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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

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

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

Prepared to be bombarded with flashing LED advertisements along national roads, adding to the overall distraction. Extra caution is advised in rainy conditions.

5

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.

6

Check with your car hire provider before crossing international borders. Some vehicle types are not allowed to be taken into Belarus.

Urban Speed Limit

THE URBAN SPEED LIMIT IS

50 kph  | 31.1 mph
Rural Speed Limit

THE RURAL SPEED LIMIT IS

90 kph  | 55.9 mph
Motorway Speed Limit

THE MOTORWAY SPEED LIMIT IS

120 kph  | 74.6 mph
Fuel Price

THE FUEL PRICE IS

SEE PRICES
Currency

THE CURRENCY IS

PLN
Road Driving

THE ROAD DRIVING SIDE IS THE

Right
Driving Age

THE MINIMUM DRIVING AGE IS

18 years of age
21 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services

EMERGENCY SERVICE NUMBERS

112
Documentation requirements

DOCUMENT

License
IDP
Passport
Insurance
Registration

Poland Driving Ideas Guide


Poland is a low-lying country, rarely rising above 350 feet, except along the southern border with the Sudety and Carpathian mountain ranges. The northern frontier on the Baltic Sea gives it easy access to Scandinavian and North Sea ports.

Depending on the length of your stay, you could divide the country into north (Gdansk) and south (Krakow), including Warsaw in both, and make it the focal point of your travel.

Poland is an active destination where you can do more and spend less. You might want to bring golf clubs, hiking boots, or even skis, but be prepared to do a lot of walking wherever you go.

Travel by car is the best way to explore smaller towns and remote destinations not serviced by public transport.  However, driving is slow, and as a rule of thumb plan on 2 hours of car travel for every 100km.

Warsaw is a fascinating collection of diverse neighbourhoods and historical landmarks

The capital Warsaw is situated in the centre of the country.  You will be fascinated by the history and atmosphere of this city, which combines the influences of Western and Eastern Europe.

Warsaw’s restaurant and entertainment scene are the best in Poland. You can dine well and affordable here and take your choice of lively bars and clubs.  Experience the vibe of the local streets and the old market, and have a typical Polish lunch in a milk bar.

There are numerous castles and other places of interest a short drive out of Warsaw. About 40 km south is the tiny town of Czersk, the location of the Ruins of the Mazovian Dukes’ Castle - a Gothic castle built between the 14th-16th centuries - and worth the visit.

Hunt for amber near Gdansk

The northerly port city of Gdansk prospered in the Middle Ages as a trade link between the interior and the rest of the world.

Trading amber is big business in Gdansk and you can’t escape the scores of galleries selling amber jewellery in the old town.  Known as Baltic Gold, amber comes from the resin of coniferous forests that grew in this region over 40 million years ago.

Approximately 110 km from Gdansk is Leba, a small fishing village and resort town, located in the Gdansk Pomeranian region near Lebsko Lake on the Baltic coast.  Here you can hunt for lumps of amber in the vast, lunar sand dunes.

Apart from its beaches, Leba is known as an excellent place for windsurfing and horse-riding along the sands. The area is also perfect for walking excursions - and for those who prefer cycling, bike trails have been developed everywhere. After all the action take a break and try the delicious cigar-shaped waffle tubes filled with vanilla cream.

Follow the salt chambers in Krakow

Poland is famously flat, until you get to the far south of the country where the mountain ranges welcome mountain bikers and skiers.

Krakow’s glorious main square, the Rynek Głowny — Europe's largest medieval town square - survived intact, whilst the 14th-century Wawel Castle rises above the medieval Old Town. For nightlife action head to Krakow's Kazimierz district, which buzzes with life.

In the Wieliczka area, you'll find the mysterious 17th century world of salt chapels, chambers, tunnels, and salt lakes, figures sculpted in salt and ancient mining installations. During almost nine centuries of mining, Wieliczka Salt Mine developed into an extensive underground city with about 3,000 chambers over 9 floors. After walking the 2 km route you will find a cosy, underground restaurant where you can rest and have lunch — a picture-perfect location and great end to your trip.

Diverse and historical Poland is ready to be explored.  To find the best deals and choices for rental cars and accommodation you need not look further than Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels.

Pack your walking shoes and head for Poland!

The Cheaperthancars Team

Poland Driving Rules and Tips


Driving a car around Poland for exploration purposes can be a great idea but one must keep in mind that roads and rules might be different from what you are used to. Polish roads can be old and oftentimes, hazardous. So knowing what you’re letting yourself in for before embarking on that car journey is all-important. Remembering some useful information and following helpful tips will guide you in the right direction:

Documentation

Polish law dictates that you must carry the following at all times when in charge of a vehicle:

  • Valid driving licence or IDP
  • Vehicle insurance documents, if renting a car
  • Vehicle roadworthy certificate

Age Restrictions

  • The minimum driving age in Poland is 18 (eighteen) years old
  • Children under 12 (twelve) years old must not sit in the front
  • Children under 150cm must be seated in an appropriate child seat

Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations

  • Driving is on the right hand side of the road
  • Trams may be passed on the right
  • Pedestrians at crossings are given priority
  • Dipped headlights must be used at all times from October to February
  • Turning right at a red light is only permitted if there is a separate green arrow that indicates a right turn
  • Using mobile phones is illegal unless it is a hands-free system
  • Buses pulling out of their stop have right of way

Speed Limits and Fines

The following speed limits should be strictly adhered to at all times:

  • 130km/hour (80mph) on expressways
  • 100km/hour (62mph) on A roads (indicated by a car and blue background sign)
  • 90km/hour (56mph) outside of built-up areas
  • 50km/hour (31mph) inside of built-up areas
  • 60km/hour (37mph) inside built-up areas between 11pm and 5am

The police in Poland have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for failure to comply with the speed limits and any other traffic violation.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving laws in Poland are applicable to both those in charge of a motor vehicle and bicycles. The law states that a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over 0.02g/litre of alcohol in blood is an infraction. If found with this amount of alcohol, a person could face a month's prison term and a driving ban for up to three (3) years.

A level of over 0.05g/litre could see a person in prison for up to two years and a driving ban of up to 10 (ten) years.

Police regularly carry out on-the-spot breath tests and if a person is found guilty, on-the-spot fines will also be issued.

Parking

  • Smaller cars are permitted to park half-on and half-off the pavement
  • Parking within 5.5 metres of a pedestrian crossing is not permitted
  • Vehicles that are not parked legally will be clamped and a fine is to be paid for its release
  • Paid parking zones require that you pay and display your ticket
  • Parking fees are applicable in big cities from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 18:00, and sometimes Saturdays. Sometimes parking is charged at weekends but it is usually free-of-charge all day on Sunday.
  • Parking fees and hours of operation can be found on street signs
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