The cost of living in Poland is among the most affordable in the European Union (EU), alongside Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. In the 2024 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Warsaw, Poland's most expensive city, was ranked 135th out of 226 cities.

Cost of accommodation in Poland

The cost of accommodation in Poland varies, but apartments closest to the main square in any Polish city – big or small – will usually be the costliest. Expats who are willing to live a bit further out and manage a small commute will find better deals for apartments with larger living spaces.

Cost of transport in Poland

Public transport is relatively inexpensive, and students, pupils and senior citizens are eligible for discounts on long-term ticketing.

Poland's central location and the prevalence of low-cost air travel make it easy and affordable to explore the rest of Europe while living in Poland. Airports can be found in all the major Polish cities.

Cost of groceries in Poland

Shopping for groceries in Poland can be a refreshing change for expats, as the prices are often substantially lower than in Western Europe, the US or Australia. Local markets, filled with fresh produce, are especially cost-effective.

While local produce and goods tend to be affordable, imported goods might have a price tag closer to what expats are used to back home. For those with a penchant for local delicacies like pierogi, bigos or żurek, Poland is a food haven on a budget. It might be a bit pricier for those yearning for a taste of home from faraway places.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Poland

Poland has a vibrant cultural scene, and there's no shortage of things to do or places to explore. Thankfully, enjoying a night out or engaging in cultural activities doesn't burn a hole in one's pocket. Cinema tickets, theatre performances, and music concerts are usually much cheaper than in the likes of London, Paris, or New York.

As for dining out, a hearty meal in a local eatery will often be quite budget-friendly, although upscale restaurants in major cities like Warsaw or Kraków can have prices more akin to their Western European counterparts. Nonetheless, compared to a dinner out in Manhattan or central London, it's still a relative bargain.

Cost of education in Poland

Public education in Poland is free, but it is not a viable option for many expats because the language of instruction is Polish.

Most often, expat parents send their children to an international school, where the students can continue to follow the same curriculum they were studying in their home country. Most international schools are found in Warsaw or Kraków. International school fees can turn out to be a considerable expense because prices are high, as are additional expenses such as school trips, uniforms and textbooks.

Cost of healthcare in Poland

Healthcare in Poland has seen significant improvements over the years, and the standard of care in major cities is comparable to that in other parts of Europe. Public healthcare is funded through a mandatory health insurance system. Expats working in Poland will typically contribute to this system via their employment and, as a result, have access to public healthcare services.

On the other hand, many expats opt for private healthcare due to shorter waiting times and the availability of English-speaking doctors. While private healthcare costs are higher than public, they are generally lower than those in countries like the US or the UK. It's worth noting that many medications, especially generic brands, are cheaper in Poland than in several Western countries, but expats should still consider health insurance to cover any unexpected health expenses.

Cost of living in Poland chart 

Note that prices may vary depending on location and service provider, and the table below is based on average prices for Warsaw in August 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centrePLN 7,100
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centrePLN 5,100
One-bedroom apartment in the city centrePLN 3,800
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centrePLN 2,900
Food and drink
Dozen eggsPLN 15
Milk (1 litre)PLN 4.50
Rice (1kg)PLN 6.74
Loaf of white breadPLN 4.64
Chicken breasts (1kg)PLN 14
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)PLN 17
Eating out
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantPLN 200
Big Mac mealPLN 28
Coca-Cola (330ml)PLN 7.17
CappuccinoPLN 13.72
Bottle of beer (local)PLN 3.95
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)PLN 0.33
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)PLN 63
Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)PLN 730
Taxi rate/kmPLN 3
City-centre public transport farePLN 4.40
Gasoline (per litre)PLN 6

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