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Living in Warsaw

A comprehensive guide about living well in Warsaw

With its vibrant nightlife, wide culture and fantastic transportation, Warsaw has an enormous amount to offer. Great for families, young couples and singles looking for a cosmopolitan lifestyle, it has something for everyone, as well as an expat community to offer advice and support for your new life in Warsaw.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

Life in Warsaw

Healthcare in Warsaw

Warsaw boasts an extensive university hospital as well as a children’s institute and Medicover hospital. While public healthcare in Poland is free of charge, it is notorious for poor service and long waiting times. As such, and particularly if you have children or older relatives with you, it may be worth looking into private healthcare options. Do not assume your current insurance will cover you when you relocate; there are a number of companies specializing in cover for expats, so it pays to do your homework. 

Education in Warsaw

Polish children begin preschool at the age of six, attending a primary school from seven to thirteen. The initial three years of primary school are taught by one class teacher, with subject areas divided up and taught by specialists after this point. Children undertake a national exam before moving to a secondary school for three years. Here the curriculum is more detailed, with science divided into disciplines, and the options for further education resolutely dependent on exam performance at the completion of secondary school. Three years of high school follow secondary school, where children gain an education specific to a career path or study for the maturity exams that facilitate entry to university. 

As well as traditional Polish schools, the city can also offer a variety of international schools catering to the expatriate community living in Warsaw. These provide IB, American and Canadian curriculums, as well as Bilingual and Trilingual programs. 

Safety and Security in Warsaw

2014 crime statistics show that Warsaw boasts one of the lowest crime rates of any city in Poland. Street crime is still an issue, with tourists a target for pickpockets and thieves. Despite this, Poland continues to shrug off its previous reputation concerning crime and is beginning to forge a new one, with the crime statistics for the entire country continuing to fall in 2014. 

The city as a whole is very safe, although some areas of the Praga district are known to be more dangerous than the downtown areas frequented by tourists. If you are traveling around the city by bike, investing in a good lock and being sensible about where you leave it will pay off. Like any cosmopolitan area, being aware of your surroundings and avoiding walking alone in poorly lit areas at night will also go a long way towards maintaining your safety in Warsaw. 

Transport in Warsaw

Warsaw offers fantastic transport links, with an international airport located just 10 km south of the city center and several international railway stations. Its extensive bus and tram networks, which serve both the city and its suburbs, run from 5:00 to 23:00 and make getting around without a car remarkably easy.

If you are paying income taxes in the capital, you will also be entitled to a Warsaw card. Designed to offer benefits to those contributing to the city’s budget, this card offers a variety of perks, including discounted public transport. If you are working outside of the city and commuting in, expect to pay a 10% premium on transport as a contribution to the capital’s budget.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: April 28, 2015
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