An International Executives Warsaw Lifestyle Guide
Warsaw is known as the Phoenix city as it was almost completely destroyed during the second world war, and was completely rebuilt from scratch. The city has now become one of Europe’s prime locations for professionals and investors alike. The Big 4 financial firms all have a presence in the central business district of the Polish capital.
Polish is the official language but most people in the larger cities can speak or understand English, with the exception of older generations. It is recommended that you learn some basics in the language when you first move there to help you go about your day to day life. The University of Warsaw runs language classes on a regular basis which would differentiate yourself and enhance your job opportunities, compared to other international expats who tend to rely on speaking English.
A Growing Economy
Poland’s economy has been growing steadily the past few years, despite low employment rates. Its economy has been growing at an average annual rate of 4 percent and, remarkably, has not suffered a single year of negative growth.
Tax in Warsaw
Any Expat who is resident in Poland or spends more than 183 days per tax year there will qualify for tax status and will be taxed on their worldwide income. Poland’s tax system is a progressive one, so depending on your level of income expect to be taxed between 19% and 32%. All expats should register for a tax identification number (NIP) when they arrive in Poland. This is a 10-digit number that will also be needed for social security payments. It can be applied for at any local public tax offices.
Be a tourist in your new home
Warsaw is an up and coming art scene, has many attractions for all the family and it traditional with a modern edge. There are numerous museums rich in history across the city to occupy your mind on your precious days off work, such as the Warsaw Uprising Museum to relive the unfortunate events that led to the destruction of the city. Other museums include the Polish Army Museum, the Dollhouse Museum and the National Museum of Warsaw.
Warsaw is a family-friendly city with plenty of activities for all the family such as the Copernicus Science Centre, a planetarium and Warsaw zoo.
The old town is worth a visit. The baroque style buildings were all rebuilt after the second world war to reflect the atmosphere of the bygone days. The Old Town features gothic alleyways, stunning architecture, cobblestone streets and numerous churches. A popular place to visit for both tourists and locals alike is the Lazienki Royal Residence Park, a beautiful park which has peaceful gardens, ponds, lakes and a palace.
The Search for your New Home
When deciding where to live, it is best to live as close to your workplace as possible. If you choose a district with a bad commute, you may sometimes have to travel 2 hours to get to work. It is recommended to stay close to metro stations, however, most expats tend to stay in the city centre. Ursynow is a popular district for internationals who are on a budget. Or on the opposite side of the scale, Zoliborz and Srodmiescie are best for the more executive lifestyle. Zoliborz is a perfect location for families as it has plenty of parks and is a quieter area in comparison to the city centre. The following websites can be used to help you find accommodation in Warsaw:
The Polish Culture
Polish culture is said to merge the past with the present. Over 80% of the country are Catholics and religion plays a vital role in the Polish society and culture, with the country being one of the most religious in Europe. It is common for most businesses to close on religious holidays and Christmas is considered the religious holiday that holds the most importance.
What are the schooling options for expatriates in Warsaw?
There are a number of international schools in Warsaw, however, spaces are limited and it is recommended to secure your space as soon as you are set on a specific school. Popular schools for expats include the International American School, The British School of Warsaw and The International School.
If you are interested in a move to Warsaw or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about international tax opportunities, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, please browse our current international tax vacancies.