Street view in the old centre of Krakow, Poland.


Between East and West

Nestled in the heart of Central Europe, Poland has long been a silent sentinel, often overshadowed by its more boisterous western neighbors. Yet, for the ever-growing tribe of digital nomads, the secret is slowly unfurling: Poland is not just a place on a map, but a vibrant locale of history, modernity, and unexpected charm.

From the ancient, cobbled pathways of Kraków, where legends seem to spring from every brick, to the gleaming modern skyscrapers of Warsaw that stand testament to resilience and rebirth, the contrasts are as breathtaking as they are numerous. And for the modern wanderer with a trusty laptop and an appetite for adventures and pierogi, Poland beckons with a sly wink and a knowing smile.

Imagine sipping on a rich hot chocolate (the kind that feels like melted bars of heaven) in a cozy café in Wrocław, as you chip away at your work, occasionally distracted by the whimsical dwarves the city is fond of. Or, consider the prospect of hiking the lush trails of the Tatra Mountains on a work-free weekend, feeling every bit the conquering hero.

But, like every place that’s more layered than a mille-feuille, Poland demands patience. The winter, for one, doesn’t just knock; it barges in, sometimes overstaying its welcome. But then, the sheer delight of a Polish Christmas market, illuminated by a million twinkling lights and warmed by mugs of mulled wine, makes you forgive and embrace the cold.

The digital age is inadvertently helping us rediscover gems that have been right under our noses, or in this case, a short flight away. And for the digital nomad, Poland is emerging not just as a backdrop, but as a character in their nomadic narrative, as compelling and intricate as any tale.

I. The basics

Cost of living

Poland offers an appealing blend of European charm without the hefty price tags of its western counterparts. Here’s a breakdown of primary living costs:

  1. Accommodation: In the heart of major cities, a single-bedroom apartment’s rent typically falls between $550 to $950 per month. Move away from these central zones, and the rent can be as affordable as $410 to $680.
  2. Utilities: For a standard 85m^2 apartment, monthly utilities including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage hover around $140 to $190.
  3. Food: For those spontaneous dine-out moments, an inexpensive restaurant meal might cost you about $10 to $15. Plan a date night or a business dinner? A three-course meal for two at a respectable place can range from $25 to $45. And for those home-cooked delicacies, monthly grocery expenses generally lie between $170 to $280.
  4. Transportation: Regular commuters can expect monthly local transport passes to be around $30 to $45. If you’re behind the wheel, petrol might cost you approximately $1.40 to $1.65 per liter.

Connectivity and infrastructure

Poland stands robustly equipped in the digital age. The country’s major urban centers, such as Warsaw, Kraków, and Wrocław, have seen extensive modernization in recent years. High-speed internet is not just a luxury but a standard, with many urban areas boasting averages of 20-40 Mbps, though there are places where speeds can surge even beyond that. This makes the nation particularly appealing to digital nomads and remote workers. Public transportation is another feather in Poland’s cap. The vast network of buses, trams, and trains are not only efficient but also punctual, connecting not just the metropolitan hubs but also the scenic outskirts. Roads are well-maintained, and airports offer a wide range of connections, both domestic and international.


Poland’s healthcare system is a blend of quality and accessibility. The public healthcare, underpinned by a universally applicable health insurance system, ensures that basic medical services are within everyone’s reach. Hospitals and clinics are equipped with modern facilities, and many of the medical professionals often have training from abroad, ensuring a high standard of care.

While the public healthcare system is commendable, there can be occasional wait times for certain procedures. This has given rise to a parallel private healthcare sector, which many expats and digital nomads prefer. Not only does it often offer faster services, but the amenities in private hospitals and clinics can sometimes be superior to their public counterparts. It’s common for digital nomads to consider health insurance plans that provide coverage in private institutions.


When it comes to safety, Poland often finds itself on the brighter side of global statistics. The country enjoys a low rate of violent crimes. Of course, like any popular tourist destination, areas with a high influx of tourists might see occasional petty crimes like pickpocketing or scams. However, these are not overwhelmingly common and with a touch of vigilance, easily avoidable. Nightlife in cities like Warsaw or Kraków is vibrant and generally safe, though it’s always advisable to be aware of one’s surroundings, especially if navigating less-frequented areas during odd hours. Additionally, the local police are approachable and efficient, and there are dedicated helplines and services for tourists in need of assistance.

II. Living in Poland as a digital nomad


Poland experiences a temperate continental climate. Here’s a seasonal breakdown:

Spring (March to May): A period of rejuvenation, temperatures usually range from 45°F (7°C) in March to around 68°F (20°C) in May.

Summer (June to August): Warm and sometimes humid, especially in July. Expect temperatures between 70°F (21°C) and 85°F (29°C), though on rare heatwave days, it might cross 90°F (32°C).

Autumn (September to November): A picturesque season with foliage, temperatures decrease from around 65°F (18°C) in September to near 40°F (4°C) in November.

Winter (December to February): Cold and snowy, especially in the eastern parts. Temperatures fluctuate between 20°F (-6°C) and 35°F (2°C), though it can dip lower during cold snaps.


Poland’s landscapes paint a picture of diversity and unspoiled beauty. The northern coast caresses the Baltic Sea, offering golden sandy beaches like those in Sopot, a popular spot for sunbathing and windsurfing. Inland, the Masurian Lake District is a mosaic of over 2,000 lakes interconnected by rivers and canals. It’s an idyllic retreat for sailing, fishing, or simply gazing at serene waters.

But it’s not just about water and flat terrains. The Carpathian Mountains in the south, including the Tatra range, stand tall and majestic, providing opportunities for hiking, skiing, and even spelunking in some mesmerizing caves. The Bieszczady Mountains, with their rolling hills and vast meadows, are perfect for long, meditative walks and spotting wild animals like lynxes and wolves.

Poland’s national parks, such as the Białowieża National Park, protect precious bits of Europe’s primeval forest and its iconic resident, the European bison. Wetlands and marshes, like those in the Biebrza National Park, are a haven for birdwatchers, with species ranging from storks to eagles.


Living in Poland provides a harmonious blend of traditional and modern. Cities are bustling with activity, with contemporary art galleries, theaters, and music festivals. Poland’s rich history is evident in its well-preserved medieval towns and numerous castles.

As for daily life, Poles are known for their hospitality. Family is a cornerstone, and many traditions, like the elaborate Christmas Eve dinner (Wigilia), revolve around familial gatherings. Sunday family lunches are almost a ritual, featuring traditional delicacies and lively conversations. The cuisine is hearty and flavorful, with dishes like pierogi (dumplings), bigos (hunter’s stew), and żurek (sour rye soup). Don’t miss out on tasting the local vodka and attending a traditional Polish feast!

Nightlife in Poland, especially in cities like Warsaw, Kraków, and Wrocław, is vibrant and diverse. Expect everything from underground clubs playing electronic music to chic rooftop bars with panoramic views. For a quieter evening, there are numerous jazz clubs and cozy cafes where you can work late into the night or enjoy a performance.


Poland’s culture and history are woven from threads of Slavic traditions, royal legacies, wartime resilience, and modern-day creativity. Historically, Poland has seen the rise and fall of kingdoms, been partitioned multiple times, and weathered invasions, yet its indomitable spirit always shone through.

The country’s past is vividly alive in its architectural marvels. Kraków’s Wawel Castle, the former royal residence, tells tales of monarchs and dragons. Warsaw, the capital, showcases a fascinating juxtaposition: its meticulously reconstructed Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site razed during WWII, stands proudly near the Palace of Culture and Science, a Soviet-era skyscraper. Then, there’s the haunting Auschwitz-Birkenau, a poignant reminder of the Holocaust’s horrors.

Culturally, Poland has gifted the world figures like Frédéric Chopin and Marie Curie. Its traditions, like the colorful Easter celebrations, the summer solstice festival ‘Wianki’, or the All Saints’ Day candlelit cemeteries, offer deep insights into its soul.

Local attractions are aplenty. In Toruń, one can wander through the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus or relish the famed gingerbread. Gdańsk, with its amber markets and maritime legacy, is another gem. While in Wrocław, the fun lies in spotting the numerous ‘dwarf’ statues scattered throughout the city.


The official language of Poland is Polish, a Slavic language known for its challenging pronunciation and unique sounds. While the younger generation and professionals, especially in larger cities, tend to be proficient in English, it’s less commonly spoken by older Poles in rural areas. German and Russian are also understood by some, given the country’s history.

For digital nomads, the good news is that Poland has seen an increasing emphasis on English education. Many establishments, especially in the touristy areas, have English-speaking staff, and menus, signboards, or information brochures often come in English translations. Plus, Poles are generally patient and appreciative when foreigners attempt to speak their language, even if it’s just a simple “Dzień dobry” (Good day) or “Dziękuję” (Thank you).

That said, learning basic Polish phrases or using translation apps can be beneficial, especially when venturing into off-the-beaten-path locales. It not only aids in smoother communication but also deepens the connection with the local community.

III. Cities to consider


View of the skyline in Warsaw, Poland.
Photo by Iwona Castiello d’Antonio

Warsaw has a storied past marked by resilience and rejuvenation. Its skyline is a juxtaposition of historical landmarks, such as the Royal Castle, Wilanów Palace, and modern skyscrapers. As Poland’s capital and largest city, Warsaw is a thriving economic, cultural, and educational hub, making it an attractive base for digital nomads. Numerous co-working spaces and reliable internet connectivity cater to the needs of remote workers. For leisure, the city offers theaters, museums, parks, and the picturesque Vistula riverbanks, ensuring a well-rounded urban experience.


Street view in the old centre of Krakow, Poland.
Photo by Uladzislau Petrushkevich

Kraków stands as a testament to Poland’s rich cultural heritage. The city’s heart, the UNESCO-listed Old Town, teems with medieval architecture, vibrant squares, and historic churches. The nearby Wawel Castle is an emblematic symbol of Poland’s monarchy days. Kraków’s Jewish heritage shines through in the Kazimierz district, while its close proximity to attractions like the Wieliczka Salt Mine adds to its allure. With numerous events, from music festivals to art exhibitions, Kraków pulsates with life year-round.


Aerial view of Wroclaw, Poland during sunset.
Photo by Anastasia Saldatava

Nestled on the Oder River, Wrocław is a city of islands, bridges, and beautiful marketplaces. Its Market Square, lined with colorful townhouses, and Gothic-style landmarks like Wrocław Cathedral are visual delights. The city is also home to the famous “Wrocław’s dwarves” – tiny bronze statues scattered throughout the urban space, each telling a unique story. With its numerous universities, Wrocław has a dynamic, youthful vibe, making it an enticing location for digital nomads seeking a mix of history and modernity.


View of the Gdansk waterfront and promenade at dusk, Poland.
Photo by Krzysztof Maksimiuk

Gdańsk’s maritime legacy is evident in its dockyards, old cranes, and beautiful waterfront promenade. As part of the Tri-City (alongside Gdynia and Sopot), Gdańsk is rich in Gothic and Hanseatic architecture. The city’s Long Market, flanked by ornate buildings, is a hive of activity and history. Gdańsk also boasts a strong cultural calendar, from its annual St. Dominic’s Fair to maritime festivals. With its coastal location, the city offers a blend of urban charm and seaside relaxation.


Street view in the old centre of Poznan, Poland.
Photo by Teodor Skrebnev

Poznań marries its historical significance with a burgeoning modern spirit. The city’s Old Market Square, dominated by the Renaissance-style Town Hall, is a lively spot filled with cafes, boutiques, and historical landmarks. Ostrow Tumski, or Cathedral Island, harks back to Poland’s early days with its ancient churches and cobbled streets. Poznań is also gaining recognition as a business and IT hub, attracting tech-savvy professionals and startups, making it a compelling choice for digital nomads.


View overlooking a main street in Lodz, Poland.
Photo by rozentuzjazmowany photography

Łódź, once a major textile industry powerhouse, is reinventing itself as a center for arts, culture, and modern business. Old factories have been repurposed into chic lofts, innovative co-working spaces, and cultural centers. Piotrkowska Street, one of the longest commercial thoroughfares in Europe, offers a mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Łódź’s central position in Poland and its ongoing revitalization projects position it as an emerging hotspot for remote workers and creatives alike.

IV. Off the beaten track

Białowieża Forest

A lone bison stands watch in Bialowieza National Park in Poland.
Photo by Krzysztof Chrostowski

Spanning the border between Poland and Belarus, the Białowieża Forest is a relic of the vast primeval forests that once sprawled across the European Lowlands. It’s renowned for housing the European bison, a creature once on the brink of extinction but now making a resurgence within this protected expanse. Visitors to the forest can embark on guided tours, exploring both the lush woodlands and the fascinating Białowieża village, known for its distinctive wooden architecture and deep-rooted folklore.

Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains

View of the traditional houses amongst the mountains in Zakopane, Poland.
Photo by Mateusz Bajdak

Nestled in the heart of the Tatra Mountains, Zakopane offers a unique blend of highland culture and spectacular landscapes. Its wooden villas, constructed in the distinct Zakopane Style, dot the town. Morskie Oko, a breathtaking glacial lake, is just a hike away. The town also thrives as a center for Goral culture, with numerous festivals celebrating their music, dance, and traditions.


View of Lublin old town, Poland.
Photo by Maksym Harbar

Lublin, often overshadowed by Poland’s more prominent cities, is a historical gem. The Old Town brims with Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and the Lublin Castle stands as a testament to the city’s medieval significance. Additionally, the Grodzka Gate, once a pathway leading to the Jewish quarter, now serves as a poignant memorial and a testament to Lublin’s rich, albeit sometimes tragic, history.

Słowiński National Park

View of the dunes in Slowinski National Park, Poland.
Photo by Wieckowicz

A unique coastal wonder, the Słowiński National Park is famed for its “wandering” sand dunes. These dunes, shaped by the Baltic winds, can move up to 10 meters annually. Beyond the sands, the park features lush forests and serene lakes, offering diverse landscapes for nature enthusiasts. The Łebsko Lake, the park’s largest, is a haven for birdwatchers, with many rare species making their appearance.

Karpacz and the Karkonosze Mountains

View of the mountains around Karpacz, Poland.
Photo by Eugene Aikimov

Karpacz, snugly settled in the Karkonosze Mountains’ embrace, is more than just a picturesque mountain town. It’s a gateway to the Karkonosze National Park, a biodiverse realm with intriguing rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and alpine meadows. The Wang Church, a Norwegian stave church relocated to Karpacz in the 19th century, is an architectural delight and offers an unexpected slice of Scandinavian heritage in the Polish highlands.

Kazimierz Dolny

Aerial view of Kazimierz Dolny.
Photo by Damian Wyroslak

Kazimierz Dolny, with its serene Vistula river setting, is an artistic soul’s sanctuary. Beyond its Renaissance town square and the historical granaries that line the riverbanks, the town has long been a muse for painters and poets. Its status as an artists’ retreat is cemented by the numerous galleries and art festivals. The Three Crosses Hill, overlooking the town, provides a panoramic view of the river, making it a popular spot for both contemplation and inspiration.

Exploring these locations offers travelers a chance to connect with Poland’s nuanced history, culture, and unparalleled natural beauty, all while sidestepping the usual tourist trails.

As of my last update in January 2022, Poland, like many EU countries, doesn’t have a dedicated “digital nomad visa.” However, there are several visa and residency options that may be relevant for digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers.

Types of visas available for remote workers

1. Schengen Visa (Type C)

This short-stay visa allows travel throughout the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. It’s suitable for tourists, business visits, or short-term work. It’s not intended for long-term stays or permanent work, but digital nomads from outside the Schengen Area often use it to start their journey.

2. National Visa (Type D)

This visa is for those intending to stay in Poland for longer than 90 days. It can be granted for a variety of purposes, including work, studies, and family reunification. For remote workers or freelancers, obtaining a work visa would typically require a job offer or establishing a business entity in Poland.

3. Temporary Residence Permit

If a digital nomad plans to stay in Poland for longer periods, they might consider applying for a temporary residence permit based on various grounds, such as starting a business, family ties, or studying. This permit can be granted for up to three years but requires meeting specific criteria and presenting a valid reason for the prolonged stay.

Application process and necessary documentation

  1. Application Form: Complete the visa application form. For a national visa or residence permit, specific forms cater to the purpose of your stay.
  2. Passport and Photos: A valid passport with at least two blank visa pages. Include recent biometric photos, conforming to visa photo requirements.
  3. Travel Medical Insurance: Proof of travel medical insurance covering the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen Area.
  4. Proof of Accommodation: A document confirming your place of stay in Poland, such as a hotel reservation, rental agreement, or invitation letter.
  5. Financial Means: Proof that you can sustain yourself financially during your stay. This can be bank statements, payslips, or other financial documents.
  6. Purpose of Stay: Depending on the type of visa, you might need to provide documents that justify your stay’s purpose, such as a work contract, business registration, or invitation letter.
  7. Visa Fee: The visa application usually involves a fee, which varies depending on the type and duration of the visa.
  8. Other Documents: Depending on the purpose of your visit and the type of visa, additional documents may be required. Always check the latest requirements from the nearest Polish consulate or embassy.

Please note that while these general guidelines provide an overview of the visa and legal requirements, policies can change. It’s essential to consult the latest information from official Polish government sources or a legal expert specializing in immigration before making any decisions.

VI. Tips for a smooth landing in Poland 

Finding accommodation

  1. Online Platforms: Websites like,, and are popular for long-term rentals. For shorter stays, consider Airbnb or, which often feature apartments in city centers.
  2. Local Real Estate Agents: Especially helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the language or local customs. They can streamline the rental process and ensure all legalities are covered.
  3. Shared Housing: Websites like Pepe Housing or Erasmusu cater to students and young professionals, offering shared flats or rooms, a good option if you’re keen on socializing and networking.

Setting up local bank accounts and financial considerations

  1. Required Documentation: Typically, to open a bank account in Poland, you’ll need your passport, a residence permit or visa, and sometimes proof of address (like a utility bill or rental agreement).
  2. Popular Banks: Some of the prominent banks in Poland are PKO Bank Polski, mBank, ING, and Millennium. They offer modern online banking services, often in English.
  3. Mobile Banking: Mobile payment and banking apps like BLIK are popular in Poland, making transactions seamless.
  4. Currency: The official currency is the Polish złoty (PLN). While Euros are accepted in some places, especially near borders, it’s advisable to use złoty for daily expenses.
  1. Public Transportation: Cities like Warsaw, Kraków, and Poznań boast efficient public transport networks, including buses, trams, and in Warsaw’s case, a metro system. Purchase tickets from kiosks, machines, or sometimes onboard.
  2. Ride-Sharing and Taxis: Apps like Bolt and Uber operate in major cities. If you prefer traditional taxis, look for the ones with clear company markings and use a meter.
  3. Biking: Many Polish cities are becoming more bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing systems like Veturilo in Warsaw.

Adapting to local customs and cultural nuances

  1. Greeting: It’s customary to greet with a handshake. Close friends and family might greet with three kisses on alternating cheeks.
  2. Punctuality: Poles value punctuality. It’s polite to be on time, especially for formal occasions or business meetings.
  3. Dining Etiquette: When invited to someone’s home, bring a small gift such as flowers, chocolates, or wine. Remember, always wait for the host to say “smacznego” (enjoy your meal) before you start eating.
  4. Polish Names: Don’t be surprised if you find Polish names a tad challenging initially. It’s a gesture of respect to try and pronounce them correctly, and Poles appreciate the effort.
  5. Language: While younger Poles usually speak English, especially in larger cities, learning basic Polish phrases can be both fun and beneficial. It’s a great way to connect with locals and shows respect for their culture.

VII. In summary


  1. Affordable living: Poland offers a significantly lower cost of living compared to many Western European countries, without compromising on quality.
  2. Rich culture and history: With its historic cities, castles, and landmarks, Poland is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts.
  3. Modern infrastructure: Major cities like Warsaw, Kraków, and Wrocław are equipped with modern amenities and co-working spaces catering to digital nomads.
  4. Vibrant urban life: Poland boasts a lively urban scene with numerous cafes, restaurants, and nightlife options.
  5. Natural beauty: From the Tatra Mountains in the south to the Baltic Sea in the north, Poland offers diverse landscapes perfect for weekend getaways.
  6. Safety: Poland ranks as one of the safer countries in Europe, with low crime rates in most areas.
  7. Central location in Europe: Its central location allows for easy travel to other European destinations.
  8. Warm summers: While winters can be cold, Poland enjoys warm summers, especially in the western and southern parts.
  9. Growing English proficiency: Younger generations are increasingly fluent in English, easing communication for those who don’t speak Polish.


  1. Challenging winter weather: Winters can be cold, with snowfall common, especially in the eastern and southern parts.
  2. Language barrier: While younger people often speak English, it might be harder to communicate with the older generation in more remote areas.
  3. Bureaucracy: Setting up certain services, like bank accounts or mobile plans, might involve navigating Polish bureaucracy, which can sometimes be time-consuming.
  4. Lesser known to digital nomads: While growing in popularity, Poland is not as established as some other digital nomad hubs, meaning fewer networking opportunities.
  5. Shorter daylight hours in winter: Daylight can be considerably shorter during winter months, which might affect one’s mood or work routine.

In the grand tableau of Europe, Poland nestles with a charm reminiscent of an overlooked chapter from a well-loved travel tome. For the digital drifter, this land unfurls much like a surprising anecdote that gets better with every telling. Beneath the shadow of its monumental history, modern cities like Warsaw and Kraków buzz with dynamic co-working spaces, as efficient as they are affordable. And yet, just as one marvels at the swift internet speeds, one might find oneself momentarily thwarted by a well-intentioned but complex bout of Polish bureaucracy.

Wander beyond these urban confines, and the lush vistas of the Tatra Mountains beckon, a balm for the soul but occasionally a test for the Wi-Fi-dependent. While the younger Poles glide effortlessly between Polish and English, venturing deeper into the heartlands might see one playing a delightful game of charades with the charmingly reticent older generation.

To wrap it up, Poland offers the digital nomad an enchanting blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences. It’s a place where the challenges are but footnotes to a richer, fuller narrative, a story waiting to be lived and retold.

A youth jumping into the waters of the Tu Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa.


Fa'a Samoa

Akagera National Park, Rwanda.


Land of a thousand hills

You May Also Like