Not only Warsaw – 5 Polish cities where it is worth to live, work and spend leisure time.
Firstly, there is Warsaw and then for the long time – nothing. The most people who decide to change their place of residence think exactly this way. The capital is tempting by prospect of professional development, cultural offer and historically wealth past, and in the years 2002-2010 the number of residents increased by 120 thousand. But do other Polish cities really have nothing to offer to its current and future residents? Let’s find out!
One day is not enough to get to know Wrocław, but enough to fall in love with this city for good. All, who come to this town, say one thing – this place has that special “something”, has an unique atmosphere. For each one of us, this means something completely different, but always one element is common – friendly, welcoming and smiling people.
Atmosphere, on which all pay attention is created mainly by students. It functions here 13 state universities and 23 private universities. It is an excellent place to invest capital, there is no problem with renting an apartment or a possible sale. According to the report of the real estate portal Morizon.pl for April 2015, the average price per m2 in Wrocław amounted to 5903 PLN. Prevail apartments from 40 to 60 square meters. At the end of the year 2014 in Wrocław lived 634.5 thousand people and it was about 2.420 people more than in December 2013. The largest number of residents boasts a Fabryczna district – 202.5 thousand, the next one is Krzyki district 172.7 thousand, and the last place on the podium falls on Śródmieście district 112.9 thousand.
Man cannot live by science alone – we also need something for the eye and the spirit. The architecture of Wrocław is a journey through the historical timeline. We can find here elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. “Cathedral Island” will take us into the reign of the first Piasts. And market square will delight us with historic, colourful tenement houses and dwarfs scattered in the corners. There are already 241 of them and still new ones appear!
Lovers of large-size objects should see Centennial Hall and Sky Tower – one of the tallest buildings in Poland. Relief for body and soul will be serving by Japanese Garden. In the neighbourhood there is a Pergola with the largest multimedia fountain in Europe, demonstrations take place both day and night. Little ones and those a bit bigger raved over wild animals in Africarium.
Kraków is one of those cities where on every step you can feel the historical spirit. It is full of charming small streets, stylish tenement houses and very interesting in terms of architecture hotels. Royal marks are the inspiration not only for artists but also ordinary people. Wilhelm Feldman once said, “Whoever wants to understand the Polish soul – let them look in Kraków.”
Students looking for a Polish soul in Kraków have a wide selection of universities – 10 public and 14 private universities. At the end of December 2014 the population of Kraków equals 761.9 thousand people, which means that the number increase with the previous year by 2.9 thousand people. The city is divided into 18 districts. Average price of apartment per square meter in Krakow is 6970 PLN, more we will pay only in Warsaw and Sopot.
Show me your market square, and I will tell you who you are. In Poland, it works perfectly, because practically every city has such a place. Market square in Kraków stands out in terms of size, but also because it has the oldest shopping centre in Poland, which is Cloth Hall. If you do not like a buzz, you should direct your steps towards Kazimierz. It is trendy, old Jewish district, full of charming cafés and restaurants.
There remains the Wawel Castle – if you forgot about this place during your stay in Kraków, your visit can be considered as void. To explore the Wawel Castle you need a couple of hours, but you should do it at least once – it is worth it. The cathedral, where the tombs of the Lords are located, the legendary Royal Sigismund Bell or Wawel Dragon are images that stay long in the memory.
You can cross Kraków by a bicycle, it will be economic and ecological, but if the weather is not encouraging, you should take advantage of the tram. Kraków is a leader in the length of tram lines among Polish cities – there are up to 334 km here!
Authorities advertise the city as a cultural, recreational or business “sea of opportunities”, but really any form of advertising is unnecessary here. Nearly a thousand years of history, unique location and the freedom that you can see at every step.
For students coming to Gdańsk waiting 6 public universities and 10 private institutions. This is relatively little, but remember that the Gdańsk belongs to the Tri-City agglomeration, so the base are also universities in Sopot and Gdynia. Gdańsk is the 6th most populous city in Poland, and currently has 461.9 thousand residents, the number of residents increased to the previous year by 1.5 thousand people. The real estate market here is very varied. From modern investments, by the classic tenement houses, and ending on prefabricated concrete constructions. The average price of the apartment per square meter is 5966 PLN.
For visitors are waiting Long Lane and Long Market with the Neptune’s Fountain, “Lady from the window” and Uphagen’s House. Mariacka Street ended with basilica surge with Baltic – amber. Local artists can do everything from it. Lovers of history on their exploring route should plan to visit the Polish Post Office and the European Solidarity Centre, the architecture of the building itself forced to discussion. At Westerplatte, where there is a Monument of the Defenders of the Coast, ferry will take us from there and from the deck you can admire the Gdańsk Shipyard and characteristic shipyard cranes.
Active leisure time is not the problem here. Runners have interesting routes in the Tri-City Landscape Park, cyclists have a long paths leading through the most interesting places, rollerbladers have a special track under PGE Arena, and water sports enthusiasts have the vastness of the possibilities offered by the Gdańsk Bay. Tri-City agglomeration is connected to the S-Bahn, which applies metropolitan ticket, so travelling from place to place is very easy and quick.
Łódź at first sight may seem sad, grey and depressing. Nothing could be further from the truth – this city is buzzing. No longer distances itself from its industrial past, and use it to create an individual and unique atmosphere.
The city is referred as a cultural and industrial centre, but also academic. There are 6 state universities and 22 private ones. Lódź is the third most populous city in Poland. According to population balance at the end of December 2014 population was 706.0 thousand. By the year this number decreased by 5.3 thousand people. Districts of Lódź: Bałuty, Górna, Polesie, Śródmieście i Widzew. It is worth notice that compared with other big cities, housing prices in Lódź are usually very attractive. According to a report from the real estate portal Morizon.pl for May 2015, the average price per square meter of the apartment in this city is 3725 PLN.
Łódź is not strictly a tourist place, full of history with royal castles – it is rather a city where you can not get bored. A multitude of restaurants, clubs, cafés and pubs waiting in the longest pedestrian street in Poland (4.2 km) – Piotrkowska Street. This street is kind of backbone of the city, because around him the whole infrastructure was created. If you do not like walks, you can take advantage of Tourist trolley. Łódź also has its special “something” – in this case it is the largest forest complex in Europe, operating within the city borders. Łagiewnicki forest covers an area of 205.45 hectares. The largest in Poland is also the Botanical Garden and the Waterpark – you cannot complain on the lack of places for outdoor activities.
Lódź is also a paradise for fashionistas – the city again wants to be associated with fashion and design. A huge step in this direction is FashionPhilosophy Fashion Week Poland, and also co-funded by the European Union – Project Fashion Promotion Centre.
The largest city of West Pomeranian Voivodeship is Szczecin. In this port town you can feel not only the impact of industry, but also German history. The geographical location in the Odra valley and at the lake Dąbie determines the style of life of residents.
The largest scientific centre of West Pomeranian Voivodeship tempts by 5 state universities and 13 non-public. 31st December 2014 Szczecin counted 407.1 thousand residents. The city is divided into four districts: Północ, Śródmieście, Prawobrzeżne, Zachód. In Szczecin economic situation is changing for better, resulting by an increase in demand for real estate, and – thus – price increase. Per square meter we have to pay 4226 PLN.
On the Szczecin historical trail as the first and most important place appears Ducal Castle, which is the former residence of Griffins, who ruled the Duchy of Pomerania. Today, visitors rave over sophisticated architecture, but also look out for legendary figure – White Lady. Wały Chrobrego once protected Szczecin, now they are a place for walks and events.
Attention! Szczecin is not at the seaside, although many people still think this way. A characteristic feature of the city are huge roundabouts forming in an urban layout of star-shaped known for example from Paris. It is a paradise for lovers of martial arts, works here several schools with different profiles.
As you can see, each city has something that distinguishes them from the crowd. There is no point creating a popularity ranking, because every resident has different needs and different take at the world around him. One thing is certain – Polish cities over the last decade are changing very rapidly and everyone will surely find among them a perfect choice for yourself!
Autorem tekstu jest Piotr Majewski, ekspert rynku nieruchomości z bloga morizon.pl
Tłumaczenie: Katarzyna Lewkowicz – LOCO Nieruchomości
Photo source: istockphoto.com, acc: melog and shutterstock.com, acc: melog1