Living costs

Everything you need to know about the budget when you live in another country.

Starting a new life somewhere completely different from your hometown or country might be very overwhelming.

You have to travel to an unknown place, find a place to live, survive there. But for how much exactly?

Find out how expensive living is in Poland below.

It’s very important to plan your budget before moving to a new place. It won’t only help you prepare better for the big change in your life, but also will give you some sense of stability and peace when arrived.

Let’s divide out finances into a few main fields:

01.

Accommodation

02.

Food

03.

Public transport

04.

Leisure time

05.

General

01.

Accommodation

All you need to know about average costs of housing in different cities in Poland can be found right here : Accommodation

02.

Food

It’s probably where most of your spendings is going to be located. According to the Central Statistical Office in 2020 an average Polish spends roughly 25% of their income on food and non-alcoholic beverages. It rounds up to more or less 280 zl per person. That is, of course, if they choose only to prepare the food themselves.

The numbers rise noticeably if a person decides to eat out sometimes. Exemplary receipt in a restaurant, that is neither high-end nor cheap, consists of:

average price

Main course

25-35 zł

Beverage

8-15 zł

Soup

8-18 zł

Starter

18-25 zł

Average bill

70 zł

What is more, it’s expected to leave the waiter or the waitress a tip of at least 10% receipt value.

Let’s say you will cook most of your meals yourself and go out with friends for dinner once a week. That is going to cost you about 550 zł per month.

03.

Public transport

Every city in Poland has a good public transport system: buses and trams are the most popular means of transport, but in Warsaw you can also use the subway.

There are a few options to use public transport:

  • you can either buy a 20 or 40 minute ticket (including any changes between buses or trams) for about respectively 1,4-2zł and 1,8-3,8zł

  • Or you can buy a monthly ticket. The prices of the monthly subscription vary from city to city, but despite the differences, it’s the most affordable option, if you use public transport regularly (so at least once a day).

  • If you happen to be a student, most cities offer a 50% discount on monthly tickets; the costs are reported from 40 to 80 zł per month. If you don’t, however, the regular price of the ticket varies from 80-150zł per month.

A means of transport that has been growing more and more popular in Poland is bike and scooter rental.

  • Creating an account in the city bikes’ app costs normally 10zł. Then, you get the first 20 minutes for free, and each next hour costs more or less 1zł.

  • Scooters’ prices are quite similar, but a bit more expensive: 2,5 zł per rental and then each minute costs 0,45zł

Car transportation

Apart from buses and trams, you can always get a taxi or an uber. Average ride can be priced anywhere from 10 to even 45zł, depending on the company, route and hour. Apps like Uber and Bolt are often more affordable, than getting a taxi.

04.

Public transport

What would be life without the small pleasures, like going to the movies or grabbing a beer with friends? Social life is very important to take care of, but of course sometimes it takes some money to experience fun things.

Cinema

You can never go wrong with a good movie at the cinema. A cinema ticket costs around 20-30 zł (depending on the company and the movie technology). If you are a student, you will get discounts in every cinema.

There are also options to buy a cinema subscription for approximately 50zł per month, which gives you unlimited access to the projections. It’s a great option for all movie lovers out there! To the costs of the ticket you also should add the price of snacks.

A big popcorn and a beverage costs approximately 25zł. You are not supposed to bring in your own snacks to the cinema room, but people on the budget do it nonetheless ;) To sum up - a trip to the cinema costs around 50-60zł.

Sport

There is a wide range of sport-related opportunities for those, who like fitness. Most gyms and swimming pools offer monthly subscriptions. For students it’s the cost of, respectively, 80-90zł and 60-85zł. If you don’t have any discount the costs may oscillate around 120zł.

Bars and clubs

Grabbing a drink or a beer with friends or going to the club is one of the most popular activities all around the world.

  • In Poland a regular draft beer in a bar costs around 7-12zł; a bottled beer is roughly 8-15zł.

  • Drinks’ costs vary depending on the place, but on average they cost from 15-27zł per drink.

  • If you want to go to a club, some of them don’t charge for entrance, but if they do- it’s usually 10-20zł per person. So for a night out roughly 70zł is spent.

05.

General

Something important to note is the cost of the telephone card and the Internet pack. When staying in Poland for longer, it’s a lot more convenient and affordable to buy a SIM card in a Polish telecommunication network. A pack of unlimited SMSs, phone calls and the Internet is around 30zł per month, depending on the network.

Now you know more or less how much it costs to live in Poland, but how exactly can you get the money to do it?

Nobody expects you to live off your savings and there are a few options for foreigners to work in Poland! More about that in our next article: Working in Poland

To wrap it all up, let’s see how all those costs add up.

Budget option

Convenient option

Accommodation

700zł (a room in a shared flat)

2000zł (own place)

Food

300zł (no eating out)

1000zł (eating out several times a week)

Public transport

70zł (monthly ticket)

150zł (occasional taxi rides)

Leisure time

150zł (going out rarely)

400zł (gym membership+often activities)

Sum

1220 zł

3550 zł

As you can see, costs of living in Poland can be various, depending on your lifestyle. Disregarding your baseline expenses, it’s wise to have at least 10% bufor just in case you happen to need any extra funds.