Lublin’s 700-year-long history abounds in events that changed Poland and Europe. Its historical heritage, its Renaissance tradition, and its mosaic of nations, cultures and religions have all contributed to the unique atmosphere that continues to pervade the city. All of them have also provided inspiration for culture, science and art.
Lublin is a city of young and active people with its 70,000-strong student community, including over 6500 foreign students.
While most of Lublin is walkable, you can also use buses, trolleybuses (Lublin is one of the three Polish cities to have them), and cabs. The city has over 50 bus and 9 trolleybus lines. There are also weekday and weekend night bus services.
All state institutions of higher education in Lublin offer housing in residence halls. You can also rent in privately-owned residence halls or live off-campus. In university housing, the average monthly rent can be as low as 220 PLN. The cost of private residence hall units and single-occupancy rooms in student apartments varies between 400 and 600 PLN.
The 700 years of history are very much present here in old houses and streets. Lublin’s Old Town is – next to Krakow’s – one of the best preserved in Poland and its old period buildings contribute to the unique atmosphere of the city, located as it is at the intersection of cultures and religions.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, Lublin ranks very high in the safety category. Collision, road accident, and crime statistics have remained low for years and PwC has awarded the city 114.1 points.
Sports and leisure
Regardless of seasons and needs, Lublin has all kinds of attractions for those who like to stay active. In summer, there is water to go to and beaches at the Zemborzycki Reservoir. You can also go kayaking on the Bystrzyca River, while those into more risky sports can try their hand at water skiing on the reservoir. In winter, there are good places to go ice-skating or skiing on hills with lifts.
Shopping for groceries in Poland won’t break the bank. As might be expected, supermarkets and farmers’ markets are the most cost-effective while prices are slightly higher in smaller shops. Here are some sample prices:
- a loaf of bread: 2-3 PLN
- a 1.5l bottle of mineral water: 2-3 PLN
- a liter of milk: 2.50 PLN
- a hamburger: 10 PLN
- a 0.5l Coke: 2.50 PLN
- a cup of coffee: 5-15 PLN
- a pack of cigarettes: 9-15 PLN
Lublin is the most important cultural center in the east of Poland and a vibrant academic hub teeming with creative energy. It is a city of artists and their faithful but demanding audiences. The rich cultural repertoire includes, among other things, music festivals, art exhibitions, concerts, meetings, and panel sessions – each month has more events that you can possibly attend.
Lublin is the biggest academic center in the east of Poland, attracting prospective students with its university city aura, engaging academic faculty, and broad selection of programs: from engineering to medicine to arts and humanities. Five public and four private institutions of higher education are home to over 70,000 students.
Useful terms and acronyms
Here are some terms you will need to know when living in Lublin.
- Foreigner (legal alien)
- A foreigner or legal alien is anybody who is not a citizen of Poland.
- A PESEL is an 11-digit national identification number assigned to individuals. PESELs are issued to citizens, residents, and temporary residents who remain in Poland for longer than 3 months. Your PESEL is required in most government offices and is necessary in everyday situations, e.g. when using the health service.
- ID identity card (Dowód osobisty)
- A identity card is a document confirming one’s identity and Polish citizenship. It can also be used by Polish citizens as a travel document entitling the holder to enter member states of Europe’s Schengen Area.
- Residence Card
- A Residence Card is issued to confirm the identity of foreign nationals who have obtained fixed-term residence, long-term residence, or permanent residence in Poland. The residence card in combination with a travel document entitles the holder to multiple entries without obtaining a visa.
- Permanent / Temporary Residence
- Permanent / temporary residence is established by registering one’s address in a local government office, e.g. the city office. There are three categories of residence: temporary for up to 3 months, temporary for over 3 months, and permanent.
- A NIP is a 10-digit number assigned to individuals for taxation purposes. The number is assigned by one’s local revenue office. The NIP number is required if you want to file for a tax return in Poland.
- NFZ (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia) – the National Health Fund, a government agency managing citizens’ health premiums. The NFZ logo identifies all facilities and health care providers operating within the public health service.
- ZUS – Social Insurance
- ZUS – Social Insurance is a government institution responsible for Poland’s social insurance program.