Foreign eyes on Poland: Thijmen from The Netherlands

The series called “Foreign eyes on Poland” presents the profiles of people who have any connection to Poland or who have found their home in Poland, or just a favorite place for vacation where they like to return. We will be asking them questions like; what surprised them the most and how the Poles are perceived by foreign eyes; how Poland differs from their country of origin; and whether the behavior of people is different? We will ask them many other issues. Today Thijmen from The Netherlands.

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Name: Thijmen

Country of origin: The Netherlands

Field of studies: Economics & Business Economics


What prompted you to visit Poland?

A Polish friend of mine, which I met during my study, invited me to visit him during the summer holidays in Poland.


Where have you been in Poland and what have you been doing there?

In Poland, I have been to Wroclaw, Cracow and Oświęcim (Auschwitz). There I learned a lot about the history of the cities, their buildings and Poland in general. My friend lives in Wroclaw so he was my guide in this city, which has nice main square with beautiful colored houses. The panorama museum was also worth visiting. In the evening I experienced the nightlife of Wroclaw with its multiple clubs and cheap beer prices. Furthermore, we explored the surroundings of Wroclaw of which I enjoyed the Table Mountains the most. At the top you could see a nice scenery. In Cracow we followed a guide from the Free Walking Tours which gave us small lectures about the different places in the city and their history. Cracow is truly a beautiful city which has also a nice main square. I appreciated it to just walk through the city, because of the atmosphere and nice buildings. In the city center of Cracow I visited the main highlights and outside the center I went into the Salt Mines. At the last day in Poland I visited Auschwitz, which was impressive and in my opinion a good place to visit. All in all, I did a lot of sightseeing.


What did you like most while staying in Poland?

Walking through Cracow, during the day and the night, and enjoying the great presentation skills of the free guide in Cracow, were the best moments of my stay in Poland.


Was there anything that surprised you a lot?

The beautiful architecture of the buildings in Wroclaw and Cracow surprised me a little.


What do you think about Polish people?

I have stayed at two Polish families, in Wroclaw and Cracow, during my holiday. The parents couldn’t speak English, except for one father, but nonetheless they were very hospitable. I did not have to suffer from a lack of food, because there was always more then enough.


Did you like Polish cuisine?

Apart from the fact that there was always a lot of food, it tasted good. The meals are characterized by a lot of meat, for breakfast and for dinner.


What differences between Dutch and Polish cultures did you observe?

There are tons of differences between the Dutch and Polish culture, but I will mention only one. The day-pattern of a Polish person is quite different, because it is common to start to work at 7.00 a.m. and to have dinner in the afternoon (around 4.00 p.m.). In the Netherlands people begin to work from 9.00 a.m. and eat between 6.00-8.00 p.m.


What would you recommend to a person who wanted to visit Poland for the first time?

I really recommend visiting the places I visited and especially when you are in Cracow, trying to find a guide of the Free Walking Tours.


Interview has been prepared by Milosz Krasowski.