Driving in Poland – Explore At Your Leisure
Poland is fast becoming one of the most popular European destinations. Since it joined the EU in 2004, it has become a hit with travellers from Europe and beyond. This country is big and diverse with something for everyone whether you prefer skiing on the Polish Mountains, enjoying city breaks in Krakow and Warsaw, or relaxing on the beaches of Gdansk.
With a car you’ll have the freedom to travel to places which interest you. Here are a few of the top destinations in Poland.
If you’re flying into Poland, it’s quite likely that you’ll be arriving in Krackow or Warsaw – Poland’s two largest cities, as most international flights touch down here.
Warsaw is a good place to start with your car hire as your as it’s the geographical heart of the country, and being a capital it’s got good links with other major cities. Take time to explore this unique and fascinating city by rambling through its old town which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, have a look at the pre war arhitecture in Old Praga District, tour the National Museum or relax in the royal gardens of Lazienki.
Poland Car Hire Tip: In Poland drive on the right and overtake on the left.
If you’re up for a road trip, then you should definitely consider driving to Krakow. It’s roughly a 4.5 hour journey from Warsaw (depending on traffic).This charming city is slowly becoming the new “bohemian capital of Europe”. It’s a vibrant city destination for those looking for a lively nightlife scene and a great weekend away.The city is awash with museums, galleries, markets and historic attractions like the Old City, the Main Marketplace, Wawel Castle, Kazimierz – the main Jewish district.
Poland Car Hire Tip: Speed limits in urban areas 60km/hr, open roads 90km/hr, highways 110km/hr.
Krakow is a great city and a few days here is definitely a must, but getting out into the countryside will give you an opportunity to experience the real Polish way of living and there is so much to see and do outside of the cities. Having a car will definitely enhance your trip.
Poland Car Hire Tip: Headlights must be turned on between the months of November and March.
The Salt Mine in Wieliczka is a world class attraction and is only about 10km southeast of the city of Krakow. It’s easy to reach by car along E40 and A4 routes. A fascinating 3 km of walking on 3 different levels and 136 meters below the ground will bring you through chambers and passageways with churches and statues carved out of salt dating back to the 17th century.
Poland Car Hire Tip: There are two toll roads in Poland – the A2 between Wrzesnia and Konin and the A4 between Katowice and Kraków.
The notorious Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps in the town of Oswiecim are about an hours drive from Krakow. There is no admission fee to the camps but allow at least 4 hours to tour the two camps at your leisure. Having your own car will allow you to travel between the camps easily. It’s about a 10 minutes drive from Auschwitz to Birkenau. To get to Oswiecim from Krakow, drive via four lane highway heading to ‘Katowice’. After about 20 minutes driving take the exit to ‘Chrzanow’ which will bring you to Auschwitz and Birkenau.
Poland Car Hire Tip: The condition of the Polish roads are below European standards, but as long as you keep to the main roads you should be ok.
Ojcowski National Park is about 25km northwest of Krakow en route to ‘Olkus’ turn right at ‘Jerzmanowice’. It’s considered to be one of the most attractive recreational areas in Poland. Here you’ll find the Pieskowa Skala Castle. The core of the park is the Pradnik river valley which has a road running along the back of it. There are two car parks, one at the village of Ojcow and one by the Pieskowa Skala Castle.
Poland Car Hire Tip: There are two toll roads in Polands the A2 between Wrzesnia and Konin and the A4 between Katowice and Kraków
In the Winter time people flock to the Tatra Mountains which are about 100km from the city of Krakow. Skiing is big here from December to May and hiking from May to September. Zakopane is considered ‘The Winter Sport Capital of Poland’ and can be found at the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. Neighbouring Beskidy Mountains are also worth a visit.
Poland Car Hire Tip: Do not use a mobile phone while driving
For more outdoor activities visit the Dunajec River (about 150km from Krakow), which is extremely popular for water rafting. The river runs through beautiful limestone mountains between Southern Poland and Slovakia. A 15km route will take you past the haunted castle in Niedzica and the Old Red Monastery. Rafting is possible between April and October. Without stopping the 15km route will take about 3.5 hours.
While in Krakow, you could also follow the John Paul II Route, which will take you across Southern Poland. Discover the story of his life. Visit his birthplace in Wadowice about 35 km southwest of Krakow and other places of great importance in his journey to becoming Pope such as Czestochowa, home to the Pauline Monastery at Jasna Gora, which hosts the famous painting of the Black Madonna. for the very best deals in car rental, visit our Car Hire Poland page.
If you’ve any tips for driving in Poland, feel free to leave a comment in the box below. Also, if you’ve any queries about car hire in Poland just get in contact.