Warsaw is one of the most extraordinary Cities in Europe. It gained the title of the “Phoenix City” as it survived many wars. It has been destroyed many times, but every time it has risen from it’s ashes. There is lots of excellent museums in Warsaw that interpret it’s tumultuous past. Warsaw is not all about it’s past, however. It’s a great place to dine well and affordably on cuisines around the world. Warsaw’s restaurant and entertainment scene is the best of poland!
In this post I will show the best way of visiting this city, experiencing both the past and the present!
Warsaw isn’t centred around an old town, but it is spread across a broad area. The public transport in the city is very good, it has got an extensive bus and tram system crisscrossing the city. A single ticket costs 4.40zl and a 24h tickets costs 13zl. Tickets are valid for use on metro, bus and tram and can be bought either in the bus itself, some kiosks bearing the green and yellow RUCH logo or anywhere with a sign reading Bilety.
But if the weather allows, the best and cheapest way to see the city is by bike. Venturilo is the public bicycle hiring system. The bicycles can be at over 200 locations across the city. The bikes can be hired in two ways, either by registering on the website en.veturilo.waw.pl and paying an initial fee of 10 pln via the website OR by registering by credit card at the terminal lacoates at every bicyle station.
The prices are as follows:
- 0-20min FREE
- 21- 60 1 PLN
- 2nd hour 3 PLN
- 3th hour 5 PLN
- 4th-12th hour 7 PLN per hour
WHERE TO GO?
Ironically, Warsaw’s old town is newer that it’s new town. They rebuild the old town to it’s original state after it got destroyed in the 2nd World War. And I must say, they did a absolutely remarkable job doing this! If you look closely, you’ll find buildings which have bits of mismatched old brick or stone built into their walls. These building materials at first glance appear to be out of place, but they are actually small parts of the original buildings that were salvaged after the war.
Warsaw Uprising Museum
The museum has the motto ‘we wanted to be free and to owe this freedom to ourselves’. The museum presents the 1944 uprising of the people of warsaw.
Cycle (Walk) the Royal route
The Royal Route in Warsaw begins at the Royal Castle where the Old Town ends. It leads directly to the Castle in Wilanow, which is about 10 km in southern direction. The most interesting part of the route is between the Castle Square and Rondo de Gaulle. This part of the route, that can easily be done walking in around 30 minutes, includes the two streets Krakowskie Przedmieście and Nowy Świat, which merge at Staszic Palace. But if you can, take a bike and do the whole route. By bike the route takes about 40 minutes
The biggest and most charming park of Warsaw, designed in baroque style in the 17th century. In the park you will find a number of palaces, an amphitheather and Chopin’s monument. (Part of the ‘royal route’)
Remains of Ghetto Wall
Before World War II, 30% of the city’s total population was Jewish. On Spetember 29, 1939, the German military occupied Warsaw and in October, the Germans ordered establishment of a Ghetto into which all Jewish residents had to live in. The Ghetto was surrounded by a 10ft wall and this is the best place to see the remains of this wall.
Go To a Weekend Market
Saturday and Sunday breakfast markets are a regular event that happen in a number of locations in Warsaw. There are several dozens of food stands waiting for you every week, perfect for people who seek for culinairy curiosities.
The breakfast markets are organized from March untill September, between 9am and 4pm in 4 different quarters of the city: Wola, Mokotow, Zoliborz and Powisle.
A rainy day and don’t feel like going to a outdoor food market, Hala koszyki is in the town centre and a great place to spend a rainy afternoon trying different food while enjoying a great atmosphere.
Best views in town
A must when you are in Warsaw is to go up to a rooftop bar (or a rooftop spa) to enjoy a beautiful view of the Warsaw Skyline, here is three of the places to go, and if in doubt which one to go to, just go to all of them!
Palace of science and culture
Also known as “Gift of Stalin”. This is the most touristy panorama terrace, located on the 30th floor and offers an excellent panoramic view of the city.
Marriot Sky Bar
Poland’s highest located hotel bar is a great way to enjoy the warsaw skyline while enjoying delicious food and drinks all year long. Tip: 1800-1900 is happy hour, which get’s you 50% discount off selected cocktails!
Tower of St Anne’s Church
Here you will get the best views of the old town, especially around sunset.To get to the viewing platform you will have to make use of them both. After walking 150 stone stairs to the very top of the tower, you will experience Warsaw’s probably most breath-taking view.
Riverview Welness Centre
Want something different than a skybar, why not go to the spa on the 44th floor of the Continental Hotel!