It's easy to misjudge a country before you've even arrived, but there are levels to doing so - and we think it's safe to say that nobody got Poland wrong more so than we did.

From not really thinking all too much about a trip there to quite literally considering it to be one of the best nations on the planet, Poland really is on a whole other level.

Our arrogance towards this subject matter was quite clear for all to see, and now, we're going to run through the ten main factors of traveling there that we got oh so very wrong.

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10 The Weather

Cold and rainy, you say? As it turns out, not so much.

Every single season seems to throw up a world of fun new possibilities when it comes to experiencing the Polish weather, and one word we’d never use to describe it is miserable.

There’s just so much character behind it and when you’re able to pass through the seasons and get exactly what you’re anticipating, that’s quite the novelty – especially in a world where climate change has such a stronghold on the way in which we enjoy our weather shifts.

9 The People

The standard argument is that the majority of Polish people are quite cold and closed off, often keeping themselves to themselves. Alas, we found it to be quite the opposite, with every single local we spoke to being friendly, warm and really open to having a mature and adult conversation.

There are going to be a few here and there that don’t live up to that criteria because of course there is, but even with that being the case, our experience really did surprise us in all the right ways.

8 The Food

We had pierogi, we had Polish pancakes, we had Bigos and we had a parade of other delicacies – and they all lived up to the hype.

We weren’t really all too sure what to expect from the cuisine of Poland, to be perfectly honest, but every single restaurant we stepped foot into was able to wow us and get us thinking about what kind of food we actually do (and don’t) enjoy.

Food is an important part of any trip, and we enjoyed what the Poles had to offer here.

7 The Male Stereotypes

We’ve all heard about the stereotypes in question and none of them are particularly acceptable: Polish men are all bold, very intimidating, have piercing eyes and, for the most part, are very, very tough.

As it turns out, even if you fit the billing with those stereotypes, you can be a very bubbly and nice guy that is willing to have an honest to god conversation and interaction.

It’s all about overcoming these perceptions and making strides towards being a bit, well, fairer.

Nobody in this era should be judged without some proper research being done.

6 The Drink

If you’ve never opened your mind and your heart up to the world of Tyskie, which is a well-known beer within Polish culture, then boy oh boy have you been missing out.

Plenty of people don’t enjoy an alcoholic beverage and that’s fine, but even if that’s the case, go and try some of their energy drinks or perhaps just see how fresh and clean their drinking water is.

Again, low expectations can lead to great results, and that’s what we believe unfolded here when it comes to testing the Polish liquids.

5 The History

There’s a perception about the devastating history and particularly recent history of Poland that just feels a bit off-base to us.

The perception is that the Poles were weak, taken advantage of and didn’t particularly showcase all too much restraint. Alas, we’re going to have to push back on that.

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From the uprisings to the manner in which they were able to build so many of their devastated cities, Poland was able to bounce back in a way that very few nations would’ve been able to do.

They’re strong, and their strength should be admired.

4 The Animals

We just didn’t expect Poland to be a nation that particularly embraced the idea of having pets, and we’re happy to have been proven wrong on that.

From dogs to cats to the wildlife running through the forests, it was great to see that the ‘man’s best friend’ stereotype still lives large over there.

Not only that, but they also have some cafes which are specifically designed to be infiltrated by a sea of pets. It’s quite the peculiar visual, but as big animal lovers, we absolutely appreciate the effort.

3 The Prices

Two burgers, two portions of chips & salad and two pints of beer for $10. You just can’t get that kind of value almost anywhere in the world, and by the way, the burgers were pretty much gourmet and that’s a fact.

We can understand why locals make the jump over to Britain because they probably don’t get paid all too much in comparison to the standard price of living, but if you’re a foreigner heading over there for a holiday, you will feel like royalty. It’s so, so affordable.

2 The Beauty

From the cathedrals to the standard office buildings to the museums and beyond, it seems as if you cannot walk down any kind of main square in Polish town or city without stopping and thinking “wow, this is absolutely incredible”.

It looks as if every building has been painted by a master of the art and we aren’t exaggerating.

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Then, when you head out to the countryside, you’ll discover a whole new world of possibilities and enjoyment to be embraced.

Poland may seem like it’s all about the noise, but the quiet serenity is there, too.

1 The Atmosphere

From the history of it all to the stereotypes and beyond you may think that Poland doesn’t have much character or much of a persona to speak of. The reality, though, is very different indeed.

It’s all about opening your eyes and being willing to see the other side of things, because if you’re not, then what’s the point in even trying in the first place?

When we visited Gdansk, Wroclaw and then Warsaw there was music playing in the streets, children laughing, concerts going on and sports fans singing passionately in the streets.

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