Moving to Poland?
Moving to Poland
At a Glance:
- With vast planes, soaring mountains, and bustling cities, Poland has a diverse landscape. The climate in the country is equally as varied, with warm summers and cold winters.
- There are three different types of visas you can apply for if needed: Airport Transit Visas (A), Short-Stay (Schengen) Visas (C), and National Long-Stay Visas (D). If you wish to work in Poland, you will have to apply for a work permit, too.
- If you plan on staying in Poland for more than 90 days, you will have to apply for a temporary resident’s permit.
- When looking for an apartment in Poland, be sure to ask Polish friends and your expat network for help. Polish apartments tend to be small and offer less amenities than you might be used to. Be sure to register your new address.
From Partition to Independence
Located in the center of Europe, the country has been occupied and partitioned among invading powers several times throughout its history. In the late the 18th century, the nation lost its political influence and was divided up between Prussia, Russia, and Austria. Although Poland finally gained independence after World War I, it was invaded by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It was not until the early 1990s and the fall of the Soviet Union that Poland became a truly independent country again.
Moving to Poland, you will find that the country has overcome its difficult past and years of turmoil. Today, as a full member of the European Union, the country is thriving. A move to Poland promises to be an exciting experience: with its energetic urban life as well as the country’s unspoiled countryside, Poland has so much to offer.
The Many Borders and Mountains of Poland
Poland shares borders with various countries, including Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany. The country’s landscape is very varied, ranging from vast lowlands to the center and north of the country and snowcapped mountains to the south. The Pomerania region, which is located to the north, is dominated by lakes, rivers, sand dunes, and seaside cliffs. When moving to Poland’s north, be sure to visit the country’s biggest harbor, Gdansk, as well as the two biggest Polish islands, Uznam and Wolin. The Masurian Lake District is also worth a visit. Dominated by more than 2,000 lakes and immense woodlands, it is a great location for sailing and canoeing.
By contrast, the Sudeten and Carpathian Mountain ranges make up the country’s southern landscape. The highest ranges are the Tatra Mountains along the border to Slovakia — Rysy is by far its highest peak on the Polish side at about 2,500 meters. East and west of the Tatras lie the Beskid Mountains. With their grassy alms, they are home to wolves, bears, and other wild animals.
Get Ready for Changing Weather
Expats moving to Poland should get ready for both warm summers and very cold winters. But never fear! Your new home will surprise you with its golden autumn — it is often said that the climate in Poland is most enjoyable during October. You should, however, be prepared for the weather to shift from sunshine to rain rapidly and unexpectedly. All in all, you will realize soon that you need to be prepared for nearly all weather conditions you can think of.
If you plan on moving to Poland in winter, get ready for cold winters and heavy snowfalls. On average, temperatures fall to -6°C in December, although temperatures in the cities tend to be slightly milder. For example, the average temperature in Warsaw in December is -1°C. Throughout late winter, it may get even colder, with temperatures around -20°C not unheard of, making it even more challenging for expats to adjust. Spring begins in March when the snow finally melts away. During the summer, temperatures may reach 30°C, with average temperatures in July hovering around 19°C.
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