Ever wanted to see more than once place in a short amount of time? A road trip is the best for this. Except I bet Poland wasn’t your first choice for a road trip! Poland has so many interesting, fun and romantic locations that all have something unique with character and history. Exploring many locations in a short amount time will allow you to immerse yourself in the Polish culture and experience life in Poland too.
Which is why an Ultimate Poland Road Trip is an experience that everyone should enjoy at least once. These 7 beautiful summer locations are all worth visiting within a 10 day route* and we hope it inspires you!
*This is a road trip I personally did with my boyfriend in June 2021, so its written with experience. All photos are our own – and we can highly recommend this route!
Before we share about the 10 day road trip route, see here some quick info about Poland:
Population In Poland
The total population of Poland is around 40 million residents, which are spread out among the 16 administrative provinces. The largest metropolis is Warsaw, shortly followed behind with Krakow, Poznan and Szczecin.
Best Time To Visit
The weather all year round can be a bit like the rest of Europe, from weeks of rain to scorching hot summers. Weather in June is perfect for a road trip, with temperatures from 20°c to 30°c throughout the country. Summer period is the best time to experience Poland, but this Poland road trip itinerary is also suitable from May to September.
The main currency in Poland is złoty. With the euro conversion rate, its pretty cheap to go to Poland, especially for 10 day road trip – where we had a conversion of 1 euro to only 0.20 zł – Only a 5th of the euro!
Tip: When taking out money from a cash machine, never accept the conversion from the machine – its always much higher than your actual bank conversion charges.
Facts About Poland
Before we go into more detail, here are 5 facts about Poland worth knowing before you visit:
- The famous dish of Pierogi is one of the most eaten filled dumplings, with Ruskie (potato and cheese)
- Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe geographically, which includes a total of 7 borders with other countries.
- Vodka has been drunk in Poland since the 11th century, which started as a medicine.
- Poland is the largest explorer of Amber, with many souvenirs being sold with this.
- There are 24 National Parks, 1,300 lakes and over 70 mountains to explore.
How To Get There & Car Rental
Flights to Poland are pretty affordable from many European countries, with flight costing as low as 15 euros for a fare if you are lucky and not that far away. Many airlines also fly to the bigger cities such as Warsaw, Poznan and Krakow, with Polish and international airlines providing direct routes.
Car Rental And Costs
Renting a car is easy from the bigger cities and airports. In Krakow for this road trip we rented from a local car hire company that allowed us to return the car back in a different city, since we were flying back from a different airport. For our rental car of 10 days, including fuel costs and cost to return it to a different location, it was only 130 euros for the whole trip. A super cheap price!
Driving Experience in Poland
In Poland you drive on the right side of the road, like most other EU countries. It’s very easy to drive in Poland, since most road signs are all the same and easy to understand. As long as you have some driving experience in general, you will have no issues driving in Poland. Just keep in mind of some local rules too, such as when driving into the old city centres of the bigger cities, many of these roads that are only allowed for residents to enter.
Poland Road Trip Itinerary
Planning a road trip in general is great to see a lot of places in a short amount of time.
Here are the main locations you can visit with this recommended Poland Road Trip:
- Mragowo (Masurian Lake District)
- Warsaw Capital City
The map of Poland shared below shows the full road trip itinerary. On google this shares that the route is just under 1600km / 994miles, which does not include any extra points of interest you may want to see along the way. Between each location mentioned, it is on average around 3 hours driving between each – which is easily doable!
First Location: Krakow
Duration: 1 night
Where To Stay: Aparthotel Stare Miasto
Start the road trip in a place that’s easy to get to from your destination, with Krakow a great place with their international airport. Arriving super early in the morning or late at night is not an issue, as there are easy connections by train or taxi’s directly to the city.
Krakow is one of the favourite places to visit as a tourist in Poland. It has a beautiful old town with market square. We can see why it’s a top visit as the city has a bit of everything. Interesting history, a huge shopping mall, a castle and of course it’s a foodies paradise for local bites to international dishes. Krakow is also perfect for a night out dancing (and to try some local vodkas!).
Fun Fact: The main market square in the old city of Krakow the largest city plaza of medieval world.
Second Location: Poznan
Duration: 2 nights
Where To Stay: Wozna 11 Stare Miasto
Next stop on the road trip is the city of Poznan. This pretty city is the best place for drinking, relaxing on a terrace of a restaurant and eating good food while on the old market square. The late-Renaissance town hall is also on this square with is gorgeous three tiers and arches.
Other things to do and see in Poznan include the natural and history museum, exploring the local parks, getting a tour at the Polish Lech brewery, the military museum and exploring the jungle plant paradise at Palmiarnia Poznanska. For the foodies among us, there is even a croissant museum!
Fun fact: The main town hall’s clock has a few mechanical goats that butt heads at noon.
Third Location: Kolobrzeg
Duration: 1 night
Where To Stay: Nad Parsętą
After already that inland road trip travelling, the next stop is at the sea! Kolobrzeg is a popular seaside location for all Polish and Germans. Kolobrzeg literally means “by the shore”, which is smart as there is of course the lovely sandy beach, which is the main reason for most people visiting. When not on the beach, you can also explore the 17th century lighthouse.
Kolobrzeg has a promenade right next to the beach for walking along before finding a spot on the sand for the day. Else it’s the perfect place for a gorgeous evening stroll. If you fancy a drink by the sea, walk up the local pier to the end for a drink at the little restaurant. Here you can look back to Kolobrzeg as the sun sets.
Fun Fact: Kolobrzeg was once a fortress under Hitlers reign during World War Two, with 90% of the buildings being destroyed during the war.
Fourth Location: Gdynia
Duration: 1 night
Where To Stay: Apartamenty Na Fali
After staying at the sandy beach location of Kołobrzeg, time to head along the highway to Gydnia as the next road trip location.
From Gdynia, you could also visit Wladyslawowo or Hel, both great places with activities like kite surfing and swimming. Else, spend all your time in Gydnia by exploring the hiking locations close to the clifs, enjoying a boat trip or shopping at the large shopping mall.
Gydnia is also known for its modernist style buildings and unlike the other Polish cities, there is not much of a historical old square to spend time at. Since the port is quite large for boats and sailors, it’s also set up for tourists. You can also explore a military ORP Błyskawica destroyer ship and the Dar Pomorzia fully-rigged sailing ship as well as the Polish National Maritime Museum.
Fun Fact: By public vote in 2008, Gdynia made it on the Monopoly Now World Edition board as one of the favourites.
Fifth Location: Gdańsk
Duration: 1 night
Where To Stay: Hotel Gdańsk Boutique
After a gorgeous night at Gydnia, it’s mandatory to check out the next destination of Gdańsk nearby. These two cities are part of the Tri-city with Sopot in the middle (also worth stopping at!). Gdańsk itself is an absolutely picturesque location with a gorgeous old town center full of restaurants and local boutiques. There are also some canals with boat trips in the area.
Reconstructed after World War Two, Gdańsk is a very popular destination for weekends away with Polish nationals and tourists. This city is also the world’s amber trade location, where you can buy beautiful amber jewellery/statues or visit the Amber Museum.
Fun Fact: Gdansk is home to the longest building in Poland, called the Falowiec.
Sixth Location: Mragowo (Masurian Lake District)
Duration: 2 nights
Where To Stay: Kamienica Na Nowo Apartamenty
For those who love nature, stopping at Mragowo is the perfect spot for hiking, sailing and more. The whole Masurian Lake District is picturesque for families and couples to enjoy. You don’t need a sailing license to rent one of the boats either, allowing you to reserve or pick up on the day a motor boat of your choice from one of the many boat renters.
We personally rented a boat for only 2 hours from Mikolajki – which is a great place of choice for restaurants in the area too. Preferably renting a boat for longer is actually better, as you can then sail north or south of the lake area – with the furthest destination 4-5 hours away. That way you can make a full day for the activity and allowing you to stop, enjoy your picnic and explore the combined lakes.
Our full blogpost about the Masurian Lakes and staying at Mragowo can be found here!
Fun Fact: Besides the beautiful nature, Mragowo is home to a mini Western town called Mrongoville, allowing you to explore like a cowboy visiting the shops, rodeo shows and wild west performances.
Seventh Location: Warsaw
Duration: 2 nights
Where To Stay: Hilton Warsaw City Hotel
A road trip through Poland wouldn’t be a road trip without at least 1 night at the capital of Poland. Its a great place to also start your road trip, since there are some fantastic connections from everywhere to the international airport.
Highlights of things to visit in Warsaw include the 360° views from the Palace of Culture and Science, hide yourself in the beautiful botanical garden at the University of Warsaw and evening social drinks at Vistula’s Stairs. The city also has a huge shopping mall and all the restaurants you can think of. We summarised our top 10 restaurants here as well as the cutest cat cafe you just must visit if you are a kitty lover!
The old town of Warsaw is also a highlight for visiting, full of cute boutiques and local restaurants selling some delicious Polish dishes. Here you can also find the Royal Castle of Warsaw.
Fun Fact: The capital city of Warsaw holds the record of the largest parade of Hybrid cars in the Guinness World Record Books.
Check out our other Poland related posts here:
Romantic Poland Weekend Getaway Locations
The Masurian Lakes and Mragowo
10 Best Restaurants In Warsaw, Poland
Cat Cafe In Warsaw: Miau Grau!
Kolobrzeg: Top Things To Do By The Beach!
Poland Road Trip Summary
These lovely 7 locations in Poland are the perfect spots to stop at during a 10 day road trip. What makes it so great? Each location is within 3 hours of driving and you get to have plenty of time to enjoy each location.
The locations we visited have something special for enjoying, whether it’s a museum, a botanical garden or all the delicious restaurants you can try along the way. Of course we can highly recommend to research each location yourself to make sure these locations suit your own interests – but we have no doubt you’d enjoy them all as much as we did!
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Thank you for sharing my Ultimate Poland Road Trip post!
Lindaajane17th July 2021 at 10:17 am
I loved your pictures & might just have to add Poland to my list of places to see! Thanks so much for sharing your tips!
ANUKRATI DOSI17th July 2021 at 10:36 am
Poznan indeed looks so pretty and charming.
Natalie17th July 2021 at 6:38 pm
Great itinerary! My family is from Poland and so I visit often. I’ve never been to the northwest of Poland so I might use a part of this itinerary next time I visit 🙂
Aga17th July 2021 at 11:50 pm
You sure hit some of the most beautiful cities in Poland. I grew up in Poland and lived in both Poznan and Wroclaw, so I’m happy you got to see those cities.
Maggie18th July 2021 at 2:00 pm
Poland is definitely on my list! So much history and it looks beautiful in the summer!
Stefan14th September 2021 at 2:57 pm
Re: “In Poland you drive on the left side of the road, like most other EU countries. ” –> in Poland (as in all EU countries except Ireland) you drive on the right side of the road, with the steering wheel on the left… 🙂
Togetherintransit14th September 2021 at 9:12 pm
Thanks for spotting and letting me know. I must have wrote that part while sleepy! 🙂