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Tuesday, 23.07.2019
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    Good to know

    Krakow – a brief overview

    Krakow, the charming city on the Vistula River, is home to 760,000 and Poland’s second-largest in terms of population, as well as a major center of business, science and technology. The old town abounds with Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque architecture, and that ensemble of buildings, along with Wawel Castle, forms part of the Krakow UNESCO World Heritage site. Krakow was a European Capital of Culture in 2000, which lent new momentum to the city’s renewal, its museum and art scene and also to its tourist industry. Today, the old town is almost entirely closed to motorized traffic so that visitors can stroll peacefully in a splendid setting between St. Florian’s Gate and the main market square.

    Krakow’s culture scene and nightlife have a reputation for being especially lively. The jazz and basement bars here are particularly popular, as are the trendy bars of the former Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, which is now an artists’ haunt and nightlife district.

    There are also plenty of places to visit near Krakow, including the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a multistory labyrinth of underground tunnels and chambers, and Ojców National Park with its picturesque limestone formations and karst caves. The memorial site in Auschwitz (Oświęcim), some 70 kilometers west of Krakow, preserves the memory of the millions who were murdered at the labor and death camp during the Nazi occupation.

    Flight and accommodation


    Top 10 sights in Krakow

    Krakau, Polen, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Wawel Castle

    Wawel 5
    31-001 Krakow
    Tel: 12 422 5155
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sat 0930-1600 (Nov-Mar)
    Tue-Fri 0930-1700
    Sat-Sun 1000-1700 (Apr-Oct)

    A 16th-century Gothic masterpiece, Wawel Castle dominates the skyline of Krakow. The beautiful three-storey courtyard and various museums housing fine art and the Polish crown jewels can keep you occupied for hours, so be sure to set aside an entire day to explore.

    Wawel Cathedral

    Wawel 3
    31-001 Krakow
    Tel: 12 429 9516
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0900-1600
    Sun 1230-1600 (Nov-Mar)
    Mon-Sat 0900-1700
    Sun 1230-1700 (Apr-Oct)

    Dating back over 900 years, this beautiful cathedral has borne witness to the coronation of Polish monarchs and the ordination of Pope John Paul II, Krakow’s most famous son. Possibly the most stunning building in the city, both inside and out.

    Galicia Jewish Museum

    Dajwór 18
    31-052 Krakow
    Tel: 12 421 6842
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1800

    Found in the one-time Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, this excellent museum delves into the history of Jewish culture in Polish Galicia. It traces the proud Jewish tradition in this historical region of Poland over 800 years, up to and including the Holocaust and beyond.

    St Mary’s Basilica

    Plac Mariacki 5
    31-042 Krakow
    Tel: 12 422 0521
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 1130-1800
    Sun 1400-1800

    One of Krakow’s most beautiful churches, St Mary’s was first built in the 13th century, the present building dating from the 14th century. Listen out for the trumpet signal which plays hourly from the top of the towers, commemorating a Mongol attack on Krakow.

    Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory

    Lipowa 4
    30-702 Krakow
    Tel: 12 257 1017
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon 1000-1400
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800

    In a building once used by Oskar Schindler, the man famed for helping Jews escape the Nazis during WWII, this excellent space documents the brutal occupation of Krakow in the early 1940s. Recreations of the city during this period make for uncomfortable but essential viewing.

    Pharmacy Museum

    Floriańska 25
    31-019 Krakow
    Tel: 12 421 9279
    Show on map

    Opening times
    Tue 1200-1830
    Wed-Sun 1000-1430

    Another superb Krakow museum, this terrific museum in a stunning townhouse details the history of pharmacy. Recreations show changes in how medicines were stored, while the focus on Tadeusz Pankiewicz, who kept a pharmacy running in the Jewish ghetto during WWII, is particularly fascinating.

    St Florian’s Gate

    31-015 Krakow
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0900-1800

    The last surviving original town gate, this hulking building gives a great idea of how heavily fortified Krakow once was. It dates back to the end of the 13th century and towers over the Old Town.

    Cloth Hall

    Rynek Główny 3
    31-000 Krakow
    Tel: 12 433 5400
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800 (gallery)

    UNESCO protected, the Cloth Hall is one of Krakow’s most recognisable and popular sights. The art gallery on the upper floor plays home to some exquisite Polish art, while its small arcades and cafés are well worth exploring.

    Remuh Cemetery

    Szeroka 40
    31-053 Krakow
    Tel: 12 430 5411
    Show on map

    This atmospheric Old Jewish Cemetery is well maintained and dates back to the 1500s. Although it fell into disrepair during the war, it has been restored to its former glory, with fascinating examples of Jewish design on many of the tombstones.


    Więźniów Oświęcimia 20
    32-603 Oświęcim
    Tel: 33 844 8099
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-1500 (Dec-Feb)
    0800-1600 (Mar and Nov)
    0800-1700 (Apr and Oct)
    0800-1800 (May and Sep)
    0800-1900 (Jun-Aug).

    Located 70km outside of Krakow is this complex of German concentration and extermination camps run by Nazis during World War II. Over 1 million people were murdered here. A guided visit makes it possible to understand this horrific place more fully – although the horrors that occured here are still inconceivable.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    One of Europe’s most underrated countries, Poland offers a huge amount for travellers of all stripes, from the wild scenery of its mountainous south, with its great skiing and hiking, to the stunning Old Towns of Cracow, Zamość and Gdańsk, and the wilderness of the Białowieża National Park and the Great Masurian Lakes in the country’s north. Poland’s scenic beauty is as varied as it is extraordinary.

    The Baltic coast has some excellent sandy beaches, as well as the Słowiński National Park with its ethereal forests, bogs and sand dunes. The Cracow-Wielun Upland with its limestone areas, caves and medieval castles is another highlight, while perhaps most beautiful area of all is around the Carpathian Mountains in the far south.


    Poland shares borders to the east and northeast with Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, to the south with the Czech Republic and Slovakia and to the west with Germany. To the north lies the Baltic Sea. The Baltic coast provides almost 525km (325 miles) of sandy beaches, bays and steep cliffs; between Gdańsk, and the port city of Szczecin to the west there are many seaside towns offering unpolluted water and some fine beaches, with sunbeds and umbrellas available for hire. These sand and gravel deposits also form the shifting dunes of Słowiński National Park, the sand bars of Hel and the Vistula Lagoon.

    Northern Poland is dominated by lakes, islands and wooded hills joined by many rivers and canals. The Masurian Lake District to the northeast is a patchwork of lakes and forests with Lake Hańcza, the deepest lake in Poland, located here. The longest river, the 1,090km (675 mile) Vistula, or Wisła, rises in the Tatra mountains and empties into the Baltic, cutting a wide valley between the capital, Warsaw in the heart of the country, to Gdańsk on the coast.

    The rest of the country rises slowly to the Sudety mountains, which run along the border with the Czech Republic, and the Tatra mountains, which separate Poland from Slovakia.

    To the west, the River Oder, with Szczecin at its mouth, forms the northwest border with Germany.

    Poland counts almost two dozen national parks, covering an area of 3,200 sq km (1,235 sq miles), and including the oldest, Białowieża National Park, east of Warsaw on the border with Belarus, and one of the largest, Bieszczady National Park, part of the Carpathian mountain range. These parks are home to European bison (the largest mammal in Europe), brown bears, lynx, wolves and even some wild horses. And Białowieża contains a fragment of the forest that once covered Europe in prehistoric times, with some oaks dating back half a millennium. Polish forests are largely pine though, accounting for two-thirds of the total.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 38383809

    Population Density (per sq km): 123

    Capital: Warsaw.


    Polish is the official language. There are a few small German-speaking communities primarily in the southwest. English and, increasingly less so, Russian are also spoken. French is also popular.


    Złoty (PLN; symbol zł) = 100 groszy. Notes are in denominations of zł200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. The coins are in denominations of zł5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 groszy. Poland is required under the terms of its accession to the European Union in 2004 to adopt the Euro as its national currency sometime in the future but this is not expected to happen for at least three years.


    230 volts AC, 50Hz; continental plugs with two round pins.

    General business opening hours

    Most offices in major industries open Mon-Fri 0830-1700. Government offices are open Mon-Fri 0830-1630. A few independent businesses may open on Saturday morning.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2019 – December 2020 period.


    Nowy Rok (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2019
    Święto Trzech Króli (Epiphany): 6 January 2019
    Pierwszy dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Sunday): 21 April 2019
    Drugi dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Monday): 22 April 2019
    Międzynarodowe Święto Pracy (Labour Day): 1 May 2019
    Święto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja (Republic Day): 3 May 2019
    Pierwszy dzień Zielonych Świątek (Whitsun): 9 June 2019
    Dzień Bożego Ciała (Corpus Christi): 20 June 2019
    Wniebowzięcie Najświętszej Maryi Panny (Assumption): 15 August 2019
    Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2019
    Narodowe Święto Niepodległości (Independence Day): 11 November 2019
    Pierwszy dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Christmas Day): 25 December 2019
    Drugi dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Second Day of Christmas): 26 December 2019


    Nowy Rok (New Year’s Day): 1 January 2020
    Święto Trzech Króli (Epiphany): 6 January 2020
    Pierwszy dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Sunday): 12 April 2020
    Drugi dzień Wielkanocy (Easter Monday): 13 April 2020
    Międzynarodowe Święto Pracy (Labour Day): 1 May 2020
    Święto Narodowe Trzeciego Maja (Republic Day): 3 May 2020
    Pierwszy dzień Zielonych Świątek (Whitsun): 31 May 2020
    Dzień Bożego Ciała (Corpus Christi): 11 June 2020
    Wniebowzięcie Najświętszej Maryi Panny (Assumption): 15 August 2020
    Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints’ Day): 1 November 2020
    Narodowe Święto Niepodległości (Independence Day): 11 November 2020
    Pierwszy dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Christmas Day): 25 December 2020
    Drugi dzień Bożego Narodzenia (Second Day of Christmas): 26 December 2020

    All information subject to change.

    Flight and accommodation


    Nightlife in Krakow


    Vodka and strong beer are not hard to find in Krakow. This is a city that loves a tipple and knows how to keep the night going well into the next day.

    It’s even said to have the highest concentration of bars in the world. True or not, you’ll not struggle to find somewhere to party.


    Swiętego Jana 16
    31-013 Cracow
    Show on map

    Superb cocktails, a pretty garden and a downstairs club space which opens at weekends.

    SomePlace Else

    Powiśle 7
    31-101 Krakow
    Show on map

    Love sports? This bar shows everything you could hope for and has bar games to keep you entertained when the action ends.

    Le Scandale

    Plac Nowy 9
    30-149 Krakow
    Show on map

    With some of the best cocktails in the city, Le Scandale is currently Krakow’s hippest hangout.

    La Habana

    Miodowa 22
    31-052 Krakow
    Show on map

    Dark and dingy, with a cool vibe, this is the place for those who want a few quiet beers.

    Baccarat Music Club

    Stolarska 13
    31-043 Krakow
    Show on map

    Krakow’s most stylish nightclubs brings in international DJs to entertain local partygoers.

    Flight and accommodation


    Restaurants in Krakow


    As Krakow’s stock as a tourist destination has risen, so has its food scene. Hearty, traditional Polish dishes rub shoulders

    with haute cuisine and Asian classics in restaurants and cafés that will leave even the most ardent foodie wowed.


    Świętego Marka 16
    31-018 Krakow
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Polish dishes with a focus on fish are on the menu here, along with Mediterranean food.


    Józefa 14
    31-056 Krakow
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Modern Polish food in an unstuffy setting where you can wash down the tasty herring with some home-made vodka.

    Pod Baranem

    Świętej Gertrudy 21
    31-049 Krakow
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    In the heart of the Old Town, Pod Baranem serves tasty venison and goulash among other classics.

    Klimaty Poludnia

    Świętej Gertrudy 5
    31-046 Krakow
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    A cosy spot serving up traditional Polish dishes, fresh salads and local beers.


    Mikołajska 3
    31-027 Krakow
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Always packed, this is the place to come for Poland’s best burger.

    Pod Temida

    Grodzka 43
    33-962 Krakau
    Show on map

    Price: affordable

    This bar mleczny (milk bar) in Kraków old town is one of the best known in the country and easy to find – in fact, its blue sign with white lettering makes it hard to miss. The meals are simple and typically Polish, the decor is plain, and the diners come from all walks of life.

    Flight and accommodation


    Calendar of events

    Cracovia Marathon

    28 April 2019

    Venue: Throughout Cracow

    One of Poland’s favourite running events, the Cracovia Marathon has become increasingly popular with international participants in recent years.

    St Stanislaw Procession

    12 May 2019

    Venue: Route from Wavel Cathedral to the Skalka sanctuary

    Always taking place on the first Sunday after 8 May, the St Stanislaw Procession is a gathering of Poland’s cardinals and bishops who follow the relics of the country’s patron saints from the Wavel Cathedral to the Skalka sanctuary. This is a big religious festival in this predominantly Christian country, and thousands of devotees join the procession every year.


    May 2019

    Venue: Throughout Cracow

    Juwenalia is a go-for-broke carnival in Cracow when students take over the city for four days and three nights, with street dancing, fancy-dress parades, masquerades and lots of carousing. The fun starts when the mayor hands over the keys to the city in the main market square on Friday.

    Lajkonik Pageant

    June 2019

    Venue: From Zwierzyniec to Rynek Glowny

    A celebration of Cracow’s resistance to the Tatars in 1287, this colourful pageant is headed by Lajkonik, a comical figure disguised as a bearded Tatar riding a wooden horse. The parade starts at a church in Zwierzyniec and is accompanied to the Main Market Square by loud music and dancing.


    June 2019

    Venue: Vistula River

    An ancient festival that dates back to Pagan times, Wianki literally means ‘wreaths’ and it is a traditional midsummer celebration that remembers St John. Polish girls wear wreaths of flowers with a lighted candle in the centre and then throw them into the Visitula River. According to folklore, if the wreath comes back to shore, the girl will never marry, if it sinks, she will die young and if it flows down the river, she will be married and be happy. Thankfully, it is a fast flowing river and most girls go away happy. There is also live music and a fireworks display.

    Jewish Culture Festival

    June – July 2019

    Venue: Various venues in Kazimierz

    Dubbed ‘Jewish Woodstock’, the Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow in late June and early July is the largest such festival in Europe, with theatre, film, music and art exhibitions.  The cobbled streets throng with revellers, who dance the night and day away to a mix of traditional and modern music. Anyone can get involved in the festival, which also celebrates Jewish film, food and art and ends with a klezmer (a performance of traditional eastern European Jewish music).

    Pierogi Festival

    11 – 17 August 2019

    Venue: Maly Rynek

    A celebration of Poland’s national dish, this three-day fête honours the humble Polish dumpling and stages a cooking competition in which restaurants compete for the bragging rights of ‘best pierogi in Cracow’. The perfect introduction to Polish cuisine.

    Cracow Christmas Festival

    December 2019

    Venue: Rynek Glowny

    A sprinkling of snow and Rynek Glowny’s Gothic architecture provide the perfect backdrop to Christmas celebrations in Cracow. A market selling anything from local crafts to mulled wine attracts thousands of visitors every year. There is also a competition to find the best nativity scenes in the city.

    New Year's Concert

    31 December 2019 –
    1 January 2020

    Venue: Rynek Glowny

    One of Europe’s largest New Year celebrations, as many as 100,000 revellers gather in Cracow’s Main Market Square on the last evening of the year. Tourists and locals brave the bitter weather for a special programme of music and firework displays.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Flight and accommodation


    Hotels in Krakow


    A hugely popular tourist destination, Krakow is understandably blessed with plenty of hotels. However, you won’t find rooms here as cheap as in Warsaw or other major cities.

    That said, you can easily find mid-range options, with some great luxury accommodation too.

    Hotel Copernicus

    Kanonicza 16
    31-002 Krakow
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A small and elegant hotel with romantic rooms housed in a stunning, period building.


    Na Gródku 4
    31-028 Krakow
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A family-run boutique spot with gorgeous rooms, a pretty terrace and great restaurant.


    Świętego Marka 20
    31-020 Krakow
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Highly rated and affordable hotel in a 16th-century building, with pretty rooms and smart décor.


    Świętego Sebastiana 12
    31-049 Krakow
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Bright and modern design hotel that won’t break the bank.

    Abella Suites & Apartments

    Długa 48
    31-146 Krakow
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Small and cosy guest house with great rooms for a low price.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Tuesday, 23.07.2019 05:00 UTC

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    wind direction


    wind speed

    3.125 mph



    7 days forecast



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    Climate & best time to visit Poland

    Poland’s climate is temperate with warm (often very hot) summers, crisp, sunny autumns and cold winters. Snow covers the mountainous area in the south of Poland (mid-December to April). Rain falls throughout the year. The most pleasant times to visit Poland are late spring and early summer (mid-May-June) and late summer and early autumn (September and October), when it’s still warm but unlikely to be too hot and the crowds of tourists have either not arrived yet or already gone home.

    The added advantages are that you’ll hit the asparagus season in late season and hiking is at its best in early autumn.


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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute maxØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan55.4 °F-16.6 °F32 °F23 °F85 %34 mm81.4 h
    Feb59 °F-14.8 °F33.8 °F24.8 °F84 %34 mm71.9 h
    Mar69.8 °F3.2 °F42.8 °F32 °F79 %33 mm83.3 h
    Apr84.2 °F21.2 °F55.4 °F39.2 °F74 %49 mm84.8 h
    May89.6 °F30.2 °F66.2 °F48.2 °F72 %76 mm116.1 h
    Jun91.4 °F37.4 °F71.6 °F53.6 °F74 %94 mm126.8 h
    Jul95 °F46.4 °F75.2 °F57.2 °F75 %95 mm106.7 h
    Aug95 °F42.8 °F73.4 °F55.4 °F76 %87 mm95.9 h
    Sep86 °F32 °F66.2 °F50 °F79 %50 mm85.1 h
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    Nov68 °F12.2 °F42.8 °F33.8 °F86 %44 mm91.7 h
    Dec60.8 °F-0.4 °F35.6 °F28.4 °F87 %38 mm101.0 h
    year95 °F-16.6 °F53.6 °F39.2 °F80 %678 mm1084.0 h

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Country code: +48

    Mobile telephony and Internet
    Since June 2017, EU citizens traveling within the EU, and also in Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein have been able to use their cell phones and surf the Net without incurring any extra charges: In other words, customers pay the same price for phone calls, text messages and data volume as they do at home. Restrictions do apply to the constant use of SIM cards abroad, however, and caps may be set on data packages. For full details, contact your mobile telephony provider in your country. Travelers using a SIM card from a non-EU state do not benefit from the new arrangement.

    Free Internet access via Wi-Fi is possible in many busy tourist spots. When using public Wi-Fi networks, it is a wise precaution to ensure encryption of all passwords, credit card details and banking TANs entered. Use of a VPN app or security software to check the safety of a hotspot is recommended.

    Flight and accommodation


    Shopping in Krakow

    Key Areas

    Being the historical heart of Krakow, the Old Town remains the best place to pick up traditional souvenirs and trinkets. The city centre is positively throbbing with shopping centres, as Poland develops at a rapid pace and demand for high-end brands grows.


    There are loads of excellent flea markets in Krakow. Plac Nowy, or the Jewish Market, takes place every weekend in Kazimierz, with antiques and vintage souvenirs up for grabs. Hala Targowa (Grzegorzecka) takes place daily, selling old books and bric-a-brac.

    Shopping Centres

    Malls have become a big deal in Krakow. The huge Galeria Krakowska (Pawia 5) has almost 300 stores, featuring all the global brands you’d expect to find in a major shopping centre. Galeria Kazimierz (Podgórska 34) is also worth checking out for high-street fashion. Bonarka City Centre (Kamieńskiego 11) is excellent for clothes.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Poles are friendly, industrious people and foreigners are usually made very welcome. There are vast contrasts between urban and rural life and the Polish peasantry is very religious and conservative, maintaining a traditional lifestyle. Roman Catholicism plays an important role in daily life and criticism or jokes about religion are not appreciated, despite the general good humour of the people.

    Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting; an older man will often kiss a woman’s hand.

    Normal courtesies are observed when visiting private homes, and it is customary to bring flowers, preferably in odd numbers. Fairly conservative casual wear is the most suitable attire, but dress should be formal when specified for entertaining in the evening or in a smart restaurant. Smoking is banned in public places, including railway stations, restaurants and bars.


    Military installations including border points should not be photographed.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    Mains water is normally chlorinated, and while relatively safe may cause mild abdominal upsets. Do not drink water from rivers or lakes even if they look pristinely clean as it may contain bacteria or viruses that can bring on diarrhoea and vomiting. Make use of the public wells for better tasting water; bottled water is available everywhere. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

    Two words of caution – a lot of dishes in Polish cuisine are stuffed or wrapped. Avoid them at a cafeteria or buffet if they look like they have outlasted their shelf life. Also, Poles can be big drinkers and vodka is the national drink. You definitely won’t be able to keep up with your fellow drinkers for long. Go easy and either miss a few turns or sip your drink in stages. Otherwise count on the mother of all hangovers and an upset stomach the next day.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Another one is against tick-borne encephalitis. This is spread by small insects that burrow under the skin and in recent years has become a common problem in parts of central and eastern Europe. Encephalitis is a serious infection of the brain, and vaccination is advised particularly for campers and hikers. Anyone who is considering spending a lot of time outdoors in affected areas should consider getting the jab before they leave home. Two inoculations of the vaccine will protect the recipient for a year while three doses provide protection for up to three years.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Skotnicki, Aleksander
    Sowinskiego 14/3
    31-524 Krakow
    Tel. +48-12–24-74-26

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre

    Flight and accommodation