Bring your passport when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area. Be prepared to show your passport to the authorities at all times, so make sure it is accessible.
If you are traveling by car or train, allow extra time in case of disruptions or delays.
Border with Belarus and Russia (Kaliningrad)
Do not cross into Belarus or Russia from Poland.
If despite our advice you are traveling by road to Belarus, you will need a visa. The rules regarding visa requirements differ for air travel. Read travel advice for Belarus and Russia.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, you cannot enter Poland through land borders from Belarus or Russia (Kaliningrad).
Border with Ukraine
Do not travel from Poland to Ukraine.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is underway. Heavy fighting is taking place in parts of eastern and southern Ukraine. Strikes and missile attacks are underway in parts of the country, including major cities. Be careful when traveling in the border regions of Ukraine. The security situation continues to be unstable. There is a risk to life.
If, despite our advice, you are traveling by road to Poland, you may face additional security measures when crossing from Ukraine to Poland. See ‘Security – Border with Ukraine’ and Ukraine travel advice for more information.
You can drive in Poland for six months if you have both:
- an International Driving Permit (IDP), and
- a valid Australian driving license
Obtain your IDP before leaving Australia.
If you want to drive for more than six months, you must obtain a Polish license. Make sure your driver’s license is up to date.
The road accident rate is high in Poland.
Drunk driving is a major cause of road accidents. Stay below the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.02%.
Hazards to drivers and pedestrians include:
- drive at high speed
- pedestrians looking in the wrong direction at level crossings due to right-hand drive cars in Europe
- be aware that when turning with a green arrow, pedestrians also have a green passing light and have the right of way
- bad roads, especially outside major cities
- poor public lighting
- high traffic volumes, especially trucks
Many highways are not dual carriageway or are under construction. Passing lanes are rare.
Bad weather in winter can make driving more dangerous. Some roads are closed in winter.
If you ride in winter in the mountains or in rural areas:
- use winter tires
- conveyor chains
By law, you must always have your headlights on when driving.
Children under 150cm must use a safety seat. Check with your car rental agency or the police.
Poland’s traffic rules are different from Australia’s. Know the rules to avoid fines and insurance problems.
Check the car rental company’s rules before renting a car or motorcycle. You must comply with Polish and Australian vehicle operation and licensing laws (for example, hold the appropriate license for the vehicle you are driving).
Use only official taxis. They have the name and number of the taxi company on the door and on the top of the taxi next to the traffic light.
Taxis with a crest but no company name are not official taxis.
Unofficial taxis often overcharge passengers.
Pre-book taxis using a reputable taxi company or an English-speaking app, such as Free Now.
You can also ask the staff of hotels, hostels or tourist areas to book you an official taxi.
DFAT does not provide safety information on individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Poland Aviation Safety Profile with the Aviation Safety Network.