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Cycle touring in Poland

Hi there!
My boyfriend and I are planning an ambitious cross-Europe cycling tour (self-guided) for next Spring/Summer and I've found lots of helpful links and tips re: travel through most of the countries we plan on biking through. But not much about Poland... We would be coming into Poland from Lithuania and potentially going through Gdansk, the North coast and hopefully exploring Warsaw (and then carrying on to Germany etc.). I have no idea what the cycling culture is like in Poland though (does it exist?). We are daily cyclists and have touring experience here in Canada, but I'm a little nervous about safety and aggressive drivers. Would we have trouble finding camping spots (both free camping and paid spots in pleasant/quiet rural areas)? Can anyone provide some helpful tips? Thanks!

Posted by
312 posts

Jessie,

My two days of cycle touring experience in Poland to-date (around Zakopane, just inside the border with Slovakia) were much like my other bike trips all over western and southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That is, Europeans - and much of the world - are much more accepting and respectful of cyclists on the road than are Americans (though things here are improving). Many Europeans use bicycles on a daily basis for shopping, commuting, going to school and the like and, therefore, see it as a normal part of life rather than (as sometimes in the U.S.) a nuisance for drivers.

However, given my limited experience in Poland, I can't really vouch for the cycling culture as a whole there. But, based on the experience of 16 trips in some 30 countries, I'd say do some more research, reach out to Polish cycling groups and organizations and use your best judgment. Then, once in-country, understand the rules of the road, ride defensively and have fun! I'd also suggest contacting Warm Showers hosts in Poland (all of whom are cyclists) and ask them about biking conditions there. The website is: www.warmshowers.org

I'm returning to Poland in August for a week or so of biking (after biking in Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic) to see much more of the country, including Krakow and Warsaw.

I'd be interested to learn what you hear from folks in Poland.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks so much for your feedback!
Yes WarmShowers resource is for sure something we'll take advantage of (but I forgot it was something that could help us connect with communities abroad before even starting our trip!). Enjoy your next cycling adventure! :)
Do you follow any of those "EuroVelo routes"?

Posted by
312 posts

Jessie,

You're welcome! I've gotten quite a bit of practical help and advice from my Copenhagen hosts. So, by all means, pick their brains!

I've always plotted my own routes and have not yet used the Euro Velo ones per sey and likley won't on this trip.

Posted by
1 posts

Hello Jessie.
Don't worry when going to Poland for a bike trip. Keep away from main roads as much as you can and you will be safer and amazed to see real countryside.
Your planned route seems to go close to this project: http://greenvelo.pl/portal/en
This is new project of tourist cycle track across Poland but looks very promising and their site is in English so you may find a lot of info there.
Have a wonderful time in my country.
Kamil