Is It Safe to Travel to Poland?

In this article

Poland is one of Central Europe's largest countries. It offers a variety of landscapes, of which the long Baltic Sea coastline is its great pride. In addition, it provides excellent cultural attractions and picturesque countryside.
Countries such as Belarus, Germany, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Russia, and Ukraine, share borders with Poland. That is why some people are wondering if is it safe to travel to Poland at the moment, considering ongoing Ukraine and Russia war. We'll look into that question later in this guide.
Aside from safety concerns, Poland is the place to be if you want to enjoy a fantastic coastline and picturesque countryside. The country is so big that its natural region is divided into five major belts: southern mountains, south-eastern highlands, central plains, northern lake districts, and coastal. Therefore, all of Poland is filled with natural attractions.
You can go through every Poland region and encounter breathtaking primaeval forests, secluded valleys, mountain ranges, lakes, meadows, and organic and traditional farms. The abundance of nature also makes it possible for visitors to enjoy activities such as cycling, bird watching, or horseback riding.
Speaking of culture, Poland — especially its countryside, has several museums, churches, palaces, ruins, basket-making workshops, and adorable traditional ceramics.
Tourists travelling to Poland must ensure they have the appropriate permit and documents, while dual Polish nationals must have their Polish passports to enter the country.

Is It Safe to Travel to Poland Because of Ukraine?

The simple answer is yes, it is safe to travel to Poland despite the ongoing war in Ukraine. You have nothing to worry about as a citizen or tourist travelling to Poland. As it stands, there are no travel restrictions.
However, due to the migrant crisis ongoing at the Poland-Belarusian border, the government introduced policies restricting access to areas about 2 miles (or approximately 3 kilometres) from the border. So, parts of Podlaskie and Lubelskie Voivodeships are off-limits. As a tourist, you wouldn't need to move into those places as most of the attractions are in western and middle Poland.
Still, for safety reasons, you shouldn't go to the eastern borders.
Governments worldwide agree that it is safe to travel to Poland but don't consider crossing into Ukraine from the Polish border as safe. You may want to check your nation's travel advice for current development.

Poland Crime Rate

Poland had the most significant increase in peacefulness among the 25 most peaceful countries in the world. That's why there's an improvement in the country's GPI's Safety and Security domain. In 2021, Poland ranked 9th on the Global Peace Index because of the low crime rate and falling levels of violent demonstrations within its walls.
Most of the indicators in the domain improve, especially violent crime indicators having the most considerable improvement. So, as it stands, Poland has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, particularly in arson and vandalism. It also has one of the lowest homicide rates in the world.
It's rare to see violent demonstrations on the streets of Poland. The same goes for violent civil unrest in this post-communist era. However, that's not to say there are no demonstrations: demonstrations have increased since 2015, but they have remained non-violent.
Not too long ago, there was a large demonstration concerning the legislation that makes abortion of a fetus illegal in Poland. Not only that, research has shown that the country improved its militarization domain slightly. That's owing to its commitment to UN peacekeeping funding.
However, despite improving spending, Poland recorded deteriorations in weapon import indicators and military expenditure. Compared to the 35 countries in the European region, Poland has the fifth highest military expenditure percent of GDP.

Political Situation and Social Tensions

There seems to be a culture of protest embedded in the fabric of an average Polish person. The average person of Polish descent will not keep quiet when faced with issues they consider injustice. That's why most demonstrations and unrest in Poland are politically induced.
Most countries can handle only about one or two political unrest at a time, but not Poland. It currently handles about five significant crises, not to mention the coronavirus issue. Poland has a series of political issues, many of which have caused uproar and even street protests.
Though the Polish government delayed in implementing the court decision, it has sparked a lot of reactions, and demonstrations are not left behind. The most recent of them all is the abortion protest. People have flooded the streets all over the country to point out that a woman has the right to terminate a fetus if she chooses to. And that's just one of the many.
There is tension over the tax package under the name "Polish Deal," then there's also the awkward pay rise for MPs, the Problem with Brussels, and the Washington battle, to mention a few.
The summary is that, as a tourist, be prepared to come across street protests at any time. However, keep in mind that a majority of the demonstrations in Poland are peaceful.

Is Poland Safe? The Risk of Terrorism

Poland is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Terrorism is not a thing in Poland, either from external or domestic attacks. You will hardly hear of internal misbehaviour, nor does the country seem to be a target of terrorist activities. Countries such as Poland, with fewer threats, attract tourists daily for this exact reason.
Though Poland is not without its share of terrorism, most acts are domestic, as in the case of Father Jerzy Popieuluszko. However, these are issues in years past and have not repeated themselves in recent times.
Besides, Poland's government has adequate measures to curtail such activity. While Poland may have little to no recent terrorist incidents, the world at large is not so innocent, and the government of Poland knows it. That's why counterterrorist strategies are put in place for the Security Environment of Poland today and in 15 Years.
A tourist would not need to worry about the risk of Terrorism when heading to a country like Poland. You can be confident and sleep with your eyes closed.

Getting Around in Poland: Road Safety

Regarding road safety concerns, Poland is one country that stands out as particularly vulnerable. Compared with the EU average of 55, Poland ranks as one of the countries with a high death rate from traffic accidents. Record says that there are no less than 93 deaths from traffic incidents for every one million persons annually.
In response to this alarming record, the government of Poland has committed itself to take actions that will curtail some of these road safety issues. The country, as a member of the EU, is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on Road Safety. It is obliged to follow policies and the guidelines outlined in the recently developed report: Towards a European Road Safety Area: Policy Orientation on Road Safety 2021 to 2030.
In implementing these policies, a tourist can confidently travel to Poland and be assured of safety. To look further into Poland’s transport policies for safety, you can check out the Poland Tourism Organization website.
In simpler terms, moving around Poland in taxis and public transport are reliable and safe. You only need to be careful with your items when on public transport. Pickpockets operate on these public transport, as in most countries. Also, be careful with taxi drivers who may want to overcharge you with numerous tricks.

Local Laws on Alcohol and Illegal Substances

Police in Poland is strict with the approach toward public drunkenness. You are not permitted or may be fined if you consume alcohol in public places. There are drunk tanks where those caught drunk in public places will be medically assessed, and the police are authorized to take you there if caught.
Doctors or nurses will medically assess you in the clinic. You will be held and not released until you become sober. Sometimes, people stay overnight in the clinic and are condemned to pay for the cost of the stay.

Other Local Laws You Should Keep in Mind

There are some other local laws you may have to keep in mind while exploring Poland's streets. For example, when crossing the road, only do so at places such as the zebra crossings or signposted crossing points. You will be fined when caught crossing at a point where it's not allowed to, or there are no signposts signalling you to do so.
The list of laws to keep in mind goes on, however, the critical point is that many Poles are traditional in their approach to social issues. Only people in cities and larger towns have more people who are open-minded. So social issues such as LGBT may not be well welcomed in places away from major cities, but in the cities, you will find people who don't mind such issues.

Poland COVID-19 Restrictions and Preventative Measures

COVID-19 remains a global threat, and so it is in Poland. Currently, there are no travel restrictions for COVID-19. However, no travel is risk-free during COVID-19, especially now that there are several variants of the virus. Be quick to seek medical advice if you feel a fever or respiratory illness symptoms.
Therefore, countries like Poland may bring in new rules or further restrict travel at short notice. That's why you must be abreast with information about when you plan to travel. Check with your travel agents, airline, or country government website for any transport changes.
If during your international travel, you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to stay where you are until you test negative, and you may need to seek treatment. If in Poland, you should call 112 if it's an emergency. Otherwise, call the 24-hour info line: (+48) 800 190 590 and press 6 for English.
The best thing to do is to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are planning a non-essential trip. Also, make sure you follow local laws and health advice. Take infectious disease control steps and keep simple hygiene. Ensure you:
  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands frequently, and
  • Maintain physical distancing.

Climate and Natural Disasters

Snow and ice can be a danger in Poland. The country experiences very low temperatures, with snow forming on roads. In the cities, they get quickly cleared, but it may not be the same for small towns. Note that the black ice can be hazardous.
Heavy snowfall can block roads and highways in rural areas for an extended period, and sometimes it may disrupt train travel.
Besides these effects, there are no significant natural disasters in Poland. Though during the spring period, there can be heavy floods. If there's flooding or severe weather:
  • follow the advice of local authorities,
  • monitor the local information sources and other media channels.

How Safe is Poland for Solo Female Travelers?

You are completely safe if you follow your common sense and have your wit about you as a woman travelling solo in Poland. Follow basic safety rules such as avoiding deserted alleys, walking alone in the dark, or being alone with strange people at night. It can be simple and not burdensome, and your trip will go smoothly.

Stay Safe While Traveling to Poland: General Poland Travel Advice

When in Poland, there are not very many rules you may follow, with only a few special rules, you don’t need to stress. Only note that:

For Safety:

  • Do not cross into Ukraine from Poland.
  • Be alert: terrorism is a threat worldwide.
  • Use pedestrian and zebra crossings only.
  • Focus more on food and drinks, and be careful of drink spiking.

For Health:

  • Seek medical advice from the National Health If you display symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Get medical advice and help if you have a heart or lung condition.
  • Public hospitals are reliable in large cities.

For Local Law:

  • Penalties exist for drug offences, including mandatory jail sentences.
  • Don't take more than the legal blood alcohol limit.
  • If you will be driving around in Poland, ensure you have your international driving permit with you at all times.
  • Polish authorities have strict alcohol laws.
  • Look for signs on buildings that forbid photos because taking pictures of some buildings is illegal.

Ultimately, if you decide to visit Poland, note that it is a Schengen area country. And starting from the end of 2022, citizens from countries who previously didn't need a visa to enter the country will be required to provide ETIAS for Poland. It’s meant to serve as a safety and identification system and it is easy and fast to obtain.

Is Poland a Safe Country: Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, Poland is a safe country to travel to. Every year, Poland welcomes more visitors than the previous year. It has recently been a center of attraction for tourists, especially after joining the European Union in 2004, and even the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war can't stop the influx of tourists.
However, as stated above, petty crime is not absent, especially now that there is an influx of tourists. Be watchful while you move around the cities and streets, especially in crowded places. Pickpockets operate in groups, so it's easy to create distractions to steal from people.
Also, be mindful of scams such as credit card scams. You may suddenly get a call in your hotel room claiming they are your receptionist trying to verify your credit card information and request that you dictate to them. If you do, they will empty your account.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

Is Poland Safe to Visit: FAQs

  • Are there travel restrictions to Poland?

    No travel restrictions exist in Poland despite the ongoing war in neighbouring countries.
  • Is Poland safe for tourists?

    Absolutely. Tourists will enjoy everything Poland has to offer with no threat to safety and life. Also, you might want to get comprehensive travel insurance that can cover any personal emergency that arises while you are in Poland. The medical insurance will cover all your overseas medical costs, medical evacuation, as well as legal costs.
  • Is it safe to travel to Warsaw, Poland?

    The risk of travelling to Warsaw, Poland, is low and almost the same as in every other part of Poland. A tourist should visit without worry.

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