Is Krakow safe?
Krakow ranked the #7 safest city in Europe in a recent poll. The city often boasts such high rankings.
We all want to feel safe when we’re in a foreign city. Whether we’re traveling with family, a group, or by ourselves, we want to feel secure in our own space and comfortable when we’re exploring.
For those traveling to Krakow, the good news is that multiple news sources rank Krakow as one of the safest cities in Europe.
In fact, UK national newspaper The Daily Express ranks Krakow seventh in their list of Europe’s top 10 safest cities, up there with Munich, Zurich and Helsinki.
Europe’s 10 Safest Cities
According to the Daily Express, these are the 10 safest cities in Europe.
- Munich, Germany
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Timișoara, Romania
- Helsinki, Finland
- Krakow, Poland
- Basel, Switzerland
- Cluj-Napoca, Romania
How safe is Krakow from crime?
In addition to being one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, Krakow also boasts a high level of safety for its visitors. According to the popular international statistical database Numbeo’s 2023 crime index, Krakow has a score of only 25.8.
Krakow's safety score is lower than every single listed U.S. city other than Irvine, CA (22.3) — San Jose, CA is almost double (47.7) and Milwaukee, WI nearly treble (67.1).
Krakow especially tends to have a low level of crime in its major tourist neighborhoods. Plus, it has fewer pickpockets than typical European metro hot spots such as Paris, Rome, or Barcelona. That said, visitors should always use common sense in protecting their belongings.
As with any city, the safety risk increases at night; however, Krakow is still considered a relatively safe city to walk in after dark. (You might feel audibly assaulted by drunk British tourists singing out of tune — but that’s normally about the worst of it!)
Has the war in Ukraine made it dangerous to visit Krakow?
Poland shares a 330-mile border with Ukraine, which has been devastated by its ongoing war with Russia. While many might wonder about the impact this has had on its neighboring country, it’s important to note that Krakow is far away from the border (and very far away from eastern Ukraine, where most of the fighting is taking place).
To compound this fact, the US Travel Warning System has Poland at Level 1 — it’s lowest warning level — meaning that travelers only need to take the normal precautions when visiting the country.
U.S. Travel Advisory for Poland – Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
Last Advisory Update: October 4, 2022
Exercise normal precautions in Poland. Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Poland.
If you decide to travel to Poland:
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for Poland.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
It’s also important to note that Poland is a member of NATO, which means the threat of war breaking out in the country is minimal as it would lead to a global escalation of conflict among major military powers.
The biggest impact of the war has been the more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees that Poland has taken in since the war started. Poland’s willing acceptance of so many refugees has actually increased its international standing — and has made many tourists feel emboldened to visit the country which is doing so much for its war-torn neighbors.
Is Krakow safe for LGBT+ visitors and those of other races and religions?
Internationally, due to the current conservative and nationalist ruling party, Poland has developed something of a bad rep for being anti-LGBT and anti-immigrant. You might have heard of “LGBT-free zones”, municipalities and regions that have declared themselves unwelcoming of LGBT people. The Economist summed these zones up neatly as a “legally meaningless gimmick.” Indeed they hold no enforceable legal weight and serve merely as farcical political theater.
However, while the country is quite homogenous and certain demographics of the population can be very conservative, cities like Krakow are very tolerant — and there is relatively little in the way of hate crimes based on sexual preference, race, or religion. Refreshingly, Krakow tends to send more love out into the world.
Is Krakow safe for solo female travelers?
As well as being safe for families and groups of all races and nationalities, Krakow is also considered very safe for solo female travelers. The Bounce Women Travel Safety Index gives Krakow a high score (#10 overall), noting that women do not regularly experience harassment in the city.
Does Poland have any natural disasters?
Krakow is considered to be at a very low risk when it comes to issues such as natural disasters. The most notable was the Wroclaw flood of 1997. (An event Netflix splendidly dramatized in the miniseries “High Water“.)
Other than this late 20th century flood, the city is not affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, coastal issues, heat waves or major ice storms. The worst that travelers can expect is occasional, mild natural occurrences such as snow storms and heavy rainfall.
What to avoid to stay safe in Krakow
The most common safety risks for tourists arise from bar scams, pickpockets or dishonest taxi drivers in Krakow.
Visitors are advised to avoid attending erotic bars and strip clubs, which are known to scam tourists out of money either through vastly inflated drink prices, debit/credit card cons, or, in some cases, direct theft.
Similarly, visitors are advised to be careful when it comes to using taxis in Krakow. Some drivers are known to inflate their prices to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. We highly endorse using the ride-sharing app Bolt instead.
According to the international ratings website Numbeo, crime is very low in Krakow, meaning that the city is considered safe for tourists.
As with every city, you’ll need to keep your wits about you to ensure you don’t become the victim of any scams – but other than that, you’ll find that our city is welcoming, full of warm and inviting people, and very safe for all those who want to visit!