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Katowice, Poland

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Poland differ significantly from those in the United States. Poland has the third highest road fatality rate based on population in the European Union. Driving, especially after dark, is hazardous. Roads are sometimes narrow, poorly lit, frequently under repair (especially in summer), and are often also used by pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians account for approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in Poland. 

  • Polish roadside services, while not equal to those in the United States, are adequate. The Polish Automobile Association (Polski Zwi?zek Motorowy Auto-Tour) has multilingual operators and provides assistance countrywide 24/7. Call (22) 532-8403 or email
  • The police emergency number is 997, fire service is 998, ambulance service is 999, and the general emergency number is 112.

Traffic Laws: You must have a U.S. driver's license and International Driving Permit (IDP) in order to drive in Poland. U.S. citizens cannot obtain IDPs in Poland. If you stay in Poland for more than six months and continue to drive, you must obtain a Polish driver?s license. You can find information on obtaining an International Driving Permit here.

  • Seat belt use is mandatory.
  • Use headlights year-round at all times.
  • Children under 12 must sit in rear seats. Children under 12 and shorter than 4?11? must use a child?s car seat.
  • Using hand-held cell phones while driving is prohibited.
  • Polish law provides zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs. Prison sentences for DUI violations or accidents caused by impaired drivers can range from two to twelve years. 
  • Fines for traffic violations can be substantial. Non-residents are expected to pay the police officer at the time the ticket is issued. Be prepared to pay in cash in local currency.

Public Transportation: Public transportation in Poland is efficient, inexpensive, and safe. A ticket is required when boarding a bus or tram and if the ticket is not validated upon entry, you may be fined. In cities, taxis are available at major hotels, designated taxi stands, and can be ordered in advance by phone.

Avoid taxis without a company name and/or telephone number printed on the light bar. Make sure that the driver displays his or her license inside the vehicle, has a functioning meter, and uses the meter when starting your trip. At airports in Poland, including Warsaw?s Chopin Airport, only use taxis found at designated stands and avoid unregistered taxi stalls.

Apps-based Ride Sharing: Internet-based ride services, such as Uber, iTaxi, and Freenow, are legal in Poland and growing in popularity as a safe ride option. However, some internet-based ride services may not be authorized to drop off or pick up patrons in some downtown tourist areas.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Also, visit Poland?s National Tourist Office and Poland?s General Roads and Highways Authority responsible for road safety information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Poland?s Civil Aviation Authority complies with safety standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Poland should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at Maritime Security Communications with Industry Web Portal and information specific to Poland can be found on The Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation website. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and as a broadcast warning on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency?s website. Weather warnings specific for Poland are available on The Institute of Meteorology and Water Management website.

Katowice, Poland
Katowice, Poland
Katowice, Poland
Katowice, Poland

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