Category: Expat Information

Category: Expat Information

Groups, Pages & Links

There are lots of good resources out there providing quality information to expats. Below, we have listed our favourites.

Brits in Poland – is a very useful resource and they have both a website and a Facebook page. They provide information about all sorts of things but are very focussed on the challenges facing expats post-Brexit.

Brits in Poland (a different version) – This is a Facebook group for Brits living in Poland. You’ll find some interesting posts here dealing with topical and everyday things.

InterNations – there’s a lot of information available here. They also organise various events.

The First News – an excellent website and Facebook page, which aims to bring readers entertaining, engaging and informative news, features and reportage from across Poland and beyond.

Kids in the City – Family life in Poland – kidsinthecity.pl is a platform for families looking for inspirations on how to spend family time in Warsaw and Poland. They also have a Facebook page.

Food from home Warsaw

Whether it's Marmite, pork sausages, steak & kidney pie, fish and chips or something else, most expats will have a craving for, 'food from home' at some point during their stay here in Warsaw.

Don't worry! It is possible to find most things, it was easier prior to Brexit for sure, but if you look in the right places, you will sometimes find what you're looking for. On this page, we help you to track down those goodies from home that you can't live without.

The easiest way to get your fix is to find a bar or restaurant that will make it for you. There’s not a great deal of choice in Warsaw, but Legends Bar on Emilii Plater 25 will help you. They have a tradition British menu and serve all-day English breakfast, steak and kidney pie complete with mushy peas and onion gravy, fish and chips and various other pub favourites.

If you prefer to hunt for your fix and make it at home, then there’s a few options.

The British Shop in Warsaw, at Emilii Plater 12 has everything that you need; however it really is not cheap. But what’s the price of a fix, right? The good news is, you don’t have to go to the shop, they have an online store.

Many expats do their shopping at Dealz, there’s a few of them scattered around the city and they often have a good selection of British food, although the selection has dwindled somewhat since Brexit. You might be lucky though and go on a good day. You can see where their shops are and check out what they sell on their website.

There’s plenty of Lidl stores in the city, and they often stock British food. If you’re really lucky, on a good day, they have proper bacon.

Kuchnie Świata in Złote Tarasy is a good place to find chocolates such as traditional British Easter eggs, but is on the expensive side.

General Information for Expats

The purpose of this section of Poland Expat Information is to cover topics of a general nature, the subjects which tend to be asked by new expats arriving in the country. We will add and update this page on a regular basis.

Money Transfers:

One of the questions, which pops up time and time again, is what is the best way to transfer money to Poland? We’ve asked around within the Expat community and these are the recommendations:

The most popular method by far was Wise (formerly TransferWise).

Transfer money or spend abroad 6x cheaper than old-school banks, and receive money around the world for free. Always with the real exchange rate, no hidden fees.

Residency, Passports, Driving Licence, Healthcare & Working:

We have provided information on these subjects here.

Dental Services in Poland:

Please visit our sister website, ‘Dentists in Poland’ for information about dental services and finding a dentist.

Meeting people

When you first come to Poland, unless you live in a city where it’s easy to find other expats or new friends, it can be quite lonely. A good way to find friends or like-minded people is to search online. Our Love Poland platform has been specifically designed so that you can search for friends who have the same interests and live in the same area as yourself. It’s free to join.

Cooking experiences

If you’re in Warsaw and want to learn how to cook pierogi properly and enjoy a few Polish liqueurs at the same time? Check out these local cooking experiences.

Living in Poland

Living in Poland

Within this section of Poland Expat Information, we specifically look at UK nationals living in or moving to Poland and look at residency, passports & travel, driving, healthcare & working.

Residency

If you’re here already or have just arrived, the first step is to make sure that you have correctly registered for residency in Poland.

If you were legally resident in Poland before 1 January 2021, you should obtain a new residence document from your local Voivodeship Office. This document will evidence your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You can find further information about this here.

There’s some good information about the new residency application forms including links to the forms that you need to complete here.

UK nationals not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement coming to Poland from 1 January 2021 will be covered by general rules concerning entry and stay of third country nationals – Read more.

If you need additional support to complete your residency application, read the guidance on the UK Nationals Support Fund.

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence document, as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your document, carry your certificate of application.

If you have not yet applied for a residence document, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Poland. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

You can find further information about required documents on the Polish Border Guards website (scroll to the bottom of the page for the English language version) – Go to page.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Poland, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Poland.

Driving in Poland

UK licences are only valid in Poland for the first 6 months of residence. After 6 months, you must exchange your driving licence for a Polish licence. You do not need to retake a driving or theory test to exchange your licence.

Healthcare

Poland has an insurance-based healthcare system. If you’re not insured, you may be charged for using state healthcare services.

You can read information about healthcare for UK nationals living in Poland here.

Working in Poland

If you were legally resident in Poland before 1 January 2021, you have the right to work, as long as you remain legally resident.

You can find further information here.

Warsaw Expat Pubs & Bars

Usually, one of the first things the newly arrived do is seek out the expat bars in Warsaw. It's a good way to make friends, learn the ropes from those who have lived and worked in the city for a while, enjoy some food from home and socialise.

The hospitality industry in Warsaw is very competitive. Rates are not cheap, especially around the city’s hotspots, so it’s not unusual to see bars open with a flourish of advertising activity one month – to then close down just a few months later.

If you talk to any of the British, Irish or American expats who have lived in Warsaw for a while, they will tell you outrageous yarns of legendary expat bars of the past such as Bar Below, Bradley’s Bar and Tortilla Factory. Those that are even older will reminisce about the hotel bars; which in fact were once the only safe place for expats to get a drink 30 years ago.

But, that’s all irrelevant, then was then and now is now!

Nowadays, there really isn’t very much on offer in regards to a true, traditional expat bar with the one exception of Legends Bar at Emilii Plater 25, just a short stumble from the Marriot Hotel.

If an expat bar is where expats go to drink on a regular basis, then Legends ticks the box. The owners are Beata who is Polish and Graham who is from Liverpool, he’s an Evertonian who likes his football – reason number two why it’s an expat bar – you can watch the footie there.

Reason number 3 would be that they serve British grub such as steak and kidney pie with mashed potatoes and onion gravy, they also do a full English breakfast, fish & chips and other pub favourites.

Legends is a favourite with expats and locals alike, it’s not very big and can get crowded if there’s a good match on the telly or on quiz night, which happens on a Friday once every month.

There’s usually at least one British draught beer on offer in addition to Guinness and local lagers. The only drinks they don’t serve are cocktails, if you want Sex on the Beach – there’s plenty of cocktail bars a short walk away.

We are happy to report that yesterday (15th May 2021) saw Legends re-open for outside dining and drinking complete with an updated menu.

If you're in Warsaw and fancy a pint and a bite to eat, then Legends is highly recommended.