Driving in Krakow

Whether you hire a car, borrow a friend’s or buy a vehicle yourself, this quick guide to driving in Krakow will prove useful before you get behind the wheel; it may also turn you off the idea of driving in Poland all together!

Starting with the basics, in built up areas the limit is 50km/h although you’ll rarely see others abiding by this however we strongly suggest you do. Also be aware not to block the left lane on a dual carriage way so that others can overtake you. If another driver deems you are going too slowly he will surely let you know by beeping aggressively or simply tailing you within the smallest possible margin until you move over and let him through.Don’t be surprised by drivers going through late orange lights, failing to indicate or dangerously overtaking in a one way or two lane road.

The roads themselves are often in poor condition so watch out for potholes – they are numerous (especially in winter) and big enough to jolt you out of your seat. If you chose to drive in the city centre be aware of the one way streets and enforceable access restrictions applied to the inner most zone – certainly you cannot drive on the Rynek, and unless you have permission the streets around the Rynek are off limits too. Outside the centre of Krakow there are numerous speed cameras although many are not functioning, however the police will have no hesitation to slap you with a cash fine if they catch you driving too fast. 

Parking around the centre is also a troublesome task so if you can find a space, be sure to buy a ticket and make certain you’re in a designated parking spot otherwise you’re at risk of a fine and possibly a wheel clamp which is only removable through a cash fine.

Driving a car in Krakow does present many hazards so Essential Krakow recommends you approach driving with caution and know where you can and cannot drive – car accidents are numerous in Poland and Krakow so best to avoid getting caught in one.