God bless the Polish złoty. After a couple of weeks of the Euro, I feel like Kanye West in Warsaw (before he went bankrupt and had to beg Mark Zuckerberg for money).
From Amsterdam to Berlin, my friend and I have bounced around from a questionable hostel to an even more questionable east Berlin apartment. We didn’t even have towels to call our own. So when I stepped foot in the beautiful apartment in the heart of Warsaw that was $60 a night, I almost cried. This apartment is stylishly furnished and has a fully stocked kitchen and bathroom. It even has a washing machine, which I really needed because I have no idea when or where I’ll be settling down and I was running out of clean underwear. So the apartment alone makes me feel like I’m living a $2,000-a-month-in-rent kind of life.
But I did a little digging and found that I could get myself one of these fabulous studio-ish apartments for $400 a month. And almost everything else here is equally cheap. On average, every meal costs between $5-10, including drinks. Since we have a kitchen in this apartment, we picked up a few things to make breakfast. Eggs, bread, water, and cheese for a whopping $2.61 cents. You can get other consumer goods like shampoo and deodorant at about a fourth their regular cost. So if it weren’t for those pesky visa restrictions, I could live off my savings and occasional freelancing here for a good year or two. At the very least, I might start selling Dove deodorants on the black market to make some cash on the side.
The best part is that despite how cheap it is to live here comfortably, it’s not a shithole. In fact, Warsaw is gorgeous and modern. There is even free city Wi-Fi in public areas. The skyline is stunning, especially at night, and their malls are like a work of art. For that classic European feel, Warsaw also has the picturesque Old Town where you can go for drinks or a bite, and it will still be ridiculously cheap even though it’s a tourist hub. Like other major European cities, there are a lot of good places to relax in public, where you can play with people’s dogs, enjoy their fancy fountains, nap, or read a book. So you can have a good time for free. But if you want a better time, you can just grab a drink for $1.50.
If I didn’t have other awesome places to see over the next few weeks, I would just beg these people to let me keep this apartment. It’s already furnished and my stuff is already in it. So next time you’re wondering how you can get rich quick, the answer is pack your bags and move to Eastern Europe. You’ll be rich in the 9 hours it takes your plane to land in Warsaw.