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Category: Culture

Budget Travel Tips for Exploring Warsaw in 24 hours

This is a guest post by Agness of eTramping. eTramping is famous for its travel guides ‘How to travel for less than 25$ a day’ and it was created by…

This is a guest post by Agness of eTramping. eTramping is famous for its travel guides ‘How to travel for less than 25$ a day’ and it was created by two Poles- Agness and Cez. Quickly it became one of the most popular travel blogs and the number one source for budget travel tips. You can also follow eTramping on Facebook and Twitter.


 

If you have never been to Warsaw, you don’t know what you’ve missed. It is the largest city of Poland, located in the eastern part of the country, in Mazowsze, on the Vistula River. What is so special about Warsaw? – You may ask. First of all it is the scientific, cultural, political and economic center of Europe commonly known as the “phoenix city” as it has survived so many wars throughout its history. Secondly, you will be astonished here by historical museums, cathedrals, churches, its rich history and traditions as well as delicious Polish cuisine. In fact, nobody can resist the taste of pierogi (traditional Polish dumplings) or rosol (chicken soup). By the way, did you know that Warsaw is considered to be the most sophisticated city in Poland where you can experience the real local hospitality? Yes, it surely is, trust us! Here are some tips on exploring Warsaw in 24 hours;

Must-see spots in Warsaw in 24h

Warsaw is divided into two parts: the Old Town and the New Town and it can be simply explored in just 1 day for less than $21. Atmospheric alleys, squares and cafés create a very unique atmosphere, and these two historic squares become a stage for musical and theatrical performances and open-air galleries in the summer.

Old Town Warsaw

When in Warsaw, you should start exploring the city from the Old Town. Here is what you can see there:

The Royal Castle

It was built in the 15th century as the residence of the Dukes of Mazovia. With the transfer of the capital from Krakow, it became the seat of the king and the government. It was rebuilt several times when destroyed during the 2nd World War. Today, the segment of the clock tower (from which daily at. 11.15 bugle call is played) opens the way to the Old Town. Museum attractions include two original paintings by Rembrandt and works by Bernard Bellotto.

Royal Castle Warsaw

Column of King Zygmunt III Waza

That’s the oldest and tallest secular monument in Warsaw, built in 1644. The monument is 22 meters high, and the figure of the king measures 275 centimeters. Held in the right hand sword symbolizes his bravery, and the cross on the left – a constant readiness to fight evil. According to legend, the King’s sword downwards will herald the imminent defeat of the city.

Old Town Square

It was founded between 13th and 14th century and it is currently one of the most picturesque corners of the city and the main square of Warsaw. Visiting the Old Town Square will certainly be a highlight of the day. You will be surrounded by affordable cafés and restaurants as well as charming alleys.

Old Town Square, Warsaw

The Monument of Warsaw Mermaid

This monument of mermaid has been a symbol of Warsaw from the beginning of the 20th century. The statue stands in the center of the Old Town and it is surrounded by a fountain, where guests can cool off on hot days.

Historical Museum of the City of Warsaw

The museum is housed in several buildings rebuilt after the war and includes three courtyards. The exhibition presents the history of the capital since the dawn of modern times. From Tuesday to Saturday at 12:00 you can watch a documentary film about Warsaw between 1939 and 1945. The video is available in Polish, English, Spanish, French and German language.

The New Town also has a lot to offer. This part of Warsaw was founded in the late 14th century and it functioned as a separate city to the 18th century with its own administration, the town hall and the church. Most of the baroque and neoclassical houses around the Market are a post-war reconstruction as they were destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising (1944).

Warsaw centre - New town

Here are the highlights of the New Town:

Church of Holy Spirit

The first wooden church was built in the 14th century. It’s one of the biggest and oldest churches in the city, definitely worth paying a visit if you are Catholic.

The New Town Square

It was built in the 15th century. There are plenty of historical churches and monasteries here so if you are a big fan of history and architecture, don’t miss it out.

Top Warsaw’s activities on the cheap

Walking across Royal Lazienki

Royal Lazienki is a place visited by many local and tourists daily. It’s a Palace-Garden complex offering one of the most picturesque views in Warsaw. It’s placed at Agrykoli Street, nearby the city center. Here you can go for a relaxing walk, have a picnic, jog or even meditate. Many locals go there to breathe some fresh air and have a morning coffee. Moreover, here are some peacocks, pigeons and squirrels you can take a few pictures of.

Royal Lazienki Warsaw

Get to the top of Palace of Culture and Science

The Palace of Culture and Science is one of the best places to see Warsaw from above. It’s definitely the highest building not only in the city itself, but also in the whole country. Built between 1952 and 1955, it quickly became one of the main Warsaw’s attractions. There is a free entrance but you should pay 15 PLN (only 10 PLN if you have a student ID card) for getting to the 30th floor of the Palace to see the scenery of Warsaw.

Palace of Culture and Science Warsaw

Where and What to Eat and Drink

Warsaw has a lot of cozy restaurants where not only traditional Polish dishes are served, but also Vietnamese, Chinese, Portugal or Italian. If your budget is really tight, you should eat from street vendors or visit milk bars.

Here is the list of cheapest and yummiest restaurants in Warsaw you may want to try:

Street Restaurant & Club

Location: al. Jana Pawła II 19, Wola – the place offers a great variety of dinner options such as gyros kitchen with potatoes and salad (30PLN), Polish dumplings stuffed with meat (19.50 PLN) or cherry pancakes (14 PLN).

Milk Bar “Zlota Kurka”

Location: Marszalkowska Street 55/73 – That’s the cheapest milk bar in Warsaw. You can get a homemade soup (chicken, mushroom, vegetable) for only 1.30 PLN, a typical Polish dinner which are potatoes, salad and pork chop for 5 PLN.

Zapiexy Luxusowe

Location: Francuska Street – That’s definitely the best place for having a   typical Polish zapiekanka which is simply a halved baguette or bread topped mainly with mushrooms and cheese, also ham or other types of meat, and vegetables. Here you can get a massive zapiekanka for only 3-4 PLN.

Ways to Get In and Around on a budget

Getting in

There are many different ways to get to Warsaw. If you’re flying, you will probably arrive at the Frederic Chopin International Airport. It is located 10 km south west from Warsaw city centre. There are two buses no. 175 and 188 which go from the airport to the city centre. They leave every ten minutes. If you need a ride late at night catch the bus N32 and you’ll get right to Warsaw Central Station (Dworzec Centralny) from where you can take another local bus going to the city center. Tickets for the bus cost a mere 2.80 PLN.

If you are somewhere nearby like Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic or the Netherlands, you can get to Warsaw by bus or a van. Eurolines and Polski Bus have the cheapest tickets when it comes to bus services (the prices start from $10) and there are plenty of van companies charging around 50/60 euro for a ride (Amsterdam – Warsaw costs 60 euro and Berlin – Warsaw costs 35 euro).

You can also reach Warsaw by train. There is the Berlin-Warsaw Express (commonly knows as the Berlin-Warszawa Express). It is operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German national railway company and PKP, the Polish State Railways. It unites the revitalized city of Berlin in Germany with the city of Warsaw in Poland. The trains are modern with air-conditioned carriages and restaurant cars. One way ticket costs between 29 and 46 euro.

Getting around

You can’t really get around the area easily with a car as there is a heavy traffic in Warsaw. However, you can catch a tram or a metro at any time. The tickets vary from 2 zloty to 5 zloty per ticket (60 cents to$1.50).

Where to sleep

If you are short of cash, you can go Couchsurfing, which is extremely common nowadays. Many Polish people want to meet foreigners this way and show them what Poland has to offer to its visitors. There are couchsurfing meetings in Warsaw every Wednesday, so you can meet other people and hang out with them if you want to. The meetings are held in Warsaw at 7PM local time at Lorelei, Widok Street no. 8.

Best budget accommodation options:

1) Hostel: Aga Hostel. Address: Topiel street no. 27. Contact: 694 372 321.

2) Camping: Camping 123. Address: Bitwa Warszawska street no.15/17. Contact: 228229121.

3) 5-Star Hotel: Warsaw Marriott Hotel Address: 79, Aleje Jerozolimskie 65. Contact: 22 630 63 06.

Do you have any tips to share on how to explore Warsaw in 24 hours? Feel free to comment below.

4 Comments on Budget Travel Tips for Exploring Warsaw in 24 hours

Underground Culture in Rog Factory Ljubljana

Soon after World War Two, Rog Factory Ljubljana was a place for manufacturing bicycles and typewriting machines until the early 90’s when the production was closed. Since then the abandoned…

Soon after World War Two, Rog Factory Ljubljana was a place for manufacturing bicycles and typewriting machines until the early 90’s when the production was closed. Since then the abandoned factory represents an alternative open space for users who developed cultural and artistic scene on site.

Rog Factory Ljubljana

The first thing you see when entering the territory of ROG is a panel labeled “Staying at your own risk on the ROG factory area“. After 15 years of falling apart in the center of Ljubljana this abandoned factory was occupied by alternative artists.

The city of Ljubljana plans to renovate this area on the basis of public-private partnership which would transform it into Contemporary Arts Centre with exhibition spaces, studios, artist in residence programmes, educational facilities but also with commercial spaces such as apartments, shops, restaurants, hotel and more. Of course, the main problem is that idea tends to be in favour of private commercial space which would make 80% of the total area.

ROG is a place where different people gather and where friendships are formed, mainly among people who work on joint projects. All that lead to creation of a new community which is known as “Rogovci“.

Besides these joint projects, they even formed their own media. Through its newsletter ROG notifies the local community with the activities that happen there and through their radio they allow young voices to be heard.

The main motto of the community is based on “temporarity”. “We do not plan things that can not be realized in less than three days” they say.

And while the future of ROG is now uncertain, this will still be a place where people of different professions gather and create in a space free of racism, hierarchy and discrimination.

Rog Factory in Ljubljana

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Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships

“The Museum of Broken Relationships encourages discussion and reflection not only on the fragility of human relationships but also on the political, social, and cultural circumstances surrounding the stories being…

The Museum of Broken Relationships encourages discussion and reflection not only on the fragility of human relationships but also on the political, social, and cultural circumstances surrounding the stories being told. The museum respects the audience’s capacity for understanding wider historical, social issues inherent to different cultures and identities and provides a catharsis for donors on a more personal level” the EMF’s (European Museum Forum) judging panel noted this when awarding it as Europe’s most innovative museum in 2011.

It all started as a traveling exhibition based on the idea of failed love relationships. Anyone can donate an object which represents their broken relationship along with a story and objects could be anything from a fluffy toy and music CD to something more extreme as an axe. You can also become a donor and send your exhibit. Donors come from all over the world, from neighboring Serbia to far Japan.

Stories are usually packed with humor, hatred and hurt. The exhibition was shown in cities like Amsterdam, Paris, Istanbul, Singapore, Belgrade, Berlin and Ljubljana.

Winter coat and love notes - Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

I was determined to marry her. After two months I called her. She told me that she was in love with another guy who lived near her home. No words came from my mouth, tears ran like a new river from my eyes, and I hung up. I never called her again. My heart was broken very badly, I cried a lot. I spent many sleepless nights. Still her memories are chasing me, still I am crying. She left me alone. Months passed. I moved to my national capital of Delhi. Still it hurts” says an Indian guy Prasanth who donated love notes and winter coat.

“Love is a violent recreational sport. Proceed at your own risk. Helmets, armor, and steel-toe boots are required by law.”

H.C. Paye

Tarantula Bob Dylan - Museum of Broken Relationships

You move on and the next exhibit says “Given to me by an American “boyfriend” when I was 17 and inscribed “for _____ who charmed the savage wolf”. I didn’t know that he would hound my parents for years and would eventually have a sex change and steal their name for his new persona.”

Goalkeeper gloves - Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

A pharmaceutical bowl - Museum of Broken Relationships

Axe in the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb

And here’s an “Ex-Axe” story or to be more detailed a story of two lesbians and an axe being promoted to a therapy instrument. After being left for another woman by her partner, this woman from Berlin decided to chop her ex’s furniture. “Two weeks after she left, she came back for the furniture. It was neatly arranged into small heaps and fragments of wood. She took the trash and left my apartment for good.

“Love is an invited deal for losing peace.”
― Seema Gupta

An mp3 and a key ring - Museum of Broken Relationships

A postcard - Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

Olive seeds - Museum of Broken Relationships

A Linksys router - Museum of Broken Relationships

A Linksys router with a message “We tried. Not compatible.”

Not every museum will give you an emotional, thoughtful and funny experience like this one and that’s the reason I totally recommend it if you are in Zagreb.

And there’s something we shouldn’t forget;

“There is always love, hope and life after a broken heart.”
― Jelord Klinn Cabresos

The best example for this are Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić who founded this museum after their own relationship broke up!

Which object from your past relationship would you leave in the museum?

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