Are You Kamienica Crazy?

You came to Krakow and you are /were fascinated by its history and amazing atmosphere on every corner. That is as long as you stayed within Old Town and Jewish district. Further than this you only see large and boring blocks of flats that maybe saw some history, like communism time, but definitely don’t have that charm.


No really translatable, this type of building was very popular in Poland from Middleages (!) until second half of 20th century. So if you decide to rent a place in Kamienica you will get the following:

  • History – it might happen that you will live in a place that is over a hundred years old – how cool is that?! Very often those places have got their own fireplace or beautiful wood flooring.
  • Location – most of them are located just around the Old Town and Kazimierz (Jewish District). Perfect if you enjoy going out!
  • Amazing living space – not only are the old buildings more spacious (check out how high the ceilings are), they also offer a great layout of the flat (with separate kitchen and usually big halls). Not to mention the big windows – you might expect a lot of sunshine!

I love living in a kamienica, it’s got its charm and character, but I need to admit you can find a few flaws to it as well. If you’re not lucky, here is what you might expect:

  • Heating – before you decide to rent one of those apartments in kamienica check with your landlord how the place is heated. Beware of electric heating! You pay next to nothing in the summer, but then it costs you a fortune in the winter. I’m not joking. It might even be a few hundred zloty a month if your place is big! Another option is gas heating – much better, but still not quite there. It’s expensive if you heat your apartment all the time. You can hack it by switching the heating off when no one is home!
  • If the isolation is not done properly, your flat will heat up quickly in the summer and will stay cold in the winter!
  • Most of the old buildings are in a really bad state. Leaky or drafty windows, old wiring or fittings. It might be that the place will need a lot of repairs.
  • When kamienica’s were built people had no cars. So there are no parking spaces. Every day you have to fight for a spot on the street. I know what I’m talking about. Terrible.

Made your decision yet?

Basia Kubicka

Runs her own real estate agency Krakow Apartments. Passionate about helping people in all aspects of finding a perfect property, to buy or to rent. Occasional rope walker and rock climber. Follow Basia on Facebook.

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