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I visited Warsaw for a weekend in April this year, it was part The Money Shop’s £200 challenge, which we marginally failed but you can read more about that here. The weekend break marked my first time in Poland and what I am sure will not be my last. Whether you are touring Poland or looking for a European city break, Warsaw is a place you must visit, the contrast of the old with the new, as well as the history makes for an engaging, at times emotional but overall fascinating visit. Here is your guide for things that you must do in Warsaw, Poland:
There are two airports in Warsaw, Chopin and Modlin.
Chopin is located just 10km from the city centre and can easily be reached by bus:
– Bus number 175 runs to the centre and around the Old Town
– Bus numbers 148 and 188 run to the ‘other’ side of the river, to Praga, Grochów and Gocław
– Night bus number N32 runs to the city centre
Modlin is located further out of the city (35km) but is the airport choice for budget airlines such as a Ryanair and transfer to the main city is relatively hassle free by use of the express bus (45 minutes non-stop service priced at 33 PLN/£7.09). The train is a cheaper alternative to reach the city centre, but this takes nearly two hours, so if you are on a limited time scale, the express is a much better option.
Warsaw is easily accessible by foot, it is easy to navigate and relatively flat, however, they also have a safe and easy to use metro system, which costs 6 PLN/£1.29 for a 90-minute transfer ticket.
Where to stay
Hotel: We stayed in the Hotel Varsovie for two nights which came to a total of 326 PLN/£70 for two nights. The hotel was well located just outside of the Centrale area and included free wifi, however, I would not recommend the hotel restaurant, it okay for alcohol but we found the food over priced for what it was, especially the breakfast.
Hostel: The Press Hostel has been named as one of the best and cleanest hostels in the city.
What to do
Warsaw’s main attraction is the Old Town, terribly a lot of the original Old Town was destroyed during the war but it was restored to its former glory after the war was over, a lot of using the same bricks. The Old Town is filled with many beautifully bright coloured tall buildings and cobbled streets, creating an extremely picturesque area of the city.
Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
Cost: 25 PLN/£5.37
Metro Stop: Ratusz Arsenał
A must visit when in Warsaw, it is incredibly moving and emotional but essential to understanding the history and struggles of the Jewish people of Poland.
Free Walking Tour
Cost: Free but a donation is recommended
Tours are usually run by students and are a great cost effective way to see the city, you will also experience the city through the eyes of a local. As I mentioned these tours are run by students a lot of the time, so please do give a tip if you enjoy your experience.
Museum of Neon Lights
Cost: 10 PLN/£2.15
Metro Stop: Stadion Narodowy
The Neon Muzeum is dedicated to the documentation and the preservation of Cold War era neon signs and has been voted a top location choice by Lonely Planet.
The largest park in Warsaw, Poland, occupying 76 hectares of the city centre.
Warsaw Horror House
Interactive horror maze, I actually was too scared to do this while we were there but various reviews say it is a brilliant but terrifying attraction.
The Palace of Science and Culture
Viewing deck cost: 20PLN/£4.23
Where to eat and drink
Beef and Roll
Address: Nowy Świat 36
Perfect for a late lunch/early dinner, larger variety of burgers (minimal vegetarian options) and beer also available for purchase. Meal for two with beer cost 70 PLN/ £14
Address: Marszałkowska 115
Really nice cocktail bar with a chilled atmosphere, average cocktail costs roughly about 20 PLN/£4.20
Address: Located all over the city.
Traditional Polish food and a huge variety of dumplings, this place does get extremely busy but is worth the wait. A meal for two, with a beer and a traditional vodka shot came to 76 PLN / £14.00.
Must try: Dumplings with spinach leaves and cheese in a warm blue-cheese sauce Dor Blue and Rockford
Address: Nowomiejska 10
If you are a fan of craft ales, it is a great place to go, their ale choices are constantly changing and when we visited they had flavours such as Tropical, Sour Blaster and even Strawberry milkshake – they sound horrible but they were actually really nice. They also serve a wide range of pizzas.
If you are planning a city break, be sure to put Warsaw on the list, it is a fun city with lots to do and great food is readily available. However, if you are not one for the cold than a summer (June-September) trip is advisable, as temperatures do not start to go up until mid-May, we visited in April and had a snow flurry on one of the days.
all currency conversions are correct at time of writing.