This themed section brings together five articles focusing on distinct urban sites: Berlin/Munich, Oslo/Bergen, Belfast, Bologna and Barcelona. While there has been extensive research on Polish migrants in cities such as London, this themed issue presents a unique opportunity to explore the experiences of Polish women and men across a range of different cities. In so doing, these articles address key questions concerning implications of the specific structures and opportunities of localities where Polish migrants settle for their gendered everyday life experiences. In providing a short introduction to the themed sections, we begin by introducing some of these questions and consider the ways in which the section can contribute to on-going debates about how migrants experience and navigate place in gendered ways. We argue that gender relations and dynamics are significant to processes of migrant adaptation within particular cities. The ways in which migrants navigate their new locations are shaped not only by institutional structures but also by gendered, classed and racialised power dynamics enacted in and through those spaces. By examining the experiences of Polish migrants across various city spaces in different national contexts, we consider how migrants may adopt particular strategies to negotiate these specific ‘spaces of encounter’.