Warsaw is a friendly and charming city, and as the cultural and financial heart of Poland, it has plenty for expats to see and do. The city’s museums offer culture buffs plenty to talk about, while active expats will enjoy the many green spaces and sports fields, and those wanting to hit the town after work won’t be short on options.
Eating out in Warsaw
The restaurant scene in Warsaw has transformed since the fall of communism, and expats can now enjoy a variety of cuisine, from Michelin-star restaurants to casual cafés. Poznańska Street is one of the liveliest streets of the central Śródmieście district; it has some excellent restaurants and is popular with both locals and expats. The milk bars (bary mleczne) dotted around the city centre offer a variety of cheap but tasty eats. A relic of the Communist era, they are the best option if looking for a taste of real Polish food.
Shopping in Warsaw
From modern shopping malls to vintage boutiques and traditional markets, Warsaw has something for every shopper. Mokotowska Street, in the city centre, offers an interesting collection of local boutiques and jewellery stores. For those looking for high-end luxuries, the Vitkac centre in the heart of the city offers the biggest names in global fashions, while the Arkadia mall, north of the city, offers five stories of retail space where expats are sure to find anything from clothing to electronics, books and homeware. Warsaw also has an eclectic mix of markets, where expats can find anything from antiques to organic food products.
Nightlife and entertainment in Warsaw
Warsaw is known for its vibrant nightlife and expats will find everything from chic restaurants, to rooftop bars and cool clubs. Popular spots for a night out include Plac Zbawiciela, as well as Parkingowa, Nowogrodzka and Mazowiecka Streets.
Art and culture lovers will also enjoy the many museums and cultural centres in the city, and fans of classical music can look forward to regular performances at the Polish National Opera, the National Theatre Warsaw and the Chamber Opera.
►For info on popular expat neighbourhoods, see Areas and Suburbs in Warsaw
"I love the Warsaw public transport, the parks, the bike trails and the river. It's a very liveable city, although long winters can play havoc with morale."
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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