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Getting around Wroclaw

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For tourists sightseeing the Old Town and its environs it is advisable to walk as major monuments are situated within a walking distance. As for the attractions situated further from the centre, it is advisable to use public transport. It is quite well organized though at times using it might be a bit more complicated and discouraging because of road repairs or reconstruction of crucial transit points (like e.g. in Grunwaldzki Square).
 

Public transport
 
It is the most convenient for tourists. You can take either a tram or a bus. The system is well developed. It offers as many as 18 TRAM lines and 70 BUS lines.
 
As for the buses, there are 57 daily lines and 13 night routes. You can distinguish them by their number, i.e. 100 – 149 – daily routes, 403 – 435 – express routes, 602-623 – suburban buses, letters – fast routes, 240 – 259 – night routes.
 
Both trams and buses operate between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. and usually run every few minutes. Unlike buses, the trams do NOT operate night services.
 
Each tram and bus stop displays the routes, the timetables and the length of the journey from one stop to another. Frequency varies depending on the time of day (more frequent during rush hours) or day of the week (less frequent at weekends, during summer and public holidays).
 
For details on route numbers and timetables SEE:
http://www.zdik.wroc.pl/komunikacja/rozklady.html
 
Both trams and buses are packed during the rush hours so BEWARE of PICKPOCKETS!
 

Tickets
 
Both trams nad buses use the same tickets. You can buy them at one of the newsagent stands, kiosks, red-and-yellow automated ticket machines (mainly COINS!) situated at the bus/tram stops and at any outlets with the BILETY (tickets) information on the shop window. After 8 p.m. on working days and on non-working days they can be bought from the driver (with a PLN 0.40 surcharge regardless of the ticket kind).
 
Prices depend on the type of the bus (normal or express), time of day (more expensive at night), your age (students and OAPs are entitled to discounted tickets) or destination (suburban buses are more expensive). If you are staying longer, it is recommended to get one of the 1, 5, 10, 30, 60 or 90-day passes. A single-journey ticket is valid for ONE journey only, so whenever you change a train or a bus, you must get another ticket.
 
If you are carrying luggage whose three dimensions (length, width, height) exceed 120 cm, an extra ticket is needed. Children travel free (up to 3 years of age).
 
NOTE: On boarding a tram or a bus remember to validate your ticket in the ticket validator. Otherwise, you might be fined.
 
To be entitled to a discount fare, foreigners should hold an International Student Identity Card or an International Youth Travel Card – GO 25 issued by their university abroad.
 
 

Night transportation
 
Night buses run between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. usually only once an hour.
 

Going by car
 
Using a private car or one hired from one of the car rentals it is advisable to drive carefully and beware of potholes. If possible, avoid driving during the rush hours (i.e. between 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.) as driving at that time of the day, especially towards the A4 motorway junction might take ages (resembles crawling rather than driving:-)).
 

Parking regulations
 
The city is divided into Pay Parking Zones (the closer to the city centre the more you pay for parking your car).
 
ALWAYS park your car in the car parks. Otherwise, your car may be towed away to a police car park or it may be wheel-clamped. You might also find a parking ticket under the windscreen wiper for parking with no valid parking pass.
 
The majority of parking spots in and around the Old Town is not free. They are usually marked with a blue sign (a white P letter) and the rates for parking are stated there as well. The parking vending machines and kiosks sell parking permits. Display the parking receipt on the dashboard so that the ticket wardens can see it while inspecting the car park.
 
In most cases parking is FREE after 6 p.m. (on weekdays), after 2 p.m. (on Saturday) and on Sunday (throughout the day).
 
One of the very few FREE car parks regardless of the time or day of the week is close to Galeria Dominikanska.
 

Going by bike
 
Another ideal option for moving around the town is riding a bike as Wroclaw has about 95 km of bike paths and new ones are still being built. Unfortunately, there are hardly any bike rentals. The only one I have found is in the Tourist Information Centre. Most city maps show the bike paths.
 

Going by taxi
 
Pressed for time, take a taxi. However, be careful as there are lots of taxi corporations offering various prices. It is safer to take a licensed taxi.
 
To avoid paying through the nose, call for a cab ahead instead of taking one from the taxi rank. The call is usually free of charge and you will save some money on the fare. Ask the driver for the fare as you embark.To help customers, the Ministry of Finance compelled taxi drivers to have fiscal cash registers installed. Anyway, if you feel ripped off, ask for a receipt and either go to the nearest police station or call the taxi company concerned. They will help you.
 

Roads
 
Poland has a poorly developed infrastructure of roads whose quality is a far cry from Western European standards. Fortunately, thanks to the inflow of European Union funds the situation has been improving and by 2009 major Polish cities: Wroclaw, Lodz, Poznan, Cracow, Katowice and Warsaw will have an expressway built which will connect them with the expressway network of Western Europe.
 
Polish expressways are identified by the letter A which precedes them.
 
Wroclaw has an A4 motorway connecting it with Katowice and Cracow. The Wroclaw – Katowice section is still toll free, however, the Katowice – Cracow is a toll motorway. It is planned to be the shortest road connection between western Europe and Ukraine as a part of the 3rd Pan-European Transportation Corridor. However, the completion of the whole stretch Jedrzychowice (Polish-German border) – Korczowa (Polish-Ukrainian border) is scheduled to be completed by 2013.
  
A serious drawback of Wroclaw’s road infrastructure is a lack of a bypass. Consequently, the whole traffic passes/ moves through the town making it jammed with cars and hardly passable, especially during the peak hours.
 

Traffic regulations
Drive carefully and follow the traffic regulations. The speed limit in the built-up area is 50 km/h between 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. and 60 km/h bet ween 11 p.m. – 5 a.m., whereas on the motorway you may drive at a maximum speed of 130 km/hour.
 

Going by boat
 
Another way of visiting the city is going on a cruise along the Oder river. There are various routes offered.
One of the options for those who would enjoy seeing the city by night is the ‘’Wroclaw by Night’’ cruise organised on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and during public holidays. More information at http://www.statek.com.pl (price lists and route details. Unfortunately, in Polish only).
 
 

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