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Is it safe to travel to Poland?


jonni 16 | 2,485
24 Dec 2009 #61
once called "the Bermuda Triangle"

These areas have improved a lot, with a very visible police presence.

They feel a lot safer than a few years ago.
F15guy 1 | 160
24 Dec 2009 #62
Recently visited for 10 days, had a great time. People friendly, patient with my Polish, and we felt completely safe. Did nothing stupid, however, like going to rauchy areas of town.

We flew into Krakow from Chicago. They processed the entire plane rather quickly through border control. If you have nothing to declare, you walk with your luggage through a door into the airport. There were dogs sniffing luggage, so don't be stupid with trying to smuggle goodies.
amos
30 Jun 2010 #63
Spent 5 years in US, rest 26 of my life in Poland. It`s safe as safe can be, providing you`re not doing anything stupid. Small time thievery , like pickocketing might happen, especially if you`re waving a wallet full of money in crowded places, but that goes true all around the world. Sanitation and healthcare is of high quality, comparable to european standards. Police is generally very helpfull, although there are certain linguistical problems. The 90`s stories about police corruption are nonexistent nowadays, hardly any cop is stupid enough to take or demand a bribe today. People in their thirthies and younger speak at least basic english and are usually cooperative, glad to test their skills, so gaining some info is not a problem.

On the downside, polish bureaucracy is a horrible thing to experience, so keep your ID and other important documents safely stored, be aware not to lose them, unless you want to spend countless hours on police station filling tons of forms.

Just as every big city all around the world has its dangerous districts, so does Warsaw, Gdansk or Poznan. If you keep wandering out there, alone at night, you`re asking for trouble. Thankfully, firearms are scarce in Poland, so it`s not likely that someone will pull a gun on you. Just keep the above in mind, and you`ll be fine.

Contrary to, let`s say Brazil, traveling to rural areas in Poland is absolutely safe. Polish hospitality is proverbial, and if you won`t do something extremely offensive or obnoxious, you may expect to be treated as a guest of honor from your hosts.

Concluding, i`d say that in terms of safety Poland, just like Czech or Slovakia is highly rated. Definitly higher than US.
f stop 25 | 2,513
30 Jun 2010 #64
great post, amos!
amos
30 Jun 2010 #65
Why, thank you my good woman, it had to be, since I live in Poland, so obviously I know what I`m talking about:) Well, maybe except for lousy english and typos (pickocketing, wtf is that???:)
tes - | 1
2 Jul 2010 #66
It depends on where you go, if you go to places like Gorzow Wielkopolski then beware, after being there a few hours my brother was mugged, beaten unconcious, robbed and lucky to be alive. He is over 6 ft of huge build, speaks fluent polish and was going for a walk in the evening when this happened. I suggest you read about the area you are going to but Gorzow is not a place to visit if you have any sense!
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
2 Jul 2010 #67
How the h*ll can you judge the city after what happened to 1 single person?

This things happens every day in most cities in the world.

In the statistics Gorzow Wielkopolski is nr 18 of 39 in crime rate. That means it's an average Polish city.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Poland
alexw68
2 Jul 2010 #68
I suggest you read about the area you are going to but Gorzow is not a place to visit if you have any sense!

OK, it's not the eighth wonder of the world. But I've been there on and off for the last 15 years. A few scrapes? Well, of course. But nothing to write home about. Sympathies for your friend, but there's an art to staying out of conflict. I suspect the very fact that he is well-built & tall was what attracted the local hoolies.

And if he was walking south of the river, well my sympathies are perhaps a little limited. Any fule kno not to do Zawarcie after dark...

A
sobieski 107 | 2,128
7 Jul 2010 #69
I would like to add CH Arkadia here in Warsaw as one of the criminal hotspots, and this since yesterday. Left my shopping trolley from Carrefour unattended for 5 minutes when I went upstairs to Marks & Spencers. When I came back, it was gone...

Somebody was very much in need of its content (washing powder, white cheese and catfood) :)
Disgraceful :)
bimber94 7 | 254
7 Jul 2010 #70
That person can simply go to confession and have a clean conscience.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
7 Jul 2010 #71
It's not quite THAT easy. To be absolved, the sinner needs to repent sincerely first - and, if at all possible, endeavour to make up for their sins. ;-)
John Terry
8 Jul 2010 #72
I have no idea how the hell I found this topic but... it has been very entertaining! Some people here are behind the times, some of them are just stupid (nothing wrong with it), some of the are very sarcastic, some are trying to help:)... I'm a polish person living in England (sorry for my english I know it should be better). I know lots of friends (brits) who traveled to Poland (and other countries) and they were suprised how warm welcome they have recived in here (PL). The thing is were in Europe so people have traveled within for ages but what I want to say is that if you're not affraid to go to Germany/France/Italy you shouldn't be affraid to go to Poland either... Nowdays so many young poles speak english so even if you're in troubles its don't gonna be a problem. Also remeber we're EU country so all the help you can get in England you'll get in Poland too.

My advises foreigners are:
-The further from the big cities the safer and more warm welcome you are
-don't have to learn polish when you're in Poland just use your hands or english:)
-don't show up with the money and you'll avoid the problems (is the place in the world where is different?)
-divers are aggresive,lived there for so many years and when comming for a holiday everybody say as I drive like a old boy, don't care...

-the BEST way to get to know the country is... to rent a car (yes we've got car rentals in Poland) and just drive! you'll find lots of cheap inn on the way to the big cities plus you'll see alot, just avoid motorways:)

run out of time...but if enyone wants to now more just drope me a line on my e-mail barchelseafc@yahoo.co.uk and then we can speak on skype even...

Tell me what you want to see the most and I'll tell you where to go, won't tell you where to stay for a night but can direct you to a part of Poland you'll be happy to see...

hmm thats for now anyone interested knows what to do
cheers
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
9 Jul 2010 #73
To be absolved, the sinner needs to repent sincerely first - and, if at all possible, endeavour to make up for their sins. ;-)[/quote]

Good Catholic girl. Sins and sinners, they're everywhere.
binaround
8 Oct 2010 #74
Hi,

I am planning on my first day trip to Auschwitz and I needed some advice (especially because I am a girl traveling on my own).

1) I am taking a night train from Prague to Oświęcim, and I have seen so many horror stories about night train. Is it more advisable for me to get a Couchette?

2) I will reach Oświęcim at 4am. Is it safe for me to walk from the train station to the Hotel Olecki at such hour? I planned to rest at the Hotel Olecki before and after the tour around Auschwitz (as I foresee it is going to be an emotionally draining tour)

3) My night train back to Prague is at 11pm. Can I still get a taxi to the train station at such late time? Is it expensive to take taxi at night? Are the streets/station safe at night?
Harry
8 Oct 2010 #75
1)

It is more advisable, but only because it is more comfortable. In 15 years here I've only known one person who was robbed on a night train.

2)

I wouldn't recommend it.

3)

You can get a taxi (the hotel will almost certainly call one for you). The station will probably be OK (railway police have a bit of a reputation for breaking heads first and worrying about falsifying the paperwork later) but I wouldn't want to hang round there much myself.
David_18 68 | 982
8 Oct 2010 #76
If you're from Britain and want to travel to Krakow i would recommend you not to!!!

It's a really dangerous place for people with no manner!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
8 Oct 2010 #77
Wisła Kraków and Cracovia fans seem to manage
Teffle 22 | 1,321
8 Oct 2010 #78
LOL - indeed.
binaround
8 Oct 2010 #79
Thank you guys so much for your replies, they are indeed very helpful. I am a Singaporean and I decided to visit Auschwitz because I have read quite a bit on the WWI history back in school days.

I think it is quite scary to be staying at the train station at such late hour so I decided to make some changes to my route. I decided to stay for a night at Krakow and visit Auschwitz from there. It seems like most people follow this route. I will take a budget flight from Krakow to Munich (which is my final distinction, I will just take a train to have a day trip at Stuttgart instead)

I presume it will be easier to get a day trip from Krakow to Auschwitz. Any recommendation on a good guided tour?
convex 20 | 3,978
8 Oct 2010 #80
Thank you guys so much for your replies, they are indeed very helpful. I am a Singaporean and I decided to visit Auschwitz because I have read quite a bit on the WWI history back in school days.

Forgot an "I" there :)

I think it is quite scary to be staying at the train station at such late hour so I decided to make some changes to my route. I decided to stay for a night at Krakow and visit Auschwitz from there.

Probably a better option. I understand a certain Mr. Irving does guided tours...

I have no idea on who does tours :( Google probably knows though :)
nazgoolek
20 Oct 2010 #81
Well I'm a polish girl currenlty living in South Africa but not for long. I am coming back home soon and I can't wait to finally being able to go to a pub, leave at 3am at night/in the morning and walk back home on my own without being scared I might get raped/stabbed/mugged or what not. Experiences from Poznan, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Cracow.

I read all those stories here and like someone already said some are simply stupid some very helpful. One post's part might be quite dangerous though. If anybody is thinking about getting a rental car please do remember the rule of who's first at the intersection drives first does not apply in poland [unlike Mike said in the very begining]. if there's no traffic lights or sign, drivers on your right hand side always go first, no matter who stopped first at the intersection.

Unlike in SA or US I don't feel need to lock all the car doors and windows while driving in Poland, and I feel safe helping people that pulled over for whatever reasons. I take hitch hikers and hitch hike myself for years now, without a single bad experience.

I have friends that speak not a single word of Polish who travelled alone in Warsaw and Poznan taking public transport and accordnig to them it's safe,people are very keen to help and you'll always find someone, usually a young person, who speaks english, others will 'speak' sign language:)

I'd say the only other place I feel safer in is Slovakia, not England, not Scotland, not Germany, not Italy.
jamestomas
3 Nov 2010 #82
Mike..where is the best place to stay in Polland with less expensive, secure and convenient.

James
Malaysia
karolina0710
25 Mar 2011 #83
hi I am from the US but my whole family lives in Poland. Last summer I went with my African American friend to visit. We visited the major cities and they have a lot of black females. I thought that visiting my grandparents in a village north of Warsaw would be the most dangerous. I was completely wrong everyone was very nice to her and noone made her seem uncomfortable. She loved it so much and is going back with me during the summer. I would not worry about it. It would be better if you knew someone that knows the language very well because no alot of people speak English there. As for driving , you have to be careful because most people drive really fast and having one lane is difficult when your used to 3 lane highways, but I wouldn't worry about a car being stolen.
jarnowa 4 | 499
25 Mar 2011 #84
Experiences from Poznan, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Cracow.

You are right.
Poland is safer for white women than Western Europe. Western Europe is safer than (South) Africa.

It's not difficult to guess why, but ssssh...don't say it loud as the Jonni's and Harry's of this forum will start calling you names for telling the truth. ;)
isthatu2 4 | 2,702
26 Mar 2011 #85
Western Europe is safer than

Only if you're out of the continent.....
Drzymalski
6 Sep 2011 #86
Merged:Safety in Poland for tourists

Hello PolishForums!
I am a half Polish man in the United States and wish to take my kids and wife to Poland(she is also polish) to visit the land from which our ancestors came from. I know some people may find it odd that I am polish but have never visited the country but my father was very polish and taught me to love where I came from.

Getting to my point though, I want to know how safe Poland is. I know this is a very broad question so any advice/info would be helpful. I have heard many things on safety in Poland ranging from great to dangerous(which i doubt :D ). In particular I guess walking around the city does it feel like you have to watch where you go ( like New York City) or is it overall safe? Also, I want to bring my laptop but I want to make sure it isn't stolen in the hotel(which I worry about sometimes in the U.S) and I know that has to do with where you stay, but if we stay in a nice hotel, do you think it'd be safe? And one last question, how safe are the football games Poland, I know how in some places are very hostile and even though I would love to see a match I want to keep my family safe at all times. The cities I plan on visiting are Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow, and Lublin.

Any tips/travel advice is also appreciated. Thanks so much!
OWELL
6 Sep 2011 #87
Poland is very safe,but again how safe will you feel if you go to harlem with gold chains and money hanging out of your pockets?lol if the robbers wont 'police will get you suspecting you are a drugdealer,but someone would surely.

I have been going to Poland almost 11 years and traveled all over there never had a problem even once and esp if you with a family I think you will be safe.Poles are generally very helpful esp if you are a foreigner,you can rent a car and drive around is easier or by trains which are safe.Lately cops are very responsive and helpful also and they do show up in 15 minutes if its not a fender bender.I have been to most cities that you have mentioned and I will consider them more safer then New York......so do your math.
Drzymalski
6 Sep 2011 #88
Thanks for the input Owell. I am really looking forward to visiting Poland, just have the safety of my family as the utmost importance. I figured as so that Poland was relatively safe but i wanted to hear from someone who lives in Poland or often visits.

Thanks!
OWELL
6 Sep 2011 #89
YW! also to let you know I have been sending my minor kids to Poland alone by plane (they hate wearing those UC (unaccompanied minors) and then they too a taxi 350 kms away to a remote village by lublin ofcourse accompanied by a far off relative and they were all well.Lately in my opinion Poland is getting safer by the day until you yourself provoke them or attract muggers by showing your money..just act like a normal family as in states and you will be ok...juat a piece of advice Americans tend to be suffering from superiority complex phobia which will only attract problems as I feel i have come to a village when I come back to NJ as the infrastructure being built in Poland is very new and modern and will give you a inferiority complex with the infrastructure we have for last 50/75 years.Good Luck! and enjoy Poland:)
vndunne 43 | 279
6 Sep 2011 #90
Hi. As the other contributors have said, you will be perfectly safe walking around those cities. I have been living here for over 5 years and have seldom felt in danger/trouble. Like any cities there are no-go areas but these generally are far from the tourist trail, so you shoule be ok. in relation to your computer, take the same precautions you would in any hotel around the world. I have left my laptop in my case many times in a hotel and i have never had a problem.

In relation to the football games, might be best to check with the hotel etc. Most football games are fine but there are some games which are 'sensitive' due to fan rivalry. But generally as a whole, you should have nothing to worry about.

Enjoy your trip.
Vincent


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