Poland shares a border with seven countries: Germany, the Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania. Because they are all part of the European Union, travel between Poland and Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania is completed without border checks; however, border guards have the power to undertake random identity checks, if necessary. For the other countries, immigration paperwork must be completed.
Poland's shortest border, about 56 miles, is with Lithuania. The next longest border, 128 miles, runs along Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast region. The Belarus border is about 253 miles long, Slovakia's border is 276 miles, the German border is 283 miles and the Ukraine's is 327 miles. Poland's longest shared border, about 409 miles, is with the Czech Republic. Poland also has a 305-mile coastline along the Baltic Sea.
After World War I, an independent Poland extended farther east than contemporary borders. Its longest shared border was with the Soviet Union, and Poland had little access to the sea.
Poland's borders changed again following World War II. The Allies awarded some of the country's eastern land to the Soviet Union. Many of the Poles in these areas relocated to western parts of their country. It is estimated that one-third of Poland's population had to move either during or after the war.