1. Warsaw Old Town, 2. Old Market Square, 3. Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw (Warszawa in Polish) is the capital of Poland. The history in this city blew me away. The entire Old Town was bombed with only rubble as proof that something once stood there before the war. What you see today is a completely new replica of the original Old Town.
While I did think Warsaw was absolutely beautiful, it was probably the least lively city I have visited in Europe. If you are after fun nightlife when visiting Poland, Krakow may be a better option for you. It did appear most young travellers skipped Warsaw and went straight to Krakow as it hosts a more exciting night life with the equally interesting historical aspect.
In saying this, if you have the time to spare a few days, I think visiting Warsaw is definitely worth it.
Oh and in Polish, the W is pronounced as a V!
4-5. Warsaw Old Town, 6. Pierogi
What to do-
- Free walking tours- As I briefly mentioned, Warsaw has a very vast history, and has a few different walking tours on offer catering to your specific interests. They offer the Free Walking Tour, WW2 Walking Tour and a Jewish Walking Tour. I think Warsaw is a contender for the city with the most interesting history during World War 2. The city was completely destroyed and divided, and there were uprisings. To see the city today you could hardly believe it was once in rubbles just 50 years before.
- Royal Castle in Warsaw- Right in the centre of town. It is open 10am-4pm everyday.
- Museum of the History of Polish Jews- I didn’t make it here as I’d been overloaded with depressing and confronting historical facts the past three weeks, but I‘ve heard this museum is great so if you have free time check it out and let me know what I missed out on.
- Warsaw Uprising Museum- I didn’t love this museum, the layout was not sequenced well but if you have nothing else to do on a Sunday you may as well visit for free.
- Łazienki Park- This is Warsaw’s largest park with a nice fountain.
- Sigismund’s Column- This is right in the centre of the town and hard to miss, but it is one of Warsaw’s most famous landmarks.
7. Old Market Square, 8. Tower of St. Anne’s Church, 9. Old Town, 10. Old Market Square
- Bus tickets- Make sure you buy a bus ticket before you get on the bus. There should be yellow ticket boxes to purchase your tickets. This is imperative here, as there are often transit officers checking and they aren’t very nice if you are caught without one (even by accident)!!
- Tower of St. Anne’s Church- Visit here for the best views over Warsaw’s Old Town Square
- Warsaw Uprising Museum- There is free admission on Sundays!
- Travelling from Budapest- From Budapest I was travelling onto Poland, and since Poland is a little out of the way, I opted to fly as I had a limited time to travel. If you have more time, like my brother, you can opt for an overnight train which is also a much cheaper option. This isn’t the usual route of travel, as most people visit the Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) and then travel to Poland either before or after, but as I had visited those countries the last time I was in Europe with my parents (and they had visited Poland the time before without me), I didn’t want to miss out on Poland so I chose to fly.
- Budget airlines- These are great for travelling throughout Europe as they are obviously cheaper options and usually get you somewhere quicker than a train or bus if you are travelling between counties. Just be careful that if you tick the “check-in online” option, that you check-in online! I didn’t and had to pay an extra 60€… They also charge extra for baggage, so if you have a lot of bags it may not work out to be cheaper for you in the end.
- Time needed- 2-3 days would give you enough time to see everything in Warsaw.
11. Near Łazienki Park, 12. Warsaw Uprising Monument, 13. Royal Castle, 14. Parliament House, 15. Old Market Square
I stayed at Dream Hostel. The hostel was literally in the Old Town Castle Square, about 3 minutes from the meeting point of the walking tours! The hostel wasn’t great for making friends, so if you are travelling alone it might be lonely. There seemed to be a lot of older travellers as I guess Warsaw isn’t a very fun party city it doesn’t draw the young crowds. But if location is your top priority, then this one was great!
16. Walking through the Old Town, 17. View from St. Anne’s Church, 18. Lody Prawdziwe Deserownia, 19. View from St. Anne’s Church
- Lody Prawdziwe Deserownia- Oh man, this was THE most delicious ice-cream I had in Poland, and in the top 3 best ice-creams I had this trip. There was a slight language barrier so I accidentally ordered 3 scoops of the one flavour- cherry and white chocolate.
- Pierogi- These are in (basically) every restaurant in Poland. I like to refer to them as European dumplings.