Kraków, the second-largest city in is not only a historical and visual gem of Poland it’s also one of the leading hubs of Polish academic, cultural, and economic life.
Located at the bottom of the Carpathian Mountains, this metropolitan area has more than 1.4 million inhabitants and receives a bunch of people annually as tourists come flocking to Krakow each year without fail.
Kraków is officially divided into eighteen areas, or rather parts with a considerable degree of autonomy within the municipal government.
Apart from being the most popular tourist destination in Poland, Kraków is extremely important for Poland’s economy.
The tourist influx in Krakow supports a lot of the Polish economy, but that’s not all.
The technology industry is growing in Kraków, with many off-shore divisions of important institutions and companies like Google, IBM, Motorola, State Street, Shell, UBS, HSBC situated in Kraków.
As for culture, Kraków is filled with churches, museums, ruins, palaces, and adorable traditional ceramic and basket-making workshops.
Warnings & Dangers in Krakow
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Generally, Kraków is a very safe city to travel to. Still, never let your guard down, and be wary of pickpockets and scammers since their activities increased in the past couple of years.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Public transport and taxis are safe and reliable, but it is recommended that you be very careful with your valuables in public transport, since that's where organized pickpockets operate. Also, be careful with taxi drivers using numerous tricks and scams to try and overcharge you.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are common in tourist landmarks and crowded areas. Be vigilant at all times and never leave your belongings in plain sight. Be careful in crowded areas, in railway and bus stations and especially in public transport, since pickpockets often work in teams, and make artificial crowds around tourists to steal from them, or try to distract people as a trick to pick their pockets.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
There are no threats of natural disasters in Kraków. During spring there are occasional floods and during winter there are snowstorms and heavy snowfall. Be cautious when driving during the winter period.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
You shouldn't worry about being mugged or kidnapped in Krakow since it rarely if ever occurs.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Even though there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Kraków's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out, so remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Scams are very common in Kraków. There are credit card scams with someone calling you on the phone in your hotel room claiming they're the receptionist asking to confirm your credit card details; also be wary of taxi drivers trying to charge you double or convince you that you haven't paid enough (showing you smaller bills instead of the ones you paid with). Be wary of people claiming they're the police, and get familiar with Polish police uniforms.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women traveling solo are completely safe in Kraków. If you have your wits with you and follow your common sense, avoid dark and desert alleys or walking alone with strange people at night, your trip should go smoothly.
So... How Safe Is Krakow Really?
Kraków is a safe city to travel to. It is getting more and more visitors each year, and its tourism has generally increased especially after Poland joined the European Union in 2004.
However, petty crime has also increased with the influx of tourists.
Be wary of pickpockets bumping into you on the streets, or at the beach, and generally be careful with your valuables, especially in crowded places.
Pickpockets usually work in an organization, so they either create a distraction while someone else steals something from you, or they create artificial crowds on public transport.
Apart from pickpockets, you can easily get scammed in Poland.
There are many scams to watch out for like credit card scams where someone wakes you up early in the morning by calling you on your hotel room phone, claiming they’re the receptionist calling to verify your credit card information.
After you read out your credit card number and other details and return to sleep, they steal everything from your card.
Also, be careful when taking a taxi, since taxi drivers have been known to cheat by insisting you didn’t pay enough, in the meantime having hidden the money you paid and showing you smaller bills.
Some might agree on one price and then charge you double once you arrive at your destination.
Also, watch out for “fake officers” claiming to be police and trying to extort money from you.
Get familiar with real uniforms of the police in Krakow, because it’s easy to be tricked when you don’t know how the real police officers look like.
How Does Krakow Compare?
- Visas - Most countries do not need a visa for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you might have to obtain a visa. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months from your planned date of return. However, if you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Zloty is the official currency in Kraków. ATMs are widely available throughout the country and credit cards are accepted in most establishments such as hotels and restaurants.
- Weather - There are four very distinct seasons in Kraków. Summer is hot and humid while winter always covers Kraków with a blanket of snow and extremely cold days. In winter, the air pollution of Kraków is staggering, affecting children and people with respiratory problems.
- Airports - Kraków John Paul II International Airport is an international airport located near Kraków. It is located in the village of Balice, 11 km west of the city center, in southern Poland.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Kraków, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Krakow Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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8 Reviews on Krakow
Extremely Safe and Walkable City
I just spent 11 days in Krakow with my family. Dec 2018. I am from the United States and wasn’t sure what to expect. I stayed at an AIRBNB two blocks from the main square on Tomasza and walked for miles in many directions, Kazimierz, Podógrze, Nowa Huta, I walked to the Schindlers museum. This is definitely the safest large city i have ever experienced. Never felt threatened. It’s a beautiful city.
just back from krakow and had my phone and wallet stolen in the main square late at night after being surrounded with multiple people pretending be PR for bars. Beware!
It happens! Poland cities are among the safest in the world but you might end up having to deal with a group of drunk lads who try to pull a fast one on tourists. I am sorry this happened to you though. I have family in Poland and they will tell you that these sorts of people do not represent them. They are just drunken fools.
I had never been to Poland but I have been considering going. You just can’t be too sure no matter where you travel when it comes to safety. My assistant manager at work recently got home from visiting his family there and after seeing some pictures and hearing how amazing the food and people are, I am planning my trip for early 2020!
I love Poland!
Krakow is simply amazing! The beautiful buildings, the people, the food… I want to move there! I want to be clear on something, I am not Polish but I wish I was after having experienced how beautiful and down to earth the country is. I highly recommend this specific area of Poland, lots to do and see!
It’s a very safe city!
My 24 year old son got into a taxi that had a taxi sign was driven to wasteground outside the city and was confronted by 3 men who took his wallet and phone.Then left there to walk back.The police in two stations were not interested and refused to give a crime number. He was told by a people that this is now a very common occurrence in Kracow .Being there for business he has vowed he will never set foot in the country again as everyone was so unhelpful and he was made to feel so unwelcome.This happened September 2020.
Great City with at least one questionable policy
I loved ALMOST everything about my two visits to Krakow. Unfortunately on my second visit I purchased the wrong city bus ticket for a Salt Mine visit. I was approached by a thuggish looking man in a black leather jacket while on the bus. He flashed a badge (real??) and demanded my passport. He then held it until I paid a sizeable fine…IN CASH. The driver seemed to be unconcerned, so I assumed it was legitimate. But honestly, I don’t know if it was. I’m an older man and I don’t speak Polish, so I really felt that I was at a disadvantage. I was wrong, ok, and I apparently paid a rather hefty fine. But having plain-clothes thugs approach old men on buses probably isn’t the greatest enforcement method. Or… maybe they need better security on public transport? Either way it was a blight on an otherwise great trip. It’s actually counterproductive anyway since I cut back my spending for the remainder of the trip. I’ll probably never go back, but if you go, make sure you get the right bus ticket!! I’d verify it BEFORE the bus pulls out.