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Driving in Poland

Looking for a destination with a difference? Then pack your car and head to Poland.

Polish city

Getting started

Rich in history, Poland’s turbulent past and influences from both East and West make it a fascinating travel destination.

The flip side is that its infrastructure isn’t at the same level as much of Western Europe, so it’s best suited to more adventurous travellers.

But don’t be put off. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to stay safe on the road while experiencing the sights of this unique and vibrant country.

Hit the road

The main issue with driving in Poland is the quality of the roads.

An injection of money over the last decade has funded a substantial road-building programme, but the overall quality is still poor.

Of the major roads that run between cities, only fractions are equivalent to a British motorway. The remainder tend to be single or dual carriageways in need of repair.

Star drive

Polish nightlife

For the sheer novelty factor, the Błędów Desert has to be worth a visit.

Located northwest of Katowice, the sands are the largest in Central Europe at 32 sq km and were formed in the Middle Ages by a melted glacier.

Best of the rest

Poland also has its own take on the Lake District for those keen on water.

It has over 9,000 closed bodies of water with districts in both the north and the south. Check out Lake Śniardwy in the Masurian Lake District, the largest lake in Poland.

Those with a love of twisty, testing roads will want to head south to the Tatras, the mountain range bordering Poland and Slovakia.

Head towards Nowy Targ then follow the range along Route 969 to Nowy Sącz. The spectacular views and challenging roads are a thrill, while the ski resorts are popular with visitors.

Laws of the land

  • The minimum age for drivers is 18.
  • Cars and bikes must have their headlights dipped at all times, or face fines.
  • Using your horn in built up areas is illegal, unless it’s to avoid an accident.
  • Motorways also have a minimum speed limit of 40km/h.

Polish speed limits

Road type

Speed limit

Residential areas

50 or 20 km/h depending on area

Built-up areas

50 km/h from 05.00 to 23.00; 60 km/h all other times

Outside built-up areas

90 km/h

Dual carriageways

100 km/h (one lane) 110 km/h (two lanes)

Motorways

Up to 130 km/h


Planning on driving to another country? Take a look at our section on driving in Europe.

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