a VirtualTourist member from Chicago
We are considering driving around Poland, visiting Warsaw, Krakow, and I don't yet know where else in early September. How good are the roads? What about road signage for someone who doesn't speak of understand Polish? How easy or difficult is it to drive around on one's own? Any suggestions are welsome.
Inside the big cities like warsaw and krakow there is no real need for a car. Public transportation is good, and taxi fare is not that expensive. I visit the city every other year for about 3-4 weeks, never had any need for a car waiting for me by the apartment.
The parking might be an issue and the policemen are not forgiving.
Generally speaking the signs on main roads are fine and just about enough, it will not take more the half an hour to learn the Polish special letters and understand the signs. Many roads are under constructions and repair so you might find many main routes closed and the traffic diverted to side country roads, where the signs are not very helpful nor informative.
Main benefit I can see for a tourist driving by himself is when touring the country between the major cities, the freedom to stop on a whim and not to be tied to train/bus timetable.
anyway, take special precaution in Sundays on country roads, when many of the villagers already have had their liquid meal of half a bottle or more and now have the urge to drive on both sides of the road.
I quite agree with Adi. Hiring a car makes sense only outside the main cities where there is a lot of traffic and parking is a problem. If you are going to Krakow you could also make a trip south to the Tatra Mountains and see the area around Zakopane. You could see my Niedzica, Bukowina Tatrzańska, Jurgow, Pieniny and Vysoke Tatry pages for more details. There is one thing you must remember - don't leave anything inside the car when you go sightseeing, not even a plastic bag. Thieves do not know what is inside and may break the car window to get it. Put all your luggage in the boot and take the documents and money or credit cards with you. Early September is a good time for travelling in Poland. School holidays are over by then so there is less traffic and the weather can be great, although of course there is no guarantee of that. Enjoy your trip!
Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.
Thank you for the information. It was helpful.