When deciding where to live in Poland, many factors are in the eye of the beholder. What about affordable housing, low cost of living, access to well-paying jobs, good schools for your children, and quality healthcare. Other aspects may include proximity to family, climate, politics and opportunities.
Poland is quite a large country with a lot of diversity in scenery, opportunities and quality of life. There are many unique regions that could make your Polish experience really different depending on where you decide to live. To help you with your decision (or if you haven’t settled in permanently yet, perhaps help you to change your mind) we’ve prepared our ranking of the top 7 best Polish cities to live and work in.
Voivodeship: Pomeranian Voivodeship
Słupsk, probably the most open-minded and tolerant city in Poland is governed by Robert Biedroń, a Polish LGBT activist. Biedroń won the mayoral elections in 2014 and secured 57% of the vote, becoming the first openly gay mayor ever in Poland. His attitude, ideas and initiatives gained him a huge number of fans and help Słupsk to become a modern and great city to live in.
If the environment, tolerance and equality are close to your heart, Słupsk is a great choice for you. Proximity and easy access to Tricity means that you won’t have problems with finding a job and can enjoy big city life whenever you feel like it. And when you are done with making money and going out, you can relax in Słupsk which offers tranquillity and access to nature. What more could anyone ask for?
Population: 1.711 million
Voivodeship: Masovian Voivodeship
Fusing tradition and desire to remember its history with modernity and innovation, in recent years Warsaw has become one of European’s prime cities. It is also known as the Phoenix city as it was almost completely destroyed during WWII and with the help of the nation, was rebuilt from scratch. The spirit and energy of those times are still present and admired by millions of tourists who visit the city every year.
As with any capital, Warsaw offers well-paid jobs and access to all sorts of opportunities. The job market is especially attractive for foreigners, with lots of international companies looking for English and German speakers. Thanks to the abundance of theatres, museums, galleries, bars, restaurants and vibrant nightlife, you will never be bored.
Loads of opportunities and possibilities, obviously come with a price tag. The high cost of living, expensive housing (in comparison to other Polish cities) and constant busyness. In the end, Warsaw is no different to any other European capital and if you don’t like big city life you are not going to enjoy living in Warsaw.
Voivodeship: Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship
Medieval and charming Toruń ranks high on almost every urban quality of life list and it’s not a surprise as this architectural treasure escaped destruction during the World Wars and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the hometown of Nicolas Copernicus who had a great influence on his city – Toruń’s university is one of the best, especially in science subjects like physics and chemistry.
If you like smaller cities with unique architecture and relaxing vibe Toruń is the one for you. Perfect place to have a family and settle down or just to slow down a little bit. And if you are not ready for a calmer life you should definitely visit Toruń just to experience its beauty and charms. Don’t forget to try famous gingerbread which is the local speciality.
Voivodeship: Pomeranian Voivodeship
Situated in the North of Poland, on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Gdańsk is one of Poland’s most modern cities. A thriving centre of culture, science, sports and entertainment, the city has a unique feel that sets it apart from the other Polish destinations. Created by centuries of maritime ebb and flow as a port city, Gdańsk played a very important role in the collapse of communism and often is referred to as the “city of freedom”.
Every year Gdańsk wins in rankings for the happiest place to live in, with 79,2% of its population feeling content with their life. Beautiful beaches, good weather and lively city centre must contribute to this impressive result.
Voivodeship: Lesser Poland
City of legends and magical places, Kraków is Poland’s old capital and a perfect place to settle down. The old market square is breathtaking and often is voted to be the best one in the world (last time in 2013 by Lonely Planet). The city centre is full of historical attractions, museum, bars, restaurants and shops tucked away down the old narrow streets.
Kraków is probably the most touristic of all Polish cities and locals are used to foreigners who they really like and make an effort for. Proximity to the Tatra Mountains means that you can go skiing or hiking every weekend without any hassle. And of course, finding a job as a foreigner is quite easy as Kraków is a big city with the vibrant job market.
Voivodeship: Greater Poland Voivodeship
City of business, trade and huge student population, Poznań has a distinctive vibe, quite independent of tourism. Buzzing any time of the day and night, Poznań is full of restaurants, pubs and clubs. Do to the entrepreneurial spirit Poznań citizens, the city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Poland (around 2% at the moment) and therefore a great place to look for a job, even if you don’t speak Polish yet.
Poznań is situated only a 2.5h drive away from Berlin which makes it a great spot to travel from and explore. Thanks to its vibrant job market the city is very attractive for foreigners and next to Wrocław, one of the most favourite destinations for expats to settle down.
Voivodeship: Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Full of life and character, with magnificent architecture and vibrant colours, Wrocław is one of expats most favourite cities in Poland to live and work. Because of the presence of many rivers, islands and over 200 bridges, the city has a growing reputation as the Venice of the North. European Capital of Culture 2016 and one of the host cities during Euro 2012, has over 100 bars and clubs, open often almost 24h a day. Wrocław is definitely a city of action, events and fun and it appeals to people looking for those qualities.
Wrocław attracts not only people but also big companies that are looking for skilled employees who speak multiple languages. Lots of them are looking for native speakers which makes Wroclaw the perfect place to live for expats. And a big community of foreigners is always a bonus if you are looking for friendly people in a similar situation. Published by “Poland Unraveled ”