Poland’s ten largest cities are Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Lublin and Białystok.
With a plethora of investment opportunities in this growing nation, the potential can be identified in a wide range of sectors across these cities.
Population: 1.79 million
Located in the east of the country, Warsaw is Poland’s capital city and the economic heart of the nation.
As one of the emerging economic powerhouses in the whole of the central and eastern Europe region, Warsaw has become a hub for foreign direct investment in the decades since the Iron Curtain fell in 1989.
With a constantly diversifying economy, Warsaw is already an established hub for tourism and education, with government agencies also representing large employers. In the past few decades, the city has seen the emergence of numerous industries.
These include now thriving sectors including high-tech, electronics, chemicals, cosmetics, construction, film and media, food processing, printing, metallurgy, machinery and retail.
Kraków is located in the south of Poland, about 50km from the border with Slovakia. The city is dotted with landmarks, which have made it a hub for tourism within Poland, as well as being a popular destination for students.
Its economy has transitioned towards business services in recent decades, although traditional sectors such as manufacturing, steel and tobacco are still important to the city.
High-tech sectors such as life sciences are also on the rise in Kraków as the city’s start-up scene grows.
Lódz is situated right in the centre of Poland, where the two major roads of the country – the east-west E30 and the north-south E75 – meet.
Located around140km from capital city Warsaw, the city has emerged as a significant logistics hub, though its diverse economic landscape now offers a range of industrial and investment strengths.
Built around the textiles industry, in recent years it has become a hub for advanced technologies and high tech (including a growing life science sector), white goods manufacturing and business process outsourcing.
With continued business, education and research outfits in collaboration, it is also becoming known as a city with a significant AI knowledge centre.
Equidistant from Warsaw and the Czech capital of Prague, Wrocław is located in south-west Poland.
Known as the ‘city of bridges’, the city is an established and burgeoning tourism hub and home of some excellent educational institutions.
Though it is starting to enjoy a more diverse economic landscape, Wrocław’s economy relies on the manufacturing services sectors. These are seen across numerous industries, including automotive manufacturing, production of white goods, mechanical engineering, and chemical/pharmaceutical production.
As mentioned previously, the city is enjoying a renaissance in terms of industry diversity. Emerging sectors attracting investment include IT services, and e-commerce.
Although it is Poland’s fifth-largest city by population, it boasts the country’s second-largest economy. It is noted for its universities and the impressive stream of mathematics graduates it has produced stretching back many decades.
Poznań is located in western Poland, on the E30 road that connects Warsaw with the German capital of Berlin.
Although it is Poland’s fifth-largest city by population, it boasts the country’s second-largest economy.
As well as having well regarded universities, particularly excelling in the number of mathematics graduates, it also has a range of industries that are conitnuing to attract new investments and investors.
Sectors on the rise include advanced production operations, automotive manufacturing plants, food and pharmaceutical production, as well as expanding business process outsourcing, IT and R&D operations.
Gdańsk is one of three cities that make up the Tricity metropolitan area, along with Gdynia and Sopot.
Located on Poland’s northern coast on the Baltic Sea, the Tricity region has a combined population of approximately 1.5 million.
Historically know for its striking shipyard and dock industries, (along with those in Szczecin) it is now a city that is enoying the growth that comes with a more diverse economic landscape.
Multiple investments have occurred in a range of industries, including the city’s automotive manufacturing, chemical and food processing, electronics, telecommunications, IT engineering, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy sectors.
This growth in fiscal prosperity and influx of industries has also strengthened the local tourism industry, augmenting the overall exposure of the city to potential investors.
Szczecin is located in north-west Poland, close to the German border, the Baltic Sea, and about 150km from Berlin.
It is a major seaport and a key university city in Poland, with numerous educational institutions specialising in the sciences and arts, providing an educated employee pool for companies considering it as a business location.
Known as an important industrial centre within the country, it is a city with a range of growing sectors and investment strengths.
These include logistics, warehousing, business process outsourcing, shared service centres, ICT, the marine industry, biotechnology and biotech.
Bydgoszcz lies in northern Poland, between Poznań and Gdańsk.
Having emerged as a central and eastern European hub for the finance and insurance industries, it boasts a diverse economy with significant opportunities for investments and investors.
Home to Bank Pocztowy HQ, it is now an established financial services hub in Poland, with more than 70 financial services companies operating here.
Other established and growing industries with investment opportunities include chemical production and IT.
Lublin is located in eastern Poland, midway between Warsaw and the Ukrainian border.
It has been popular with foreign investors in recent years due to its reputation for cost-effectiveness, which has seen it attract IT and automotive companies, as well as those in the services industry.
More recently it has seen investment from energy companies such as Polska Grupa Energetyczna and retail giants such as Carrefour.
Białystok in north-eastern Poland lies roughly 50km from the Belarus border.
Its historic industrial strengths are based around light industry, but it has more recently emerged as a national hub for numerous industries.
These include food processing, beverages, electrical engineering, the developed machine industry, plastic processing, textiles and wood processing.
Katowice ranks 11th in population size among Poland’s cities, but its metropolitan area covers about 2.7 million people.
The city, in the south of Poland close to the Slovakian border, was historically one of the country’s key mining centres but in recent years has become known for services, IT and tourism, while also producing a high number of university graduates.
Information, Data and Statistics from Statista, Central Statistical Office of Poland, Polish Government Department of Trade and Commerce.
See also: Investment Monitor‘s ‘Future of Polish Cities’ coverage, profiling Warsaw, Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Katowice.