| Part 1: Introduction
We visited the southern part of Poland and were wondering how
the infrastructure and development level was. More specifically in what
state roads and motorways were and how much crime there was in the
cities. We found overall a good infrastructure, modern motorways and
good roads, making it easy to quickly drive from one place to the next.
Before the trip we were a bit concerned about travelling with a German
car to Poland (all those stereotypes etc.). It turns that most people
in Poland have mid-range cars like ours and we sort of blend seamlessly
with the environment. Why would somebody want to steal our car when our
car is nothing so special?
The landscape in the south of Poland is beautiful. It's more wild and
original than the often carefuly choreographed landscapes in Germany.
There is less agriculture, less civilisation, probably also due to the
lower population density in Poland.
Overall Poland makes the impression of a developed country with high
living standards, although I have to say that many buildings in the
cities are in no good shape. I'm guessing that modernising and tiding
up the buildings requires a lot more investment than the one required
to buy a nice car and that therefore extensive renovations haven't yet
Costs seem to be on the same level as in Germany or other western
European countries. Hotels are not cheap (in fact we pay less in
Dresden) and restaurants neither. I was expecting overall lower costs
of living due to the lower salaries in Poland, but it turns out that
things in Poland the same as in Germany.
We didn't try out the local cuisine and relied on a mix of fast food
places (due to the limited time), cafes and Chinese restaurants.
hotels and pension are available in Krakow, a tourist magnet. The
Aparthotel Pergamin where we stayed is good, the only issue is that our
room was on a busy street and they were not able to move us to a more
/ Exchange rate (June 2012)
1 Euro = 4.2 zloty
1 Euro = 1.25 USD
ATMs are everywhere, so that you can easily get cash with a
Cirrus/Maestro ATM card.
phones and prepaid cards
We bought prepaid SIM cards in the Galeria
Krakowska mall next to the train station (forgot which brand). These
offered telephony services as well as 3G data package for use with a
smartphone. It was a relatively simple procedure: we bought the SIM
cards in a newspaper kiosk.
was availale in the hotel room (WLAN) and via the smartphone. We didn't
therefore bother looking for Internet cafes (can't remember having seen
Mostly sunny with occasional rainfalls. Temperatures between 20 and
None required for Poland.
There are no border controls between Germany and Poland and Poland and
Czechia. Poland belongs to the Schengen zone.
No issues here. Those stereotypes about the Poles are, well, just
- The peace church in Jawor
- The Galeria
Krakowska mall in Krakow: nice and modern mall, with lots of shopping
- Kalwaria Zebrzydowska may be a UNESCO world
heritage site, but it is actually not that impressive.
We travelled by car. In Krakow we left the car
in a parking (150
zloty for five days), then simply used to walk because the historic
centre is relatively small. Driving to the sites in and around Krakow
is relatively incomplicated IF you have a navigation system. A
navigation system is absolutely essential if you travel by car.