Accommodation

Finding a place to stay in a foreign country may not be all that difficult.

When coming to a new country for the first time, you surely can have a lot of questions.

One of them probably is: “Where am I gonna live for the next x months?”

Worry not, there are plenty of options out there, from which you can choose something perfect for yourself :)

Before starting your search for a new housing, you should first decide what it is that you are looking for. Are you looking for budget options? Maybe you need a spacious place? Or somewhere where are other foreigners?

Basically in Poland, as everywhere, there are three main choices:

01.

Private housing

02.

Dorms

03.

Rooms in hotels/motels

01.

Private housing

This one is perfect for someone who doesn’t have to live on a tight budget. In terms of the cost, renting a flat is somewhere in the middle between a students home and a hotel.

Of course, it varies from one city to another, for example in Warsaw (the capital of Poland) there are higher prices than, for example, in Łodz or in Poznań by 1000 zł for the same sized apartments.

What are the benefits of private housing?

  • You are independent from others and don’t have to share the space

  • Comfortable choice for foreigners coming to Poland to work

  • Usually higher standard of living

What are the cons of private housing?

  • You have to pay 3-4 times as much as for a dorm

  • If you are a student, it’s going to be less common around your peers

  • You don’t get to meet many new people, if that’s what is important for you

What are the costs of private housing?

As mentioned before, the costs can vary in different cities. Here is the data presented in the research done by a reliable estate service otodom.pl:

1 room

2 rooms

3+ rooms

Warsaw

1993 zł

2713 zł

4244 zł

Gdańsk

1712 zł

2193 zł

3051 zł

Wrocław

1602 zł

2041 zł

2469 zł

Kraków

1577 zł

2024 zł

2850 zł

Łódź

1294 zł

1708 zł

2400 zł

Where to look for a flat?

When you’ve decided to start looking for a flat, it’s best to start before coming to the city of your choice, since there might not be many options available day-to-day. The easiest way of looking for a flat is of course the Internet.

Portals, such as otodom.pl, airbnb.pl or olx.pl will show you the latest rental offers. You can also reach out to a real estate agency, but that will increase your costs by the commission of the company.

Some tips to make your experience easier:

Check if the price offered includes utilities

Ask for the security deposit and how much it is (usually not much more than 2-3 months worth of rent)

Never rent without a rent agreement; always read through it very carefully, pay attention to the details of contracting out and any additional costs linked to it

Take photos of the flat/room before moving in - this way you will avoid paying for something you haven’t done

If you decide to rent directly from a landlord, and not an agency, always go into the flat for a check and sign an agreement before paying any money

Ask precisely about payment details: exactly when and how you are supposed to give the money to your landlord

02.

Dorms

This option is more than perfect for any student coming to Poland for a semester or longer.

Almost every University has their own dorms, and you will be able to find them in all bigger cities in Poland. Their websites are often translated into English, to make it easier for students to get the information they need.

What are the benefits of dorms?

  • It’s the cheapest accommodation spot

  • Most foreign student decide to stay at a students home, hence you will meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world

  • Usually students homes are close to the city centre, universities and sights

What are the cons of dorms?

  • You have to be prepared for a lot of noise and even parties

  • Living conditions are most often rather basic (with a shared kitchen and sometimes even bathroom)

  • Lack of privacy, having to live with strangers

Where to look for dorms?

Finding a University’s dorm isn’t very hard. Usually you will have to type “University of Warsaw dorms” or “Warsaw akademik” (akademik means dorm in Polish).

You can also look for private dorms, which are quite common in Poland. They offer a much higher standard of living (comparable to a hotel or an apartment), for example they offer a cantine, private bathroom and kitchen, gym etc. Of course, it comes with a much higher price too (2-3 times more expensive than university dorms).

03.

Hotels and motels

This particular option is perfect when coming to Poland for a weekend or another short period of time. The reason is quite obvious - it’s expensive and not very home-like.

If you want to really feel like Poland is your new home, choose one of the former options! But if you happen to choose hotels anyways, sites like booking.com, trivago.com and airbnb.com will provide you with all the available spots in the area you are interested in!