Transport and Driving in Poland
Poland has good road networks as well as an extensive public transport system that makes getting around Poland an easy task for expats whether they prefer to drive, fly, or go by bus or train. It is also easy to travel to cities outside of the country via plane or high-speed train.
Public transport in Poland
Poland’s large cities all have extensive public transport networks. There is also an exhaustive system of intercity trains and buses for travelling around the country and to other countries in Europe. Tickets are easily available from kiosks, machines at stations and on the buses and trains themselves.
Trains are one of the most popular ways to get around Poland. Intercity, EuroCity and express trains serve the larger cities in Poland, while the regional and local trains stop in smaller towns and villages. Fares will depend on the type of train, the class and the route.
It is possible to travel by train between all of the major cities in Poland and also to travel to cities outside Poland such as Budapest, Prague, Berlin and Vienna.
Poland boasts an extensive intercity bus system and buses cover areas that aren't serviced by train routes. Tickets are reasonably priced and can be bought at kiosks or from the driver on the bus.
Both PKS Polonus and Polski Bus are reputable companies that offer well-priced tickets.
There are many reliable and safe taxi services in Poland, but expats should be wary of unofficial looking taxis that hang around outside train stations and some hotels. These could take advantage of foreigners and overcharge them. Legitimate taxi companies usually mark their cars with logos. Legally, the driver should have a meter and a cash register in the cab and drivers are obliged to give passengers a receipt when they pay the fare.
Taxi fares are reasonable but increase on Sundays, holidays and late at night. Expats may be able to secure a discounted rate if they phone and book the taxi in advance.
Alternatively, rideshare apps such as Uber and Taxify operate in Poland's major cities. Many expats prefer using these apps as it gives them more control over routes and service prices while diminishing language barrier issues.
Driving in Poland
Expats who wish to travel around Poland by car should be able to do so relatively easily. Road conditions are good, but snow and ice in winter can be hazardous. Expats should take the proper precautions and be sure to abide by all road rules to ensure their safety when driving in Poland.
It is required by law that drivers in Poland have their headlights on at all times. Fog lights may only be used when there is fog or heavy rain, and rear fog lights may only be used when visibility is less than 164 feet (50m). It is also advisable that expats fit their cars with winter tyres to ensure safe driving during the winter months in Poland.
EU citizens can use their home country’s driver’s licence in Poland. Other expats, however, will need an International Driving Permit for the first six months they are in Poland. After this period, they will need to apply for a Polish driver’s licence, for which they must pass a driving test and provide medical certificates.
Once expats have received their licence it is important that they keep it in their car, along with their car insurance documents, at all times.