The top places to see
- Kings Castle
- Old Town/Nowy Swiat Street
- Lazienki Park
- Wilanow Palace
- Warsaw Uprising Museum
Time to see each place
- Kings Castle - 3 hours
- Old Town/Nowy Swiat - 4 hour walking tour
- Lazienki Park - 2hours
- Wilanow Palace - 3 hours
- Warsaw Uprising Museum - 3 hours
Day trips outside Warsaw:
- Bialowieza National Park
Warsaw is the current capitol of Poland, and as a result has very tumultuous history. Warsaw did not exist after World War II, after 95% of the city was destroyed by Germans as a retaliation for Warsaw Uprising. Luckily, thanks to dedication of its citizens, the city has been restored to its former glory. The Old Town and King's Castle are the two main sections of town that have been reconstructed to pre-war state using mainly paintings and memory of former inhabitants. Some of the reconstruction took over 40 years, with work lasting well into 1980s. Today Warsaw is a thriving metro area, with over 1.2 million calling it a home, with all the accompaniments of major city - restaurants, museums, theatres, clubs, as well as major city traffic and pollution.
Getting to Warsaw
- Fly into Okecie/Chopin Airport (code WAW). Okecie Airport is located about 6 miles from city center, translating into 15 minute taxi trip outside of rush hour, and 45 minutes during rush hour (7-9:30a, and 4:00-7:00pm). Taxi fare for trip to town center should be no more than $15 during daytime, after 6pm fares go up.
- Take a train to Warsaw from all major European cities, get of at Warszawa Centralna station
- Use Warsaw metro - very efficient, clean and safe. Buy single pass metro tickets at any of the newspaper stands for $1/each.
- Second best method of getting around is using your own legs, and for more distant trips - taxi.
- Avoid renting/driving car in Warsaw - during most of the day it is an exercise in frustration, both with driving and parking. Parking runs about $20-30/day, especially in town center.
Places to stay
The best and most convenient place to stay is downtown next to Central Train Station, which is a hub for all other attractions. Options here range from Marriott and Radisson downtown to number of Old Town condos. The hotels run about $120/night, 2 bedroom apartment Old Town condo is about $130/night. Check individual web sites below for weekend specials, pay attention to exchange rate (check out Oanda for exchange rates).
Old Town is full of restaurants, cafés, food stands and bars to suit every taste. During warm months there is number of outdoor seating options in the Old Town Square, with decent food, and great people watching. Expect overpriced menus and OK food, and nice ambiance when weather permits. After dark, Warsaw is THE center of action for nightlife in Poland,with large number of clubs and restaurants to suit every taste. Most of the night clubs are clustered around downtown area, and most of the dinning is to be found in Old Town.