The rules of Polish etiquette are not especially exotic or extraordinary. However, always some differences can be found in customs and conventional behavior between people of different cultures and it is useful to know some of them. Below you will find a piece of advice:
-When greeting someone, you can just say “Good morning” or “Hello”. People also shake there hands or kiss each other on the cheeks – one or three times.
-Kissing a woman on the hand is considered an old-fashioned custom and is more common among older generation.
-When visiting someone at home, guests usually bring small gifts for a hostess such as flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine.
-When buying flowers, remember to buy an odd number, because an even number is bought for funerals.
-When entering someone’s house, guests usually take their shoes off. Guest slippers can be offered to wear instead.
-Men do not wear hats or caps indoors.
-A meal does not start without a host.
-It is the host who offers the first toast. The most common one is “Na zdrowie” which means “To your health”.
-Elderly people are treated with respect.
-Younger passengers should give up their seat to elderly passengers or a pregnant woman on public transportation.
-When greeting you should wait for the older person to extend their hand first. When addressing an older person, use titles or surnames and wait to be invited before moving to first names.
-Gentlemen give way at the door and open it for women and let them walk first.
-Asking some personal questions is considered impolite. Do not ask questions such as ‘How much money do you earn?’, ‘How much do you weigh?’ or ‘Why aren’t you married?’
-When yawning or coughing, always cover your mouth with your hand.
The rules may seem numerous, however remember that Polish people are rather tolerant and friendly so they will rather laugh at your faux pas than hold a grudge.