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 and, not obligatory but highly 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).

 

Vehicle used to conduct research in Laboratory of Cars and Tractors, Kielce University of Technology, author: Kamil Dziewit

Driving licence (PL prawo  jazdy)

Various rules apply to citizens of different countries. Driving licences issued by the EU Member States are recognised in Poland until the validity date given on the document. EU nationals residing in Poland are not required to change their driving licence unless they have a different address of residence than previously.

Third-country nationals holding a driving licence issued in accordance with the Convention on Road Traffic of 1968 are allowed to drive vehicles on Polish roads on the basis of their document for the period of 6 months.

Nationals of the countries which are not parties to the Convention should also hold an international driving licence. Once a residence permit has been issued, both documents cease to be valid and the holder should apply for the Polish driving licence. In order to obtain it, applicants may be required to take a partial state examination – only a written test in English, German or Polish.

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 means of transportation, 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.

 

Useful links