Myth #24: Poland is a cold and grim place

Most people associate Eastern Europe (actually Poland is in Central Europe, see Myth #46) with grey skies, icy winds, and blizzards. The number of times I’ve told people in the UK that I live in Poland and get the response “Brrrr, it must be chilly over there!” Well, it is in the winter yes, but they’re always astonished to hear that I’m luxuriating in 30-something-degree temperatures for four months of the year while they’re shuffling around in the perpetual drizzle that masquerades as the British summer. For some inexplicable reason most British people imagine that Poland is somewhere in the Arctic and therefore more or less perpetually under six feet of snow. Weird. Polish summers are lovely, especially down here in the south. You can depend on long stretches of hot sunny weather from late May until late August, and often beyond. When rain does fall it usually does so all at once in evening thunderstorms, which clear up quickly leaving the air fresh and cleansed.

It’s called a continental climate people; hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. Look it up.

Shockingly grim


Brrrrr, ear muffs and fleecy hat weather


More myths? We’ve got a million(ish) of ’em!

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10 thoughts on “Myth #24: Poland is a cold and grim place

  1. wiosanna says:

    I think it is because of Shakespeare who wrote in one of his drama that you can meet in Poland polar bears :)

  2. island1 says:

    Really!!? Do you know where? I’ve always wondered where the ‘Polar bears in Poland’ myth came from. How delicious if it was Shakespeare.

    Btw, this is actually a myth that Polish people believe that foreigners believe about Poland. Actually I never heard of it before I came here!

  3. wiosanna says:

    I haven’t found about bears :( But I found about winters in Poland in Shakespeare, maybe I will ask my friend, because I was sure that I read that somewhere.

    What Did Shakespeare Know About Poland?

  4. darthsida says:

    Try “rugged Russian bear” in Macbeth and meme on: Poland = Russia [both places being Easty-frosty, and you don’t really distinguish state borders when you’re knee-deep in ice.]

  5. island1 says:

    wiosanna: Great stuff, thanks! I have to write a post about this.

    Darth: “The Russian bear” is a well known phrase in English, but it doesn’t have any association with Polar bears to my ear.

  6. wiosanna says:

    I haven’t found anything more. I’ve asked my friends and they don’t know either.

  7. […] Myth #1: Polish people are rude Myth #19: Polish people can drive Myth #21: Polish girls are gorgeous Myth #34: Polish people eat swans Myth #7: Polish people drink a lot Myth #17: Poland is poor Myth #46: Poland is in Eastern Europe Myth #24: Poland is a cold and grim place […]

  8. Oskar Gie says:

    Oh, this myth is especially popular in America, and it’s pretty irritating. About 71% of the first questions I get after saying where I’m from is “Is it cold in Poland?”. The rest just says “oh, cool”, which I suspect means more or less “I know nothing about this place and I don’t want to show it and therefore further strenghten the stereotype of an ignorant American”. Next time I’ll direct them to this page.

  9. island1 says:

    Oskar: Glad to be of service :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Most of ppl think Poland is in Eastern Europe. When they hear Eastern they think about Russian ass freezin, snowy, arctic, anti napoleon winters. I find its funny and im Polish =]

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