Why Visit Warsaw More Than Once?
Our first visit to Poland in 2015 was a very moving experience. We concentrated on Warsaw’s numerous war museums and the Uprising Remembrance Museum and Monument of the war, along with a visit to Krakow’s Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp. These were all part of a visit to Poland to understand the atrocities the people endured during this period in history. As Americans, we found it almost impossible to comprehend this type of treatment of human beings.
This visit to Warsaw was not planned and happened as a result of traveling from the Baltic States to the Czech Republic. Not wanting to repeat our previous trip’s experiences, we decided to stay and focus on Warsaw’s Old Town. We are so glad we did because it was a great visit and gave us a totally different experience.
Tips for visiting Warsaw:
- Stay in the Old Town section. We rented a lovely studio apartment – Warsaw Old Town Apartment – located in the Old Market Square and within walking distance to everything we wanted to explore. We couldn’t have picked a better apartment or location.
- Visit the war museums and statues.
- Take a “Free Walking Tour“.
- Walk the beautifully lit old town at night.
- Listen to some Frederic Chopin – the famous Polish-French composer and pianist.
- Try Pierogi – traditional Polish dumplings.
- Eat at a “Milk Bar” for authentic and cheap Polish food.
Warsaw was left in ruins after the war and it’s hard to visualize this as the Old Town appears as though it’s been preserved and standing for hundreds of years……when it’s only 60 years old. Old Town was painstakingly rebuilt after the war using photographs from pre-war to replicate the town.
Old Town at Night
Palace of Culture and Science
The tallest building in Poland was constructed 1952 as a gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland. Originally named the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science, many Poles don’t like the building because they consider it to be a symbol of Soviet domination.
Palace of Culture and Science Observation Deck
Visit the 30th-floor observation deck and take in the views of the city. It’s open to the public for a small fee.
Warsaw Uprising Monument
The Warsaw Uprising, organized by the Polish resistance movement lasted 63 days until it was put down by German forces. In retaliation, the Germans destroyed 90% of Warsaw’s buildings.
Warsaw Jewish Ghetto
In 2008 Warsaw Ghetto boundary markers were built along the borders of the former Jewish quarter, where it stood from 1940−1943. It was the largest ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe. The ghetto was almost entirely leveled during the Uprising.
Pierogi – Polish Dumplings
A MUST TRY when in Poland are delicious Pierogi. A Polish dumpling that can be filled with many different ingredients – meat, potatoes, cabbage, cheese, or fruit (blueberries being the favorite) and boiled in water. So where did these addictive dumplings come from? Some legends say that pierogi have been made in Poland since the 13th century and others claim that pierogi were introduced to the Polish about 500 years ago by an Italian. Probably depends on whether you ask a Pole or Italian.
Soviet-era type of cafeterias, called milk bars were self-service cafeterias that were state subsidized and offered cheap hot decent meals. A few remain and offer traditional dishes such as soups, cabbage-based salads, fried pork chops, pierogi, and potato pancakes at cheap prices: a bowl of this delicious soup was $0.96 (yes, 96 cents).
A Moon Lit Night in Old Town
Standing in front of King Sigismund’s Column in the Castle Square of Old Town.
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