeheartedly recommend Discover Cars for the best and smoothest experience.

Click here to book your rental car and to explore Central Europe!

Last but not least, Central Europe is a place that every tourist should see. Within a fairly small area, it has a lot to offer in the way of history, culture, natural beauty, and tasty food. Every city and every scenery in this part of the world has a story waiting to be told.

The Wrap-Up: Is Poland Eastern Europe?

So, to wrap it up, Poland used to be thought of as part of Eastern Europe, especially during the Cold War. These days, it is more correctly called a Central European country.

Because of its location, cultural bonds, political alliances like the Visegrad Group, and EU membership, it’s clear that Poland is Central Europe. Knowing where Poland fits in Europe helps you enjoy its long past and wide range of cultures.

Want to read or know more about Poland? Check out my post about the best Polish souvenirs, Warsaw vs Krakow, or the cost of living in Warsaw!

Your restless voyager,

Dustin

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