By Car

Poland is one of Europe’s leading nations in road fatalities, a statistic that will surprise few who have had the pleasure of using the roads here. A lethal combination of poor road surfaces, networks unsuited to the volume of different traffic and, most of all, frustrated and aggressive driver behavior result in the common sight of mangled wrecks around the country. Be cautious and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. The speed limit in Poland is generally 50km/hr in cities (60km/hr between 23:00 and 05:00), 90km/hr outside urban areas, 120km/hr on dual carriageways and 140km/hr on motorways. All cars must have their headlights
switched on at all times and carry a red warning triangle, first aid kit, replacement bulbs, a national identity sticker and proper registration and insurance documents. Poland also has strict drunk-driving laws: 0.2 is the maximum blood/alcohol limit, so forget about having even a single beer. You can use your home driving license or an international driving permit for six months from the entry date on your passport. Carry your license and passport at all times when driving.

Katowice is a straight 75km drive west from Kraków along the A4 highway, one of the better stretches of road in the country, but it’s smooth asphalt doesn’t come free. Toll gates can be found at either end at which you will need to pay 18zł if driving a car. This brings you in on Al. Górnośląska (F-5). The other major route in will bring you along route 79 onto ul. Chorzowska (B-1). Driving around Katowice can be a bit hellish for those uninitiated to the complexity of the city’s oneway streets and the constant presence of roadwork, so we recommend you ditch your vehicle at the earliest opportunity. Car crime is not unheard of and you’ll be safest leaving your ride in one of the guarded parking lots listed below. Street parking is also available and generally operates under the control of a local parking warden. He will be wandering along his patch wearing a bib of some colour and will charge you around 2 zł per hour to park.

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