Where to live in Poland? – city or country

When I grew up I loved the countryside.  I grew up in New England in the countryside I wanted to stay. In fact, when I moved to NYC out of college I thought why?  Everything I wanted was in small town New England. I had lakes and fields to play in, I have a beautiful old library, fitness center and shopping at some local stores.

When I became a city person

I became a city guy when I was a consultant.  I traveled to most of the major US cities and live the consultant lifestyle in hotels and corporate apartments.  By the time I took a job in Boston, I only wanted to live in Beacon Hill, Boston.  I loved Beacon Hill for its old town center city lifestyle. I found I could live and work in the city and on the weekends enjoy the countryside in New Hampshire.  So I thought what was the point of living in the country as opposed to the city.

My next big city move was Krakow, Poland where I have lived for about six years.   I have become quite attached to city life.  I have though of building a house in the countryside of Poland, a nice wooden log home.  However, the though of being in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but watch the grass grow, bores me.

City or country living?

I guess I make a huge switch from country to city. I love living in a Polish city like Krakow.  I am curious if you prefer the city or the country and what your experiences with the two lifestyles have been?




5 responses to “Where to live in Poland? – city or country”

  1. D

    I have toured Poland with my girlfriend and I can say that I could live either in a city or in the countryside. I like Kraków as much as my girlfriend’s village in the mountains. I guess it’s all about choices.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I have swayed from being a city mouse to a country mouse since I have had a child. We love both but for a small child the Polish countryside is magical.

  2. Kinga

    Here is my perspective on small town life in Poland. – You can always go for something in between the city and the country- outskits or a small town near a big city. This is suburbia or the suburbs.

    It combines the joys of having your own house, trees and birds and at the same time is close to the big lights.

    There is a small town not far from Kraków called Niepołomice and I think it’s perfect for people who cannot decide whether they are city or country.

    It has everything you needyou’re your everyday life- a park to walk your dog to, a market to get your veggies, buses if you don’t have a car and Biedronka if you’re poor.

    It’s pretty, too- this town has it all. When you feel like you need something more, like taking a river cruise or going to the opera, you just grab your family and go to the big town, it doesn’t take but 20 minutes.

    Living in the middle of a big city is not as cool as everyone says and if you tried it you know what I’m talking about. It’s not healthy for both your mind and body and sooner or later you have to take a break or you will go crazy. Or maybe that’s just me. I could quote a country song I once heard- “There ain’t nothing wrong with them big city lights, but me, I prefer them slow country nights.” The only people who are in team big town are the ones that never actually lived in it. I love my town, but I need to escape from it on a regular basis.

    However, foreigners or city residents might experience a bit of a culture shock after moving to a typical Polish village. It has a lot of negative aspects that you either have to accept or not care about your relations with local people. Here’s some major drawbacks of a Polish village that might make want to re-think your decision about moving there.

    1. Everyone knows everybody and everything about them. Since country life is not too exciting, people get bored and gossip, and the older they get, the more they like it. Do not expect the old lady next door to keep things to herself if she hears you arguing with your wife. Within a few hours the rest of the neighbors will know, and if it’s big news, like you got caught cheating on your husband or you got pregnant at 16, be sure everyone you can think of will know.
    2. You cannot be seen working around your yard/field or cleaning your house on a Sunday. Not even mowing the lawn. Why? Because it’s a sin and a shame. Sunday is for church, family, friends, and grilling. Although I sometimes hear a tractor early Sunday morning, whoever drives it always makes sure it’s too dark outside to get busted.
    3. If you refuse to make a donation to the local church, the priest might hang your name on the board by the church enterance.
      Little things that you need to avoid doing, unless you don’t mind others thinking you are weird. These include carrying a purse to the grocery store, walking your dog down the street or visiting the local museum.
    4. Polish winter- there is absolutely nothing to do other than watching movies with your family or getting huge amounts of snow out of your driveway. You will wish you lived in California, we all do.
    5. As a resident of both the city and the country, I recommend small town for a place to live. It’s safe, doesn’t give you a headache yet is not totally boring.
  3. Liam Duncan

    All too much like it is only for Polish Americans?
    Not for British Irish. My dna is 87% Irish 13 % Western European.

  4. Susan

    I am wondering if you can give my some advice on moving to Poland. My husband is a Polish citizen and American citizen and has not lived in Poland since 1989. I am not. However my grandparents on both sides immigrated from Poland. I was able to trace my family lineage back to the 1700’s. We do have a house in Poland. What would I need to do to legalize my stay in Poland? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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