Poland hitch-hiker essentials
Types of roads
Knowing what roads to hitch-hike on is easy with our Poland hitch-hiker essentials guide:
1. Autostrada (A) – motorways with a speed limit of 140 km/h. There are currently 6 motorways running: east to west the A2 (centrally) and A4 (southerly), north to south A1 (centrally) and three shorter motorway stretches (A6, A8, A18). Hitch-hiking on them is illegal.
3. Droga krajowa (National road) – mostly single lane and regional roads with a speed limit of 50 – 90 km/h. There are 94 national roads in Poland, covering 18,801 km. Hitch-hiking on them is legal.
Map of Motorways and Main Roads
Speed limit on Polish roads
Absolutely essential hitch-hikers phrasebook
– hello – informal: cześć (TCHE-sh-ch) formal: dzień dobry (dgeyn DOB-ry)
– thank you – dziękuję. (DGEN-ku-ye)
– yes – tak (tak)
– no – nie (nye)
– please / you’re welcome – proszę (PRO-sh-air)
– goodbye – informal: cześć (TCHE-sh-ch) formal: do widzenia (do vee-DZE-nya)
– hitch-hiking – autostop (AWTO-stop)
– I don’t have money – nie mam pieniędzy (nye mam pier-NIEN-dzy)
– We don’t have money – nie mamy pieniędzy (nye MA-my pier-NIEN-dzy)
– money – pieniądze (pier-NION-dze)
– I’m going to… – Idę do.. (E-de do; if you are walking); Jadę do… (YA-de do, if you are using transport)
– We’re going to… – Idziemy do (e-DZYEAH-me do; if walking); Jedziemy do… (yeah-DZYEAH-me, if you are going by transport)
– I am… – Jestem (YES-tem)
– I am from… – Jestem z… (YES-tem z)
– Nice to meet you! – Bardzo mi miło (BAR-dzo mee MEE-woh)
– I don’t understand – Nie rozumiem (nye ro-ZOOM-jem)
– now – teraz (TE–ras)
– today – dzisiaj (DGEE-sh-eye)
– yesterday – wczoraj (VCHOR–eye)
– tomorrow – jutro (YOU–tro)
– friend – kolega (koh-LEH-ga)
→ Very useful when they ask you where you’re staying. The concept of Couchsurfing is often too difficult to explain, so just say you’re staying with a friend. You can also use this word to express the relationship between you and your fellow travellers.
– Can you stop? – Czy może się Pan (if you’re talking to a man) /Pani (if talking to a woman) zatrzymać? (czy-MO-*sye sh-e PA-ni za-T*SY-mach)
– I want to get out – Chcę wysiąść (htse vy-SHEONG-szcz)
– We want to get out – Chcemy wysiąść (HTSE-mer vy-SHEONG-szcz)
– turn left – Skręć w lewo (skrenczi f-LE-vo)
– turn right – Skręć w prawo (skrenczi f-PRA-wo)
– straight ahead – prosto (PRO-sto)
– beer – piwo (PI-vo) → You should know this word, you will be often invited for some.
– bus station – dworzec autobusowy (DVOR-‘s*’ets awto-bu-SO-vy)
* the ‘s’ from leisure. You should know this word and listen out for it to avoid situations when your driver, in their best intentions, takes you off the road and drives you to a station.
– train station – dworzec kolejowy (DVOR-‘s*’ets ko-le-YO-vy)
– help me! – pomocy! (po-MO-tsy)
– look out! – uważaj! (u-VA-*s*’eye)
– street – ulica (u-LEE-tsa)
– road – droga (DRO-ga)
– roundabout – rondo (RON-do)
– crossroads – skrzyżowanie (skr*s*y-*s*o-VA-nie)
Main Border Crossings
Poland – EU countries
Since 2004 the border crossings with fellow EU states (Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania) have become obsolete. They are no longer manned and thus should not present any problems for travellers.
Poland – Ukraine
There are four border crossings between Poland and Ukraine.
→ A major crossing can be found at Medyka, 75km east of Rzeszów. Medyka also constitutes the main rail crossing between the two countries. We have experience of crossing this border on foot and do not be surprised to find long queues and hundreds of people taping cigarettes to their bodies as they attempt to smuggle them across into the EU.
→ The other crossings are at Korczowa, Hrebenne and Dorohusk. More information can be found here
Poland – Belarus
There are three border crossings between Belarus and Poland
→ Major crossings can be found at Terespol on the E30 route that connects Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk and Moscow, and Kukuryi situated on the Poland’s National Road 68. More information can be found here and here.
→ An alternative crossing is located at Kuźnica which was recently upgraded to become an external Schengen border point. More information can be found here.
Poland – Russia
There is one border crossing between the Russian Kalingrad Oblast (Polish: Obwód Kaliningradzki) and Poland
→ Located 10km north-west of Bartoszyce, the only border crossing is in the Polish village of Bezledy. More information can be found here.
written by: Jon