The good and bad things about living in Wroclaw

written by Maciek Bogdanski

Wroclaw, a city located in western Poland, has been gaining popularity as an expat destination in recent years. With its vibrant cultural scene, historic architecture, and affordable cost of living, Wroclaw has become an attractive place to live. However, like any city, Wroclaw has its pros and cons. In this article, we will discuss the good and bad things about living in Wroclaw.

Pros of Living in Wroclaw

Affordable Cost of Living

One of the most significant advantages of living in Wroclaw is the affordable cost of living. Compared to other European cities, the cost of living in Wroclaw is relatively low, which makes it an attractive destination for students, young professionals, and families. Accommodation, groceries, and dining out are affordable, and you can enjoy a good quality of life on a budget. Living in Wroclaw is about 50% cheaper than living in Berlin, and about 30% cheaper than in Madrid.

Vibrant Cultural Scene

Wroclaw is a cultural hub, with a diverse range of events and festivals throughout the year. From music and art exhibitions to theatre performances and film screenings, there is always something happening in the city. Additionally, Wroclaw has a thriving nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Of course, this can’t compare to Berlin, but when we take other Polish cities into consideration, Wroclaw is one of the best.

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Historic Architecture

Wroclaw’s architecture is a fusion of different styles, reflecting its complex history. The city has a beautiful medieval old town, with Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance buildings. Additionally, Wroclaw has a strong modernist architecture scene, with notable examples of post-war functionalism and brutalism.

International Community

Wroclaw is a welcoming and inclusive city, with a growing international community. Many expats and students from all over the world come to Wroclaw to live, work and study, which makes it a diverse and multicultural place. Wroclaw advertise itself as “Miasto Spotkan”, which means “The city of encounters”, as it is located near the borders with Czechia and Germany and all the three countries have influenced the city in the past.

GoodJob Opportunities

Being a growing city, Wroclaw has almost unlimited job opportunities compared to other major European cities. The job market is competitive, but the unemployment rate is less than 2%.

Green Spaces

Despite being a large city, Wroclaw has many green spaces, such as parks, gardens, and forests. The city is known for its beautiful parks, including Szczytnicki Park, which houses the Japanese Garden and the Centennial Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Interesting surroundings

If you like hiking in the mountains, it’s a great location – mountains are just 1-1,5 hour away. If you love skiing, Zieleniec, one of the most popular skiing resorts in Poland, is only 1 hour by car.

Good Public Transportation

Wroclaw has an efficient and affordable public transportation system, including buses and trams. The network is extensive, and it covers the entire city, making it easy to get around without a car. Also, a monthly ticket cost 110 PLN which is a reasonable price.

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Accessible Location

Wroclaw is located in the heart of Europe, with easy access to other major European cities. The city has a well-connected airport and train station, making it easy to travel domestically and internationally. Berlin and Prague are easily available for weekend trips.

Cons of Living in Wroclaw

Language Barrier

One of the biggest challenges of living in Wroclaw is the language barrier. Polish is the official language, and although many younger people speak English, it can still be challenging to communicate in daily life. Learning Polish is essential for those who want to integrate fully into the local culture and make friends with the locals.

Harsh Winters

Wroclaw experiences harsh winters, with temperatures dropping below freezing and heavy snowfall. The city can become challenging to navigate during the winter months, and it’s essential to have warm clothing and appropriate footwear.

Crowded Streets

Wroclaw’s popularity as a tourist and expat destination has resulted in crowded streets, particularly in the city center. During peak hours, traffic can be congested, and it can take longer to get around the city.

Limited English-Language Services

Although many younger people in Wroclaw speak English, it can still be challenging to find English-language services, particularly outside the city center. This can be an issue when dealing with bureaucracy or healthcare.

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Poor Air Quality

Wroclaw experiences poor air quality, particularly during the winter months when smog is prevalent. It’s essential to be aware of air quality levels and take necessary precautions, such as wearing a mask, particularly if you have respiratory issues.

Bureaucratic Challenges

Dealing with bureaucracy in Poland can be challenging, particularly if you don’t speak Polish. It can be time-consuming and frustrating to navigate the system, particularly when it comes to obtaining visas or residency permits.

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3 comments

Weni June 27, 2023 - 1:19 pm

Wow, it’s a bit scary to live in Wrocław after reading the cons of this city… ????????????

Reply
John August 12, 2023 - 8:42 pm

Visited 3 times, my son was a student there for one year, from the UK.
nothing to be worried about, don’t miss visiting Wroclaw.

Reply
Michel Korwin Kostecki July 13, 2023 - 11:28 pm

It is one of the most attractive cities in Poland. Life is good in Wroclaw. You have less snow in Wroclaw than in Warsaw but Wroclaw is more humid. There are about 150000 students living in that city that and it gives that place a particularly joyful atmosphere. You find there quality concerts of classic music, art exhibitions and galleries.

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