We know the importance of having useful information when you arrive to another country for the first time. That is why we decided to make a short guide called ‘First Steps in Poland’, this guide will help you to have a better experience in this beautiful country.

1-Finding a Flat

According to one of the Polish websites publishing ads about flats for rent, average cost of renting one room in a shared flat in Warsaw amounts to 859 PLN, and cost of a studio is on average 1755 PLN. The prices vary between the cities:


CityAverage price of a studio up to 38m2 (PLN)Average price of a room in a shared apartment / dormitory (PLN)

However, it is possible to find rooms available for a much better price – everything depends on the standard, location etc.

The best and the most popular website for flat / room search is www.gumtree.pl. In order to find a room choose Nieruchomosci / pokoje do wynajecia or Nieruchomosci / mieszkania i domy do wynajecia and enter your preferences.

If you prefer to use Facebook to search for a place to stay, we recommend those groups:

If you have just arrived to Poland, you have no place to stay and your budget is quite tight, you can check www.CouchSurfing.org community for free accommodation (short-term) or check the offers on www.AirBnb.com

2-Medical Insurance

Regardless of how long you are going to stay in Poland, medical insurance is a good idea. If you are going to apply for a Stay Permit, having a health insurance is one of the requirements. If you are (or will be) employed legally in Poland, your health insurance will most likely be paid by your employer to NFZ (it is a state institution that finances state health care services in Poland), which will give you access to free public health care services.  If not, you can also contract health insurance yourself, for example by buying an insurance policy in a private insurance company. Remember to specify exactly what will be the purpose of your health insurance (visa, work permit, stay permit etc.)


A PESEL is a Polish 11-digit identification number that is unique, and results useful in many bureaucratic procedures (such as tax declarations and healthcare). It is issued by the City Council (Urząd Miasta) in the place of your residence, and you may apply for it if you have been staying in Poland for over 3 months.

4-Opening a Banking Account

In order to open a bank account in Poland, you will need to go to a chosen bank with the following documents: your passport and a document confirming possession of a guaranteed place of stay in Poland. It would be a good idea to take a Polish speaking person to the bank with you since the whole procedure requires signing many documents written in Polish language.

5-Finding a Job

Finding a job in Poland may require some efford from non-Polish speakers, but it is not impossible. Currently, there are many companies looking for Spanish speakers (and many other languages speakers), which makes it easier to find a first job in Poland. The most popular website for job search is www.pracuj.pl, where you can find offers from all over the country, and also search via keywords such as “Spanish” or “English”. Other useful websited include www.monsterpolska.pl, www.gumtree.pl and LinkedIN.

If you are not eligible to work in Poland without any work permit, then it is your potential employer who should apply for a work permit for you. If you already are in Poland and you have found a company willing to hire you, you can apply for a temporary residence permit and work permit in a single procedure.

6-Public Transportation

Polish local transport is on a fairly well developed, with a extensive network of buses and trams (and subway in Warsaw), including night transport. Each city has a different sistem of ticket fares, so the best solution is to get familiar with the regulations on official public transport websites (see below). You are responsible to validate you ticket once you get on the bus or tram – if you don’t, you may get a fine from a ticket inspector (inspections happen rarely, but tend to be quite unpleasant, especially for people who do not speak Polish). A useful website for planning a journey with public transport is www.jakdojade.pl.

ticket(s) – bilet(y)

bus – autobus

tram – tramwaj

subway – metro

ticket inspector – kontroler biletów (colloquially: kanar)

Ticket fares:

Warsaw: www.ztm.waw.pl (important: you are entitled to a 50% discount for short-term tickets if you are a holder of a student ID issued by a Polish university; you can find the details here: www.ztm.waw.pl)

Łódź: mpk.lodz.pl

Wrocław: www.wroclaw.pl

Poznań: www.ztm.poznan.pl

Cracow: www.mpk.krakow.pl

Gdańsk: www.ztm.gda.pl

Lublin: mpk.lublin.pl

7-Getting around the country

When traveling between Polish (and not only Polish) cities, two most common options are trains and busses. Polish train network is quite extensive, though trains differ in cost, speed and level of comfort. To find the most convenient conections, visit the webpage www.rozklad-pkp.pl. You can buy tickets for some connections online, but it is perfectly common to buy them also at the train station, just before the departure.

Traveling by buses is now becoming increasingly popular, especially because of attractive promotions and discounts offered by Polski Bus (www.PolskiBus.com). It connects many Polish cities, you can book the tickets online (recommended as they sell out very quickly) and if you buy them in advance, you can get the prices for even 1 PLN.

Other options for traveling around Poland are hitchhiking (cheap though not always safe) and BlaBlaCar (www.BlaBlaCar.pl).

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Written by David Huerta

Mexican blogger living in Poland. Graduated from Warsaw School of Economics.