Poland - a country of diversity
Sea, mountains, rivers, lakes, scenic national parks, well-maintained cities, charming villages, rich history, folklore, and the intermixing of tradition with modernity - Poland has so many advantages that it's impossible to enumerate them all. The country’s great asset is the fact that you can pursue almost all types of outdoor activities here, starting with mountaineering and bathing in the sea and finishing with sightseeing and participation in cultural events. There are good reasons why the number of tourists visiting Poland has been on the increase - owing to a great diversity, every tourist will find something that matches their interests.
The most comfortable option of sightseeing around Poland is a rental car. It will allow you to plan all of the sightseeing routes on your own and to freely move between the main and those less popular attractions. If you go for this option, you should definitely familiarise yourself with the rules that are followed by particular car hire companies. Each of them may implement other restrictions when it comes to age and driving experience. Individuals who have just reached majority and have had their driver's licence only for a few days can face some problems with renting a vehicle.
If you manage to comply with the formalities and hire a car, it's also worth familiarising yourself with the most important traffic regulations. It will allow you to avoid unpleasant incidents and keep only the best memories from your trip. What are the speed limits on Polish roads? For what offences can you get a ticket? What to do in order to ensure full safety for you and your passengers? The answer to these questions and many more can be found in the text below.
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Tourist attractions in Poland
Warsaw, Poznań, Cracow, and Wrocław - these are among the most visited cities in Poland. This comes as no surprise as each of these places can boast stunning landmarks, beautiful parks, multiple cultural venues, and recesses that can be hailed as wonders of nature.
There is a plethora of such jewels on Poland's map and you'll come across those gems regardless of where you head. The northern part of the country can boast the famous Tricity (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) and the Elbląg Canal, whereas the southern part will offer Częstochowa along with Jasna Góra and Wieliczka, with the well-known salt mine.
Toruń, with its medieval town, Książ, with the magnificent 13th-century castle, and Ostróda, with various landmarks, are places that will delight all holidaymakers. A must-see highlight is, of course, Malbork, with an excellent castle complex, and Pelplin, full of religious edifices. Also, you can't miss Gniezno, Poland's first capital.
Poland: road safety
Unfortunately, Poland is infamous for one of the highest accident rates so it lags far behind other European countries. Polish motorists drive pretty aggressively and have a tendency to exceed speed limits and force the right of way. Additionally, there are only a few of them who practice the zipper method which helps to make the traffic smoother when needed.
While travelling around Poland, you'll surely encounter unguarded railway crossings. When approaching one of them, it's worth staying extra cautious and stopping before the tracks. An important matter is also giving way to emergency vehicles and buses leaving the bus bay.
What steps to take in case of a road accident or a collision? In the event of the latter (lack of casualties), it's enough to remove the vehicle from the road (if it's possible) and prepare an appropriate written statement. In case of problems with determining who is at fault, it's vital to call the police (112 or 997). Slightly stricter procedures are followed in the event of a road accident. You need to call the police or an ambulance (112 or 999) promptly and secure the car accident place with warning triangles. If possible, try to give first aid to the injured.
Speed limits on Polish roads
When it comes to speed limits in Poland, you can drive at a speed of between 20 and 140 km/h depending on the road type. The former applies in urban areas, whereas the latter applies on motorways. On one-lane expressways, the maximum speed amounts to 100 km/h and on two-way expressways, you can drive as fast as 120 km/h. In rural areas, you can't drive faster than 90 km/h.
The speed limit in urban areas decreases depending on the time of the day. From 5 am to 11 pm it is 50 km/h, whereas from 11 pm to 5 am, you can drive as fast as 60 km/h. For driving well above the speed limits, you can receive a penalty payment, but also you can expect a seizure of your driver's licence.
Poland: obligatory car equipment and necessary documents
Each vehicle driving around Polish roads should be equipped with a warning triangle and a fire extinguisher. Other items that are recommended include a reflective vest, a set of spare bulbs, a first aid kit, and a spare tyre along with the necessary tools. In case of a road check, you'll be asked to show such documents as your driver's licence, liability insurance, registration document, vehicle inspection certificate, and your ID or a passport.
Toll roads in Poland
You have to pay to use Polish motorways. However, drivers don't have to carry vignettes like in other European countries. The toll is paid at special gates (it is possible to pay with a credit card or with cash) and it is dependent on the length of the motorway section that you want to use.
Tickets in Poland
Penalty payments and penalty points can be expected when exceeding the speed limit, forcing the right of way, drinking and driving (the maximum of 0.02%), and talking on the phone while driving. Remember to ensure the safety of your youngest passengers - children younger than 12 who are shorter than 150 cm and lighter than 36 kg can travel only in special child seats. It's also worth remembering that dipped beam should be used in all seasons, regardless of the time of the day. For parking your vehicle in unauthorised places, you can get a ticket or wheel clamps. The worst case scenario is that the police will tow away your vehicle at your expense.