The secrets of Warsaw
During the preparation of my trip to Warsaw, I read on the internet several times that it would be a cheerles city. Unfriendly people and an unpleasant atmosphere. Warsaw has a history. During the Second World War, the city was almost completely bombed and many Jewish residents were deported and killed. In the years after the war, the city was rebuilt rapid. The old center has been rebuilt almost exactly on the basis of photographs and paintings.
The largest part of Warsaw consists of square blocks with apartments in the style of the Soviet Union. Slightly colored and dull in appearance. The streets are wide and the city is spacious. There are a lot of parks between the neighborhoods. Large parks. Parks that are designed to offer its residents a place to relax. Play equipment, fitness facilities, lots of greenery and benches. Warsaw is doing everything it can to please its residents and provide the necessary space.
A surprising element that I have not read anywhere on the internet is the ski slope that lies in the middle of the city between the apartment buildings. Park Szczesliwice not only houses a ski slope, but also a lake, a fitness park and a playground. As a result of the extraction of clay for the reconstruction of the city, a huge crater was created. This crater now forms the lake in the park. After the war, the city struggled with mountains of rubble through the bombing. This mountain of debris was brought together on the spot where the village of Szczesliwice was located in the nineteenth century. In the sixties of the last century, people turned this mountain into a true ski paradise. The ski slope is 200 meters long and there is both a drag lift and a modern chairlift. The sloping hill next to the ski slope is used for sledding and there is also a toboggan run in summer. If you go to Warsaw in the winter, take a ski suit and enjoy a day of real winter sports atmosphere. For six euros you can already spend an afternoon skiing or snowboarding. You can rent all materials in the professional shop. In the summer you can also ski there, but then it is a brush track.
Another surprise of the city are the many restaurants of good quality. Whether you really want to eat Polish or prefer to sit at the Italian, the Chinese, a sandwich shop or the famous burger shop, you'll find everything here. You can eat well anywhere in the city. Moreover, it is dirt cheap. For twenty-five euros you eat here with two people until you have a stomach ache and drink a nice beer with it.
No lack of museums in Warsaw. Maria Curie (Sklodowska) and Chopin were born in Warsaw and obviously have their own museum. If you do not like classic, then the museum of the uprising and the National Museum is a must. A selection from all museums in Warsaw: The Royal Palace, placed on the World Heritage list of UNESCO, The Royal Lazienki museum in the beautiful Lazienki park, once the summer house of the last King of Poland, The Wilanow Palace of King John the third, The Warsaw Rising museum, The Polin museum on the history of Polish Jews, the National Museum of Ethnography (the mapping of peoples), the center for Contemporary art (art from the same era), Zacheta National gallery of art, the Neon museum, The National Stadium Narodowy, the museum of sports and tourism, the museum of Legia Warsaw (football) and the Copernicus Science center. Whether this is not enough, the well-known Palace of Culture and Science, the third-highest building in Poland. Drawn up in Stalinist sugar pie style from the fifties of the last century.
Whoever drives into Warsaw, immediately sees the great contrast between old and new. Between historical and modern. Between the generations of today and the generations of that time. The enormous building of the Palace of Culture and Science is nostalgic between modern shiny skyscrapers. Old and new interwoven, situated on the dividing line between the old city and the new city.
The Stare Miastro, the old town, is best explored walking. In a few hours you walk from the Palace of Culture and Science through the elongated Nowy Swiat and Krakowskie Przedmiescie into the old center. Krakowskie Przedmiescie is worth a walk. Beautiful Palaces and beautiful buildings, built after the second World War in old style. You can also find shops and restaurants in all shapes and sizes. The Stare Miastro, the old town, is best explored on foot. In an afternoon you walk from the Palace of Culture and Science through the elongated Nowy Swiat and Krakowskie Przedmiescie into the old center. Krakowskie Przedmiescie is worth a walk. Beautiful Palaces and beautiful buildings, built after the second World War in old style. You can also find shops and restaurants in all shapes and sizes. The Stare Miastro, the old town, is best explored on foot. In the afternoon you will walk through the Nowy Swiat and Krakowskie Przedmiescie into the old center. Krakowskie Przedmiescie is worth a walk. Beautiful Palaces and beautiful buildings, built after the second World War in old style. You can also find shops and restaurants in all shapes and sizes.
Those who walk straight ahead, automatically arrive at the square Zamkowy with the familiar colored houses. Go left into the street Piwna enjoy the beautiful houses with small windows in all kinds of colors. At the end you walk right into the old market square. In the winter there is an ice rink here and there are wooden houses put down where you can drink something. In the summer you will find nice markets and events here. Those who are not tired yet walk to the old ramparts overlooking the River Wisla.
The last surprise of the city is the friendliness and helpfulness of the people. At the moment I was there it froze fifteen degrees celcius and it was not busy on the street. As a woman I walked alone with my twelve-year-old son and I did not feel unsafe for a moment. Several times I have spoken to people on the street to ask for directions or to get information and I was always friendly and helped. Given the history of this city, I can imagine that the people in the years after the war were not friendly to tourists, but the inhabitants of today are certainly. The city will certainly sparkle and burst with fun in the street in the summer.
Public transport is well arranged. The central station is near the Palace of Art and Culture and the old town. Buses and trams run throughout the city. The metro network with a North-South line was commissioned in 1995 and is currently the only metro network in Poland. In general, people speak English well and you can plan the right route quickly.
Warsaw is a surprising city with many opportunities for tourists. Take the time to be make contact with the residents and they will treat you as a friend.