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Is Krakow Safe for Travel?

Krakow belongs to the second most inhabited city in Poland. There are many historical monuments and attractions for tourists. It is also the cultural capital of Poland. This makes many people move to Krakow, for work, study or as tourists or for entertainment. That is why everyone may wonder if Krakow is safe to travel?

Krakow is considered a safe city in the opinion of both residents and tourists. Often, foreigners ask us – citizens of this region if Krakow is safe to travel and for stay longer. Usually we answer that it is fully safe. Nevertheless, there are always deviations from the norm and, as a result of this – crimes. Krakow, and especially the very centre of the city is monitored by appropriate services as well as frequent patrols of the police and city guards. They provide security for tourists and residents in the city. But no matter if you are travelling in Poland or Great Britain, you should always be vigilant and think soberly, because danger lurks everywhere on us – tourists. Everybody knows that with tourists money comes, so tourists are magnet to grifters or scammers.

Krakow is safe to travel ?

Is Krakow safe?

Krakow is not recognised by the police as a dangerous place. You can feel safe in public spaces. During the day you will meet lots of families walking with their children in the streets. And in the evenings, students and tourists have fun in bars and discos. Poland is a country where thefts, robberies, attacks or extortion are not on the agenda. You can feel safe while visiting the city.

 

What to watch out for in Krakow not to be cheated:

 

1. CLUBS WITH STRIP-TEASE:

Krakow due to its touristic values, as well as cheap flights and low prices, has become a city of hen and stag parties among the inhabitants of Western Europe. Which gave rise to a large number of nightclubs and strip-clubs. The city is trying to fight this kind of business, but according to the law it is a legal business. However, tourists, especially men, have to be careful with themselves and their “wallets”. On almost every main street of the Old Town we will be accosted by beautiful women to enter their club, and she will give us amazing discounts for drinks and to watch beautiful young women.

Promoters tempt us with low prices of drinks and incredibly beautiful dancers. When you sit down at the table, beautiful half naked dancer will join you. They will have a nice conversation with you [a word game, by picking you up], they will persuade you to buy them drinks for 60 – 100 PLN. They are familiar with social and mind tricks, they will persuade you to buy a private dance [10 minutes from 150 PLN].

You have to be careful with the drinks that are served in such clubs. Because if you are already under the influence of alcohol and the charm of naked women, you will not think that there is any danger near. Especially  a drug in your drink. When you go to a private dance, the dancer will seduce you with her body, but after 10 minutes the manager will appear. And thanks to manipulation, it will persuade you to buy another dance or an expensive drink. And that’s with another drug in your next drink.

If the drugs start to work, you will agree to pay by card for the next erotic dance. When you pay for it with a card, the manager will introduce huge amounts to the terminal. From about 1000 PLN up [he will tell you that the dance costs 150 PLN]. Manager will tell you that the transaction has failed and you need to re-enter your PIN. And after a few such transactions, they will wipe your account. Because every transaction will be accepted but they will lie to you. It happens that if you do not want to pay by card, there is a magical ATM in the place from which you can choose huge amounts of cash. But in the morning you will remember it through the fog because the drug has been affecting you.

There were reports by the police that “someone” from the club during your  erotic show used your phone, and thanks to the banking application, took a quick loan for you. Therefore, we do not advise visiting such places because, there is no safe Strip Club in Krakow where you can have fun without worrying about money and that you want be intoxicated with drugs.

The extreme situation was a few years ago when one tourist received such a large dose of the drug in a drink that he died of a heart attack. A record loss was hit by the Polish director of the company, who was intoxicated and lost 1,000,000 PLN – yes! one million PLN.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONS

Striptease in Krakow

 

2. TOO FRIENDLY WOMEN IN A BAR OR ON THE STREET

There is a second idea to loot the wallets of men travelling around Krakow. In the evenings, groups of women, two or three, look for lonely foreigners in bars who are already intoxicated with alcohol. The women mount, accost, try to play with you or pick you up. Maybe they will accost you on the street that they are looking for a bar and are not from Krakow or a disco. That they will finally want to take you there.

They have a hidden purpose to take you to the Strip Club they work for. You will no longer care because you are drunk and in the company of beautiful women. But they can get you more intoxicated and you will lose all the money on your credit card. Therefore, remember not all the women you meet will want your good. But let’s face truth, which women pick up drunk single men in a bar? There were no such events before 2000. This is due to the development of tourism, which often leads to the creation of scams and traps. Krakow is not the only one, it is also happening in Prague, Lviv, Budapest and Barcelona.

Krakow is safe to spend time in bars or clubs?

 

3. RESTAURANT AND BARS WITHOUT MENU

It may happen that you end up in a place where no one will give you the menu [it is only at the bar]. You order drinks or food. You will have fun with your friends, but in the end the waiter will bring you a huge bill for over a thousand PLN. It won’t end up being pleasant for you to have a drink. So always ask about the menu and the prices of the things you order!

Krakow is safe ? Expensive bars without menu

4. GYPSY SCAM

In Krakow you can encounter Gypsy / Roma people. They could trick you to give money to them.
In few spots in Krakow you can encounter:
– lady with sleeping baby begging for moneys
– small boy playing annoying song on Accordion
– disabled man, who barley walk
– young boy/men who will give you flour – rose, and wanted money for this from you.
They do this in Krakow for many years, they are known to citizens, so mostly they can scum foreigners or people who do not live in centre of Krakow.
Do not give them money, because they collect this money not for themselves. Poor people can have help from government – free place where to sleep and free food.

 

5. TAXI SCAM

While travelling from the airport or in the city centre, you can always come across scam taxi drivers. Which taxi ride with them will cost you up to 6 times more than a corporate taxi or Uber ride. Whenever you have to use a taxi, and you do not know the corporation ask for prices, they should be placed in the back of the taxi. Nevertheless, we always recommend using Bolt or Uber due to the low price and security. By using the application, you know where you are and how much you will pay for the taxi ride.

Taxi grifters

6. EXCHANGE MONEY SCAMMERS

In Krakow, there are often situations where people in the city centre have been deceived and scammed in Exchange Office. Because each exchange office does not accept “returns” and does not allow the transaction to be undone. Exchange offices display their purchase prices in a thoughtful or sneaky way. Often the selling prices of foreign currencies are given, not their purchase prices. When we see a super good price, e.g. EUR 4.60, we will want to sell our Euro. But the real purchase price in EUR will be, for example, PLN 3.60. So people who are less attentive can lose a lot of money selling currency. Moving numbers is also popular. When the sale of EUR in such an exchange office is 4.60, then the purchase of EUR is marked as 4.06. Again, people who are less careful and take their time will lose some money. And when we find out, the currency exchange office will not accept the transaction reversal. It is worth asking before making the transaction how much PLN will be received for selling them 100 EUR.

Exchange money scam

 

However, there is one conclusion, you always have to be careful when travelling. Check the places you want to go before online. The promoters in city will not always guide you to the best places. Common sense will ensure you a peaceful and safe stay.

Check also our other articles about Krakow:
Traditions of Krakow
Krakow food
Monuments of Krakow
One-day tour of Krakow

 

And how do you think Krakow is safe? Share your opinions in the comments about what happened to you in Krakow.

1 komentár

  1. Kinda inaccurate. As a person born in Kraków, living my whole life there and in other European cities I can present some other situations you failed to mention, but first:
    1 and 2. getting drugged in a strip club, come on. It happened to someone, as I heard (a tourist spent thousands of PLN in a club and couldn’t remember how it happened), yes, but it does not mean that every time you are asked “hey come for a drink to our club” they intend to drug you and scam you for thousands of zlotys. Most of these strip clubs probably work like every other strip club, they don’t want any involvement with media or the police, so they probably don’t use nasty tricks like drugs on their customers, and being nagged by a half naked girl in a strip club you entered on your own will is hardly a scam, you asked for it and at this point you probably enjoy it.
    3. Just check reviews of the place you plan to eat/drink in on the internet, problem solved. Everyone does it these days, you would have to look really hard to find a place that does not care about its ratings and treats foreigners like that. This might have been viable in the past, but not now.
    4. Totally! Especially now that taxi drivers have competition, so they are more inclined on getting money. Never take a taxi that is already there, parked at the airport, central railway station etc. This is also the case for us locals, and we have a quick fix for this. If you don’t want an uber or bolt, taxis are a good choice, but only if you call a proper taxi company (even if there is a taxi from this company parked just next to you), something about how the fare is registered via the dispatch system vs how they might try not to register you as customer when you approach them on the street.
    5 (4.) – you have a second “4.” in the article. Just use a respected exchange, and avoid ones around the main square that don’t have good reviews, again google is your friend. I think nowadays it is harder to get scammed like this exchanges rely on their reviews, too.

    Now for the stuff you omitted, other scams:
    – People will approach you and give you something for free (usually perfumes), they will say it is for you, a special sample that they are just testing, from this new perfume shop that will be opening soon, initiate a small talk, walk with you for a bit, and later use numerous social techniques to make you pay for it (making you feel like you owe them something, like you “won” a discount on the perfumes etc). The perfumes are usually Turkish knock offs worth maybe 10-15 PLN.
    – A girl with a cut purse will approach saying “help, they stole all my money!” asking for some change for the last bus home. She does it every other day with the same purse.
    – A kid may play accordion in a tram , and later use the fact that you can’t move away to nag every passenger about money. Please don’t give them money, they are not poor.
    – A man or a woman may act like they are disabled, and ask for money (how to spot genuine person in need vs scam: scammers are usually younger, attempt to make a visible hint to their disability – violently shaking hands, extremely disfigured posture/walk, and often they cover their faces. Don’t give them money.
    – Someone will approach you vouching for blind/deaf children, asking you to sign a fake petition. After he gets your involvement, he will ask you to donate money. If this is about disabled children and they ask you to perform actions before asking you to pay, it is probably a scam.
    – A lady with a basket of roses scam, my favourite, and quite innocent. Also quite intriguing, because apparently restaurants themselves are sometimes involved (allowing these ladies in). Anyways, when you are on a date with a girl, and you are sitting with her at a cafe or a restaurant garden, you may be approached by a beautiful young girl with a basket of roses, who will smile and give your partner a flower either without saying anything, or saying stuff like “a beautiful rose for a beautiful lady” counting on getting reactions like “thank you!! omg this is so amazing! I love it!”. She might even ask your partner if she likes the flower. After a minute (after trying other tables) she will approach you saying you need to pay like twice the regular rose price for the flower, or she will have to take it back (making it look like you will be taking back this beautiful flower from the girl you are dating). To fight this you can just both say “no, thank you” as she tries to slip the flower in.
    – Someone will ask you to buy food, because it is cold and they are poor, standing in front of a low quality restaurant. They will say “I don’t want money, look I’m not faking, here buy me a meal there, I would ask for money if it were a scam”. If you agree, it turns out the place only accepts cash. After you order a hot meal (usually chosen by the person) and pay, the cashier will try to keep the receipt for themselves to make a refund later (I’m sure they can deal with it even if you take the receipt though), and split the money they got between him and the person that brought you in after you leave. Because you wuldn’t wait for 30 mins to see the meal delivered to the table would you? Be aware that there are places in Kraków that give food to the homeless for free, and there are social support programs so no one should be hungry. If you really want to buy someone food buy it at the place of your choice, keep the receipt or just wait to see if they eat it.

    To sum up, you only listed some of the problems, most of them are outdated. Also, recently it seems scam approach shifted from more detectable direct and aggressive approach (that may backfire on the scammer), to nuanced approaches playing on your feelings, that often fly under the radar – even years after the scam you can’t genuinely tell if you have been scammed or just helped someone in need.

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