In the history of humanity cities have been a constant practically since we ceased to be nomads. In fact, they combine the best that human potential can offer, becoming places of knowledge sharing, economic activity, development and leisure. Warsaw is a perfect example of a city with C and that has plenty to offer.
There are many cities whose foundation is so old that it is often not even known the exact date of their creation. Others remain in history as examples of the resilience of their inhabitants, rearing up even after the worst catastrophes and adversities. Warsaw is one of these cities, an example of history, the will to want to persist, to want to be better, more prosperous even when the framework is not favorable.
This will be the first post from our 5-day Poland tour. We spent about 48 hours in the Polish capital and tried to visit its main tourist attractions but also discover new places. The city has a cultural richness so vast that even taking advantage of the days to the maximum we feel that we still lacked much to discover.
How to go to Warsaw
Our trip was made through TAP and we were fortunate to have gotten a direct flight to the city’s main airport, Warsaw Chopin airport (In honor of the great reference in the history of music, which was born in Warsaw). The flight lasts about 3 hours 40m. After landing in Polish lands we begin to glimpse some of the great investment that has been made in the mobility and public transport.
We advise you to take the ticket for a fixed time period (24, 48 or 72h) and you can find more information here. In our case, the daily ticket costed us 15zł (3.50 €). The trip to the city center is made by train, taking little more than 20 minutes. You can catch the SKM (S3) or KM trains, which pass in the main stations of the city. In our case we left at the central station of Warsaw (Centrala Warsaw).
Where to stay in Warsaw
As you may have noticed from other posts we have made, we are dedicated users of the AirBNB platform. The main advantages that lead us to give preference to this digital platform are the possibility of obtaining quite central locations in the cities we visit and at prices much lower than a Hotel.
Our choice in Warsaw went to this apartment. Extremely well located (Only a 5 minute walk from Warsaw central station and all means of transport of the city and just over 10 minutes walk from the old town), very comfortable and well decorated and with a perfect cleanliness. The hostess is extremely friendly and welcomed us very well.
Route through the city
Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki)
Main icon of the city,It was built in the communist times of Poland, we speak of the Palace of Culture and Science. This imposing 237-meter-high building is currently the tallest in Poland. Built in 1952 by order of Joseph Stalin, it has an architecture inspired by neo-Soviet style and American art-deco and some say that the main purpose would be to copy the famous Empire State Building.
It currently serves as a congress center, theater and cinema room and office building. It is advisable to explore the building from various perspectives since the base of the building is different from each side. Do not forget to climb to the top of this magnificent building, an experience that guarantees one of the best views of the entire city.
Central square/Modern quarter (Marszałkowska/Świętokrzyska)
The surrounding area of the Palace of Culture deserves special mention for two reasons: It includes incredible parks where it is possible to enjoy a short break or to enjoy one of the many statues and fountains, as well as being a confluence zone of almost all the main cultural activities of the city, being frequent in this area to find concerts and exhibitions.
As we move towards the old town and historic center, we go up the famous Marszałkowska Avenue where on one side are still visible several buildings with an architecture characteristic of the communist period. However, our highlight goes to the other side of the avenue and the confluence with Świętokrzyska avenue. It is in this area that you will find the vibrant and modern heart of Warsaw and, to a certain extent, Poland.
It is easy to miss several minutes to contemplate the modern office towers that make Warsaw one of the most interesting modern skylines in Europe. The architecture of most buildings is really beautiful and deserves a more appreciative and dedicated look. All of this adds to the fact that the whole area has large wooded areas and parks, which can easily make us confuse this area with famous Central Park in New York.
Saxon Garden (Ogród Saski)
Right in the center of Warsaw lies one of the most beautiful parks in the city. The Saxon Garden is the oldest public park in the city, having been established in 1727. Throughout its history it has served as a place of relaxation and walks of various kings and Polish nobility, something that still today is easily noticed by wealth incredible park.
We suggest you to enter the park from Krówleska Street, on a route that allows you to appreciate the park’s great natural wealth and the surprise that it offers when we arrive at the central area of the park, all surrounded by statues and a truly beautiful water fountain!
The park also has a large lake where we suggest you sit a bit on the grass or on the benches while enjoying a moment of relaxation, only occasionally interrupted by the flying of the ducks that live there.
Monument to the Unknown Soldier (Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza)
The history of suffering and struggle in Poland is something that is present in almost every city block. Indeed, we must not forget the great courage and resistance of the Polish people in the face of successive invasions in their history.
It is at the monument to the unknown soldier that a tribute is paid to all Polish soldiers who have honored their country and died in battle not only in Poland but also on other battlefields across Europe. In the monument there are permanently two soldiers of the Polish army and it is possible to see plates with all Polish battles over the last centuries.
We advise you to pass even quickly through this place, which combines both the history of Poland and the courage of its people.
This first part of our Warsaw script can be done one afternoon or morning. In order to move from one place to another we went on foot, but if you want to use the public transport network, buses are always an excellent option in Warsaw.
In the next post we will then go through the most famous part of the city, the old town and visit one of the most beautiful parks in Europe!