Krakow Road Trip Guide: Travel Hints & Tips

Krakow is Poland’s most charming city where majestic history meets world-class infrastructure and service. Its beautiful monumental vistas, high safety standards, and hearty cuisine attract hordes of tourists annually, and a great number of them arrive in Krakow from other parts of the EU by car. With a new sense of adventure inspired by my trip to Iceland, I could well be joining them in the not to distant future.

Experts from the online shop selling tyres and car parts warn that driving a car in this old city has lots of peculiarities. This Krakow road trip guide will help you to avoid stress and clashes with the local law while sightseeing in this beautiful city.

Krakow Road Trip Guide Title Pic featuring courtyard

How to Drive a Car Safely and Legally in Krakow?

Poland adheres to the same traffic rules and signs as other countries in Europe, as well as driving on the right. The maximum fine for a road traffic offence in Poland is 2k zlotys. To avoid getting fined, make sure you drive with your headlights on and seat belts on both front and rear seats fastened.

Speaking on a mobile phone while driving is only allowed with a hands-free set. Blood alcohol concentration of 0.2% is considered drunk driving in Poland, so if your trying to get to Krakow’s famous beer cellars, forget about your car. Inside the city, the speed limits are 50km/h and 60km/h for the day and night respectively (unless a road sign indicates otherwise). For a motorway and a dual carriageway, the speed limits are 140km/h and 120km/h respectively.

Traditional Street in Krakow with horse and carriage

As many other old European cities such as Prague or Vienna, Krakow isn’t very car-friendly. Its historical centre is a ‘no cars’ zone letting only police, ambulance vehicles, hotel guests, and local cars in. You can get there only by public transport. Driving in the C zone (outer central quarters) is allowed, but parking on the street is a paid privilege for weekdays (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.).

Krakow Castle in summer

As finding a parking place can be difficult, consider leaving your vehicle in the underground parking under the square called Plac Na Groblach not far from the Wawel Royal Castle where 1 hour of parking costs approximately 1 euro.

What to see in Krakow?

The old city is fascinating with its nook courtyards, fresh gardens, cobbled streets with leisurely carriages, and magnificent architecture. Visit the Old Town with its gothic and legendary St. Mary’s Basilica, medieval Main Square and the Cloth Hall, then walk down to the Wawel Cathedral – former royal castle situated on the left bank of the River Wisla – and Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter.

Krakow square

For a contrast, go to Nowa Huta, a modern district built by communists as an antithesis to the Krakow’s old history. If you have a day in reserve, in continuation of the Jewish theme, visit concentration camp Auschwitz, the open-air museum that displays one of the biggest horrors of civilization – Holocaust. It is an hour and a half drive from Krakow.

Have you visited Krakow before?

Zena's Suitcase
Zena's Suitcase

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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  1. Lorna Ledger
    April 14, 2017 / 11:52 am

    I haven’t but I would love to go, it looks stunning

  2. MARGARET gallagher
    April 14, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    Definitely on my bucket list -looks and amazing place to see

  3. April 26, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    WOW! Krakow looks enchanting! Totally on my bucket list! Beautiful pics, BTW.
    Veronica Lee recently posted…Tail & TroubleMy Profile

  4. Rachel Butler
    June 20, 2017 / 10:09 am

    We haven’t been to Krakow before but it is definitely somewhere that we would love to visit!

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