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I know that there is always a passport check when traveling by air. Is that the same case when traveling by train, bus, and car?

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I'm especially interested in hearing from someone who has recently made this border crossing. –  johndbritton Apr 27 '12 at 16:37
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Poland is now in the Schengen border-free zone so there should not be any border check at all.

As noted in the comments, you will still need a valid ID to fly, but that is generally true even on domestic flights in Europe. It is purely for the sake of air security. That said, it is always best to have your passport when flying within Schengen as it is the most reliable form of identification in terms of being accepted as such.

As for travel by train or car, there should be no checkpoint (although some Schengen members have begun reinstating some checkpoints, Denmark for example). I've traveled between Prague and Berlin by train and there was no border check.

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You will still require some form of valid ID to fly but that's it. –  Stuart Apr 27 '12 at 12:52
    
This is a valid answer. Just to clarify: during land-crossing the border you may be stopped by border guard for control which does not differ much from the random control by police. This has never happened to me, though - chances are low. –  Krizz May 3 '12 at 19:13
    
I've heard recently of a border control in the bus crossing the border between Germany and Czech, but the bus was from Holland. Well, you know what they were looking for... –  Łukasz 웃 L ツ Jul 22 '13 at 20:36
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I travelled from Berlin to Poland (Krakow) by train. I had to provide ID when purchasing the ticket (it was for a Eurail pass), but nothing after that. At the border station (Szczecin), however, I had to switch trains - and there were a few transport police doing spot checks on people. I don't really know why or what they were looking for, but they stopped the Brazilian girl I was travelling with, and not myself - so it seemed fairly random.

Personally if I'm travelling in a country which isn't my own, I always carry my passport.

You can read my blog post on the journey if you want a bit more detail.

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If there was a gauge change, you weren't traveling between Germany and Poland. You might have been traveling east of Poland into Belarus or Ukraine, in which case there would definitely have been a passport check. Between Germany and Poland (since Poland joined the Schengen zone), there are no systematic checks but spot checks can happen. –  Gilles Apr 27 '12 at 20:30
    
yeah I was walking down the road thinking about this afterwards and the gauge was from Rzeszow, Poland through to Kieve, Ukraine. But everything else still applies. I'll fix the answer now re the gauge. –  Mark Mayo Apr 27 '12 at 20:50
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