Why Live in Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw is the fourth largest city in Poland and the capital of the Lower Silesia region. Prices here are lower than in Warsaw, the capital of the country, as well as Kraków, the most touristic Polish city, but at the same time, they are higher than in the smaller towns. In our opinion, the cost for a month to live here perfectly reflects the average cost of living in Poland.
The currency in Poland is “złoty”. As of July 2019, one złoty (1 PLN) equals to 3.7 USD.
We recommend visiting Wroclaw from April to October when the weather is pleasant. There are a lot of outdoor events and festivals happening from spring to autumn, parks, and gardens are blooming, and a beach bars along the Odra rivers are opened. If you are a fan of nightlife, you will be more than entertained in Wroclaw. There is a lot of fantastic club, pubs, discos where you can spend a night dancing and drink together with locals and tourists. And don’t forget about sightseeing! There are fantastic museums and exhibitions in Wroclaw as well as historic buildings, including one UNESCO pearl – Centennial Hall.
What Does it Cost For a Month to Live in Wroclaw
Cost of Accommodation in Wroclaw
Wrocław is called a “student city” due to a large number of universities, and it is one of the most youthful cities in Poland. Every summer, young people have a rough time looking for a room or flat to rent for the upcoming academic year. The demand is huge every year and grows, and lessees are aware of it and continuously increase the prices. Rates depend on the neighborhood you want to stay in as well as the type of the apartment. You may find a single room in the flat shared with others for 200-270$. Price includes water, Wi-Fi, electricity, and municipal fees. Prices for a 1-bedroom apartment (called “kawalerka”) varies between 330-450$. 2-bedroom apartments and bigger you may find for a minimum 600$. The most expensive areas in Wroclaw are “Stare Miasto”, “Śródmieście” and “Biskupin”. Of course, the farther away from the center, the cheaper.
There are many inexpensive hostels in the center of the city. The cheapest private twin room in the hostel close to the center costs 20$ per night. A standard 3-star hotel or apartment would charge upwards of 40$. For a night in a 5-star luxurious hotel, you will pay no less than 130$.
Wroclaw, Poland Transportations Costs
The most convenient and the cheapest transportation option, excluding walking, is to use public transport (“MPK”). You can choose between trams, buses, and commuter trains. There are over twenty tram lines, and buses serve around fifty routes. They operate between 4 AM and midnight. During the night there are night buses, which unfortunately are not very frequent.
The cost of a single ticket is 0.9$. If you plan to stay here for a month, the most economical option is to buy the monthly pass for 24$ valid for all the buses, trams and trains within the city. You can purchase the tickets in the ticket machines near the tram/bus stops. It is quite expensive to rent a car for a month in Wroclaw (the minimum price is 675$ for 30 days), so we don’t recommend it. Unfortunately, fuel prices getting higher and higher. Currently, you can buy 1 liter of gasoline for 1.4$. If the weather allows, rent a bike or electric scooter. The first 20 minutes of bike rental is free, then you pay 0.5$ for a ride up to 60 minutes and above that 1$ per every hour.
We have two cheap taxi companies in the city (taxi Ryba and Wicar taxi), but we normally use Uber, especially after midnight, when there is not a lot of public transport options available. Avoid the taxis waiting for the customer in front of the airport at the train station. There are twice more expensive than Uber!
Cost of Food and Eating Out in Wroclaw
Compared to other European cities, the cost of living in Wroclaw is favorably impacted by cheap groceries.
If you buy house brands in the discount stores, the cost of groceries should start from 90$ per person for a month. The cheapest supermarkets are Biedronka and Lidl. The other common ones are Aldi, Auchan, Kaufland, and Carrefour. In Wroclaw, there are a lot of small convenient shops called “Żabka”. They are basically on every street in the city, and you can grab a coffee and hot-dog there, as well as buy some basic groceries. The prices there are a bit higher than in the supermarkets.
The number of shopping malls in Wroclaw is relatively high comparing to the other Polish cities. Most of them are located in the center of Wroclaw. Don’t forget that on Sunday all the shops and malls are closed.
Restaurants in Wroclaw, Poland
Prices in restaurants and cafes are comparable with the other cities in Poland. You can have a decent breakfast in Wrocław from 4$. Delicious Italian pizza or kebab prices start from 5$. Coffee is also very affordable, and usually, it costs between 1.5$-3$. The most expensive is the coffee from Starbucks or Costa Coffee.
Prices for a meal in the restaurants in the city center really depend on the type of place and cuisine you choose. You can have a two-course dinner for 5$ as well as 15$ on average.
If you want to eat VERY cheap, visit one of the milk bar (for example “Miś”). You can have a tasty Polish lunch for less than 3$. Polish milk bars are considered a communist legacy but if you want to have a quick, inexpensive lunch prepared in the way of polish grandmas did it, this is the best choice. Their signature dish is “pierogi” (dumplings). We recommend you to try it!
The most popular places for tourists to try polish food are bars and pubs (“Przedwojenna”, “Ambasada”, “Setka”) where for 1.3$ you can have a local snack (sausage, herring, pickles, etc.) and for another 1.3$ shot of vodka or small beer.
Last but not least, fast-food chains! You can find McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Subway anywhere in the city. A single cheeseburger in McDonald’s or “2 for U” set in KFC costs no more than 1.3$.
Utilities Cost in Wroclaw (water, electric, internet, mobile phone, cable, etc.).
Prices of basic utilities (water and gas) are always included in the cost of a flat rental, so you don’t need to bother with it. Keep in mind that tap water is potable in Wrocław! Electricity should cost you around 25$ (estimated cost for a couple living in the 50m2 flat), the price for high-speed internet is approximately 10$. If you plan to spend in Poland a month, we recommend buying a SIM card – for 8$ (operator Plus) you have 10 GB of internet and unlimited calls and SMS.
Cost of Medical Care in Wroclaw
In case you need private medical care, the doctor’s appointment should cost you around 40-50$.
For a monthly gym membership, you will pay around 15$-20$.
Entertainment Costs in Wroclaw, Poland
Don’t hesitate to go to the cinema in Wroclaw as most of the foreign movies are subtitled. Every multiplex in Wroclaw has its own “discount days”. For example, on Tuesday, in Helios cinema, you will pay only 4$ for the ticket instead of the usual 6.5$. In the Nowe Horyzonty cinema, there is a cycle called “Polish Cinema for beginners.” All films are shown with English subtitles.
If you are a theatre-goer, visit the Polski Theatre. Some of the performances are translated into English. Many visitors are attracted to world-famous music festivals: Vratislavia Cantans, Jazztopad, Musica Polonica Nova and Leo Festival offered by National Music Forum. The tickets cost upwards of 7$.
Most of the tourists enjoy a city view from the tallest building in Wroclaw – Sky Tower. The entrance costs less than 5$, and the view is worth the price. One of the famous tourist attractions in Wrocław is Zoo, the oldest in the country, with its Africarium, which is the biggest attraction of the zoo. The admission costs 13.5$.
A night out in the city center (called “Rynek”) should not strain your pocket either — a half-liter beer in the pub costs around 3$, shot of vodka around 2$. For bigger drinks, you will pay upwards of 5$.
Summary of the Cost of Living in Wroclaw
Although we genuinely adore our city, there is one huge disadvantage you should be aware of before coming to Wroclaw. During winter months, the air is very polluted here, and there are days when it is challenging to take a deep breath without coughing. It is the reason why we recommend visiting the city during spring, summer, and autumn when air pollution is significantly lower.
As you can see, the cost of living in Wroclaw is very affordable. As per our rough calculation, 800 USD should be more than enough to comfortably spend a month in this city (provided that you rent a room in a shared flat or 1-bedroom flat).
About the Authors
This cost of living in Wroclaw post is from Marta and Milosz, from BACKPACKERS.WRO. They enjoy backpacking and minimalistic travels. They have traveled to 72 countries and are hungry for more. Starting this year (2019), they travel together with their little son.
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Thank you so much for your comprehensive summary on living in Wroclaw