You are here:
When to travel to Poland: weather and seasons
Poland's climate is temperate with warm summers, crisp, sunny autumns and cold, sometimes wet, winters.
Generally, in north and west Poland the climate is predominantly maritime, with gentle, humid winters and cool, rainy summers, while the eastern part of the country has distinctly continental climate with harsh winters and hotter, drier summers.
Poland's climate can actually be divided into six distinct seasons. There is an early spring (przedwiosnie) of one or two months with alternating wintry and springlike conditions; a predominantly sunny spring; a warm summer with plenty of rain and sunshine; a sunny, warm autumn; a foggy, humid period (przedzimie) signifying the approach of winter and a snow-filled winter of one to three months.
The diversity in Polish weather is mainly due to the collision of the humid Atlantic air with the dry air that blows from the Eurasian interior. This results in a variable climate and considerable problems with weather forecasting. In summer, humid polar-maritime air from the north Atlantic brings clouds, precipitation and cold weather, whereas in winter it causes thaw and fog. There are many proverbs about the unpredictable weather, especially in March and April.
From mid-May to October is the nicest time to visit Poland in terms of weather. In general, the coast has milder weather than the inland regions, and the mountains are cooler than the lowlands.
Spring starts in March with temperatures varying from -1 to +20°C, until about April or May. During the przedwiosnie, which is about a month long, the average daily air temperature ranges from 0°C to 5°C.
The long-awaited summer, with temperatures often above 20°C, begins in May and is about four months long. It is predominantly warm but hot at times (with temperature reaching as high as 35-40°C at least once per year), with plenty of sunshine interlaced with heavy rains (summer precipitation is often twice that of winter).
The hottest month is July with the average temperature standing at 16-19°C. The hottest area is central Poland, with average temperatures exceeding 18°C. The highest temperatures are recorded near Wroclaw, on the Wroclaw Plain. This is the only area in Poland where the annual average temperature is over 8°C. Hot days, when the temperature exceeds 25°C, occur from May to September.
The coldest area in July is the mountains, where the air temperature drops as the altitude increases. In the summit areas of the Tatras and Sudetes, the average air temperature in July is just about 9°C.
The traditional "golden Polish autumn" in September is usually sunny and dry, with temperatures around 15°C. Early autumn is generally sunny and warm before a period of rainy, colder weather in November begins the transition into winter. In autumn, the average temperature drops to between 5°C and 15°C.
In winter, polar-continental air often becomes dominant, bringing crisp, frosty weather, with still colder Arctic air following in its wake. Winter lasts about three months (December-February)in Poland, but can be so severe that in many northern regions temperatures drop to -30°C. Sub-zero temperatures are recorded between November and March.
The average annual temperature in Poland ranges from 5–7°C in the hilly Pomeranian and Masurian lake districts and in the uplands to 8–10°C in the belt of the sub-Carpathian basins, the Silesian Lowland and the Wielkopolska Lowland.
Sunshine reaches its maximum over the Baltic in summer and the Carpathians in winter, and mean annual temperatures range from 8°C (46°F) in the southwestern lowlands to 7°C (44°F) in the colder northeast. The Baltic coast, influenced by moderating west winds, has cooler summers and warmer winters. Temperatures in Warsaw range, on average, from -6° to -1°C (21–30°F) in January and from 13° to 24°C (55–75°F) in July.
Climate in Poland
Fahrenheit and centigrade, inches and millimetres, average values.
Our other Poland pages:
Useful facts, dates and links to help you plan your tour of Poland