It's fair to say that Warsaw, Poland's capital, isn't the most well-liked of all the cities in Europe. It is easily underrated. Having been to Poland 3 times, I don't even know the reason. Visitors' reactions to the city appear to be conflicted; its complex personality either attracts or repels them.
Warsaw will enthrall and educate its guests whether they are enjoying in some delectable Polish cuisine, exploring the Old Town, or learning about the somber but crucial history of the Holocaust. There are numerous ways to go about Poland, but in this piece, we'll lead you through two excellent days in Warsaw, Poland, full with the country's history, culture, and cuisine.
Things to Know before you Go
Visa (for Indian Passport holders): For holders of Indian passports travelling to Poland, a prior visa must be arranged. You can travel without a visa if you have a Schengen visa or are a resident of one of the EU/Schengen nations.
Currency: Polish currency is Zloty. 1 PLN ~ 17 INR
Best way to travel : Most of the time, walking is your best bet, especially in the Old Town. Buses, Trams & metro make up Warsaw's public transportation system.
Accommodation : Hotels range from cheap to luxurious, and it will cost more to stay close to the City Centre & old city. If you need some room and will need to cook, Airbnb's are a possibility.
Language : Poland's national language is Polish. English-speaking individuals and signs are quite hard to find. It is better to do some research upfront, where to go, how to go? Download some offline maps and get some help of a local online
Food: Don't leave Warsaw without trying Pierogi, a type of dumpling with the most diverse fillings, which is the most well-known dish in Poland (e.g. meat, cottage cheese or strawberries). Also you can find kebab shops across Warsaw, one of the cheap eateries in the city
Water: Tap water is safe to drink. We didn't have the necessity to but bottled waers.
Wifi & Mobile data: Most popular tourist destinations, the old city, and restaurants offered free Wi-Fi. Therefore, there was no need for us to buy a sim.
Credit Cards and ATMs: It was easy paying by card and didn't feel the need to use Cash. Do keep some change if you are traveling by public transport.
Safety: Poland is a safe destination. Always be mindful of your surroundings & stick to your instincts. If you feel something is not right, don't do it. Keep your wallets & passports safe. We read articles about taxis overcharging in the late night.
Best time to Visit
As you avoid the peak travel months in Europe, May, June, and September, you'll notice that the city is less crowded. You should find it enjoyable to be out and about enjoying the city even at this time of year. The best month to visit Warsaw is probably May, when there are less visitors and generally good weather.
Winter is extremely cold and it is hard to move freely around the city. Would personally recommend to avoid November-February
Warsaw is almost in the middle of the country. Other important town to visit is Krakow & Gdansk (closer to the beach).
Krakow is the nation's historical political and cultural center; it is also home to the largest European market square, numerous historic cathedrals, and, more recently, hip bars and art galleries. If you are planning to spend some more time in Poland, Krakow will be the next city you'll be visiting.
Gdansk- We have visited Gdansk a few times, more often a stop over to central Europe. It has a beautiful old town surrounded with plenty of restaurants . If you want to explore the coastal cities of Poland, Gdansk is your gateway
How to get to Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital city & the largest city in Poland. It's important to be aware that there are two airports serving Warsaw: Warsaw Modlin and Warsaw Chopin. Only Ryanair currently operates flights into and out of Modlin.
Emirates, Qatar, Ethihad, Turkish Airlines are some of the major airlines that fly into Warsaw from Chennai. Dubai is the best option for connecting.
Warsaw is not an expensive destination when you compare with the other hotspot tourist destination in Europe
We stayed in an AIRBNB, which costs us 30 Euros per night (3 people sharing, 10 Euros/person/night). Hostels start @ 9 Euros (720 INR) and Budget rooms @ 15 Euros(1200 INR).
The restaurants were very much affordable.
If you are going around the city, it is better to get into trams or buses, has god connectivity and inexpensive
Where to Stay
Most of Warsaw’s attractions lie within walking distance of the city’s Old Town and the central Sródmiescie neighborhood. These are both ideal areas to stay in, especially with their public transport connections.
We preferred the Airbnb than hotels. It gave us more
value for money and a bigger space.
2 Days in Warsaw !!What to Do?
If you're thinking about taking a two-day visit, this map will show you what there is to do in Warsaw. You'll have a general notion of what to do and can adjust it whatever you like. You cannot miss the nightclubs, pubs, and midnight kebabs since the nightlife is so vibrant.
Day 1: Warsaw City Tour
Nowy Świat Street
Many magnificent structures, including several palaces, border this street. There will probably be a number of street performers along the broad route, adding to the atmosphere.
You'll come to a stop at the Presidential Palace halfway down the street. Although it is not his home, the president of the country holds office at this magnificent mansion, which is guarded by armed guards. The Presidential Palace is open for visits, but prior arrangements must be made.
Along the way, you can observe a number of pretty lovely structures, including the Carmelite Church and the Visitationist Church, which are quite similar. St. Anne's Church, with its opulent interior, is the one you shouldn't miss.
Given that the area is flanked by the Old Town's vibrant historic homes, the crumbling city walls, and the towering city castle, it is obvious why it is so popular.
To appreciate how uniquely diverse each of the courtyard's five sides is, make sure to explore the inner courtyard of the castle. You don't need tickets to view the castle's courtyard or gardens, but you will need them to take a guided tour of the interior and the royal apartments.
Warsaw Old Town
The Old Town of Warsaw isn't extremely large, so getting about on foot shouldn't be a problem. Even while it may appear very nice right now, it's important to keep in mind that everything had to be rebuilt after being severely damaged during World War II.
Plac Kanonia is one square that should be located while exploring the city's streets. Here you can locate the city's tiniest building nestled away in a corner as well as the substantial Wishing Bell from the 17th century. The Gnojna Góra terrace viewpoint, with views of the Vistula River, is nearby.
Warsaw Rising Museum
If you're in Warsaw, you really can't claim to have traveled there without first comprehending its intricate history. Nearly a fourth of Warsaw's population was killed during the Warsaw Rising in 1944.
This museum serves as a monument and honor to the valiant Poles who battled to liberate Warsaw from German rule. The fact that this exhibit was entirely interactive was another aspect I enjoyed.
Day 2: Old City, Food Tour & Nightlife
Palace of Culture and Science
It’s most appealing feature though is its panoramic terrace. From the top of this huge Soviet tower you’re presented with unparalleled views of Warsaw as far as the eye can see. Visiting the observation deck helps you get your bearings, since you can not only see the city, but are shown information on its most important landmarks. The Open space is cold as there is no glass covering like the ones we have in modern buildings, so it is better to go equipped.
Krasinski Palace Gardens
Make your way to the surrounding tranquil grounds behind Krasinski Palace to give yourself some time to contemplate everything from the day's museums. You should feel uplifted by the lovely gardens, and the Baroque palace is undoubtedly a magnificently exquisite structure.
Further evidence that Warsaw is more than just Soviet architecture may be seen in the fact that the palace is now a component of the Polish National Library. A moving memorial to the Warsaw Uprising is located across from the unusual-looking Supreme Court of Poland.
Łazienki Park and Palaces
Lazienki Park should not be missed, despite the fact that it may seem to be very far south of the central business district. There are countless streams, lakes, woods, and fields in this enormous park, which extends across an area larger than the Old Town. The University Botanic Gardens, a sizable statue of composer Chopin, and an art museum housed inside Ujazdowski Castle are all located there.
You want to go out in the city even though it's still early in the evening? You can choose from a wide range of locations, including the well-known clubs at Plac Zbawiciela or the popular taverns and clubs near the Vistula, where the nightlife really heats up in the summer. Check out the party area on Parkingowa, Nowogrodzka, and Mazowiecka Streets if you want to have a good time. No issue if you wish to view the city skyline from a high floor. There are clubs with this expansive vistas.
Additional Time? Visit Krakow & Gdansk
If you still have time left or if you are on a road trip, Do visit Krakow. It is an interesting city which is full of History & culture. It’s rare to hear a bad thing said about this delightful, historic city. Unscathed physically through WWII, Kraków is an authentic, yet often troubled slice of history.
One of the most popular excursions for tourists to Kraków is a tour of Auschwitz Birkenau, the notorious Nazi concentration camp. This excursion may not be suitable for everyone because it can be emotionally taxing to recount the terrible history and tales from this location. Consider taking a tour from Krakow to make the most of our trip.
It is also possible to learn about local acts performed against Jewish victims in Krakow's Jewish history. In addition to walking tours, you can visit Oskar Schindler's Factory, the setting for the film Schindler's List. It's important not to miss the eerie memorial in Ghetto Heroes Square.
Gdansk is another lesser known city in central Europe. We have been to Gdansk a few times, more often it is a stop over. Didn't get the opportunity to explore much. Such a shame. It has a beautiful Old town and also a fantasttic coastline.
Beaches in Sopot and Gdynia: Gdask is a member of the so-called "Three Cities," together with Sopot and Gdynia. The beautiful, broad, sandy beaches of its smaller northern neighbors make up for their little size. Even though the Sopot city beach is perhaps the most well-liked option, you may be swimming and tanning on a variety of stunning beaches in record time by taking a fast local train there.
Ever wonder where the biggest castle in the world is? That would be Malbork Castle. Poland, namely Malbork, is the solution. You will be astounded by the enormous size of this 13th-century Teutonic stronghold, not to mention the condition of its numerous halls and chambers.
Conclusion & Our Recommendation
Having made some polish friends over the period of time, we got attracted to the country. Not to mention the ridiculously cheap flights from Norway to Poland (80 Norwegian Kroner ~ 650 Indian Rupees)
Personally we loved Poland. It has so much to offer and it should be on your list of countries when doing a central Europe tour. When you do a wider Euro tour, you can easily miss it. We would rate is optional when you are travelling from India.