How Should I Budget for Warsaw?
How Much is an Apartment in Warsaw?
Warsaw in Poland is a fairly inexpensive city in general - it follows that accommodation is also cheaper than similarly sized European cities. For a one bedroom apartment in a modern & well-appointed building runs about €700 or £522 a month. To rent a room in Warsaw is as low as €200 or £150 a month on average.
Most in Warsaw live in single-occupancy apartments, but students are generally keen to share larger apartments with one another. There are various neighborhoods & therefore various degrees of quality & price. Many expats choose to live near their office so that they may walk to work, whereas others choose to live in Wilanow & other suburbs which are residential & attractive, yet slightly further afield.
Cost of Travel in Warsaw
Public transportation Poland is inexpensive. Similar to Paris & Hamburg, ticket fares are time-based rather than destination. You’re able to purchase a ticket that will last 20 minutes up to 90 minutes, in intervals of 20 minutes. The cost for a 20 minute ticket is €0.70 or 50p. The best deal for those who are spending a significant amount of time in Warsaw is the 90 day ticket, which costs €66 or £50, making unlimited monthly travel a mere €22 as it is valid for 90 days.
The transportation options in Warsaw include subways, buses, trams, and SKM trains that connect the outlying suburbs of Warsaw with the city. They’re often busy, but are also frequent.
The subway is a modern construction, fully underground with spacious waiting platforms that are maintained well & policed. Tickets can be bought at machines or from shops in the subway terminals. Buses & trams are above ground and run 300+ lines through the city. Double check that the ticket you purchase works on buses & the subway, as some tickets are specifically meant for just one line, and one method of transport. If you’re unsure, check with someone working at the ticket counter or shop. Only use the machines if you’re sure of what you need.
Warsaw isn’t exactly a bike friendly city. Bike lanes are few & far between, and the ones that are there haven’t been designed properly compared to the car-only lane. Bikes are also not welcome on public transport.
Average Food Costs in Warsaw
Food from Poland is very cheap, but if you are looking for imported goods you may be disappointed to see the prices are increased by about 30% what you’d pay ‘back home’ when imported to Warsaw. If you stick to Polish-produced meat, dairy, fruit & vegetables you can expect to spend about €140 or £100 a month on groceries for a single person. Common meats are sausage & ham, dairy products like soft cheese & cottage cheese are popular, and dark rye breads are popular as a basic staple.
Restaurants in Warsaw are varied, and Indian & Asian cuisine is popular. In general restaurants are cheaper in Poland than in Western Europe or the United States. You can expect to pay about €17 or £12 per person for a mid-range meal in a decent restaurant.
Don’t forget to try some traditional Polish food while you’re in Warsaw! Pierogies are very popular & easy for foreigners to enjoy, and Polish cakes are creamy & delicious.
Internet & Phone Costs in Warsaw
Broadband access in Poland is fairly good, mid-range in speed on average & in usage by 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 Warsaw, as well. Lots of bars & hotels offer free wifi, so when you’re coming in for a drink ask if you can access it. 3G is also available throughout Poland, and if you have a 3G enabled phone you’ll get by easily in Warsaw city centre. 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,, and top ups. 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 Warsaw or online for around €20 (£15) for a mid range phone model.
Cost of Enterainment in Warsaw
Going out for a drink in Warsaw is unlikely to break your bank - a beer in a neighborhood bar will be about €2 or £1.50, and a cocktail or other mixed drink in a nice club will be about €5 or £4.
There is a particularly nice spot in Warsaw called MiTo - a cafe with a bookshop, or is it a bookshop with a cafe? Either way, you can browse around colorful art books & enjoy fine pastries with a cappuccino for about €3.50 or £2.60 for both. It’s a popular spot for people in Warsaw, and it’s easy to see why with its well designed vibe. The prices are about what you can expect in trendy cafes in Warsaw.
Cinema tickets in Warsaw are fairly cheap at about €6 or £5 for one person. Some films made in the United States are show in English with Polish subtitles, but to be sure look out for the phrase napisy, meaning subtitles. There is also a 4DX theatre called Cinema City in Warsaw that not only shows movies in 3D, but the showings are accompanied by smells, seat movement, and other fun novelties in the theatre. The tickets are only slightly costlier at about €9 or £7, and it's a highly recommended visit!