Is Warsaw Safe to Visit or Settle? A Analysis for Travelers

Is Warsaw Safe? Can you identify the most tranquil and crime-ridden districts in Warsaw? Both the Central Statistical Office and the Warsaw Police help shed light on this with statistics from various parts of the Polish capital. So, let’s find out which parts of Warsaw you can comfortably roam, and which ones might require a bit more caution?

But let me say this upfront – despite the horror stories you might have heard, overall, life in Warsaw is considerably safer now than it was in the closing years of the last century. Think about it: bombings, contract killings, shootouts – these were everyday occurrences in Warsaw during the turbulent 1990s. The ripple effects of organized crime were felt across the city.

The 1990s remain etched in Warsaw’s memory as a gruesome chapter of strife between two rival gangs, the Pruszkow and Wołomin groups. For over a decade, these two groups ran most of the city’s underground operations. The legacy of their rule is a trail of victims scattered throughout the city. But here’s the good news – such scenes are a thing of the past today.

How Safe Is Warsaw?

I think it’s important to remember that one man’s meat can be another man’s poison. In other words, what one person sees as a neighborhood’s strong point might be a drawback for someone else. By assessing the weak points of individual districts, you can answer the million-dollar question: „Which is the worst district in Warsaw?”

If you’re the type who ranks safety above all else, you might find yourself crossing off certain central districts from your list of preferred neighborhoods. Areas like Praga-Północ, Śródmieście, and Ochota are generally seen as the least safe. Now, if you’re viewing this from a family perspective, you need to know that Rembertów has been tagged as the least child-friendly zone, falling short in terms of attractions for kids, when compared to other districts.

However, districts like Włochy, Praga Północ, and Śródmieście scored a bit higher in the family-friendly category. Another deciding factor when choosing where to live can be how easy it is to get around or avoid traffic jams. I am convinced that every Warsaw resident who commutes daily will take this into consideration. Thankfully, when it comes to transport connections, most Warsaw districts hold their own.

The Best and the Rest – Warsaw’s Districts

Warsaw Center / Poland

This bustling city is divided into 18 diverse districts, each one offering a unique living experience. So, you might ask, which is the best or worst district in Warsaw? Which area offers the most comfortable lifestyle, and which one leaves a lot to be desired? Lets explore what makes each district of Warsaw stand out, helping you find your perfect living spot.

The Otodom advertising website conducted a study a while back, creating the Safety Ranking of Warsaw Districts. This report gives us some insight into where residents feel the safest in the city:

  • Wilanów District
  • Ursynów District
  • Żoliborz District
  • Ursus District

The Other Side of the Coin – Warsaw’s Less Favoured Districts

Of course, every story has two sides. There are a few districts that don’t fare as well in the safety rankings, where residents tend to feel less secure compared to the areas mentioned above. Here’s the list of those districts:

  • Praga-Północ District
  • Śródmieście District
  • Ochota District
  • Targówek District
  • Włochy District
Praga-Północ District

Now, let me say this – People’s perceptions will shift over time. The beauty of urban living lies in its dynamic nature – nothing ever remains the same. And that’s the magic of it, right? Stay tuned, because in the next part we’re going to delve deeper into the unique characteristics of each of these districts.

Peering Into Warsaw’s Riskier Corners

In 2019, the Warsaw police recorded 1,694 criminal offenses wrapped up with preparatory proceedings in Białołęka, and managed to crack down on the culprits 33.3% of the time. In Ursynów, ranking ninth, the police discovered 1,761 such criminal offenses. Interestngly, they were a bit more successful here, catching the perpetrators 42.9% of the time.

Bemowo, standing eighth, had 1,787 offenses, with a crime-solving rate of 40.0%. Targówek had a slightly higher number of offenses, 1,868, but a similar detection rate of 40.2%, landing it in seventh place. Ochota ranked sixth with 2,128 offenses and a detection rate of 33.8%.

Safety Scores High Downtown

Praga-Północ, landing the fifth spot, saw 2,226 offenses, but managed to hold a commendable detection rate of 52.1% In Wola, there were 3,545 offenses. Here, the police managed to catch the culprits 40.9% of the time.

Mokotów, ranking third, had 3,715 offenses and a detection rate of 43.3%.

Praga-Południe came in second with 3,810 offenses, but the police maintaind a higher detection rate of 46.5%. Topping the list was Warsaw’s Śródmieście, where a whopping 7,810 offenses were found. However, the police managed to maintain a detection rate similar to Wola’s, at 40.9%.

Wilanów Basks in Serenity, Praga-Północ Raises Eyebrows

When asked about their sense of safety, residents of Wilanów (averaging a score of 4.28), Ursynów (4.26), and Wesoła (4.21) felt the safest. Żoliborz (4.11) and Ursus (4.08) also scored averages above four, which is encouraging.

Warsaw Wilanów District

Conversely, residents in three central districts didn’t score their areas quite as highly. Praga-Północ (3.45) ranked the lowest, followed by Śródmieście (3.53) and Ochota (3.61). While these scores would land them in the middle or even upper-middle of the pack in other categories, here they lag behind. Yet, it is worth to say that, overall, Warsaw’s safety level is deemed at least satisfactory, or so the respondents believe.