By car, Krakow
I rented a car for just 3 days. Was suppose to be 6 but i cut it down to 3 days because i had issues with my GPS not working ( my own GPS). I had option to rent one which i should have done. Anyway, i rented a ford focus from Joka. The people who work there speak good English and are available 24/7. The car was a nice car, and not expensive either ( it averaged about $ 90 after factoring in them having to refuel it for me a bit as well as a fee to pick it up in wroclaw when i was originally suppose to return it to warsaw). They were very helpful and understanding when i returned car early. The car itself was in great condition, rode nicely, had pretty good power for a smaller car. I would recommend Joka because the price was good, their krakow location was great, easy to get to ( i walked from my hotel , hotel wiepole).
Hi, Im writing to share our opinion about visiting Polska and Krakow. We decided to rent a car in polish company NFM Rent A Car. We didn’t have too much time to see all this lovely places. We took the car at airport, they delivered it for free.
We get brand new Ford Focus with air-conditioning and etc. After three days in Krakow we went to see Auschwitz and then to Zakopane. Roads in Poland are not as bad as someone wrote. GPS saved our time few times, it’s for free so really worth to take. In the city center you must remember to buy a parking ticket. We forgot and we get punishment :)
After few days at south of Poland we went to Warsaw. They have office there so they came to our hotel to take the car. Service was really helpful and explained us how to get to airport.
I think it was the best way to see Krakow and country. For sure it was the cheapest way. Prices are really fine, much lower than at the airport. I’m not sure, but it was about 30 euro per day. Also You don’t have to worry that you will miss your train and you can go wherever You want :)
Next time I will hire car for sure. I have their mobile: 0048 782 052 130
We rented a car for a trip into the Tatra Mountains while we were in Krakow. We used Joka, a local Polish rental car company. They are located in central Krakow, near both the old town and Kazimierz, and have employees that speak English. They delivered the car to our hotel and had an attended parking lot at which we were able to drop the car off after their office closed for the day. The car that we rented, an Opel Vectra, was clean and in good mechanical working order.
A hire car is useful for getting around some of the sights near Krakow including Tarnow, Krosno, Wieliczka Salt Mine and Auschwitz, amongst others. A SatNav is also useful to assist in getting around locations.
We visited in June 2010 when Poland was experiencing some significant flooding in the southwest, having the SatNav meant that we were able to quickly re-calculate routes when we encountered closed roads.
This is also a great option if you are travelling as a group; it gives you the freedom of being able to stop wherever you see something you want to stop at and is cheaper than paying individual fares for public transport to the various places you might want to go.
After Euromeet in Krakow, and our trip to Lviv 'The English Roses' had a road trip planned! Originally, we'd planned to go by hire car to Ukraine, but found out that it's not possible to cross the Polish/Ukranian border by Hire Car!
Plan B was on our return from Ukraine, we'd head up to Gdansk - time and the floods in Poland made us rethink-so plan C was to head to Zakapane, then Slovakia, Czech Republic and then back to Poland, to Wroclaw, so that Gilly and I could fly back to Liverpool, and SueT and poons would spend a few more days in Poland, before flying back from Krakow (In the end they flew from Poznan - yes we are flexible travelers!)
SueT and poons booked the hire car online, which we picked up from Krakow airport.
I think the company we used was ArgusRentals
There was a bit of confusion as to which desk we should collect our documents etc from - luckily poons was in control, and we were soon picking up the keys for our vehicle, from the Europcar desk. Apparently this company searches for the best deal from the car hire companies based in the place you want to hire.
We had a full tank of petrol, snacks, drinks, music and Sat Nav....Lets Goooooo!............SueT and poons shared the driving. (Thanks girls!!)
When SueT worked out the cost for each of us, it came to £72 each for the 6 days.
The car was in good condition, and was comfortable enough for us (we had packed with the possible limitations of the boot size in mind), with plenty of leg room, and A/C - although this didn't always reach the back seat passengers.
poons had borrowed a tom-tom, which was invaluable during our trip-I've never seen the point for myself of buying one for driving in the UK, but would certainly have one for Poland etc.
Apart from driving on the right hand side, drivers are required by law to have their headlights on both day and night. Use of mobiles is forbidden, unless hands free set is used. Seat belts are compulsory, and children under 10 yrs are forbidden to sit in the front seat.
For more rules -
TIPS FOR DRIVING IN POLAND
A great experience!
One of the best way to get to Krakow from the airport is to reserve a shuttle that will pick you up from the airport and take you to Krakow. They have two prices depending on the zone of travel. If you are staying anywhere inside of the center (the center is basically surrounded by a park that looks like a circle on the map) it will cost 60 zloty for up to 4 people. Going by ($1 = 3 zloty) it is not a bad deal. It is one of the cheapest transfers that we've seen. If you are going to zone B, it will cost you 70 zloty for up to 4 people which is still cheap.
The company is KrakowShuttle and you can find them on the website below. They also have other services like tours to multiple destinations around Krakow, but they are most expensive and it is A LOT cheaper to just take the train.
Krakow has the same traffic problems as any other European metropolis. Too many cars and too less parking lots. in the city you are not allowed to park your car. So you better park it in the suburbs and take the tram or bus to the centre.
Driving in Krakow is no problem - excellent road signs guide you in the centre and then back to the motorway.
Generally road surfaces in Poland are rather miserable. The same is in Krakow, although in some place there are new ones.
Driving in Krakow may be a bit difficult, because of narrow, often one way, streets in the Old Town, many zones close for cars, big trafic jams and limited parking places. You can buy tickets for the parking zone at the special sellers wearing flaring yellow vests. Today it costs about 3 zloties for 1 hour.
On the other hand the authorities have recently put on some new guide-posts, which can make you driving easier. Actually most of them have only Polish version (except for
"See you again" on the toll-gates ;-), but they have also graphic symbols, so you can easy understand them (remember that "Stare Miasto" = "Old Town", all the others are more simple).
Krakow is located on the crossword of the two international roads:
1. west-east E-40: Calais (France) - Brussels (Belgium) - Dresden (Germany) - Wroclaw (Poland) - Krakow - Rzeszow (Poland) - Lvov - Kiev (Ukraine);
2. north-south E-77: Gdansk - Warsaw - Krakow - Ruzomberok (Slovakia) - Budapest (Hungary)
There is a comfortable toll highway westwards of Krakow to Katowice (road A-4 = E-40). You must pay 5 PLN at the entrance toll gate and the next 5 PLN at the exit toll gate (for a car, 1Euro=1US$=4 PLN - approx.) driving to/from Katowice.
The road to Warsaw (E-77) is sometimes jammed and not so comfortable; there is no highway to/from Warsaw, just "normal" road full of trucks some of which are too old to be used, I suppose = too slow :-(((.
A little better (with additional lanes at some segments) is road eastwards towards Rzeszow (E-40).
To the south (direction Chyzne=border crossing point to Slovakia or Zakopane) there is the dual divided carriageway to Myslenice (about 30 km = 19 mi) and then "normal" mountaineous road = slow traffic and hazardeous overtaking of slow trucks.
Attention: entry to Krakow on Sunday afternoon and evening from south and east, seldom from west/north in summer (June-August) maybe complitely jammed - sometimes it can take even more then 1-2 hours to get to the city, although there are 3-4 lines in each direction on the suburbs of Krakow; hmm... you must be more patient then trying to use new VT after the relaunch :-).
Using the little electric cars which you find on the old market square to see Krakow is a really novel way of doing it, plus you are not poluting the air.
You might see these "signs" by the side of the road. I have no idea what they are but thought they were interesting!