We’ve compiled a detailed list of common scams in Warsaw and tourist traps to watch out for to help you navigate the city safely. If you’re keen on a fun and secure night out in Warsaw, watch out for the below scams. Or check out this guide to Warsaw Nightlife.
The 9 Most Common Scams in Warsaw
Street Girls Scam
When wandering the streets late at night, especially if you’re slightly inebriated, be cautious of two friendly women approaching you. They might claim to be tourists seeking bar recommendations. Be aware; if you don’t resemble Brad Pitt, this might be a setup!
These women often lure unsuspecting individuals to bars where they work. Once inside, they might request you to buy them drinks. The catch is that these drinks are priced exorbitantly, and menus lack price listings. Departing without settling the outrageous bill might involve an intimidating confrontation with security personnel.
Flower Gift Scam
As you stroll through Warsaw’s Old Town, children might offer you roses, claiming it’s a gift. Subsequently, they show pictures of purportedly sick relatives, weave a heart-wrenching tale, and request donations. Be wary; these stories are frequently fabrications and you’ll notice that the image of their sick relative is the top image on Google when you search “sick person”. This is one of the most common scams in Warsaw around the Old Town.
Beware of individuals urging you to sign petitions or lists. While you’re distracted, an accomplice might attempt to pickpocket you. This normally happens at train stations when people are in a rush and not focused.
Drugs Warsaw Warning
Though not strictly a scam in Warsaw, it’s important to be cautious if someone offers you illicit drugs in Warsaw. The quality is often poor, and the substances are potentially harmful. We suggest sticking to local vodkas and some of Warsaw’s bars and clubs for a genuine Polish experience.
This is the most common scam in Warsaw to watch out for if you love going out for a drink. Ensure you specify your preferred alcohol brand when ordering at clubs. Otherwise, bartenders will serve the most expensive option, leading to inflated bills. When in Warsaw, embrace local flavours and try Wyborowa, a high-quality yet affordable Polish vodka.
Steer clear of Euronet ATMs with unfavourable exchange rates and exorbitant fees. Here is a great video that explains the same scam in Prague.
Warsaw boasts several currency exchange outlets offering “0% commission.” Their catch often lies in unfavourable exchange rates, causing you to lose more money.
Always opt for licensed taxis or ride-share apps to avoid arbitrary charges. Unlicensed taxis charge you whatever they feel like. It’s advisable to book taxis through Mega Taxi, Radio Taxi, or Eko Taxi, Bolt or Uber. While Uber and Bolt are often more affordable in Warsaw, they can’t access certain restricted areas.
We suggest steering clear of strip clubs in Warsaw. Unlike their counterparts in some European cities, Warsaw’s establishments often aim to fleece tourists. They often disguise themselves as cabarets or whiskey bars. Issues include overcharging, multiple unauthorised card charges, and spiked drinks. With a plethora of friendly locals at Warsaw’s bars and clubs, strip clubs are unnecessary.
Be cautious if a stranger requests you to take their photo. They might deliberately drop their camera upon return and blame you, demanding compensation. If someone seems suspicious, decline their request graciously.
Now it’s Time to Explore Warsaw.
We hope this guide helps you safely enjoy all that Warsaw has to offer! Check out the Warsaw Nightlife guide or The Dos and Don’ts of Partying in Warsaw if you’re looking for some more tips on Warsaw Nightlife.
Contact us if you have any further questions about Warsaw, or join us every Saturday night at The Warsaw Boat Party.
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