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Quality of life in major cities in Poland - cost, culture, work and modernization


Kartofel 3 | 41
2 May 2014 #1
Hello :)

I would like to enquire about the quality of life in the major Polish cities, particularly Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław.

Where do you think life is best in terms of cost, culture, work and modernization?

I know its a pretty general question, but I'm having a hard time understanding the "balance of power" in Poland these days :P also, I've heard Wrocław is becoming more and more IT oriented?

Thanks in advance :)
adameczek454 - | 6
8 May 2014 #2
If I were you, I would choose Warsaw. I think Warsaw's the best place for work and live in Poland. Nice architecture, a lot of place for pastime (clubs, theatres, cinemas etc. You find all needed atractions), a lot of employers, the best public communication with one underground line (from September will be 2 lines). Warsaw give you the biggest capabilities.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
8 May 2014 #3
Generally Warsaw has the best salaries, but you should look personally, meaning see what offers you get from where. Some people like Warsaw, other hate.
OP Kartofel 3 | 41
9 May 2014 #4
I've heard the cost of living in Warsaw is accordingly higher than in Kraków or Wrocław though, is it true?
Also, a little off topic but still somewhat relevant - do any of you happen to know where in Poland (if anywhere specific), is the highest concentration/popularity of high-tech brands such as IBM, Intel etc.?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
9 May 2014 #5
look at numbeo.com to see prices. Basically only rent prices and perhaps commuting will differ between these cities. As for number of IT companies just look at any job portal. For example here is number of offers in a website for programmers:

Warszawa (98)Krakow (45)Wrocław (40)Gliwice (31)Poznań (29)Berlin (12)£odź (11)Katowice (9)Ostrow (5)Wielkopolski (5)Dusseldorf (4)Kielce (4)Lublin (4)Opole (4)Rzeszow (4)Bydgoszcz (3)

4programmers.net/Praca

These 3 first cities have similar number of job offers per inhabitant. Meaning Warszawa has the most because it is the biggest.

Weather it's worth to live in Warsaw instead of Wrocław or Kraków depends on how big apartment you need. When you rent something smaller, then difference in prices is only small percentage of your income - lower than difference in pay between Warsaw and Wrocław/Kraków. When you need something bigger, then all what you will gain from earning more in Warsaw can be just enough to cover higher rent. When you like old styled cities then Wrocław or Kraków, when more modern then Warsaw. In Warsaw you are more likely to meet other foreigners. It's important if you don't speak Polish.
OP Kartofel 3 | 41
9 May 2014 #6
These 3 first cities have similar number of job offers per inhabitant. Meaning Warszawa has the most because it is the biggest.

Interesting :) It seems that all three are good options. By the way, it also seems like Gliwice is a kind of high-tech hotbed, considering the job offers-to-population ratio in this case.

I do speak Polish, so THAT is not going to be such a big problem, however I'm not yet sure whether I like modern Warsaw over the old-styled Kraków. I've been to Warsaw only once, for about two days, and didn't get to see much of the city. Kraków, however, I did get to see more than once for a more prolonged amount of time, and it was absolutely beautiful :) As for Wrocław - it is also a very nice city and my grandma comes from there :)
Monitor 14 | 1,820
9 May 2014 #7
By the way, it also seems like Gliwice is a kind of high-tech hotbed

No, it's just too small statistical sample to be very reliable. When you look at the biggest job portal: pracuj.pl/praca/programista:

dolnośląskie (175)
kujawsko-pomorskie (43)
lubelskie (57)
lubuskie (16)
łódzkie (104)
małopolskie (120)
mazowieckie (385)
opolskie (21)
podkarpackie (26)
podlaskie (23)
pomorskie (79)
śląskie (104)
świętokrzyskie (16)
warmińsko-mazurskie (9)
wielkopolskie (93)
zachodniopomorskie (29)

Then mazowieckie with Warsaw is 1st, then dolnośląskie with Wrocław 2nd. małopolskie with Kraków 3rd. 4th is śląskie with Gliwice - the part of Katowice metropolitan area. Quite bad ratio, considering, that it's around 3mln people (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katowice_urban_area )

It reflects what I've heard that Warsaw is the best for jobs, then Wrocław and 3rd Kraków. ( Although this little old report shows higher earnings in Kraków -

When comparing these cities look at outdoor activities too. Kraków is close too high rocky mountains, Wrocław is not far away from mountains, but they're not rocky there. Warsaw is away from any sea or mountains. In summer people go from Warsaw to Mazurian lakes. (if you like mosquitos). From Wrocław you can go for a weekend to Prague (5h with a cheap bus). From Kraków it's 7h to Vienna with not so cheap train. Warsaw has 5:30 with not so cheap train to Berlin, 3h cheap train to Kraków and if they finish renovation of rail line in 2016 - 3h expensive train to Baltic Sea:

I was curious how it looks in other job portals. So here is popular free one: gumtree.pl/fp-programisci-informatyka-i-internet/c9005

Mazowieckie (208)
Małopolskie (141)
Dolnośląskie (113)
Wielkopolskie (78)
£ódzkie (34)
Śląskie (21)
Kujawsko - pomorskie (10)
Lubelskie (8)
Podlaskie (6)
Opolskie (4)
Pomorskie (4)
Zachodniopomorskie (4)
Podkarpackie (3)
Świętokrzyskie (3)
Warmińsko-mazurskie (3)

Here Kraków has more adds than Wrocław. Śląskie is even worse than in previous website.

1 more thought. You entitled this topic "Quality of life", so it's important to add that Kraków has one of the highest air pollution in Europe during winter.
OP Kartofel 3 | 41
9 May 2014 #8
Then mazowieckie with Warsaw is 1st, then dolnośląskie with Wrocław 2nd. małopolskie with Kraków 3rd. 4th is śląskie with Gliwice - the part of Katowice metropolitan area. It reflects what I've heard that Warsaw is the best for jobs, then Wrocław and 3rd Kraków.

Well, I'm not so crazy about the mountains, but it could be nice nonetheless :P same goes for the lakes. How is the weather in these cities btw? Does it differ noticeably? From what I've read Kraków and Wrocław, being southern, should be a tad warmer but I'm not sure how that combines with their elevation or any other factor that might come in to play. Kraków and especially Wrocław are, indeed, more optimally located geographically in terms of being closer to Germany and the Czech Republic while Warsaw is kinda "stuck" in the heart of Poland.

As for the jobs - That little old report does indeed show Mazowieckie kinda has the best salaries, although in the IT jobs for example, both others aren't too far behind, sometimes even surpassing the prior in some terms&jobs.

1 more thought. You entitled this topic "Quality of life", so it's important to add that Kraków has one of the highest air pollution in Europe during winter.

Wow, I didn't know that :O now that I read about it a little on the internet, it seems that all big 3 are kinda notorious for their polluted air (although Kraków is still far worse than the other two) - makes sense I'd say, but it sure sucks nonetheless :P
Monitor 14 | 1,820
9 May 2014 #9
How is the weather in these cities btw? Does it differ noticeably?

No. Here you have map of sun in Poland: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/SolarGIS-Sola r-map-Poland-pl.png But differences are very small. More obvious, when you look at map of Europe: pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insolacja#mediaviewer/Plik:SolarGIS -Solar-map-Europe-en.png

Differences between northern vs southern countries is much more obvious than between northern and southern Poland

Wow, I didn't know that :O now that I read about it a little on the internet, it seems that all big 3 are kinda notorious for their polluted air (although Kraków is still far worse than the other two) - makes sense I'd say, but it sure sucks nonetheless :P

Yes. surprisingly big capital has less pollution than smaller Wrocław. When you care about health, perhaps you will consider Gdańsk too :) It's not bad for IT jobs and has the clearest air:

Here in comparison to few European cities:

It reflects what I've heard that Warsaw is the best for jobs, then Wrocław and 3rd Kraków. ( Although this little old report shows higher earnings in Kraków -

The newest report confirms that Wrocław has a little bit higher average than Kraków:

programistamag.pl/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/tabela.png
programistamag.pl/ile-zarabiaja-programisci/

here just Java: programistamag.pl/ile-zarabiaja-programisci-java/
frd 7 | 1,399
13 May 2014 #10
From what I know at the moment in regard to IT Krakow is still above Wroclaw at least when it comes to the maximum salary you can get as a coder or pm. I have friends both in Krakow and Wroclaw in different companies and in Krakow you can get salaries for senior at around 15-16k, as far as I know it's near impossible for such salary in Wroclaw, rather something around 11-13k
Dougpol1 32 | 2,673
18 Jul 2015 #11
Merged: Quality of life in different parts of Poland

Has this been covered before?

Some suggested criteria for quality of life:

House prices
Earnings
Education
Health
Local government
Environment
Local transport/infrastructure
Facilities/entertainment
People (open or otherwise)
Other (folklore/local differneces...)

I'll start: My stereotypical observations:

KATOWICE:

House/flat prices: Cheapish - 3,500 for a flat?
Earnings: Loads of the green stuff if you can do, as in engineering.
Education:University of Silesia/ Gliwice institute of Technology/ Polands' leading sports academy/ number one music academy - speaks for itself.
Health: Blindingly good by Polish standards. If you have a heart attack - make sure you have it Katowice.
Local government: Held back for years by indepentants but real progress today - finally!
Environment: Most trees of any vovoideship but ruined for all time by the Industrial revolution and communist mismanagement and neglect.
Cracking summers/great winter sport. Some beautiful spots, that you have to know about....
Local transport/infrastructure: Excellent after mnay years of serious EU investment. Without the EU the area would now be eating cake. With no bread.
Facilities/entertainment: Tennis central. Spodek music venue. Beer culture positive. Soccer. Plenty going on.
People (open or otherwise): Sound as a pound. Sociable, but cantankerous. Vibrant life to a point...
Other (folklore/local differences...): Mmmm - relatively religious as a whole I would say. Loads of perogi and the rest. Ten pm curfew.

TRI-CITY:

House prices: Not as high as people from outside seem to think. 25 per cent up on Silesia.
Earnings: Maritime industry/Off-shore effect/IT Loadsamoney for some.
Education: Gdansk university has a so-so rep.
Health: Don't know. Self medicating.
Local government: 90% approval rating liberal dictatorships. Strange. Must be corrupt.
Environment: The sea-side obviously, though the Bay of Gdansk is NOT the seaside and is pretty gash for swimming. Nice views.
Great forests in the moraine hills. Bloody winds, and shockingly depressing winters. Healthy sea air.
Local transport/infrastructure: Poor - isolated from the rest of Poland. Unless you enjoy a three hour train/car journey. The only positive, Tri-city is not the real Poland.

Facilities/entertainment: No pubs. Little tennis. Arka Gdynia.
People (open or otherwise): No - Baltic people resemble the weather. Bad for Polish learning - everybody speaks English.
Other (folklore/local differences...) Foreign influences. Chinese/Africans/ Arabs. Tourists from everywhere. I like it.

Conclusion: Southern Poland not as bad as it's painted in the media.


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