Poznan

Getting Around Poznań

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Travel within Poznań using buses and trams is efficient, fast and cheap; driving a car through the Old Town's maze of one-way streets, on the other hand, can be confusing indeed, and the centre is best negotiated either on foot or by taking a cab. In this section you'll find all you need to know about getting around the city with general ease via tram, bus and taxi.

Public Transport

Poznań is crisscrossed by 19 tram routes (of which one runs at night), and 118 bus lines (20 at night). During the day these run from around 05:00 to 23:00 with trams and buses running approximately every ten minutes. Due to frequent track work and route changes, your best bet for figuring out how to use public transport in Poz is the super-helpful website poznan.jakdojade.pl (mobile app also available), which can tell you exactly how to get from point A to Point B in English.

Transport tickets are bought from automated machines found on most buses and trams, as well as at most transport stops, and the fact that you can pay by card means you don’t have to stress about having change. The galaxy of ticket options travellers are presented with is far too complex to review here; you can take it to heart that you won’t be leaving ‘Zone A’ unless you’re travelling far outside of the city-centre, as even Lake Malta is within Zone A. Tickets are timed, and the cheapest option is a not-very-cheap 3zł for only 10mins - which might only get you 3 or 4 stops. A 40-min ticket for 4.60zł is the safer bet, but if you plan on travelling often, you may want to consider a 24hr or 48hr ticket. Another option if you are here for a few days is the Poznań City Card which gives you free unlimited use of the public transport system as part of the price. It’ll save an awful lot of headaches. Note that kids under five and adults over 70 ride for free.

Finally, it is extremely important that you remember to validate your ticket by punching it in the ‘kasowniks’ found by the bus/tram exit as soon as you board. If you don’t have a valid ticket and find yourself nicked by a plain clothes inspector you’ll be fined 140zł on the spot as well as the cost of the ticket you didn’t purchase/validate; and if you don't pay within seven days the fine jumps up to 280zł. Yes, Poz public transport is a bit of a racket.

Taxis

Not the dodgy enterprise it once was, most taxis are reliable and use their metres without any fiddling around. Calling ahead should get you a better fare, but if you hail one from the street make sure you choose a clearly marked cab with a company name and phone number displayed, as well as a sticker demarcating prices in the window. Taxis are now legally obliged to give you a printed receipt at journey's end further limiting the likelihood of any funny business. You should expect to pay 5zł for entering the taxi followed by 2zł per kilometre. Prices rise on Sundays, holidays, late at night and for travel outside of the city limits.

Whether or not to tip your taxi driver is a point of contention. Many Poles do not consider taxis a service that necessitates a tip and thereby, if you're Polish, the driver may not expect one. But double standards being what they are, it's anticipated that foreigners will leave a tip, in which case 10% is appropriate, or simply rounding up the bill. We leave it to you.

Car Rental

All most travellers need to rent a car in PL is 18 years of age, a credit card (not debit), and a valid foreign driver's licence. Be aware, however, that those from countries that didn't ratify the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (United States, China, Australia...) cannot legally drive on their home licences; technically an International Driver's License is required in those cases (in the US these are issued by AAA for a fee). If you don't have a license in line with the Vienna Convention, or the required IDL, you may be denied the ability to drive a rental car. Though some car rental companies (the dodgier ones) will still rent you a car (since it's good for their business to ignore international law), be aware that you are assuming full liability if you get behind the wheel; not only can you get a citation from the police, but if an accident were to occur, you would be fully responsible for any damages, regardless of the circumstances.

If you're looking to leave the country in your rental car, be aware that you can't cross the borders into Ukraine, Belarus or Lithuania in a rental car.
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