Are you a digital nomad and are you thinking about living in Krakow for its prices? Would you like to know why Krakow, the second most important city in Poland, is one of the best options to live as digital nomads? Then read until this interview the end.
Couple of digital nomads in Krakow, Poland
- Some history: We’re 37-year-old Laura, italian teacher and 34-year-old Emanuel, digital designer. I’m Italian, Emanuel is Italian-Argentinian.
- We met in Valencia, Spain. Since then we were both looking forward to going around and discover the world and to get to know different cultures. We chose Poland because Ema loves cold weather and snowboarding and also because we both really like history. In addition, it is a very cheap country and is in the center of Europe. Finally, we thought Poland was a good destination for our travel blog.
- We have lived there for about six months, we came up with the idea of spending a very different season than usual.
What are the procedures for living in Krakow?
Since we both have Italian passports, things were pretty simple. We know that a foreigner, in order to stay there, needs a job that grants him a visa. We work online so we didn’t have the need to look for a job. Renting a flat there is quite simple, they do not ask for a work contract for European Union citizens.
Do you need to learn Polish to live in Krakow?
The local language is literally impossible! We met many foreign people who have lived there for many years and still can’t speak the language very well. To work, what you need is English, not Polish. There are many multinational companies that ask for English and other languages such as Spanish, Italian, German, etc. In addition, many of these companies pay you an extra if you handle one more language. It is true that knowing some basic words such as greeting, apologizing and asking simple things can be really helpful in your everyday life. Far from the tourist areas, Poles don’t usually speak English and sometimes behave with you in a kinder way if you greet them in Polish.
Life in Krakow, Poland: gastronomy
Polish cuisine is very rich. There are a variety of tasty and different dishes to try and enjoy. Of course we miss a good Argentinian roast, but Krakow has many Italian restaurants where you can eat a pizza and Argentine shops where you can buy empanadas and yerba mate. In Poland you will have no difficulty getting used to its tasty food, which is somewhat heavy, but it’s perfect for the Polish cold.
And if you are a fan of Polish beers, I recommend you take the “Krakow beer tour”.
Cultural differences with locals
Cultural differences exist and are quite noticeable. Before arriving in the country we already heard that Poles, like the rest of the Eastern and Northern European countries, are less affective than at least the people of Spain, Italy and Argentina. We had two kinds of experiences. We found Poles who left the country, either by Erasmus or by work, and they really are affective like us. But we also met Poles who had never left the country, which are somewhat closed, and trust and affection is pretty unusual for them. We’re not generalizing, we’re just talking about our experience.
Another observation was that in the first few months supermarket employees did not greet us when we entered or left, until we started greeting them in Polish. That’s when they started giving us back our greetings. Of course, for us, not saying hello or not smiling, it’s almost a form of disrespect. But obviously we know that these are cultural differences.
Advantages of living in Krakow for a digital nomad
We work online and charge in euro. Because of that, Poland is very convenient for our economy. An average Polish salary is lower than in countries that have euros. But that’s balanced with the low prices of services and products of everyday life. Foreigners that live in Poland and have a good job told us that the standard of living you can have is higher than other EU countries. The problem we see is that with an average Polish salary it is difficult to travel and visit places in the rest of Europe, due to the difference in monetary exchange between the Zloty (the Polish currency) and the euro.
Living in Krakow: leisure and entertainment
We are very happy with the choice we made. Even though it is a slightly closed country speaking of human contact, the city is beautiful, there is history everywhere and always something interesting to see. In addition, the nature around it is spectacular. It’s a really cheap country and with a little amount you can afford to take off some cravings, such as skiing (32€) or renting a car (30€). We think that living in such different countries will always give you something and develop you as a person. We have made very good friends, super interesting experiences, and in last but not least, we were able to save a little as the prices are very affordable.
Tips and recommendations before moving to Krakow
We definitely recommend you to move here at least for a season! The city has a lot to offer and there are usually many job offers. What we advise you is to have a good level of English so that multinational companies can get interested in you. We advise you not to be afraid of anyone and anything. Krakow is one of the safest cities in Europe and we are sure that without the pandemic it could be a charming city. Unfortunately, because of the virus, we can’t enjoy it at full, but it’s worth staying there. Oh, if you’re interested in moving to Poland, keep in mind that winters are extremely cold, because if you don’t like low temperatures, you may no like this country.
Future projects and destinations
Our next project is to keep traveling as much as possible. We have the idea of returning soon to Valencia, the city that made us met. The plan is to continue traveling a little in Spain and Italy, work on our blog and help people to know some small corners of the world through our eyes. There are many dreams to build and achieve, we are thinking of organizing a small safe port in Valencia because we are totally in love with the city, the warmth of the people and the good weather, and from there move and try to travel always at least 6 months per year.
Then, if you are looking for a cheap place to live a season (whether as a digital nomad or not) keep Krakow in mind, a city with a lot of history.
If you want to know what it’s like to live in another Polish city (Warsaw) I suggest you to read THIS POST.
Interview conducted in April 2020 with @noparodeviajar.
I remind you that, if you found this interview helpful, you can show your support with a like or a comment. Thank you!