Hitchhiking in Poland Tips
Capital : Warsaw
Population : Around 38 Million
Languages : Polish
English (Younger people in the cities)
German (A lot of the male population)
Russian (Possibly the older folks)
Difficulty : OK for Hitchhiking.
Money : Zloty (Cheaper than Western Europe but dearer than Eastern Europe)
Hitchhiking in Poland is very popular, many backpackers pass through Poland on their eurotrips and use hitchhiking to get from city to city. The trains aren’t cheap in Poland.
Poland has good motorways between all the main cities so hitchhiking needs to be done by the petrol stations outside of the cities for the best results. The cities are highly populated in Poland though so getting outside of cities can be difficult. Ask around about the local public transport or check hitchwiki’s guides to each city.
Poland’s economy has grown a lot in recent years and is a far cry from communism but the older generation still remember them days well. Older men are likely to offer you a lift but spoken English is less likely. Unfortunately Polish is a difficult language to grasp so just say “Auto-Stop” for hitchhiking and they will understand.
Unless you are willing to approach people at the petrol stations and ask for lifts then you could get stuck for hours just trying to leave a city. You have to make the first move.
Krakow is a nice city but a bit expensive to stay more than a night in. Smaller Cities like Poznan have cheaper hostels (about €5) and aren’t a popular stag night destination for Brits. Krakow’s center is full of annoying strip club pr staff because of this.
Since Poland is in the EU and Schengen it has no borders with Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania. It does however have borders with Belarus and Ukraine, most EU citizens don’t need a visa for Ukraine but the border at Medyka is the only one that can be crossed by foot.
Any suggestions for things to do in Poland? Then comment below.
Hitchhiking from Wroclaw to Bratislava
It took a long day hitchhiking from Wroclaw to Bratislava, Hitchhiking in Poland proving again to be tricky for me.
To get out of Wroclaw I walked to the Auchan shopping center. A bus can be got if you want I would recommend it. I had a long walk.
From the shopping center keep following the road on the left hand side to get yourself onto the far side of the motorway at the Orlen Petrol Station (you can’t cross the motorway at the petrol station).
Overall Rating : Good
Waiting Time : 25 mins
I managed to get a lift towards Krakow off a Polish guy and he left me off at a bad spot along the motorway between Katowice and Krakow where there was a bus stop, the exact location of I can’t remember but I got lucky in the end.
I stood against all odds with a Bratislava sign and the first Slovakian registration car to pass by stopped for me. It was a group of three guys coming from a rally in Poland who lived in Bratislava.
Before: Hitchhiking from Poznan to Wroclaw
After: Hitchhiking from Bratislava to Oradea via Budapest
Hitchhiking from Poznan to Wroclaw
My end destination was Budapest so I wasn’t bothered how I got there once I went south.
I only got to Wroclaw that day however probably because of a late hungover start and the fact I didn’t have the best luck in Poland.
I began hitchhiking at the Rataje roundabout recommended on Hitchwiki but had no luck what so ever, I even made a big sign out of a plank of wood cast nearby for but no-one stopped.
Overall Rating : Bad
Waiting Time : 2 Hours, no lift
After this attempt I got tram 5 (8 and 14 are good too) until Górczyn then caught bus 103 to Szreniawa (the bus number seem to change often though so make sure and ask). I got off at the bus stop Szreniawa (it looks like the middle of nowhere) and began thumbing.
Overall rating : Average
Waiting Time : 30 mins
I got collected by an elderly guy who only spoke Polish but he took me as far as Steszew.
In Steszew I walked through the village keeping left towards Leszno and hitchhiked again at a bus-stop.
After 10 minutes another old Polish guy collected me and dropped me off in Leszno. I began walking out of the town towards Wroclaw immedietly looking for a hitchhiking spot but didn’t see one. I kept walking along the motorway maybe a km or 2 (there’s forestry on either side and no room for cars to pull in) and found a restaurant.
Here there was two cars pulled in and a lumberjack having a fag, I began talking to the lumberjack. He used to work in Dublin and was very friendly. He spoke to the people who owned one of the cars, an elderly couple ( who I doubt wanted to take me) and convinced them I was a decent fella.
The old couple agreed to take me to Wroclaw with them, by then it was getting dark so I decided to find a hostel in Worclaw for the night
Overall Rating : Good (but maybe I was lucky)
Waiting Time : 5 Minutes
After : Hitchhiking from Wroclaw to Bratislava
Hitchhiking from Lviv to Krakow
When the time came to leave Ukraine and head west for Poland I was in Lviv with my hitch-hiking friends Tom (German) and David (French).
We weren’t really sure where to go or what to do to get out of town so we walked to the local train station and asked around for someone who spoke English, in the end a local bus driver offered to bring us to the border at a cheap price. Ukraine was still a bit tense due to the civil war in the East and our rug-sacks were feeling heavy so we took him up on his offer.
The bus left us off about 1km from the Medyka-Shedyni border and a soldier approached us asking for our passports, we showed him much to his amusement then he walked us to the border.
Getting across wasn’t difficult, we skipped the queue as EU citizens but our bags were quickly searched and passed through an x-ray. The Polish side was full of women selling Ukranian cigarettes, like a hundred of them maybe.
We began hitchhiking after the border but had no luck, its a large motorway type road. A cigarette seller pointed us to a minibus into Prezemysel for a euro or two.
Once in Prezemysel we got a taxi between the three of us onto the motorway north for Krakow and began hitchhiking at a bus stop. We were collected after 15 minutes.
Even though we got two buses and a taxi it was still cheaper then a train but not very skilful hitchhiking between the three of us.
Our lift (an Armenian guy) was going to Kielce but he dropped us off by the main road to Krakow near Checiny and we caught a lift in 10 minutes with a Polish guy going to Krakow for a stag night.