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Warsaw, Poland

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Mar 10, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Warsaw, Poland is 1.7 million people. People describe Warsaw as a vibrant, modern city with a rich cultural heritage. Expats love the city's lively nightlife, its many parks and green spaces, and its excellent public transportation system. The weather in Warsaw is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from an average low of 28°F (-2°C) in January to an average high of 73°F (23°C) in July. The average cost of living in Warsaw for an expat is estimated to be around $1,500 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment in Warsaw is estimated to be around $600-$800 per month, while a two bedroom apartment is estimated to be around $800-$1,000 per month.

What do I need to know about living in Warsaw?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Warsaw, they said:

"Before retiring in Warsaw, expats should familiarize themselves with the local language, Polish, as it is the official language of the country. Expats should also research the cost of living in Warsaw, as it can vary depending on the area and lifestyle. Additionally, expats should research the healthcare system in Poland, as it is important to have access to quality healthcare. Furthermore, expats should research the visa and residency requirements for living in Poland, as these can vary depending on the individual's circumstances. Finally, expats should research the cultural norms and customs of Poland, as this will help them to better integrate into the local community," said one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

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What do I need to know before moving to Warsaw?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Warsaw, they said:

"Before moving to Warsaw, expats should familiarize themselves with the local language, Polish. It is also important to research the cost of living in Warsaw, as well as the availability of housing and transportation. Expats should also be aware of the cultural norms and customs of the city, as well as the local laws and regulations. Additionally, expats should research the job market in Warsaw and the availability of healthcare and other services. Finally, expats should make sure to obtain the necessary visas and permits before moving to Warsaw," explained one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.

"It depends where are you going to work. If you choose a district with a bad commute you can travel 2 hours to your work-place. I suggest close to the metro stations - Ursynow district is cheap, Zoliborz and Srodmiescie are quite expensive. Zoliborz is one of the locations with most parks in Warsaw," said one expat in Warsaw.

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How do I find a place to live in Warsaw?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"One of the best ways to find a place to live in Warsaw is to use online resources such as websites and apps. Websites such as Gumtree, OLX, and Otodom are popular for finding rental properties in Warsaw. Additionally, there are many real estate agents in the city who can help you find a place to live. You can also search for rental properties on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, there are many expat forums and Facebook groups dedicated to helping people find housing in Warsaw. Finally, you can also ask friends and family who live in Warsaw for advice and recommendations," said one expat in Warsaw.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Warsaw?

"Expat homes and apartments in Warsaw are typically modern and spacious, with high ceilings and large windows that let in plenty of natural light. Many of the apartments are located in the city center, close to shops, restaurants, and other amenities. Expat homes and apartments often come with modern appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, as well as air conditioning and heating. Many of the apartments also have balconies or terraces, providing a great place to relax and enjoy the views of the city," remarked one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.

"Appartment of 80 m2 top floor. Zoliborz distrcit, close to the park. Mostly Expats live in the center of the city," wrote one member in Warsaw.

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What is the average cost of housing in Warsaw?

If you are thinking about moving to Warsaw, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Warsaw can vary greatly depending on the area and type of accommodation. Generally, the average cost of renting an apartment in Warsaw is around €600-800 per month, while the average cost of buying a property is around €3,000-4,000 per square meter," commented one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

"Average cost - 400 USD to 1500 USD a month depending on the standard and location," remarked one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.

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How do I meet people in Warsaw?

When we asked people living in Warsaw about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Expats in Warsaw often join clubs and activities such as language exchange groups, sports teams, and cultural events. Expats can also meet people by attending local festivals, joining meetup groups, or attending networking events. Additionally, many expats find it helpful to join online forums and social media groups related to their interests. This can be a great way to connect with other expats and locals in the area," commented one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

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What should I bring when moving to Warsaw?

People living in Warsaw were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"When moving to Warsaw, it is important to pack warm clothing, as the winters can be quite cold. It is also a good idea to bring a raincoat and umbrella, as the city experiences a lot of rain. Additionally, it is important to bring a valid passport and any necessary documents for your stay. It is also a good idea to bring a few items to make your new home feel more comfortable, such as pictures, books, and other personal items. Finally, it is important to bring any necessary medications and toiletries," remarked one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.

"More sun and warmer weather. Better roads. Italian food, especially fresh sea-food. I wish all present Polish politician to go to another country," wrote one member in Warsaw.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Warsaw?

We asked expats in Warsaw what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"Before retiring in Warsaw, expats should familiarize themselves with the local language, Polish, as it is the official language of the country. Expats should also research the cost of living in Warsaw, as it can vary depending on the area and lifestyle. Additionally, expats should research the healthcare system in Poland, as it is important to have access to quality healthcare. Furthermore, expats should research the visa and residency requirements for living in Poland, as these can vary depending on the individual's circumstances. Finally, expats should research the cultural norms and customs of Poland, as this will help them to better integrate into the local community," wrote a member in Warsaw.

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Will I be able to find a job in Warsaw?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Warsaw, they reponded:

"Foreigners in Warsaw often find work in the hospitality industry, such as in restaurants, hotels, and bars. Other popular job opportunities for foreigners include teaching English, working in IT, and working in customer service. Additionally, there are many opportunities for freelancers, such as web design, graphic design, and translation," commented one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

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What is life like in Warsaw?

When we asked people living in Warsaw what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living in Warsaw as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The city is full of vibrant culture, history, and art, and offers a wide range of activities and attractions to explore. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other European cities, making it an attractive destination for those looking to stretch their budget. The city is also well-connected, with excellent public transportation and a growing number of coworking spaces and cafes catering to digital nomads. The people of Warsaw are friendly and welcoming, and the city is a great place to make new friends and connections," remarked one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

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What do expats in Warsaw appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Warsaw appreciate the city's vibrant cultural life, with its many museums, galleries, theatres, and music venues. They also enjoy the city's rich history, with its many historical sites and monuments. Additionally, expats appreciate the city's diverse cuisine, with its many traditional Polish dishes as well as international restaurants. Finally, expats enjoy the city's friendly and welcoming people, who are always willing to help out newcomers," said one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats in Warsaw often find the language barrier to be the most challenging aspect of the local culture. Many Poles speak English, but it is not as widely spoken as in other European countries. Additionally, the Polish culture is quite different from other Western cultures, and expats may find it difficult to adjust to the different customs and etiquette. Furthermore, the cost of living in Warsaw can be quite high, making it difficult for expats to find affordable housing and other necessities," said one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

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Is there a lot of crime in Warsaw?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Warsaw is generally considered to be a safe city, with crime levels lower than many other European cities. However, there have been reports of pickpocketing and other petty crimes in some areas, particularly in the city centre and tourist areas. It is advisable to take the usual precautions when travelling in Warsaw, such as avoiding carrying large amounts of cash and being aware of your surroundings," wrote one member in Warsaw.

"No, the crime rate in Warsaw is generally quite low. It is considered one of the safest cities in Europe, and its residents often feel safe walking or taking public transport at night," remarked one expat who made the move to Warsaw.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Warsaw accepting of differences?

"Warsaw is a diverse city, with people from many different backgrounds and cultures living and working there. The city is known for its acceptance of differences, and people from all walks of life are welcomed and respected. Warsaw is a vibrant and open city, and its citizens are proud of its diversity," said one expat in Warsaw.

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What are the schools in Warsaw like?

"The British School Warsaw is one of the best international schools in Warsaw. It is a co-educational school that offers a British-style education to students from over 50 countries. The school follows the National Curriculum of England and Wales and offers a range of extra-curricular activities. It also has a strong focus on developing students’ language skills, with English, French, Spanish and Polish all taught. The International American School of Warsaw is another excellent international school in Warsaw. It is a co-educational school that offers an American-style education to students from over 40 countries. The school follows the American curriculum and offers a range of extra-curricular activities. It also has a strong focus on developing students’ language skills, with English, French, Spanish and Polish all taught. The International School of Warsaw is a bilingual school in Warsaw, Poland. It is a co-educational school that offers a bilingual education to students from over 40 countries. The school follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum and offers a range of extra-curricular activities. It also has a strong focus on developing students’ language skills, with English, French, Spanish and Polish all taught," commented one expat when asked about in Warsaw.

"The International European School was a great school till 2009, an excellent value for money. From that date, the management of the school has been a true disaster. Most of the international teachers and the best Polish teachers have been fired or invited to resign and they have not been replaced with equally qualified teachers. The academic level has gone down every year, mainly in Primary and Middle Years, while the fees have gone up. The most extraordinary decisions are taken by the Board of Directors without any consultation to parents or pupils, so the environment is often tense. Nevertheless, it is the cheapest international school in English (apart from the Canadian School) in Warsaw, and the fees include transportation and lunch. Only advisable if price is the main factor for taking a decision," remarked one expat living in Warsaw with children attending International European School.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Warsaw?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Warsaw responded:

"Expats and digital nomads generally like living in Warsaw, for several reasons. They appreciate the affordable cost of living, which includes reasonably priced housing, food, and transportation. The city offers a rich cultural and historical experience, with numerous museums, galleries, and architectural landmarks to explore. Warsaw has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a wide variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to diverse tastes. The public transportation system is efficient and reliable, making it easy to navigate the city. The local people are generally friendly and welcoming, and many speak English, which makes it easier for expats to communicate and integrate into the community. On the other hand, there are some aspects of living in Warsaw that expats and digital nomads may dislike. The weather can be a significant drawback, with cold and long winters, and relatively short summers. Air pollution can also be a concern, particularly during the winter months when smog levels can rise. Some expats may find the bureaucracy and paperwork involved in obtaining visas, work permits, and other necessary documents to be challenging and time-consuming. Additionally, while many locals speak English, there may still be language barriers when dealing with certain services or institutions. Finally, some expats may find it difficult to adjust to certain cultural differences and social norms, which can impact their overall experience of living in Warsaw," mentioned one expat inWarsaw.

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What type of social life can someone expect in Warsaw?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Warsaw, they replied:

"Expats, retirees, and digital nomads living in Warsaw, typically have a vibrant and diverse social life. They often connect with fellow expats and locals through various social events, language exchange meetups, and cultural activities. Many join clubs, sports teams, or volunteer organizations to meet new people and engage in shared interests. Networking events and coworking spaces are popular among digital nomads, providing opportunities to build professional connections and friendships. Additionally, Warsaw's lively arts scene, numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants offer ample opportunities for socializing and enjoying the city's rich culture," wrote one expat living in Warsaw.

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"The social scene in Warsaw, is vibrant and diverse, offering a mix of traditional Polish culture and modern cosmopolitan experiences. The city is known for its lively nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and pubs catering to various tastes and preferences. There are also many cultural events, such as concerts, theater performances, and art exhibitions, which attract both locals and tourists. Warsaw is home to a thriving food scene, with a wide range of restaurants offering both traditional Polish cuisine and international dishes. The city also has a growing number of trendy cafes and bistros, where people gather to socialize and enjoy a leisurely meal or coffee. The city's parks and green spaces provide a perfect setting for outdoor activities and socializing, especially during the warmer months. ?azienki Park, for example, is a popular spot for picnics, strolls, and outdoor concerts. Warsaw also has a strong sense of community, with various local events and festivals taking place throughout the year. These events often celebrate Polish traditions and history, such as the annual Warsaw Uprising commemoration or the colorful Midsummer Night celebrations. In recent years, Warsaw has become more multicultural, with an increasing number of expats and international students calling the city home. This has led to a more diverse social scene, with various cultural events and language exchange meetups taking place regularly. Overall, the social scene in Warsaw is dynamic and offers something for everyone, whether you're interested in partying the night away, exploring the city's rich cultural heritage, or simply enjoying a relaxing day in one of its beautiful parks," said one expat living in Warsaw.

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What advice to expats in Warsaw have about housing?

"Expats in Warsaw recommend researching the area you are interested in living in before committing to a rental agreement. It is also important to be aware of the local rental laws and regulations, as well as the cost of living in the area. Additionally, it is recommended to visit the property in person before signing a lease, as well as to ask for references from previous tenants. Finally, it is important to be aware of the potential for scams when renting in Warsaw, and to be sure to use a reputable rental agency," mentioned one expat inWarsaw.

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What are medical services in Warsaw like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Warsaw, they replied:

"Medical services in Warsaw, are generally of high quality, with well-trained medical professionals and modern facilities. Both public and private healthcare options are available, with public healthcare being more affordable but sometimes facing longer waiting times. Private healthcare offers faster access to specialists and treatments, but at a higher cost. Many medical professionals in Warsaw speak English, making it easier for foreigners to communicate their needs. Pharmacies are widely available throughout the city, and emergency services are efficient and responsive. It is recommended for visitors to have travel insurance to cover any potential medical expenses," wrote one expat living in Warsaw.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Warsaw?

"Healthcare and health insurance in Warsaw, can be considered relatively affordable compared to other countries, especially when compared to the United States. Public healthcare in Poland is funded through the National Health Fund (NFZ), which provides coverage for most medical services, including hospitalization, specialist consultations, and emergency care. However, the public healthcare system may have long waiting times and limited access to certain treatments. Many residents in Warsaw opt for private health insurance, which offers faster access to medical services and a wider range of treatments. Private health insurance can be more expensive than public healthcare, but it is still considered reasonably priced compared to other countries. Additionally, some employers offer private health insurance as part of their employee benefits package, which can help offset the cost. Overall, healthcare and health insurance in Warsaw are relatively affordable, but the quality and accessibility of services may vary depending on whether one chooses public or private healthcare options," commented one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.

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Is the cost of living in Warsaw high?

We asked people about the cost of living in Warsaw, they wrote:

"The cost of living in Warsaw is generally considered to be quite affordable. Rental prices for a nice 1 bedroom apartment in Warsaw, Poland range from around $500 to $800 USD per month, while a nice 2 bedroom apartment can range from around $800 to $1,200 USD per month. Eating dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in Warsaw, Poland can cost around $15 USD per person," commented one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.

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What are the visa & residency requirements in Warsaw?

"In order to visit Warsaw, a foreign national must obtain a visa from the Polish Embassy or Consulate in their home country. The visa application process requires the submission of a valid passport, a completed visa application form, a passport-sized photograph, proof of financial means, and a valid travel itinerary. Depending on the purpose of the visit, additional documents may be required. In order to obtain residency in Warsaw, Poland, a foreign national must apply for a residence permit. The application process requires the submission of a valid passport, a completed application form, a passport-sized photograph, proof of financial means, proof of health insurance, and proof of accommodation. Depending on the purpose of the stay, additional documents may be required," remarked one expat in Warsaw.

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Why do people move to Warsaw?

When we asked people why foreigners move to Warsaw, they responded:

"Warsaw is an attractive destination for expats due to its vibrant culture, rich history, and affordable cost of living. The city offers a wide range of activities and attractions, from its many museums and galleries to its lively nightlife. The city is also well-connected, with excellent public transportation and an international airport. Additionally, the city is home to a large expat community, making it easy to make friends and find support. With its low unemployment rate and strong economy, Warsaw is an ideal place for expats to live and work," remarked one expat in Warsaw.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood 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.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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