Poland is such a big country in Europe about which I know little. Although I had been to Warsaw years ago, I knew next to nothing about the city. I was therefore in for a surprise. What a vibrant and stunning place. There is so much history here and the modern Polish food is great. Especially the cakes! Coming from a Viennese this must be true. In any case, Warsaw is a great weekend destination. And since I didn’t manage to see everything I had planned, I will definitely come back. Here are my tips for navigating the city. Yours, Pollybert
1.) It’s the 7th most friendly place for vegetarian and vegans. Especially when it comes to cakes. They are all vegetarian!
2.) The Old Town of Warsaw is the newest in Europe. Same goes for the Royal Castle which has actually not seen a king. All of this is due to the Germans who destroyed 90% of the place during the uprising in ‘44.
3.) Look for exposed bricks on houses while walking through the center. These bricks are from the original houses and are the only thing left standing after the uprisings.
4.) The area around Old Town is just for tourists. There are lots of great bars in and around Poznanska street. Next time I will book a place here.
5.) The former Jewish ghetto shows its borders in form of markers on the floor. There are also maps which show the perimeter of the ghetto. Lest we forget what happened here.
6.) You have eat the paczki (donut) warm and in the morning. They expire in the afternoon. I can’t say anything in regards to the expiration because I got one in the morning. So not sure if they are different in the afternoon. In any case, the paczki was soooo good! I bought it at 5 Ciastek in the old town. Don’t miss it!
7.) There were two uprisings in Warsaw. One in1943 in the Jewish ghetto and the second was in 1944 when all of Warsaw turned against the Germans.
8.) Modern Polish cuisine is light and interesting, while the typical Polish food is heavy. One evening I went for Polish pierogi and a mug of sour rye soup. In hindsight I think the fried pierogi are better. I loved the soup but then couldn’t finish the dumplings anymore.
9.) Some museums offer free entry on Sunday. Not sure if that is every Sunday or only one per month.
10.) There are a lot of monuments referring to the recent history of Poland. Like this one here which commemorates the uprising in ’44. The monument shows two different events, on the right side is the offense of the citizens and the left shows the retreat through the sewers.
11.) Walking through and underground tunnel needs special instructions. Here we go.
12.) Access for gas and electricity is outside of the apartment buildings.
13.) Russia left its architecturally Russia left its mark on all its satellite states. Warsaw is no different. As you can see a wonderful Stalinist skyscraper left its mark on the city.