What’s on in Poland in October 2020: weather, dates to remember, the best places in Poland to admire autumn leaves and fall foliage, things you can’t miss in Poland in October

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Weather in Poland in October

The weather in Poland in October differs each year and is difficult to predict – one day you can enjoy sunny weather and the other it’s cold and rainy (usually, there are no frosts that can occur in Poland in November). The average temperature in October in Poland is 9°C / 48°F (just like in April). The average rainfall level in Poland in October is 46 mm (lower than in September).

The Polish name for October – październik (quite a tongue twister, isn’t it?) comes from the word paździerze meaning the dry stalks of flax.

In October, days in Poland get noticeably shorter and in this transition month, you can be surprised how early the sun goes down in the evening. The length of the day goes from 11 hours 35 min. on October 1 to 9 hours 39 min. on October 31. Sunrise on October 31 will be at 6.30 am, sunset at 4.08 pm(data for Warsaw).

Read more about the weather in Poland in autumn and changes in nature you can’t miss.

Dates to remember in Poland in October 2020

  • October 14

Teachers’ Day in Poland (Dzień Nauczyciela)
In Polish schools, there are no regular classes on this day. Students give teachers flowers and/or other gifts. Usually, there is the inauguration event for first-grade students (called in Polish ślubowanie) and older kids either do not go to school or have some fun activities.

  • October 25

Time change (zmiana czasu)
On Sunday night, October 25, at 03:00 am clocks are turned backward 1 hour to 02:00 am. The European Union lawmakers decided to end the twice-a-year (March and October) custom of time changes throughout the European Union, leaving member states the freedom to decide their standard time. In Poland, consultations were carried out on changing the time – 78 percent of Poles are in favor of not changing clocks. The government data shows that most Poles prefer summer time. It is not yet known whether the last time change in Poland will take place in 2021 – there are no new legal regulations yet. Click here to find out more in our post about the time changes in Poland.

  • October 31

Halloween
Halloween celebrations are relatively new in Poland. A few years ago, it was almost impossible to buy a pumpkin this time of year in Poland! Now pumpkin carving and pumpkin decorations are more and more popular at Polish schools and homes. In bars and restaurants in Poland, there are themed Halloween parties for adults and costume parties for kids at schools. More and more children in Poland dress up in costumes for Halloween and travel from house to house playing trick or treat (in Polish: cukierek albo psikus).

 Sunday trade ban in Poland in October 2020

In October 2020, there is no shopping Sunday in Poland. The next shopping Sunday is on December 13 and December 20. Click here to read our post about shopping Sundays in Poland in 2020 and 2021. Read our post with the list of online stores in Poland delivering groceries to home.

Things you can’t miss in Poland in October

Pumpkin – the queen of October

In October, the harvest of potatoes, carrots, parsley, beets, and celery ends in Poland. Pumpkin takes over and becomes the queen of October!
Until recently, pumpkin was not popular in Poland. It was grown mainly in home gardens, used for pumpkin in vinegar preserves or for their dried seeds (as a snack). However, a dozen or so years ago Poles finally fell in love with pumpkin and pumpkin dishes entered the menu of Polish families – the most popular of them include soups (typical for Poland!), cakes as well as bread and rolls with pumpkin seeds.

Make the most of the last fresh local products

As nature gets ready for the wintertime, it’s also time for us to fill pantries. Vegetable stalls in Poland in October still offer various species of forest mushrooms, however, there are usually fewer of them than in September. Polish seasonal fruits are almost gone compared to summer, but you can still enjoy local apples, pears, and all kinds of plums. The Polish grapes are fully ripe already. You can experiment with rare and nutrient-rich Polish fruits available in October: quince (pigwa), rosehip (dzika róża), cranberry (żurawina) or hawthorn berry (głóg). 

Polish apple a day

Poland is a paradise for everyone who loves apples and believes that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” (and Polish version: “Jedno jabłko dnia każdego i lekarza nie trzeba żadnego” or “Kto przed snem jabłko zażywa ze smakiem, ten swojego doktora uczyni biedakiem“). Poland is the fourth-largest producer of apples (3 million tons per year!). The diversity of apple trees in Poland disappeared with the development of industrial orchards, however, in recent years, we have seen “the come back” of old varieties of Polish apples, including antonówki, kosztele, szare renety, sztetyny, malinówki, papierówki. They don’t look so perfect but their taste is unique! The Botanical Garden in Warsaw/Powsin has collected and grown over 400 old varieties of apple trees!

The best places in Poland to admire autumn leaves and fall foliage

The Japanese Garden (Ogród Japoński) in the city of Wrocław

The history of the Japanese Garden in Wrocław dates back to 1913 when it was established as part of the World Exhibition. The garden was revitalized in 1996 and restored again in 1999 after the flood.
The garden is not large, but situated in an interesting and convenient location – during one trip you can visit the Wrocław zoo, Hala Stulecia (Centennial Hall building listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) or take a walk in the neighboring park – Park Szczytnicki.
Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm (April 1 to October 31); from November 1 to March 31 the garden is closed. Tickets are available at the Japanese Garden ticket office at the entrance. Regular ticket 8 PLN, reduced ticket 5 PLN, family ticket 20 PLN, children under 3 years old free entrance.

Arboretum Forest Educational Center in Rogów near Łódź, 100 km from Warsaw

Maple leaves in fall foliage colors in this garden look amazing! The Arboretum Forest Educational Center in Rogów  is one of the biggest (over 50 hectares) botanical gardens in Poland. The Arboretum in Rogów has one of the most valuable plant collections in Europe. It’s “a forest park”, located in the thinned-out area of the forest.  Our tips in English on visiting the Arboretum in Rogów.

Photo source: www.arboretum.sggw.pl

Skałki Twardowskiego Rocks and Zakrzówek Park, 5 km from the city of Kraków

The Zakrzówek Lagoon was created in 1990 after the old limestone quarry was flooded (the water here has a beautiful turquoise color – all thanks to the deposits of limestone that were once mined here; this is also the place where the future Pope Karol Wojtyła worked in the quarry during World War II).
A two-year plan for the development of the Zakrzówek Lagoon has been announced in order to make it available for recreation (so far it is forbidden to swim).
The Old Town of Kraków is visible from several viewpoints on the hill and rocks.
Where does the name of the rocks (the rocks of Twardowski) come from? According to the legend, Master Twardowski ran a school of magic and sorcery among the surrounding cliffs. One day, during an unsuccessful experiment, the laboratory exploded and the explosion created picturesque rocks named after the Master.

Łazienki Royal Garden in the city of Warsaw

The huge park surrounding the summer residence of the last Polish king. A must-see on your Warsaw (and Polish) bucket list! It can be crowded during weekends but it’s also big enough to have a quiet walk in less popular parts of the garden. Amazing during each season – kids can collect chestnuts and colorful leaves during fall, build a snowman and ride a sled during wintertime, observe squirrels in spring, and lie on the grass in summer.

More fall foliage spots in Poland in our new post.

COVID-19 regulations and restrictions in Poland

From Saturday, October 10, the yellow zone restrictions apply to the entire territory of Poland

New restrictions in YELLOW zone from Saturday, October 17, 2020

  • Restaurants, bars, pubs opening hours: 6 am – 9 pm. Every other table may be occupied. Restricting the opening hours of the restaurant does not apply to the preparation of food to go and home deliveries.
  • Universities and high schools – hybrid/mixed system.
  • Public transportation – 50% of the seats or 30% of the total number of seating and standing places.
  • Limiting the number of participants in family gatherings, weddings: 20 people (these changes apply from October 19, 2020).
  • Sporting events without an audience.
  • Swimming pools, aquaparks, gyms CLOSED.
  • Cultural events – 25% of the available seats.
  • Religious ceremonies may be attended by max. 1 person per 4m2.
  • A maximum of 25 people may participate in public gatherings.
New restrictions in RED zone from Saturday, October 17, 2020

  • Universities and high schools – CLOSED/remote learning.
  • Limiting the number of people in shops to 5 people per 1 cash register.
  • Ban on organization of family gatherings, weddings (from October 19, 2020).
  • Religious ceremonies may be attended by max. 1 person per 7m2.
  • A maximum of 10 people may participate in public gatherings.

In addition, the same safety rules apply in the red zone as in the yellow zone:

  • Restaurants, bars, pubs opening hours: 6 am – 9 pm. Every other table may be occupied. Restricting the opening hours of the restaurant does not apply to the preparation of food to go and home deliveries.
  • Public transportation – 50% of the seats or 30% of the total number of seating and standing places.
  • Sporting events without an audience.
  • Cultural events – 25% of the available seats.
  • Swimming pools, aquaparks, gyms CLOSED.
Yellow and red zones in Poland

  • From August 9, counties/poviats (powiaty in Polish) in Poland are divided into 3 zones (red, yellow, and green) depending on the increase in infections.
  • From Saturday, October 10, the yellow zone restrictions apply to the entire territory of Poland.
  • Click here to find the current list of areas with additional restrictions (red and yellow zones).
  • From October 9, the Government Security Center will be sending SMS messages to the inhabitants of the counties/poviats that have entered the red zone.

Air connections in Poland update (October 14 – 27)

  • The new flight ban does not apply to the member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area, the Schengen Area, and Ukraine.
  • Ban on flights to Poland from the following countries until October 27, 2020: Belize; Montenegro; Brazil; Georgia; Jordan; Bahrain; Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Israel; Qatar; Kuwait; Libya; The United Arab Emirates; Argentina; Armenia; Chile; Iraq; Colombia; Costa Rica; Lebanon; Maldives; Moldova; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Tunisia; Cape Verde; United States of America; Oman; Bahamas.
  • The list was compiled based on the analysis of the epidemiological status in a given country (by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control), taking into account the 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. The list includes countries with more than 90 cases per 100,000 people.
  • The ban does not apply to countries that have introduced the solution ensuring that only passengers who have passed the SARS-CoV-2 test with a negative result will be accepted on board of the aircraft.

Find out more in our post with weekly updates on coronavirus regulations and restrictions in Poland.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletters in English to explore Poland and to learn about Poland! Once a month you will receive a Newsletter:Explore Poland with Kids. You will find there featured family-friendly destinations in Poland, handpicked events in selected Polish cities, dates to remember and things to do in Poland in a given month:


Click on the photos below to read other posts:

fall foliage spots in Poland

Botanical gardens in Poland

public holidays in autumn in Poland

castles in Poland

Coronavirus situation in Poland