Poland is a beautiful country with a long and rowdy history. Localized in the center of Europe, full of remarkable natural resources and solid infrastructure, becomes a more and more popular destination for retiring, vacation, relocating related with a temporary job or for a permanent settlement. But what is the average cost of living in Poland? How much do you need to pay for fuel or regular shopping? What is the cost of renting an apartment in Poland? What is the average salary in Poland? I will answer these questions in this article.
- The currency in Poland
- Monthly bills
- Clothing and Leisure
- Childcare / educational system
- Real estate
- Average salary in Poland
What is the currency in Poland?
The currency in Poland is Złoty (zł), written as well in a form of PLN. 1 złoty (zł or PLN) consists of 100 groszy (gr). That information is pretty obvious for those of you who are already living here, but I know that we have a readers, who never saw a single złoty in their life. Therefore, the clarification. What is the value of 1 złoty comparing to other currencies? Allow me to present the data below:
|Currency||Value in PLN|
|Euro – 1 EUR||4.57 zł|
|British Pound – 1 GBP||5.35 zł|
|American Dollar – 1 USD||3.88 zł|
|Hungarian Forint – 100 HUF||1.29 zł|
|Russian ruble – 1 RUB||0.05 zł|
|Swedish krona – 1 SEK||0.44 zł|
|Turkish Lira – 1 TRY||0.45 zł|
This is actually the introduction to the next part of this article, since I will deliver the tables with price comparison in zł/PLN. The currency value is taken from August 17, 2021. Click here, if you would like to recalculate your own numbers, via internet currency exchange office. The numbers for “Cost of living in Poland” comes from Numbeo from August 2021. Let’s start with proper analysis.
|Meal for one person||45.65 zł||25.91 zł||68.48 zł||25.00 zł||50.22 zł||64.30 zł||58.07 zł|
|Domestic beer (0,5 liter)||15.98 zł||6.48 zł||20.54 zł||8.00 zł||11.41 zł||20.09 zł||19.36 zł|
|Water (0.33 bottle)||9.46 zł||3.57 zł||4.70 zł||3.77 zł||5.35 zł||5.20 zł||5.98 zł|
From my perspective, numbers provided by Numbeo are pretty accurate as we talk about shopping or meals in the restaurant. However, we need to remember, that this is the average price for the whole country. Which means that the price in the capital will be always a little bit higher than in the city suburbs.
Markets – Cost of Living in Poland
|Milk||4.02 zł||3.17 zł||5.25 zł||2.71 zł||3.57 zł||4.91 zł||3.32 zł|
|Chicken Fillets||31.47 zł||19.27 zł||37.96 zł||17.49 zł||27.19 zł||29.67 zł||35.69 zł|
|Apple||10.75 zł||6.00 zł||8.29 zł||3.85 zł||7.88 zł||9.80 zł||17.48 zł|
|Banana||7.53 zł||5.74 zł||7.52 zł||4.98 zł||7.17 zł||5.85 zł||6.03 zł|
|Domestic beer (0,5 liter)||2.84 zł||3.59 zł||6.01 zł||3.44 zł||4.00 zł||9.30 zł||9.64 zł|
|Total||56.61 zł||37.77 zł||65.03 zł||32.47 zł||49.81 zł||59.53 zł||72.16 zł|
|The difference in %||174%||116%||200%||100%||153%||183%||222%|
Let’s have a look on the total market price for few most common shopping articles in Poland.
- Milk – 1 L
- Chicken fillet – 1 kg
- Apples – 1 kg
- Bananas – 1 kg
- 1x regular domestic beer – 0,5 L
The total price for such a shopping list in Poland equals 32.47 zł and the same products in US, would cost us around 72.16 zł. This is 122% more than in Poland. Great Britain with 59.53 zł, which is 83% more, and Hungary with 37.77 zł which is only 16% more than in Poland. But, “the shopping” is not the only cost of living in Poland. Therefore, allow me to get straight to the next subject, with presenting all of these numbers. I want to share with you in summary, my own personal opinion about the biggest pros and cons related with living on Polish Land. But if you would like to know more about shopping and grocery stores in Poland, click below to opne my article.
Transportation cost in Poland
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||319.58 zł||123.06 zł||159.79 zł||100.00 zł||182.62 zł||348.29 zł||251.62 zł|
|Gasoline (1 liter)||6.44 zł||5.18 zł||6.96 zł||5.60 zł||5.82 zł||6.73 zł||2.67 zł|
Without further ado, I am giving you a link to my analysis of Public Transport possibilities in Poland. Just click on the list of subjects listed at the end of this paragraph, to open it in a new tab. As we talk about the fuel, prices from USA is only 50% of the amount which we pay in Europe. However, the fuel price in Central Europe is always a little bit lower comparing to Western Europe.
A thing worth mentioning about costs of owning a car in Poland. Polish Car Insurance costs are much more affordable than in the case with other Western European Countries and we do not have a so called Driving TAX, which is a standard additional cost in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and UK. “The driving taxes” in Poland, are included in the price of the fuel already. However, part of our highways have toll roads. Also, the structure of polish highways are less advanced than in the case of our Western Europe neighbours. If you would like to read more about the transport in my blog, you can go through my articles listed below:
- Public transport in Poland
- Cost of buying and having a car in Poland.
- Driving License in Poland for a Foreigner.
- Car accidents in Poland – what do you need to know?
Utilities aka. Bills
|Bills for 85m2 Apartment||1,026.14 zł||633.33 zł||723.70 zł||744.49 zł||515.43 zł||827.33 zł||641.89 zł|
The first and the most important thing is related with the winters. The coldest period in Poland, results with higher energy consumption, than in other countries located closer to the Tropic of Cancer. You can count it on the base of the thermal insulation and the type of a building in which you live (apartment or house) as well as the size of it. And again, if you would like read more about the bills for utilities in Poland, just click on one the subjects listed below:
Clothing and Leisure cost in Poland
|Sports and Leisure||Germany||Hungary||Italy||Poland||Spain||UK||USA|
|Fitness Club, per month||138.93 zł||138.83 zł||209.58 zł||110.06 zł||169.74 zł||164.00 zł||143.27 zł|
|Cinema, Internatonal premiere||50.22 zł||23.32 zł||38.81 zł||25.00 zł||36.52 zł||53.58 zł||46.45 zł|
|Clothing and Shoes||Germany||Hungary||Italy||Poland||Spain||UK||USA|
|Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)||347.31 zł||246.62 zł||345.95 zł||380.94 zł||319.22 zł||311.40 zł||170.02 zł|
|Running Shoes (Mid-Range)||358.59 zł||293.45 zł||365.69 zł||350.12 zł||310.63 zł||333.31 zł||294.96 zł|
|Men Leather Business Shoes||484.94 zł||333.50 zł||493.90 zł||493.82 zł||390.83 zł||327.76 zł||373.24 zł|
The price for the ticket to the cinema in Poland, oscillates around 25 zł. That is true. However, a popcorn and cola cost you another 25 zł. As we talk about the clothes, I also agree. Poland is one of the most expensive ones, as we talk about popular brands and clothes from abroad. As a result, a majority of polish people do their shopping in local shops or on the market squares. And we do have a lot of a domestic brands worthy of your attention. I am pretty sure, that you will find something for yourself as well.
Childcare cost in Poland
|1,485.92 zł||1,084.14 zł||2,023.50 zł||1,007.61 zł||1,648.91 zł||5,015.13 zł||3,620.41 zł|
|54,792.10 zł||25,333.87 zł||47,990.27 zł||31,808.79 zł||33,287.25 zł||70,207.13 zł||60,034.02 zł|
One the most important indicators for future parents. Private Kindergarten is a price per month and in case of International Primary School, per year. However, the public educational system for children from early preschool period, through primary school, secondary school with daily studies at the end, are paid by the government. I can’t say, that it is “for free”, since “for free” does not exist. But, it is paid from the contributions of every single citizen’s tax. On the other hand, private kindergarten, private school and private international schools are always paid separately. I need to mention here, that the education of Polish Engineers or Doctors who graduated in Poland are recognised all over the world. This is solid proof, that confirms the quality of the Polish public educational system. You can read more about it in my article, which I dedicated the subject to Educational system in Poland.
Real Estate – Cost of Renting and Buying in Poland
|Rent Per Month||Germany||Hungary||Italy||Poland||Spain||UK||USA|
|1 bedroom flat|
in city center
|3,353.60 zł||1,529.07 zł||2,637.36 zł||2,342.05 zł||2,941.04 zł||4,008.01 zł||5,153.79 zł|
|1 bedroom flat|
outside of center
|2,520.44 zł||1,180.45 zł||2,014.06 zł||1,820.23 zł||2,268.54 zł||3,287.66 zł||4,190.45 zł|
|3 bedrooms flat|
in city center
|6,355.31 zł||2,637.77 zł||4,558.80 zł||4,160.16 zł||4,621.65 zł||6,480.79 zł||8,384.76 zł|
|3 bedrooms flat|
outside of center
|4,734.87 zł||1,991.86 zł||3,345.92 zł||3,196.84 zł||3,420.91 zł||5,174.91 zł||6,793.17 zł|
|Buy Price per m2||Germany||Hungary||Italy||Poland||Spain||UK||USA|
in the city center
|23,769.16 zł||8,712.59 zł||14,223.35 zł||12,332.60 zł||13,431.35 zł||22,908.78 zł||13,829.75 zł|
of the center
|16,464.72 zł||5,968.58 zł||8,669.33 zł||8,232.08 zł||8,926.81 zł||16,267.59 zł||8,267.49 zł|
Buying, renting a house or an apartment in a good standard is still much cheaper in Poland than in the UK or Germany, but the differences between Italy and Spain are negligible. The real estate market in Poland gained a lot of momentum in the last few years, what hyped-up the prices of properties for level. Prices taken from August 2021. It is hard to say or predict, if the hype-balloon will explode, or simply keep increasing the prices. However, at this moment, COVID era combined with the rising inflation point the direction is slowly raising real estate prices.
Except the extensive guide about buying a house in Poland, available exclusively for the newsletter subscribers of my blog, I am also providing the step-by-step guide for renting an apartment in Poland.
Summary of Cost of living in Poland
Average Salary in Poland and “the catch”…
So, relatively cheap cost of living in Poland and good quality daily shopping. Good price of transport and no additional road taxes combined with a pretty low price of fuel compared to other countries in the Europe. Moreover, “free” public education and “free” public health system. You might ask yourself: “is he saying that Poland is a land of a milk and honey?” Hmm… Actually, there is a catch.
|Monthly – after tax||11,422.50 zł||3,383.79 zł||6,518.25 zł||3,504.49 zł||6,068.80 zł||10,518.73 zł||13,796.48 zł|
On the base of statistics from wynagrodzenia.pl, which is independent portal gathering and comparing salaries in Poland, over 70% of all adults earns less than 5000 zł net. Furthermore, 45% of all adults earns less than 3500 zł net. This is not much, taking into the consideration that a citizen of Poland with a salary equal to 3500 zł net, can afford only 625 liters of petrol, but our European neighbours from Italy or Spain with average salary around 6000 zł net, can afford more than 1000 liters of the same fuel.
It is the same with any kind of a cost. If we will compare the percentage of the average salary in Poland (3500 net), which a regular Polish citizen needs to spend on the average price of renting an apartment, we get the values which are lethal to a majority of Polish wallets. Therefore, the solid income (for Polish possibilities), on the base of 7000 zł net for single or around 15000 zł net per 4x person family combined with the wise management of their expenses, gives you the possibilities to pay the rent/mortgage, save/invest money, do the shopping on a good level and have a little fun.
“(…) but, I know a guy who lives in Poland for much less!”
And this is correct. Given cost of living in Poland and average salary in Poland, are the best estimate on the base of data from August 2021. In other words, we can find an apartment with one bedroom in city center for much less than 2,342.05 zł. However, lower value means lower standard as well. We can buy the food for less, but the same rule applies. This requires a compromise.
The apartment price-to-earnings ratio is one of the main factors, which blocks young Polish people from leaving their parents home. As Business insider claims, 44% of Poles aged 25-34 live with their parents, since they can’t afford renting nor buying a property on their own.
In addition – Poland is not a Tax Heaven. Polish Personal Income Tax (click here to read more) and VAT are oscillating around the highest ones in Europe. Therefore, knowing the local tax law well or having an experienced tax advisor is a MUST!
That would be all, as we talk about the living costs, salary and their comparison to other countries. I hope that this article brought you more light on this subject. Do you have any thoughts you wish to share? Do it via the comment box below.
Would you like to read more publications about “Everyday life” on my blog? Click Here You may also get to main “Table of content“, which is available here. Do you want to stay in touch and get updates about new posts? Subscribe now.
Special thanks to Eamon Gosney, who has helped with proofreading of this article.