October - December

October is the beginning of the second shoulder season. This shoulder season will continue until the middle of November, after which many sights around the country may close for the winter, only reopening in March or April. Do your due diligence and make sure the sights you want to see will be open if you want to visit in November or December. By late November, Poland`s tourist industry enters low season, except for the ski resorts in and around Zakopane, which will see an uptick in visitors as snow begins to fall in large amounts in the mountains. By December, you should see snow in most locales, although it may not be a lot of snow if you are away from the northeast and south of the country. It is also not uncommon, especially as of late, for there to be Decembers with no snow -- even in the Tatras.

Szczecin and Gdansk`s temperatures will be in the mid-50s during the day in October, the mid-40s on a typical November day, and the upper 30s by December. Lows will similarly decline, from the mid-40s in October to below freezing by December. Similar temperature drops can be seen in Torun and Poznan, but since they are further inland, December lows can and will drop into the 20s. Bialystok will see a big chill, with temperatures falling from the low 50s/upper 30s in October to low 30s/low 20s by December. Warsaw, Lodz, Lublin and Wroclaw`s highs in October will be in the mid-50s, only to cool to the low to mid-30s by December, with lows in the 20s and 30s. Lows below freezing will arrive in Krakow and Zakopane by November, as will the snow. Highs in this region average around 55 degrees in early October, and just 35 degrees by the middle of December.

Holidays and Festivals:

Second week in October - Unsound Festival, Krakow. A festival for avant-garde music.

Mid-October - Warsaw Film Festival. Held since 1985, it is one of the largest and most renowned film festivals in the country.

November 1 - All Saints` Day (Dzien Zmarlych). This holiday tends to be celebrated solemnly with family and friends, and many people visit family grave sites on this day. National holiday in Poland.

November 11 - Independence Day (Dzien Niepodleglosci), celebrating the independence of modern-day Poland in 1918 after nearly 125 years of partitions. National holiday in Poland.

November 29 - St. Andrew`s Eve (partying before St. Andrew`s Day; some closures)

December - Christmas market, Krakow. The three-week Christmas market is held in Krakow`s Main Square and is a beautiful sight -- especially when the city is dusted with snow.

Second week in December - Watch Docs, Warsaw, a human rights film festival.

December 24 - Christmas Eve (some closures)

December 25 - Christmas Day (Narodzenie Panskie) National holiday in Poland.

December 26 - Second Day of Christmastide (drugi dzien Bozego Narodzenia). This holiday coincides with St. Stephen's Day (Dzien Swietego Szczepana). The advent of `Boxing Day` has also arrived in Poland; some shops will be open and will offer deep discounts. National holiday in Poland.

December 31 - New Year's Eve (huge street party in Krakow)