Moving to Krakow ?! Opinions

Hi Guys,

My name is Simon. I am an Italian expat living and working in London. I've been in the UK for about 11 years. My best friend is Polish and after a few trips to Poland I think I fell in love with the Country. We were thinking about moving to Krakow and start perhaps a new life there. I guess we are both slightly sick of London, though I still love it very much.

Guys I would really appreciate your opinions on the matter, I worked in customer service for a long time, I am a train manager for the underground here. But I had enough of it. I have a BA in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, and a MA in Interpreting and Translation.

Do you think I could possibly find anything in Krakow?

What about life there?

I don't know why for some odd reason I am super excited about the whole thing.

I look forward to hearing from you all.

Thank you very much for reading and listening.


Hi Simon.

My husband and I moved to Krakow from the UK nearly 2 years ago.
We never regretted taking this decision.

It is a very cultural city. Live music (we like jazz clubs but there are also some concert halls with different music), good theatres (some plays are with subtitles), art exhibitions, lots of really great restaurants, lots of tourists (which we like, as it gives the city variety and life), massive amount of parks and squares, close proximity to the mountains and a very central location to visit Europe (e.g. 5 hours drive to Vienna, 6 to Budapest, 6 to Berlin). The weather here is also great. Despite the common opinion in the West, the winters are mild. The summers are fantastic: up to 40 deg. As an Italian, you probably will love it...

People are nice here, although my husband and I have the advantage of me being Polish (returned to Poland after 25 years of emigration, original from Gdansk though).

As majority countries in Europe nowadays, Poland has also some problems at the moment. We have a very conservative government and have to bare the usual consequences for that. They will not last long however, as the Polish are very unhappy about what that government is doing to that extend, that every two months or so, demonstrations are to be seen on the streets of major cities. Unfortunately Krakow is conservative and very catholic. It could be the most in Poland. Therefore, I also see some marches organised by the church, that are quite upsetting for me (e.g. against gays).
However, we are liberal and it was easy for us to find friends of the same opinions, so not all is
I prefer however to tell you the whole truth, not only the good parts.

In terms of work, the best way would be to decide, what do you want to do here and apply beforehand to relevant companies (you obviously can find them on the internet). With your Arabic you could have great opportunities (as I believe there are not many people with that skill) however, you may also hit the wall. Another bad news is the fact, that there is a great amount of fear in respect to Islam at the moment. Do some homework, maybe government agencies, maybe university? 

Coming to the end of my essay (lol), the life here is great. Weather is fantastic, lots of things to do, nice food and nice people. To enjoy that you have to have however a well paid work and start to learn Polish. English is spoken in all parts of service industry, but if you really want to make Krakow your home, Polish is essential. Having said that, you do not have to be fluent, Polish people are tolerant in this respect and happy if you at least try.

Let me know, how your plans are unfolding.


Hi Marzena,

Let me start by saying you just MADE MY DAY.

I originally came from Sicily and loved living in the UK, but I guess after a little while, now almost 11 years I just got to the point where I need something a bit more relaxing and easier in life.

Me and my friend, we are not into crazy life style, we enjoy simple things, culture, architecture, museums, theatre, cinemas, coffee and restaurants :).

Krakow sounds just perfect to us.

I understand the need to speak polish, already looking into schools over there.

I am a very talkative person and not being able to speak to people would literally destroy me hence, I will make sure to start studying as soon as I move there, hopefully soon enough.

With regards to Arabic, unfortunately I am not sure that at the moment there is much use of it given what's going on, so I guess I will have to look for something with English and Italian.

I already applied for a few positions but still haven't heard a thing, maybe too soon.

I don't know, I am just very excited about the possibility we might move there.

Perhaps I am just crazy to leave things behind pack and go but I suppose we just have one life and we've got to make the most out of it and take risks it's part of it.

From what I have heard and read I thought I was going to find freezing winters, grey skies and cold summers but you just proved me wrong, thank you for that. You made it even more exciting now.

I take it you are not planning to go back to the UK then?

May I ask you what you guys do over there? Please feel free not to answer if you don't feel like it.

Thank you very much for the absolutely wonderful email, I hope we could perhaps keep in touch.


Hi Simon.

I am glad to be helpful. Moving to a country one doesn't know is stressful, but friendly people can change this very significantly. I used to live in Germany, Italy, UK and Poland. The stress is very familiar to me.

We both definitely are not planning going back to the UK. However, I learn in my life that "never, say never" is a good policy.

In your position, I would start to learn right now. I moved to Germany without knowing the language and it was horrible. Therefore, planning my move to the UK, I prepared myself a bit better and it payed off.
You also can come to Krakow for a 2 weeks course. My husband did so and really loved that experiance. The school he attended is called "Varia" and I can recommend it. 2 weeks of intensive course with a simple accomodation with other students made Steve to learn a lot.

Steve is working for the RED HAT Polska. He is based in Krakow but travels around the world running training within the company. I am a landscape architect. At the moment however I am managing building works in our new home and garden. In the new year, I will    open a design studio together with my neighbour.
It is not in your line of work unfortunately therefore I can't say much about oportunities for you.

The weather here is really not as you described. True, it could be cold in Winter, but -5 max. The skiing resort nearby (Zakopane) is in a difficult situation there was not enough snow and the temperatures were to highlast couple of years.
The summers however are hot, to hot for me, but an Sicilian should be happy about

Cross my fingers for you and your friend, but also recommend to prepare your move abfront.


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