Unless you’re a brazen Canadian who’s dealt with terrible weather most of his life (yes, this is a veiled complaint), Poland is hardly an ideal warmth-and-sunshine vacation spot. As much as I adore travelling through Poland—soaking up the regal history of Krakow, marvelling at the post-war resurgence of Warsaw or sucking in the mountain air of the High Tatras—the weather in Poland doesn’t quite match its top-notch travel destination status.
Knowing the best time to visit Poland avoids that awkward moment of standing under an umbrella—chilled and soaked to the bone—cursing yourself for choosing to spend your hard-earned vacation days in this cold and grey country in Central Europe.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case! In this Poland weather guide, I attempt to answer the surprisingly difficult question: “When should I visit Poland?” Each section—broken down first by season and then by month—includes an overview of what to expect along with suggestions on how to plan your itinerary and what to pack to stay comfortable. Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
- Weather in Poland: An overview
- Poland Weather By Season
- Poland Weather By Month
- The verdict: When is the best time to visit Poland?
Weather in Poland: An overview
Travellers who love Poland will rarely feel the same about Polish weather! Even if you only spend as little as 10 days in Poland, you’re bound to run into some rough weather.
Poland sports a typical European continental climate with four clearly distinguishable seasons. Summers are generally hot and wet while winters are cold and grey.
Spring and autumn, two of the best times of year to travel in Poland, fall somewhere between. But that’s certainly, as you’ll see, oversimplifying things. The only thing predictable about Polish weather is that it’s impossible to predict!
Swooping over the weather in Poland in one swoop is admittedly difficult. This is meant to be less a complete guide than a general introduction of when to go to Poland.
To get a better idea of when you should travel to Poland, you’ll need to dig deeper into the individual regions and cities you’re thinking of visiting. You’ll notice, for example, a big difference between Gdansk on the Baltic Coast and Zakopane in the High Tatras on any given day.
Wherever possible, I’ve included hints on some of the best places to visit in Poland at specific times of year. Even with Poland’s unpredictable weather, there’s always somewhere to be and something to do year-round—as long as you’re prepared!
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Poland Weather By Season
Spring in Poland
- When is spring in Poland: From late March until May.
- What to expect in spring in Poland: The official start of spring in March brings a wave of warmer weather, at least in comparison to the chilly temperatures of winter. Spring is one of the best times to visit Poland as the weather becomes increasingly warm moving into late April and May. Rain is also less frequent in spring than in summer with more comfortable temperatures.
- What to wear in Poland in spring: Even with the warmer temperatures, throw a rain jacket into a small backpack to keep dry from the always-lingering possibility of showers. For hiking in places like Morskie Oko, grab yourself a good pair of waterproof hiking shoes to battle the spring puddles.
Summer in Poland
- When is summer in Poland: From June until August.
- What to expect in summer in Poland: The unpredictability of Polish weather is never more obvious than in the summer. Between bouts of sunshine and soaring temperatures, expect frequent rainshowers and quick-brewing storms to sullen your mood. The weather hardly stops the hordes from descending unto Poland’s top destinations. Summer is the tourism high season in Poland when accommodation availability get sopped up fast and prices rise along with the mercury. Visiting Poland towards the end of summer in late August is more pleasant for both weather and crowds.
- What to wear in Poland in summer: The hot temperatures allow for lighter packing. On most summer days, T-shirts and shorts are perfectly comfortable. Bring along a compact travel umbrella and a lightweight waterproof jacket for the inevitable rainstorms.
Autumn in Poland
- When is autumn in Poland: From September to November.
- What to expect in autumn in Poland: Don’t expect the unpredictability of Polish weather to let up in fall! As with most of the year, autumn weather in Poland changes at the drop of a hat. Late September and October are still pleasantly warm making autumn one of the best times of the year to travel to Poland. November is, like nearby Germany or Czech Republic, often cold and wet. If you’re lucky while travelling to Poland in fall you’ll catch some of the famously sunny days of the “Polish golden autumn” (złota polska jesień).
- What to wear in Poland in autumn: In the cold and wet days of autumn, packing a warm waterproof coat is always a good idea. Wearing warmer clothing set in layers will give flexibility. For outdoor activities, don some good waterproof shoes to keep your feet dry and warm.
Winter in Poland
- When is winter in Poland: From December to early March.
- What to expect in winter in Poland: For those unaccustomed to colder winters, don’t expect winter to be the most comfortable time of year to travel in Poland. Heavy winds and snowfall chill the experience, especially in eastern Poland and in the High Tatras around Zakopane. Average temperatures usually range between 0ºC (32ºF) and -10ºC (14ºF). Dips to below -20ºC (-4ºF) aren’t uncommon. While the much of Poland is quiet, tourists flock to the mountain ski resort of Zakopane with gusto despite the winter chill. Book far ahead of time if you’re planning to head down here.
- What to wear in Poland in winter: The best advice is to bundle up! With temperatures dropping below 0ºC frequently, a weatherproof winter coat will come in handy. Pack warm sweaters, toques, and gloves into your travel backpack if undertaking outdoor activities in Poland in winter. A pair of warm and sturdy winter boots will also protect your feet from the cold.
Poland Weather By Month
- Overview of weather in Poland in January: With the Polish winter deep upon you, January is on average one of the two coldest months of the year. It’s also one of the driest. Expect average highs throughout Poland to hover around the 0ºC (32ºF) and average lows to dip anywhere between -3ºC (25ºF) in Warsaw and -6ºC (21ºF) in Zakopane.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 0ºC / 32ºF -5ºC / 23ºF -3ºC / 27ºF Gdansk 1ºC / 34ºF -4ºC / 25ºF -2ºC / 28ºF Zakopane -1ºC / 30ºF -6ºC / 21ºF -4ºC / 25ºF Warsaw 0ºC / 32ºF -3ºC / 25ºF -2ºC / 28ºF
- Where to go in Poland in January: Poland’s ski season hits full swing in January when winter-lovers take to the slopes in top Polish mountain resorts like Zakopane. Book ahead if you’re looking to avoid disappointment.
- Overview of weather in Poland in February: Expect cool winter temperatures to continue into February. On average February is the coldest month in Krakow and Warsaw, but also one of the driest.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 1ºC / 34ºF -5ºC / 23ºF -2ºC / 28ºF Gdansk 1ºC / 34ºF -3ºC / 25ºF -2ºC / 28ºF Zakopane 0ºC / 32ºF -6ºC / 21ºF -3ºC/27ºF Warsaw 0ºC / 32ºF -5ºC / 23ºF -3ºC / 27ºF
- Where to go in Poland in February: The winter activities continue unabated around the country, particularly Poland’s favourite winter wonderland of Zakopane in the High Tatras.
- Overview of weather in Poland in March: After a cool winter, temperatures throughout Poland start to pick up along with increased precipitation as both snow and cool rains.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 7ºC / 45ºF 0ºC / 32ºF 4ºC / 39ºF Gdansk 4ºC / 39ºF -3ºC / 27ºF 1ºC / 34ºF Zakopane 4ºC / 39ºF -3ºC / 27ºF 1ºC / 34ºF Warsaw 6ºC / 43ºF -1ºC / 30ºF 3ºC / 37ºF
- Where to go in Poland in March: The ski season in Zakopane is still kickin’ in March. Although ski conditions are generally better earlier on in the year, especially January, you should be able to get some good runs in with relatively mild weather.
- Overview of weather in Poland in April: Heading into April, the temperatures continue to rise, leaving winter well behind. The end of the month in particular sees increasingly comfortable mild weather. While the spring rainfall is ramping up in southern Poland, signalling the official end of the ski season, much of the country remains relatively dry by Polish standards.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 12ºC / 54ºF 3ºC / 37ºF 8ºC / 46ºF Gdansk 10ºC / 50ºF 1ºC / 34ºF 6ºC / 43ºF Zakopane 8ºC / 46ºF 1ºC / 34ºF 5ºC / 41ºF Warsaw 12ºC / 54ºF 3ºC / 37ºF 8ºC / 46ºF
- Where to go in Poland in April: The spring meltdown and increasing rainfall make outdoor activities in the south of the country, such as the hike to Morskie Oko, more difficult. Cities like Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Poznan start to spring to life in April, recovering from their long cold winters. April is on average drier than summer, making it a great month to explore Poland’s best travel destination before the summer tourist hordes, heatwaves and storms descend.
- Overview of weather in Poland in May: One of the best times of year to travel to Poland is late spring and May. The temperatures extend into far more pleasant ranges without the heavy rains that characterize much of the summer in Poland.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 20ºC / 68ºF 8ºC / 46ºF 14ºC / 57ºF Gdansk 16ºC / 61ºF 6ºC / 43ºF 11ºC / 52ºF Zakopane 16ºC / 61ºF 5ºC / 41ºF 11ºC / 52ºF Warsaw 19ºC / 66ºF 8ºC / 46ºF 14ºC / 57ºF
- Where to go in Poland in May: The southern High Tatras around Zakopane experience a torrent of precipitation heading into the rainy season. May offers one of the best combinations of mild temperatures and sunny days for travelling throughout much of Poland. With high season just on the horizon, May is the perfect time to dig into cities like Gdansk, Krakow or Wroclaw before the summer holidays hit.
- Overview of weather in Poland in June: Overall, June is the wettest month in Poland, particularly in Warsaw and Zakopane. The weather is however pleasantly warm.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 22ºC / 72ºF 11ºC / 52ºF 17ºC / 63ºF Gdansk 18ºC / 64ºF 9ºC / 48ºF 14ºC / 57ºF Zakopane 19ºC / 66ºF 7ºC / 45ºF 13ºC / 55ºF Warsaw 21ºC / 70ºF 11ºC / 52ºF 16ºC / 61ºF
- Where to go in Poland in June: There’s no better time than June to head to Wroclaw for its Good Beer Festival, a celebration of refreshing Polish and international brews. The summer high season begins in June so expect major tourist cities like Gdansk, Poznan, Krakow, and Warsaw to start picking up steam. Book your rooms well in advance.
- Overview of weather in Poland in July: The hottest month in Poland and one of the wettest, July is the most popular months to visit Poland, though, in my opinion, not necessarily one of the best. Average rainfall in Poland’s top destination, Krakow, is at its yearly peak. And like in other Central European destinations, the heat in July can get downright oppressive and uncomfortable.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 25ºC/77ºF 12ºC/54ºF 19ºC/66ºF Gdansk 21ºC/70ºF 12ºC/54ºF 17ºC/63ºF Zakopane 20ºC/68ºF 9ºC/48ºF 15ºC/59ºF Warsaw 23ºC/73ºF 13ºC/55ºF 18ºC/64ºF
- Where to go in Poland in July: Most of the country becomes blanketed in frequent rainfalls, heat and humidity throughout July. The best places to visit in Poland, especially the ever-popular Krakow, are often overcrowded. Not only does that mean more waiting and less space, but also higher prices for accommodation. Lesser-known Polish destinations like Torun, Tarnow, Zamosc or Lublin might be less inconvenient during high season.
Want to travel beyond Krakow in the summer? Check out out guide to the best things to do in Warsaw!
- Overview of weather in Poland in August: Rainfall throughout Poland, except the northern coast, drops from July to August. Warm temperatures still remain steady into late August as the holidays draw to a close.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 24ºC / 75ºF 12ºC / 54ºF 18ºC / 64ºF Gdansk 21ºC / 70ºF 12ºC / 54ºF 17ºC / 63ºF Zakopane 20ºC / 68ºF 9ºC / 48ºF 15ºC / 59ºF Warsaw 23ºC / 73ºF 12ºC / 54ºF 18ºC / 64ºF
- Where to go in Poland in August: Escape to the northern coast for the quintessential Polish beach experience. Water temperatures around Gdansk and the resort areas on the Baltic are at their warmer in August. During most of August, Gdansk is also embroiled in celebration as the St. Dominic Fair rolls in.
- Overview of weather in Poland in September: Although summer’s past its apex, September is one of the best months of the year to travel to Poland. Temperatures throughout the month are still pleasantly warm with lower rainfall than during the spring shoulder season. By now, a sizeable chunk of tourists have returned home to take on new school years and get back to the grind.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 19ºC / 66ºF 9ºC / 48ºF 14ºC / 57ºF Gdansk 16ºC / 61ºF 8ºC / 46ºF 12ºC / 54ºF Zakopane 13ºC / 55ºF 6ºC / 43ºF 10ºC / 50ºF Warsaw 18ºC / 64ºF 9ºC / 48ºF 14ºC / 57ºF
- Where to go in Poland in September: Poland is close to its best in September. The fall colours haven’t yet emerged, but the warm and sunny leftover summer days (with fewer tourists to get in your way) make travelling nearly anywhere in country special. September is a great month for music lovers with the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music and Rawa Blues Festival in Katowice rolling in.
- Overview of weather in Poland in October: Not as warm as September but generally more pleasant than November, October is among the best months to visit Poland. That’s assuming you don’t mind the slowly descending temperatures. Throughout much of the country, rainfall is lower or at least equal to September.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 13ºC / 55ºF 5ºC / 41ºF 9ºC / 48ºF Gdansk 11ºC / 52ºF 4ºC / 39ºF 8ºC / 46ºF Zakopane 10ºC / 50ºF 3ºC / 37ºF 7ºC / 45ºF Warsaw 13ºC / 55ºF 5ºC / 41ºF 9ºC / 48ºF
- Where to go in Poland in October: Rainfall in southern Poland decreases significantly into October. Take advantage of drier days and the explosion of fall colours to go hiking around Zakopane, one of the best day trips from Krakow (for others check out this guide). Towards the end of the month, movie lovers should warp over to Warsaw for the Warsaw Film Festival.
- Overview of weather in Poland in November: Like October, November is reasonably dry throughout most of Poland, especially in comparison to the wet summer. The caveat is that temperatures in November in Poland begin to dip into uncomfortable territory. Even with the lower rainfall, days are grey and cold, especially towards the end of the month when sub-zero temperatures are always a possibility.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 5ºC / 41ºF 0ºC / 32ºF 3ºC / 37ºF Gdansk 4ºC / 39ºF 0ºC / 32ºF 2ºC / 36ºF Zakopane 3ºC / 37ºF -2ºC / 28ºF 1ºC / 43ºF Warsaw 5ºC / 41ºF 1ºC / 34ºF 3ºC / 37ºF
- Where to go in Poland in November: The northern coast is at its wettest during November. Other parts of Poland including Krakow, Wroclaw and Poznan are more pleasant than Gdansk or Sopot. Even so, November drags in cooler temperatures with a noticeable drop from October. Dress warmly with a waterproof winter coat wherever you decide to go in Poland.
- Overview of weather in Poland in December: The first month of winter in Poland lives up to its name. Temperatures throughout much of the country often peek below 0ºC (32ºF). Snow is, of course, always a possibility in December. Be sure to bundle up with warm outerwear, toques, gloves, and waterproof boots wherever you choose to visit.
City Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Temp Krakow 2ºC / 36ºF -3ºC / 27ºF -1ºC / 30ºF Gdansk 1ºC / 34ºF -4ºC / 25ºF -2ºC / 28ºF Zakopane 1ºC / 34ºF -4ºC / 25ºF -2ºC / 28ºF Warsaw 1ºC / 34ºF -2ºC / 28ºF -1ºC / 30ºF
- Where to go in Poland in December: With most of the tourists reaching for warmer climes, Poland is fairly quiet in December. The holiday season brings colour to Krakow as its Christmas markets jump into full swing. Under a thin blanket of snow and lit with festive cheer Krakow is perhaps even at its most magical!
The verdict: When is the best time to visit Poland?
The best month to visit Poland is May or September.
Why Visit Poland in May?
With the cold winter left long behind, May brings (finally!) warm temperatures to much of Poland. Although generally rainier than April, the temperature boost in May is enough to give it a thumbs up over visiting earlier in the spring.
Firmly in the shoulder season, May is a fantastic time to go to Poland for escaping the crowds of summer. Tourism numbers in Poland are much lower in May than in June when high season ramps up.
The result is better availability for accommodations and cheaper prices. May is also much drier than summer when rainshowers collude with intense heat and humidity to sully your travel experience.
Why Visit Poland in September?
Like May, September sits in the tourism shoulder season. Most of the crowds that swarm popular Polish destinations like Krakow have returned home by September, leaving the country ripe for off-season exploration.
Temperatures throughout Poland are still warm and comfortable in September. Rainfall also slopes down to more manageable and drier levels compared to the hot and wet Polish summer. September is on the whole even drier than May, especially in Zakopane and the High Tatras, even if slightly cooler.