Traffic in Poland is not very bad, but it's also not great. Between 7 and 9 a.m., it does get quite bad in cities - the same goes
for between 3 and 5 p.m. However, outside of those hours, the traffic is really fine.
Now, even in bad traffic, the driving culture in Poland is okay in comparison to many other European countries.
The roads are rather peaceful except the occasional cars trying to cut in line using a side lane.
typical rush hour traffic
non-rush hour traffic
This is another story. In small cities, parking is usually not the biggest problem. In large cities, however,
finding parking, free or paid, can be a nightmare - but it all depends on the time of day and day of week.
Unfortunately, this is really difficult to predict - generally, however, it is calmest on weekdays during working hours and
least calm on weekend afternoons.
For finding parking in Polish cities, we recommend Parkopedia. It's not perfect,
but there's nothing better out there.
The most common kind. You simply find a spot on the side of the street that is not marked with a "no parking" sign, preferably a section where other
cars are already parked, and head to town. Now, it is important to know when you have to pay, where you have to pay, and, if at all, how much.
Fortunately, this is easy to check. You simply walk up to the parkingmeter closest to you and check whether you have to pay. If yes, you enter
the amount of coins (some accept credit card, but do bring coins just in case) that is equivalent to the amount of hours you wish to stay.
Then, you put your parking receipt under your windshield and go. If there are no parking meters and the cars around you have no documentation
or receipts in their windshield, the parking is free.
Typically, street parking costs 3-5 zł [0.75-1.25 EUR] per hour on weekdays from 8-9 a.m. to 5-6 p.m., and is free at all other times.
Indoor parking facilities in Poland are mostly found adjacent to shopping malls, where they are either completely free or free for the first hour or two, and then cost
up to 4 zł [0.9 EUR] per hour.
You can, however, also find dedicated, private parking houses - in those, prices range from 4 zł [0.9 EUR] to 10 zł [2.3 EUR] per hour.
underground parking gate
The third option is to park in a supermarket parking lot. There are two issues here: firstly, supermarkets in or near city centres tend not to have
big parking lots due to the scarcity of space. Secondly, the law surrounding supermarket parking is rather grey and there have been cases of
supermarket parking lots in fact being owned by a third party, which has resulted in fines. These parking lots are generally free, though you can also
find paid supermarket parking in some large cities (this will be marked at the entrance).
It is generally easier to get away with parking at parking lots adjacent to stores like IKEA where you are expected to spend a long time.
park & ride (parkuj i jedź)
Park & ride systems are schemes in which a car can be parked on the outskirts of a city near a major public transport hub for a very low price (especially when parking for a full day).
In Poland, they are available in Warsaw
, and Tychy (near Katowice
Park & Ride in Warsaw
Park & Ride in Wrocław