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Looking to immigrate to Europe. How is life in Poland?

Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #1
Hi all,

I am looking at the option to immigrate to europe with my family. We have spend a couple of weeks in Poland, Poznan and Warsaw and we just fell in love with the country...everything about it, the people we're so friendly and helpfull and there is so much potential for development in many fields.

We are already starting to learn the Polish language...but now I don't know where to start looking, which city, suburb is the best to live in, which offers good schooling, hospitals etc.... PLEASE can someone give me some advice?

Also if there is any negatives to living in Poland that I should know about?

Thank you in advance!
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #2
Where are you from, AnandiB? I ask because your expectations might play a large part in your choice.
8 Oct 2011 #3
Anandi B

Prices are at the rest of EU levels and yet the average salary is nowhere near......

Appartments have increased in price by 300%......Poland is great for big businesses (cheap labour market, preferential taxes) meanwhile the local population continue to be paid peanuts.

My brother works in IT for a government department and takes home 3500 zlotych ......I found it hilarious the other day when Tusk said young people in IT have no problems finding work because of the international companies in Poland. They will remain in Poland only whilst they are able to exploit the cheap labour market available.

Life is bloody tough make no bones about it!!
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #4
Superb post, Brit-Pol. Very well said!!
delphiandomine 88 | 18,163
8 Oct 2011 #5
Prices are at the rest of EU levels and yet the average salary is nowhere near....

Are they?

Perhaps you should start by comparing the cost of meat and vegetables in Poland as opposed to Germany.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #6
Delph, the price of cars are skyhigh here. Property is prohibitively expensive for many folk. I guess Germans have cheaper options for meat&veg too. It just depends where you look. The average salary in German is a good bit higher than here. I didn't find the meat too expensive in Berlin and it is commercial central.
sascha 1 | 824
8 Oct 2011 #7
It just depends where you look. The average salary in German is a good bit higher than here. I didn't find the meat too expensive in Berlin and it is commercial central.

correct. prices in ger are ok, depending what and where, most importantly.

avg salary was last time i looked around 2.000 Eur. not too bad
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #8
2000E in Germany? That's really good! There's no way on Earth that the average salary is 8600PLN here. 3200PLN maybe but it's a blurry issue. That's excluding the embarrassing proliferation of jobs paying under 1000PLN here. They are not counted as the minimum is said to have been amended to 1500PLN.
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #9
I am South African.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #10
There is a SA woman working here and she hasn't really had any significant problems.
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #11
Oh great! Where does she live and what work does she do? I am in the import export business so I won't be looking for a job, we do have ongoing business in Poland already.

So my main question is what is the best city to live in? ...for a young family. In South Africa we currently live in a small town close to the big city Durban, we are use to alot of space and a garden around our house...does the houses in Poland offer this?
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #12
She is an English teacher who works/worked in the same city as me. I don't know if she is still around.

Poland is mainly a country of flats but some of the houses here, esp the new ones, are stunning! Pardon me for asking but are you white or black? She is white and I think it is that bit easier for whites to fit in here. I'm not saying Poles are generally racist, far from it, but having white skin attracts far fewer gazes for the most part. Poland is much much safer than SA. Wendy (the SA lady) fully agrees.
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #13
Haha, no affence taken...I am white, can't see why the black people will be immigrating to other countries as South Africa is theirs now...and yes very unsafe! the main reason we looking at immigrating is to get away from the crime and violence...and discrimination!

Can you tell me the nicest areas to look for property in, I have herd of a city in the mountains that is more beautiful than Poznan...? It's also very fast developing? Do you perhaps know the name, I forgot it? Or is there other cities you would say is good?
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #14
Maybe Jelenia Góra? What size are you looking at?
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #15
About 200 square metres...with a garden. Thank you for the suggestion I will go google property in that area!
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #17
Thanks a mil Seanus!!! Hoping to be able to reply in Polish one of these days =)
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #18
Don't worry, Anandi, I am Scottish :) :) If your search doesn't produce any nice results, I can suggest more places :)
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #19
So how long have you been living in Poland? Can you speak the language yet and how long did it take you to learn? My first language is Afrikaans so it is going to be quite a learning experience to talk polish...but I am very exited about it!
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #20
I've been living here for just over 7 years. I could read newspapers quite well in 2006, 2 years into my stay. It's a hard question as one is forever learning. You can get a firm grounding after 2 years if you apply yourself and are surrounded by supportive individuals.
Wroclaw Boy
8 Oct 2011 #21
I have herd of a city in the mountains that is more beautiful than Poznan..

Not Zakopane? I'll come back to this thread when i have a bit more time.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #22
Zakopane is very touristy. There are far better places.
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #23
well thanks for the info and I am hoping to one of these days, if all goes well, let you know where we found our new address in Poland =)
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #24
Sure thing :)
bullfrog 6 | 602
8 Oct 2011 #25
everyday goods (meat, vegetables, clothes) are cheaper in Poland as long as you do not try to go for western brands, which are more expensive. Big items can be more expensive (Seanus was right about cars when the pln was 4 to euro, nowadays i am not so sure). Real estate is cheaper (people tend to compare the prices in their home town eg Milton Keynes and that of a flat in Warsaw or Krakow..if you compare like for like, eg a flat in Warsaw and a flat in London, no doubt which is cheaper...)
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #26
Thanks for the info bullfrog. I have noticed the reasonable prices in fresh fruits and veggies. At the moment I am in Germany...and after being in Poland...cost of living and transport are way more expensive over here! where do you live if you don't mind me asking? and what cities would you suggest I look at to buy property and live?
bullfrog 6 | 602
8 Oct 2011 #27
i am now living in zurich but before this i lived 6 years in Warsaw (moved this summer). Warsaw has obviously as the capital some advantages, but with Poland translated to the west following ww2, it is now deep in the eastern part of the country and road connections to the west are long and not good. If you have no constraints whatsoever, I would be probably look at Wroclaw or Poznan...
Wroclaw Boy
8 Oct 2011 #28
I lived in Poland for almost 6 years, i am English BTW. If i could do it all again i'd probably look at Warsaw, or perhaps somewhere on the outscirts, more opportunity in the capital and much more of an expat community there. Having said that i still like the idea of owning a property in the mountains somehere to use as a holiday kind of safe hopuse to get away form everything.

With regard to suitable areas for yourself it depends what youre looking for, i would like to be a lot nearer a decent golf course if i went back, perhas a decent gym too. WWith regard to proeprty prices you can buy huge houses with acres and acres of land out in the coutry or in smaller cities for a fraction of the price you'd expect to pay in any of the major cities.

Jelenia Gora is a lovely place to live but i dont imagine there will be many English speakers there.

Living in Poland is tough, real tough make no mistake about that, if no one in your family are fluent in Polish its going to be a huge issue. Lots of scammers looking to con you out of cash.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
8 Oct 2011 #29
There are scammers for sure but I've been lucky so far. I had a guy fit up 4 doors recently and he had the chance of getting an extra 20% out of me in the event of complications met while trying to do his job. Arguably, he had a case as some moron didn't study how to get evenness on the walls throughout the flat. They had to use their know-how to get round the problem but he didn't ask for any extra money. He was clearly competent and we might hire him to do the windows when the right time comes round.

I'm sure WB would back me up on the following, Anandi. Do yourself a huge favour and get a Polish person to help you enter into big contracts. Otherwise you may get fleeced. My Polish, in a functional sense, is pretty fluent but some technical terms are beyond my grasp. My wife has been invaluable. Poles also know how to haggle. I know through having been in some market cultures, e.g Thailand, but it's a different ballgame when it comes to contractual negotiations.
OP Anandi B 1 | 12
8 Oct 2011 #30
then I better start learning polish fast coz non of my family members can understand a word! English and Afrikaans that's it. In South Africa we are use to open spaces around our homes so I think we would prefer to live out of the cities...I am considering to go visit Poland soon again and then go do some house hunting and go see all the cities to get a feel for's hard moving house, moving country is even harder...not even to talk about learning a whole new language! But from what I have experienced the polish people is very helpfull and patient and willing to help you learn the language...? right? How does the expats fit in and become part of society?

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