Last updated on Feb 02, 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 there are some important things you should know. Firstly, you need to get acquainted with the cost of living and what goods and services cost in Warsaw. This is important for budgeting and to make sure you can afford the city's lifestyle. You should research health care options as well and how much it may cost to access public or private care. Additionally, it can help to find out about any regulations or requirements for pensions or any residency permits that you may need. You should also look into the different banking options available in the city and any related fees associated with it. Finally, familiarizing yourself with the culture and way of life can be helpful in making the transition to retiring in Warsaw smoother," remarked another expat who made the move to Warsaw.
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:
"- Warsaw is the capital city of Poland and its largest city. - Its climate is continental with hot, humid summers and cold winters. - The city is known for its Old Town area and many parks and gardens. - It is a major economic, cultural, and educational hub in Central Europe. - The Polish language is the main language spoken in Warsaw. - There is a large expat community in the city with many amenities catering to them. - Healthcare is generally of a high standard in Warsaw; public healthcare is free of charge if you are a registered resident. - The transportation network consists of trams, buses, and metro lines, connecting areas of the city. - It is a relatively safe city to live in, but there are some areas to avoid. - The cost of living in Warsaw is generally lower than in major Western European cities. - It is important to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a foreigner in Poland. - It's wise to have some local contacts and to take time to get familiar with the city before you move," added another expat who made the move to Warsaw.
"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," explained one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.
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:
"When looking for a place to live in Warsaw, the first step is to research the different neighborhoods located in the city. Consider factors such as transportation access, safety, close proximity to attractions, cost, and square footage when deciding which place best suits your needs. Additionally, look into rental agencies, real estate companies, or reach out to local acquaintances who may have some knowledge of housing availability in the area. When you’re ready to move, it’s important to inspect the living conditions before signing a lease or rental agreement. Additionally, visit the district’s administrative office to find out if there are any additional requirements that need to be met before moving in," explained one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Warsaw?
"A typical expat home or apartment in Warsaw will usually feature modern furnishings and amenities, with some apartments having plenty of natural sunlight and views of the city. The apartments tend to come with fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms, as well as private balconies or terraces. Generally, they will have a clean, minimalist aesthetic. The quality and size of expat housing in Warsaw can vary greatly depending on the individual budget, but it is typically abundant and very affordable in comparison to other major cities in Europe," added another expat in Warsaw.
"Appartment of 80 m2 top floor. Zoliborz distrcit, close to the park. Mostly Expats live in the center of the city," remarked another expat who made the move to Warsaw.
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 average cost of housing in Warsaw can vary greatly depending on the size, location, and type of property. Generally, the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from about 1,000 to 2,000 euros per month, while outside of the city center the cost can range from around 500 to 1000 euros per month. The cost of purchasing a property can range from 500,000 euros to millions of euros depending on the size, quality and location of the property," explained one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.
"Average cost - 400 USD to 1500 USD a month depending on the standard and location," said another expat in Warsaw.
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:
"There are many ways to meet people in Warsaw. Going to local events such as festivals and conferences can be a good way to meet new people. You could also join a specific interest group or club, like a running club or a local choir. You can also use online platforms like Couchsurfing and Meetup, which organize events and gatherings in Warsaw. Finally, taking language classes or attending trivia nights at local bars and pubs can also help you meet people," said another expat in Warsaw.
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:
"Essentials to pack when moving to Warsaw include clothes for all seasons, sturdy shoes and boots, toiletries, basic tools, basic kitchen supplies, towels, bedding, phone/laptop and power adapter, books, personal documents, and any items to make your new home feel comfortable. Depending on where you’re coming from, you may want to bring warm winter items like hats, gloves, and scarves. Additionally, depending on the type of accommodation, you may need to bring your own furniture. Other useful items to bring include a flashlight, raincoat, umbrella, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, insect repellent, and a first-aid kit," remarked another 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," added another expat in Warsaw.
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:
"In Warsaw, most banks offer the possibility of setting up a bank account. It is advisable to research which banks offer the services that best fit the customer's needs. Researching the services, terms, and conditions associated with each bank can help to identify the best option. Some popular banks in Warsaw include PKO Bank Polski, Banco Santander, Bank Zachodni WBK, and mBank. Each bank's website details their account types, fees, and other associated services. Customers can also visit a local branch in order to open a bank account," added another expat who made the move to Warsaw.
Will I be able to find a job in Warsaw?
When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Warsaw, they reponded:
"Finding a job in Warsaw is certainly possible, as Warsaw is the capital of Poland and offers many business opportunities. However, competition for jobs can be tough, and it is important to have specialized skills and experience that will make you stand out from the competition. In addition, understanding the local language and culture can also be beneficial in securing a job in Warsaw," wrote a member in Warsaw.
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 as an expat in the area can be a very rewarding experience. People in the area are very friendly, open and welcoming to newcomers. There is a sense of community here, and many international expats make the area their home. The climate is mild and sunny most of the year, allowing for outdoor activities like beach fun, surfing, or mountain hikes. The local infrastructure is good, providing easy access to transportation, shopping and daily necessities. Expats will find plenty of opportunities to explore the local culture, enjoy local cuisine or join a community group. There are many expat organizations which can provide support in adjusting to the area and getting connected with other like-minded people. This area makes for a great base to explore the rest of Costa Rica as well. With its varied natural beauty, friendly people, and great lifestyle, it is no wonder expats choose to make this their home away from home," remarked another expat who made the move to Warsaw.
What do expats in Warsaw appreciate most about the local culture?
"Expat living in Warsaw appreciate the city's vibrant culture and its diverse array of cultural attractions, from historic landmarks to modern art galleries. The city has a wide variety of activities for everyone, from parks and gardens to numerous dining and nightlife options. Expats also take advantage of the city's excellent public transport system, allowing them to explore all areas of the capital quickly and easily. Warsaw's low cost of living is another major attraction, as it allows locals and expats to experience the rich culture without breaking the bank. Finally, Poland's friendly and welcoming locals have made Warsaw a great place for expats to call home," explained one expat living in Warsaw, Poland.
What do expats find most challenging?
"Living away from family and friends, adapting to different cultural norms and expectations, visa and residency paperwork, language barriers, navigating a new healthcare system, establishing working relationships, difficulty finding housing and understanding local housing markets, transportation and travels, finding a job or setting up a business, access to banking and financial services, understanding the local tax system, safety and security concerns," added another expat in Warsaw.
Is there a lot of crime in Warsaw?
We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:
"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," wrote a member in Warsaw.
Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Warsaw accepting of differences?
"Warsaw is a very diverse and accepting city. With a population of over 1.7 million people, Warsaw is the largest city in Poland, and the capital of the largest country in Central Europe. With this diversity, Warsaw is home to many cultures and religions, including both Polish and international ones. There is an increasing acceptance of diversity in the city and its people, which was demonstrated during the Pride Parade in 2018, where thousands of people from all walks of life gathered throughout the city to celebrate LGBT rights. Despite this, there still exists some lack of acceptance and discrimination, although this is becoming less and less common as tolerance and understanding of differences continues to improve," added another expat in Warsaw.
What are the schools in Warsaw like?
"Warsaw schools offer a variety of educational opportunities for students. Primary and secondary education are available at public and private schools and the city is home to numerous international schools. Students can pursue a multitude of educational paths including the International Baccalaureate, comprehensive technical training, and independent study. Warsaw also hosts higher education institutions, including two of Poland’s largest and most prestigious universities, the University of Warsaw and Warsaw University of Technology. Vocational training centers provide students with an alternative route to join the workforce and gain necessary skills for a productive career. Local universities and schools cultivate skills in research, critical thinking, and innovation, which are highly valued in the global market," 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," explained one expat in Warsaw, Poland with kids at International European School.
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.
- What do I need to know before moving to Warsaw?
- How do I find a place to live in Warsaw?
- What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Warsaw?
- What is the average cost of housing in Warsaw?
- Should I buy or rent a home in Warsaw?
- What should I pack when moving to Warsaw?
- What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Warsaw?
- What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Warsaw?
- What are healthcare services like in Warsaw?
- Is the cost of living in Warsaw high?
- Will I save money living in Warsaw?
- Why do people move to Warsaw?
- How are healthcare services Warsaw?
- What are medical services in Warsaw like?