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Is it safe to travel to Poland?

Adam     Nov 26, 2005, 02:14pm  #1

I was wondering if it would be safe for me and my family to travel to Poland on our own? Thanks,

Adam

Mike     Edited by: Administrator  Nov 26, 2005, 03:33pm  #2

Well, it depends on what you mean. I assume you are from USA.

Obviously, you need to take a flight which is the least expensive way to get from US to Poland. There are many world airlines you can take; but the most popular is LOT the Polish airline. It doesn't mean the most popular is best though -- it depends on how picky you are :). In my opinion Lot is fine just to travel safely (they have new or newer planes), but if you need more comfort I suggest bigger airlines like Sas, British Airlines, or Lufthansa because these offer more for the same price. For example, what I don't like about Lot's aircraft is the fact that their planes have one big screen at the end of each corridor so if there's someone tall sitting in front of you, you usually don't get to see the screen and cannot watch a movie or something. But the food is good and stewardesses are nice too :). As far as I know, Lot doesn’t offer free alcoholic drinks any more :(.

There are two major airports in Poland; the first and the biggest one is in Warsaw (Okecie), the other one is in Krakow (Balice). The Warsaw airport meets European standards as far as service standards are concerned. On the other hand, the Krakow airport is too small and it takes too much time to stay in lines (in my opinion). But they both are safe provided you don’t “talk to strangers”.

When you are at one of these airports you need to make sure to keep your luggage with you. I recommend not to trust guys whom you don’t know and who seem to be too friendly; while most of the times they are totally harmless, some of them may not get you the best deal possible (especially taxi drivers or all kinds of “ushers”). As a result, I suggest you to actually KNOW where you’re going to stay the first night when you get to Poland as it may be quite stressing and confusing for you to try to find an inexpensive and good place to stay on your own (assuming you don’t speak Polish of course.

Even though it’s generally safe to take a taxi, I suggest that you call your hotel so that one of their stuff picks you up from the airport. Tips are not obligatory in Poland; however, nobody will feel offended if you offer a tip :). Just do not take out in public a wallet full of money; it’s always better not to stand out.

These are my two cents; I’ll try to write more soon. Any other safety tips are welcome.

Mike

Mike     Nov 26, 2005, 05:58pm  #3

OK, here are more safety comments regarding traveling to Poland.

Even though most roads in Poland (except new highways) are not in excellent condition, I tend to think renting a car is a wise option. The only thing you have to remember about is that you need to be a little more “aggressive” driver than when driving in the US. The main reason is simple – many (even big) intersections do not have traffic lights so the rule “first come first serve” applies there. That’s why you need to decide quickly if you don’t want to stay in one point forever.

When renting a car make sure they have “automatic transmission” option available (unless you’re fine driving a stick-shift). Automatic transmission is usually more expensive since most people in Poland still believe it costs thousands to repair a broken automatic transmission. ;)

You can also travel through Poland by bus, but it’s only advised if you know the place very well. It’s much cheaper, of course especially when you travel as a group. The positive thing is that nowadays there are many private transportation companies in Poland which work pretty well and you can always ask the driver (by giving him a tip :) to drop you off near your destination place.

The last option would be travel by train. I think it’s not as safe as driving by car or by bus because quite often you are left alone with one or more strangers in one compartment. Also, be advised you are not guaranteed a place to seat even if you buy a first-class ticket (again – first come first serve ;). However, in summer when there are many people traveling to the Baltic Sea or Tatry Mountains, you should be fine (but again it’s likely you won’t get a seat when it’s really crowded).

Mike

Adam     Nov 27, 2005, 05:12pm  #4

Mike, thank you for your help! Adam

Guest     Jan 3, 2006, 01:14pm  #5

what about in poznan mike can you help me with that?

Mike     Jan 4, 2006, 03:11pm  #6

Quoting: Guest
what about in poznan mike

Unfortunately, I don't know the airport in Poznan (is one there :-)? Seriously, Poznan is relatively a big city so if there's an aiport, it should be similar to the Krakow one but less busy...

luke     May 26, 2006, 05:04pm  #7

Of course there is an airport :) Although there are no direct flights from the US to Poznan

Guest     May 26, 2006, 06:11pm  #8

Quoting: Adam
I was wondering if it would be safe for me and my family to travel to Poland on our own? Thanks,

Adam



In each case It`s safer than traveling to the US.

nick_name     May 26, 2006, 07:34pm  #9

Quoting: Guest
In each case It`s safer than traveling to the US.

I don't think so. I'm Polish but I'm afraid to go out in the evening in a Polish city...

Guest     May 26, 2006, 07:53pm  #10

nick_name:
I don't think so. I'm Polish but I'm afraid to go out in the evening in a Polish city...


Have ever been abroad ? Have you ever seen what`s going on in London or New York in various areas during the night ? Now THAT is scary. Do you know that there are districs in London where bus drivers do not hesitate to drive over passagers just becaouse they want to get out of those areas as fast as possible ? or places where you can be attacked by masked gangstaers INSIDE your house ? Do you know that in those cities as well as in many other i.e. Paris it is dangerous - cose you can be killed - simply just like that. You ain`t going
to see such things in Poland.

Beside - you can just have a look at the statistics: puck.sourceoecd.org/pdf/fact2006pdf/10-04-02.pdf

nick_name     May 26, 2006, 08:20pm  #11

Yes, I was abroad many times. Last year I was in Costa Rica; we rented a car for 2 weeks and was driving around the country. As far as the development of the country is concerned, Costa Rica to Poland is like Poland to United States. BUT - I was safe there, nobody mugged me or something despite being near to the Nicaragua border etc. I don't think I wouldn't have any unpleasant situations in Poland if I was a foreigner who drives around Poland for two weeks (my car would have probably been stolen within a week or so)...

Guest     May 26, 2006, 08:30pm  #12

Have you`ve seen the statistics...

There are 3x as mych cars stolen in Italy and New Zeland, more than 2x in England, 2x in France... ect.

than in Poland.

Now I don`t know anything about Costa Rica, but I normaly live in Poland and so far I haven`t been mugged in my whole life (though I had a robbery in my house - once). So you`re exaggerating.

Guest     May 27, 2006, 01:44pm  #13

That is probably because a bigger percentage of people in New Zealand and England have cars.If few people have cars then there will be less cars to steal.I work with Polish people here in England-they all have cars but say in Poland they could not afford cars.

Guest     May 27, 2006, 01:54pm  #14

Quoting: Guest
That is probably because a bigger percentage of people in New Zealand and England have cars.If few people have cars then there will be less cars to steal.I work with Polish people here in England-they all have cars but say in Poland they could not afford cars.


Dude - the statistic is about the PERCENTAGE of victimization in various countries. Are Brits relly so limited ?

Wroclaw Threads: 63
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  ♂   May 28, 2006, 04:31pm  #15

I can see that this is an old thread. But.

I've never read so much rubbish. Poland is as safe as any other country.

The roads here can be bad and there are far too many accidents. 'Aggresive' driving is not going to help [are you serious Mike ?]

You can book a seat on a train.

Thousands of people visit Poland every year. Some of them will have problems, not all. Visiting Poland is no different to visiting any other country.

luke     May 28, 2006, 05:50pm  #16

Some of you seem to forget that Poland is an European country...
It is as safe here as in any civilized country. No need to worry.

Guest     May 28, 2006, 09:18pm  #17

i had no problem in poland and i didn't speak much polish its very safe, i felt comfortable even walking around at night, i've seen worse places

Guest     May 29, 2006, 11:24am  #18

Quoting: Guest
Dude - the statistic is about the PERCENTAGE of victimization in various countries. Are Brits relly so limited ?

Sorry but on your message you mentioned car theft.These statistics are meaningless.For example there will be more racial crimes in UK than Poland because in UK there are 6 million people of black/asian/chinese descent but in Poland there are virtually none.

Guest     May 30, 2006, 12:34pm  #19

Quoting: Guest
I was wondering if it would be safe for me and my family to travel to Poland on our own? Thanks,


There is an airport in Poznan. Airport code:POZ I flew there 3 times and will be going back in July. It's a very small airport that only accept turbo jets and smaller aircraft. A bus takes you from the plane to the terminal.

As far as the other things I've read here...I believe that poland is a safe and fun country to visit. i've been to clubs and pubs by myself and i've never had a problem. i don't even speak Polish fluently. The only problems that you may have is with the younger houligans with nothing to do at night. Just ignore them. I've been to Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow, Boleswawow and Wroclaw and never had a problem. Just don't go looking for it.

veggiemama Threads: -
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  ♀   Aug 15, 2008, 07:18pm  #20

Of course it is safe to travel to Poland. So far, no Russian attack is imminent. I am from U.S. and feel safer in Polish cities than U.S. cities for sure. Ive lived for 15 years in Poland and have traveled all over the world. Poland has no guns, except for hunters in rural areas. There is less violent crime.

when traveling via trains, which are generally a good way to travel and faster than buses...be sure to take a sleeper if it is a night train. Sleepers are relatively safe from thieves, you can lock the compartment door. Day time trains are generally safe, especially if they are 'Inter City' trains. We travel second class all the time via Inter City trains and have had no hassles.

Pick pockets are the main crime, but in cities only, from my experience. Keep your money in a pouch inside your clothes for extra protection. This goes for any city worldwide really.

More young people speak English and are pretty helpful. Most people in Poland, though they may not smile and say 'Have a nice day', will be helpful if they can.

If you have valuables in your car, do take them with you. OR park in paid guarded parking to be sure. Breaking into cars seems to be a popular pastime amongst young aspiring thieves. It is still an Eastern European country, where wealth is not widely distributed amongst all people...so, there is thievery.

Still, it is safer than many countries and the people are willing to always assist tourists.

toronto     Nov 19, 2008, 08:36pm  #21

In January and February how are the main roads in west central Poland ? Poznan-Leszno-Legnica-Luban-Swidnica-Wroclaw? If one has no option for paid parking, does one expect a rental car to be broken in to ... visiting a church or castle carrying around ones suitcase could present a challenge and also make you an obvious target. I've heard stories of fake police stopping cars ... does this still happen? Do rental cars have identification that could make them easily identifiable as such and hence a greater target? Are winter tires ALWAYS installed on rental cars of the main international car rental companies in Poland?

sobieski Threads: 123
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  ♂   Nov 21, 2008, 02:35pm  #22

Mike:

The last option would be travel by train. I think it's not as safe as driving by car or by bus because quite often you are left alone with one or more strangers in one compartment. Also, be advised you are not guaranteed a place to seat even if you buy a first-class ticket (again – first come first serve ;). However, in summer when there are many people traveling to the Baltic Sea or Tatry Mountains, you should be fine (but again it's likely you won't get a seat when it's really crowded).

This is pure ********.
- Intercity trains here are safe
- You cannot buy a ticket for any IC or Express train without compulsory seat reservation. Meaning you always have a seat - if they are not reserved before
- First come, first serve is simply not true
- Travelling by train more dangerous as car or bus? What a joke...
Let us take Warsaw-Kraków as an example. By IC train something as 2,5 hours in comfortable first class. No stops,because the first stop after Warsaw is.... Kraków
By car? 5 hours on the dual-carriageway to Katowice and then the tollroad to Kraków, confronting all possible Polish road maniacs + getting lost in looking for the A4 connection.

Do you live in Poland, giving such advice ?

a guy     Sep 18, 2009, 09:02pm  #23

what about a black man by his self traveling 2 poland 2 meet up with a friend, is it safe for a black man 2 wonder around poland by his self? or with a white women?

scottie1113 Threads: 9
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  ♂   Sep 18, 2009, 10:30pm  #24

Not a problem at all. It'll be safe no matter if you're by yourself or with somebody else.

Seanus Threads: 17
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  ♂   Sep 18, 2009, 10:32pm  #25

Travelling to Poland is one thing. Travelling in Poland is quite another ;) ;)

Nah, it's safer than most parts of Scotland. My home city in Scotland has many more dangerous parts where you have to look over your shoulder. I don't really do that here unless I'm in one of my paranoid phases ;0 :)

Mr.X     Sep 19, 2009, 07:23pm  #26

Adam:
Is it safe to travel to Poland?

No, not at all; Planes crash, ships, ferries sink, cars, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles they all get into accidents, buses over turn, trains derail, seems like no matter what mode of transportation you choose there's certain risk involved. What a dumb question.

pgtx Threads: 44
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  ♀   Sep 19, 2009, 07:33pm  #27

Mr.X:
Planes crash, ships, ferries sink, cars, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles they all get into accidents, buses over turn, trains derail, seems like no matter what mode of transportation you choose there's certain risk involved.

even staying at home isn't safe...
:)

Nika Threads: 2
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  ♀   Sep 19, 2009, 07:41pm  #28

pgtx:
even staying at home isn't safe...

yeah, especially in Poland!

SzwedwPolsce Threads: 13
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  ♂   Sep 19, 2009, 07:57pm  #29

a guy:
what about a black man by his self traveling 2 poland 2 meet up with a friend, is it safe for a black man 2 wonder around poland by his self? or with a white women?

At least at daytime it shouldn't be a problem.

McCoy Threads: 34
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  ♂   Sep 19, 2009, 08:13pm  #30

SzwedwPolsce:
At least at daytime it shouldn't be a problem.

and at the night time as well. he should walk in the shadows and hell be invisible. just dont smile, keep the hands in the pockets and wear sunglasses.



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Is it safe to travel to Poland?

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