Even though it was completely destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, Warsaw developed into an ideal capital city where almost every building dates to the postwar era. Tourists can visit the Royal Castle and the Gothic palaces of the Old Town, since old buildings are possible to be seen in the restored districts of Stare Miasto and Nowe Miasto.
The capital city of Poland is full of palaces and parks, the Royal Castles and other Gothic buildings. Once there, do not miss to walk the Royal Way to see the best of Warsaw.
Warnings & Dangers in Warsaw
OVERALL RISK : LOW
The overall risk is low, due to the fact that violent crime is not present in Warsaw, while opportunistic crimes like theft, pick-pocketing and purse snatching are frequent as in any other tourist place. However, most travelers experience no difficulties and all you need to do is to keep valuables and cash out of sight, especially in crowded areas.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
When it comes to public transport, the long-distance trains and buses, and those that drive from the airport are frequently places where thieves operate. Taxi drivers, as in any other big city, tend to overcharge tourists for their services, so always ask them to use the taxi meter. The public transport system in Warsaw is generally well-developed, but the driving habits are extremely bad which is proven by the fact that Poland has the highest road fatality rates among European countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
The more tourists, the more pickpocket risks. Warsaw is an incredibly popular tourist destination which in turns leads to the higher chances of being robbed there. Thieves will try to distracts your attention, and steal your phone or wallet. Be especially vigilant around ATMs, at central railway stations, particularly in the Baltic towns of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot and in Warsaw and Krakow.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Weather in Poland is not extreme, but the heavy rains in spring might cause flooding. Low temperatures and great amount of snow are possible in winter, which might lead to ice on roads which is hazardous. Other serious natural disasters do not happen.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Warsaw is a great place for tourists since serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare. However, you should not rely on that, because there have been reports of incidents which were racially motivated. You are not likely to be kidnapped or mugged in Warsaw, but still it is advisable not to accept drinks from strangers and use only official taxi.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The terrorist attacks in Europe frequently happen nowadays, and the threat exists in Poland, too. Any kind of suspicious activity should be reported to the police and before coming to Warsaw, you should monitor the news for any new threats.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Bogus police officers might ask you for your ID’s and the cash in order to steal it from you. They will also try to steal credit card credentials and pin code at some ATM’s. In Warsaw, not only taxi drivers, but vendors and restaurant staff will try to overcharge you, so be extra watchful when paying something.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women solo travelers often visit Warsaw, since this is the city where they can feel very safe. With the usage of common sense, they enjoy their holiday trouble free.
So... How Safe Is Warsaw Really?
Warsaw is not only the capital city, but also the city that attracts many tourists from all over the world. That is why the government is trying to make it safer and more comfortable for tourists by introducing a strong police presence in the city center. This decreased the number of criminals, but still, there are areas to be avoided like the Praga districts and bus and rail stations.
Pickpockets can sometimes be a problem and you should watch your belongings when in a large crowd. Football hooligans can be problematic before or after large football events.
However, the violent crime is rare and usually not against tourists, so nothing should discourage travelers from coming to Warsaw.
- Visas - When the entry requirements are in question, Poland participates in the Schengen Area, meaning that people from certain countries can enter Poland without a visa. However, if the reason of your travel is not tourism, then you need to contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Poland for more information.
- Currency - The official currency in Poland is Zloty is the currency in Poland and it is always better to exchange money in banks and currency exchange kiosks. All major currencies are readily exchanged in Poland. ATMs can be found anywhere in Warsaw and all credit cards are accepted.
- Weather - The weather in Poland varies. During summer the temperature is between 24 and 36 degrees Celsius. Cold winters with a lot of snow fall are typical for Poland. Warsaw can be visited year round but the best time is late spring and summer when the climate is the most favorable. The coolest months are January and February with temperatures below zero.
- Airports - The major international airport in Warsaw is Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport, located in Włochy, around 10 km away from the city centre. Other international airports which can be used when coming to Poland are Kraków, Gdánsk, Katowice and Wroclaw.
- Travel Insurance - Experienced tourists always obtain a travel insurance policy before going anywhere in the world, so it is advisable to get it, so as to feel protected.