Poland Risk Report
Security travel advice for Poland
Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel safety advice for Poland is to remain cautious to the possibility of street crime and minor thefts, as thieves target tourist heavy areas, and often swing past pedestrians on scooters and snatch their belongings. Ensure they are kept close to you at all times.
Recent Security Risk Events
The NATO summit that is being staged in Poland in July 2016 is likely to have an effect on the levels of security provided in the country. You should also expect a large numbers of street closures, high levels of congestion and limited accommodation available during this time.
The Polish government have refused to accept any refugees into their country amongst safety and security fears.
The rate of violent crime in the country remains relatively low, and as such there are no significant security risks. Poland is frequently subject to heavy rains and thunderstorms especially throughout the summer months. This can sometimes lead to localised flooding and it is advised that you keep up to date with the regional weather forecasts and listen to any announcements from the local authorities.
Poland’s membership in the European Union has enhanced its international position. Its responsibility of hosting the next NATO summit in 2016 has arguably improved already strong bilateral ties with the United States, as NATO’s presence is increased in Poland. Further relations with countries include France, Germany and Ukraine.
EU law means that driving licences from an EU country are valid for use in Poland. You must carry this with you when driving, along with registration, ownership and insurance papers at all times. International visitors may have to apply for an international driving permit, so you should check with your local embassy before driving.
The highway system is frequently upgraded, this is due to the heavy traffic flow on the roads as lorries transit between Eastern and Western Europe. Roadworks are a common occurrence so delays should be expected. Many smaller roads are in poor condition as focus remains on highways.
Tourists should be aware that unregulated taxi drivers operate, especially around busy tourist areas. They often charge large amounts, so only use official taxi companies which can be recognised by the company’s name and telephone number printed on the side of the vehicle.
Road accidents are common and Poland has one of the highest mortality rates in Europe. There is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to driving under the influence, so do not consumer alcohol or drugs before driving a vehicle. It is vital therefore that you remain aware and alert on the roads at all times.
Currency: Złoty (PLN)
Time now in Warsaw:
A valid passport for at least three months may be required to enter Poland. Most tourists can enter the country for a maximum of 90 days visa free, however if you are unsure if this applies to you, please contact your nearest Polish embassy.
It is advised that visitors to Poland are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Hepatitis A and Tetanus vaccinations. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Tick-borne Encephalitis as it is present in some parts of the country. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
Be cautious in areas of dense forest as this is where tick-borne encephalitis is most common, especially during the summer months.
In smaller towns and rural areas, medical care and facilities may be limited. Most other areas have adequate health facilities however you should still purchase comprehensive health insurance in case extensive treatment is required.
U.S. Embassy Warsaw
Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31
Telephone: +48 22504 2000
Telephone: +48 22504 2000 (Out of hours)
British Embassy Warsaw
ul. Kawalerii 12,
Telephone: +48 22 311 00 00
Other useful info
Police emergency: 999
Fire emergency: 998
Medical emergency: 997
The international emergency number 112 is also in use.