Part 1 of my Polish adventure can be found here…
We decided to tag an extra day onto the first part of our holiday to explore the nearby city of Warsaw (its Polish name is Warszawa). Despite being the capital of Poland I think it is quite off the beaten track (as capital cities go…) with many tourists choosing to visit the more southerly city of Krakow instead.
Warsaw was almost completely demolished in World War II, but has been really tastefully restored back to its former glory; it’s not centred around one square like many other Polish cities, but much more spread out.
We stayed here, a nice hotel near the tramlines into the city centre and it proved a good base to explore. It is also close to key attractions such as the Chopin and Uprising museum (NB. Don’t make the same mistake we did, there are two Radisson Blu hotels in Warsaw and we initially turned up at the wrong one!)
We went into the ‘old town’ (as mentioned previously it’s not actually that old!) and sat outside in the sqaure near to the iconic ‘Sigismunds Column’. This was created in the 17th Century to commemorate Polish King Sigimund III Vasa who is best known for moving the capital of Poland from Krakow to Warsaw. We then had lunch in a lovely pizzeria (I know not very Polish!) as I mentioned in my previous blog it gets HOT in Poland in the summer and it was lovely sitting in the shade people watching.
We then went for a stroll around the ‘old’ Market Square, a bustling area with lots of shops, restaurants and bars just on from this we stumbled upon the old city walls and really quirky shops, I found one shop which just sold painted horse shoes! Just off the Market Square there also is the Historical Museum of Warsaw which unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit – but if I had longer I definitely would have gone in. Warsaw also has lots of interesting street art.
That evening we were lucky enough to get into the most fantastic steak restaurant called ‘Hoza’ (currently rated as number 3 in Warsaw on Trip Advisor). We had an absolutely fantastic meal of mixed antipasti, followed by the most amazing Polish steak with chips, sauce and salad. I only took a photo of the starter as I got too excited when the main came out! For 2 people including drinks the bill came to only £30 which is fantastic value! If you’re in the area I highly recommend you go, but ensure you book in advance as the restaurant is not very big.
All in all, I found Warsaw an interesting and vibrant part of Poland I was very glad to visit after our weekend at the wedding; you could easily make more of a trip out of it by mooching around the various museums such as the Historical Museum of Warsaw and the Uprising Museum, and even going to Krakow for a few days.
I’ll have to do those when I go back…