What to pack when visiting Poland in winter
During a trip to Poland over the Christmas period, I really struggled with the temperatures. Despite there being glorious sunshine almost every day we were there, Poland temperatures hardly rose above 3°. Day times were just about doable, but the Polish winter nights aren’t forgiving.
Whether you want to pack for Poland in February, or pack for Poland in November, this post is for you.
Poland in winter – what to pack
Winter jackets for Poland
Choosing the right winter jacket is vital when traveling to Poland in winter. My recommendations for winter jackets don’t come cheap, but it’s an investment piece you’ll wear time and time again.
Canada Goose is a retailer specializing in premium outerwear — made in Canada — designed for arctic temperatures. Its range will ward off any winter freezing winds and keep you looking stylish at the same time.
Take the Canada Goose Lorette Parka for women. Along with having a durable waterproof exterior, this long length jacket’s quilted and filled with premium duck down and feathers. A fur-trimmed hood blocks out the cold, and ribbed cuffs keeps wrists nice and toasty. However, most importantly, the Lorette Parka is also suitable for temperatures as low as -20°.
For men, the Canada Goose Emory Parka Coat is a good fit for the Polish winter. It’s 100% duck down and crafted with their Arctic Tech water and wind-resistant fabric. It has a removable fur trim on the hood and can also take temperatures as low as -25°.
Canada Goose Lorette Parka – ideal for Poland in winter. Photo: Lyst.com
Truthfully speaking, I’m a bit biased when it comes to Woolrich, simply because I have the Arctic Parka. As someone who detests the cold, it’s also the best investment piece I own.
As well as being rain, wind and snow resistant, the jacket’s filled with 70% duck down, and 30% feathers. It was originally made in 1972 for Alaskan pipeline workers to fend of the icy weather. That said, this version can definitely withstand Poland in winter!
The Woolrich Fur Trim Arctic Parka is an equally good choice for men. Filled with 90% duck down and 10% feathers, this winter jacket can take sub-zero temperatures. They ethically source the fur in the hood, which can also be removed if you wish.
One advantage Woolrich jackets has over Canada Goose is that the jackets are machine washable. However, I still get mine dry cleaned to maintain it as long as possible.
Me, my Woolrich Arctic Parka and the Dolomites
“Whether you want to pack for Poland in February, or pack for Poland in November, this post is for you.”
Poland in winter – hats, scarves and gloves
Alongside having a quality winter jacket, I never went outside without my winter accessories. These include a cashmere hat, wool gloves and a wool scarf. Forgive the material name dropping, but they kept me incredibly warm in the sub-zero Poland temperatures.
Wool and cashmere scarves
Before purchasing any winter accessory, try to find out the percentage of an item’s material rather than taking the brand’s word. ‘Wool blend’ may in fact be 20% wool, 80% polyester. A scarf like this one is a good choice. Made in Italy, it’s 100% wool, available in 6 different colours, and also ideal for men and women.
Brora is a British brand that made its name making quality Scottish cashmere products. That said, their cashmere scarves are 100%, ethically sourced and made at the same Scottish mill established 200 years ago. Bottom line is, it’s quality you can see and feel.
Get the right accessories for Poland in winter
Wool and cashmere hats
Keeping your head warm in winter not only protects against the cold — it also makes it bearable to stay outdoors. Saying that, my cashmere beanie from Italy is a winter staple, and something essential for surviving a Polish winter.
There are umpteen choices for wool and cashmere hats out there; just check the material content before buying. This unisex cashmere beanie is made from 100% cashmere, available in 5 colors and made in Scotland. It’s soft and lightweight yet will also protect in freezing temperatures.
An equally good pick for men, is this Lacoste hat. This ribbed elastic beanie’s made from 100% merino wool, and also protects ears from the Polish winter chills.
Keep heads warm with a wool or cashmere hat
Wool and cashmere gloves
As much as I love taking photos, it not easy come wintertime when your fingers begin to freeze over. During winter in Poland, my wool gloves with touchscreen fabric were a lifesaver. I never once had to remove them to take photos, and I also managed to get some great shots.
These 100% wool gloves from Torro are an excellent choice for men. It’s made from a conductive material that enables you to tap, scroll and more. It comes in charcoal grey and one also size fits all.
For a cashmere alternative, Jasmine Silk sell high quality, yet affordable, cashmere gloves for men and women. All their products are 100% cashmere, made in Scotland and available in 4 different colours. You can also hand wash these gloves at 30°.
Keep your hands covered
Wool and cashmere socks
One area that people tend to forget about in winter is their feet. Cotton socks are fine in everyday temperatures, but not enough to visit Poland in winter.
German brand Falke has been making quality socks and hosiery since 1895 and their expert craftsmanship shows in their products. Take these women’s knee-high socks. Made from merino wool on the outside, and soft cotton on the inside, your feet, and legs, will thank you.
Falke’s range of women’s hosiery is equally warm and so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re even wearing them! I love these pure matt 100 denier tights so much, I’m on my third pair. What’s more, they’re also a good fit under jeans and leggings.
Men should consider these Lhasa rib socks that are ideal for winter. They’re made from a wool and cashmere blend, are warm, yet breathable, and your feet also won’t get sweaty.
Don’t neglect your feet!
Poland in winter – base layer clothing
Choosing the right base layer clothing for cold weather will ensure you enjoy your time in Poland in winter. Suitable base layer clothing isn’t just for skiing holidays or hiking trips; for me, they’re also a winter wardrobe staple.
Thermal t-shirts are great for winter layering and take up little space in your suitcase. Heatwave Thermalwear have a good range of short, and long-sleeve, thermal t-shirts for men, and affordable too.
For women, North Face sell a wide range of base layers, such as this warm zip neck long sleeve shirt. It’s lightweight, yet also made from a durable and breathable fabric, meaning you’ll stay warm, not sweaty.
Poland in winter – packing list for women
If you’ve made it this far, you won’t be surprised to read that wool and cashmere clothes dominate my luggage. From wool sweaters to cashmere socks, it’s my fabric of choice. For Poland in winter for a 6-night trip, I packed the following:
- 3 wool and 2 cashmere sweaters (round neck and cardigan). Several great brands for men and women include John Smedley, Sandro, Ballantyne and Whistles.
- 2 pairs of thermal leggings (outdoors)
- 2 pairs of jeans
- 3 thermal long-sleeve t-shirts (1 for sleeping; 2 for outdoors)
- 5 pairs of wool and cashmere socks.
- 2 pairs of wool hosiery – German brand Wolford have a quality range, and one that’ll last.
- Sufficient number of underwear! As a rule of thumb, I usually pack 2 more pairs than the length of the trip.
The essential packing list for women
Poland in winter – what shoes to pack?
I’m very practical when it comes to packing clothes, even more so when it comes to shoes. Before, I wouldn’t have hesitated to pack a pair of heels for those ‘you just never know’ occasions. Now, practicality rules, especially when visiting Poland in winter.
I bought my first pair of Sorel 2 years ago and haven’t looked elsewhere. Comfortable yet cute, these boots took me through my winter in the Dolomites, keeping my feet warm and dry. Their women’s styles are varied and built for tackling the elements outdoors.
Sorel has an extensive range of men’s apparel too, including boots, jackets and even slippers.
Where to stay in Warsaw
Experience the best of Polish boutique luxury at H15 Boutique Hotel. Generously-sized and elegant suites, this 4-star boutique hotel’s in a central location, and serves a breakfast worth waking up for.
What are your winter packing staples? Have you traveled to Poland in winter? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to read them.
Till next time, happy boutique travels x
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Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience; a demographic (late 20s onwards) that enjoys glamping over camping, staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels, sampling the local food and wine, cultural activities, and indulging in a spot of wellness on their travels. Read more here…