FTGA Krakow

10 Things To Know About the Federation of Tourist Guide Associations in Krakow (FTGA Krakow)

1. What year was the FTGA Krakow established, and where is the headquarters?

Federation of Tourist Guide Associations in Krakow was established in 2014. The Federation comprises of 6 tourist guide associations. The headquarters is in Krakow. The address is: Poland, 31-156 Krakow, 12/4b Zacisze str.


Krakow Bielany on bicycle © FTGA

2. What is the primary mission/goal of the FTGA Krakow?

The aim of the Federation is to represent the interests of tourist guides in relation to other institutions. The Federation supports the activities and operations of guide associations on a national and international level.

The Federation’s main purpose is to promote and ensure that tourist guides are recognized as the ambassadors of the region. The Federation seeks to promote the highest possible standards in tourism in general and guiding in particular. The Federation is dedicated:

  • to represent the Tourist Guiding profession and to promote and protect the profession’s interests
  • to enhance the image of the profession
  • to promote a country-wide code of ethics and skills
  • to raise, encourage and establish the highest standards of professionalism
  • to run training and continuing education programmes (CPD) for the members
  • to facilitate the exchange of information between the members.

Professional attitude, high quality service, reliability, in-depth knowledge, respect for clients and fellow guides – these are the qualities of the professional Krakow tourist guides.

The Federation is a member of the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG) and the Krakow Chamber of Tourism (KIT). The Federation actively cooperates with the City Hall and other Tourism and Culture stakeholders. The Federation is also cooperating with other international guides´ organizations.


Krakow Florainska Gate © FTGA

The FTGA Krakow celebrates every year the International Tourist Guide Day on 21 February and the World Tourism Day on 27 September.

3. How does someone become a qualified tourist guide in Krakow?

Since 2014 tourist guides are not regulated in Poland with the exception of mountain guides.

The Federation provides education and training to potential guides. The course lasts a year and consists of theoretical and practical classes. Upon completion of the course, the graduates, are further examined in a three-day practical exam organized by the Federation. Certificates confirming the qualification are given to successful candidates. The certificates are awarded by the Mayor of Krakow in City Hall, on the 27 September - World Tourism Day.


Krakow Market Square © FTGA

4. After becoming qualified, what are some of the professional development classes that guides typically take in Poland to enhance their knowledge and skills?

The certificates are valid for 3 years only. Each guide has to participate in at least 10 training sessions during this period in order to renew the certificate.

5. Is there an official badge that qualified tourist guides in Poland wear?

Following the 2014 deregulation there are no country-wide official badges. However, the City Council of Krakow has allowed FTGA Krakow the use of the coat of arms of the Capital Royal City of Krakow on identification badges for Krakow city guides who are members.

Only the Federation members carry these badges.


6. How many qualified tourist guides are members of FTGA Krakow, and what are their diverse backgrounds? Also, how many languages do they guide in, and do they specialize in themed tours?

The FTGA Krakow 6 guide associations have a total of 530 guides.

Most of our guides are Poles, but there are also licensed guides from Belarus, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Russia, Spain, Slovakia and the Ukraine.

Our guides speak a wide range of languages (29), covering many specialities and interests. They can conduct walking tours, tours in moving vehicles, on coaches, even on trains. We have a wealth of experience which is respected by discerning tour operators and travel agents throughout the world.


Krakow guide with the tourist © FTGA

7. What are some of the top reasons for using a qualified tourist guide in Krakow?

Krakow is located in the south of Poland, on the Vistula River, a region where cultures and traditions merge. Krakow was the former seat of the Polish kings and the first capital of the country. Nowadays it is an important European metropolis. Krakow’s Old Town is a unique treasury of works of art, historical monuments and historic buildings, representing almost all architectural styles, from the Middle Ages to the present day. For hundreds of years, the heart of the city beats in the Main Market Square. It is the largest town square of medieval Europe, preserved in unchanged form since 1257. In 1978 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

Krakow’s pride is the second oldest institution of higher education in Central Europe – the Jagiellonian University (founded in 1364). The Wawel Royal Castle been overlooking the city for centuries, is a must see site. The Kazimierz district, is an enduringexample of a centuries-long coexistence of between the Christian and Jewish cultures.

Outside the city centre the Kazimierz & Podgórze districts connected by the footbridge, Nowa Huta with socialist realist architecture, is worth visiting and many more.

Krakow is a city of festival. Every year, nearly 100 festivals and other world-famous cultural events take place here. It is also a city of museums, where visitors can come face to face with history.

The Malopolska region boasts fine monuments from all eras, interesting architectural styles and exceptional buildings, outstanding examples of vernacular architecture. The Malopolska is overrepresented in the UNESCO World Heritage List with six out of the sixteen Polish inscriptions. These include: the Wieliczka & Bochnia Royal Salt Mines, the Historic Centre of Krakow, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, and the newest addition to the list – the intangible tradition of creating nativity scenes .

The only way to get the best experience of all these places, experiences, museums is by hiring qualified tourist guides from FTGA Krakow.


Krakow Jewish District © FTGA

8. What are some of the popular places to visit in Krakow?

For Polish tourists the must see places are: the capital of Malopolska Region – Krakow, the capital of the Tatra Mountains – Zakopane, followed by the Wieliczka Salt Mine, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Krynica-Zdroj.

For international visitors the key attraction is Krakow, which is a must-see destination. The second place is taken by Zakopane and the third by Wieliczka.

Some of the tours and themes offered by FTGA Krakow guides are:

  • The Royal Castle and the Royal Cathedral
  • The old city with St Mary’s Church and the Fortification Walls
  • The Jagiellonian University
  • The Czartoryski Museum
  • The National Museum
  • The Historical Museum of the City of Krakow
  • The Jewish District Kazimierz
  • The Nowa Huta & Podgorze Districts
  • The Oscar Schindler’s Enamel Factory
  • Krakow of Saints and Blessed: from St. Stanislaus to St. Faustina and St. John Paul II
  • Tour of the places where famous residents lived: Copernicus, John Paul II, Wajda, Wyspianski
  • The Ojcow National Park
  • The Wieliczka & Bochnia Salt Mine
  • The Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp
  • The route of World War I & II
  • The Tatra Mountains
  • The Pieniny Gorge
  • Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – called Polish Jerusalem

Krakow Wawel Royal Cathedral © FTGA

9. What are some general tips you would give to potential visitors planning a vacation to Krakow?

It is easy to get to Krakow – for centuries it has lain at the centre of important trade routes, the meeting point of cultures and political influences. Krakow is considered to be the most important tourist destination in Poland.

The extensive network of rail, road and air connections makes Krakow one of the most accessible cities in Europe. The city also benefits from excellent public transport, make sure you use it.

A lot of practical information about Krakow and the Malopolska Region can be found on the pages:

www.krakow.travel/en
https://visitmalopolska.pl/strona-glowna
www.krakowairport.pl/en

10. Where can potential visitors to Krakow find out more information about FTGA Krakow and also find a qualified tourist guide?

We invite you to join us! The FTGA Krakow tourist guides are the true ambassadors of the city of Krakow!

Contact details for each guide can be found on our website:

http://fsp.krakow.pl/en/cracow-city-guides