Thinking of a nice trip but wondering is Krakow safe to visit?
Krakow, the enchanting historical city in the heart of Poland, has captured the hearts of countless tourists over the years. But is Krakow safe to visit?
With its rich history that spans over a thousand years, impressive architecture, and lively atmosphere, it’s no wonder that people often ask, is Krakow safe to visit?
In this blog post, I’ll delve deeper into safety in Krakow, from walking around at night to the do’s and don’ts for tourists, and everything in between.
Is Krakow safe for tourists?
By and large, Krakow is considered to be a safe city for tourists.
Like any other tourist destination, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions, but the city has a low crime rate, and the locals are generally welcoming to visitors.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re visiting Krakow:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings, particularly in crowded places like the Main Market Square or public transport.
- Keep your belongings secure, especially in crowded areas. Consider using a money belt or hidden pouch to store your passport, cash, and other valuables.
- Don’t flaunt valuable items, such as expensive cameras or jewelry, as doing so may attract the attention of potential thieves.
Moreover, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with local emergencies, 997 for police, and 998 for fire services.
Is Krakow safe to walk around at night?
Krakow is generally safe to walk around at night, even in the city center. The Old Town, Kazimierz, and other popular tourist areas are well-lit and usually bustling with people.
However, it’s always a good idea to be careful, especially in poorly lit areas or when walking alone. Stick to well-traveled streets and avoid shortcuts through unfamiliar or dark alleys.
Additionally, try to stay sober or travel with a group if you plan on enjoying the city’s nightlife, as alcohol may impair your judgment and make you more vulnerable.
Where not to stay in Krakow?
While most of Krakow is considered safe for tourists, some areas are best avoided. The following neighborhoods have been known to be less safe or have a higher crime rate:
- Nowa Huta: A district on the outskirts of Krakow, known for its communist-era architecture and higher crime rate compared to the city center.
Although it’s an interesting place to visit during the day, it might be better to avoid staying overnight.
- Certain parts of Podgórze: Although this district has many tourist attractions, such as Schindler’s Factory and the Ghetto Heroes Square, some areas can be a bit dodgy, especially at night.
It’s important to research the specific neighborhood in Podgórze before booking accommodations there.
When booking your accommodation, stick to reputable hotels, hostels, or Airbnb listings, and always read reviews from previous guests to ensure you’re staying in a safe area.
Popular areas like the Old Town, Kazimierz, and city center are generally safe bets for accommodations.
Is Krakow safe to travel alone?
Yes, Krakow is a safe destination for solo travelers. Many tourists travel to the city alone and have a great time exploring its attractions.
In fact, Krakow is often praised for its walkability, making it an ideal destination for solo travelers who want to wander around at their own pace. However, solo travelers should follow the same safety guidelines as anyone else:
- Stay in well-reviewed accommodations, preferably in areas frequented by other tourists.
- Be cautious when walking alone at night, and consider using ridesharing services like Uber or Bolt if you need to travel longer distances.
- Avoid excessive drinking, especially when by yourself, as it may impair your judgment and make you more vulnerable to potential dangers.
It’s a good idea for solo travelers to keep someone informed about your plans and whereabouts, whether it’s a friend, family member, or fellow traveler. Sharing your itinerary and checking in regularly can provide an extra layer of security.
Is Krakow safe for solo female travelers?
Krakow is generally safe for solo female travelers. Women traveling alone should take the same precautions as they would in any other city:
- Stick to well-lit streets at night, and avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas or poorly lit alleys.
- Keep your belongings secure and don’t flaunt valuables, as doing so may attract unwanted attention.
- Be mindful of your alcohol consumption, as excessive drinking can make you more vulnerable.
- You can download a safety app like bSafe or Circle of 6 on your phone. With these apps, you can tell a trusted group of people where you are or send an SOS message in case of an emergency.
As with any destination, it’s essential to trust your instincts and seek help if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Don’t hesitate to ask hotel staff, tour guides, or fellow travelers for advice or assistance.
Scams in Krakow
Even though Krakow is usually a safe city, you should be aware of a few scams that might try to take advantage of you. Here are three of Krakow’s most popular scams:
- Taxi scam: Taxi drivers who aren’t honest may take advantage of tourists by overcharging for rides or taking longer routes than necessary.
Use licenced cabs with clearly marked prices or ridesharing services like Uber or Bolt to avoid this.
Before you get in a cab, check with the driver about the price and route. You might also want to use a map app on your phone to keep track of the trip.
- Currency exchange scam: Some currency exchange offices, especially in tourist areas, may offer exchange rates that aren’t as good as they seem.
Use banks or ATMs that are known to be safe if you want to get cash or change money.
Before you go to a currency exchange office, look up the current exchange rate and figure out how much you should get.
- Restaurant scams: Some restaurants and bars in tourist areas may overcharge customers who don’t know what’s going on by adding secret fees, service charges, or charging higher prices.
To avoid this, check the prices on the menu before you order and ask if there are any extra charges. If you’re not sure, you can ask the staff for help.
You can also read reviews of restaurants online to find places that are reliable and don’t charge too much.
By being aware of these typical scams and being careful, you can avoid potential problems and have a stress-free trip to Krakow.
Is Krakow safe to live?
Krakow is a safe city to live in, with a low crime rate and a high quality of life. Many expats and international students choose Krakow as their home, enjoying the city’s rich culture, excellent public transportation, and affordable living costs.
The city is home to several universities, which contributes to its youthful and lively atmosphere.
Of course, residents should still take basic safety precautions, such as locking their doors and being mindful of their surroundings, particularly in less visited areas.
Are people in Krakow friendly?
In general, the people of Krakow are friendly and welcoming to tourists. They are proud of their city and are happy to share its beauty and history with visitors.
Many locals speak English and are willing to help if you need directions or have questions. It’s not uncommon for people to strike up conversations with tourists, whether at a café, park, or public event.
Engaging with locals is a great way to learn more about Krakow’s culture and history and make lasting connections.
Is Krakow English friendly?
Yes, Krakow is English friendly. Many locals speak English, especially those working in the tourism industry, such as hotel staff, tour guides, and restaurant workers. You’ll also find that many signs, menus, and tourist information are available in English.
However, it’s always appreciated when visitors make an effort to learn a few basic Polish phrases, like Dzień dobry (good morning), Dziękuję (thank you), and Przepraszam (excuse me).
Doing so can help break the ice with locals and show your respect and appreciation for their culture.
Is water in Krakow safe to drink?
Yes, it is safe to drink tap water in Krakow. The city’s water source is regularly tested and meets strict water quality standards set by the European Union.
In Krakow, it is cheaper and better for the earth to drink water from the tap. This is because it cuts down on the amount of plastic waste from single-use bottles.
But if you aren’t used to the local water or have a sensitive stomach, you may want to drink bottled water or use a water filter during your stay.
Some travelers may also find that the taste of the tap water in Krakow is different from what they are used to, which may make bottled water a better choice.
Any way you look at it, it’s a good idea to bring a refillable water bottle with you when you go out and about in Krakow, so you can fill it up at one of the many public water pumps or taps.
Visiting Krakow: FAQs
If you’re thinking of visiting Krakow, the information below might help you prepare yourself and get the best possible experience in this beautiful city.
What are the do’s and don’ts in Krakow?
When visiting Krakow, it’s essential to be aware of the local customs and etiquette to ensure a pleasant and respectful experience. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Be respectful of historical sites and monuments, as many hold great significance for the locals. This includes places like Wawel Castle, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the numerous churches and synagogues throughout the city.
- Try the local cuisine, such as pierogi (dumplings), żurek (sour rye soup), and placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes). Don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path and try dishes from local eateries and street vendors.
- Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, like churches and cathedrals. Cover your shoulders and avoid wearing shorts or skirts that are too short.
- Learn a few basic Polish phrases to show respect and appreciation for the local culture. Even simple greetings and expressions of gratitude can go a long way in making a positive impression.
- Use public transportation, as it is reliable, affordable, and easy to navigate. Trams, busses, and trains can take you to most places within the city and beyond.
- Don’t take photos of people without their permission, especially in more traditional or religious settings. Always ask for consent and be respectful of others’ privacy.
- Don’t litter or vandalize public spaces. Help preserve Krakow’s beauty by disposing of your trash properly and respecting public property.
- Don’t talk loudly in public areas, especially on public transportation or in quiet spaces like churches and museums. Be mindful of others around you and maintain a respectful volume.
- Don’t expect everyone to speak English, although many people do. Make an effort to learn some basic Polish phrases and be patient when communicating with those who don’t speak English fluently.
- Don’t drink alcohol in public places, as it’s illegal and can result in fines. Stick to designated drinking establishments, like bars and restaurants.
Is it better to stay in Krakow Old Town or City Center?
Both Krakow Old Town and the city center have their unique charm and advantages. The Old Town is the historical heart of the city, with beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets, and numerous attractions within walking distance.
Staying in the Old Town will give you easy access to landmarks like St. Mary’s Basilica, Wawel Castle, and the Main Market Square. In addition, the area is home to a variety of restaurants, cafés, and shops that cater to tourists.
On the other hand, the city center offers a more modern atmosphere, with a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, and nightlife options.
Staying in the city center may also be slightly more affordable than the Old Town, and you’ll still be within walking distance or a short tram ride from many of the city’s main attractions.
Ultimately, the choice between the Old Town and the city center will depend on your preferences and priorities during your visit to Krakow.
Both areas have their unique appeal, and either choice will provide you with a memorable and enjoyable stay in this remarkable city.
Is Krakow expensive or cheap?
Compared to many other European cities, Krakow is relatively affordable.
Accommodation, food, transportation, and attractions are generally cheaper than in Western European countries.
However, like any tourist destination, prices can vary depending on the area and the type of establishment. To make the most of your budget, research the best deals for accommodations, meals, and activities before your trip.
Consider visiting during the off-peak season or booking in advance to find better prices on accommodations and attractions.
Are Euros accepted in Poland?
Poland’s official currency is the Polish Zloty (PLN), not the Euro. While some businesses, particularly those in tourist areas, may accept Euros, it’s best to exchange your money into Zloty for a smoother experience.
You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices (kantor), or withdraw Zloty from ATMs using your debit or credit card.
Keep in mind that using Euros instead of Zloty might result in unfavorable exchange rates or additional fees, so it’s always best to carry local currency with you. Especially when you want to bring some Polish souvenirs home with you.
The Wrap-Up: Is Krakow safe?
Yes, Krakow is a safe and welcoming city in Central Europe for tourists, solo (female) travelers, and even those looking to call it home.
While it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, as you would in any city, the overall atmosphere in Krakow is friendly and inviting.
With its rich history, stunning architecture, and affordable prices, Krakow is a fantastic destination for travelers of all types.
Whether you’re staying in the Old Town or the city center, exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods, or venturing out to the numerous attractions in the surrounding area, you can feel confident in knowing that Krakow is a safe and enjoyable place to visit.
By following the tips and advice in this post, you can maximize your safety and make the most of your time in this enchanting city. Try also to avoid the scams listed above.
So, pack your bags, brush up on your Polish, and get ready to experience the captivating beauty and charm of Krakow.
Your restless voyager,