Warsaw – Poland’s Underappreciated Capital

For the start of my great interrailing adventure in September we flew to Warsaw. To be honest, Warsaw wasn’t our first choice in Poland – everyone said that Krakow was far nicer! To be honest, the only reason we ended up flying there was because there were cheap flights which got us in the right direction.

But Warsaw completely surprised me! It ended up being one of my favourite cities of the trip – a fabulous mix of an exciting modern capital and a beautiful bastion of history and heritage.

One of the best things about Warsaw is how cheap it is! The group of us (six teenage girls interrailing together) rented a gorgeous flat for just over a tenner a night! Two of us did have to sleep on a sofa bed but it did have a little balcony and all the facilities we needed, as well as looking super glamorous and sleek! We used AirBnB to book our accomodation and it was one of the best decisions we made! The apartment we booked made a perfect home base and was located pretty close to everywhere we wanted to be! If you want to book your first AirBnB use this link here to get £34 off your first stay, whilst helping me earn some AirBnB credits for my next trip too! Now that’s what I call a win win!

We started our first day in Warsaw with a free walking tour! I would 100% recommend this to anyone visiting Warsaw – it was a great way to get a first glimpse of the city and find out so much about the history and culture of the city. Our tour guide Jack was so charismatic and funny and made fun of the Americans and Germans in our group, much to our delight! He taught us so much about Warsaw and we didn’t even have to pay for the tour itself – only tips! If you want to find out more about Walkative and the tour we took you can look at the link here.https://freewalkingtour.com/warsaw/tours/free/historic-centre-old-town-warsaw/

Some beautiful colourful houses we spotted in our tour

After we’d been on our tour – we went bad to some of the most photogenic spots to take some more photos without the rest of our tour group getting in the way! We also picked up some lunch from a little corner shop – in my case a healthy combination of crisps, a peach, some yoghurt and a piece of tiramisu. Not exactly the epitome of health but it made me extremely grateful that I’d packed my spork! We found a bench looking out on a beautiful view and just enjoyed people watching in the square and the cobbled streets.

The main square in the Old Town

After lunch we headed to the Warsaw Royal Castle, having admired its courtyards and exterior on our tour. Sadly we weren’t there on a Wednesday which is when I believe the castle is free to enter. But even so a student ticket only cost us 20zł which is just over four quid. The castle was really cool to explore and was absolutely stunning to look at – all gold and glitzy.

The Castle was beautifully glitzy and golden

After exploring the castle, we were getting tired and decided to head back to our apartment. But having been admiring all the people riding by us on electric scooters we decided to rent some ourselves to get back! It took us a little while to figure it out but before too long we’d all downloaded the app and figured out how to hire the scooters. Unfortunately where we’d found the scooters was the Castle Square, which was incredibly cobbled and difficult to scooter on! But once we managed to get going and got onto the tarmac streets we had a great time! We zoomed back to our apartment so quickly, having so much fun and getting up to 21km an hour!

The tasty pizzas and Aperol spritzes we had for dinner.

After we got back to our apartment and chilled for a bit we headed out to dinner. We didn’t quite feel brave enough to try the local cuisine so we headed to a nearby Italian restaurant. Once we’d decided that we all fancied Italian, we just googled nearby restaurants and headed to one that looked good. We went to Spacca Napoli and had an absolutely lovely meal – with the waiter being lovely and finally teaching us the Polish for thank you! After our meal, we walked back to our apartment, taking a slight detour via the Palace of Culture and Science for a few photos! Following this and a brief trip to a supermarket for snacks and breakfast the following morning, we went back to our apartment.

The Palace of Culture and Science lit up at night.

For breakfast the next morning we had some Polish sausages and eggs as well as some honey Cheerios, which all turned out to be pretty delicious! We then had to check out of our gorgeous apartment and we headed to the station with our massive backpacks to put them in lockers so we could explore without being weighed down for the day! We then headed to the post office to pick up our train reservations for the night train that evening and eventually navigated the queueing system and got our tickets!

By that point we were all pretty peckish so we decided to grab some lunch. Like the cultured travellers we are, we decided to head to McDonald’s . I must confess I didn’t even have a fancy Polish burger but chicken nuggets and chips! I did have a blueberry McFlurry, which was a tasty flavour we don’t have in the UK!

We then headed to the famous Palace of Culture and Science, that we’d previously admired in the dark. We’d heard that you can get an amazing view of Warsaw from the top so decided to head up.

Luckily you don’t have to climb a whole load of steps to get the top – all you have to do is get in a lift! In our case, this was after being waylaid by a friendly photographer who convinced us to have a photo taken by a green screen, whilst teaching us how to swear in Polish. The background of the nighttime view from the Palace of Culture and Science was then superimposed on the green screen. We were originally skeptical but ended up buying a copy each for about £1.20.

The view from the top was beautiful and gave us a great idea of what the whole Warsaw looked like. There were also some deck chairs at the top – giving us a chance to just relax and chill and spend some quality time by ourselves.

We then (on the recommendation of my parents who visited Warsaw 25 years prior) decided to head to Łazienki Park. We took our next favourite mode of transport (the lime scooters) although we had a slightly more interesting journey. We had to spend a lot of time swerving careless pedestrians and even accidentally ended up in the middle of two busy lanes of traffic which was somewhat terrifying! We finally made it to Łazienki Park (and immediately booked ourselves Ubers back to the station for later to be sure we’d make our train).

Łazienki Park was so beautiful and such a appreciated break in the hustle and bustle of the busy capital city that Warsaw is. I was definitely very grateful for my parents recommendation and whilst so much of Warsaw had changed – the park looked exactly same as my parents’ old photos.b

By that point it was time for us to be heading to the station ready for night train to Bratislava and our adventure in Warsaw came to a close.

In summary, Warsaw was a wonderful city to start our interrailing journey! It was big and metropolitan but had a beautiful and historic Old Town centre and gorgeous parks and places to relax. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to plan their interrailing trip or just planning a cheap yet interesting city break.

If you want to check out some of the other stops on my interrailing journey, check out my posts on Budapest and Zagreb.

9 comments

  1. Glad Warsaw was such a hit! We were supposed to be visiting Poland this month so I guess somewhere to look forward to! Will definitely want to check out that beautiful castles and try those yummy pizzas!

    Like

  2. Looks awesome! I too have chosen destinations because it was cheap to travel to and it always seems to work out! I love learning the history of places. Poland is definitely on my list.

    Like

  3. I’ve never thought about visiting Poland but it sounds so intriguing! I may need to add it to my ever growing travel list.
    Thanks for sharing your adventure there.

    Like

  4. Great post and very informative! Warsaw is on my bucket list already a long time, I would say, about 10 years but there are always some other places I choose over Warsaw… But one day I will definitely stop looking around and go straight to Warsaw! 😀
    P.S. You need to try Polish cuisine! The food is simple but very, very delicious!

    Like

Leave a Reply to jildiamante Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s