About Poland (PL)
Situated in the heart of Central Europe, Poland (PL) enjoys a seasonal climate tempered by the Baltic Sea along its northern coastline. The republic is divided into 16 administrative regions, and bordered by seven countries, notably Germany to the west, and Ukraine to the east. Geographically, Poland is defined by a number of land variations radiating southward from the Baltic Ridge. Its capital and largest city, Warsaw, is located in the center of the North European Plain, while the southern regions of Lusatia and Mosovia occupy river valleys and the Carpathian Mountains. Other major destinations include Gdańsk, Kraków, Łódź, and Wrocław.
Getting around Poland is very much on par with any other European nation, and comparable to the rest of Western sensibilities. For freedom of choice and ease of navigation, your best bet is to rent a car. The major cities are linked by a comprehensive system of European motorways in several categories. National roads are the primary inter-country numbered routes, while A roads are expressway-class, toll routes. One outstanding feature of Polish transportation is the higher-than-average speed limits on these motorways, which max out at 140 km/h (87 mph). Otherwise, all the conveniences and frustrations of European motoring are found in Poland — well-marked and maintained roads that get congested during peak hours. Polish drivers are no better or worse than those found in neighboring countries. There are no oddball rules or regulations to trip up the unsuspecting visitor. Generally speaking, Poland isn’t exactly a driver’s paradise, but as close as it gets in Central Europe.
Choosing your car
Car rentals in Poland are provided by the most trusted brand names in the business. Choose your vehicle from Thrifty, Sixt, Europcar, Hertz, and National to get the best deal on a cheap car rental. All the usual vehicle types are available, but the most popular rentals tend to be intermediate and fullsize 4-door sedans, midsize SUVs, and 7-12 seater minivans.
Tips and advice
Parking on the sidewalk is allowed all across Poland — unless otherwise posted. That doesn’t bode well for pedestrians, but when in Poland, do as the Poles.
Due to the perception that Poles work exceptionally long hours, rush hours tend to start earlier in the morning and later in the evening, with 8:00 PM being the serious crunch time in Warsaw and other major cities.
A word about Polish traffic enforcement. Traffic cops don’t need a reason to stop you, and they likely won’t have one, either. Some say that unscrupulous police are fishing for bribes, but others attribute the habit to boredom. At any rate, if you’re stopped for any reason — innocent of wrongdoing or otherwise — simply follow instructions, be polite, and you’re likely to be back on the road in a few minutes.
Prepared to be bombarded with flashing LED advertisements along national roads, adding to the overall distraction. Extra caution is advised in rainy conditions.
Poland gets absolutely crushed by winter weather, so inexperienced drivers are encouraged to let the pros do the driving in icy conditions. Fortunately, most Polish car rentals include an additional driver.
Check with your car hire provider before crossing international borders. Some vehicle types are not allowed to be taken into Belarus.