Krakow, Poland

Do People Speak English in Krakow?

  1. Language in Krakow
  2. English in Krakow

When travelling to a foreign country, one of the biggest concerns for many people is the language barrier. In Krakow, Poland, this concern may not be as daunting as some may think. While Polish is the official language of the country, many people in Krakow speak English to some degree.

Younger inhabitants of Poland and Krakow generally speak English to a greater or lesser extent, and people up to the age of 40 can be assumed to have some level of English proficiency. This sentiment is echoed by Quora, where users report that even cashiers in small stores will switch to English if they see that a customer is struggling to understand them.

While there may be some older residents who only speak Russian or Polish, it is generally safe to assume that English can be used to get by in most touristy places in Krakow. In fact, as reported by Tripadvisor, Krakow receives a lot of foreign visitors, and many of them use English to communicate with the locals.

Language in Krakow

Official Language

The official language of Krakow, as well as the rest of Poland, is Polish. It is a Slavic language and can be quite difficult to learn for non-native speakers. However, most people in Krakow speak at least some English, especially in tourist areas.

Foreign Languages

English is widely spoken in central Krakow, and fluently by many. This is due in part to the city’s large tourism industry. Many people in Krakow also speak German, especially those who are older and grew up during the time when Poland was under German occupation.

Other foreign languages, such as French and Spanish, are less commonly spoken but can still be found in some areas of the city. It’s always a good idea to learn some basic phrases in Polish, such as “hello” and “thank you,” as a sign of respect for the local culture.

Overall, language should not be a major barrier for visitors to Krakow. Most people in the city are accustomed to interacting with foreigners and will do their best to communicate in a language that both parties can understand.

English in Krakow

English Proficiency

According to the EF English Proficiency Index, Poland ranks 10th out of 72 countries in terms of English proficiency. Krakow, being a city with a considerable student population, has a high number of young people who speak English fluently. However, older generations may not be as proficient in English.

English in Tourism

English is widely spoken in central Krakow, especially in the tourism industry. Many locals working in hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions speak English fluently. In fact, even cashiers in small stores switch to English if they see tourists having trouble understanding their questions.

It is still a good idea to learn some basic Polish phrases, such as “Cześć” for hello or goodbye, to show respect for the local culture and make communication easier.

Menus, ticket machines, and cash machines/ATMs all have an English language option, making it easy for tourists to navigate their way around the city.

Overall, while it is not guaranteed that everyone you meet in Krakow will speak English, it is likely that you will encounter many locals who do.