Top 10 Cities in Poland for Permanent Residence

As of January 1, 2024, 1013 settlements in Poland have city status, ranging from tiny Opatowiec, Wiślica, or Korczyn, with about 500 residents each, to the Big Five: Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, Łódź, and Poznań.

However, city size does not always correlate with livability, as smaller, pleasant towns often lack job opportunities and interesting vacancies, while megacities face environmental issues and more aggressive communication environments.

This article will discuss which cities in Poland are considered the best choices for permanent residence (PR) not only for Poles but also for foreigners.

We previously wrote about salary in Poland — How Much Migrants Earn.


When planning to immigrate to a particular city in Poland, foreigners primarily think about work, which can even be a reason for the move. However, other aspects are also considered when choosing a new place to live. Families with children pay attention to the level and accessibility of educational institutions. Some prioritize a developed medical sector, others look for cultural activities, and some choose a city based on environmental factors and proximity to nature.

Cities in Poland for Work: Warsaw, Trójmiasto, Wrocław

In the latest officially published “Business Environment Assessment Study” (BEAS) report, cities in Poland were evaluated for their business attractiveness. Entrepreneurs surveyed rated the diversity and availability of commercial real estate, the development of infrastructure, the availability of employees, and the quality of business services industries, among others.

This rating can also provide valuable information for foreigners, as where it is profitable to invest, there are likely job openings to fill business needs.

On the other hand, in cities with a high percentage of young professionals (many universities and vocational schools), competition for good positions can be higher than in cities with a less advanced educational sector.

Polish Cities Rating on a 10-Point Scale*

Commercial Real EstateBusiness InfrastructureBusiness PotentialEducational PotentialEmployment Prospects
Lublin (7.8)Warsaw and Trójmiasto (7.4)Wrocław (7.8)Kraków (8.6)Lublin (7.4)
Trójmiasto (7.4)Kraków (7.2)Warsaw (7.6)Trójmiasto and Lublin (7.9)Warsaw (7.2)
Kraków (7.2)Poznań (7.1)Kraków (7.3)Warsaw and Wrocław (7.8)Kraków (7.0)
*Research by Antal, Cushman & Wakefield, and Vastint (2019).
**Trójmiasto is the urban agglomeration of Gdańsk, Sopot, and Gdynia.

Eastern Polish cities attract entrepreneurs with more affordable office space (Lublin), but infrastructure is less developed there. Warsaw, as the capital, fits into almost all categories, which is quite logical.

Based on other studies, let’s highlight a few more valuable facts about the best cities in Poland in the context of life and work for migrants:

  • Among the most preferred cities for living are Warsaw, Toruń, and Zielona Góra.
  • Warsaw, Kraków, and Poznań are ideal for those who value social and cultural development opportunities.
  • Koszalin, Grudziądz, and Gdynia are attractive for their numerous green spaces and air quality.
  • Warsaw, as well as Wrocław and Gdańsk, have the highest economic development rates in Poland.
  • The most beautiful cities are considered to be Olsztyn, Bydgoszcz, and Lublin.

Aside from employment potential, other aspects of life are also important.

Experts from the Warsaw School of Economics, the Cracow University of Economics, and the Lux Med Group developed the Healthy Cities Index, comparing the level of healthcare, municipal and social services, education, and more in several regions of the country.

Warsaw once again stood out. Bielsko-Biała took second place, having allocated a record amount of 592.40 zł per resident for healthcare programs in recent years. Specialists also noted Katowice and Zielona Góra for their green space investments.

Rzeszów leads in the average age of residents, the feminization level, and the influx of foreigners. It is in this city that the most foreigners settle, followed by Żory and Suwałki. In the overall ranking, they occupy 7th and 27th places (Żory did not make the general list).

The overall ranking, considering parameters such as air quality care, access to green spaces, infrastructure development for physical activity, and access to nurseries and kindergartens in Poland, is as follows:

City 1-10City 11-20City 21-30
1. Warsaw11. Kraków21. Chorzów
2. Bielsko-Biała12. Olsztyn22. Zamość
3. Sopot13. Szczecin23. Lublin
4. Poznań14. Koszalin24. Rybnik
5. Gdynia15. Gliwice25. Zielona Góra
6. Białystok16. Krosno26. Tarnów
7. Rzeszów17. Toruń27. Suwałki
8. Świnoujście18. Opole28. Kalisz
9. Tychy19. Katowice29. Gorzów Wielkopolski
10. Gdańsk20. Wrocław30. Sosnowiec

Living and Working in Warsaw

Among the surveyed cities, Warsaw turned out to be the best for living in terms of social development. Additionally, the average gross salary here is the highest in Poland, and a developed business environment contributes to career building.

The capital offers a wide selection of educational institutions from kindergartens to specialized schools, as well as universities and vocational training centers.

Social life enthusiasts will not be disappointed either, as Warsaw offers a variety of cultural events.

Kraków and Poznań

Residents of Kraków and Poznań also cannot complain about the lack of entertainment and performances. Kraków offers romantic walks around the city, historical landmarks, and the oldest Polish university.

Poznań attracts with its international fair, local delicacies, shopping centers, and a developed bike culture.


Good air quality, parks, and forests, combined with the absence of factories, are the features that make Koszalin one of the best ecological cities in Poland. Green spaces make up about 40% of the total area of Koszalin.

Grudziądz and Gdynia

Besides Koszalin, cities like Grudziądz and Gdynia are also worth considering.

Grudziądz is characterized by low electricity and water consumption, driven by residents' awareness of the importance of sustainable use of natural resources.

The proximity to the sea, the possibility of beach walks or summer swimming, fresh air, and numerous green areas are the advantages of Gdynia, making it an ideal place for people who love an active lifestyle and nature retreats.

Economic development has a significant impact on whether a city should be considered for potential relocation. The economy depends not only on investment projects implemented in the city, the level of unemployment, and employment prospects but also on transport infrastructure, service availability, housing market conditions, and scientific resources. Let’s review the Polish cities from this perspective.

Warsaw, which we have already given enough attention to, tops the list. In terms of economics, it houses the headquarters of many international companies, and all advanced business projects are also implemented here.

Gdańsk and Wrocław

Gdańsk is the second-largest metropolis in the country with the highest economic development index. It is a city with great investment appeal. Various business events of national and international levels are held annually in Gdańsk. Road transportation is constantly expanding, Gdańsk universities are attracting interest, and new promising housing options are emerging on the market.

Wrocław offers foreigners interested in relocation a constantly developing job market, with international corporations such as Google, Volvo, Nokia Networks, and Hewlett-Packard (HP) present, as well as access to many educational institutions, including Wrocław University, and quality road infrastructure.

Besides Kraków, Gdańsk, Poznań, and Wrocław, which are not only very beautiful places to live but also developed metropolises, Olsztyn, Bydgoszcz, and Lublin can compete in terms of aesthetics.


This beautiful city, located in Warmia and Masuria, attracts with its numerous lakes, green spaces, hills, and the Łyna River, which hosts kayaking trips.

The city also offers environmental improvement activities and a high level of social development.


Known as the Polish Amsterdam and the water capital of Poland, the city lies on the Vistula and Brda rivers, intersected by numerous canals, and features a Gothic church considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.


Lublin amazes with a unique combination of ancient and modern architecture: in the center, you can stroll through the car-free Old Town. Lublin is also known for its high level of social benefits and environmental attention.

According to, the average monthly cost of living in Poland in 2022 was approximately 2,473.82 zł. The calculations included prices for standard food products, public transport, rent, and others.

As expected, living in large cities is more expensive, which is compensated by higher earnings. However, city size does not always guarantee a higher salary, and smaller towns often offer a more attractive price-to-quality-of-life ratio.

Cost of Living Data in Poland (Numbeo, June 2024)

CityMonthly Cost for 1 Person (zł)Monthly Cost for a Family of 4 (zł)

When discussing the cost of living in Polish cities, housing prices should also be mentioned. The average price per square meter of usable space is about 6,000 zł, namely (data from June 2024):

  • Warsaw ― 18,332 zł
  • Gdynia ― 16,687 zł
  • Kraków ― 16,594 zł
  • Gdańsk ― 15,878 zł
  • Wrocław ― 13,898 zł
  • Lublin ― 11,400 zł
  • Poznań ― 11,109 zł
  • Katowice ― 9,563 zł
  • Szczecin ― 9,312.5 zł
  • Łódź ― 8,312 zł

No matter which Polish city you move to, it is unlikely to eliminate the need and desire to return to your homeland. More importantly, you will want to maintain ties with relatives and friends who stayed there, even from a distance.

The Korona mobile application helps support loved ones or delight them with unexpected cash gifts. Transfers from Poland are available to 50+ countries. No service fee is charged for currency conversion.


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