When you think about Poland, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? A country in Eastern Europe? Post-Soviet buildings and gray cities? Low-quality services and sad people? Well, you surely don’t expect to read this!
We think Poland is a completely underrated country and there are a lot of stereotypes to talk about. When we talk to our tenants or investors arriving in Poland, we see their first impressions. And most of the cases it’s just: “Wow! Is it really Poland?” Yes, it is. If you want to understand the real Poland, keep on reading.
1. Poland is the fastest-growing economy in Europe
The communism era in Poland officially ended in 1989, just over 30 years ago. Over the past thirty years, we have come a long (but fast) way from a socialist, centrally controlled country to a super vibrant one with developing cities and a growing economy. And those 30 years were a real revolution!
The early nineties were a time when we were just starting as a capitalist economy, the first private companies were being established. Many of them were learning how to do business. Fortunately, we’re really hard-working and quick-learners.
The standard of living in Poland has increased and now is really at the European level. Do you need some data? Here you go: In the 30 years after the regime change, between 1989 and 2018, Poland’s GDP grew by more than 800% percent, which is the best result in Europe. Poland is currently the 6th largest economy in Europe.
Poland has also been the country with the lowest percentage of unemployment for years. In mid-2023, it was 2.5%, while the EU average was 6%. This is the second-best result in Europe.
2. Poland is one of the greatest European technological hubs
This is, of course, directly related to the economy, but our economy is not just industry and factories. Not anymore.
In 2004, Poland joined the European Union. For Poles, this meant open borders and the opportunity to work in Western countries. For foreign investors, the direction was the opposite. Many multinational companies began to open their manufacturing sites here, and Poland became the “factory of Europe,” mainly because of cheaper labor costs.
However, the last decade has seen development and investment mostly in the innovations and technology sectors. According to statistics, in Poland, The Software Development industry is valued at eight point eight billion euros and is ranked 7th in Europe.
Poland is also known for very skilled specialists. We have great programmers and engineers who are valued around the world. Also, many people who left for the West for work have returned to Poland with language skills and experience. This potential is seen by big foreign companies that are now opening their branches in Poland (such as Google, which opened its big hub in Warsaw in two thousand twenty-two).
Poland is also the birthplace of numerous internationally known startups, like Brainly, Booksy, and DocPlanner. The tech-driven delivery company, InPost, was also born in Poland. And these are just some of the examples.
3. Polish real estate is changing for the better
What do we mean? All these new buildings and skyscrapers that appeared in our cities. During communism, large, gray estates were built to meet the housing needs of millions of working Poles. For decades, the gray, big residential buildings were way different from Western properties. What do our cities look like now?
Polish cities invest a lot in new business and commercial spaces to attract skilled professionals and fast-growing companies. There are a lot of new, modern residential units too.
In 2022, a record number of residential units were built in Poland. A total of nearly 240,000 apartments and houses were delivered to the market, of which more than 60% were for investment purposes.
We can see this city landscape revolution also in Katowice. You just have to come and see it.
4. Poland is cashless and digital-friendly
Living in Poland is really convenient. You can buy anything you need, you can eat anything you fancy, you can easily commute, and travel. Also, you can do almost everything online.
We’ve got an official state app where we have our ID card, driver’s license, and all other documents so that you don’t have to carry your wallet anymore. You can even check doctor’s prescriptions or sick leave in the app. Public transport and train tickets can be bought online or in several mobile apps too.
The pandemic has also changed the way we work. Many companies have moved to a remote or hybrid model, which offers great opportunities for flexibility and relocation. Fortunately, access to high-speed Wi-Fi is widespread, and the service is very inexpensive, so you can work remotely where and when you want. It’s a great place for all digital nomads, too.
And going back to shopping – we love e-commerce. More than 75% of Poles buy online on a regular basis. The deliveries are fast and widespread across the entire country, and you can get your parcel the next or even the same day. Also, we’re almost cashless, as we pay with a card, phone, or watch. The payment terminals are available even at the local grocery market.
5. Poland is one of the safest countries in the world
Friends from abroad ask us from time to time: what is the situation there? Is it safe in your country? After the outbreak of war in Ukraine, people had concerns about whether to travel to Poland.
And how is it really? We live as usual. We are a member of NATO, so we feel safe. Poland itself is investing in its own military development. It’s been said that we’re a military superpower in Europe.
But let’s keep the war topic separate. How is daily life in Poland?
Well… Poland is one of the safest countries in the world to live in. According to the Global Peace Index, Poland is ranked 29th out of over 160 countries in the world in terms of safety. Just to compare: the USA is ranked 121st…
Like everywhere in the world, we recommend just being prudent when in a big crowd, taking care of your belongings on public transport, and avoiding late-night walks in unknown places. But we’d say it’s universal advice, no matter where you live.
6. Foreigners love Poland
Poland is a real gem. Everyone who comes to our country is really surprised by how beautiful, diverse, and rich in history and traditions it is. Still, it’s also very affordable. Poland is the proud winner of the prestigious two thousand twenty-three USA TODAY travel award contest for the Best International Destinations on a Budget! Check the link to the contest here.
Kraków is year after year among the TOP European cities to visit according to many rankings, with millions of tourists annually.
But Poland is not only a destination for short-term tourists but also for expats looking for long-term possibilities. At the end of December 2022, more than 1 million foreigners were performing work in Poland.
A wide group of foreigners have the right to take up employment in our country. Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein (within the European Economic Area), and Switzerland have free access to the Polish labor market – they are entitled to work under the same conditions as apply to Polish citizens.
If you remember what we’ve already said about our growing economy, the technological sector, and international companies investing in Poland, it’s easy to consider Poland the next place to relocate.
7. Polish people are welcoming (and speak languages)
Polish people are super hospitable, especially if they invite you to their homes. We cherish our traditions, we take care of our family members and friends. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.
Yes, the Polish language sucks… It’s what makes living in Poland a little bit challenging. But we really do our best to communicate. Can you live in Poland without knowing Polish? Yes, you can. If you work in an international company, you’ll mostly communicate in English.
And we Poles are doing better every time. According to the English Proficiency Index, Poland is ranked 16th out of 100 countries in the world where people speak English best. 75% of Poles up to the age of 50 in bigger cities speak English well enough to communicate. And even if someone cannot speak English, they’ll do their best to communicate somehow. Of course, we always recommend learning some words and phrases to make friends. Even if it’s just “Dzień dobry”, “Dziękuję” or “Jesteś ładna” 🙂 We’ll love you for that.
So… What do you think? Did we convince you to give Poland a try? If you’re thinking about coming for a new adventure, remember: Poland is always a good idea! Or maybe long-term relocation? Check our apartment offer and see what possibilities await you. We’ll be happy to welcome you home.