Visiting Poland - Transportation Options
Most international flights into to arrive in the capital at Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW). Other major airports in Poland include Krakow (KRK), Gdańsk (GDN), Wroclaw (WRO) and Poznań (POZ). Visiting Poland by air is incredibly convenient as it is one of Central Europe’s largest countries and is therefore serviced by a number of Europe’s major airlines, including Poland’s national carrier LOT Polish Airlines. My favourite resource for researching trips by plane and booking the cheapest flights is Momondo.
Poland is served by an extensive rail network linking Western and Eastern Europe. With frequent connections to neighbouring countries, traveling by train is an effective means of visiting Poland. Direct trains arrive daily at both Warsaw and Kraków from Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Prague and many other cities in Central Europe. There are also several express trains from Berlin arriving at Poznan, with connections to Gdańsk, Szczecin and Gdynia.
More recently, there are direct overnight trains serving Polish Silesia from Budapest and Vienna. Further out, if you are traveling from cities such as London, Paris and Amsterdam, a stopover will usually be required in Berlin. Omio makes researching all your rail options incredibly simple.
Entering Poland by bus can be slow, but offers added flexibility, with several bus companies providing services from all over Europe to almost every Polish city and some smaller towns. Most busses arrive at Poland’s main transport hub and capital city, Warsaw. From there, you can reach any part of the country. Other major bus hubs are Lublin, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań and Katowice.
Poland is also relatively well accessible via car given it shares borders with 7 other countries. There are plenty of roads linking Poland to surrounding countries, though most are with Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia as opposed to those in the East. Like other European countries, traveling by car is one of the best ways to explore the sights and Poland is no exception. Note that roads in Poland are generally lower quality, but major highways tend to be well-maintained and in good condition.
Drivers in Poland are required to legally carry a driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance documents at all times. If you don’t have a EU driver’s licence, you need an International Driving Permit. The IDP will be valid for six months since the day of registration in Poland.
Unlike neighbouring countries, stickers or “vignettes” are not required to use highways. Instead, tolls are levied according to traveled sections of toll roads. Tolls can be paid via credit card or in cash with 3 different currencies (Złoty, Euro and Dollar). For more information on tolled roads in Poland click here. Remember that there is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol and headlights must be on at all times whilst driving, day or night.