Tips for visiting Warsaw

7 Nov

Warsaw may not get the tourist crowds of Krakow, Prague, or Western Europe, but in my opinion, it deserves them. It doesn’t seem very quaint and European at first sight, but it’s a great place to explore, and in my opinion, rewards deep exploration better than many of the more touristy cities.

Things you’ll hate and love about Warsaw, Poland

Five things you’ll hate about Warsaw, Poland

  • It feels very Americanized when you first arrive at the train or bus station. You’ll have to dig more deeply to find the more European elements of the city.
  • Sights are spread out. You’ll have to plan your sightseeing day in advance, as the different major sights are in different parts of the city.
  • The tourist crowds in the Old Town. There’s tons of them.
  • It’s more expensive than other parts of Poland
  • Not as many train connections for day trips as you’d like

 Five things you’ll love about Warsaw, Poland

+ Museums. The national museum, the uprising museum, the city history museum, there’s so many great museums here in Warsaw.

+ Food. Warsaw is one of the best places to eat in Central Europe, whether you’re looking for international or local cuisine

+ Green spaces, memorials and statues. You’ll see these sorts of things everywhere you go, and for all its urban hustle-bustle, Warsaw has an impressive number of them.

+ Palaces. Warsaw is full of interesting palaces, the most famous being Wilanow palace (probably not pronouncing it right)

+ The blend of architecture styles here. There’s basically 3 types: the rebuilt medieval/renaissance old town style, the communist style, and the capitalist style

One tip I have is to eat some traditional Polish food. It may seem bland at first glance, but there’s a lot more variety than many people think. There’s still some of the city’s soviet “milk bars” left over from Communist times, where traditional Polish food is served in a more cafeteria like setting. They are popular with older people, as well as students who live nearby.

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