Kraków is generally very safe for tourists. However, accidents happen and no city is completely free of crime. Here is some key information if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
Ambulance on Generała Romana Sołtyka in Kraków – image © SuperTank17 / CC BY-SA 3.0
Any trip abroad will hopefully be free of accident or unwanted incident. Kraków is a relatively safe city, with low crime and the pedestrian areas help make it feel very comfortable to walk around. That said, things can go wrong and it’s always good to know in advance where to turn in case of an emergency, what numbers to ring, and who you can talk to. This guide tackles what to do in a number of emergency situations.
Bookmark this page so you can easily come back to it if you find you suddenly need it. Also see our Kraków Basics page for practical information about everything from money and visas to cell phones and public toilets. We also offer more specific advice on staying safe while you’re in Kraków.
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How Do I Contact the Kraków Emergencies Services?
The number for emergency services from a mobile phone is 112. However, it’s best to dial the full number if you’re calling from a phone registered in another country. This is 0048-12-112. Once you’re through, you can select which service you need: ambulance, police, or fire. There is no guarantee that an English speaker will answer, so get a Polish speaker to call if possible – don’t be afraid to ask for help at your hotel or in a shop, or a passer-by if necessary.
What If I Have A Medical Issue In Kraków?
Minor health issues can be addressed in one of the local pharmacies (‘apteka’) dotted throughout the city. There is a 24-hour pharmacy at ul. Karmelicka 33, which is a 10-minute walk to the north-west of the Old Town. For medical emergencies, call an ambulance – see previous item – or go to the University Hopsital at ul. Kopernika 50. This is a 15-minute walk to the east of the Old Town. Emergency wards will be labelled ‘Szpitalny Oddzial Ratunkowy’ and are generally open 24 hours a day. Make sure you understand how to make use of your travel insurance before you go. You’ll often be required to pay for any treatment upfront, so get a receipt to claim the fee back later. EU citizens are entitled to state healthcare provided they have a valid European Health Insurance Card.
There are also a host of hospitals with round the clock emergency departments near the Old Town and Kazimierz to the south, like the szpital (hospital) on ul. Pradnicka and the Wojskowy Szpital Kliniczny to the northwest.
Finally, you can find details of 24-hour pharmacies on our Shopping In Kraków page.
What Health Precautions Do I Need To Take Before Travelling To Kraów?
Kraków is extremely safe healthwise. Most accommodation will have high standards of hygiene and most things, including tap water, are safe to consume. Nor will you need any kind of travel vaccinations. Packing a first aid kit is not really necessary when they will be on hand in hotels, public attractions, and from a pharmacy or supermarket. It’s wise to have a checkup with a local healthcare provider before you leave home, particularly if you have a condition that might be aggravated by travel. Bring any necessary medication in its original packaging, clearly labelled with your name and phone number, your doctor’s contact details, the generic and brand name of the drug, and exact dosage. Carry a little more than you need and make sure you carry it with you on the flight, in case your luggage gets lost. Keep copies of all prescriptions with you and leave a backup with someone at home. It’s also a good idea to ask your doctor or nurse if any of your medication is a controlled substance that needs special paperwork.
What If I Lose Something Valuable In Kraków?
It’s a good idea to label your bags with a mobile number, so you can be contacted if found. Retrace your steps if you lose something. Otherwise, there is a lost property office at ul. Wielicka 28, close to the Podgórze train station (10am-3pm Monday-Friday, tel: 12-616-5713). If you lose something on public transport, try to MPK Transport Office at ul. Brożka 3 (7am-3pm Monday-Friday, tel: 12-254-1150), to the south-west of Podgórze. Make sure you get a statement from the local police if you think you’ll need to claim for a lost item – see below.
Police Station, 35 Szeroka street, Kazimierz – image © Zygmunt Put / CC BY-SA 4.0
How Do I Contact The Police In Kraków?
There is a police station on the main square in the Old Town at Rynek Główny 29. It has a small, plain entrance with a shield and Komisariat Policji sign above the door. Ring ahead (12-615-7318) to make sure the location is open and manned. Other stations are at the nearby ul. Lubicz and Szeroka, in the Jewish district.
If there’s no help nearby, or it’s an emergency, you can call the Police using the free number, 997. The other emergency numbers rise in increments of one, so it’s 998 for the fire brigade and 999 for the ambulance service, while the umbrella number 112 can be used to get the emergency switchboard.
What If I Lose My Passport In Kraków?
Before you travel, make a note of your passport number and expiry date. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the passport’s ID pages and a copy of your birth certificate. Finally, find out the embassy or consulate of your country that’s closest to Kraków, and make a note of the address and phone number. These can be stored in Google Docs or a similar online service, so you can access them just by logging on, even if you have lost your phone. Pack a set of recent passport photos and a colour copy of your passport’s ID pages. Prevention is the best approach, so consider storing your passport at your hotel – many rooms come with a safe – or make sure you keep it somewhere secure if you carry it around. The most dangerous time is probably when you’re in transit and taking your passport out to show security, so try to put it away immediately. If you do lose your passport, go to the police as soon as possible (see below) and get a report. Next, contact the the embassy or consulate. This will likely be in Warsaw, so call ahead for advice on what to do. Ask what steps you can take to avoid identity fraud in your name. You may need to travel to Warsaw and pay for a new passport upfront. If your money has also been lost, arrange for someone at home to wire the money via Western Union. You’ll need photo ID to claim the money but your photocopied passport and police report should be enough.
What If My Wallet Is Lost or Stolen In Kraków?
Consider adding a tracking device to your wallet, such as an AirTag or Tile, so you can find it again if lost. Before travelling, make sure you have a record of your card details, including the emergency phone numbers on the back. Call and freeze your cards as soon as you notice your wallet is missing – or do it in your bank’s phone app if possible. Your bank will also give advice on what to do next. Retrace your steps to where you last had your wallet, as it may have been handed in. Go to the police as soon as possible and follow the other steps above for losing a passport. It’s also good practice to securely leave a card and some cash back at your hotel in case of emergencies.
What If I Have A Traffic Emergency In Kraków?
You must have the appropriate insurance to drive in Poland, so check with your provider before you travel to make sure you understand what it covers and what the procedures are in an emergency. The phone number of the National Emergency Road Service in Poland is 9637, but your insurance provider might insist you use a private contractor. You’ll also need an international driving licence, ID (such as passport), car registration and ownership papers, and valid MOT. Familiarise yourself with the rules for driving in Poland as there are spot fines if you are caught. All vehicles must be equipped with a fire-extinguisher, warning triangle and first aid kit. Contact the emergency services if somebody is injured – see above.
Things To Do In Krakow
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:: Find out how to get your phone set up with a SIM card in Kraków.
:: Make sure you don't forget to bring any of the essentials with our comprehensive Packing List For Kraków.
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:: Need inspiration? Check our Kraków Itineraries for two-day, three-day, and four-day trips, as well as our Things To Do In Kraków guide for ideas of where to do and what to do.