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|capital = [[Warsaw]]
|map = <map lat='52' lng='19' zoom='5' view='0' country='Poland' />
|pop = 38,518135,241876
|currency = Złoty (PLN)
|hitch = {{good}}<rating country='pl' />|BW = PL
'''Poland''' is a member state of the [[European Union]] as well as the [[Schengen Agreement]]. It is pretty good an awesome country for hitchhikingand even one of the most hitchhiker friendly countries in whole Europe. Many drivers generally believe that others do not stop and that hitchhiking days are over in Poland, which however does not prevent hundreds of them from stopping. Since 1958 till the beginning of 90's hitchhiking in Poland was an official way of traveling organized by National Tourist Board, when hitchhikers had their ID with [[insurance ]] included and drivers could win prizes every year. Thousands of people were hitchhiking through all these years – and most of them have cars today, so very often do they repay the debt.
=== General Hitchhiking Info ===
Quite common way to [[hitchhiking|hitchhike]] in Poland is to stand on the side of the road with your hand extended and/or thumb pointing upwards. Some hikers also wave their hands up and down, which is widely understood as ''"I only need a short ride"''. This way of hitchhiking is popular between villagers and high school students who look for a lift for a short distance. They very rarely do write their destination on a [[signsigns|sheet of paper]] or some piece of cardboard. Waving is enough to make a driver stop. In the past in some regions of Poland elderly people were also giving small tips to the drivers, which is usually uncommon nowadays.
Travellers who look looking for a longer ride usually make a sign with a the name of a city they go 're going to or through. Some drivers prefer to take travellers and tourists. Because of that this it is 's a good idea to place your backpack in front of you and make a sign which makes you look like a <i>''professional hitchhiker</i>''.
[[ImageFile:Krakow_to_ukraine.JPG|left|thumb|250px|Hitchhiker in [[Kraków]]]]
=== Tips ===
[[CB radio]] is quite popular in Poland not only among truck drivers, which might help in getting a ride. If you're lucky they can ask other drivers to take you further. You might even ask them gently to do that, especially in bad weather conditions or by night.
Hitching by night is possible in Poland but not easy. On national roads try to find bright spot where drivers can see you. Use bright clothes. The best options are petrol stations where you can speak with the drivers while they fill up the tank.
'''Public transport''' While staying in bigger cities check []. It will find for you every single connection between two points within city limits and show ticket price, route on a map, bus stops names and timetables. Just write the name of a street where you are in a form called "A" and the place you want to go to in a form "B". You can also right click on the map to pick points. It will do the rest. If you're planning to stay longer in Poland you may want to download a mobile app and have it always with you (internet connection is necessary).
'''Hitchhiking as a solo woman''' At least in Northern Poland there are often prostitutes who are standing by the road in the summer. And if on duty, they mark their regular spots with a piece of clothing and come back again after. This might lead into confusion when you're hitchhiking alone as a woman. It's not really dangerous but hitchhiker friendly people might mistake you for a prostitute when they pass you and not stop. So as a solo woman would be good not to wear clothes that are too revealing, put your backpack in front and not stand very close to the prostitute spots.
=== Hitchhiking at night ===
On small roads it is to be avoided for sure as the traffic is low at night and the light even worse. On a spot with good light you can still try your luck. On the motorways it works perfectly good, maybe better than everywhere else in Europe. On the petrol stations the light is good and people are very helpful and will not be comfortable with the idea to leave you there over night, especially when it rains or it is cold, what is quite often the case in this country.
=== Borders ===
As mentioned above Poland joined [[Schengen Agreement]] which means there is no more passport control on the borders with Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany. In most places there are still speed limits on the borders, there are also parking lots, toilets and currency exchange offices, which makes these places pretty good spots for hitchhiking. On new newly built roads built however there are no speed limits anymore.To Ukraine you can go by foot in Medyka, but not in Korczowa!!! (there you can wait for 3 hours because there are too many cars.)
=== Roads ===
Even though the Polish road network has improved gigantically enormously over the last two decades, by Western European standards, Poland has still quite a poorly developed road infrastructure . The road network consists of roads motorways (''drogaautostrada'') i.e. A2, plural expressways (''drogidroga ekspresowa'') and with lower speed limits than motorways i.e. S6, national roads (''autostradadroga krajowa''), plural ''autostrady''). The vast majority of roads that form an extensive net covering all of the country which are mostly single lanei.e. There are few main motorways, 92 and some expressways with lower speed limits than motorways but with many of their featuresother regional roads. However At the moment there is lots a lot of investments at investment in the moment as road network, especially since Poland will be hosting hosted the European Football Championship final tournament in 2012.[[File:Autostop.JPG|260px|thumb|right|Restaurant on a Polish service station (A4) :-)]]Except for the motorwaysand expressways, it is generally accepted acceptable to hitchhike on the side of the road in almost any suitable place. Unlike many European states, the police are generally friendly towards hitchhikers as long as they behave properly. Some of the newly-refurbished national roads have "no pedestrians" signs near major towns, but it's still uncommon. This means that if you plan to go through any major town in your journey, it is usually better to exit the car before arriving in the city - otherwise, you might have to walk till the end of the no-pedestrians area.On motorways and expressways the best place to hitchhike is either a sliproad or, preferably, one of the petrol stationsor toll booths.
See also: <br />[[Changes in Polish motorways and expressways network|Up-to-date info about investments in Polish motorways and expressways network on Google Maps]]<br />[ Roads and expressways in '''Poland''']<br />
=== Language ===
[[ImageFile:Guaka-hitching-in-poland-2008.jpg|thumb|right|220px|[[User:Guaka|guaka]] hitching in Poland]]According to a 2001 2009 survey by CBOS [] (Polish survey office), roughly 4246% of Poles speak declare they can communicate in at least one foreign language fluently. Generally, 2324% of Poles speak English, 20% speak Russian, 1612% speak English and a similar percentage speaks [[Germany|German]]. Other languages often spoken are [[France|French]](2%), [[Czech Republic|Czech]], [[Slovakia|Slovak]] and other Slavic languages. According to the same similar surveyin 2006 [], among the youngsters (students and pupils) the percentage to speak at least one foreign language fluently reached 6677, as compared to 5059% of those under 35 and 40% of those between 35 and 54 years of age []. According to a similar another survey prepared in late 2005 by TNS Opinion & Social for the European Commission, the percentage of people who speak one foreign language decently is 57%. At the same time roughly 32% are bi-lingual and 4% tri-lingual [,Znajomosc-jezykow-obcych-w-Europie,1,39,1.html]. Except for younger people, foreign languages (mostly [[England|English]]) are commonly spoken by businessmen and educated people (87%), urban populations (50%) and small business (48%). However, it is hard to predict the knowledge of languages of a driver by his car as educated people in '''Poland''' are generally poorly-paid.
Apart from the people who speak foreign languages, a vast majority of Poles do understand some basic constructions of other Slavic languages and of English. Due to World War II history and the number of war films created afterwards, also some basic words of the German language are commonly known.
=== Communication & Dictionary ===
[[Image:Warsaw - poznan.JPG|thumb|left|225px]]The Polish language is generally hard to learn for most native English speakers. Even the most basic constructions you might need while on the road require the usage of quite complicated grammar and the use of grammatical gender, proper declension and a number of other categories non-existent in modern English. However, contrary to French or German people, Poles are generally friendly towards foreigners who try to speak their language. Because of that do not be afraid to commit mistakes. They might at times sound funny, but most Polish people would be astonished by the fact that you tried. That said some Polish drivers may find local hitchhikers suspicious as they are scared of crime. Foreign hitchhikers are excluded from this fear because nobody might expect a foreigner to have nothing better to do than pretending to be a hitchhiker and steal from their drivers. So when your Polish skills are good enough that people will not recognize you as a foreigner, mention it as well.
Apart from the basic set of words and constructions found in every guidebook, there are some words hitchhikers might find particularly useful. Check also the Wikipedia articles on [ Polish language] and [ Polish phonology] for more info on proper pronunciation. You can buy a decent guidebook or dictionary in any major town in '''Poland'''.
* Hello - Dzien dobry ("dzhehn dobri")
* I'm sick - Jestem chory ("yehstehm hori")
See also the Polish dictionary in Hitchwiki's [[Eastern Europe phrasebook]].
=== Number plates ===
Here you find a [ map] with the car registration plate codes of '''Poland'''.
It facilitates hitching at spots where you can see a car registration plate (petrol stations, borders, traffic lights)and choose the proper one. In short, the plates consist of two or three letters and four digits. The first letter denotes the voivodeship (region) and is followed by one or two letters denoting a major town. Usually voivodeship capitals and major towns have two letters, while smaller towns have three. For instance cars from Warsaw could have plates ranging from WA XXXX to WZ XXXX, while all cars from [[Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki]] have WND XXXX plates.
When you see some English, Swiss or German registration plates, they still might be Polish people there, on vacation to their former homeland.
== Border crossings ==
=== [[Belarus]] ===
The most exhausting border crossing with long waiting queues. Be sure to arrive with a visa if you need one. The police have the reputation of being quite rude, but this is not the case every time.
Border crossings from south to north:
* [,51.771666,23.569832%3B8225709824099370420,51.760479,23.611216&saddr=63+%4051.771666,+23.569832&daddr=Unknown+road+%4051.760479,+23.611216&sll=51.766075,23.590525&sspn=0.017263,0.04549&ie=UTF8&ll=52.722986,25.378418&spn=4.325896,11.645508&z=7 Damačava (BLR) / Sławatycze (PL)] (bel. Дамачава, rus. Домачево) – vehicular crossing located 120 km to the north-east from [[Lublin|Lublin]], 70 km to the east from [[Radzyn Podlaski|Radzyn Podlaski]] on the way to [[Brest (Belarus)|Brest]].
* [,52.069786,23.642091&saddr=2%2FE30+%4052.069786,+23.642091&daddr=52.073732,23.673027&mra=mi&mrsp=1,0&sz=16&sll=52.074073,23.666546&sspn=0.008573,0.022745&ie=UTF8&ll=52.070116,23.646183&spn=0.068588,0.181961&z=13 Brest (Varšaŭski most (Warsaw Bridge)) (BLR) / Terespol (PL)] (bel. Брэст (Варшаўскі мост), rus. Брест (Варшавский мост)) – the biggest crossing point located on [[E30]] near [[Brest (Belarus)|Brest]]. Crossing is possible only in a vehicle. Be prepared for a long waiting time. If there is a lot of traffic, even very long waiting time. Even when there are just two or three cars in front of you, you can find yourself waiting for several hours.
* [,52.106891,23.558036%3B5287091177967822326,52.110654,23.561225&saddr=68+%4052.106891,+23.558036&daddr=52.116665,23.564816&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=16&sll=52.114886,23.566296&sspn=0.008565,0.022745&ie=UTF8&ll=52.516221,24.483032&spn=2.172906,5.822754&z=8 Kazlovičy (BLR) / Kukuryki (PL)] (bel. Казловічы, rus. Козловичи) – for trucks only. Located at the north-western edge of Brest.
*['11.0%22N+23%C2%B021'30.1%22E/@52.4697112,23.3561643,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d52.4697082!4d23.3583531?hl=en Piasčatka (BLR) / Połowce (PL)] (bel. Пясчатка, rus. Песчатка) – located 40 km to the south-east from [[Bielsk Podlaski|Bielsk Podlaski]] on the way to [[Brest (Belarus)|Brest]].
* [ście+graniczne+Białowieża+-+Piererow/@52.6693897,23.8421252,13.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x47205d08a089cf39:0x7d8b7f4d91f4e07!8m2!3d52.6686046!4d23.8582331?hl=en Pieraroŭ (BLR) / Białowieża (PL)] (bel. Перароў, rus. Переров) – small, pedestrian-only crossing in the middle of the beautiful Bialowieza Forest. EU citizens can visit (for 72 hours) the Belorussian part of the forest, as well as the village of Kamianiuki '''without a visa''' (check [ requirements for visa-free entrance]). Since the crossing is for pedestrians/cyclists only, you are likely to be the only person there. There aren't many parked cars, but just enough to get you picked up to the nearest village on the Polish side (it's not very far, so you can walk, as well). On the Belarusian side, you can either try hitch-hiking towards the nearest village of Biely Liasok (bel. Белы Лясок) (there'll be plenty of tourists and only a single road for cars) or you can walk through the forest to Kamianiuki (about 16 km, it's the official "entry" village to the forest on the Belarusian side). From Kamianiuki, you can either hitch-hike, or if you don't have time, take maršrutka (mini-bus) to the bus terminal in Brest. If you're lucky, you can also hitch a ride with one of the park's employees.
*['22.0%22N+23%C2%B053'54.6%22E/@53.1227709,23.8964963,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d53.1227684!4d23.8985041?hl=en Bierastavica (BLR) / Bobrowniki (PL)] (bel. Бераставіца, rus. Берестовица) – located 50 km to the east from [[Białystok|Białystok]] on the way to [[Vaŭkavysk|Vaŭkavysk]], [[Hrodna|Hrodna]].
*['29.9%22N+23%C2%B040'06.3%22E/@53.5249652,23.6662313,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m15!1m8!3m7!1s0x0:0x0!2zNTPCsDA3JzIyLjAiTiAyM8KwNTMnNTQuNiJF!3b1!7e2!8m2!3d53.1227684!4d23.8985041!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d53.5249617!4d23.66842?hl=en Bruzhi (BLR) / Kuźnica (PL)] (bel. Брузгі, rus. Брузги) – 60 km to the north-east from [[Białystok|Białystok]] on the way to [[Hrodna|Hrodna]].
If you want to avoid long waiting times at the Brest (Varšaŭski most (Warsaw Bridge)) / Terespol border crossing you can take a train from Terespol to Brest. It goes 3 times a day and costs 17 złoty. You can pay in złotys only but there is an exchange office at the [ train station]. (August 2018)
=== [[Czech Republic]] ===
* [[Chotěbuz-Cieszyn-Boguszowice border crossing]]
=== [[Germany]] ===
* [[Jędrzychowice border crossing]]
* [[Świecko border crossing]]
=== [[Lithuania]] ===
* [[Budzisko-Kalvarija border crossing]]
=== [[Russia]] ===
* [[Bagrationovsk-Bezledy border crossing]] with Russia's [[Kaliningrad Oblast]]
=== [[Slovakia]] ===
* [[Zwardoń border crossing]]
* [[Barwinek-Vyšný Komárnik border crossing]]
=== [[Ukraine]] ===
* [[Dorohusk-Jahodin border crossing]]
*[[Dołhobyczów-Uhryniv border crossing]]
* [[Hrebenne-Rava Ruska border crossing]]
* [[Shegyni-Medyka border crossing]]
* [[Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing]]
== Links ==
* [[Overview List of good hitchhiking spots from former website Digimer AutostopFB groups for different cities in Poland]* [ Polish hitchhikers on FB]
* [ Roads and expressways in Poland]
* [ Public transport of many Polish cities]
{{Voivodeships Poland}}
[[Category:Poland| ]]

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