Warsaw, Poland

  • Stayed July 2018
  • Accommodation: Chillout Hostel – as the name suggests, place has a relaxed vibe and the staff were really helpful if there were any issues. It’s in a decent location within walking distance of the main train station; some street noise at night from restaurants/bars though so go armed with ear plugs…

What can I say about Warsaw? I didn’t love it but I’m glad I went and I did enjoy myself. Like any other cosmopolitan city, there’s loads to do: numerous museums, places of interest, bars, great restaurants, shopping etc so tourists can definitely have a good time here.

For me, the main reason to visit Warsaw is to understand the historical significance of the city’s role in World War II which I had not fully appreciated until my visit. Tourists are always wowed by the beauty of the Old Town but what they may not realise is that it was destroyed by Hitler’s troops and had to be completely rebuilt. The reconstruction is so good it has been recognised by UNESCO. Though it’s tempting to head straight for the Old Town when visiting Warsaw for the first time (as I did),  I would really recommend going to the Warsaw Rising Museum before the Old Town, as it does an excellent job of documenting the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 (I was in there two hours and didn’t get to see everything unfortunately as I’d timed my visit too late in the day, underestimating how much there was to see) and when I went back to the Old Town, being there felt more meaningful to me rather than just being aesthetically pleased by the architecture. After visiting Warsaw, I would also recommend watching the biographical film ‘The Pianist’, a moving account of Wladyslaw Szpilman’s experience of living through that time and fight to survive. There is a reason why Warsaw is nicknamed The Phoenix City and though it hasn’t made my list of favourite places I’ve visited, this is a city that has been through so much and deserves to thrive.

Selection of pictures from my stay:

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