Her Travel Diaries invites you to take out your free time to visit one of the most fascinating cities in Central Europe, the capital of Poland – Warsaw.
Top sights: Once you arrive to Warsaw, try to plan your visit in a way that will allow you to learn about at least one aspect of Polish history. You may choose the World War II route (Warsaw Uprising Museum, Pawiak Museum), the Jewish Warsaw route (Polin Museum, Warsaw Uprising Museum, Jewish Cementary, Jewish Theatre, Old Jewish Ghetto district), the Chopin route (Chopin Museum, The National Philharmony, Academy of Music) or the Communist route (Palace of Science and Culture, Plac Konstytucji, Praga district). These are just few suggestions, as there are many other thematic paths on which you may discover and fall in love with Warsaw, its history and its people.
Cuisine: Polish milk bars, are a delight worthy of your time and money. You will find them on the main streets in the City Centre. If you have difficulty finding one, ask locals for directions to the „bar mleczny”. There are also several restaurants that serve typical Polish food around the city centre and the old town area called „Zapiecek”. In case you only have time for cake and coffee, we recommend the cosy and old-fashioned „Wedel cafe” or „Blikle cafe”, that will bring you back to the atmosphere of 19th century Warsaw.
Culture: Consult the National Opera and National Philharmony websites and check if you can still get a ticket for their evening performances. Other than this, you may want to check the official website of the City of Warsaw, that provides you with the most up-to-date info on cultural events (in English!).
Shopping: There are several malls, located next to the Centre metro station. However, if you are one for more slow-paced shopping, we suggest you to check out Chmielna Street and Nowy Świat Street, both located in the main tourist area between the central metro station and the old town area. Don’t be surprised by the prices, as yes, shopping in Warsaw is usually much cheaper than in Western European capitals.
For the soul: A lot of tourists like to walk a part of the so called Royal Tract. Do the same and stop by in the churches located on either side of the tract (Krakowskie Przedmiescie street). In Warsaw, unlike in many other cities in Europe, churches are usually open during the day, so you can enter for a moment of meditation, short prayer or an encounter with the local priest. The Royal Tract will bring you to the Old Town, where again you will find a lot of churches and an enormous amount of beautiful Polish sacral art.
For those who already know Warsaw quite well: Take a train to Otwock city, a town located 24 km southeast of Warsaw, home to a unique architectural style called Swidermajer. Otwock is the hometown of Irena Sendler (1910 – 2008), the Polish humanitarian who saved thousands of Jewish children during the Holocaust; as well as Krystyna Dańko, both awarded the titles of Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem. You can spend the day touring the city, visiting the local Otwock Museum, taking in a lot of very fresh air in the nearby forests, nordic-walking and chatting with the locals.
Fall in love with Warsaw! (mar)