Here's a little list of tips we've compiled for living on the road in Poland.
Poland’s official national language is Polish.
Poland’s official currency is the Złoty. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Be prepared to use cash in smaller towns and some petrol stations.
Drinking water can be difficult to find, even in mountainous areas such as the Tatras.
“Woda pitna” means drinking water. Check out our map of water points here.
You can get post delivered to Poczta Polska post offices in Poland by addressing it as Poste Restante. You will need to show ID upon collection; there is no charge for this service.
The address format is as follows:
Postcode, Town, Post office number
Each post office in Poland is identified by the name of the town or city and a number. These numbers are used when the post office is the point of delivery itself. An example of the last line of the address format is: 30-004 KRAKÓW 65.
Post office numbers, addresses, facilities and opening hours can be found at poczta-polska.pl.
Diesel: ON (Olej Napędowy)
Petrol: PB95 / Eurosuper, PB98 / Superplus
LPG: LPG / Gaz / Autogaz
All fuel prices are displayed in złoty.
There are many supermarket fuel stations in Poland such as Tesco, Leclerc, Carrefour and Auchan, which are usually the cheapest. The majority of garage fuel stations are companies like Shell, BP and Esso.
cenapaliw.pl can be used to check fuel prices in either voivodeships or cities but cannot determine your current location. It is largely accurate and up to date but is user-dependant.
Most supermarkets close around 10-11pm although many are 24 hour.
Rubbish bins and recycling facilities can be difficult to locate, although are sometimes found around residential streets and flats and are more prevalent in cities than rural areas.
Szkło - Glass
Plastikowy - Plastic
Karton - Cardboard
Some residential zones 13 mph (20 km/h)
Built-up areas 31 mph (50 km/h) in the day (from 5am to 11pm)
Built up areas 37mph (60 km/h) at night (from 11pm to 5am)
Outside built-up areas 55 mph (90 km/h)
Express roads 62 mph (100 km/h)
Dual carriageways 74 mph (120 km/h)
Motorways 86 mph (140 km/h)
You must use dipped headlights at all times of the day and night.
The general condition of the roads in Poland is good; road improvements are currently being made all over the country.
There are a small number of toll motorways in Poland- the A1, A2, A4 and A8. A map of these toll roads and a breakdown of their charges is available on rhinocarhire.com.
Random roadside breathalysing is a regular occurrence. There is a large police presence on the roads particularly enforcing drink driving laws. There are few speed cameras in Poland and driving faster than the limit is considered normal.
Compulsory items to carry in your vehicle always:
The general opinion of wild camping in Poland is that it is generally tolerated apart from in national parks. In rural areas campervans may attract attention from the locals who are not so familiar with campers.
As a general rule if you are out of the way, not on private property or in densely populated tourist areas you will be okay to stay in your van overnight. Just look out for signs and restrictions. Police tend to look differently at the situation if you have chairs out and awning up etc., so just keep it discreet and move on regularly and you should be fine.
Poland is a delightful and underrated country, a vast rural landscape with mountains to the south, and several cultural and interesting cities.
The people are really friendly and hospitable, just get to know them, and they will try to feed you liver-clenching amounts of vodka.
The Tatras is one of many mountain ranges worth visiting to the south, shared with Slovakia, and Kraków is one of our favourite cities with delicious food, open air spaces like the main square and the Kopiec Krakusa, and an amazing thermal spa for just 25 zloty (£5) an hour. Parking a van can be a bit of an issue though. The countryside is flat but scattered with enormous lakes.
The police have been known to stop and hassle both residents and tourists, but we weren't bothered by them during our week there.
Absolutely try the Pączki, a pastry similar to a doughnut usually dusted with powdered sugar and filled with delicious rosehip jam- they're so good that Poland has an entire day dedicated to them. Pierogi, Polish potato dumplings, are also worth trying, stuffed with a variety of fillings (even vegetarian ones). You'll find just about anything you can imagine flavoured with dill.