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UK expat recently moved to Warsaw - lots of ongoing questions :)


Essell 2 | 7  
3 Oct 2009 /  #1
Hi all,

I left the UK and moved to Warsaw for a job a couple of weeks ago. Loving it so far (the job and the city) :)

As I'm settling in, I keep thinking of all kinds of little questions about living here, so I thought I'd start a big thread where I can post them all as I come up with them. So here goes with the first two, and thanks in advance:

1. Drinking tapwater - I've been drinking it since I got here (I love the mint syrup stuff from Carrefour), but have recently been told by my (british) flatmate that it isn't a good idea. Is this true?

2. My brothers and uncle are flying over to Warsaw to see me next weekend (9th October), and while I'll show them what I know of all the usual stuff, (stuff around the centre, bars, restaurants, maybe a couple of clubs), we're also wanting to get up to some bigger, more interesting stuff to make the trip memorable.

One of my brothers is really into the idea of stuff like going to rifle ranges and doing some off-road driving, while my uncle might be into stuff that's interesting but a little more laid back. Any sugggestions?
Wroclaw Boy  
3 Oct 2009 /  #2
Is this true?

I wouldnt drink it personally, i used too and found myself running to the toilet quite often.

Any sugggestions?

Drinking, that's about it. Poland as a country for entertainment sucks donkey balls in my opinion.
rafik 18 | 589  
3 Oct 2009 /  #3
chillisauce.co.uk/hen-parties/warsaw/4x4-off-road-driving/
warsawvoice.pl/view/15854/
pissup.com/warsaw/shooting
warsawtraveltours.com/warsaw-stag-shooting.html
check these links.

I do not drink tap water.Bottled water is more safe.the cheapest bottled water you can buy costs something around 0,60pln(LIDL) for 2L bottle

Poland as a country for entertainment sucks donkey balls

Judging by your avatar you don not move your phat as.s to find any entertainment ,huh;)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,270  
4 Oct 2009 /  #4
1. Drinking tapwater - I've been drinking it since I got here (I love the mint syrup stuff from Carrefour), but have recently been told by my (british) flatmate that it isn't a good idea. Is this true?

There's nothing wrong with it, as long as you can stomach the taste. :)
Harry  
4 Oct 2009 /  #5
I've been drinkng Warsaw tap water for thirteen years and I'm fine. Why waste precious resources and damage the environment when you can just turn on the tap?
time means 5 | 1,310  
4 Oct 2009 /  #6
I've been drinkng Warsaw tap water for thirteen years and I'm fine

Some on here would argue with that statement Harry :-)
Wroclaw Boy  
4 Oct 2009 /  #7
another classic TM.

waste precious resources

My ass its only bottled water harry, i think the Earth can sustain it.
Harry  
4 Oct 2009 /  #8
^And the fuel needed to transport the water from the bottling plant to the wholesaler to the retailer, that is all zero emissions fully sustainable, is it? And the bottles it's in, those are made entirely without hydrocarbons and in a process that uses no energy, produces no waste and no emissions, are they? And after the bottles have been used, they just melt away into clean air rather than clogging up landfill or producing toxic fumes when they're burnt, do they?

You really haven't thought this through, have you boy? Although it probably isn't fair to expect a person to understand the idea of actions having consequences if they're happy to drive after drinking and drive in ways which risk the lives of everybody on the roads. You drink drive and drive dangerously, don't you.
poleaxe 2 | 32  
4 Oct 2009 /  #9
Could just buy a Brita water filter if it really bothers folk and avoid this turgid conversation..............
jonni 16 | 2,485  
5 Oct 2009 /  #10
Those water filters really work.
OP Essell 2 | 7  
5 Oct 2009 /  #11
Thanks for all the input re: drinking tap water, peeps. Interesting to see mixed opinions, and yes, I might just look into one of those water filters :)

Thanks for finding and posting the links to the shooting ranges, Rafik, but I had already looked up similar ones myself. My problem has been looking for a website for these companies that is in English, but at the same time isn't one of those big Stag do ones either.

I asked around at work and someone pointed me to strzelectwo.info/en/contact.html, which I'm going to try and book a session with tomorrow.

So - another question!

Finding an apartment to rent near the city centre
I'm currently being put up in an apartment by the company I've recently started working for, but by the middle of November I need to find an apartment of my own to rent. I work near the centre of Warsaw and want to live as close to work as possible.

I've been told by a fellow foreigner who recently sorted out her own place that I should be wary of agencies quoting me much higher prices because I'm not Polish, and I'm currently leaning towards going for private landlords on the Polish Gumtree site (warszawa.gumtree.pl/). Ideally I'd like a landlord who can speak English.

Any advice, warnings or information in general on this kind of thing?

4.
gumishu 11 | 5,240  
5 Oct 2009 /  #12
buy that water (called spring water) that is sold in 5 litre bottles in the supermarkets - most of the tap water in Warsaw comes from Vistula river as far as I know - would you drink it from the river? do you believe they filter it out with Brita filtres? I don't think Brita filtres filtre out detergents and similar. 'Spring water' is actually underground water with tested purity and quality - some (for example the sort sold in 1.5 litre bottles in Biedronka) are on the verge of being mineral waters (but they tend to be more expensive).

btw Wroclaw Boy has the misfortune of living in Wroclaw where tap water is probably the worst in whole Poland - back studying in Wroclaw I used to bring all of my water from home (there are parts of Wroclaw that have their own wells and water is much better there)
Harry  
6 Oct 2009 /  #13
I've been told by a fellow foreigner who recently sorted out her own place that I should be wary of agencies quoting me much higher prices because I'm not Polish

That might have happened a few years back (although it never happened to me even a decade and a half ago), it doesn't happen now. The reason is that you see real properties advertised on the web (domiporta.pl and oferty.net are the best ones) and then you call about that particular offer. You've seen the price online and if they try to give you a higher one, just hang up.

most of the tap water in Warsaw comes from Vistula river as far as I know - would you drink it from the river?

Where were you expecting it to come from, the Nile? The water which comes out of Warsaw's taps is from the Vistula and has been thoroughly filtered.

do you believe they filter it out with Brita filtres?

I know for a fact that they use rather better filters than a Brita. It's filtered through sand (twice, different fineness, active charcoal (twice) and friendly biological agents. Then it gets a splash of chlorine and a dash of sulphur.

I really do have no idea why people are so down on Warsaw's water. The Warsaw water filters are currently short-listed for UNESCO world heritage status. No other municipal water filtration system has been listed there!

there are parts of Wroclaw that have their own wells and water is much better there

Pretty much everywhere in Warsaw has public springs. Mineral water for the people who don't want to pay for it and can recognise that using trucks to transport water is about as environmentally friendly as a bucket of napalm.
OP Essell 2 | 7  
7 Oct 2009 /  #14
Harry
"That might have happened a few years back (...) it doesn't happen now."

Well, it obviously does because it happened to the person I was talking to about it (two people, infact) :) But yeah, I agree with your point that it can be avoided by simply going through channels that mean I already know what the price should be, etc.

Another question:

Q. Are there any taxi services in particular that you'd recommend for a UK expat in the centre of the city?
Harry  
7 Oct 2009 /  #15
Q. Are there any taxi services in particular that you'd recommend for a UK expat in the centre of the city?

MPT have always been fine for me 19191. Their operators all speak at least basic English too. Also worth trying are Wawa (19644) but I won't take them when going to the airport because they do sometimes say "eight minutes" and call you back after a while to say "It's gonna be another 15 minutes".
OP Essell 2 | 7  
19 Oct 2009 /  #16
(Thanks, Harry.)

Q. I'm a vegetarian, and I'm having trouble finding a vegetarian protein substitute like Quorn in Warsaw. Any ideas?
vndunne 43 | 279  
19 Oct 2009 /  #17
I know M & S sell Quniea (Not sure if is spelt that right). I think that is a vegitarian protien supplement. It is in there food section(where else would it be, you might ask). There is one in the Zlote Zarasy i.e. Golden centre, shopping centre. I was able to buy it in the M & S in Poznan so i would think they would also have it in the warsaw store.
dcchris 8 | 432  
19 Oct 2009 /  #18
I'm a vegetarian, and I'm having trouble finding a vegetarian protein substitute like Quorn in Warsaw

sorry I dont know what quorn is but you can buy tofu at the vietnamese shop at hala mirowska and check out the shop at the vega at kino femina for other healthfood items. As well there is a shop in the fresh market at hala mirowska next to the park side. I am veg also so if u need more help just ask. good luck
BevK 11 | 248  
22 Oct 2009 /  #19
Carrefore Arkadia sell tofu, Sezam's supermarket section has a good selection (for Poland) of veggie foods. I've stopped caring about most UK food, other than the bits and bobs in M&S now and then :)
OP Essell 2 | 7  
26 Oct 2009 /  #20
@dcchris and BevK - I've already been buying tofu but more places to get it are always useful

@vndunne: I think it's spelled "Quinoa" - I've never had it, but now seems like a good time to try :)

Cheers peeps.

Q. When does the metro system stop running at night, on the different days of the week?

I gather it's fairly late, and have heard something about a break between 3 and 4am, but can never quite be sure...

Okay so after getting no answers I had a proper look myself and found the metro timetabe here :)

Next question!

Q. What kind of things are there to do for New Year's Eve in Warsaw (or nearby)? Is it a big deal here? Do people usually go elsewhere, or hang around in bars near the centre of the city, etc?
ChrisPoland 2 | 123  
31 Oct 2009 /  #21
About the water, if you use a Brita filter be sure to still boil the water before you drink it.

Good luck with your stay in Poland.
BevK 11 | 248  
6 Nov 2009 /  #22
OK what IS the deal about boiling water?

If you need to boil water it is usually to kill micro-organisms and it needs to be boiled for a about 4 minutes or so as anyone who remembers standpipes and water shortages in the UK in the past will tell you (yes I am that flipping ancient I can remember the 70s!).

JUST boiling it means nada except you have hot water. I don't drink tap water straight but I didn't in the UK either unless I had to, other than this fine and delightful stomach bug which many many people have had recently I have been fine (and didn't even have ANY tap water boiled or otherwise for days before that baby hit!).
Harry  
6 Nov 2009 /  #23
About the water, if you use a Brita filter be sure to still boil the water before you drink it.

Absolute rubbish!

Basically if one's stomach can handle the abuse that Grupa Zywiec dish out to it, it can handle Warsaw tap water.
ChrisPoland 2 | 123  
6 Nov 2009 /  #24
My advice was based on what is written in the Brita instructions manual. It says that tap water after filtering should be boiled before drinking. What you do and what your stomach can handle is up to you.
BevK 11 | 248  
6 Nov 2009 /  #25
Never did that in the UK, is it specific to Poland that this advice is given? If so, then fair enough to post it I guess but there is a lot of this "boil the tap water" and NO ONE can actually say what the benefit is actually meant to be.

Anyone out there know? LOL Let's say specifically in Warsaw where there isn't a massive public awareness campaign about micro-organisms in the water (and if you have to boil water for 4 minutes to kill bugs it still tastes like crap, literally, just with dead crap not live crap).

The Brita filter I had in the UK (and wish I had brought) was designed to stay in the fridge.
TomaszLon  
13 Nov 2009 /  #26
Water in Warsaw is safe to drink but has disgusting taste. Its qulity depends on place you live becouse Warsaw has three main water sources. Generaly the best water is in the north (Zoliboz and Praga, Brodno etc) it is ozon sterilised water from Zalew Zegrzynski. The worse watter is in South and City center (Mokotow, Srodmiescie, Ochota) it has strong chlorine taste.

All water is safe to drink as I said but locals don't do it :-)
They buy it in 5 litre containers or bring it from free public wells called "Woda Oligocenska". Don't worry it has a taps where you can fill your container.

Check on the map location of the closest well
Try this site woda.banciur.org
The service is in Polish but all you need to do is just putting "15" in the text box and click "Pokaz"

I hope it helps.

I live as an expat in London and I perfectly understand this kind of questions :-)

Tomasz
kika - | 7  
17 Nov 2009 /  #27
Q. What kind of things are there to do for New Year's Eve in Warsaw (or nearby)? Is it a big deal here? Do people usually go elsewhere, or hang around in bars near the centre of the city, etc?

Just to cut the conversation about the water... :)

The New Year's Eve is usually a big thing here. Fireworks, concerts and parties.
I'm not sure what's going on this year yet but last year there was a show on Plac Konstytucji.
If you want to go the club check the club out because they might have already started to sell tickets. Some of the ppl have parties at home.

In Polish New Year's Eve is called "Sylwester" so google it out and for sure you will find sth for you

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