As it turned out, blogging about a city close to my heart could not fit into a single post (unless I wanted the post to have a rather high and slightly alarming word count…which I did not).
Refresher: Warsaw is the city close to my heart.
As I mentioned in my first post about Warsaw, Poland (click here to see it), Polish was my first language. Polish air was the first European air I ever inhaled. Despite growing up in Canada, Polish customs and traditions reigned supreme in my parents’ household. So yes, I have always and will always celebrate Christmas on December 24th, commemorate December 6th as mini-Santa day, and I will always find ways to start water fights on Easter Monday.
To continue my previous post, below you will even more sites and attractions to visit in Warsaw, Poland. And, clearly, I saved to best for last, because now, you will have the chance to read about the Old Town, bird’s-eye views, and delicious foods. Enjoy!
Wander Through The Old Town (Stare Miasto)
At the northern end of Krakowskie Przedmieście and by the Vistula River, you will find Warsaw’s Old Town. This pedestrian-only area boasts many quaint cafes, restaurants, and shops surrounded by colourful, picturesque buildings and city walls. Like Nowy Świat, Warsaw’s Old Town had to be rebuilt during the post-war years, but it still stands in the oldest part of Warsaw.
Approaching the Old Town from Krakowskie Przedmieście.
One of my favourite snaps from the trip. I’m obsessed with all the colours – the buildings, the sky, the balloons and all.
In the Old Town’s main square, you will find a statue of the Mermaid of Warsaw – the mythological creature who has been on the city’s coat of arms and its protector for over 600 years. Dare I say that by standing tall and wielding a sword, she makes a greater impression than the little mermaid of Copenhagen?
The Old Town’s Main Square.
The Mermaid and more buildings in the Old Town.
Getting that Bird’s-Eye View of the Old Town
Here it is again: an opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of yet another city! Right at the end of Krakowskie Przedmieście and the start of the Old Town, there is a tall tower with a sign saying “Taras Widokowy” which roughly translates to “scenic/viewing terrace.” For a couple of złoty, you can walk up the stairs and get an incredible and elevated view of Warsaw’s Old Town, the Vistula River, and Nowy Świat/Krakowskie Przedmieście.
Some shots capturing the views.
Go Up The Palace of Culture and Science
In the city centre stands Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science. On the 30th floor of the tower, visitors can access a terrace and experience a panoramic view of the city (current price: 20 złoty). However, I think I have to add another disclaimer here: I went up this tower in the year 2000 and have not had the chance to up again. For a fact, I know that going up this tower today would be a very different experience than the one I had 16 years ago. In the year 2000, the Palace of Culture and Science stood alone as the tallest building in Warsaw’s downtown core (if you’d like to see what that was like, simply Google “the Palace of Culture and Science” and look at the photo that shows up on the righthand side). Today, skyscrapers just as tall (or taller) surround it (see the night cityscape photo below – the palace is the building lit up in bright blue).
Well, there is a bit of controversy behind the tower. Specifically, it was a gift from the Soviets to Warsaw in the 1950s. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, many of the city’s inhabitants would like to breakaway from the city’s difficult past. According to some, obstructing the visibility of this palace is one strategy for doing so.
Enjoy Hearty Polish Cuisine
No trip to Poland is complete without indulging on Polish food. The Polish people know this and opportunities to sample the cuisine can be found on nearly every street in the city centre. Bigos, pierogi, kaszanka, barszcz czerwony, kotlet schabowy, rurki z kremem, and gofry are just a few common Polish dishes and desserts. Polish food is tasty, albeit rather hearty, but absolutely good for the soul. For some reason, one of my favourite dishes seems to end up being a dish for the adventurous (at least for those who are not Polish).
Pierogi are commonly perceived as a savoury dish. However, in Poland, you can feast on sweet pierogi. Instead of potatoes, meat, or mushrooms and cabbage, the pierogies are stuffed with either strawberries (pierogi truskawkowe) or blueberries (pierogi jagodowe). They usually come with a sour cream and sugar mixture for dipping on the side. They’re absolutely delicious, and I encourage you all to try them!
Two scrumptious things I ate during my last trip to Warsaw: Pierogi Ruskie and Gofry.
Despite being through it all, Warsaw has it all. It’s got something to offer to every kind of traveller. As I hope you have seen, the city has sites and attractions comparable to those found in New York, Copenhagen, Rome, and more. I can never pass up an opportunity to spend time in this trendy city, and I light up with pride when I get to talk about Warsaw with others. Afterall, if I haven’t made it clear already, ja kocham Warszawę.