A complete guide to the best car rentals in Krakow: everything you need to know to safely rent your car. Based on our experience and that of thousands of travelers like you, we have compiled this guide with useful tips for choosing a reliable, cheap and honest car rental in Krakow.
While the city is easily explored on foot or by public transport, if you really want to make the most of your trip to Poland you could go on your own to explore the wonderful surrounding region.
The regions of Southern Poland, such as Małopolska, Silesia and Świętokrzyskie, are full of charm, amazing natural wonders, wild gorges, castles and picturesque towns. Also around Krakow there are some of the most important places to visit in Poland, such as the Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps and the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
What you will find in this guide to Krakow Car Rentals:
- Rent a Car in Krakow: 3 good reasons to do it
- How much does it cost to rent a car in Krakow?
- How to rent a car at Krakow Airport?
- Which are the best and cheapest car rentals in Krakow?
- What is the minimum age to rent a car in Krakow?
- What documents are required to rent a car in Poland?
- What to know before driving in Poland
- What are the best destinations for a road trip from Krakow
Rent a Car in Krakow: 3 good reasons to do it
There are at least 3 great reasons to rent a car in Krakow and make the most of your trip. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling for business or vacation, having your own car allows you to take it easy and explore this wonderful region of Poland in depth.
Also, renting a car in Poland can be very cheap! Prices can start from € 15 per day, and gasoline here is much cheaper than the prices in other European countries, such as Germany, France or Italy.
1) Maximum freedom, flexibility and comfort
If you want to visit the Bochnia or Wieliczka Salt Mines or the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, or take a day trip to Zakopane and the breathtaking Tatra Mountains, or spend a relaxing day at the famous Chochołów Baths, then you should consider hiring a car in Krakow.
You could rent your car directly at Krakow Airport, so you can reach the center in comfort (especially if you are traveling with your family) and from there you can easily move around the surroundings, without being bound by bus timetables and without spending a fortune on guided tours.
2) Enjoy the most authentic Poland to the fullest
Ok, Krakow is beautiful, but have you ever been to the Polish countryside? You may fall in love with it! With your car you can visit charming villages, castles and natural parks.
You could drive along the famous Eagle’s Nests Trail, visit the stunning Old Wooden Churches of Southern Małopolska (UNESCO World Heritage Site) or the picturesque village of Zalipie.
Plus you could stop at cozy local guesthouses, sample local specialties at some authentic traditional restaurant, pop into local markets, and buy cheese, honey, jams and handicrafts from local producers.
3) Visit the surroundings of Krakow
Around Krakow you can visit many beautiful towns, such as Sandomierz, Tarnów, Częstochowa and Wadowice (the city of Pope John Paul II).
You could also take a day trip to Slovakia and visit the magnificent Orava Castle. Then you could enjoy a nice rafting ride in the Dunajec Gorges and then you could visit the beautiful Niedzica Castle, overlooking the river.
How much does it cost to rent a car in Krakow?
The average price of car rentals in Krakow is quite affordable, starting from € 15-20 per day for a Small Car (suitable for 2-4 people), and from around € 20-25 per day for a Medium Car (suitable for 5 people). For a large car or SUV, consider spending around € 30-35 per day. The price for renting a minibus in Krakow is also quite affordable, prices start from 60-100 € per day.
A great place to find the best car hire deals in Krakow is Discovercars, which compares the best car hire in Krakow, selected from the famous international brands (Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Sixt etc.) and the most reliable, honest and safe local car rental companies.
Usually if you rent for more days you get a discount, so the prices can be even lower. At these prices you should add more comprehensive insurance covering damage to bodywork, tires and so on. This is congenial, as damage can easily happen due to the roads (some are not exactly in good condition) and the rather reckless driving style of the locals.
How to rent a car at Krakow Airport?
Renting a car at Krakow Airport can be a good idea, because the prices are affordable, and there is a wide choice of international car rentals and quality cars.
If you book in advance from sites like Discovercars (which has been awarded as World’s Leading Car Rental Booking Website) or Rentalcars.com (which is owned by Booking.com) you can find cheap prices, and you don’t have to expect expensive airport surcharges (in Krakow it often costs less to rent a car at the airport than in the city, as long as you book it in advance online).
The big advantage of these websites is that they allow you to compare the prices of all the best car rentals, both local and international, in real time, so that you can easily find the best one for you.
At Krakow Airport (KRK) you will find all the best international and local car rentals. Car rentals are accessible directly from the terminals. All the car rentals featured here are licensed and reputable and usually have a good choice of cars (small, medium, large, minivans and even luxury cars) in excellent condition.
Do not rely on illegal sellers that you can meet outside the official stalls, they could be illegal car rentals, which could bring you a lot of trouble. The same goes in Krakow Old Town, where it is quite easy to find illegal vendors on the streets promoting tours, rentals and so on.
Which are the best and cheapest car rentals in Krakow?
It depends on the season and your needs. During the high season, such as between December and January and between June and September, prices are significantly higher, so it is advisable to book well in advance.
Local car rentals are usually cheaper than international ones. Prices are often quite attractive, but always consider adding appropriate insurance (CDW and Theft Protection).
However, it is always preferable to book through the most well-known portals, such as Discovercars.com or Rentalcars.com, because in this way you can rely on their excellent multilingual assistance in case of need.
Furthermore, these websites are the best place to search for the best deals, compare prices and quickly and easily find the best solution for you.
What is the minimum age to rent a car in Krakow?
The minimum age to rent a car in Krakow is 18. Some car rentals require a minimum age of 20, others 21. Many require a surcharge for young drivers (under 25).
It is advisable to check the driver’s requirements at the time of booking, as they can be different for each car rental company.
What documents are required to rent a car in Poland?
If you are a resident of an EU country to rent a car in Poland you just need your valid domestic driving license.
If you reside outside the EU then the International Driving Permit (IDP) is required. The same goes for residents of an EU country who have a driving license written in characters other than Latin, for example in Cyrillic, Arabic or Chinese.
In addition, your passport, a credit card (Visa or Mastercard) on a main drivers name and the booking voucher are required to pick up the car.
What to know before driving in Poland
Traffic rules in Poland are quite similar to those in other European countries. The main roads are generally in good condition, the secondary ones are often interrupted by road works and sometimes not too good, but they are passable.
Speed limits vary depending on the type of road and vehicle, in residential areas the limit is usually 50 km/h, while on main roads it is usually 90 km/h. On motorways the speed limit goes up to 140 km/h. Road signs prescribing slower speeds are quite common. Radar checks are quite frequent, and the police are usually very strict on this.
The BAC limit in Poland is 0.2 g/l, which may be lower than you are used to (in many European countries it is 0.5 g/l). So basically if you drive then you can’t drink.
Don’t joke about this. Checks are frequent (over 17 million of alcohol tests performed by the Police every year) and the penalties are very severe. In addition to being a criminal offense, you also risk up to 15 years of driving ban.
What are the best destinations for a road trip from Krakow
Poland is a good destination for a road trip: you can discover the warm hospitality of the countryside, the bucolic mountain landscapes and the wonderful medieval cities with their lively lifestyle.
By renting a car in Krakow you can discover the best destinations in the surrounding area, such as the cities of Wroclaw and Katowice, the fabulous Tatra Mountains and the village of Zakopane, the quaint village of Zalipie and the beautiful Dunajec Gorges. Do not miss the medieval towns of Sandomierz, Tarnów and Rzeszów.
The town of Wadowice is also worth the trip, with the nearby Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Shrine (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the world-famous Black Madonna Shrine of Częstochowa.
On a day trip you can drive along the Trail of the Eagle’s Nests, famous for its castles, take a trip to the only desert in Europe, and to the wonderful Palaces of Moszna and Plawniowice.
You could of course drive all the way to Warsaw, which is less than 300km away. Also, you shouldn’t forget to visit Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
But not only things to see, the beauty of a road trip in Poland lies in stopping along the way, perhaps in some typical guesthouse, and enjoying the peace, relaxation and delicious and genuine food of this region.
Other interesting tips for your trip to Krakow
Here you will find lots of resources and advice from the locals that will surely come in handy.
Planning your trip to Krakow? These are our in-depth guides with everything you need to know to plan an amazing trip to Krakow:
- Krakow Travel Guide: Things to do in and around Krakow
- All You Need to Know Before Going to Krakow (Best Tips for Planning Your Trip)
If you are looking for a good place to stay, you may want to take a look at the guide on the best cheap hotels and apartments in Krakow, or on the best spa hotels.