With its cold winters and moderate summers, few expats could claim they moved to Warsaw for its weather. Pack thermals and expect to wrap up warm in the height of winter, with the average temperature in January hitting the -3°C mark. The summers more than make up for it though. With temperatures expected to reach 30°C, you’ll have ample opportunity to make use of those parks — just keep an umbrella handy, as July is known for its heavy rainfall.
As Poland is a Schengen-member, visitors from other Schengen countries do not require a visa to visit Poland. Expatriates from EU member states, as well as other countries, including the US, Canada and Australia, are also entitled to enter the country without a visa provided their stay does not exceed 90 days.
Foreigners staying in Poland beyond the three-month limit can also apply for a two-year temporary residence providing they can prove they are there for work, study, or family reasons. Initially applied for through the consulate in your home country, these documents can then be updated every two years through the offices of the Provincial Governor.
You can find further information on work visas and residence permits in our article on Moving to Poland.
Undoubtedly one of the most daunting aspects of relocation is the search for housing. There are a number of online resources and agents that will let you get a good feel for the types and costs of accommodation available. Unlike many capital cities, the expansion of Warsaw has outpaced the needs of the population, with a surplus of residential accommodation available.
Warsaw’s many districts have an enormous amount to offer expats and cater to nearly every taste. If you want to avoid other foreigners and get a feel for authentic Poland, then Zoliborz on the beautiful bank of Vistula is an excellent choice. Its lack of international schools means expatriates tend to settle elsewhere, but its parks are great for those seeking a quieter life. If you’re relocating to Warsaw with your family, then the districts of Mokotow, Ursynów and Wilanów all offer easy access to international schools, although the choice is arguably best in Mokotow.
Expats can pay anything from around 1,900 PLN (490 USD) a month for a one bed city center apartment to 4,100 PLN(1075 USD) for a high-end apartment in an expensive part of town. If you’re relocating to the city center with a family, expect to pay an average of 3,550 PLN (930 USD) for a three-bedroom apartment. Further out of town, similar properties will typically cost you less.