Mistakes expats make in Poland

Hello everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Poland? What were they?

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Poland to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

We look forward to hearing from you!


One of the mistakes that's commonly made is not validating ones bus ticket... please and I repeat please advise everyone that ticket controller's are everywhere in the city centre... if you have an incorrect ticket perhaps you chose reduced instead of normal you could get charged extra if you are not a student.

How to do it better... buy 75 minute tickets and validity the minute you get on the bus or metro.

Yes, travel tickets in the city can be confusing. My wife purchased the wrong ticket as she found the ticket machine confusing, especially the two zone definition. In Malaysia, the ticket machine is clear and user friendly. The ticket inspectors started demanding to see her passport ( they have no legal right to do that) and they asked her to open her bag and wallet to see if she had a credit card to pay them a fine. She was smart enough to say "No" and they moved away. I wish I had been there at the time.
The second thing to be very careful about is health insurance, there are many good deals on offer if you put in a little time and shop around at a monthly charge which is normal rather than predatory. Initially we purchased Cigna health insurance only to find that it was spectacularly over priced and expensive,  we had a chance to compare it against other health insurance services and we were shocked but understood why they are targeting ex pats and treating us like a bank ATM machine, we don't know the rules and they know we are new and gullible, especially check local Polish health insurance which is reasonably priced and in tune with reality in terms of the cost.
Third and final, be very selective about which property you rent, in recent years their seems to have been a media and government drive to persuade people to rent apartments in complexes with security gates, security doors and security guards,  these are not needed extras. Warsaw is a safe city and these types of extras throw a huge crazy charge on top of the monthly rent and in return you get an elderly man dressed as a security guard sitting in a gate office all day, not doing much at all, if there was an issue he is the one that would probably need help rather than be helpful.
There are many good apartments for rent in the city without all the scaremongering security extras and the extra costs, these normal apartments are fine, safe, secure and comfortable and offer a sense of freedom from being watched going in and out of your home each day. Rent wisely and you will get a good deal.


Life in Europe is so difficult then other countries


I was in Poland and I have to admit that I had a huge problems with medical care. If not for American Clinic in Wilanow, then I am far more than certain, that I would not be able to get a proper medical attention. Only Wilanow accepted my foreign insurance policy which is outragegous in my opinion. Well at least here they helped me, which I appreciate.