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Prague to Auschwitz/Krakow - safety?

15 Jun 2009 /  #1

This question arises from ignorance of Eastern Europe, so please don't misinterpret it as insinuating anything about the region or countries in question. I will be in Prague for a week in September. While there, I would really like to take a train to visit Auschwitz and Krakow.

My question is regarding the safety of train travel, staying in the area and walking around. The issue is that I am of South Asian origin. Is my ethnicity of concern regarding travel in this area? I have read about problems that people of darker skin color have faced in East Germany, for example, and I want to make sure that I am not going to be foolhardy making this trip alone.
polishcanuck 7 | 462  
15 Jun 2009 /  #2
IMO trains in poland are safe. When you get on a train, try to sit in a cabin with normal looking people in it already - avoid sitting alone. I've travelled from prague-wroclaw and prague-krakow on trains before and felt quite safe. As for your skin colour, i believe you should be fine in the big cities, but don't be surprised if you face a little discrimination here and there.
OP Scrumhalf  
15 Jun 2009 /  #3
Thanks for the reply! A bit of discrimination I can deal with, as long as I don't get my head bashed in by a skinhead, or anything like that. :)
plk123 8 | 4,149  
16 Jun 2009 /  #4
try not to have a purse in crowded areas. but if you have to, wear it over your shoulder and head..
16 Jun 2009 /  #5
I think people are more likely to be curious (so they'll stare) than discriminating - outside of the big cities you simply don't see many black or Asian people, and in smaller villages everyone notices a stranger so are always a bit suspicious.
16 Jun 2009 /  #6
Thanks, folks! That is very reassuring! I am looking forward to the trip. :)
gumishu 11 | 5,692  
16 Jun 2009 /  #7
As for your skin colour, i believe you should be fine in the big cities, but don't be surprised if you face a little discrimination here and there.

I don't know about discrimation - but you can expect people to stare at you sometimes - as if they have never seen darker complexion
groovyg 3 | 70  
29 Jun 2009 /  #8
there are a lot of stories about robberies on the night trains. if you want to be on the safer side you can take a day train.

krakow is safe but don't artifically stand out (regardless of your skin color).

e.g. don't dress like a freak, definitely don't try to be a hero if you're being teased by people that you know you shouldn't mess with.

basically krakow's goons tend to look for 'hippies' rather than one skin or another. they just have a knack for teaching them a lesson on 'how to be a man'. many brits (who are as white as a sheet) get bitten up just because they give a 'sissy' vibe.
MJL 1 | 6  
30 Jun 2009 /  #9
Krakow looked safe enough for me to consider going back for a second stay tomorrow. On the other hand I DID almost get killed coming back to Krakow from Auschwitz in flooding where my car actually got picked up and moved by flash floods and I had to do some creative driving to get back to krakow safetly. More on that when I get to my real computer in the USA
southern 75 | 7,096  
30 Jun 2009 /  #10
Prague to Auschwitz/Krakow - safety?

When you reach Auschwitz you should take a bath in the local facilities.

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