Practical information

City

Białystok, with a population of nearly 300,000, is the largest city of Northeastern Poland and the capital of the Podlasie Region. Its location near the borders with Belarus, Lithuania and Russia creates good conditions for the development of economic and cultural connections with Eastern European countries.

Białystok plays a role of administrative, economic, scientific and cultural centre of this part of the country. Because of its unique ecological assets, it is called The Green Lung of Poland. The location in a region that is ecologically clean and full of tourist attractions, not to mention well-developed infrastructure, makes Białystok and its surroundings an attractive place to live in, rest and develop tourism. There are many shopping centres, theatres, cinemas, museums, pubs, cafés and the recently opened Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic- European Centre for the Arts.

Białystok began its history in the 15th century. Its specific character has been shaped by the co-existence of many nations, religions, cultures, customs and traditions. The city has always been a place where Polish, Belarusian, Jewish, Lithuanian, German and Russian people meet.

Białystok is a trans-regional academic and scientific centre. About 30,000 people study at public universities like University of Białystok, Białystok Medical University and Białystok University of Technology and several private high schools.

Not far from the city there are natural and historic complexes, unique in European, above all, the Białowieski National Park (the main reserve of European bisons), listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Other parks include the Biebrzański National Park – the largest Polish National Park together with the Narwianski National Park – where many extremely rare species of water and marsh birds are to be found.

Białystok is a lovely city with many sightseeing possibilities and a great place to live and study.

Climate

In Białystok the climate is cold and temperate. In January the average temperature is -5 °C (average minimum -7.7 °C and average maximum -2.2 °C). Winter is the driest season with an average monthly precipitation of 33 mm in January.

Currency / Exchange

The currency of Poland is Polish złoty (1 EUR = 4,29 Polish złoty – at the rate of 14.12.2018). You can exchange foreign currencies (e.g. EUR or USD) in banks or in authorized exchange offices which can be easily found in Białystok (please note, banks will not exchange any foreign bills that are damaged or marked).

International credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, Eurocard) are accepted in the majority of hotels, in many shops & restaurants, and can be used in most ATMs (“bankomat”).

Emergency / First Aid

For emergency medical assistance / police, dial 112.

Electricity

The voltage in Poland is 230 Volts, the power sockets used are of type E.

Insurance

All conference attendees are advised to arrange private travel insurance. The conference organisers and committee accept no liability for personal accidents or damages to property.

Public Transportation

Białystok has a well-developed network of public transportation that is inexpensive and reliable, although often crowded at rush hours. It operates from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets can be obtained from kiosks or drivers. The bus driver does not have change for large notes so participants should prepare the fare amount in advance. The public bus fare is 2,80 Polish złoty. The ticket is valid for travel in one direction in one vehicle.

Taxi services are available 24 hours a day.

Shopping

Most of the shops in Białystok are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Shops in the city centre are usually open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday. All major credit cards are accepted.

Time difference

Local time: GMT+1

University

The University of Białystok was founded in 1997 by transforming the former 29-year old Branch of Warsaw University. Over twenty years, the University of Białystok has become a dynamically growing institution of higher education, the largest in the Podlasie Region, both for the number of research workers, fields of study and forms of education offered as well as the number of students and graduates.

Presently, the University offers education at nine faculties, including one located abroad in Vilnius, Lithuania. Classes and lectures are delivered by approximately 900 academic teachers. At present the University educates over 12,000 students in almost 30 fields of study. It offers 90 different postgraduate courses. The doctoral programmes are provided by five university units: the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Economics and Management, the Faculty of Philology, the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry and the Faculty of History and Sociology. University of Białystok is entitled to confer 10 university degrees of doctor and 5 postdoctoral degrees.

photo by Zbigniew Maj

photo by Witold Danikiewicz

photo by Witold Danikiewicz