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Learning a little about Krakow and its customs will be beneficial to you when you arrive in the city for your short break. Familiarizing yourself with your destination will help you to make the most of your visit without worrying about minor details.
The official language in Krakow is Polish, with English as a second language. Most people also speak German due to the Poland's close proximity to Germany as a neighbouring country. Local people will always respect your efforts to try and speak their native language and learning a few words would be beneficial for visitors. Cześć (hello), do widzenia (goodbye) and nie mowie po polsku (I don't speak Polish) could come in handy.
Read more on this destination in the AA City Pack Guide to Krakow.
Passports and Visas
For entry into Krakow, all British citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date of entry. Visa's are not required for any length of stay if you are an EU national, or of New Zealand, Canadian, American, Australian or New Zealand origin. All other foreign visitors will require a visa for stays of up to 90 days.
The restrictions on goods for British nationals returning from Krakow are: 3,200 cigarettes, 200 cigars or 3kg of tobacco, 10 litres of spirits, 90 litres of wine (only 60 may be sparkling), 20 litres of fortified wine and 110 litres of beer (all for personal use only).
For non-EU visitors, the restrictions are much tighter and the the limits are: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g smoking tobacco, 1 litre of spirits, 2 litres of table/fortified/sparkling wine and 60ml of perfume. Please note that you cannot buy duty-free goods if you are touring within the EU.
Embassies and consulates
The British Consulate in Krakow is located at Św Anny 9, 31-008. Opening hours are 09:00 - 16:00. In an emergency contact the British Embassy duty officer on (+48) 696 005 696.
The official currency in Krakow is the Polish Zloty (zl) which is made up of 100 groszy. Poland is not as advanced as other major European cities when it comes to alternative methods of payment. Credit cards and becoming more widely accepted, however on the outskirts of Krakow you will find this increasingly difficult. A small number of ATM machines are now available across the city, many with English language options.
No vaccinations are required for entry into Poland. However, if you are planning on visiting remote forested areas around Krakow it would be wise to seek medical advice on inoculations against tick-borne Encephalitis. In Poland, EU nationals are entitled to a certain amount of free health care in Poland by producing an EHIC (formerly E111) card. However, be aware that not many doctors or nurses will speak English. EHIC's can be applied for free of charge from UK post offices and health centres. For emergency medical treatment head to the nearest Szpitalny Oddzial Ratunkowy (emergency department). Pharmacies in Krakow are called 'apteka' and can be recognized by large green crosses above the entrances.
Visitors with disabilities
Tourist attractions in Krakow are all generally within a short distance of each other in pedestrian zed areas of the city. The majority of Krakow's streets and squares are level, which make it relatively easy for wheelchair users to get around. On the downside, many of the city's restaurants and bars are located underground in tavern-like cellars with steep steps leading to their entrances. For blind people visiting Krakow, the tourist information centres offer Braille maps and many pedestrian crossings and bus stops have sound signals and announcements. An information centre for disabled people can be found at 94 Krolewska.
If you are unfortunate enough to lose your passport in Krakow you must report it to the police to acquire a police report. Please note that the British Embassy in Krakow cannot issue replacement passports and you must travel to the embassy in Warsaw at Emilii Plater 28. For lost or stolen credit cards you should contact your card issuer directly. Any possessions left on public transport can be reclaimed at the MPK lost and found office (+48 12 254 11 50).
- 986 - Town guards
- 997 - Police
- 998 - Fire services
- 999 - Ambulance