Why Krakow is So Polluted?

Krakow is famous for tourism but it is also famous for something a little less glorious – air pollution. Many people wonder why Krakow is so polluted. What makes the air in Krakow so polluted and bad to breathe? Let’s find out!

What is the reason for air pollution in Krakow? It is neither cars nor industry, of which there are fewer and fewer in the area. Among the many factors, two have the greatest impact on smog in Krakow: its geographical location and the the towns and villages surrounding Krakow.

Krakow is a city situated in a valley on the Vistula river. The city is surrounded on three sides by hills stretching for many kilometres. These hills impede the winds blowing around the city and do not allow air exchange. In addition, the air corridors in Krakow are often obscured by tall buildings.

winter weather in Krakow

There is a ban on burning solid fuels such as coal in Krakow, but no such ban exists in the surrounding towns. Sometimes people also burn waste such as furniture or tyres in their solid fuel stove.

Polluted air from the surrounding areas flows into Krakow, which is located in a valley, and then rises above the city.

In the centre of Krakow in old tenement houses there may be some people breaking the ban on burning solid fuels, but there are not many of them. Even if we could completely eliminate all forms of combustion transport, all industry and all illegal solid fuel stoves in Krakow, pollution would still flow into the city due to its location.

If you like fresh air, it is worth coming to Krakow in the period from May to August. In the second half of September, it is already cold in Krakow, and the level of air pollution increases and remains so almost throughout the winter.

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