Warsaw was never a place I had on my bucketlist. I thought I had much more interesting places to go. Amsterdam, Croatia and Switzerland to name a few but as I scrolled through expedia last boxing day I came across a city break for £75 each and a few weeks later we set of to Warsaw. I didnt have high expectations if im honest. I had been to Krakow the year before and loved it and I knew Warsaw was a much more industrial city. I didn’t know much about it so we planned to just go and see what there was to do.
Our first hurdle though was getting to the city centre. When you fly with Ryanair they land in Modlin Airport which is roughly 25 miles away from Warsaw. When we arrived we followed everyone to the buses. After five minutes on the bus we pulled up to a tiny train station in the middle of nowhere with just two platforms and a waiting room. Theres no guards, no signs and none of us can read polish. What train do we get on? Lucky for us though we always seem to work stuff out and we did actually pick the right train. We relaxed watching the polish countryside go by. It was fascinating! The different houses, frozen rivers and rows and rows of allotments!
One thing I did plan before I went was a Birthday Surprise for Dougie. The staff at the Ibis Warzawa Centrum organised balloons and a cake in the room for when we arrived. They were amazing. They put up banners, personalised the cake and even upgraded our room. After only a couple of hours I was loving Warsaw!
We done so many things on our visit to Warsaw.
Here is a list of my top 5 things to do.
1, The Warsaw Uprising Museum – The museum is situated in the Wola District and is a tribute to the Warsaw residents that tried to free their city. The museum uses pictures, eye witness stories and interactive displays to tell their story but the highlight of the museum is definitely the replicas. You can take a walk through a Warsaw sewer where many people escaped, visit a Polish printing workshop and see a Liberator B-27J Bomber that takes up most of the ground floor!
2, Visit the Old Town – The old town is the most picturesque part of the city. The market square is now filled with cocktail bars and restaurants and is surrounded by colourful town houses. You could walk around here and never realise that at the end of WW2 it was all totally destroyed and rebuilt. Even the royal castle that dominates the square was reduced to rubble. I enjoyed looking around the little independent shops here. My favorite was the antique shop Lapidarium. It was a treasure trove where you could buy anything from vintage jewellery to a Nazi army uniform.
3, Museum of History of Polish Jews – The museum is located in the Muranow District which is the site of the Warsaw Ghetto during WW2. It tells the story of how Jews first settled in Poland all the way up until the 20th Century when they were nearly wiped out by the holocaust. My favourite part was the reconstruction of a handpainted ceiling and canopy of a lost synagogue that was painted by local students. We also enjoyed a walk around the grounds to the Ghetto wall outline and the many memorials to Ghetto heros.
4, Palace of Science and Culture – This massive 231 metre high building was a gift from Stalin during the soviet era. When you walk in your greeted by marble floors, glass chandeliers thousands of stairs and hidden lifts. Cinemas, theatres, restaurants and museums occupy just some of it 3288 rooms but the best attraction is the visit to the 30th floor which gives you the most amazing views of the city. Remember though wrap up warm in the winter months because its freezing and dont miss a visit the lovely little cafe, which does beautiful Nutella cupcakes.
5, Warsaw Technology Museum – This museum is dedicated to anything Technology related and is housed in the Palace of science and culture. Here we saw collections of cars, moterbikes, computers, aeroplanes and even toys. The only downside to this museum was that alot of the information boards were not in English but it was a nice place to spend an hour or two out of the cold and to also see inside some more of the buildings spectacular rooms.
I would definitely recommend a visit to Warsaw. It is reasonably priced and there is so much more we would love to go back and do including the Science centre, the royal castle and the Warsaw zoo.
Have you visited Warsaw? If so what was your best places to visit? Let me know!