The best places to live in Warsaw
Warsaw has witnessed rapid development in recent decades but has still managed to maintain a unique charm in its eclectic architecture that sees ancient buildings occupying space between shiny, modern skyscrapers.
The Old Town is the historic core, which forms the city centre, and from there, Warsaw is spread out on either side of the Vistula River into 18 districts. Each of these districts has its own unique appeal, and expats are sure to find an area or suburb of Warsaw that suits their needs and budget.
There are a few factors to consider when deciding on a neighbourhood to call home in Warsaw. The distance to one’s place of work, children's schools and access to public transport are the three most important considerations. Other factors include one’s budget, lifestyle, and proximity to good schools if moving with children.
Below are some of the most popular districts of Warsaw for expats.
Expat-friendly suburbs of Warsaw
Located on the west bank of the Vistula River, Mokotów is one of the most desirable suburbs for expats in Warsaw. It's conveniently located close to the city centre and has excellent public transport links. Residents will also have access to great entertainment, restaurants, parks and libraries, so it’s a family-friendly neighbourhood. Housing in Mokotów is diverse, ranging from large pre-war villas to Soviet-era and modern apartment blocks.
Home to many museums, galleries and parliamentary buildings, Śródmieście is seen as the cultural and political heart of Warsaw. It’s a lively area where residents can enjoy a lively nightlife thanks to the restaurants, cafés, bars and clubs in the area. But with all the buzz comes noise, and expats might grow tired of the constant traffic and activity. Housing in the area, which consists mostly of apartments, can also be quite steep.
This is one of the most exclusive suburbs of Warsaw and arguably the most popular area for expats, especially those from the diplomatic community. It’s very family-friendly, with many parks and public gardens. Nevertheless, housing here is among the most expensive in Warsaw and expats will have to contend with a long commute to the city centre.
Żoliborz is a charming neighbourhood that’s popular with both locals and expats. It’s one of Warsaw’s greenest areas, and boasts a variety of restaurants and cafés, and a great weekend food market. Plac Wilsona, one of Warsaw’s most important transport hubs, and perhaps its most beautiful metro station, is located in Żoliborz, so expats will be able to commute easily. Accommodation in Żoliborz consists mostly of pre-war houses.
Ursynów is an up-and-coming residential area of Warsaw. Home to the International American School of Warsaw, and with excellent transport links to the city centre, it’s a popular area for young professionals and families. Fitness enthusiasts will also enjoy living in Ursynów as there are many fitness clubs, parks and football fields in the neighbourhood.
►Learn more about finding a home in Accommodation in Warsaw
"A lot of expats live in the downtown or old city areas; it really depends on what you're looking for. Powiśle and Żoliborz are nice areas, and if you have children or just want more space, expect to live a bit further out."
Learn more about expat life in Warsaw by reading our interview with Australian expat Rose Moore.
Are you an expat living in Warsaw?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Warsaw. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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