Retire in Poland
Last updated on Nov 27, 2021
Summary: What is it like to retire in Poland? Retirees share their experiences living in Poland.
How do I meet people in Poland?
When we asked people living in Poland about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"University groups, take dance classes, play sports in the beach: soccer, volleyball, jogging, etc. Sports associations, cultural associations. Nature related: hiking, wall climbing, trekking... there is a lot to do on that matter here, Oliwa (church and park), the beach that is all boarding coastline from Gdynia to Sopot is nice. Summer is nice and hot and fresh (or not, very dry) always with an umbrella in your bag, please. Nice pubs in concentrated areas - not all over. Beside that, is all quiet. They don't have dancing, parades. But, there is a Heineken festival, summer concerts, and the teathers in Gdynia and Gdanks. But, they are mostly making efforts to present attractive and massive productions, for the size of the city they pull it out quite alright. Much more than that, mmmmm nope," said a retiree who moved to Gdynia, Poland.
"Well thats a difficult one as the most difficult problem is the languge. So would recommend just getting stuck in. The Italian Polish society strangley enough made me many contacts, Plus now there is a Chamber of Commerce and Investemnt bureau who are able to help out with contacts. If you are single I would recommend one of the free dating sites just to meet people," said another retiree in Bydgoszcz.
What is life like in Poland?
When we asked people living in Poland what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"They are not that open, but the last generations. It is a group of small cities in one, it is not a metropolis. Last generation up to 30 years old is opening gradually and many have gone out through Erasmus or student organizations, also through student xchange programs, etc. These are the ones who look after more diversity in the city. Half of them speak English (among youngsters) in different levels, due to studies or by having lived abroad or travelled, only 2 out of 10 will practice it with you, shyness card. Since Poland is improving its life quality and people who once emigrated are coming back, there is an economic sense of well being. That's experienced in the new products and variety of lifestyles that are just starting to be experienced and share as a community. Wanna watch this and be part of it, then come. They don't have, say, Spanish style of going out in the night. There are a few pubs and mostly Sopot is the place to go, but the sense that you are in a set of small cities together by a train line never goes. They close at 16h00 in winter (stores) and night places at 03h00 (but if you're a frequent goer you can stay inside with doors closed). Gdansk is great for historical visits but then the rest of the is like any other place on this side of Europe. People are very Catholic and they keep broad stereotypes due to their slow opening to what we call globalization. But, it is like any other place, if you are polite and learn a few words of the language it is got to work, in general :-)," said a retiree who moved to Gdynia, Poland.
"Poland is a very family orientated society so traditionally most social activities revolve around the home and family although this is changing and its now quite common to eat out although its a recent activity," said another retiree in Bydgoszcz.
What do I need to know before retiring in Poland?If you live in Poland, newcomers to Poland would love to hear your answer to this question.
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Poland, they said:
"If you plan to settle here try to avoid expat populated areas (even thought it seems like a good plan to stick with people from your country only) as that will impede your assimilation with Poland and Polish culture. One can easily survive with English language only in all big cities and the general command of English is at ok-ish level for 40 yrs old and younger (the younger the generation the better their English) in the whole country. What is more - expect people to be interested in talking back to you in English as everybody tries to improve their language skills. Learn a few Polish words - that will open more doors to Polish hearts than the best English diplomacy. We know our language is deemed to be the most difficult to learn by non Slavic people so we appreciate all "Dzien dobry" from foreigners. And it is generally frowned upon if we learn that a given expat lives in Poland for a few years and still does not even try to speak Polish," said a retiree who moved to Poland.
"Why? There are other cities, but it is up to you. I would ask my friend what he/she is looking for: short term stay or long, do you hate big, crowded cities, what are the other reasons he/she is coming, is he/she coming for a boyfriend, fiance/e or he/she has a good job offer to get real? Consider the exchange rate zlotys (local currency) vs Euro since you can start reasonably saving only from 2500 zlotys ( less than 750 EUR aprox, check it by urself) and comparing it to other salaries elsewhere in Europe it won't let you save enough for frequent flights to see your family/friends, or just trip around. Your choice. Nature is great and watching these people produce and work hard is great, but if you don't have the antropologist vein, don't listen to me. I appreciate them in my experience for what they achieve with their constance and hard work. But this country just went out of a different era not so long ago. So well, give them some time and have low expectations. Overall they are nice people, so keep it low-expected and positive and you will have nice surprises with people and finding natural treasures yet untouched around," said another retiree in Gdynia.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.