The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Posts by Snowmuncher  

Joined: 8 May 2012 / Male ♂
Last Post: 25 Oct 2014
Threads: 3
Posts: 24
From: Krakow
Speaks Polish?: No

Displayed posts: 27
sort: Latest first   Oldest first   |
25 Oct 2014
Life / What is the penalty for driving a car without the annual technical inspection? [17]

peter_olsztyn Dec 10, 2011, 10:20pm ☓ #8

chudclaw: Someone told me it was only a 50 PLN fine.
Not at all. The worst scenario is when you are the guilty party of an accident.
Then insurance company can refuse to pay the compensation and you are boiled.

I very much suspect it is like in other countries and based on the concept of proportionality. If the car in an accident does not have its annual inspection the extent to which the insurance company would be liable would be based on the extent that likely or proven mechanical faults caused the accident. It is not so easy for the insurance companies to get off that lightly (especially in the UK with Lord Denning etc).

So if you had an accident and it was caused by your brakes not working, and they had probably not been working from before you were supposed to have the technical inspection, and you killed someone on a zebra crossing, then the insurance company could get out of a big chunk of the amount liable in an insurance claim. If the cause of the accident was not attributable to any fault then the insurance company would have to pay up.
13 Oct 2014
Real Estate / Poland's apartment prices continue to fall [1844]

inWroclaw, do you get the REAS reports. REAS is the primary market residential research arm of Jones Lang Lasalle and they produce quarterly reports covering all the major cities in Poland.There is a graph showing how prices have change over the past few years in each city.
13 Oct 2014
Law / Bank Account in Euros - Is it possible to negotiate exchange rates to zloty with a Polish bank? [24]

Has anyone ever tried to negotiate exchange rates with a Polish bank

Suggest using Transferw ise - created by the guys who created Skype apparently, and backed by Richard Branson. I've used it 30 times over the past 18 months and found rates very good. Also quick convenient and very easy to do online. You do need a bank account in both countries though.

Some people point out the risks of doing transactions with such companies. This one I'd say is fairly safe, but check out their web site as this is one of the FAQs.

I've also used Cinkciarz, which also seems pretty good.

Using these online platforms resulted from frustration with using Citibank Handlowy. Even after fierce negotiation on fairly large transactions they still gave me bad rates, and I had simply had enough,
13 Oct 2014
UK, Ireland / Holding a British passport. Married a Polish woman. Applying for Polish passport? [21]

Yes, travel abroad is much easier with a British passport as fewer visas needed in many countries around the world, partly due to former colonies. The other passport that is so good for travelling is the Irish passport. Also, I think I'd prefer free health on the UK NHS rather than the Polish health system.
5 Jun 2013
Law / Foreign currency accounts in Poland [49]

Just received the Sterling from the PLN 10000 using transfer.

After all fees and commissions I'll receive exactly £2000. The shopping centre kantors right now would give me £2008, but after paying for an international transfer, transfer was better, which is very surprising - I thought I would never be able to beat those kantors. You avoid your banks' (Polish and English) international transfer fees because you make and receive only domestic transfers.

The only unexpected thing was that after I transferred the 10k to their bank in Poland, there was an almost 2 day delay before they acknowledged receipt of the deposit in their account and during that time the exchange rate you get varies with the middle market rate - you get the rate fixed a few minutes after they acknowledge receipt of the deposit. In my case this almost 2 day delay worked to my advantage since the zloty appreciated against Sterling during that time, and I made an extra £16, but it can work the other way of course.

Highly recommended, but the service may not be available in all countries. It also avoids the time consuming and stressful "kantor run" of taking PLN out of your bank, going to the kantor, exchanging the money at the kantor, going back to the bank, depositing the GBP into the bank, and making an international transfer.
4 Jun 2013
Law / Foreign currency accounts in Poland [49]

Interesting perspective WB. It's not just FX companies that are limited liability, it's every limited company, which is most corporate entities. For fear of starting a pointless and near endless debate on the merits or capitalism / communism / anarchism, why don't you start a separate new thread on that very subject, as you're taking this thread off at a tangent. You could also start a new thread on the merits of bartering versus using money.
3 Jun 2013
Law / Foreign currency accounts in Poland [49]

Do be careful, as there was a high profile collapse of one a while ago called Crown Currency Exchange.

Yes, it's a very good point. You would have thought that clients' money would be / should be ring-fenced in some way and the firm itself should take no forex positions - only earning on fees and commissions, but that's in an ideal world.

According to their website; "Transfer Wise is registered with the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) as a fully authorized payments institution (reference 571669) which gives us a license for collecting money and for making international payments. ...and (we) keep customers funds separate from our operational bank accounts"

I would be happier if the last sentence read "...and (we) keep customers' funds legally separate from our operational bank accounts in designated escrow accounts, but maybe this is actually the case and it has been simplified for their average punter. You would have thought the FSA would require that as a minimum. It is reassuring to know that it is "from the same people who brought you Skype & Paypal" however.
3 Jun 2013
Law / Foreign currency accounts in Poland [49]

Thanks Jars777, that was a really useful post.

I haven't tried Walutomat yet, but will give it a go next time. Do you know how it compares with kantors in shopping centres?

I just used my currency and it gave me a selection of online forex exchangers, and I chose transfer, which had the best "indicative"rate for me at the time for those 2 currencies.

Poland transfer use bank accounts in the country where you are transferring the money from in order to reduce the international charges incurred.

I was changing 10k zl to GBP. My Citi Gold account would have given me £1920 before charges. Transfer wise gave an indicative £1988 after charges. We'll see...

...following on from my test of transfer wise (see post above), I just checked the rate at the main shopping centre kantor in Krakow - booths in ,galeria Krakowska, Bonarka, Kazimierz etc.

I was quite surprised to see that if I changed the same amount I would have received £1996, but that does not include the international transfer fees. So actually, if the estimate is correct, transfer could be very cost effective, and time effective versus the Polish banks and versus kantor cash runs.
20 May 2013
Law / Foreign currency accounts in Poland [49]

This morning just changed PLN 15000 into Sterling. I'm abroad so no possibility of doing the cash run to the kantor and back, and the amount too small to use the online UK forex exchange that have used in the past.

The Citi online buy / sell spread was 6.1%, and that is better than the rates Citi offers customers with normal accounts. I phoned up Citi & spoke to one of their phone reps (Citi offers the best English speaking phone service, by the way - it has become better and better and now it is commendable, and often the best customer service you are likely to experience in Poland, in terms of they way they talk to you if not always the rates they offer). I asked her to call their treasury department to get a better rate than the premium Gold rate online. She told me that for transactions of less than 30000 zl that is not possible, and then after a few seconds relented and said as I was an important long standing client (news to me!) she would try. The spread came down to 5%, which I accepted.

The extra cost to me versus doing the cash run to the kantor in Galeria Krakowska was £86 or EUR 101.50 or 424 zl

By the way, not all Kantors are good. The ones targeted at tourists can be terrible, far far worse than the banks, so check very carefully the rate and any fees before you hand over your money. My experience has been that the kantors in the major shopping centres are always competitive, mainly because they are predominantly used by the locals. However, the one I use has never returned my "dzień dobry" nor my "dziękuję" - not in 3 years. They tend to be skin headed young mafia types who look like they don't appreciate the benefits of foreigners in their country. But I continue regardless in the hope that one day good manners will rub off!
20 May 2013
Law / Foreign currency accounts in Poland [49]

How is it spiting the bank? Most banks in the world offer poor rates - really, trying to pretend that it's a Polish thing is nonsense. In fact, the only reason that you're able to do it is because the kantors in Poland are able to offer exceptionally good rates - in other countries, not so.

It's spiting the bank because they miss out on their forex profit - isn't that obvious? - they forego say EUR 200 on a mid sized transaction, perhaps every month. Why are you saying I am trying to pretend it is a Polish problem? It is a Polish problem compared with most other countries where I've changed money using a local bank account. No-one is saying it is uniquely a Polish problem. For sure appalling exchange rates at banks where you have an account (i.e. you are their client) exists in many other countries.

Snowmuncher: I also use an online forex currency company in my own country for larger amounts. They only give worthwhile rates if you change more than EUR 5000 worth.

Why would I bother? Because when I changed a large amount to buy an apartment I saved several thousand Euros. That's why (*??!!!???) First of all I have accounts at more than one Polish bank, and I had have accounts at several others which I have closed because the service was so appalling. Even after negotiating the best possible deal with my current bank (and remember I already have better than normal rates because I have a premium account) the best exchange rates they offer are far worse than I can get else where. For your information, my work is finance related and I have been closely involved in rates for large commercial transactions with the help of an ex-manager of one of the major Polish banks, so I have a rough idea of what I am talking about.

Lastly, have you ever changed a large amount of a foreign currency into PLN in a bank, especially when it is a currency there are not used to exchanging? The bank often checks each note with extreme care more than once. Say there are 500 notes, of foreign currency. Perhaps you can understand why it takes so long, even assuming there is no queue / line, which there usually is. Then there are the logistics of going from bank to kantor back to bank. I work in the centre and even just the transport can take 30 mins or more. Normally one kantor will suffice, but sometimes there is the issue that a kantor will not always have the amount of foreign currency you need. On occasion I have had to go to 5 kantors to get what I need, for example before a public holiday where people are jetting off abroad. But the 2 hours assumes a visit to one kantor.
7 May 2013
Law / Foreign currency accounts in Poland [49]

berni23 it's a good thread, well done for bringing this up.

I've been in Poland for a few years and I have a Citibank Gold account. Even with "preferential" exchange rates, the rates are appalling for consumers. In general, unlike the west the consumer is a down trodden and bad treated species.

Most banks think they are doing their clients a huge favour by allowing them to have an account at their bank. In other words 50 years or so in the past. They are normally arrogant and ignorant of their treatment of their clients.

Many Polish people, especially those who have not traveled much or not lived in more consumer-centric (I'm being polite) countries, can't understand this concept. They say things like "What is the problem? Are you too lazy to use a horse / typewriter / washboard / flint / coal fire (delete as appropriate)".

When I'm not too lazy (and actually do something useful in my life), I take out the cash from my bank, go to the kantor to change the money, go back to the bank and pay in the foreign currency into my foreign currency account, transfer the money to foreign account abroad. It takes at least 2 hours. Sometimes it is not worth it (vs. what I get paid per hour) for the money I save but I try to do it anyway just to spite the bank - I think I am becoming more Polish.

I also use an online forex currency company in my own country for larger amounts. They only give worthwhile rates if you change more than EUR 5000 worth.
2 May 2013
Life / How to avoid being ripped off in Poland - feel free to add your own advice [2]

1. Don't take taxis from main stations.

Almost every time I take a taxi from a main station in Krakow, Warsaw, and Wroclaw I get ripped off - the taxis waiting at the station. Normal ways of ripping you off are "oops I forgot to turn the meter on", refusing to use a meter and giving you an inflated fixed price. Setting the tariff to 4 (or the highest) and trying to hide the meter with a hand on the gear stick or a well placed cap or cloth.

Solution: ask a Polish friend to call a local taxi company to come to pick you up.

2. Don't use local rental agencies or brokers to rent an apartment

Trying to rent in Krakow, I contacted some local agencies. I was shown around some of the most disgusting apartments I have ever seen which had not been refurbished for at least 30 years, and were absolutely filthy. The bathrooms were something out of the third world. They were quite big apartments from 90 to 140 m2. The asking price per month was 4000 to 4500 zl.

Solution: Go on to the web portals like and to find suitable properties for the best deals. Or use a foreign owned agency. In Krakow there are at least 2 good ones, owned by English guys. Remember that most landlords (Polish and foreign) prefer foreign tenants other things being equal since they are less likely to take advantage of strong tenant protection legislation (esp. pregnant women or those with young children) and much more likely to work for international companies on good salaries, and a a return home date.

3. Don't buy an old apartment in Poland

There are at least 3 areas where you open yourself up to being taken advantage of because of the language, the odd legislation and the unusual rules and regulations, under tried and tested tricks designed to catch out foreigners, the naive and the unwary

3.1 When you ask for a surveyors report the estate agent / broker will offer to find a suitable person to do a surveyors report. The report will be in Polish (of course) and the broker will tell you that everything is in order. In fact, later when it is too late, the surveyors report will turn out to be a report by, say, an electrician doing a survey of the electric system or by someone who is not qualified to do such a report, and is merely a description of the property that costs PLN X000.

Solution: Don't buy an apartment in Poland.

3.2 As one of the owners, you will be at the mercy of the residents' board and the building administrator. They will all know each other and consider you to be a host on which they can feed. Expect being over charged on service fees, opaque decisions made by the residents board on items of expenditure designed to benefit everybody else, often at inflated prices with benefits being given on the side, and expect to lose the use of chimneys to other apartments as a result of chimney men decisions, often obtained with bribes.

Solution: Don't buy an apartment in Poland.

3.3 Expect to be truly fleeced as a foreigner when it comes to refurbishment costs. Expect to have to accept huge delays in getting the work done or to pay several times over the market rate. The worst trades in my experience are: 1. Carpenters 2. Tilers. 3. Painters. Costs of these trades are a fraction of London prices in terms of labour costs from 1/4 to 1/8, but they will try to charge you UK prices for an apartment in Poland.

Solution: Don't buy an apartment in Poland. Or use a project manager (PM) and be as invisible as possible, but unfortunately unless the PM is your spouse, expect the cost to be increased by 20% or much more depending on how much money they think you have, and for the extra to be split between the PM and the contractor.
15 Feb 2013
Real Estate / Annual wspolnota (owners committee) meeting-prejudicial treatment of foreigners in Poland? [4]

Does anyone own a flat / apartment in Poland, especially if you don't live there, and when it comes to the annual meeting you don't get the notification letter, or it arrives one day before or on the day of the meeting?

I ask the question because I am managing on behalf of friends 2 flats in Poland. One in Lodz and in in Krakow.

The building administrator in Krakow for a few years sent the notification letter to me so that it arrived one day before the meeting. When I spoke to my lawyer about this it seems they are required by law to give 14 days notice. Something similar happened in Lodz for a couple of years and then this year, instead of sending me a registered letter (which had previously arrived after the date of the owners' meeting) the administrator decided to leave it with my neighbour today, and the meeting is in 4 days time in Lodz on Tuesday, which for most people would be difficult to arrange. I only know this because a friend of mine happened to go to the apartment today and talked to the neighbour.

In the case of Krakow when I took some legal action to remedy the less than 14 days notice, I was labeled a nasty foreign trouble maker by the other members of the wspolnota, and I later found out that some completely false and unpleasant rumours were circulating about me.

My suspicion is that such tactics are deliberate in order to prejudice owners who are foreigners and / or live in another city or another country, and deprive them of their say in how the building is run.

Has anyone else experienced this?
15 Feb 2013
Law / Opening a Polish Bank Account by a foreigner in Poland. Recommendations. [299]

Yes, agree with the responses below, but in opinion after using several banks, would recommend Citibank Handlowy. It is the best of the bunch with a very good online banking. This is especially the case if you don't speak Polish. The have a very good English speaking phone banking system, with people who speak good English.
8 Oct 2012
Law / The place of Ceramics factory and equipments? [4]

There are 2 ceramic shops in Krakow - they will probably know if there are no language barriers:

sklep"Świat gliny"
ul.Kremerowska 2
31-130 KRAKÓW
tel. 12 623-74-83
kom. 606710027
sklep czynny pn-pt 10-17

Chodkiewicza 17
(12) 292 18 42
516 147 939

godziny otwarcia sklepu:
pn-pt 10:00 - 17:00
sb 10:00 - 13:00
8 Oct 2012

Neil 63, I'm sorry to hear of your issues with the Schreiber Lofts. I visited the sales office, run by Ober-haus agency, I believe (correct me if I am wrong), and I went to view the show apartments. I was seriously impressed, but at that point the prices had increase do 7 or 8.000 per m2 and only the less interesting apartments were left. To you and me those apartments looked amazing but for the Polish market in Lodz, I have been told by a Polish surveyor that they are not liked at all. Maybe in Warsaw they would have been popular but Lodz is not Warsaw.

I spoke to another Ober-haus agent last week, and he told me about the SPV for Schreiber Lofts had gone into receivership (i.e. the bank's charge on the property was exercised in court and the bank had taken ownership and was selling apartments). He also told me there is a problem with the heating system, which is the municipal piped hot water supply - apparently some of the big apartments do not heat up above 15 C in the winter, even if left on all day.

I know the Polish laws regarding off-plan residential sales changed a few years ago in order to protect consumers from the development companies, and give consumers more protection. I'm not sure when this came into force. I understood that the instalments paid by the buyers have now to be paid into a escrow account or something similar and should be completely ring fenced from the developer's SPV.

Did you sign your contract with the developer before or after this change in law?

The problem is that Polish legal system is generally so slow and ineffective, and often the statute has been written without proper care and thought (rushing through EU directives) that it is ambiguous and interpretations vary, that the expression "possession is 9/10 of the law" is particularly relevant in Poland. It's all about who has the cash.

It is well known by estate agencies, developers, everybody, that foreign investors are easy to scam, rip-off and generally take advantage of, because often they are not physically in the country and that they don't speak the language, and they don't read the newspapers, and are less likely to start litigation. I would get together with other investors in the same situation and use the same lawyer to save on legal costs. I would start up a specialist internet forum for all the investors in the property, to share information and coordinate action. maybe you have already done this. I have witnessed similar cases in other countries - Bansko Bulgaria for example - see Bansko forum.
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / Chimney Sweeps in Krakow - experiences of flat owners in central Krakow? [4]

That sounds like quite a terrible experience, and an expensive one. Perhaps I am being naive here, but was it not possible to sue them for the cost of running a new flue as a result of the negligent opinion? I presume they have professional insurance?

I can guess the answer though: the hassle and expense of going to a lawyer outweighed the cost of X000 zl?

The neighbours must have been unusually cooperative?

Are you sure it wasn't a scam where the ground floor neighbour needed a new flue and after a quick chat with chimney guy and an exchange of an envelope, the deed was done, and brand new chimney flue provided by foreign investor? Dziękuję bardzo!

Or have I become too cynical knowing Krakow as I do?
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / Best Mortgage Lender in Poland? [25]


It seems we agree, although perhaps not about how positive or negative this is and how immoral this is. But it seems we have gone far off-thread anyway.
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / Best Mortgage Lender in Poland? [25]

Because normally, billionaires sue people for making untrue statements that defame them, not make counter statements. If a newspaper said something that unsavoury about me that was false and defamatory, I would sue and I am certainly not a billionaire.

And my point was not only about Czarnecki, it was about the influence of the communist era in Poland today.

"And that's the tip of the iceberg. The whole strata of Polish politics, business, media and banking is cut through with people like him.

As communism fell, with all its businesses and power and privilege, who do you think was in a position to and had the knowledge and contacts to take advantage of those assets not properly controlled and bolted down amidst the confusion? The same happened in the other former Soviet Union countries to some extent or another. Take a closer look at the origins of some of those countries' MEPs sitting in Brussels."
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / Best Mortgage Lender in Poland? [25]

"is said" about something untrue would be defamation in Polish law. "is alleged to ...." would be used by the newspaper if it could be untrue.

Billionaires with reputations to protect and enormous egos have teams of lawyers waiting to take action, and money is no object as regards legal costs. In general, it is likely there could be a lot more that the newspapers would like to publish but are too scared to because of the the threat of litigation. They take a great deal of care about publishing something negative about a billionaire with enormous influence. If it were some salaried government official or a foreigner then the risk is very low.
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / Best Mortgage Lender in Poland? [25]

with the former communists leading the way. Which former communists are leading the way, tell us?

Are you serious?

For one Leszek Cazarnecki. He is a main shareholder of five companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange: Getin Holding, Getin Noble Bank, LC Corp, MW Trade and Open Finance. He has enormous economic, business and political influence, and according to the Warsaw Voice quoting the website of the Rzeczpospolita "is said to have worked as agent for communist security services in the 80s, while at high school and university in Wroclaw"

And that's the tip of the iceberg. The whole strata of Polish politics, business, media and banking is cut through with people like him.

As communism fell, with all its businesses and power and privilege, who do you think was in a position to and had the knowledge and contacts to take advantage of those assets not properly controlled and bolted down amidst the confusion? The same happened in the other former Soviet Union countries to some extent or another. Take a closer look at the origins of some of those countries' MEPs sitting in Brussels.
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / Chimney Sweeps in Krakow - experiences of flat owners in central Krakow? [4]

I recently renovated a flat in central Krakow about 5 minutes walk from Wawel Castle. One night I woke up at 2 am because of the strong smell of smoke in the flat.

We later traced the smoke to a wood burning fireplace in the flat below. This fireplace happened to be in the flat of the chairperson of the wspolnota (residents).

The 2 chimney sweeps arrived to check out the situation, and immediately said it was not the wood burning fireplace in the flat below, but must be a problem in my flat. I asked him if he'd checked this fireplace and he said no. I asked well how do you know it is not the fireplace?

Later that day I talked to a Polish civil engineer who had recently project managed a period building in central Krakow, that had a lot of problems with its own and neighbours' fireplaces. He sent me the technical conditions that came into force in 2002. For residential apartment buildings of 4 levels or more these technical conditions do not permit any solid fuel fireplaces at all - no exceptions. The building where my flat is is 6 levels. For shorter buildings (< 4 levels), there is an obligation to install a lining in the chimneys if they are brick chimneys, in order to stop the possibility of CO and fumes from leaking into flats.

Even later that day, I again met the chimney sweeps in my flat. I handed them a copy of the technical conditions from 2002 (a long document) and said that solid fuel fireplaces in buildings of 4 levels of more are not permitted. They told me that small fireplaces where the chimney flue is less than a certain number of cm in diammeter are excepted from this. This was a bare faced shameless lie according to wod-kan engineers I have since talked to. When I offered to give the technical conditions to the chimney sweeps they refused to take it, saying they already knew it perfectly. Then they demanded technical documents relating to my air conditioning, and to my gas fireplace (gas is allowed in most cases.)

I spoke to a Polish friend who had had a similar experience and she said that it is a chimney sweep mafia in Krakow. And if you get one who gives a questionable opinion, then it is almost impossible to get another one to criticize the first one.

Has anyone else had such experiences?
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / property tax on residential real estate in Poland? [9]

I have a 123 m2 flat in Krakow:

Purchase tax 2%

Property tax of 86 zl a year - about EUR 20

if the land is in the city centre it might be perpetual usufruct, not freehold, which legally is somewhere between leasehold and freehold. In another city a similar sized flat pays PLN 1800 a year perpetual usufruct - but probably not considered to be a tax.
7 Oct 2012
Real Estate / Can EU citizens (UK) buy land in Poland ? [17]

My advice would be to be very very careful, and get yourself a lawyer in Lodz on the list of lawyers used by the British consulate there. The most common trick is the sale of agricultural land that is "just about to be" re-zoned.

If you're planning on building a house, get ready to be rinsed until you're parched.

There have been some major changes in Polish law surrounding property ownership by EU nationals over the past few years, so only way to be sure is use a good lawyer who speaks good English. And there aren't many of those in or near Lodz.

What you are proposing on doing is possibly the riskiest of all property ventures.

If you speak fluent Polish without a trace of an accent, your partner's father owns a big construction company, you can trust her implicitly, and you have a lot of free time because you are a trustifarian, then maybe.
6 Oct 2012
UK, Ireland / Is it possible to watch live UK tv BBC, ITV in Poland ? [7]

There are 3 possibilities:

1. - your need an internet connection at least 6 m/bs minimum, better if 10+. Using IE9 you need to change the settings so that it works like IE7. I heard that using Google Chrome it works fine and possible to access BBC iplayer, 4OD, ITV OD etc. You would have to check the TV licence implications. Can watch BBC programmes live, but other OD services only after broadcast, as far as I know

2. Sling box. You need a Sling box in the UK with an upload speed of 2 mb/s or better. You also need an internet connection in Poland.

3. Get a satellite dish. There is a company in Warsaw that specialises in this for UK ex pats. It would have to be large, but I heard that some of the modern ones can reduce the size to 1 metre.
8 May 2012
Real Estate / Lubicz Brewery - construction site in Krakow? [3]

I was in the sales office yesterday. Phase 1 (building A & B) are supposed to be finished in July 2013, but it doesn't look like PORR (the contractor) will achieve this, depending on how they define "finished". For me this is getting the final occupancy permit.

The tram is not an issue as long as you don't choose the north facing apartments next to Lubicz side.

The location is superb - 3 mins walk to Gal Krakowska, 5 mins walk to the planty and 8 minutes walk to the Rynek. Not close to the river is one downside.

Negatives: Administration charge is high in my opinion - although not 100% set yet, storage space in underground is very expensive at 5000 zl / m2 inc VAT, and underground parking is close to 50 k inc VAT, buying off plan can be risky, ceiling heights could be higher at 2.6 and 2.72 depending on building, no other facilities except for those retail units that rent the space on the ground floor, apartment finishing is shell & core (basic).

The other possibly quite serious down side is that there is Phase 2 and phase 3 (office) that are yet to start construction, so unless it is managed very well, then you could be living next to a building site for 2 or 3 years. Something I did not ask the sales office about as only dawned on me afterwards.

The prices seem reasonable compared with Parkside (very close) and, say, Angel Plaza, on the secondary market. I would definitely prefer it to Angel City which is on the other side of Galeria Krakowska, which also has quite a few for sale on the secondary market and still some left from the developer. You also might like to look at the new development behind Gal Kazimierz, by a Spanish developer - good location next to (for me) the best (not so big, new'ish, nicer class of people) shopping centre in Krakow - Gal Kazimierz, it is slightly less central but has benefit of being 100 metres from the river.

Back to Browar - The architect is MOFO, which is a young'ish firm with a good reputation in Krakow.

I heard from a very reliable source (not the sales office!) that around 20% of the apartments have been reserved or prelim signed, but mostly studios or 1 beds.

PORR is a large and strong contractor, the SPV is Balmoral Properties, which I've never heard of but apparently the equity comes from a guy who made money in accounting software, and was at one time the 12th richest person in the Sunday Times Rich list with £1.2 billion , but has recently slipped quite a lot, down to around 70 million, if memory serves. Google "Gordon Crawford Times Rich List" for some articles.