Moving to Warsaw
Located on the banks of the Vistula River, Warsaw is the cultural and economic capital of Poland. With the fitting motto of “Contemnit procellas” (It defies the storms), Warsaw has endured a turbulent history of invasions and occupations over the centuries, with the most devastating being the virtual decimation of the city by the Nazis during World War II.
Since the fall of communism in 1989, Warsaw has enjoyed periods of rapid development and transformation, with many modern skyscrapers overtaking the city’s skyline. Nevertheless, the city still displays its historic charm, with many of the ancient buildings that were destroyed during World War II also having been restored to their former splendour.
Although Warsaw is not a typical expat destination, it is gaining popularity and there are opportunities for foreigners, particularly in the IT, manufacturing and finance sectors. Teaching English is also a popular occupation for expats in Warsaw.
Expats can enjoy an active lifestyle in Warsaw, thanks to the city’s many parks and green spaces. The cost of living is another positive aspect of life in Warsaw, with the city ranking well below other European cities, such as Berlin, Rome and Paris, in international surveys. Warsaw also offers an efficient public transport system and expats will also have access to good quality healthcare, although this can be expensive and new arrivals should ensure they have good private health insurance.
Despite positive changes in Poland’s public education system, due to the language and bureaucratic obstacles, international schools are the preferred choice for expats living in Warsaw, and fortunately there are a number of these schools to choose from.
While a move to Warsaw may not be as lucrative as a posting to another European city, those who take the plunge will find themselves in an incredibly livable and vibrant city where they can enjoy a richly rewarding cultural experience.