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London to Krakow travel by Road


paulinska 9 | 86
4 Jul 2016  #1
Hi Folks,

I've not been here for a while now, good to see PF is still going strong.

I'll be travelling to the best city in Poland - Krakow, by road next week. I've done a quick search on PF and i can't find any of the old posts about road travel to Poland. I just want to make sure i'm not missing a trick or two as i know laws and regulations change overnight.

Has anyone traveled to the good old Polska lately? Any new traffic regulations to know of? Do we still need breathalysers in France?
Do i still need a GB sticker on my car? Any new road tolls on the A4/E40?
I've heard the Polish Schengen boarders are now closed. Does this mean we have to queue at the A4/E40 Germnay/Poland border crossing?

I'm hoping you're all well and looking forward to the summer. I'm available for a drink up in Krakow if there are any interested parties.

Thanks in advance for you help on this.

P
terri 1 | 1,620
4 Jul 2016  #2
I read recently that it is better to take 2 breathalyzers to France, put a GB sticker on the car.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
4 Jul 2016  #3
Do we still need breathalysers in France?

yes it is illegal to not have them, as well as a hi viz waistcoat over the back of the drivers seat, AFAIK.
Best check to be sure.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,423
4 Jul 2016  #4
paulinska , Not sure which part of the UK you are travelling from, we have given up going via dover, reasons M25, Calais migrant hassle, french rules / regs

We use the Harwich overnight ferry, nice meal, cabin good sleep arrive at hook of Holland in the morning, on the autobahn pretty swiftly, there after a quick blast into Poland
mcm
4 Jul 2016  #5
If there is not an EU flag on the number plate then yes GB sticker required, headlight deflectors, Hi Viz waistcoats for driver and any passengers, 2 x breath test kits, spare light bulbs.

V5C car document, insurance certificate, drivers licence.
No border crossing issues, the A4 is still a toll road (to Gliwice we pay 15.70PLN)
I prefer to use the tunnel and travel during the night, the roads are quieter and its cooler at night.
The M25 is still a car park!
OP paulinska 9 | 86
4 Jul 2016  #6
Thanks a lot for your responses. I see a lot hasn't changed then. I'll probably go to Halfords & get myself a European travel kit.

V5C car document, insurance certificate, drivers licence.

Thanks for this mcm...I didn't think I needed the V5C doc.

I don't remember how much zloty I paid at the tolls to get to Kraków. Do they take card payments? It's abt 5yrs now since my last road trip. I'm hoping to buy my Zloty somewhere in Kraków.

We use the Harwich overnight ferry, nice meal, cabin good sleep arrive at hook of Holland in the morning, on the autobahn pretty swiftly, there after a quick blast into Poland

Dolno, I'll set off from Surrey, so Dover is much closer to me than Harwich. So it's Dunkerque/Belgium/Holland/Germany and then Kraków for me unfortunately. How long is your drive from Hook? I'll set off at night, so hopefully we'll miss the M25 rush hour traffic.

Now what's the weather like?!
Harry
5 Jul 2016  #7
I didn't think I needed the V5C doc.

Make sure you take originals of everything. I'd also consider getting us getting a specific letter from your insurance company confirming that you are insured in Poland: that was fairly recently a terrible case of a British driver who was arrested on suspicion of having forged insurance documents, released, and then extradited from the UK months later after spending weeks in a British prison. when brought to Poland he was told that he could either except that he did have forged insurance documents, which he did not and could easily demonstrate that he did not, and pay a small administrative penalty all he could to go to trial and argue his case there; however, as he had no address in Poland he would not be eligible for bail and would thus spend three months in prison before the trial. He pleaded guilty and paid the fine.
terri 1 | 1,620
5 Jul 2016  #8
For the weather, go to:
interia.pl and select Krakow on top left hand side. They give prediction for the next 25 days.
dolnoslask 5 | 2,423
5 Jul 2016  #9
If you live in Surrey Dover is the best bet.

Hook of Holland ferry port to Zgorzelec takes about 8.5 hours normal UK driving speeds but on the Autobahn you can go as fast as you wish on the unrestricted sections , I set the cruise control to about 120mph t(traffic permitting) this can shorten the journey time quite a bit, only problem is that I go from 20 mpg to about 12mpg, but be very careful to stick to the speed limits when required to do so, the German police are very hot on speeding.
jon357 63 | 14,122
5 Jul 2016  #10
If you live in Surrey Dover is the best bet

I would go that way too for sheer convenience and number of ferries daily. A friend who drives (actually Kent to Warsaw) goes (I think) Ramsgate-Dunkirk. I don't remember why, either it's cheaper, less crowded or some other reason.
OP paulinska 9 | 86
5 Jul 2016  #11
I have heard the Pope will be in Krakow during the last week of July! Can anyone please confirm this? Does this mean Krakow will be a no-go? I've planned to stay in Kazimierz but i also have an option to stay in Skawina. Would it be better to come into Krakow as when it is necessary to avoid the religious masses?

Ramsgate-Dunkirk

I had a quick look at this and i believe Ramsgate only serves Ostend in Belgium. Not a bad option, as you do away with all the French madness. Unfortunately i'm already booked onto Dover - Dunkirk now.

I set the cruise control to about 120mph

120mph is a little too fast for the missus i think. Wouldn't bear with the screaming...

Make sure you take originals of everything

Thanks Harry, point noted.
Chemikiem 6 | 1,918
5 Jul 2016  #12
I have heard the Pope will be in Krakow during the last week of July! Can anyone please confirm this?

Yes he will be.
World Youth Day 2016 runs between July 26th and 31st, so I would imagine that Kraków will be very busy indeed.
Here is the itinerary:-

krakow-info/PopeFrancis2Krakow.htm
jon357 63 | 14,122
5 Jul 2016  #13
so I would imagine that Kraków will be very busy indeed.

Also Schengen is suspended so the will be border checks, plus much increased security within Poland and yes, Kraków will be incredibly busy.
kpc21 1 | 763
6 Jul 2016  #14
Also Schengen is suspended so the will be border checks,

Still not proper border checks, but random ones. There will be, however, permanent control just at the border, they will just select random cars, not check all of them. So there shouldn't be queues.
jon357 63 | 14,122
6 Jul 2016  #15
I suspect it will still slow things down a bit though, and a cars with foreign plates are most likely to be targeted by the bizzies
terri 1 | 1,620
7 Jul 2016  #16
Maybe the fuzz think they can get some spare cash-in-hand.....Just thinking...
dolnoslask 5 | 2,423
7 Jul 2016  #17
Today we have driven through Poland to Zittau (Germany) via Czech Republic, then from Gorlitz (Germany) to Zgorzelec (Poland) , didn't get stopped, never saw a Polish border guard only the odd Police car at the borders.
OP paulinska 9 | 86
7 Jul 2016  #18
Dolno, Thanks for the update! Out of curiosity, how much is a litre of diesel in Germany/Poland. I used to go off the autobahn into small villages and get diesel cos the pump prices were always cheaper compared to the autobahn services. I wonder if it's worth doing that anymore. Also if it's cheaper in Poland then I could wait till I get to Zgorzelec before I fill up again...
HP93 - | 2
7 Jul 2016  #19
Diesel is definitely worth it imo I think it's about 5.10 a litre
dolnoslask 5 | 2,423
8 Jul 2016  #20
Diesel about 4.35zl litre, never look will check a receipt to be exact later

Diesel 4.25zl today
OP paulinska 9 | 86
4 Aug 2016  #21
UPDATE:

Ferry crossing was a complete farce! We had a 6hr Immigration & Security wait in Dover. Quite understandable though as France is on a very high security alert. I heard some people waited much longer!!

The drive was smooth, caught some traffic near Dortmund but it was clear sailing - the roads are in good nick (well, the ones that i used).

Krakow was a nightmare! Never seen that many people in one place - road closures, police checks, queues everywhere for everything.
I'm not actually complaining, because i believe as a host nation this was expected. It was just a little frustrating that i couldn't do the usual things i do whenever i visit Krakow. I ended up staying in a little beautiful village called Bierna. It's very quiet and it has some stunning mountain views.

Looking for other things to do, I ended up going on a day trip to Ostrava in Czech. Too little of a time there to tell you what i make of it, but every day commodities seemed a little more expensive than in Poland.

So I decided to visit Warsaw, guess what, i went on the 1st Aug - ofcourse the Warsaw Uprising. It was a good surprise though, i saw some very patriotic Polish Men & Women. The scenes were just brilliant.

I took the IC premium train from Warsaw to Wroclaw - quite pricey (150zl) but well worth each grozy. I now understand that here in Britain, the National train service is an absolute rip off!

Lastly, Poland have the cheapest petrol prices all over Europe. The cheapest i bought a litre of diesel was 4pln somewhere in Wisla. Good times....
Jardinero 1 | 407
7 Aug 2016  #22
Poland have the cheapest petrol prices all over Europe.

In EU you mean - although Belgium is not far behind, especially if you run on LPG (don't understand why the UK hasn't caught up).

Ferry crossing was a complete farce! We had a 6hr Immigration & Security wait in Dover.

This is *****, I hate it, I did a 2hr wait before Xmass and thought it was a killer - hope it does not happen again.


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