Ah, Krakow! What a fantastic European city we have here! From the cobbled streets that weave together the quaint Old Town to the bustling bars, cafés, and clubs scattered across hip Kazimierz, from the majestic castle overlooking the winding Vistula River to museums illustrating the city’s diverse history, Krakow has a lot up its sleeve. There is no doubt it’s worth coming here for a weekend break or a week-long holiday, but what about the safety aspect?
But is Krakow safe to visit? This guide has the answer. We’ll take a look at the most likely events that could spoil your trip here, and give you in-depth info on crime and common scams, plus some tips on how to avoid them. You’ll also find some information regarding LGBTQ+ travelers and women traveling without company.
This article may contain affiliate links to hotels, services, and other extras that will earn us something if you click through and book. It’s what helps us keep offering great info on Krakow, so thanks for that!
What will you find in this guide to safety in Krakow?
Is Krakow safe to visit in 2023?
In short: Yes, Krakow is a very safe city. The majority of tourists who come here will leave without a single hitch. And the stats back it up – Krakow has a relatively low crime level of 28 incidents per 1,000 head of population, and travel safety sites like Numbeo rate the town as safer than Scandinavian cities like Stockholm overall.
We’d say there is not much to worry about in terms of safety in the city, so go ahead and book your weekend breakaway in Krakow. Most tourists don’t encounter major problems during their holidays in the city.
The crime levels are low, and tourists are rarely targeted by criminals. That said, it’s a relatively large city, and petty crimes such as pickpocketing and scams happen now and again. That means it’s important to keep a close eye on your valuables, especially in crowded areas like public transport.
You might also know that Krakow is famous for its bustling nightlife. While it’s not dangerous to go out drinking at night, the chances of becoming a victim of some minor crime do become slightly higher during late hours. Violent crimes are rare, but it’s not uncommon for people to lose their valuables in bars and nightclubs.
Crime in Krakow
As mentioned before, Krakow is generally safe, and crime levels are relatively low in comparison to many major European cities. In fact, even walking alone at night isn’t too dangerous, so there is generally not much to worry about.
However, the most popular parts of the city such as the Main Square and Kazimierz are, where the highest number of criminal incidents happen. There is no reason to panic, though. That’s mostly to do with the fights and disruptions caused by drunk people, and the majority of incidents aren’t very serious. Pickpocketing is also more common in the centre, but it’s not as much of a problem as in places like Barcelona or Paris.
Is Krakow safe for solo female travellers?
Yes, we’d say that Krakow is safe for solo female visitors, which comes from a perspective of a girl who grew up in the city! There is generally not much more risk for women, but that is not to say that incidents never happen. However, it’s actually men who are more likely to be victims of muggings or fights, and sexual crime isn’t very common here overall, so the stats bode well.
However, many female visitors might experience uncomfortable sexual comments from men, especially while going out at night. Those are still isolated incidents, though, so there is no reason you should avoid Krakow if you’re a woman traveling without company. Plus, it is super easy to meet friendly people in hostels and bars, so it’s not hard to find people to hang out with if you’d like to.
Is Krakow safe for LGBTQ+ travellers?
While Poland has a bit of a mixed reputation when it comes to tolerance of the LGBTQ+ community, big cities such as Krakow, Warsaw and Wroclaw tend to be better in that regard. Many bars and clubs in Krakow are gay-friendly. That said, things are still far behind other EU destinations, like Stockholm, Copenhagen, or Brussels. Unfortunately, there is a slightly higher risk of becoming a victim of verbal abuse than for hetero visitors.
We wouldn’t say that Krakow is dangerous for LGBTQ+ travelers, but sadly we can’t also say it’s among the most tolerant cities in the world. We’d advise you to avoid showing public affection that could attract unwanted attention and choose the bars and venues you visit wisely – there are a great many that are very welcoming across town; some of the best in the whole city, in fact!
Common scams in Krakow
While Krakow is generally an easy place to travel without hassle, some people want to take advantage of travellers, who might not know the city very well. Luckily, scams in Krakow aren’t tricky to avoid, so you shouldn’t find yourself in too much trouble here.
Taxi scams used to be amongst the most common ways of extortion, however with the arrival of mobile cab apps, it’s much easier to avoid them. We’d steer clear of taking a taxi from the stands outside the train and bus stations or hailing one on the street. Those are the most likely to try to overcharge you.
Another thing, you should be careful about is exchanging your money around the main square. A lot of currency exchange shops in the old town will charge you an extortionate rate for your foreign currency, so check the place out first. We also have a complete guide to Krakow currency, so read that for more info.
We also don’t recommend visiting strip clubs in the city. While many of them are legitimate, there have been a lot of stories of people being overcharged for drinks or having their wallets missing, so we’d say they’re better to be avoided.
Safety tips for visiting Krakow
There is no reason why your trip to Krakow should end in a disaster because the city is generally safe and easy to travel. However, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure your trip goes smoothly. Here’s some tips on how to make sure you stay safe and don’t fall a victim to common scams:
- Always keep an eye on your valuables and hold onto your belongings in crowded areas and on public transport.
- Don’t leave your belongings unattended in bars and clubs.
- Don’t hail taxis off the street, and avoid getting a cab from stands by the train and bus stations. We’d recommend using apps such as Uber, Bolt, Mega Taxi etc instead. You can also ask your hotel to phone a trusted taxi company.
- Avoid exchanging your cash in the old town, and at night, we recommend a shop in Galeria Krakowska, which offers fair rates.
- Don’t show off your cash and valuables because that could make you a target for pickpocketers.
- Don’t start fights with bouncers in bars and clubs because there have been stories of people getting pepper sprayed or punched.
- We’d recommend avoiding showing public affection by same-sex couples, which sadly could attract some unwanted verbal abuse.
- Bear in mind that drinking too much on a night out could land you in a drunk tank. However, that only usually happens when a person is causing some trouble.
Is Krakow safe? Our conclusion
Yes, Krakow is generally safe and easy to travel to, so there is no need to take special precautions before your visit. The levels of crime are low, and there is not much risk for women travelling alone. That said, it won’t harm to take the usual safety steps to make sure the trip goes smoothly. Pickpocketing and petty theft are a slight problem in crowded areas and public transport, but it’s not on the same scale as in most major European cities. Krakow is a fantastic city, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t go there.
Is Kraków safe at the moment?
While many people might be worried about the conflict that’s happening just across the border in Ukraine at the time of writing, Krakow’s safety is not affected by the war caused by Russia. Generally, Krakow is safe to visit, so there is no reason to avoid this wonderful city.
Do people speak English in Kraków?
The official language in Poland is Polish, but you shouldn’t have much trouble communicating with the locals in English. The younger generation and people working in hospitality are usually fluent in the language, and the majority of locals will be able to communicate basic phrases in English.
Is Krakow safe to walk around at night?
It’s pretty safe to walk around Krakow at night, even if you’re alone. However, there is always a slightly higher risk of becoming a victim of petty crimes during late hours, especially in places where alcohol is involved. Keep a close eye on your valuables and steer clear of people who might appear aggressive or agitated.