How Should I Budget for Krakow?
How Much is an Apartment in Krakow?
Accommodation in Krakow is relatively cheap - a 1 bedroom apartment within 4 km of the city centre can be as little as €375 euro a month, or £280 a month. This relative cheapness does keep most people in the city centre or very nearby. If you choose to live further out, you’ll find Nowa Huta to be a very popular choice for both native Krakow residents & expats. Due to it’s popularity and large population you might find it a bit livelier of a choice than some of the other Krakow suburbs, which are a bit more residential. When you live further out, one of the major benefits is that you may have a garden and more room. Polish apartments are, by and large, on the smaller side compared to North American & some Western European apartments.
While apartments in Poland are inexpensive on the surface, when you’re moving into one you need to be aware of bills - and whether or not they are included in the price..
If bills aren’t included, it’s best practice to add this total to your monthly rent & see if it’s still a good deal.
Cost of Travel in Krakow
Getting around in Krakow is easy using public transportation - it’s efficient & low cost. The transport is made up of a network of buses, trams, and trains. Tickets for trams & buses can be mixed & matched, and are sold based off the length of your journey rather than your final destination. You can buy tickets in denominations of 20 minutes, and they’re about €1 or 75p.
By far the most popular way to get around is via the bus system - cheap, effective, and riding a bus can help you orient yourself to your new neighborhood in a way that higher speed travel can’t.
Trains run through the city of Krakow but also the neighboring areas - a good chance to take in some of the great Polish countryside.
If you’re just exploring the old city, or you live & work in the centre, the best recommendation is to walk. Bicycling is not necessarily going to be easy, as Krakow is not the most cycle-friendly city yet. Although many are trying to change that!
Average Food Costs in Krakow
Similar to Warsaw & the rest of Poland, food in Krakow is relatively cheap - so long as you stick to Polish food, that is. Food that has been imported from elsewhere in Europe, Asia, or North America is expensive - you can expect to pay about 30% more than usual for food from outside of Poland. That leaves you with plenty of options though: sausage, ham, potatoes, all manner of vegetables & fruits are produced in Poland, cheaply and plentifully. A single person can expect to pay about €140 or £100 a month on groceries, but this cost can be brought down if you stick to just Polish food & cut down on meat consumption.
Eating out can range, but in general averages out to be cheaper than other European cities. Some of Yelp’s best reviewed restaurants in Krakow cost less than €13 or £10 per person, so you certainly can keep a good budget while enjoying some of Krakow’s lovely pastries, cafes, and authentic Polish cuisine.
Internet & Phone Costs in Krakow
Broadband access in Poland is generally good, mid-range in speed on average & accessible for the population. A 250 mb/s internet connection in Poland will cost about €25 or £18 a month.
Wifi signals are easy to find throughout Krakow - internet cafes also remain an option in Poland. Lots of bars & hotels offer free wifi, so you can have a drink & access your email. 3G is also available throughout Poland, and if you have a 3G enabled phone you’ll find it easy to get a signal in Krakow.
Getting a SIM card in Poland is also easy, with Play providing them to visitors for €5 or £3.75 a month with unlimited text & 1GB of data, plus extra top ups if you choose. You can also find SIMs that provide unlimited data & good deals on international calls. An unlocked phone can be found easily in the city centre of Krakow or online for around €20 (£15) for a mid range model phone.
Cost of Enterainment in Krakow
One sure fire to entertain yourself for awhile in Krakow is to walk around and take in the lovely architecture, unique even in Poland. Once you’ve gotten well acquainted with the beautiful sights around town, it’s time to enjoy a bit of culture!
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow is one such location where you can find modern Polish art housed in the historical setting of Oskar Schindler’s factory. The entry fee is a minor €2.50 (£1.90), with free entry on Tuesdays - a must see while you’re in Krakow. The Archeology Museum in Krakow is also an educational & entertaining experience, containing both ancient Polish relics & the remains of various cultures across the world. Entry here is also around €2.50 (£1.90) - the average cost of admission in Poland.
Movie theatre tickets are inexpensive and many films are shown in English with Polish subtitles. Expect to pay about €6 or £5 per person.There are also many literary & arts festivals in the area, with such events as the Conrad Festival in October and the Krakow Film Festival which is becoming internationally known. A knowledge of the Polish language is recommended to get the most out of these festivals, of course!.