Daily life

Living in Europe | Access to the culture of the host country/language courses, Banking | Poland
 

Wrocław University of Science and Technology

Life in Poland is a cultural composition of traits belonging to both Eastern and Western European countries. For some differences of lifestyle and culture may be astonishing, especially for citizens of countries located in distant parts of the world, while for others they may be slightly visible. That is why it is essential to familiarize yourself with basic information about daily life in Poland.

Below you will find information which can help you to settle down.

DRIVING

 

Dormitory, Pope John II State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska, source: Promotion Section

Poland is a right-hand traffic country and vehicles are overtaken on the left. When driving a car or any other vehicle in Poland, you are required to hold a driving licence, a vehicle registration document and a document confirming that you are covered by civil liability insurance (Green Card). Your vehicle should be equipped with a warning triangle, a fire extinguisher, warning vest and not obligatory, but recommended a first-aid kit. You are not allowed to use your mobile phone while driving, unless you have a headset or hands-free set.

 

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Jan Dlugosz Univesity in Czestochowa

Drivers are required to use dipped or daytime headlights also during the day all year round. All passengers (except visibly pregnant women, taxi drivers and persons holding a medical exemption certificate) are required to have their seat belts fastened both in the front and back seats. Children need to be secured in a car safety seat until they are 150 cm tall (in some cases the limit amounts to 135 cm).

 

Driving licence (PL prawo jazdy)

If you want to drive a car in Poland, you should check the following rules which specify whether you can use your national driving license in Poland:

  • If you have a driving license issued by the EU Member State, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland, you can drive in Poland until the validity date given in the document.
  • driving licences from other countries which are in line with the template specified in the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949) or Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968) have to be changed to a Polish driving license (below see how to do it) which can only be done after 185 days of legal stay in Poland.
  • In addition, if your driving license is not in line with the Convention template, in order to change it to the Polish license, you will have to take a partial state examination – a written theory test in English, German or Polish.

If you want to drive your car right after you arrive in Poland, you should have an international driving license obtained in your home country, which is valid for up to 3 years or for the validity period of your national license if shorter.

 

Obtaining the Polish driving licence

You need to submit to the District Office relevant for the place of your residence the following documents:

  • filled in application form

  • copy of your driving licence

  • certified/sworn translation of the driving license into Polish

  • copy of a residence card, visa or other document confirming the right of residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland or a certificate that you have been studying for at least six months

  • proof of payment (100,50 PLN)

  • 35 x 45 mm colour photography

  • in cartain cases a medical certificate might be required if you have medical conditions that may influence your driving capability (e.g. glasses). 


 

Car accident procedures

If you are involved in a road accident, you are obliged to follow certain safety procedures. If it is a minor car collision, you should call the police and move your car so that it does not block the traffic. However, if you are involved in a car accident resulting in casualties, you are obliged to call an ambulance and the police and you have to stay on the scene until they arrive. You must also switch on hazard warning flashers in your car. According to the Polish law, it is mandatory to provide first aid to victims – if you have taken a special training course – or at least to do what you are capable of in terms of securing the place of accident and helping the victims.

Car rental in Poland

Polish rental companies offer many types of cars to rent. You can pick up a car from the airport, what is very convenient. The average price for a one-month rent is 1000 EUR, but you can find a small car for 400 EUR monthly. Sometimes there are some discounts which allow you to pay for the car even less.

CYCLING

Rzeszow University of Technology, author: M. Misiakiewicz

In the recent years, bicycle, as a mean of transport, has become quite popular in Poland. The infrastructure of cycle tracks has been modernised as well as new bike lanes have been built. Today, in most bigger cities, including Warsaw, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań or Lublin, private companies offer bike rentals through popular networks, giving easy and cheap access. Poles are keen on a healthy lifestyle and appreciate the possibility of passing by traffic jams.

Here you can find the website of one of the most popular bicycle rental operator.

Obligatory equipment & documents

  • cycling licence or ID – if you are between 10 and 18 years old, you should pass an exam to get a cycling licence; adults are only required to have their ID while riding and they should accompany children up to 10 years old,
  • red reflector visible from behind and white position light in front,
  • bicycle bell or a different warning signal,
  • one brake at least,
  • bike helmet – not required, but recommended due to safety.

In Poland, cyclists are obliged to use bike lanes. If not possible, they should ride on the right. Only adults with children up to 10 years old should use the left side of a pavement.

 

Bicycle storage, dormitory, Medical University of Warsaw, author: Dział Fotomedyczny WUM

Cycling trips

There are many cycling routes in the whole country. You can explore the most beautiful places in Poland on two wheels admiring marvelous views or even tour the land from the north to the south. Poland is a member of the EuroVelo network, which enables to make use of European international cycle routes.

Be careful!

To protect your equipment remember to use a good quality lock and do not leave your bike for more than a few hours in an unknown location.

 

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