I'm going for a month from USA and am afraid because I'm going alone and am a beginner at best in the language. I'm afraid I'll offend someone. Maybe not using 'Pan' by mistake. Maybe not observing a local custom at a bar or restaurant. Maybe being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Places to avoid? Any gotchas I should be wary of? Someone said, don't go to train stations at night. Is it true? Anything else?
Krakow is a tourist hub, almost everyone you'll come into contact with will speak English and even if you try to speak in broken Polish they're more likely to reply in English.
Train stations are safe, unless you run into some football hooligans......but they usually have Police escorts so you'll be fine.
The only violence I've ever seen in Krakow was British stag parties fighting amongst themselves, you'll be fine.
One thing - tram and bus tickets. They're sold by the "ride" or in time units. Buy a handful at a shop or kiosk as very few of the trams and buses have machines/time for fares on board. As soon as you boad, look for a validation machine - usually orange, everyone else boarding will be using it - and stick your ticket in the slot. The time stamp is the beginning of the time unit you bought, and if the tram/bus is delayed you need to validate another one. Or simply validates this use of a single journey ticket and cancels it for future use.
The ticket inspectors are "keen" and WILL fine you on the spot. Just take it slow your first journey ... buy ticket, board bus or tram ad look for the validation machine. It will soon be second nature.
Or buy a multi-day ticket if you'll use the buses/trams a lot, and you only have to validate on first use.
Merged: Visiting Krakow 4 - 7 December :)
I will travel to Krakow this week, 4 - 7 December...
I really want to get to know some local people, learn about Polish culture and find out more about Krakow.... maybe if you are going out with friends I could join, I would love to meet up, for a beer or something :)
Would be great to hear from you!