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"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"
(Matthew 5:7)


WYDUSA: The United States
Pilgrimage to World Youth Day 


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Safety & Awareness


When traveling to Krakow for World Youth Day 2016, all pilgrims should be incredibly conscious of security and safety issues. The following information provides some resources for pilgrims and their families, group leaders, and parish and diocesan authorities regarding the safety of all World Youth Day pilgrims while in Krakow.

Tips for Personal Safety and Security

  • Always travel in a group. Traveling alone creates a personal safety risk. Group leaders should know exactly where their pilgrims are at all times.
  • Exercise extreme caution when walking and crossing streets. Please use designated crosswalks and be mindful of fast-moving, heavy traffic.
  • Do not leave your valuables at your lodging site or hotel.
  • Inquire about fire safety procedures at your lodging site.
  • Do not make jokes or threats about weapons, bombs, or dangerous acts.
  • Do not venture out, especially alone as well as in groups, at night.
  • Stay close to official WYD event locations; do not veer outside those boundaries.
  • Please report anything suspicious to the local authorities and WYD staff.
  • If you are lost or in the event of an emergency, seek out World Youth Day security and volunteers - or contact the local municipal authorities/police.

Poland Emergency Numbers

Via landline or a public phone:
997: Police Department
998: Fire Department
999: Ambulance
986: Municipal Wardens (Straż Miejska)

Via mobile phone:
112: All Services (You may also dial this on a landline, if you are unsure of the department you need)

Specialty Emergency Numbers

+ 48 601 100 300: Mountain Rescue Service (GOPR)
+ 48 601 100 100: Water Rescue Service (WOPR)


Proper Indentification

While in Krakow, it is important that you carry a picture ID such as an original passport or a scanned color copy.

Pilgrims should also be sure to keep their Registration Certificate with them for the duration of their trip. This certificate with the ecclesial stamp and signature is important, because it verifies your status as a WYD pilgrim. There is also a possibility that pilgrims could run into difficulties with the Polish authorities for a number of reasons, which is another reason to carry the certificate to verify your identity.

Things to Remember for WYD Krakow

  • Passport: required for entry to the country (N.B. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens to enter Poland)
  • WYD Registration Certificate
  • WYD badge (you will receive this in Krakow)

Also, your WYD Registration Certificate and WYD badge (which you will receive upon check-in at WYD) are your ticket to enter WYD events. Please, do not lose or forget to have them with you at all times.

Your credentials, badges, or certificates may not be transferred—and should not be shared or given away or lost. Missing credentials create a security risk Lost credentials are not easily replaced. In case of an emergency, please proceed (with your group leader) to a WYD Information Center located throughout the city. Also in addition to this, remember that all participants from the United States are reminded to act in a Christian manner and adhere to the codes of conduct of their local dioceses.


Creating a Safe Environment

At WYD Krakow, there will be thousands of group leaders, trained volunteers, and staff on hand to ensure safety and security. Also, the local Polish police will be present throughout the downtown area of Krakow.

WYD greeters and security personnel will be at the entrances to all events. Each pilgrim must have valid WYD credentials (i.e. pilgrim badges and registration certificate) for entry. Also, due to the high volume of pilgrims, please plan for additional wait times in your schedule for the lines to enter events.

Backpacks, Bags, and Purses
Traditionally, many pilgrims carry a backpack throughout WYD. As a result, pilgrims and group leaders are encouraged to travel light. If possible, try to carry only those items you will need for that day. Please do not leave your backpack unattended, for any reason.

Emergency Exit
If emergency evacuation is necessary, please follow the instructions of police, security personnel, WYD volunteers, and/or any of the public announcements.

In the unlikely event of widespread sustained crisis, each group leader should have a designated a crisis check-in location. Report to this location, if instructed to do so by security, law enforcement, or event personnel.

Other Helpful Resources

United States Consulate General of Poland in Krakow

United States Embassy in Poland (Warsaw)

U.S. State Department - Travel Details for Poland
with links to travel requirements and other valuable info

Centers of Disease Control (CDC) Travel Info for Poland
with details about medical information for Krakow pilgrims

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