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Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

3 posts
Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

Kraków’s Tram Network – You’re more likely to get robbed by plain clothes ticket inspectors than pickpockets!

We have just returned from a 5 day visit to Kraków where our experience was more than delightful but for one miserable and utterly horrendous experience we had on our single journey on the tram number 3 from Kazimierz to the vicinity of Kraków Old Town on Tuesday 9th January 2018 at approximately 9pm.

This was our first time in Poland. We purchased tickets BEFORE we boarded the tram unknowing to ‘validate the tickets’. As soon as we boarded tram number 3, we were almost immediately seized upon by two ‘ticket inspectors’ who demanded we pay a fine of nearly 300 Polish Zlotys simply because we didn't validate the tickets. Clear, visible public information and deterrents should be accessible to all and everywhere so that no one is deceived or misled. It is not sufficient to say that the need for validation is printed on the actual tickets – and in 4 different languages. The tickets are small, fiddly and not easy to read if one needs glasses.

We refused to pay the unwarranted fine and were subsequently marched off the tram like criminals several stops later where I continued to protest. After several phone calls by an aggressive ticket inspector, the police arrived on a blue light in a riot van shortly followed by two more ticket inspectors. We were told the fine was mandatory. We reluctantly paid the fine after 45 mins of protesting. It took the resources of two police officers and four ticket inspectors to extort money from a tourist couple. The ticket inspectors disappeared as quickly as they had appeared as soon as the money had been force from us. We were simply abandoned late at night somewhere between Kazimierz and Kraków Old Town. According to local knowledge, these are state sponsored thugs who target tourists on popular tram routes earning commission on fines and this is the common tactic. Commission based fines simply intensifies this kind of unforgiving thuggish behaviour. This greedy ‘fine’ is unacceptable and now leaves us with a bitter experience of your City. Such primitive and disgusting tactics to mine money from tourists fall well below Western culture standards.

Our firm impression now of Kraków is that we will never return to Poland again - there are better places to visit in Europe. Although Kraków has been westernised, the authorities in Poland still possess a post-Soviet attitude.

63 replies to this topic
Blackpool, United...
Level Contributor
3,024 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

I knew I had to validate ticket when getting on a tram so I always went straight to the validator, located near the doors. Sometimes the machine didn't work and had to move to another to validate. I'm afraid ignorance of the rule isn't an excuse.

Edited: 14 January 2018, 21:31
dallas tx.
Level Contributor
4,727 posts
32 reviews
2. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

I guess now you know that the trams arnt free in Krakow!

3. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

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Removed on: 14 January 2018, 23:35
Krakow, Poland
Destination Expert
for Krakow
Level Contributor
3,369 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

If you're not prepared to read up about the public transport rules before you get on a tram, or put your glasses on to read what's actually written on your ticket (in English), short of having someone at each tram and bus stop to greet you onto each bus/tram in 4 languages and explain the rules, I'm not sure what else we could do. Validation of prepurchased tickets is a system used in many countries, so it's not like we've got something that doesn't make sense.

Krakow's ticket inspectors are renowned for being merciless - there are plenty of posts like yours on this forum, as well as lots of advice from people about how to avoid getting into this situation in the first place, and not to mention a sticky at the very top of the forum that has been going for ages. And personally, as a Krakow taxpayer, I'd like to thank you for taking up the valuable time of 6(!) of our public servants simply to get you to obey the law.

Gdansk, Poland
Level Contributor
5,009 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

Travelling on the trams and buses without a validated ticket is a crime, You will be treated as a criminal of you fail to comply - everyone gets the same treatment ... you;re not being "picked on" or "singled out" because you're a visitor, nor should you expect to be let off because you're a visitor ... ignorance of the rules is no excuse."

London, United...
4 posts
6. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

ewainkrakow: "so it's not like we've got something that doesn't make sense."

Well the system does not make sense. Why would the ticket not automatically be validated like most other countries. In the UK you buy a ticket and your good to go. Its a confusing system and out dated in 2018, in England i don't even need to buy a ticket to use the tube. I simple use my phone to get on and off.

Edited: 15 January 2018, 06:23
Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
Level Contributor
23,742 posts
377 reviews
7. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

"Why would the ticket not automatically be validated like most other countries."


I've recently travelled to Dusseldorf, and it is the same process when travelling on the S-Bahn in Germany where you have to get your tickets validated before travel.

Gdansk, Poland
Level Contributor
5,009 posts
16 reviews
8. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

@playerunkn0wn "Why would the ticket not automatically be validated like most other countries"

Other countries??? Then go to Paris and try to go by metro/bus/tram without validating the paper ticket.

UK is not the whole world and believe me that in majority of countries you must or validate ticket or buy it directly on-board.

For all TA Poland forum users there is a FIRST pinned thread related to ticket validation https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g27472…

Edited: 15 January 2018, 06:52
London, United...
4 posts
9. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

@ TomStar-GDN

I've been to Paris before and the Metro station have turnstile / gate to enter the system therefore you cant get on without doing so. A simple system unlike the Scam of Poland where they hope you don't, just to milk money out of tourists

That's the same in the UK, even if you don't use the turnstile as long as you have a ticket you wont get fined.

Gdansk, Poland
Level Contributor
5,009 posts
16 reviews
10. Re: Kraków’s Tram Network Scam

There are no turnstiles or gates to enter bus or tram in Paris or Vienna

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