Freelancer's Guide
Oct 30, 2023

Exploring the Playful Side of Poland: The Surprisingly Affordable Cost of Living

Join me as I share my heartfelt experiences and reveal the delightful affordability of life in Poland. From cultural gems to heartwarming moments, I'll show you how Poland's charm comes without breaking the bank.

How to start saving money

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Why it is important to start saving

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How much money should I save?

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What percentage of my income should go to savings?

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Welcome to a whimsical journey through the vibrant streets of Poland! Poland is not just a land of pierogi and medieval castles; it's both an affordable and creative place, making it an excellent choice for those seeking adventure and meaningful connections.

The Thriving Art of Living

Poland, with its rich history and cultural diversity, is a playground for the open-minded and the bold. While we dive into the details of living expenses, keep in mind that it's a place where creativity is not just encouraged but celebrated, and everyone's unique talents and skills are appreciated. It's a place where spontaneity leads to exciting and memorable experiences.

Now, let's explore the cost of living in Poland.

Housing Cost in Poland: Finding Your Affordable Haven

When considering the cost of living in any country, one of the most significant expenses to weigh is the price of putting a roof over your head. Poland, often dubbed the heart of Europe, offers a diverse range of housing options that cater to all tastes and budgets. From the bustling cityscapes of Warsaw and Krakow to the peaceful charm of rural areas, Poland provides an array of housing opportunities, and the best part is, they won't break the bank. Let’s talk about the delightful world of housing in Poland, where affordability meets comfort, all while embracing the playful and open-minded spirit of this European gem.

Rental Home Costs in Poland🏠

So, you've decided to explore the charming landscapes of Poland, and you're wondering about the costs of renting a cozy nest to call your own. Poland offers a fantastic range of housing options to suit your style, whether you're a city dweller, a nature enthusiast, or somewhere in between. 🌆🏞️

Poland boasts some of the most affordable rental prices in Europe. On average, you can expect to pay:

In major cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw:

  • Studio apartment: €250 - €450 per month
  • One-bedroom apartment: €350 - €600 per month
  • Two-bedroom apartment: €500 - €900 per month

In smaller towns and rural areas:

Rental costs can drop significantly, with one-bedroom apartments often available for as low as €250 per month. 🌐: This platform offers a selection of apartments in Poland, with a user-friendly interface to help you find the right fit.

My Charming Krakow Find: In my own adventure in Poland, I discovered a cozy one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Krakow. This gem, nestled just moments from the historic Old Town, cost me a mere €400 per month. I found it through a local expat-focused real estate agency, which made the transition to life in Poland a breeze. Sometimes, local connections lead to hidden gems that aren't on typical rental websites. So, explore beyond the usual and be open to the unexpected. Happy hunting! 🏡🗝️🇵🇱

Hotel Costs in Poland

Exploring Poland means immersing yourself in its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant cities. Now, let's talk about where to rest your head - the cost of hotels. Poland offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious hotels in the heart of the action to charming guesthouses tucked away in the idyllic countryside. 🏞️🌇

Average Hotel Costs

The good news is that you don't need a royal budget to enjoy a comfortable stay in Poland. On average, hotel prices per night range from:

  • Budget hotels or hostels: €15 - €40
  • Mid-range hotels: €40 - €100
  • Luxury hotels: €100 and above

These are general averages and may vary depending on the location and the time of year. Poland's affordability shines through in its hotel prices, making it accessible for travelers with various budgets.

Hostels and Co-living Places in Poland🏠

If you're an adventurer looking for more budget-friendly and sociable options, Poland offers a variety of hostels and co-living spaces. These places not only help you save on accommodation costs but also provide opportunities to connect with fellow travelers and locals. 🌍👫

Hostel Costs

Hostels are perfect for the open-minded traveler who seeks affordability and a chance to make new friends. In Poland, hostel prices typically range from:

  • Dormitory beds: €5 - €20 per night
  • Private rooms in hostels: €20 - €60 per night

Hostels in major cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk are well-equipped, clean, and often located near the city center, making them an excellent choice for those who want to explore on a budget.

Co-living Spaces

Co-living is an emerging trend that combines affordability with a sense of community. In Poland, you'll find co-living spaces where you can enjoy shared accommodations and facilities, often with a focus on collaboration and meaningful connections. Prices can vary but generally range from €20 to €50 per night.

Personal Tip: During my Poland journey, I stayed in a Krakow co-living space I found on the Co-Living Directory website. It's the go-to platform for discovering co-living options in Poland. My experience was incredible. I connected with people from around the world, explored hidden city gems, shared stories, and created lasting memories. Co-living spaces offer a unique way to experience Poland, adding depth to your travels. Give it a try and see where your journey leads! 🛏️🤝🇵🇱

Food and Grocery Shopping in Poland🛒

When it comes to food and grocery shopping in Poland, the diversity of options and affordability are truly delightful. Let's explore the local markets and supermarkets that cater to various budgets and dig into the prices of basic grocery items to help you make the most of your culinary adventures in Poland.

Local Markets and Supermarkets

Poland offers a rich tapestry of markets and supermarkets, ensuring there's something for every type of shopper. Whether you're looking for budget-friendly options, mid-range convenience, or a touch of luxury, you'll find them all.

Budget-Friendly Markets: For those who want to shop economically, Poland's local markets are a fantastic choice. You can explore bustling stalls with fresh produce, dairy, and traditional Polish products. These markets offer an authentic experience, and you can connect with local vendors while enjoying great deals. 🌽🧀

Hala Targowa, Krakow: This vibrant market in the heart of Krakow is a haven for budget-conscious shoppers. You'll find fresh fruits, vegetables, and local specialties at wallet-friendly prices.

Mid-Range Markets: If you prefer the convenience of supermarkets, Poland has well-stocked mid-range options. These stores offer a wide variety of items, making it easy to access fresh ingredients and pantry staples. They are perfect for the everyday shopper looking for quality and affordability. 🛒🍞

Biedronka: A popular supermarket chain known for its reasonable prices and wide selection of products.

Tesco: Offering a diverse range of products, from groceries to household items, at competitive prices.

Luxury Markets: For a touch of luxury and premium shopping, you can explore high-end markets that provide an array of gourmet items, imported goods, and exclusive brands. While these are pricier, they offer an exceptional shopping experience for those looking to indulge. 🥂🍾

Piotr i Paweł: A premium supermarket chain that caters to those seeking high-quality products and gourmet items.

Prices of Basic Grocery Items

Here's a glimpse of what you might expect to pay for basic grocery items in Poland:

🥛 1 liter of milk: €0.70 - €1.00

🍞 1 kg of bread: €1.00 - €2.00

🍚 1 kg of rice: €1.00 - €2.00

🍗 1 kg of chicken breast: €6.00 - €9.00

🧀 1 kg of local cheese: €6.00 - €10.00

🍅 1 kg of tomatoes: €1.00 - €2.00

🍎 1 kg of apples: €1.00 - €2.00

These prices can fluctuate depending on the store and your location, but Poland generally offers affordable options for everyday groceries. Whether you're preparing traditional Polish dishes or international cuisine, you'll find a wide variety of ingredients at accessible prices. 🍞🥚🥩

Poland's food scene isn't just about eating; it's a cultural experience. So, explore the markets that suit your budget, experiment with local and international flavors, and make every meal an adventure. After all, if there's no fun in food, Poland isn't in it! 🛒🍽️🤩🇵🇱

Dining Out in Poland 🍽️

Poland's culinary scene is an exciting journey for your taste buds, and the best part is, you can explore it on any budget. Whether you're in the mood for wallet-friendly eats, a mid-range culinary adventure, or a luxurious dining experience, Poland's got you covered. Let's break it down with average costs and some friendly restaurant suggestions.

Budget-Friendly Dining 🌟

When you're on a budget, Poland's traditional delights like pierogi and kielbasa can be yours for as little as €5 to €10 per person.

Let me share my personal experience with you. At Zapiecek, the heartwarming aroma of freshly made pierogi welcomed me as I stepped in. These little pockets of joy, stuffed with a variety of fillings, were nothing short of mouthwatering. What's more, this experience didn't leave a dent in my wallet. It was a taste of Poland that I'll cherish.

Mid-Range Dining 🍽️

When you're looking for something a bit more upscale, plan on spending around €15 to €30 per person for a three-course meal at mid-range restaurants.

Mandu, Warsaw: Craving delectable dumplings? Mandu, a Korean restaurant, is known for its tasty bites and budget-friendly prices.

Luxury Dining 🥂

For a lavish dining experience, expect to pay around €40 to €100 or more per person for a gourmet adventure, often paired with exquisite wines.

Restaurant Suggestion: U Kucharzy, Warsaw: If you're in the mood for upscale Polish and international dishes, this restaurant provides a truly indulgent experience.

Poland's culinary scene is a warm and welcoming place where you can explore traditional favorites, international delicacies, and gourmet creations, all while sticking to your budget. Dining out in Poland is an immersion into the rich tapestry of the country's culinary heritage. 🍽️🤩🇵🇱

Transportation Cost in Poland

Transportation in Poland offers a variety of options to suit your travel style and budget, making it a breeze to explore charming cities and stunning landscapes.

Public Transportation in Poland 

Public transportation in Poland is not only efficient but also budget-friendly, making it a convenient way to explore the country's cities and regions. Here's what you need to know about the cost of using public transport in Poland:

Inter-City Train Tickets: Prices for inter-city train tickets in Poland typically range from €10 to €30, depending on the route and class. High-speed trains tend to be at the higher end of this range.

Buses 🚌

Intercity Bus Tickets: For bus travel between cities and towns, you can often find budget-friendly options. Prices typically start at around €5 for shorter trips and can vary based on the distance and the bus service provider.

Trams and Metro Tickets: Public transportation within major cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Poznan is affordable. Single ride tickets typically cost about €0.70 to €1.30, and various types of passes and discounts may be available for frequent travelers.🚃

Monthly Passes: If you plan to use public transportation regularly during your stay in Poland, consider purchasing a monthly pass. These passes offer great value and are available for different durations, including one month and longer. Prices vary by city and can range from €20 to €50 or more, depending on the city and the coverage of the pass.

Student and Senior Discounts: Poland often offers discounted public transport fares for students, seniors, and children. Be sure to inquire about available discounts when purchasing tickets or passes.

Renting a Car in Poland: Your Ticket to Freedom 🚗

So, you've chosen to explore Poland on your terms by renting a car – excellent choice! Here's everything you need to know to make the most of your self-guided adventure:

When you arrive in Poland, you'll find that rental cars are easy to come by at major airports and city centers. The selection of vehicles is diverse, ranging from nimble compacts to spacious SUVs, so you can pick the perfect ride for your journey. 

The price of your rental car can fluctuate based on factors such as the vehicle type, how long you plan to rent it, and any additional services you might want. On average, expect to invest between €20 to €70 or more per day. 

Poland's highways (Autostrady) and expressways (Drogi ekspresowe) are top-notch, making long-distance travel a breeze. Keep in mind that some parts of these roads have tolls, so make sure you have some change on hand to cover those.

🚗Experience Note: EuroCar was my go-to in Poland. I rented a comfy compact car for just €40 per day. Their service was friendly, and the GPS they provided made navigation a breeze. And guess what? Poland's gas prices? Wallet-friendly, no doubt. My budget was in good shape as I explored Poland.

Education and Health in Poland: A Winning Combination 🏫🏥

Poland, known for its rich history and vibrant culture, also boasts a well-rounded education system and a robust healthcare network. Here's what you need to know about education and health in Poland:

Education 🏫

  • Higher Education: Poland is home to some esteemed universities, offering a wide range of programs for local and international students. The quality of education is generally high, with many programs taught in English to accommodate international students.
  • Tuition Fees: Tuition fees in Poland are often more affordable compared to other European countries. Many public universities offer tuition-free education for EU/EEA students, while non-EU/EEA students may have to pay tuition fees, which are still relatively reasonable.
  • Student Life: Poland's universities provide a lively and engaging student life, with various student organizations, clubs, and cultural events. This creates a vibrant and dynamic learning environment.

Healthcare 🏥

  • Healthcare System: Poland has a comprehensive healthcare system, with both public and private healthcare providers. Public healthcare is available to all Polish citizens and residents, while private healthcare offers additional services and faster access to medical care.
  • Health Insurance: All residents in Poland are required to have health insurance. For foreigners, it's advisable to have comprehensive health insurance coverage to ensure access to the healthcare system.
  • Quality of Care: The quality of healthcare in Poland is generally good, with modern facilities and well-trained medical professionals. Major cities have world-class medical facilities, and English-speaking doctors are widely available.

Cost of Healthcare: Healthcare costs in Poland are reasonable compared to many Western countries. Basic medical services are affordable, making healthcare accessible for residents and visitors alike.

In Poland, education and health work hand in hand to create a life that's not just enriching but also secure. My observations indicate that it's a harmonious blend of culture, learning, and well-being, making my time in Poland truly remarkable. 🇵🇱📚👩⚕️

My Life as a Freelancer in Poland: A Personal Journey 🖋️🇵🇱

Allow me to take you through my personal journey of freelancing in Poland, where I've uncovered the joys and challenges of this unique work lifestyle.

Freedom to Create 🎨

Being a freelancer in Poland has been a liberating experience. It's like holding a blank canvas and a full palette of colors, with the freedom to paint my career path as I see fit. From writing and design to programming and consulting, the opportunities are vast and diverse.

Flexible Lifestyle ⏳

One of the key attractions of freelancing is the flexibility it offers. I can choose when and where I work, which has allowed me to explore Poland's rich culture, attend local events, and even escape to the countryside when inspiration strikes.

Local and Global Connections 🌍

As a freelancer, I've had the privilege of connecting with local businesses and international clients. Poland's strategic location at the crossroads of Europe has provided me with opportunities to work with international clients. One memorable project was collaborating with a tech startup based in Germany. We brainstormed ideas, developed marketing strategies, and executed campaigns that spanned borders. It was a testament to the power of remote work and global connectivity.

Work-Life Balance ⚖️

Balancing work and life is a top priority for me. Poland's welcoming atmosphere, beautiful landscapes, and diverse recreational activities have made it easy to enjoy life outside of work hours.

Thriving in Poland 🌟

Freelancing in Poland has been a journey filled with exploration, challenges, and achievements. This beautiful country has provided me with a supportive environment where I can thrive in my chosen path.

My freelancing adventure in Poland has allowed me to embrace the freedom of self-employment, discover local and global opportunities, and create a fulfilling work-life balance. It's a journey I wouldn't trade for anything else. 🖋️🌄🇵🇱

Entertainment and Cultural Activities Costs in Poland

For nomads and travelers exploring the rich cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene in Poland, you're in for a treat. This guide is your ticket to experiencing the best of Poland's cultural landscape without depleting your budget.

Theater Tickets: Poland boasts a world-class theater tradition, and the good news for nomads is that tickets are often quite affordable.Ticket prices vary based on the production, theater, and seating, but you can often find reasonably priced tickets starting from €10 to €20.

Museum Entry: Poland is home to numerous museums, showcasing everything from art to history. Entry fees typically range from €4 to €10, with many offering free admission on specific days or for certain age groups, such as students or seniors.

Gallery Visits: Exploring art galleries is often free, providing you with an excellent opportunity to appreciate both traditional and contemporary Polish art.

Cinema Tickets: Catching a movie at a local cinema is a wallet-friendly experience. Ticket prices range from €4 to €8 on average. Matinee screenings often come with discounts.🍿🎬

Film Festivals: Poland hosts various film festivals throughout the year, and many offer affordable passes or single-screening tickets, providing an excellent opportunity to explore the world of cinema.

Concert Tickets: Attending a live music event is a treat, and Poland has a thriving music scene. Concert tickets can range from €20 to €50, depending on the artist and venue. Smaller, local gigs are often more affordable.

 🎉Festival Passes: Poland hosts a myriad of festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating music, food, and culture. Festival passes can range from €20 to €100, offering access to multiple days of fun.

Music with a Purpose 🎵🎉

I attended the Pol'and'Rock Festival in Poland, and it was more than just a music festival. The diverse music lineup got everyone grooving, and the communal spirit at the campgrounds created lasting friendships. What set this festival apart was its commitment to charity and social engagement. It's an event that brings music and a positive impact together, and the best part? It's free for all. 🇵🇱🌟

Poland's entertainment and cultural scene are not only enriching but also accessible for a range of budgets. Whether you're into theater, art, music, or outdoor adventures, you'll find opportunities to enjoy your favorite pastimes without emptying your wallet. 🎭🎨🎶

Taxes in Poland: A Brief Overview 🇵🇱💰

Taxes are an essential aspect of living and working in any country, and Poland is no exception. Here's a concise overview of the tax system in Poland:

Personal Income Tax 

Tax Rates: Personal income tax in Poland is progressive, with rates ranging from 17% to 32%. The more you earn, the higher your tax rate.

Tax Deductions: Poland offers various deductions and tax credits, which can help reduce your taxable income. Common deductions include those for children, healthcare, and education.

Corporate Income Tax 

Tax Rate: The corporate income tax rate in Poland is a flat 19%.

Small Businesses: Small businesses may qualify for a preferential tax rate of 9% on their first PLN 100,000 of annual revenue.

Value Added Tax (VAT) 

VAT Rates: Poland has several VAT rates, including the standard rate of 23%, reduced rates of 8% and 5%, and exemptions for certain goods and services.

Social Security Contributions 

Both employees and employers in Poland are required to make social security contributions. These contributions fund healthcare, retirement, and disability benefits.

Tax Compliance 📝

Tax Returns: If you're working in Poland, you'll likely need to file an annual tax return. The process can be somewhat complex, so many individuals and businesses seek assistance from tax advisors or use online platforms for tax compliance.

Double Taxation Agreements 🌍

International Taxation: Poland has double taxation agreements with many countries to prevent individuals and businesses from being taxed on the same income in multiple jurisdictions. These agreements help ensure fair and equitable taxation for expatriates and international companies operating in Poland.

Taxes in Poland are a vital part of the country's economic and social systems. Understanding the tax regulations and seeking expert advice can help individuals and businesses efficiently manage their tax obligations while enjoying the benefits of living and working in this beautiful European nation. 🇵🇱💼💰

Recommended Monthly Income for a Comfortable Life in Poland

Based on my experience, I would recommend aiming for a monthly income in Poland of around €800 to €1,200 for a comfortable and balanced lifestyle. This income range should allow you to cover your basic needs, enjoy some leisure activities, and save for the future. 

Housing and Utilities: Consider a budget of €400 to €700 per month for rent or mortgage, plus €100 to €200 for utilities.

Groceries and Dining: Allocate €150 to €250 for groceries and €100 to €200 for dining out.

Transportation: If you use public transportation, budget €20 to €40 per month. If you own a car, consider €100 to €200 for fuel and maintenance.

Healthcare: Health insurance typically costs €50 to €100 per month.

Leisure and Entertainment: Set aside €50 to €100 for leisure activities.

Savings and Unexpected Expenses: Aim to save at least 10% to 20% of your income.

However, please keep in mind that personal circumstances and lifestyle choices can significantly impact this recommendation. It's essential to adjust your income goals based on your specific situation and priorities.

9 Months in Poland: An Amazing Experience of Savings, Fun, and Learning

My 9 months in Poland have been nothing short of amazing. Not only did I have a fantastic time, but I also managed to save money thanks to the favorable cost of living in this vibrant country.

One of the highlights of my time in Poland has been the affordability of daily life. The cost of living allowed me to comfortably cover my expenses while still setting money aside. Whether it was housing, groceries, or transportation, I found that my income went a long way in Poland.

I had an absolute blast during my stay. Exploring Poland's cultural scene, attending music festivals, and enjoying affordable theater and dining experiences made my time here truly memorable. The balance between work and play was just right, and I cherished every moment of it.