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Where to Stay

When Poland joined the EU, allowing tourism to take off a bit more, it sparked what can only be described as an all-out hostel war. As the backpacking fraternity watched on with smug little smiles stretched across their faces, new establishments started springing up left, right and centre, each attempting to outdo the others in terms of location, conditions, atmosphere and indeed price. As a result, all the main cities are now well-stocked with top-notch hostels which are also astoundingly cheap and a dorm bed will generally set you back about 30 PLN (€8) per night.

Renting an apartment is also a great option, provided that you can find 3 or 4 other people willing to endure close contact with you for the duration of your stay, and it won’t send you spiraling into premature bankruptcy either. Finding the kind of apartment which makes washing up seem fun and inspires you to get the landlord drunk and sign the title deeds over to you is remarkably easy and, even in Warsaw and Krakow, such places can work out at as little as 65 PLN (€17) per night.

If none of that takes your fancy then there are scores of pensjonats (Polish style pension/bed & breakfast) and budget hotels to consider as well although the prices are obviously higher than the hostels and, as many of them are run by older people who think they’re still living in the socialist era, the quality tends to be a bit hit-or-miss. Prices can start from 80 PLN (€20) per night during the low season.

Renting an Apartment or Room in Poland

The frenetic and unceasing construction of new Lego-like apartment blocks all over the place, as well as the highest emigration rate since a certain German dictator cast his beady eyes eastwards, means that there is no shortage of vacant flats and apartments to rent in Poland. You’ll have to sift through the shit to find the gem(with the help of a translator) though and, sadly, Poland requires a lot more sifting than most places so be prepared for ads which demonstrate an almost fluorescent level of rose-tinted-ness and a steady stream of potential landlords who will coolly lean against mould-stricken walls and swear that their place really IS „high standard” for Poland. Persevere, however, and it is quite possible to find a decent studio pad anywhere bar Warsaw for 1500 PLN (€385) per month.

There is also the possibility of just renting a room in a shared apartment and it’s an unquestionably economical way to go about things but, with students and down-and-out workies forming the general clientele for such offers, don’t expect even minor miracles. Basic kitchen and bathroom facilities are by no means guaranteed, your landlord won’t give even the slightest damn about your subhuman living conditions and, worst of all, your fellow flatmates are liable to be the kind of people who aren’t especially bothered by this. Nevertheless, with monthly rent starting from as low as 500 PLN (€128), it may just be worth it. For a while.

Aly Kerr