Cost of living in Warsaw as a Student
We get a lot of questions from people thinking about moving to the wonderful city of Warsaw, Poland. One of the most common questions is ‘what is the cost of living in Warsaw?’, well this is a broad question that depends on your living style. Are you the beer at the beach type of person, or the champagne spraying party animal? Do you have child? Is a car a necessity to you? Well we beginning to write a collection of articles to explain the cost of living in Warsaw for different people with different requirements. This article is focused on students that might be visiting Warsaw for one to three years
Who is this article aimed at?
You’ll be a single student, happy to share a flat with others, plan to party and socialize two or three times a week, will have course requirements such as paying for books and you plan to travel via public transport. Saving money will be important to you as you might plan to travel in the summer or return home over the holidays.
All the numbers below are rough estimations and subject to change over time. Please take these numbers as a guide line. This article was written and last updated October 2015.
Rent and Accommodation
This will most likely be your biggest monthly cost and when thinking about what is the cost of living in Warsaw this should be your first consideration. As a student you won’t likely have the monthly income of someone with a full time job so it is a good idea to share with others to keep the costs down.
Where should I look to find rooms in Warsaw? There are some great online portals to help you find a room in Warsaw. You’ll find almost all of the posts are written in Polish. If you don’t speak Polish then did you know you can translate the whole website easily with the Google Chrome browser? You simply right click on the page and select ‘Translate to English’ and you’ll be surprised how good the translation can be.
Gumtree.pl – Gumtree is one of the most popular online directories for not only rooms, but whole flats, bikes, cars and much more. Gumtree has an option to search only for a room, you can select your monthly amount, search for rooms without any agency fee and different locations. You can learn more about the different neighbourhoods in Warsaw here
What is the average monthly cost of a room and how big is it?
The short answer: 650zl to 1100zl a month, between 7 m2 to 16+ m2 (square meters)
650zl = €150 | $170 | £112 | ₽11,194
750zl = €176 | $197 | £130 | ₽12,914
850zl = €200 | $223 | £148 | ₽14,636
950zl = €223 | $250 | £165 | ₽16,357
The long answer:
We all know that the more you are willing to spend the bigger and better space you will get. You will find rooms for less than 650zl a month, but as a student you’ll most likely want to be near the city or near your school. It is highly unlikely you’ll find anything under 650zl that is near the city. A good budget would be between 700-800zl and if you’d like extra features such as a double bed, a balcony or in the very centre then expect your budget to be more closer to 900-1000zl.
What can I expect for 700zl a month?
Here is an example of what you could expect:
For 700zl you would be sharing with two other people, about 10 minutes away from the city centre via tram and be close to one of the local universities. This price would include bills and internet.
What can I expect for 950zl a month?
Here is an example of what you could expect:
You’ll get almost double the space, maybe a balcony depending on the location, a double bed and about 10 minutes away from the city center via tram.
Always remember that you’ll have to pay a refundable deposit before moving in. This is usually one months rent, but can vary depending on the landlord.
Monthly Rent cost: 850zl
Food and Drink
Your two unavoidable monthly costs when thinking of the cost of living in Warsaw will be food and rent. In this section we will discuss your expected monthly spending on food and drink. This will not cover eating out or drinking in bars. We will go over that in ‘socialising’. This section will cover eating and drinking inside your home.
Here is a very rough estimation of things you’ll buy weekly (prices taken from tesco.pl):
Five bread rolls: 2.5zl
Five Apples: 2.5zl
Five Bananas: 3zl
Two frozen pizzas: 11zl
Cheese Slices: 4zl
10 Eggs: 4zl
Fresh chicken breast: 15zl
Pasta Sauce: 5zl
Two packets of instant noodles: 4zl
This does not include extras like chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks, but you can add an extra 20zl on the total if this is something you enjoy.
Four Beers: 12zl
Bottle of Vodka: 30zl
Bottle of Wine: 25zl
So let’s just run an average and say you drink one bottle of wine a weekend and spend 60zl a week on food:
Monthly food cost: 340zl
If you decide to save on your rent and live outside the city center then travel will become apart of your everyday life.
All trams and buses use the same ticket system and you can buy from ticket machines around the city and the latest trams have ticket machines on-board, but beware that the old trams don’t.
The tram tickets are based on time and you can travel as much as you like within that time frame. The tickets currently available are:
20 mins: 3.40zl
75 mins: 4.40zl
90 mins: 7zl
24 hour unlimited travel: 15zl
Group ticket for up to five people: 40zl
If you’re planning to travel almost everyday then it is much cheaper to buy a monthly ticket or 90 day ticket
30 day ticket: 112zl
90 day ticket: 280zl
If you have a valid Polish student I.D then you can receive a 50% discount on all above prices, but only a Polish student I.D are accepted. If you are found to have a student ticket, and are carrying an international student I.D you could receive a fine
There are many different companies in Warsaw and they vary in price. Unless you know Polish and the area expect to be taken the slightly longer route, “but, hey I am student! I need to save money”. Don’t worry, I got you.
Have you ever heard of uber? It is a taxi app that allows you to order a car through your smartphone. It is linked with google maps, so if you don’t speak Polish the driver will already know your location and destination through the magic of GPS. Plus you can see the car driving towards you on the app and you can follow the route via your phone so you know you’re not getting taken the longest route possible. Uber is also about 30% cheaper than a standard taxi.
Want to try it out? With this special offer code you can get 25zl to try your first ride for free to see if you like it or not. Simply download the app and when signing up it will ask you for a code:
Or you can sign up using this link: uber in Warsaw
You can buy a bike on Gumtree for about 400-500zl, but there is also an amazing bike rental system around the city which is almost free if your trips take less than 20 mins each.
These bikes are a huge money saver if you live near the city. They run 24/7 so you cycle home and avoid a taxi, as long as you have not drank too much.
You can sign up on the Veturilo website. You’ll need a Polish mobile phone number.
So, let’s say you take a monthly tram ticket and take three taxis a month @ 20zl each:
Monthly travel cost: 170zl
Apart of moving to study is to develop yourself, meet new people and experience new cultures and you can’t do all of this from your bedroom. Socialising is a major part of being a student, so here is a break down of the cost of drinking, clubbing and visiting restaurants:
Club Entrance Cost
This is a tough question to answer as there are many different clubs, in many different locations that have different prices on different days and different prices for different sexes. To keep this simple I am going to focus on the most popular clubs (around Mazowiecka street) and the below prices are for a Saturday night:
Drinking at bars and clubs
Again, this is a tough one to simply answer, as bars over the river and away from all the clubs are a lot cheaper than the ones next to the ‘super clubs’. All these prices are estimations and subject to change:
Vodka and coke: 20zl
After speaking with a few students, they said they spend about 50zl on drinks plus entrance.
Eating at a restaurant
There are many different types of restaurants to enjoy in Warsaw. It is best to avoid the ‘tourist’ areas if you’re on a budget.
Burger and fries: 30zl
Let’s so you go clubbing once a weekend (70zl) and eat out with friends twice a month:
Monthly social cost: 340zl*
*This depends on the person, if you party three days a week then triple this total
Other Monthly Costs
There are other costs that might be unique to you such a Law books, science equipment and so on, that we can’t list it all here, but there are some standard things most of us will need:
Mobile phone sim (1GB of internet plus texts and calls): 20zl
Sanity towels: 12zl
Gym membership: 200zl
We won’t include these in the total, as they are subjective to you. You can add these costs to the total if they apply to you.
What is the answer to the cost of living in Warsaw?
The monthly cost of living in Warsaw: 1700zl*
*Please remember this is just a ‘ball park’ figure to help you guess what your cost of living in Warsaw might be. This number will change for everyone depending on where you want to live, how you want to socialise, what course requirements you need to buy and so on.
If you have any suggestions about how you can save money in Poland as a student, then please leave a comment below.