Cost of living in Poland: Your guide

Gert Svaiko

Recent statistics from Poland show that the number of expats living around the country hit an all-time high in 2022 - with over 1,660,000 foreigners registered.¹ Drawn by a rich history and culture, stunning natural resources, and solid infrastructure - alongside relatively low costs of living - expats are increasingly choosing Poland as a country to call home.

This guide is for you, whether you’re retiring, temporarily relocating, or moving to Poland for good. We’ll cover a full overview of the costs of living in Poland, including how the prices in Poland compare with the UK.

And, if you want to manage your money easily in both Poland and the UK, check out the Wise account. Wise lets you manage your money in multiple currencies – including British pounds and Polish zloty – always at the mid-market exchange rate.

Learn more about the Wise account

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Major cities in Poland

As the capital city, Warsaw is the natural destination for many expats heading to Poland. However, there are a good range of alternative locations if you’re flexible in where you base yourself. You may even find the costs are lower by moving to a smaller city.

Try cultural Krakow, coastal Gdansk, or historic Wroclaw - or get some inspiration from the many other beautiful towns and head somewhere a little off the beaten track.²

What’s the average wage in Poland? Example Polish salary in Warsaw and Krakow

The relatively cheap cost of living in Poland is matched by salaries, which are fairly low on a global scale. Don’t forget, though, that your money goes much further thanks to significantly cheaper fixed costs in Poland for things like rent, compared to the UK.

PositionAverage wage in Warsaw (year, GBP)³
IT Manager£29,499
Mobile Developer£29,407
Financial Analyst£24,978
Web Developer£24,253
Business Analyst£22,753
Sales Manager£21,809
PositionAverage wage in Krakow (year, GBP)⁴
IT Manager£24,389
Mobile Developer£22,742
Financial Analyst£27,851
Web Developer£28,376
Business Analyst£27,580
Sales Manager£14,830

Cost of living in Poland vs UK

If you’re thinking of moving to Poland, you’re probably wondering: is Poland expensive?

The good news is that life in Poland doesn’t need to break the bank. In fact, the cost of living in Warsaw - the capital and most expensive location to choose - comes in at number 174 in the Mercer 2022 Cost of Living rankings.⁵

Let’s take a look at some key costs across major UK cities, compared with Poland.

Comparing basic cost of living1-bedroom flat in city centre (monthly rent)Meal for 2 (mid-range restaurant, three courses)Transportation (monthly pass)
London, UK⁶£2,057£70£160
Manchester, UK⁶£922£60£71
Edinburgh, UK⁷£1,007£60£60
Warsaw, Poland⁷£699£38£21
Krakow, Poland⁸£595£32£28
Poznan, Poland⁸£449£29£23

One major factor that adds expense for expats in Poland, is the cost of converting the local money, Polish zloty, from GBP. Even if your bank says it offers fee-free money exchange, its cut can be rolled up in the exchange rate it uses.

You could get a better deal by using an exchange service like Wise, which applies the fair mid-market exchange rate with no margin added on top and no hidden fees. Wise provides a fair service and low, transparent fees to transfer your money, so this might be a much better deal than sending money with your home bank.


Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

What are general living expenses like in Poland?

Let’s take a look at some of the average costs of living according to location in Poland.

Total living expenses in WarsawAverage cost⁷
1 person, per month (without rent)£576
4 person family, per month (without rent)£1,897
Utilities, basic, for 900 sq. ft flat£205
Total living expenses in KrakowAverage cost⁸
1 person, per month (without rent)£519
4 person family, per month (without rent)£1,734
Utilities, basic, for 900 sq. ft flat£162
Total living expenses in PoznanAverage cost⁸
1 person, per month (without rent)£484
4 person family, per month (without rent)£1,656
Utilities, basic, for 900 sq. ft flat£120

How expensive is housing and accommodation in Poland?

Housing is a major expense, no matter where in the world you choose to live. Here are the average costs of some different flats’ types in Polish cities, to help you plan your budget.

Rental cost in WarsawAverage monthly cost
Small flat£407 - £576
Medium flat£561 - £746
Large flat£715 - £922
Rental cost in KrakowAverage monthly cost
Small flat£346 - £492
Medium flat£453 - £630
Large flat£561 - £769

What about healthcare costs in Poland?

If you work in Poland, you’ll automatically pay a 9% National Insurance premium, which goes towards the cost of your medical care. This means you can access state health facilities for free, although you may still need to pay for prescriptions. If you’re self-employed you can choose to pay voluntary contributions - or buy private medical insurance.¹¹

How much are Polish travel and transportation prices?

How you choose to get around in Poland will depend on your personal preferences and where in the country you live. There is a comprehensive bus system which runs regularly in cities - but less frequently to smaller towns and rural areas. You’ll also be able to take local trains, cycle or drive.

It’s worth noting that some cities don't have cycle lanes, making travel by bike tricky. If you prefer to drive, your UK driving license will be valid in Poland for the first 6 months you’re there - after that you must switch to a Polish license.¹²

Study costs in Poland

The University of Warsaw is Poland’s top ranked higher education institution, according to the Shanghai ranking of world universities.¹³ You’ll find that students from the EU can access free university studies (in Polish), with international fees for most others.

Even as an international student, though, the costs are relatively low - in the region of £1750 per year for an undergraduate course. And for MBA studies, the costs are around £7,000 - £10,500 per year.¹⁴

Living abroad can be a hugely rewarding experience. But it also comes with a whole host of extra costs and getting used to a different currency. Poland is a great expat destination, whether you’re considering a permanent move, or just looking to spend a year or two exploring somewhere new.

The new experiences you get here are truly memorable. Good luck with your new chapter in Poland!

And, if you’re looking for ways to manage your finances in multiple countries, check out the Wise account. You can send and hold money in 50 currencies, and spend in 175 countries around the world using the Wise card.

Register with Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used:

  1. Notes from Poland - Number of foreigners with residence permits
  2. Love Poland - Main towns and cities
  3. Teleport - Salaries in Warsaw
  4. Teleport - Salaries in Krakow
  5. Mercer - Cost of living 2022
  6. Numbeo - Cost of living in London and Manchester
  7. Numbeo - Cost of living in Edinburgh and Warsaw
  8. Numbeo - Cost of living in Krakow and Poznan
  9. Teleport - Housing prices in Warsaw
  10. Teleport - Housing prices in Krakow
  11. - Healthcare in Poland
  12. - Driving in Poland
  13. Shanghai Ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022
  14. - Tuition fees

Sources last checked on date: 28-Mar-2023

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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