Five Days in Poland: Warsaw

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Before I tell you about Warsaw, I really need to tell you about how we got to Warsaw.  There are two options for trains, a 2 hour train and a 4 hour train.  The latter being about 1/2 the price, so we opted for that.  Annie and I talked about comfy seats, warm and cozy…and “maybe there´s wifi!!!!”

Start laughing.  It was like a Soviet Union replica train.  Or not replica…the original.  The train was a series of cars that were full of “carts” where 8 people could ride, 4 on each benc, facing the other 4 with knees touching, and sweltering to death (if you´re me).  When we got on, I almost had a panic attack that I would need to endure that for 4 hours.  Talk about spoiled?  It ended up being totally fine since people got off more than they go on at each stop between Krakow and Warsaw.  I just took off most of my clothing and everyone was happy 😉

Ok, so in my Krakow post, I mentioned that when I think “Poland”, I think:poland

Or something similar.  Black and white and generlly…sad.  So ignorant!  But I was so wrong…dsc_0545

When you ask people´s opinions on Warsaw, they will tell you 1-2 days is enough there, so we expected a small town with little to see/ do.  Imagine our surprise when it was a big city, reminding me very much of Philadelphia.  That big building on the left you see in the above photo?  That is the Palace of Culture in Science.  Built in 1955, it is the tallest building in Poland!!  It’s a controversial building because it was built in “the name of Joseph Stalin” and some argue that it represents Soviet War efforts, as well as destroys the aesthetic of the Warsaw skyline.  In recent years, that has been remedied with the addition of other skyscrapers.  Today, people jokingly refer to the palace as “Stalin’s Penis”.  Hahahah.  We didn’t go inside, but that leaves something I would definitely like to do when I am back in Warsaw.  Anyway, Warsaw was full of big, tall buildings, sparkiling city lights.  And a lot of Christmas spirit.dsc_0577

On the first night, we arrived around dinner time so we walked to our hostel (Oki Doki Hostel, if you´re curious.  Seems like a good place for solo travelers, relatively clean, spacious, fun bar, and knowledgeable staff).dsc_0524  dsc_0533

Then we went searching for food.  It kind of turned into a sh!t show, since we first took a taxi allllll the way uptown to head to a popular milkbar (Bar Mleczny Prasowy if you are in Warsaw and get there earlier than we did), just to learn they were no longer serving dinner.  So then we walked allllll the way back town, down and around, until eventually ending up at a cool little pho bar…right near our hostel.  Whomp.  I ordered the thai-peanut pho and it was so good.  Perfect for a cold night 😉  And even more perfect, it was less than 3 Euros!  Annie’s dish was like 2.50 Euros.  GeTtIn C.R.A.Z.Y.

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With full bellies, we headed to the Old Town (another 20 minutes of walking), just to check it out with the twinkly lights.  It was beautiful– all lit up for Christmas and bustling with people.dsc_0567  

It was nighttime, but we could tell that the buildings are beautiful colors and knew we wanted to come back the next day to check it out in day light.dsc_0593dsc_0603

We headed to a coffee shop, had big, steamy cups of tea and some even bigger slices of cake because it was cold and we deserved it!

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And after walking 14 miles, we called it a night.


The next morning, we woke up to….rain.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Rain when traveling is the worst!  No, actually…rain with wind is the worst.  Give us snow.  Give us cold, but no rain!  It makes it very uncomfortable.  Ugh.

So we started in a coffee shop with huuuge coffees ( 🙂 ) and I had a bagel, then we were off to the Warsaw Uprising Museum.  I’m not a big history buff (sorry Dad…apple rolled away from that tree), but I thought this museum was awesome.  It was FULL of information, but presented really well.  It was interested, interactive, and easy to understand for the non-history buffs.4

They had lots of interactive parts, and photos, videos, and texts.5

Highly recommended if you are in Warsaw.  We spent about two hours there, but could have easily spent 3 or more if we had watched all of the videos.  

Our stomachs were growling, so we collected our things and headed out to find lunch.  Our plan was to have lunch at a milk bar close to the Old Town (Bar Mleczny Maslanka), but our (ok, my) directions weren’t the greatest and we ended up doing a HUGE circle (…in the wind and rain) to get to a place that was actually next to the metro stop.  Frustrating doesn’t begin to cover it…  By the time we arrived, I was more than ready for food.  I started with soup:6

And continued with a main course:

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chicken / fried potatoes / cabbage.

And I ate every single last bite and then a traditional donut with rose jam for dessert.  🙂

Once we left the milk bar, we were determined to see the Old Town during the day, despite the freezing cold.9

We trudged along, eventually throwing out the umbrella because it was completely inverted and broken.  I was left to fend for myself!! But eventually, we made it!  I didn’t even pull out my big camera to take nice photos because by the time we got there, I was so cold and frustrated that I didn’t care.  So iPhone photos is what we have…10

11Do I look cold?

We walked through the Christmas market…13

And then got the f*** out of there and went back to the hostel where we relaxed until our flight.12


That’s it for the Poland recaps!  It was a truly incredible trip and I would 100% go back again.  If you’re looking to plan your own trip, I recommend:

  • 2 days Krakow
  • 1 day Auschwitz
  • 1.5 days Warsaw

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