Why Warsaw is an Underrated Destination
for Digital Nomads in Europe
Warsaw impressed us from the moment we arrived. When we booked our flights neither of us really knew what to expect. Victoria had been to Poland once before and liked Warsaw a lot, but that was almost 7 years ago.
Luckily enough, our ten days living as digital nomads in Warsaw turned out to be an incredible experience. Aside from the vegan food scene that's one of the best in the world, there was so much more to the Polish capital.
Warsaw is a modern and upcoming city that offers a comfortable yet still relatively low-cost European lifestyle. The city has a great cafe scene, trendy bars, a high standard and impressive efficiency, and some of the friendliest people we've encountered in Europe.
We found Warsaw to be one of the best digital nomad cities in Europe and a considerably underrated destination. Let’s get started on the hippest neighborhoods to stay in, cost of living, coworking spaces, and what to do.
Housing and Accommodation
Since we were only staying in Warsaw for 10 days we used Airbnb to find an apartment. We decided to stay around Nowy Swiat and couldn't have asked to stay in a better area, it really added to our experience in Warsaw.
We paid $60 a night to live in a newly renovated apartment with a full kitchen, a bathroom with heated floors, and a spacious living room with a balcony that stretched across the length of the building. However, we are sure that you can get a better deal if you stay longer and explore other rental outlets.
Cost of Living and Expenses
The prices in Warsaw are extremely affordable. Considering the fact that the standard of products we bought were similar to what’s offered in Scandinavia, it was actually pretty cheap. And the cost of living for the average person is definitely lower than in neighboring Germany.
Phones Plans and Sim Cards
Since June of this year, all the countries in the European Union have agreed not to charge extra for roaming. This means that you can use any European SIM card all over Europe without paying extra. We have been using a Swedish card and it's working well. If you need to buy a new SIM card in Warsaw we recommend that you contact a phone dealer. They can usually find the best deal for you.
Transportation in Warsaw
We ended up living central enough in Warsaw that everything we needed was within walking distance so we didn't use transportation much. However, there is a reliable transport system with buses, trams, and a metro that's quite cheap. If you’re planning on stay longer, you can get a discount card based on how long you will be in the city for.
A single fair cost between 3.40 and 4.40 zloty ($0.95-$1.20) depending on how many zones you will travel in, but with a discount card you get 50% off every fare.
Uber and Taxis
We used Uber whenever we needed to go anywhere that was further than we were willing to walk. It’s very cheap to take an Uber in Warsaw and you never have to wait more than a few minutes to get picked up. You can also take an Uber to and from the airport which is what we did.
Just remember that the Uber cars aren’t allowed at the arrivals area so they will come pick you up at departures area. Also, the Uber will have to pay extra if they stay for more than 3 minutes at the airport. So don’t order the car until you’re ready or pay the extra fee.
Taxis are also available everywhere in Warsaw, they can easily be hauled and use taximeters.
Coworking Spaces in Warsaw
There are several co-working spaces in the city with great reviews. If you're looking for a co-working space in Warsaw we recommend checking out the following:
Campus Warsaw is a coworking space created and run by Google. It's located in the Praga district and they offer exceptionally fast internet (not surprising!) and a comfortable workspace. They also offer events to support startups such as Startup Weekend and Campus Startup School.
SoBusy is a creative coworking space for entrepreneurs and digital nomads in Warsaw. They offer a range of different offices and meeting rooms in two different locations. The Żurawia Street 26 location is the original one located in an old traditional building with smaller rooms. The Poznańska Street 23 is a more modern location with lots of light, big windows, and an open-air office setup.
Best Areas to Live for Digital Nomads in Warsaw
Poznańska and Nowy Swiat
We rented an apartment right in between the very popular and vegan-friendly Poznańska Street and the lively Nowy Swiat Street.
It is a residential area where mostly locals live, located a two-minute walk to Lazienki Park. We couldn't have asked for a better location with everything we needed within walking distance. The area has a great selection of bars and restaurants that are open seven days a week, artisan coffee shops on every street corner, grocery stores, as well as 90% of the vegan scene in Warsaw. We highly recommend staying around here, and we'll easily stay in this district again when we return. Also, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to walk into the Old Town and you have the option of either the metro or tram to get you there even faster.
Praga is the area across the river from the city center. It used to be quite sketchy but has lately gone through some major updates and is now quite up and coming. Many of Warsaw's nightclubs are located here and it's recently gotten popular with digital nomads thanks to Google's coworking space Campus Warsaw.
Stare Miasto/Old Town
We would not recommend staying in or around Old Town since it’s expensive and always crowded. Old Town is the major attraction in Warsaw and the tourists flock in herds. It might be practical if you're coming for a day or two, but we promise you can get better value elsewhere.
Vegan Food in Warsaw
We got to enjoy some of the best vegan food we’ve ever had in Warsaw. The city has an incredible number of all-vegan restaurants and we did our best to try all of them. We’ve never been to a place where you can eat an amazing vegan burger, fantastic vegan sushi, classic Middle Eastern cuisine, homemade desserts, and authentic Polish food at all-vegan restaurants within a five-minute walk of each other. It was insane and we loved it!
We've written a detailed vegan Warsaw food guide and we recommend that you check it out for the best vegan restaurants.
Coffee and Alcohol
The booming cafe scene in Warsaw has created quite an impressive selection of well-made coffees. We especially enjoyed the oatmilk cappuccinos at Lokal Dela Krem. However, there are so many places that offer coffee with vegan milk in Warsaw - Nancy Lee, Petit Appetit, and Organic Coffee to mention a few. Prices range from 10-12 zloty ($2.80-$3.35).
You won't go thirsty in Warsaw. Every street has a bar and every shop has a large section dedicated to various local beers and vodkas. There is also a new emerging craft beer scene to boot. Alchohol is cheap and you can get a pint of beer out for 10 zloty ($2.80) and a shot of vodka for 7 zloty ($2). We checked out a bar called PiwPaw Beer Heaven that offers 100 beers and is open 24/7!
There are several grocery store chains scattered throughout the city. We visited a Carrefour that had a good selection of locally produced products and vegetables, imported goods, and staples like pasta, rice, and bread. They also had a small organic section as well as a handful of vegan milks and other plant-based products.
There is a corner store on every street in Warsaw where you can find a smaller selection of products. In general, they're more expensive but have everything you need for everyday cooking.
You'll find a few organic stores in the city but your best bet for organic products is at the BioBazaar every Wednesday and Saturday.
What to Do in Warsaw
Warsaw's picturesque Old Town is a must-see for everyone visiting Poland. We spent an afternoon admiring the quaint colorful buildings while walking down the winding cobblestone streets. Everything you see in Warsaw's Old Town has been completely reconstructed after being destroyed by the German invasion in 1939.
The Jewish Ghetto
During World War II, Poland experienced some of the worst atrocities that mankind has ever witnessed. Most of deadliest concentration camps were built in the country, with Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka being the most well-known. At the height of the Nazi occupation, there were more than 10 separate camps and numerous ghettos in Poland, and the ghetto in Warsaw was the largest of them all.
Today, nothing is left of the ghetto because the Germans destroyed it just before they were defeated. But the Polish people have not forgotten. There's a big Jewish museum and several tours that you can take if you want to learn more about the German occupation of Poland.
Warsaw has a beautiful central park that we visited a few times. It's the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon people-watching by the pond and the large monument of Chopin.
You shouldn't miss the night market in Warsaw. It's a bustling collection of food trucks serving food from all over the world with several vegan options and two large bars serving drinks. The market is mostly seasonal and best to visit during the warmer months but they arrange events all year around. Check their Facebook page for the latest information.
You probably don't associate Warsaw with food. But lately, the Polish capital has turned into quite the foodie destination. In fact, eating was our favorite thing to do in Warsaw, shocker! The food selection was impressive and we enjoyed the opportunity to try new vegan restaurants every day!
Our Final Thoughts
Honestly, we can't wait to return to Warsaw to spend a month or two there next summer. We never expected to like the Polish capital as much as we did and perhaps that sounds a bit ignorant. But let's be real - Warsaw is just not a place that’s really talked about which is a shame because it's underrated, especially as a digital nomad base. We certainly didn’t think we would prefer Warsaw over Lisbon, Budapest, and Prague.
Besides the amazing vegan scene and the kind Polish people, Warsaw also retains its charm by not being overly touristic, yet still very lively. We could be walking home from a late dinner on a Tuesday night and the city was buzzing with locals. Another plus is that the city is so accessible if you stay in the right area. It's not too hard to take a metro, tram, or an Uber but there is something really nice about being able to walk everywhere.
Of course, for people like us with a phobia of the cold, Warsaw makes sense to visit in the warmer months. When we arrived at the beginning of September, the weather was already cold and cloudy. But we think Warsaw could be really pleasant in the summer when the city experiences mild but sunny weather. Hip bars, cafes, and the Nocny Night Market in full swing would make this city an ideal digital nomad base for the summer.