SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

CRIME

The rate of violent crime, for example, mugging and carjacking, in Poland is generally low. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, mostly in larger cities.

Organized groups of thieves operate at major tourist destinations, on public transportation, at train stations, near hotels and in busy markets. Thieves also target the bus and tram route to and from Warsaw Chopin Airport. Most pickpocketing on trains occurs during boarding and disembarking. Commonly, a group of well-dressed young men will jostle and rob a passenger as they supposedly attempt to get around the victim in a narrow aisle of the train.

You must report the loss or theft of your passport to the local police. A police report is required for the issuance of a new passport or the replacement of a Polish visa.

Youth gangs can be a threat, particularly in urban areas.

Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

On the train:

  • exercise caution, particularly at night
  • store personal belongings in a safe place
  • don’t leave the compartment unattended
  • ensure the door is locked from the inside

On the road:

  • be especially vigilant when stopped at traffic lights, as thieves travelling on scooters or on foot can snatch bags be from passenger seats
  • Keep your windows closed car doors locked at all times
  • Keep your bags and handbags out of reach

HARASSMENT

Individuals have sometimes been harassed for reasons of race, sexual orientation or foreign-looking appearance.

FRAUD

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs, particularly at bars and nightclubs.  Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

More about overseas fraud

SPIKED FOOD AND DRINKS

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as these items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Exercise caution at bars, night clubs and adult entertainment venues that lure clients with promises of discounts. Customers have been served spiked drinks and then overcharged on their credit cards while under the influence of intoxicants at such establishments.

  • Carry a limited amount of cash
  • Verify the price list before ordering and the bill before paying
  • Report all crimes to the local police before leaving the country because you cannot file a police report after leaving Poland

DEMONSTRATIONS

Demonstrations occur frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

TERRORISM

There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. There is a potential for other violent incidents.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

ROAD SAFETY

Poland continues to improve its highway system, but travel by road can be hazardous outside of major centres. Many secondary roads are are poorly maintained and traffic is congested. Drivers do not respect traffic laws.

The country’s role as a major east-west route for transport trucks also poses risks. Horse-drawn and slow-moving agricultural vehicles are common in rural areas. Avoid travelling after dark in remote areas.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • Use only officially marked taxis
  • Make sure that the taxi meter is in use; all registered taxis are required to have an operating meter. The taxi should display the rate per kilometre on the back passenger window, visible from outside the vehicle
  • Be wary of taxi drivers who approach you at the airport or whose vehicles do not display telephone numbers and a company name; these drivers usually charge exorbitant rates

AIR TRAVEL

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

SOCCER MATCHES

Confrontations, which at times become violent, may occur between opposing fans at soccer matches. Exercise caution if attending a soccer match or if staying in the vicinity of sporting venues.