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Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

Sicily, Italy
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Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

Hi! I am a student and I am planning to visit Krakow in December for the Christmas period. I plan to stay there for a whole week. I will be travelling alone. I have some questions, which probably have been answered before:

1. Are Euros accepted as a currency in general there and if not can VISA be used instead?

2. Is Krakow considered a safe city even during the night?

3. Are the people considered friendly over there. I am planning to visit the city by myself?

4. In general, do people understand English?

5. Are there good places to visit during this period of time, including also places where there are students like me and maybe also some good clubs/bars? I do not want to remain all alone there if possible :-)

6. Is it usually very very cold during December?

I am very grateful for your reply friends!

Thanks,

Robert

King's Lynn, United...
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1. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

This is my first post, so bare with me.

I visited Krakow in August for the first (of hopefully many visits).

1) I think they're accepted in some places however the exchange rate is poor, change to zloty at a kantor in Krakow for a good rate

2) Felt far more safe than a night in London or any other British city I've visited. If you're a loud, abusive stag group, things may get a little hairy

3) Poles are in my experience some of the most friendly people I've met. Welcoming, kind, generous.

4) Yes. In a word

5) Krakow is a very young, hip city with a real university culture. There are many people in Krakow travelling alone, it's a big destination for back packers.

6) I believe it's variable, could be ok, could be biterly cold. Come prepared

Any most of all, enjoy. It would be hard not to

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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2. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

Are Euros accepted as a currency in general there and if not can VISA be used instead? Euros are not legal tender in Poland. No-one is obliged to accept them and so you should change your money to zltoy.

Is Krakow considered a safe city even during the night? With the caveats about avoiding football hooligans and stag parties, yes

Are the people considered friendly over there. I am planning to visit the city by myself? Yes

In general, do people understand English? The younger the person you address, the more likely they learned English in school, listen to English/US pop, etc. Older people, away from regular contact with tourists, wonlt speak English.

Are there good places to visit during this period of time, including also places where there are students like me and maybe also some good clubs/bars? I do not want to remain all alone there if possible :-) Krakow is a vibrant cty of about 1.25 million, and the centre has universities as well as locals and tourists so the younger crowd is always around. It is also a city with a very long list of "things t0 do"

Is it usually very very cold during December? It gets colder after December, but expect cold and pack a fleece, hat and scarf

Krakow, Poland
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3. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

To answer some of your questions...

We use the zloty here, not the euro. It's very easy to change money when you're here, and there are plenty of ATMs around town where you can withdraw cash.

Yes, Krakow is very safe and friendly. Just avoid the drunken Brits - they attract trouble. You'll find that most people under the age of about 40 speak excellent English. If you're here around Christmas, most of the students will have gone home, so there might not be the nightlife that you'd expect at other times of the year. Having said that, everyone is in a pretty good mood so you should make up in quality what is lacking in quantity.

And yes, it's absolutely freezing in December. Bring lots of warm clothes, shoes, hats and gloves.

Ewa

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4. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

Drunken Brits?!!

As I am aware violence after alcohol does not have nationality... :-/

Durham, North...
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5. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

It can get very cold so be prepared! Wear many layers of clothes, make regular stops at cafes/restaurants warm up and drink some tea, hot chocolate or hot wine :) A few years back when I was in Kraków around Christmas period it was -20 degrees but the city was still very vibrant, with many people in the streets. But -20 is not usual, expect something just below 0 degrees.

As Ewa said, there won't be that many students around at this time of the year as many of them will travel to their home towns to spend Christmas with their families.

Krakow, Poland
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6. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

1. Are Euros accepted as a currency in general there and if not can VISA be used instead?

We use Polish żłoty (PLN), Some shops will accept Euro but will give you a very unfavourable exchange rate.

VISA and Mastercard are both widely accepted.

2. Is Krakow considered a safe city even during the night?

On the whole yes. The "tourist" areas are popular all the time, the old town 24x7 especially at the weekends

There are around 200,000 students so the city has a vibrant nightlife. Stick to the areas where the crods are and you will be safe.

3. Are the people considered friendly over there. I am planning to visit the city by myself?

On the whole yes

4. In general, do people understand English?

In the tourist areas yes

5. Are there good places to visit during this period of time, including also places where there are students like me and maybe also some good clubs/bars? I do not want to remain all alone there if possible :-)

When you say "christmas" do you mean christmas day, or a week or two before?

Christmas itself will be very quiet. The week or two before there will be a lot of life as the students break up, offices have christmas parties etc.

Plenty of places to go, bars and clubs. You might want to look at couch surfing, or hook up with one or two of the free walking tours. you will then find others that are visiting the city, often on a budget and in ones and twos.

Greg and Toms Hostel has recently opened a bar which is frequented by other travelers

6. Is it usually very very cold during December?

depends what you consider very very cold. I think it is very very cold at the end of january, which is usually colder that December! We had no snow till after christmas last year. This year, who knows, its already cold. You should expect temperatures below freezing

Sicily, Italy
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7. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

Hello scottishpoet! I was intending of coming to Krakow in between Sun, Dec 22 and Sun, Dec 29. I just hope that there will be at least some people around preferably students or the like :-)?

Some people like Pawel_Ch said it can be -20 degrees Celcius during that period!? I hope it will not be that freezing...brrrrrrrr :-)

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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8. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

Joseph, we live about 80km south east of Krakow - not in the mountains, but in a wooded valley aboit 20-30km north of them.

Last winter our first snow was at Xmas. It got coldest from late January through Feruary. The last snow as 6 April. So, if that's any kind pf guide, Xmas will be cold but not necessarily snowy in Krakow. And temps around or just below freezing

Krakow, Poland
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9. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

many poeple spend Christmas with their families. I have not been in krakow over Christmas itself but most bars and restaurants will be closed on Christmas day.

I expect 27/28 to be busier

Sicily, Italy
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10. Re: Krakow in December - Some Basic Questions

Thank you my new friends for all the extremely useful information! I am really looking forward to my short holiday in Krakow! Thanks a lot!!!

Joseph