World Youth Day (or ŚDM, as we say in PL)

Featured image: Paulina Fraczek for

The rising temperatures in Kraków are building up to a religious fervour which can already be heard and seen in the streets of the Old Town: choirs of young pilgrims, happy chanters up on stages the assembled on every square in town, and an increasing amount of religious apparel walking up and down the streets: nun’s habits, clerical collars and cassocks with their fasciae, pellegrinas or mozzettas (perhaps not the most weather conscious of choices); not to mention the growing crowds of tourist and visitors from all over the world who are gathering to celebrate World Youth Day (Światowe Dni Młodzieży) 2016.


World Youth Day: Kraków for Catholic Pilgrims

In the months leading up to this week-long event there have been several rumours which kept the media busy: prohibition, mob chaos, depletion of basic grocery supplies and even potential terrorist attacks. What we know for sure is that authorities at all levels have been mobilised to deliver a safe and smooth-running week, and that logistic strategies have been deployed to cope with the traffic, mobility demand and any kind of emergency. The event has also raised concerns amongst local residents prompting an exodus to other Polish cities. The Krakow Post, a local English-language newspaper, has recommended locals (expats) to work from home, carry IDs at all times, use bikes and shop in advance.

The Pope will be in Kraków from the 27th until the 31st of July and along with him the ever present memory of John Paul II, a powerful and crucial figure for the Polish Catholic faith, and the nation.

Everything will take place under the symbol of Mercy, in this Jubilee Year, and also in the grateful and devoted memory of St. John Paul II, who was the architect of World Youth Day and the guide of the Polish nation on its recent journey through history towards freedom.

Pope Francis in his message prior to WYD.

Without a doubt this is a milestone event in Kraków and will prove to be a major undertaking on the part of local authorities, and an opportunity for everyone in the tourism industry. Moreover, the atmosphere in town is quite unique: lots of young people from all over the world promenading, laughing, speaking different languages, singing, and enjoying the city. Perhaps a glimpse of what Kraków could feel like in say… 20 years?

We wish everyone gathered in Kraków for these historic events a safe and joyous experience.

BTW. We were happy to see skarbonka back in place.


Related features:

KrakowWYDWorld Youth Day: Kraków for Catholic Pilgrims

World Youth Day (programme)

 jpII bilet (2) Pope John Paul II – co-patron saint of WYD 2016

Faustyna_no credit photo St. Faustyna – co-patron saint of WYD 2016

Related Events:

Other online resources & practical info:

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