Warsaw | What We Saw

13:02:00

At the start of the month, we took a 3 day city break to Warsaw.

Truthfully, the capital of Poland had never been on my radar as a destination. I know people who had been to Krakow etc but there wasn't a big draw for me to visit. Perhaps it was a misconception or perhaps my ignorance; I had an idea of what to expect from the culture, atmosphere, people and style of the city. I was happily proven wrong.

Be warned; while this is a picture heavy post, just be thankful it's not a vlog...


In my best blogging outfit (black jeans and jacket) and camera at the ready on the walking tour.

The Palace of Science and Culture
(Affectionately known as Stalin's C**k)







The old town quarter of Warsaw is beautiful; chocolate-box houses, churches and halls.



Toe to Toe in Converse


I've always had a fascination with the abandonment and dereliction of urban spaces and while these apartments and town houses are still lived in, there's a run-down sadness to their communal spaces.








Urban art is not a common sight in Warsaw, but when it does appear, it's impressive.












Above: Stor
Good coffee/Rude staff

What sort of blogger would I be if I didn't search out the best coffee shops in the city?

Below: Daft Cafe. 
Situated in Samsung's Warsaw Spire, it's a modern shared digital work-space




The boundaries of the old Jewish ghetto. 

Over 400, 000 people were imprisoned in an area less than 2 miles square with over 300,000 of them ultimately killed during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw.


The exterior of the museum is clad in glass panels engraved with polin in Latin and Hebrew



Inside POLIN, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. 

Sadly we didn't' get to fully explore the museum as it was partly closed for a school visit, but the architecture and external installations were impressive and humbling. 


leap

Our leaps are becoming something of a tradition on our trips 
(However, I always look like I'm plummeting rather than soaring...)





The Palm 

This actually not a tree, but a modern art installation. 
It was designed to bring some of the sun of Israel to Warsaw.

moody

Coffee features strongly in any trip Caelan and I take together.


My Better Half Caelan
The most organised travelling companion ever.



On May Day, pretty much the entire city shuts down. It's a leftover worker's holiday from the Communist Era and you can't blame folks for hanging on to an extra day off. However, this leaves tourists like us stuck for things to do as all the shops and many of the bars and restaurants don't open at all 
All was not lost as we made a trip to Hala Koszyki (as seen in the May issue of Monocle) an indoor market/street food/boutique mall. Again, while the shops were shut, the food stalls were open, offering a wide range of international deliciousness.






kocham warszawę | i love warsaw


My Top Tips for visiting Warsaw:
  • Avoid visiting on May Day. Seriously. Nothing is open.
  • The ZTM public transport system is great; with unlimited weekend passes from 24PLN (less than a fiver) and operates from 7pm on Friday to 8am on Monday. These tickets are available in most underground stations and allows you on all buses, trams, trains and underground. 
  • We stayed in Lea Platinum serviced apartments rather than a hotel. It gave us much more space with a proper living room and kitchen. It would be great for a group getaway.
  • Get yourself a Monzo card. I said this in my Berlin blog post and will say it again. It's accepted everywhere and gives you a better rate for cash withdrawal.
  • While there are free walking tours available, they weren't worth the price. We joined (and left) 3 tours, either through poor guidance or oversized groups. While you can't blame people for taking advantage of a free tour, we found the guides struggled to engage and manage such group sizes.
  • The GBP is pretty strong against the zloty, making food and drink relatively cheap for city prices. If you are heading over for shopping, prices in high street chains are on par.
  • We discovered a great restaurant near our apartments called Stixx. A fusion restaurant/bar serving delicious (and amazingly priced) food and a WIDE range of drinks. Be sure to give it a go!
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My next trip is another visit to Berlin in July and then a visit to Bratislava in October so watch this space for more travel blogs.

Łotry i brogeny





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