Poland is one of Europe’s largest countries, coming in at a ninth-place and is bigger than Italy and the UK. What the travel guides don’t tell you is that the name Poland originates from the name of the Polanie tribe, which means “people living in open fields”.
The country is also famous for being home to the world’s largest castle – Malbork and it has 16 World Heritage Sites. The number of expats who have moved to live in Poland hit an all-time high in 2019, reaching 400,000 registered foreigners. With a rich history and culture, gorgeous natural resources, solid infrastructure as well as comparatively low costs of living, Poland has become an attractive country to call home.
The capital Warsaw ranked 173 out of 209 most expensive cities in the world, according to Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey. It is natural that the cost of living in Warsaw will be higher than other cities and surrounding areas, but you’re not necessarily limited to just the capital when it comes to choosing the best city to live in – you can also opt for coastal Gdansk or historic Wroclaw.
The average monthly net salary in Poland after tax is 736.09 EUR while the main professions and their associated salaries in Warsaw are: IT manager (32,531.89 EUR), Mobile developer (32,431.24 EUR), Financial analyst (27,546.19 EUR), Web developer (26,747.11 EUR), Business analyst (25,185.64 EUR) and Sales Manager (24,052.29 EUR). This post is for you if you are:
- Planning a trip to Poland
- Planning to study there
- Or you would like to permanently move there and call it your new home.
Opening a bank account in Poland
Banking will play an important role in how you manage your finances while living in Poland. Luckily, opening an account is not that difficult. Some of the documentation that will be required for this purpose include:
- passport or a national identity card
- proof of address such as a rental contract or a residence card (alternatively, a utility bill if you don’t have a contract yet)
- as well as employment history and salary slips for credit cards and overdraft options
Some of the most popular banks in Poland are MBank, Bank Pekao, Bank Millennium and PKO. Most staff at these banks will be able to help you in English.
Accommodation costs in Poland
As with all places in the world, location really matters in terms of accommodation costs. In Poland, the cost of renting or buying a property can differ depending on your location. Warsaw and Gdansk are relatively similarly priced in terms of accommodation, as is the cultural capital Krakow.
Let’s take a look at some of the monthly rental prices for Warsaw. In the city centre, monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment will cost you 607.13 EUR, while this cost is significantly lower if you choose accommodation outside the city centre for the same type of apartment at 457.36 EUR. The monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre is approximately 1,050.03 EUR, while for the same type of apartment outside the city centre, you’ll pay in the region of 770.45 EUR.
For Krakow, monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will set you back 499.44 EUR, while outside the city centre the same type of apartment will cost you 383.35 EUR. The monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre is in the region of 866.52 EUR, while outside the city centre you’ll be expected to pay 611.02 EUR.
Moving on to Gdansk, your monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will be around 501.71 EUR, while outside the city centre it will cost you 366.45 EUR. Meanwhile, renting a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre will go for 813.17 EUR and outside the city centre, it will be in the region of 596.89 EUR.
When it comes to purchasing a property in Poland, here are some of the prices you can expect to pay: the price per square metre for an apartment in the city centre is around 2,393.36 EUR, while outside the city centre the costs are significantly lower at 1,620.97 EUR. The annual mortgage interest rate for a 20-year fixed rate is 4.71%. In Warsaw, you’ll be expected to pay around 3,161.04 EUR for an apartment in the city centre, or 2,061.90 EUR for an apartment outside the city centre. Krakow is a bit cheaper with the following costs: 2,578.53 EUR for an apartment in the city centre and 1,593.81 EUR outside the city centre. In Gdansk, the price of purchasing an apartment in the city centre is 2,513.81 EUR and outside the city centre, it’s about 1,578.79 EUR.
Cost of utility bills in Poland
Your basic utility bills in Poland, which cover electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage removal for an 85 square metre apartment is in the region of 150.34 EUR per month. You can expect to pay between 20 and 30 EUR per month for your telephone/mobile/internet and television. One minute of the prepaid mobile local tariff is 0.05 EUR, while internet at 60 Mbps or more, unlimited data and cable/ADSL will cost you 11.80 EUR per month. Your laundry detergent (3 litres) will set you back around 7 EUR while the hourly rate for cleaning help is about 4.87 EUR.
If you’re travelling within Polish cities, you’ll find that public transport is quite affordable. You’ll be able to choose from trams and buses to regional trains to reach your destination. These are relatively popular means of traversing across Poland. If you’d like to do cross-country travel, then opting for coach or train is another good option. The cost of purchasing a car is relatively cheaper when compared to the UK, and this offers you another opportunity to travel to your chosen destination.
Some of the most common costs related to using transportation in Poland include:
|Type of Product||Average Prices|
|Single bus ticket||0.74 EUR|
|Monthly public transport ticket||23.02 EUR|
|Petrol (1 litre)||1.16 EUR|
|Taxi start (normal tariff)||1.54 EUR|
|1 km Taxi (normal tariff)||0.55 EUR|
|Taxi 1-hour waiting (normal tariff)||7.92 EUR|
|Volkswagen Golf||18,094.80 EUR|
|Toyota Corolla||17,541.18 EUR|
Cost of necessities
Of course, we can’t live without the basics such as food and drinks, and even some form of entertainment from time to time. Luckily, in Poland, these are quite affordable, especially when compared to countries such as Spain and Portugal.
Food costs in Poland
The average cost of food items in Poland will vary depending on the season, the availability of the products and whether or not they’re imported. However, you can expect to pay the following for these common fridge items:
|Type of Product||Average Prices|
|Milk (1 litre)||0.55 EUR|
|Bread (500 g loaf)||0.67 EUR|
|Eggs (1 dozen)||1.73 EUR|
|Butter (200 g)||1.10 EUR|
|Water (1.5 litre bottle)||0.43 EUR|
|White rice (1 kg)||0.70 EUR|
|Cooking oil (1 litre)||1.32 EUR|
|Apples (1 kg)||0.70 EUR|
|Cheese (1 kg Polish)||4 EUR|
|Chicken breast (1 kg)||3.73 EUR|
|Potatoes (1 kg)||0.33 EUR|
|Tomatoes (1 kg)||1.76 EUR|
|Coffee (at a cafe)||3 EUR|
|Cappuccino (regular in a restaurant)||1.93 EUR|
|Beer (500 ml, in a restaurant)||1.84 EUR|
|A meal for two (mid-range restaurant)||22 EUR|
|Lunch at a canteen||3-4 EUR|
Attire and personal care
To look your best, you will need some clothing, shoes and cosmetics and while the costs will depend on the various brands, you can expect to pay some of the following prices on average:
|Type of Product||Average Prices|
|1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||74.60 EUR|
|1 summer dress at a chain store||34.37 EUR|
|1 pair of Nike running shoes||66.90 EUR|
|1 pair of men’s leather business shoes||93.30 EUR|
Poland is a beautiful country with lots to see and do. It’s also a much more affordable place when compared to western European countries. Here’s what you need to remember when it comes to the cost of living there:
- Average rental prices will depend on whether you choose to live in the city centre or outside of it
- It’s relatively easy to open a bank account
- With the wide variety of public transport systems available, you can find your way around quite easily and cost-effectively
- Food and personal care items are relatively inexpensive