Living costs in Cracow - how much would you pay to live in this city?

Living costs in Cracow - how much would you pay to live in this city? itMatch Blog Post

Published: May 28, 2024 by Małgorzata Maciążka

Living costs in Cracow - how much would you pay to live in this city?

As a specialized IT recruitment agency, from time to time we help our clients relocate the specialists they employ. This happens, for example, because of a person's unique competencies or their special importance to the organization. Talking to managers and employees of the companies we serve, we noticed that one of the most important aspects raised before the move is the cost of living in Krakow - a new city where the candidate has to settle down very quickly. For this reason, we decided to prepare this post to give you a little insight into this topic.

Who usually chooses to be relocated?

Professionals from both Poland and other countries choose to relocate, but it is worth noting that migrations often take place within the European Union. Although statistically there are many more relocations within a single country, we have the impression that if we, as a recruitment agency, support a candidate in moving, we are dealing with a person previously living outside Poland. This is, of course, due to cultural, legal and economic differences - moving from Gdansk to Krakow will be much easier than from Madrid to Wroclaw. In a year, we deal with an average of 10-20 relocations of people coming from abroad, and this trend became widespread after the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

The cost of renting an apartment in Krakow

Probably the biggest regular expense of any resident of Krakow (as well as any other city), is rent or mortgage installment. For those working here on an annual or several-year contract, a long-term rent is by far the more popular solution - by default, concluded for, say, one or two years, with the possibility of extension for further months.

After analyzing the offers available on advertising portals, we can estimate the average cost of renting a studio apartment in Krakow at 2500-3500 PLN (580-810 Euro) per month, while in the case of a two-room apartment, the expenses rise to more than 3200-4500 PLN (740-1040 Euro). It's also worth remembering that when renting, you'll need to pay a deposit, which typically amounts to one month's rent.

Let's also remember that cheaper doesn't always mean better. There are many apartments available on advertising portals in a very low standard of finish, which have not been renovated for many years. In addition, Krakow is a relatively large city and any savings on rental costs will not compensate you for the much longer commute to the office or the discomfort caused by the occurrence of many minor defects. In terms of convenience, you might want to think about living in Śródmieście (downtown), Pogórze or Krowodrze.

Costs of eating in Cracow

In the case of food, determining the cost is much more difficult - depending on your preferences, monthly expenses can oscillate around 600-700 PLN (140-165 euros), as well as around 1500 or even 2 thousand PLN (350-500 euros). Safely counting, it will be around 1000 PLN. Such an amount will allow you to comfortably cook varied, tasty, and healthy meals on your own.

However, if you are looking for convenience and want the maximum variety of meals, you can also choose ready-made box catering. Depending on your preferences, the monthly cost of such a service should be between 1,700 and 2,300 zlotys. Keep in mind, however, that some employers offer benefits in the form of discounts or completely free catering, so there's a chance you'll be able to clearly reduce your food costs.

Cost of transportation in Cracow

When it comes to transportation in Krakow, we strongly suggest using public means of transport. Buses and trams in our city are, as a rule, punctual, and their network of connections is very dense, so you will get where you want to go without too much trouble. A monthly ticket is also inexpensive - without any discounts, it costs just 160 zlotys (35 euros) per month and entitles you to get around the entire city. If you start settling your taxes in Krakow, you'll pay 50% less for your rides!

The alternative to buses is, of course, the private car. For obvious reasons, we can't give you the cost of maintaining your vehicle, but we can give you an opinion on the price of parking and the volume of traffic, which makes it very difficult to get around smoothly during rush hours. In addition to traffic jams, you have to reckon with the cost of parking - depending on the zone in which your office is located, you will pay between 4 and 6 zlotys per hour. Of course, many employers offer free parking, but this is not the rule and it is worth paying attention to this aspect as early as possible. Offices are scattered practically all over Krakow, but with a fairly high concentration in the city center, Podgórze and Zabłocie.

We've also been noticing the rise in popularity of transportation apps such as Uber, Bolt, and Freenow. Very interestingly, in many cases, this is cheaper than having your own car, although if you're looking to save money, it's definitely better to opt for getting around by bus, especially for a while.

Entertainment and sports

Compared to other European cities, the cost of living in Krakow is still attractive also thanks to affordable ticket and season pass prices.

Offered as an employee benefit, the Multisport card gives you great opportunities in Krakow - hundreds of activities are available, such as dance, yoga, and martial arts courses, many gyms, swimming pools, ice rinks tennis courts, and saunas. Whatever your tastes, you are sure to find a place in Krakow that allows you to pursue your sports interests.Whatever your tastes, you're sure to find a place in Krakow that allows you to pursue your sports interests. If your company doesn't offer sports cards, however, there will be a fee, although most gym passes cost between 90 and 160 zlotys (20-35 euros), and a single entry to the swimming pool is 30 to 50 zlotys (7-12 euros) for 1.5 hours. If you live an active life, you'll spend about 250-500 zlotys (60-120 euros) per month on sports, although it can be much more.

Also worth mentioning is the social life - Krakow has a sizable number of clubs, pubs and restaurants, so you certainly won't complain of boredom. In most locations, a drink or cocktail costs about 30-40 zlotys (7-9 euros), while you'll pay 40-60 zlotys (9-14 euros) for a meal in a restaurant. If you like to spend Friday nights in the city center, you should prepare between 100 and 200 zlotys (20-40 euros) for this purpose.

Is living in Krakow expensive?

Compared to Polish cities, prices in Krakow are certainly not low - after all, we're talking from a large agglomeration that is often visited for both business and tourism. On the other hand, Cracow will be much cheaper than many other tech hubs - living in Berlin is more expensive by an average of 52.3%, in Tallinn by 10.7%, while in the case of Milan, the bills will be higher by up to 65.3%. Keep in mind, however, that all our calculations are based on statistics, and this means that reality may mildly surprise you, both positively and negatively.

Statistically speaking, the monthly cost of living for one person in Krakow is 3060.2 PLN, not including the cost of renting or buying property. When we take this expense into account as well, our budget should increase to 5700-6600 PLN. In the case of a family of four, we estimate the monthly cost of living in Cracow, including housing expenses, at PLN 14500-17500. For those working in the tech industry, their earnings allow them to live very comfortably in our city. The average programmer's paycheck, especially on a B2B contract, should be enough to support themselves without any problems and regularly put aside money for the future.

How can we help a relocated person?

Employers can support relocated employees primarily on two levels - mentally and financially. In the case of the former, it is excellent to appoint a person to advise your new co-worker in the first weeks after the move - cultural differences, local regulations or even different organization of public transportation can cause some difficulties at first.

Financial support is also key - most often, a relocation bonus is a one-time payment of funds to pay for several months of rent, although sometimes such a benefit is divided into tranches. Contrary to appearances, it is rare for bonuses to last for the entire duration of the contract; simply a sufficiently high salary is considered compensation for the inconvenience of moving to another country.