Where to get essential items in Poland


This guide will help you with where to get the basic items you may need when arriving into Poland.

If you are arriving into Poland to escape the conflict in Ukraine, the Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski has stated ‘We will do everything to provide safe shelter in Poland for everyone who needs it.’

If you have no place to stay, you can access a reception point where you will be provided with a hot meal, drink, basic medical assistance and a place to rest. These services are provided for free.

You can read the guide on entering Poland from Ukraine for information on the procedure for crossing the Polish border. You can also find what documents are required, as well as where to turn for help after crossing the border.

There is also a list of important addresses and contact numbers for Ukrainians in Poland, which you may find useful.

If you need to buy some basic items, you can read below to find places to buy food, medicine, clothing, transport tickets, mobile services, and accommodation in Poland.

These links will take you to Google maps showing locations close to the Medyka border crossing, and around Poland.


In Poland, some of the most popular supermarkets are:


In the Polish language, ‘Apteka’ is the word for pharmacy. Some pharmacies are open 24/7, these can be found by searching for ‘Apteka Całodobowa' which means 24/7 pharmacy.

You can buy a wide variety of painkillers, vitamins and cold treatments even without prescription in any Polish supermarket, drugstore or kiosk.¹

Here are a few pharmacy chains you’ll find in the country:

The closest pharmacy to Medyka is the Apteka Medyka.

Hygiene products

In 2021, Gdańsk became the first city in Poland to provide free sanitary products to residents. You can access these by finding the allocated pink boxes in municipal offices, as well as at the headquarters of the Gdańsk Benefit Center, and at the Social Work Center.

Outside the city of Gdańsk, you can buy sanitary products in most supermarkets and pharmacies.


There are various low-cost clothing stores in Poland where you can pick up the essentials, including the following shops:

For second-hand clothes, try the following stores:

The closest place to find a variety of clothes stores close to the Medyka border is Przemyśl. Larger outlet centers and stores are available in Warsaw.

Pet products

If you have a pet, the largest animal supply store chain in Poland is:

Each town has smaller local pet food stores, to search for these you can look for ‘sklep zoologiczny’, which means pet store in Polish.

Transport services

Public transport is popular in Polish cities, and there’s a variety of ways you can get around the country. Here are some of the most common options:

  • Bus
  • Tram
  • Trolleybus
  • Train
  • Metro

To make the most of the country’s bus network, it’s worth going to your local city transportation office to register for a long-term ticket. You can also do this online in most major Polish cities, using the following links:

Warsaw - Warszawski Transport Publiczny

Kraków - Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne w Krakowie

Gdańsk - Zarząd Transportu Miejskiego w Gdańsku

Wrocław - Centrum Informacji Urzędu Miejskiego we Wrocławiu

Poznań - Zarządu Transportu Miejskiego w Poznaniu

Łódź - Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne - Łódź

Katowice - Zarząd Transportu Metropolitalnego w Katowicach

Poland also has rental bike services, which you can use as an affordable way to get around the city. The largest city bike network is run by Nextbike. Medium to large cities will usually have their own city bikes, which you need a bank account to use:

There are also several taxi and car-sharing services available in the country, including the following:

🔍 You can read the guide to getting into and moving around Poland for further information.

Mobile prepaid

Two of the main mobile service providers in Poland offer support for Ukrainians:

Each service provider offers prepaid SIM cards. For more information on prices, limits, and more, you can visit the official websites.


The following classified listing sites are all reliable options for seeking longer term accommodation:

You can also find local Facebook groups that will help you find your feet, and can inform you about the various neighborhoods and amenities in the city.

Translation apps for Polish phrases

For quick translations, Google Translate can be the most convenient solution.

There are also apps available, such as the Ukrainian to Polish translator app by Klays-development.

We’re committed to doing everything we can to help people in Ukraine today. We’ve created a community support page to help those who are currently unsure what they can do. Whether you want to donate, or you’re in Ukraine seeking refuge, we hope some of this information is useful.

  1. Health - medical stores in Poland

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