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World Youth Day Krakow 2016 Travel Advice

The next World Youth Day will take place in Krakow, Poland from 26 to 31 July.

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What is World Youth Day?

World Youth Day (WYD) is a major international event organised every 3 years by the Catholic Church. The next WYD will take place in Krakow, Poland from 26 to 31 July. It is possible that up to 2 million pilgrims will take part. Information from the WYD organisers is available on their official website

Most British pilgrims will be travelling from the UK in groups sponsored by the Catholic Church. To make contact with the British Catholic Church organisers, or join one of these groups of pilgrims, please email wyd@cbcew.org.uk for England and Wales or wyd@cyss.org.uk for Scotland. You can also visit catholicyouthwork.com, or cyss.org.uk.

In addition, you can register your own group directly - see ‘How do I register for WYD’ below.

As well as reading WYD Krakow 2016 travel advice, you should also read the FCO travel advice for Poland.

What are the main WYD events?

Days in Dioceses all over Poland from 20 to 25 July

WYD Krakow 2016 from 26-31 July. Krakow is Poland’s second largest city. With a population of 800000, visitors should be aware that local infrastructure may be strained due to the large number of visitors during WYD. Please see the WYD travel advice.

Key WYD events are:

  • Opening Mass - Tuesday 26 July (evening)
  • Papal Welcome - Thursday 28 July (evening)
  • Stations of the Cross - Friday 29 July (evening)
  • Papal Vigil - Saturday 30 July (evening) Brzegi
  • Papal Mass - Sunday 31 July (morning) Brzegi

How do I register for WYD?

If you plan to go to Poland for WYD, it is strongly advised that you register as a pilgrim with the WYD organisers.

There are various options available. They all include:

  • a pilgrim’s kit
  • free transport in the accommodation and event zones
  • a meal package for the week
  • insurance

You can find information about how to register online

Or you can register directly here

Insurance included in all packages covers the costs of hospital treatment in the case of accidents or hospitalisation (up to the sum of 30 000 euro) and civil liability during the time of your stay in Poland, up to the length specified in your chosen ‘Package’. You might want to take out additional travel insurance too, for other eventualities such as theft or loss, or in case you need medical evacuation.

If you have any questions about registration contact (English-speaking) WYD consultants on +48 12 4467262; e-mail: registration@krakow2016.com

If you choose not to register, you should still be able to access the main events with a special pass available from one of the WYD information points in Krakow, subject to availability. However these passes will only allow access to less well-located sectors at the venues.

Passports and visas

  • if you’re a British Citizen or a British Subject with Right of Abode in the United Kingdom, you won’t need a visa to enter Poland. If you have any other type of British passport, you should check entry requirements with the nearest Polish diplomatic mission
  • your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; no additional period of validity beyond this is required
  • in the case of lost or stolen passports, you can apply and pay for an Emergency Travel Document. Please note that, although we will have temporary enhanced arrangements in place during WYD, you may still be required to travel to Warsaw for this service.
  • carry your original photo ID or passport with you at all times; make copies of your passport and important documents; keep them safe in a separate location to your passport or consider leaving a copy with your group leader

Health

  • remember your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and make sure it hasn’t expired
  • if you suffer from a medical condition, consult your doctor before travelling and bring a sufficient supply of your regular medicines

On arrival in Poland

  • Poland will impose temporary border controls at all of its national borders from 4 July to 2 August. Be prepared for increased controls and security checks, and for possible delays at border crossing points
  • you can exchange your currency to Polish Zloty in points marked as ‘kantor’; Scottish bank notes aren’t recognised in Poland
  • ATMs are widely available around Krakow city centre and extra cash-machines will be installed for WYD
  • you should beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers at airports, bus stations and around tourist areas; only carry what you need and leave spare cash and valuables in a secure place, ideally in a safe
  • take special care not to leave jackets or bags containing wallets or passports unattended if you’re in a restaurant or bar
  • don’t leave your drinks unattended; note that beer in Poland is much stronger than in the UK
  • you can exchange your currency to Polish Zloty in points marked as ‘kantor’; Scottish bank notes aren’t recognised in Poland
  • ATMs are widely available around Krakow city centre and extra cash-machines will be installed for WYD
  • you should beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers at airports, bus stations and around tourist areas; only carry what you need and leave spare cash and valuables in a secure place, ideally in a safe
  • take special care not to leave jackets or bags containing wallets or passports unattended if you’re in a restaurant or bar
  • don’t leave your drinks unattended; note that beer in Poland is much stronger than in the UK

During WYD

  • you can visit special WYD information desks around Krakow, including at airports and bus stations, for advice from English-speaking volunteers
  • follow the instructions from your group leader and official volunteers
  • public transport in accommodation and event zones will be free of charge to registered pilgrims. Buses, trains and trams in and around Krakow will have revised timetables and routes during WYD 2016
  • if you decide to take a taxi use only licensed, official taxis which display the name and telephone number of the taxi company
  • due to road restrictions and closures that will be in place during WYD, your journey could take longer than normal and taxis may not be able to drop you near to the venue.
  • many pilgrims will walk the 12km from the centre of Krakow to the site of the Papal Vigil and Mass at Brzegi
  • in July weather conditions in Krakow are unpredictable: both rain and high temperatures are possible; bring appropriate clothing (waterproofs, sunhats), particularly for the Papal Vigil and Mass, have supplies of water with you, and apply high factor sun screen
  • with so many people taking part, it may take you several hours to leave Brzegi after the Papal Mass; travel home on Sunday may be unpredictable; accommodation for registered pilgrims will be available until Monday

British Embassy address and telephone number

British Embassy
Ul. Kawalerii 12
00-468 Warszawa

Phone: +48 22 311 0000 (including out of hours assistance) Website

Emergency services numbers in Poland

If you experience any difficulties during WYD please contact the WYD information centre or a mobile information patrol: Hotline: +48 12 39 21 855 E-mail:wo@malopolska.uw.gov.pl Website:

  • All emergency services - 112
  • Ambulance – 999
  • Fire - 998
  • Police - 997

Further information

The World Youth Day website has further detailed information for pilgrims, as well as an FAQ section.You can also contact the WYD Info Line on +48 124 467 333 for information on events and accommodation.

Additionally, the Polish National Tourist Office has set up a UK hotline for all questions on WYD.

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Published 7 June 2016