Poland Travel Guides for Backpackers

Warsaw Top 10 Places You Need To See.

Warsaw, the capital city of Poland has been on fire for several last years! You can see a lot of modern buildings and skyscrapers under construction; many restaurants and cafeterias full of people; citizens jogging and riding a bike. Come and see for yourself!   When to come? The best moment to visit Warsaw is (not surprisingly) spring and summer. The beginning of the spring may be still a bit cold, thus I recommend you to come between May and September. May is the month of student’s festivals, so all the nightlife is going out to the riverside, parks and open pubs. The temperature during the day usually exceeds 20 Celsius degrees, whereas during the night it shouldn’t go lower than 12. You need to be aware of the rain possibility. Just check the weather a few days before arrival. Where to stay? Warsaw is full of students and young, open-minded people. You can easily find a host in here, e.g. through Couchsurfing. Also, it is one of the European countries, thus Airbnb.com, Booking.com, and all related websites work perfectly here. For backpackers, there are a lot of cheap hostels located in the city center, as well as apartments and more expensive hotels. If you are looking just for a place to sleep you can have a bed in a shared room for a price starting from 7-10 USD per person per night. What to eat? You have probably heard of the most famous polish dish: pierogi. Everyone loves pierogi. You can have them sweet (e.g. with cottage cheese or seasonal fruits served with cream and sugar) or salty (e.g. with meat, mushrooms and cabbage, and many more). Typical for polish cuisine is a variety of soups. They are always warm, except for the summer soup “Ch?odnik”, which you may find interesting. Homemade polish food you can usually find at so-called “milk bars”. The food there is simple and cheap. Do not expect any kind of fancy restaurant or an elegant interior. The menu is changing quite often due to the availability of the products. You should look for those milk bar is the university area or in the city center. You will be surprised how different are the people, who eat there. Most importantly, do not eat in the old town! Restaurants there are just for tourist and are very expensive.   Public transport In Warsaw, there are two metro lines, buses, trams, and local trains. One single ticket costs 4.40 PLN ( 1.1 – 1.2 USD). You can also get a 24h ticket or a weekend ticket. All the types of tickets with the prices are described here https://www.ztm.waw.pl/index.php?c=110&l=2. The whole city is included in the first zone, and the second zone is the suburbs. If you visit Warsaw during spring or summer there are many public bikes to rent. You just need to download the app and charge your account with minimum 10 PLN (2.6 USD). All information available here https://www.veturilo.waw.pl/en/. This year (2019) electric scooters conquered the city. There […]

How to enjoy your trip to Wroclaw

Cities like Wroclaw have been featured as a capital of culture but have not yet been invaded by enough tourists to take away the local and traditional feeling the city’s charm shares. The magic of Wroclaw is not only in the buildings and cuisine but also in the size of the city which makes it entirely worth walking for those people who like to enjoy travel by walking and admire the surroundings. You can also move around using bike, taxi or tram, but I still believe it is much better being a pedestrian because you find the tiny streets that are filled with magic. The main attractions are located in the Old Town sector but everything is considerably close which means you can easily move through a couple of streets and while enjoying the architecture find the next historical point.   Where to stay in Wroclaw There is no perfect spot on where to stay when going to Wroclaw, but as most city life and historical monuments are located in the Old Town it is recommended to be the first sector where to look for a place to stay. If part of your journey is to try out the local food, I do recommend leaving breakfast out of the hotel booking so you can enjoy it in a classic coffee place with a view of the city. The variety of options for reservations allows foreigners to choose based on their budgets, some ideas are: Art Hotel Appealing for their architecture, painted doorways and centuries-old ceilings that complement themselves with modern furniture are considered by many the best location for a romantic weekend. Apartments 24W Perfect for travelers that want a calm experience far from the crowded comings one finds in some hotels or hostels. Boogie Hostel Their uniqueness in style is offering dorms and small apartments to give you the independence desired, but still, the rooms are quite spacious and amenities make you feel in a hotel room. Mleczarnia Hostel A couple of minutes walk from the Market Square with a decoration style that will make any person homesick. Their knitted table clothes and covered chairs are part of the fun appearance the guests adore.   Best things to see in Wroclaw Although there are many ways of seeing every part of the city, we always have the option of choosing the attractions that go best with our personalities or if you are going for an adventurous and entertaining trip the ideal way is following the City Spy Map where the main objective is to see Wroclaw while you find their famous and hidden gnomes. These gnomes are spread around the city and not even the locals know how many there are in total. Santa Gnome Market Square Vibrant and crowded since the 13th century, it is the central point for major celebrations like New Year Eve, local holidays and fine dining. City Hall With a beautiful exterior, it holds the oldest clock bell, which is not open to visitors, […]

What to see in Roztocze in South-East Poland?

Most people visiting Poland choose popular, well-known locations. Some of them go to the cities willingly visited by tourists, such as Krakow, Warsaw or Wroclaw. Others spend a few days in the Tatra Mountains, in the land of lakes in Masuria or on the Baltic Sea. However, Poland has much more to offer. One of the most beautiful but underestimated hidden gems is Roztocze. That land is located in the south-eastern part of Poland. There are no tourist crowds, no commercial souvenirs and no banal places. But you can find there a beautiful nature, peace and quiet mixed with the atmosphere of a mysterious, and sometimes frighteningly living history. During the Second World War and in later years, this region was one of the most important centres of resistance against the Nazi Third Reich and the Soviet Union. The large forests that have been in Roztocze until now were appropriate to perform large-scale partisan operations. This place impresses with nature and frightens with a brutal history. See 5 reasons why you should definitely visit Roztocze. Forests, lakes and birds Roztocze is surrounded by nature. The huge Solska Forest is one of the largest woodlands in Europe. Most of its areas are highly protected. Roztocze is inhabited by over 160 species of birds, including rare ones. In addition to a large population of white storks, which spend the summer in Poland, you can also meet black storks, eagles, several species of owls and many more. In addition to birds, there is also a rare possibility to meet mammals, like wolves or lynxes. The best time to visit Roztocze is late spring and summer because it is warm and green. If you are interested to observe fauna the best way to do it is to pitch a tent near one of the many lakes and wait till (or wake up at) early morning.  Believe me, it will be one of the most unforgettable nights of your life. You can hear dozens of various, unknown sounds that make up a unique and wonderful symphony of nature. Fortunately, I took my binoculars with me and I could admire the local flying fauna in full splendour.   City of Zamosc Zamosc, which is often called “The Pearl of Renaissance”, is the main city in Roztocze. Several hundred years ago it was a city of great importance. Currently, only 65,000 inhabitants live in it. It is worth visiting Zamosc in order to feel the atmosphere of a small, historic town, visit Town Square (inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List), the town hall, the cathedral, the synagogue and the former bastion. You can find there a small zoo, where you can see most of the animals found in the area, including the aforementioned wolves and lynxes, as well as lions (which, of course, do not appear in Poland), bears and rare birds.   Wooden Orthodox churches Although Poland in the vast majority is Catholic, in the east of the country live plenty of Orthodox Christians. In […]

Best places to go walking (actively) around Warsaw

When in Poland, make sure you use the walking possibilities not only out of the capital city in the mountains or on the coastline. Also Warsaw offers irresistible walking places with lots of wild nature and differenciated scenery. Check out these suggestions to suit every walking taste. North of Warsaw Kampinos National Park Located in the North of Warsaw, Kampinoski Park Narodowy, shorter: Kampinos, is the largest green area in and around Warsaw. It is about 50 km long from the East to the West (although its shape is more kidney-like than straight) and around 10 km from the North to the South. The winter is white and quiet here, the summer – buzzing with insects and lively. The spring smells of trees and the autumn makes the forest glow with all possible colours. Most of your walks will be accompanied by animals – deer and boar, this year I also managed to spot a boar here. On most seasons you will be able to go walking here, you will find people riding bikes and, sometimes, horses, dog walkers and cross-country skiers. If you are looking for an active holiday, you may rent out skis in one of the companies, for example Biegówki w Kampinosie, for as little as 25 PLN (about 6 €) for 2 hours or a bike in some of the points on the outskirts of the forest. When going for a walk, remember to take some navigation device with you. The paths are rarely straight, the forest is thick and, especially during the winter time, it’s easy to lose your way even if you are an experienced walker. If you are a history fan, check out the museum of Palmiry, a branch of Museum of Warsaw, commemorating mass executions during II World War. Around Zalew Zegrzy?ski If you are an active traveller or a sport fan, if you go fishing from time to time, you simply must try out the surroundings of Zalew Zegrzy?ski. Where the rivers Bug and Narew come together, the reservoir of Zegrze offers many possibilities. You can rent a boat here, a yacht, you can go windsurfing and wakeboarding as well as kitesurfing. If you are looking for a bit quieter place, check the Western part of Narew where you can still find empty beaches and places to go fishing or swimming. If on a microadventure, you might put up a tent here. Careful, sometimes cows can be seen on meadows nearby the river. Pedalos near Zalew Zegrzy?ski When you are walking around, go towards the West to the hydroelectric power station in D?be. It is a great place to see the water levels on Zalew as well as river Narew. You will also spot the movement and business in Zalew and peaceful water in the river. South of Warsaw Weso?a The huge areal closed by ul. Czecha and ul. Weso?a in the South-Eastern part of Warsaw can be walked easily with friends or a family. Many times […]

Top 7 traditional Polish dishes in Torun

Three years ago, exactly in these last days of January, I went for the first time to Poland to take part in o a volunteering project in the region of Kujawsko-Pomorskie. It was the best experience in life and up to now, I’ve been five times to Toru?, one of the main cities in the region, where I know many families and people who make me always rediscover this wonderful medieval city. As I am passionate about polish culinary tradition, I couldn’t help writing my first contribution about food. So, I invite you to discover some of my favourite Polish dishes and the best places to eat them in Toru?… Enjoy the reading! 1. Pierogi…let’s stick to tradition vegetarian: YES       vegan: YES This is probably the first thing you have to eat in Poland: delicious filled dumplings, that you can eat boiled or fried, savery or sweet. Starting with savery ones, you will always have a great choice. Personally, I love the so-called “Ruskie Pierogi“, filled with mashed potatoes, cheese and onions; the second prize goes to mushroom, sauerkraut and bacon ones, and lastly cheese & spinach. My preferred topping is fried onion, but you may try melted butter. I personally don’t like the mix of sweet and savery, but many people take some pierogi with chocolate or jam as filling and white sour cream as a topping. I tried them, it’s quite weird but it really depends on you! Where to eat them? My favourite place is Pierogarnia Stary Toru?, located in Most Pauli?ski 2/10, 87-100, opened from Monday to Sunday…from 11.03 till 22.56! 2. Nalesniki…the Polish way for pancakes vegetarian: YES       vegan: YES These flat pancakes always remind me somehow French crêpes and galettes. They are perfect when you are really hungry: you can a savery and a sweet one and your stomach will be really glad. You have a great choice: you can wat it with cheese, meat, fish, vegetables in many different combinations; as a dessert, the classic Nutella and whipped cream one, or you can choose caramel, chocolate, fruit, jam and so on. For me, the best place to eat them is Rynek Staromiejski, opened from Sunday to Thursday from 10.00 to 22.00 and on Friday and Saturday from 10.00 to 23.00.   3.  Go??bki…delicate, healthy and tasty Vegetarian: not in this restaurant      Vegan: not in this restaurant Literally, it means “pigeons”, because of the shape of cabbage leaves, wrapped around a filling usually made of pork or beef meat, rice and cabbage. They are often served with a light tomato sauce. That’s absolutely my favourite dish, and my Polish friends are aware of that too. So, every time I go to Poland, they prepare big pans of delicious go??bki. On those days I am really happy (and my stomach too). I always ate homemade ones, my all the people I know in Toru? recommended me the restaurant Sielanka, located at Ligi Polskiej 12a – 12b. It is opened from Monday to […]

Krakow: 14 Great Places to Eat or Drink

Krakow has a huge selection of cafés, bars and restaurants and it’s generally very affordable to eat and drink out here. Here’s a selection of some of my favourite places (in no particular order): Bunkier Bunkier is a bar/café located right on the Planty (that’s the green belt park that runs around the centre of the city). In the summer everything is open so it’s as close as you can get to drinking in the park (which, by the way, is illegal in Poland), and in the winter the whole place is enclosed in a sort of transparent tent to keep it heated. Half the place is designated as smoking and half non-smoking, the two sides being divided by a plastic screen which is more or less effective at keeping the smoke on one side. Sitting at Bunkier Alchemia Alchemia is quite possibly the most well-known and archetypical bar in the Kazimierz district – with mismatched antique furniture, candlelight, portraits on the wall and so on. There is also a second Alchemia around the corner, “Alchemia od kuchni” (Alchemia from the kitchen), where they have a great restaurant with both Jewish-style and international food. Both are located on Estery street. Eszeweria Eszeweria is a cosy bar/café in the Kazimierz district, on Józefa street. It’s particularly nice in the summer because it has a great garden around the back. Inside, it can get a little smoky, but the place is made up of a couple of different rooms, with tables and sofa seats in nooks and crannies. If you want to avoid the smoke, stick to the tables in the first room you enter, as this is the non-smoking area and is also much better ventilated. Mleczarnia Mleczarnia is another quirky bar/café in Kazimierz, and can be found on Beera Meiselsa. The highlight about this place is the interior decoration – you can spend hours looking at the old photo portraits hanging on the walls, trying to figure out who these people were and what happened to them. Akita Ramen Akita Ramen is, as the name suggests, a ramen bar, and they certainly know how to make a good one. You can find it on W?g?owa street. Che bontà Che bontà is an Italian “salumeria” in Kazimierz, on Brzozowa street, where you can buy a variety of different Italian products. It also happens to be the place where you can get the best pizza in Krakow (in my opinion, at least). Massolit Massolit actually have two locations, Massolit Books and Café is on Felicjanek street, and then Massolit Bakery and Café is on Smole?sk street. Massolit books stocks new and secondhand English-language books and the café part is cosy and quaint. To the side they have another room, a sort of reading room, with plenty more books and periodicals to browse as well as tables and chairs – the kind of room you can spend hours in if you’re a book-lover. Massolit Bakery, which is just a couple of minutes away […]

The Ultimate Guide To Warsaw: Food, Art & Things To Do.

Warsaw manages to offer tourists a valuable European vacay at the same time being affordable – this is the reason why they love it. Being one of the former Eastern bloc’s capitals, the city has transformed dramatically over the years and became even more attractive for travelers: a wide range of museums, sights, galleries accompanied by a flourishing gastronomic culture will make your trip full of emotions. Most importantly, this destination won’t break the bank!   Art: Zacheta National Museum of Art It is definitely a worth-visiting place for the ones who want to cognize something revolutionary in modern art. Exhibitions in this gallery are changing constantly (every couple of months), so in order to keep up just check out the program on their website before heading there. Anyway, it is always very inspiring and looks really Instagram-able (for those who want to update their feed with some aesthetic pics).  Advice for modern art lovers: entrance to the Gallery of Art Zach?ta (and most of the other national museums and galleries) is free on Thursdays.          Neon Museum “Arty, unassuming gallery of vintage neon advertising signs from the 1950s–1970s.” Poland’s first Neon Museum is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of Poland’s cold war era neon signs. Besides it’s photogenicity, you can find different stories, facts behind all of these art pieces. The neons were designed by eminent artists, designers and architects of the day, however, most have since disappeared from the Polish streets. Prices: 10 z? – Normal Ticket; 8 z? – Discount ticket (Students, etc.)       National Museum in Warsaw This is one of the largest museums in Poland and the largest in the capital. It is divided into different sections, time periods, to be exact. It has a wide collection of ancient art, extensive gallery of medieval art, gallery of Old Masters, gallery of 19th, 20th and 21st century art. You can also be lucky enough to stumble upon a temporary exhibition. Sometimes it is like finding a diamond among the glass. Prices differ depending on exhibition, but the permanent gallery tickets are: 20 z? – Regular; 12 z? – Reduced fee; For students, teenagers and children entrance costs just 1 z?!        Food:  Charlotte/Charlotte Menora You can have a lovely Parisian petit-déjeuner in the center of Warsaw! It is worth to distinguish 3 main perks of this bistro:  scrumptious and at the same time aesthetic meals; exterior in Parisian style; price=quality.                AÏOLI Cantine Bar It is one of the best mixes of Mediterranean cuisine and urban lifestyle, located in the center of the capital and attracting people with its coziness. Life-hack from locals: Monday to Friday you can order one of the breakfast options just for 1 zl on condition that you order a coffee (8-15 zl). Edgy interior with good music on the background will perfectly match to your mouthwatering brunch.            Nocny Market (Night market). In pre-war […]

Top 4 places you must visit in Warsaw

Are you looking for a great destination to get away from your daily life? Do you want to see as much as you can in a short period of time? If your answer is yes, Poland is a great country with its capital to make it happen. Warsaw is a capital city of Poland with a mixture of historic sites, modernity and green spaces. People like to say that Warsaw is like a Phoenix risen from the ashes. I’ve been in Warsaw before but it’s always been a short stop to get to the airport from central station and vice versa but I’ve never been here as a tourist. So one day I and my boyfriend (my travel partner) bought bus tickets to Warsaw and I started planning our trip. I’m always responsible for planning itinerary when we go abroad and what can I say – I LOVE IT! So, I’m excited to share my experience, places you need to see and of course the route you can use for your trip. 48 hours – that’s how much you need! Let’s go! My TOP 4 places to visit in Warsaw 1. Warsaw old town During the WWII Warsaw old town was ruined and only after the war it was rebuilt as it is today. It’s also included in UNESCO world heritage list. The Old Town market square is the oldest part of the Old Town with breathtaking colorful houses (they’re the most impressive part) around it and also with a lot of restaurants and cafe shops. In the middle of the square, you will see the MERMAID –  symbol of Warsaw. One of the legends suggests that Warsaw mermaid’s sister is the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen which separated from each other in the Baltic Sea. Don’t forget to visit the Old Town Observation terrace. A lot of steps to go up but the view is amazing. It’s a perfect spot to observe the main square and Warsaw skyline. If you like a great view from the top you must visit it. The Old Town Observation terrace costs around 5 PLN. 2. Lazienki Park and palace Lazienki Park is the largest park in Warsaw in the city center. It’s a perfect place to take a log walk, a picnic or even a bike ride. Full of architectural monuments and the landscape itself is gorgeous especially during spring when everything starts blooming. If you look around closely you’ll definitely find some red squirrels that aren’t afraid of people! The most impressive part of the park for me was the amphitheater. Being there make you feel like you’re visiting the ancient Roman forum. The stage is separated from the audience by water. I think this feature makes this place unique and memorable. You can also visit the palace (inside) but at that moment weather was great so we spend our time walking around and enjoying the nature. You should try this too! 3. Copernicus science center is a science museum. It contains more […]

Gdańsk: Culture and Beaches on the Baltic Coast

Gda?sk is a port city located in the north of Poland, on the Baltic coast. It is the largest of the three urban agglomerations which make up the tri-city area (the other two being Gdynia and Sopot). It has beautiful architecture, a fascinating history and easy access to Sopot’s sandy beaches – no wonder it was chosen as one of the European best destinations of 2017. And if that isn’t reason enough to visit, it’s also easy and cheap to get to. Getting a feel for the city As with most places, the best way to get to know the city is to wander through it. Walk along the marina to see “the crane” (one of the few remnants of Gda?sk’s former trading prowess) and admire the many gates leading into the city. This is also a great place to sit for a scenic drink or meal, so long as you don’t mind paying higher prices for the view. Walk through one of the gates to enter the old town. The main, and most impressive, is the old Royal Way. It runs from the Zielona (“green”) gate on the marina, up “d?ugi targ”, past the Neptune fountain and town hall and up to the Z?ota (“gold”) gate. Mariacka street is also considered to be one of the most beautiful streets in Gda?sk, but that doesn’t mean that the other streets around are any less interesting. Elegant buildings on d?ugi targ For those who don’t feel like they’ve visited a city until they’ve had a good panoramic view, you can climb to the top of St. Mary’s Basilica, or go up the tower of the town hall and museum on d?ugi targ. I opted for the town hall and was not disappointed with the view I got for my 5z?. Museums There are several museums in Gda?sk, but the two most significant ones, and which I would highly recommend, are the World War II museum and the European Solidarity Centre. Some of you may be thinking “oh God, not another war museum”, but seriously, if you only go to one more war museum in your life, let it be this one. The museum is modern, attractively laid out and has the right balance of written information to films and other interactive material. Poland is of course given a strong central role in the museum, as indeed befits the role it played in reality, but it is not self-centred. The museum shows how soldiers, civilians and prisoners across Europe and the world were linked by themes such as oppression, terror and hunger, and it does a really amazing job of pulling all the different events, stories and suffering into one coherent narrative. The Solidarity museum is dedicated to the Solidarno?? movement, which began in Gda?sk. It shows the long struggles of Polish freedom fighters under Communism, and how their eventual success led to the fall of the Communist regime in Poland, starting a domino effect which would reunite Europe. Again, the museum […]

The Underrated Beauty of Poland

We all have our own bucket list of countries that we’d love to visit. Most of us are probably dreaming about traveling to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, to Italy to visit Rome, to Bali to relax by the beach, or to South Africa for a safari experience. However, not all of us would write Poland on the list. Perhaps, one of the reasons why it hasn’t earned international attention yet is due to the lack of advertisements. A lot of countries become popular because of the films, books, and novels about them. Poland, on the other hand, is a bit laid back when it comes to this. To be honest, I wouldn’t have dreamt of going to this country hadn’t my boyfriend, Mark, shared his experience during his stay there. He always admires the simplicity and serenity of Poland. Gladly, last year, I was able to witness the underrated beauty of Poland with my own eyes. Before 2017 ended, Mark and I decided to spend the Christmas holiday in Poland. We booked an eight-day trip to Krakow and Zakopane. We arranged everything on our own not only to avoid the extra charges from the agency but also to enjoy the fun of searching the places and activities to try together. There’s a lot of beautiful cities in Poland. Its capital city, Warsaw, attracts a lot of tourists for its historical sights and monuments. Gdansk, on the other hand, boasts its medieval ports, historic cathedrals, and the famous promenade street of Polish Kings. However, we chose to explore Krakow as it holds some of the most historical and political events in Poland; and, Zakopane for its varied selection of winter activities. During our entire trip to Poland, I couldn’t help but wonder why most of us overlook this country. Clearly, Poland is far more beautiful than the other countries I’ve been to. Among my other trips abroad, this is undoubtedly the most enlightening and amusing that I had. Here are just some of the fascinating things I found in Poland. 1. The Historical Museums Auschwitz Concentration Camp One of the biggest museums that we visited in Poland is the Auschwitz concentration camp. Before our trip, I had little knowledge about its history. I was aware that it was built and operated by the Nazi when Germany occupied Poland but it did not have a massive impact on me until I witnessed the very rooms and structures where the Jews worked and stayed during the Second World War. From Krakow Bus Station, we took a direct bus to Auschwitz which took two hours. The entrance to the museum is free! However, you can choose to pay for a guided tour which is available in different languages. At the entrance of the museum, there is a German phrase written on top of the gate which says: arbeit macht frei, meaning, work sets you free. Walking around the camp gave me chills. The entire place is a sobering reminder of what took place in the […]

Warsaw: sightseeing, public transport and tips

I’ve never had an aim to visit Poland. I wanted to visit the Czech Republic, Prague in particular. But one day in 2012 I had a reason to visit this country: my boyfriend bought a ticket to the concert of Coldplay which took place in Warsaw. And we decided to go there together and combine both countries: the Czech Republic and Poland in our trip. It was my first independent trip, without parents, without any travel agency. Everything we found by ourselves: tickets, places to stay, places to visit. And I gonna share this experience now. Below you can find information on the major travel destinations in the capital of Poland. Here you will find budget tips, money saving advice, things to see and do. Small info about how to travel through Poland Bus carriers “Operators” and “Neobus” are great for traveling around Poland. Ticket price starts at 1 Euro, if you book in advance you can easily book a flight, for example, to Krakow or Krakow-Wroclaw for just 5-10 PLN. The bus trip takes longer time than the train, but the tickets are cheaper. It makes sense to use the bus only for short sections (50 kilometers) in southern Poland, in the mountains (Tatry). Where train speed slower than buses. For planning your bus trip in Poland, please visit the CheckMyBus, and in order to calculate any public transport in cities use website “Jak Dojade”. History of Warsaw Warsaw had been almost completely destroyed during the second world war, 80% of the capital of Poland was bombed Historical houses, many small souvenir shops and narrow streets that is what, as usual in Europe, lead to the Central Square. But all these old items– recovered The old town was restored according to the paintings of 17-18 centuries and was included in the list of UNESCO world heritage site, as an example of a thorough restoration of the destroyed heritage! And I can’t tell you from the first glance that all these sights-new buildings Warsaw Sightseeing Pass The standard tourist card of Warsaw has a small difference from those which offered by most European capitals. It applies only to visits to the main attractions but does not entitle you to travel on public transport. The card where public transport is included is a little more expensive (2,5 or 7 euros depending on a number of days). But along with Warsaw Sightseeing Pass, you will receive a detailed guide, and the opportunity to ride the tour bus Hop on Hop off. You can buy a card in one of the tourist offices or online. Warsaw city card Free city tours In Polish cities “Free Tours” are very popular. For more details, just search in Google – * name of city * Free Tours and get information about the free tours. In Warsaw, for example, information can be found here. There are different themes: Warsaw, Communist Warsaw, Historic Centre of Warsaw, etc. But there you can also find paid tours, such as “Food […]

How to spend a perfect day in Warsaw like a local

Lazy breakfast at Charlotte A perfect morning starts definitely in this cosy French pastry named Charlotte. It's located in Warsaw Polytechnics district which is a favourite area of polish young people, hipsters, and elite. There is nothing better than sitting in front of the beautiful Barocco church, sipping a coffee and enjoying freshly baked goodies! Breakfasts are served during the whole day so that you can give yourself as much sleep as you need and never miss it. Every breakfast includes coffee, tea or an orange juice. I would recommend you to try their classic “Charlotte breakfast” with freshly baked croissants and bread served with the jars of homemade jams and chocolate. If you fall in love with them as much as we do, you have an opportunity to buy it right there! Charlotte breakfast Oh, just want you to know that it will cost you just €4-5 per person.   Take a walk in a royal ?azienki Królewskie Not far from our breakfast spot there is one of the best parks in Poland called ?azienki Królewskie. It was a residence of polish king Joseph Pilsudski, which you can see walking on a beautiful territory of 76 hectares. Huge white buildings that were libraries, eating rooms, galleries, event halls or bedrooms of the royal family are now parts of the museum and are open to tourists and citizens. Grab some nuts and bread so that you can feed squirrels and peacocks that are walking just inside a park.   Coffee break in Ministerstwo Kawy After a good walk, there is nothing better than resting with a cup of coffee or hot tea. Take a rest in Ministerstwo Kawy – one of the best coffee shops in the city. The softest latte, strong and aromatic espresso or maybe some alternative coffee made using Drip, Chemex or Aeropress technology? Everyone will find something special for himself. Espresso – €1.6; Latte – €2.5 The main street Nowy ?wiat & a Trendy Spot Aioli Next, let's go and take a walk on one of the main streets called Nowy ?wiat! There you can find a lot of souvenir and concept shops, restaurants and bars. If you get hungry don't miss a trendy place named Aioli which is located right on the corner. Its Mediterranean European cuisine and awesome interior got so popular that people don’t mind staying in a queue for 15-30 minutes to come inside. No wonder why – the atmosphere there is amazing. There are a lot of beautiful people, a pleasant noise of chilled talks and best soul mixes from DJs every Friday and Saturday evening. Try Aioli Surf&Turf steak and Aioli Burger if you are a meat lover. If you are not – don't worry. They have a wide range of vegetarian options on their menu, I would recommend you an Aioli Nurture The World salad with falafel and Mezzu (special hummus). By the way, every Thursday and Friday they have a delivery of fresh mules and these […]

10 tips about travelling in Cracow

Cracow- the city of old dream. When we're planning to travel to some new country we're usually thinking about visiting a capital. Because there we are expecting to see the heart of the country. With Poland, it's another story. The heart of this country- definitely Cracow, the oldest city, with long and rich history, with unique old architecture, the tastiest food, and never-ending nightlife. Cracow never sleeps, unlike some other cities in Europe. For me Cracow is a very special place, it's one of the places where I'm feeling myself like at home: safe, free and always loved. I have spent 3 years in the city during my student time. And always felt that I'm in the right place at the right time. So, because of it, I had enough time to explore the amazing city and right now can tell what is really the best and necessary to see there. Generally, it's hard to pick out only 10 places in Cracow, because there's much more, especially depends on that you've become more interested in getting if it's history or nightlife, art or nature. Here I'll highlight 10 the best spots in any category for myself and I'm sure that anyone would enjoy it. I want to show already experienced travelers that Cracow is not only Wawel castle, main market, and Kazimierz, it's much more, you can't even imagine how much unique thinks are hidden in the town. So, let's start… 1. Salwator: Ancient district The oldest neighbourhood in Cracow and one of the most expensive about living there, because it's not usual place, you're so close to the city centre with a lot of tourists, restaurants etc, but at the same time you're feeling like you're in some small village, far from megapolis's life. It's a real pleasure to walk through those streets. And the main road on Salwator will lead you to our second topic. 2. Kopiec Ko?ciuszki ( Kosciuszko's Mound) Kopiec Ko?ciuszki unusual monument to one of the folk polish heroes. This is a big mount from where you will be able to see all city from one side and an incredible view of truly polish nature from another side. For entering the monument you have to pay some money, (around 2-3 euro, free enter for students) but you will receive priceless memories. 3. Restaurant ” U Romana” It calls a restaurant, but in the reality, it more looks like a cafeteria or even student canteen. For me it's good-) The price is great, food is tasty and the VIEW !! You can seat on the roof and look at all the city center from there: Wawel, st. Maria Basilica) And one bonus plus. The cafe is located in a building of school of philharmonic society, so moreover, you can listen to live classical music. 4. Saint Joseph church Even if you're not a very religious person you will find the church is very special. It's huge roman catholic basilic which will not leave you indifferent. Don't hesitate […]

Puszczykowo – the green heart of Wielkopolska

Out of the big city The big cities of Poland are one thing, but when it comes to relaxing the best places are usually hidden somewhere near them or just away. When it comes to talking about Wielkopolska everyone thinks about Poznan – a great city for tourist, however, this time as it's my first blog here I've decided to take you on a journey around. I simply live nearby and in my opinion, it's worth visiting because you can come here for the weekend relax in a nice calm and peaceful area away from the big city noise. Puszczykowo – the town Puszczykowo is a town about 16 km away from Poznan. It is situated near Wielkopolski National Park, where you can go walking, riding a bike and enjoy the nature. If anyone wants to have a short break from sightseeing the big city just hop on a train and come here. You can get here by train from Pozna? main train station in just 20 minutes. Take the train and come to Puszczykowo or Puszczykówko – they are both train stations here. The journey is quick and not very expensive – the return ticket to Poznan in about 4Euro. Be careful, the train stations are both of the same town but they can lead you to completely different locations and attractions. If you enjoy cycling you can come here from Pozna? along Wartostrada which is a bicycle route along Warta River. The car is also an idea but the traffic is terrible and if it comes to the bus it takes over one hour to get to Puszczykowa from Pozna?. If you decide to come from a different direction than Pozna? the hints are pretty much the same. Puszczykowo train station If you choose Puszczykowo – you can enjoy the meal first in the local 'Lokomotywa' restaurant which is placed at the station. They serve Italian food – and the pizza is really good – I would even say it tastes as the real one in Italy. The interior of the place has a really good atmosphere, like in a train compartment as while eating you can hear trains passing by. Well, let's start from Puszczykowo – from here you can simply go for a walk to the forest, to the Warta River bank, or go for a bike ride through the forest of Nadwarcia?ski Bór Sosnowy as it has lots of bike routes which lead to a nice picnic place at the river. However, if I were you I would rather choose to stop at Puszczykowko train station – the town from that place is even more interesting. So, if you stop there, you have two choices. You can go left towards the Warta River bank to relax and enjoy the nature or have a walk in the woods or visit the museum of Arkady Fidler – a famous Polish traveller. In the museum, you can see souvenirs from his travels from all over the world and see or […]

Nightlife In Krakow

Krakow is repeatedly being presented as a cultural pulse of Poland, referring to architecture, historical sites, and a wide range of public performances. On the other hand, this lovely city treasures rich underground culture within its streets, as well. The very expansion of Krakow’s alternative scene appears as a result of growing number of foreign students and inquisitive tourists. The Main Square – Rynek Glowny – is always overwhelmed with vigorous people that circulate from place to place until the morning, or even tomorrow afternoon. The beauty of the nightlife in Krakow lies in its diversity – from pubs to various types of clubs and open-air events. Useful Tips Take an uber/taxi only if it happens to be necessary. Clubs and pubs are mostly concentrated in the very Old Town, or nearby, and they are not far from each other. Stick to comfortable clothes, unless you plan to go to places that require a specific dress code. Otherwise, clothes and shoes that limit freedom and movement of your body won't work for you. Of course, you want to spruce up, but there’s no need for overdoing it. It doesn’t matter whether you go alone, or with a group,  you'll end up having fun. Personally, I went to 90% of events by myself, had an amazing time, and met new people. The great thing about The Main Square is a free wi-fi. It helped me a lot, especially at around 1am/2am when I wanted to check other events and continue to party somewhere else. Wherever you go, you are neither early nor late. Prozak 2.0. Situated in a medieval basement at Plac Dominikanski, this place has persisted as one of the oldest underground epicenters of Krakow. The interior looks like a maze that spreads over 2 levels with 3 dancefloors, bars, and chillout zones. The club is known for rave parties and various famous names of techno scene (e.g. SNTS, Kollektiv Turmstrasse and etc.) that performed behind its DJ pult. Szpitalna 1 What makes this club interesting is its “rabbit hole” trait– it’s not easy to find it at first. The entrance seems like a casual cocktail bar, but once you get in, the stairs will lead you to the dark, underground atmosphere and strong sound system.  A labyrinth-like spacious venue allows people to dance, and also to circulate between bars and chill out zones. While vodka is known to be the most popular drink in other places in Krakow, here you can also enjoy a quality beer. Last but not least, don't miss the great cocktails here. Ask for the recommendation if you are unsure which one to try. The program this place offers varies from raves  (techno, acid, electro, disco) to rock and blues concerts. ?wi?ta Krowa I was searching for this place through the Florianska street and suddenly, I saw a board that says “Holly Cow!”  in front of the hallway. Probably you assume this is another rabbit-hole bar/club. As you approach the stairs at the end of the hallway, the […]

Discover Krakow’s Hidden Gems

The best places are often the ones hidden from view, the ones that require a bit of extra effort to find. When visiting Poland's beautiful cultural city Krakow, you would think that the beautiful Old Town Square with its lines of colorful houses was all that there was to contemplate. You would also head to Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter, and revel in its history and bohemian lifestyle. Although these are both things I encourage you to do, in reality, Krakow has a lot more to offer than what meets the eye. Upon closer look, it is a city offering a full network of those delicious restaurants, quirky bars and even museums, all tucked away into passageways and underground spaces. To be found, you will need to explore alleyways and inner courtyards. I had to live in Poland for a few years to discover the best places hidden right in the center of busy streets. Over time, they have become favorites for lots of reasons ranging from their fun atmosphere to their great products. Some others I love because they are totally unique or perfectly traditional. Magia – Something sweet or salty To start the day, Magia is a perfect choice. The café starts off in a space somewhat similar to a greenhouse, becomes a carpeted corridor leading to a steep staircase that tumbles into a cellar, which is refurbished with comfortable couches and lighting. It is easy to lose track of time here. To find the correct doorway to the café, look out for a sign opposite Mariacki Church. When you do find Magia, you will be pleased to order one of their very tasty wraps, sandwiches or cakes accompanied by a hot chocolate or fresh coffee. Sukiennice – Underground Museum The Sukiennice, or Cloth Hall in English, is the beautiful building in the center of the town square. The center space was once used as trading post for textiles, hence its name. Today, the Sukiennice has multiple functions. As well as acting as gift shop and selling the obvious souvenirs, it hosts an art gallery and restaurant on the first level and an Underground Museum in its basement. The restaurant offers a nice view on the Old Town Square. The underground museum, for its part, shows the excavated remains of the streets of Krakow in Medieval times, as if you were walking in the true medieval Krakow! Gospoda Kokos – Local Restaurant Gospoda Kokos is a good option for both lunch and dinner. At first, Gospoda Kokos seems to be a tiny local restaurant of 5 tables on a quiet street in the town’s city center. Truly, the restaurant has four different rooms, the bigger one being underground, often crowded and noisy with locals. This is a usual meeting point for students. Don’t worry though; the cramped space is part of the experience. Plus, the food is traditionally Polish, inexpensive but filling and tasty. St-Stanislaw Fountain – Legend and Culture The Skalka and Pauline Monastery – or simply the Church […]

Poland, Katowice: My city of modernity

Have you ever heard of Katowice, big city located in the south of Poland? Probably not. Or – maybe – once in your history you throwned a glance on flight schedule at the airport. In that case, you had noted: 'Katowice Pyrzowice Airport (KTW)'. Now, we have to know that this beautiful city has something more than just a place where planes touch down. Katowice are known for three factors: touching history, incredible architecture and cultural events. Are you ready for the journey? Let's get it started! Katowice is a big town placed in southern region called 'Silesia'. What is so specific about it is that Silesia during all wars and combats had been on the borderland of three countries: Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. There are lots of distinguished traits that are rooted in that fact: we can see architectural solutions created at the crossroads of different cultures. Besides, not only buildings are the proofs – you can also find plenty of various churches; roman catholic, protestant and synagogues. Living in such an exceptional location made Katowice's habitants' lives more attractive. Apart from meeting representatives of so many cultures they were witnesses of exceptional and cruel history. With or without their permission. FIRST WORDS ABOUT KATOWICE The first reference about Katowice was written down in 1598 by priest, who was visiting the local parish. We can read about people living there: they were really strong, hard-working and talented – even in times of early Middle Ages they were handling with lack of goods. As they were inventors, they learned how to use nearby rivers and started to develop their city. But for historical briefs we knew they had one of the first metallurgic factories in Europe. That wasn't an invention for only one day: the factory were performing a duty way longer than the european ones. Of course Katowice didn't become a metropolis in few years. For a long time that was just a little village. Time has brought the change in 1848, when private company placed a train station there on relation Wienna-Berlin-Warsaw. Hundreds of families were roaming to Katowice with lust for work and wellfare. That occurence we might boldly call the name of 'revolution' When fights of the Ist World War lasted, Katowice were having a time to rebuild their power. Silesia had become an autonomical region with their own parliament and finances. Unluckily, times of flowering couldn't be endless – after long years of building the city habitants were taken-aback by war and 'III Plebiscites' – corrupt voting determining the territorial claims of Silesia to Germany. Then, after the IInd World War, The Soviet Army liberated Poland and that was the beginning of communism in country. Katowice had their name changed on 'Stalinogrod' in honour of Josef Stalin, a leader of the Soviet Union. Local activists changed it after months of fights. City was in communist enslavement for another 46 years, untill Poland didn't reach the democracy. Now we are looking at the city that had […]

Poland, Krakow: City of Culture

Poland is an often overlooked gem of Europe and Krakow is a real diamond. This medieval city filled with churches, cobbled streets and beautiful architecture is like something from a fairy tale. It's also very cheap and everybody likes cheap. The market building in The main square of Krakow, Poland What To Do Explore Schindler's factory Krakow, like all of Poland, is steeped in so much history and as a result has some wonderful museums. Many of these museums explore life in Nazi occupied Poland, one of the most famous of these museums in Schindler's Factory. The exhibits are very detailed but also interactive, there's even a small cinema which shows a fascinating documentary about the man himself. It's really mind-blowing to stand in a place of such international historical significance. Although it isn't the most cheerful of places, it is absolutely worth a visit to pay your respects. Visit St. Mary's Basilica If this sounds a little too heavy then perhaps a visit to the gorgeous St. Mary's Basilica is in order: perfect for if you've drunk too much and need some absolution or you just want a bit of peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. There are some brilliant legends about the church so it's well worth bribing a local to hear them all. The Basilica is in the main square of Krakow and as a result there are always loads of events going on just outside, be it dancers, choirs or drama performances, you can find a full list of events here. The main square is a visual feast so after a visit to the church it's great to just find somewhere to sit and watch life happen around you. St. Mary's Basilica seen at night in the main square in Krakow, Poland Enjoy Wawel Castle A trip to Krakow wouldn't be complete without a visit to Wawel Castle. The castle sits majestically overlooking the river so even if you don't go in, it's still an excellent walk with stunning scenery. Inside the castle you can see a lot of the finest Polish culture on display, from the architecture to the vast collection of Renaissance paintings. Wander through the different rooms and day dream that you're the ruler of Poland! Wawel is also home to the royal graveyard where generations of kings are buried, get your goth on and check it out. Auschwitz Concentration camp There's so much to do in Krakow but the most popular place to visit is Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The camp isn't in the city but it is close, there are a number of tours that run there daily from a variety of tour companies so be sure to shop around. Make sure you treat the place with the respect it demands, it may seem like a rather grisly place to visit but it's an important part of Polish history and important to understand how it has impacted society, both then and […]

Things you need on your Instagram while visiting Lodz

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Poland? Vodka? Pierogi? Warsaw? Cracow? Unless you have already visited Lodz, I would dare to say that you have probably never heard of it. And there is nothing weird about it – despite it being fairly 100 kilometers from Warsaw, it's not the most popular place to visit. You won't find here any famous museums or important landmarks, and yet Lodz is what your Instagram (and your followers) need ASAP. So when you get off your plane in Warsaw, buy a super cheap train ticket (40 zloty = 10 euro) and come visit one of the coolest cities in Poland. So what is so special about Lodz? Everything. Whatever you want to see, just name it. You want to sight see? You can visit our Old Town, Ksi??y M?yn or the Orthodox Church. You want to go shopping? Manufaktura is what you're looking for. You want to party? Visit Piotrkowska Street, which is the main and the most popular street in Lodz. You need some totally amazing and hipster photos that your Instagram and Facebook will love? Here are some ideas that will make your social media profile absolutely unique.   MANUFAKTURA Manufaktura is one of the biggest shopping malls and leisure complexes in Poland. It occupies the space between Zachodnia, Ogrodowa, Drewnowska, and Karskiego Streets. Built between 1877 – 1878 by Izrael Poznanski, a Polish- Jewish businessman who developed the textile industry in Lodz, making it the Polish textile powerhouse. The original industrial buildings were designed by Hilary Majewski in 1872. The revival was aimed at conserving the place’s ancient atmosphere, and Manufaktura is now dominated by legitimate industrial architecture, with red brick buildings. Right now Manufaktura holds over 300 stores, restaurants, cafes, pubs and a cinema. You could spend a whole day there without getting bored – you will even find a cultural center, including an industrial museum and an art gallery. If you’re more of a sport enthusiast, you can spend your time there bowling or at the gym. But most importantly, you should be able to really feel the atmosphere of the late 19th century in Lodz in a bit more modern way. PIOTRKOWSKA STREET Piotrkowska Street is the main artery of Lodz. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city. It begins at the Liberty Square (Plac Wolnosci) and finishes at the Independence Square (Plac Niepodleglosci). It has a function similar to a market square of old towns in other cities. Nowadays the town-planning,buildings, restaurants, clubs and pubs situated next to this street, create its special atmosphere, reaching even outside of Lodz. Once you're there make sure to find all the sculptures of famous Lodz's inhabitants like Wladyslaw Reymont, Julian Tuwim (both of them were writers) or Artur Rubinstein (a composer). You will also be able to find more attractions that I will write about below, like Off Piotrkowska, Rose Passage or some examples of Lodz's famous […]

Poland: Krakow – The best tips to know before you go

**Useful to take in mind while reading the post 1 EURO = 4.25 PLN; 1 Pound = 5.00 PLN; 1 US Dollar = 3.8 PLN (approximate values); How to get there? From Krakow Airport (John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice) You have several options to get to the city centre from Krakow Airport. Taxi (Fastest) – If you decide to take a taxi don’t pick the first taxi that you will see when leaving the terminal, unless you want a driver wearing a nice suit and driving a nice car. After living the terminal turn on your right and you will find others taxis companies (much cheaper than the ones there are closer to the terminal). It is very important to check the price per kilometer of each company, significant differences can be found (I will describe this better later on this post). Specifically from the airport you can easily negotiate a price with the driver. I think that a drive to the city center for 40-60 PLN will be a nice price. Train (Middle term) – This one is my opinion the best way. You have a train station at the airport that can take you directly to the city center. Directions to the train station are very detailed at the arrivals terminal so just follow them. You can buy the train ticket in the railway platform (you can select the English menu). A single ticket costs 8 PLN. If you are a student you have 50% discount but be aware that they don't accept your national student card, only ISIC or polish student card. You can check the timetables here. Select “Krakow Lotnisko” (Lotnisko means airport in polish) as your departure and “Krakow Glowny” (Main train Station) as your destination, assuming that you want to reach the city center. Bus (Cheapest) – There are some bus that can take you to the city center but he trip do not take less than 50-60 minutes. However it is the cheapest way, a single journey costs 5PLN. I will describe below (in the topic about public transports) how you can check the bus number, bus stops, timetables, etc. From Katowice (Katowice International Airport – Also known as Pyrzowice) If you are flying to Katowice (located +/- 100 km from Krakow). First of all, the name of the airport is: Katowice-Pyrzowice so don’t be surprised if you will not find “Katowice” but “Pyrzowice” to refer the airport. There are 2 main bus companies doing the shuttle to and from Krakow: Kraków Pyrzowice Express and Matuszek Airport Bus Service. The price is similar (43 – 44 PLN) so it will be a matter to find the one that better fits with your arrival time. One important note: you can buy your bus ticket, if there are still places available, directly from the driver but it will be a bit more expensive (around 50 PLN) Currency – best exchange rate Poland has its own currency – the polish zloty. My recommendation is to bring […]

Poland with a budget – Tricity in four days

Poland with a budget – Tricity in four days Infusion of backpacking lifestyle and motherhood So you say you can't go because you have a baby now? You are a single parent and out of money? I used to challenge all young single people to travel and head to the corners of the earth, but now I think that's just too obvious. Of course you can go, and nobody needs to tell you this as it's all in your head whether you want to go or not. Having my situation change from a backpacker into a mother (single mother, if that matters), I see what I didn't see before: sharing the world with the one you love the most is better than any experiences I had before while on the road by myself or with people I met along the way. For that reason I have decided to write not only to the obvious travel audience but also to encourage the parents and single parents to go explore a new location and make memories. It's not hard, it doesn't have to be expensive, and most importantly – you can do it! Having started off in May by booking my Wizzair flights for 45€ in total (there and back) for my son and myself, I was more than happy to have successfully overturned the headache caused by airlines charging for a seat for a two-year old. Paying double for my travel was not on my to-do list when I got pregnant but when you accept the facts life becomes much easier. I booked the hotel Zloty Staw for a reason that it was amazingly priced with stars more than my son can count and more importantly it offered an airport transportation in the middle of the night which was necessary due to our return flight at 6:10 am. The hotel itself was located in the countryside far off the city but had a bus stop nearby and I always choose to save money and go trough some discomfort – just as anyone with a blood of a backpacker or a heart of a tightwad. After an early September flight from Turku, Finland to Gdansk, Poland we were on our way to our 9th country together as a mother and son during his 2 years and 4 months of life. The only special preparation in addition to buying disposable diapers was to change 20€ of all the cash of 45€ I had into Polish zlotys and check the location of the bus stop in google street view as I always use the public transportation. The Gdansk public tranportation ZTM has a great route finder from place A to B here. I have lost my debit card and taking cash from the atm cost too much (4.5€ + 2%) with the credit card so I figured I will use the visa card on all purchases I can and save the zlotys on buses. We took one backpack each – my son has one a lot smaller than I […]

Poland: Weekend in Pomerania

A lot of people when I say “I'm from Poland”, ask “oh cool, Warsaw or Cracov?”. Well, that can be surprising but we have in Poland few more cities, and my personal opinion- much more beautiful than Warsaw. Place that I want to write about today was my home, my oasis, where I could rest and energize for another great travel. Now, living outside of Poland and hearing a lot of questions, I would like to tell you a little bit about the place that we in Poland call Pomerania. So Pomerania is one 16 Polish voivedeships, it lies in the central north, by the Baltic sea. Capitol of the voivedeship is Gdansk, very old, very beautiful, long time ago was one of the most important seaports in Europe. Gdansk together with Gdynia and Sopot creates, how we call it 3-city (Tricity). They're called like that, because they're situated right next to each other on the coast of Gdansk Bay. WEEKEND IN POMERANIA [My little idea of the perfect three-day trip in one of the most charming places in Poland] DAY 1 Gdansk As the capitol, Gdansk is the biggest city in Pomerania. As one of the oldest in Poland has also a lot of things to offer. Gda?sk G?owny {Central Gdansk} is the name of railway station, where you can get, by train (called SKM) from the Lech Walesa Airport and also from every other city in Tricity and small Tricity (Rumia, Reda and Wladyslawowo, that lies west from Gdynia). Already there you'll see beautiful old architecture of a city. Walk through the old town. This is where most of the monuments is located. Right before the main street we can find medieval prison tower and torture house(few years ago there was a torture museum, today it's Amber Museum in there) built as part of city's fortification, its foundations comes from beginning of XIV century. The main street- Ulica D?uga  (Long Street/ Lane) starts with the Golden Gate, created in XVII century. On the street we can see Town's Hall and very famous Neptune's Fountain, constructed in 1633 is located by the entrance to Artus Court, right next to the Fountain is located very intresting “theatre in the window”, unfortunately plays are only in polish. Long Street ends on XVI century Green Gate that takes us to the River Mot?awa, ferry there crosses the river since XVII century (of course not the same one). Lunch by the River Mot?awa. On the boulvard by the river is located plenty of restaurants, almost every kind, american, italian… It's great to sit down, eat some lunch, or drink some coffee and let our legs rest a little bit. From every restaurant we'll have beautiful view on the river, ships and from some of them on another popular attraction of Gda?sk, ?uraw-medieval port crane. Here also every year usually in the middle of August you can see St. Dominic's Fair, one of the biggest cultural and trade events on the open air, with almost every kind of product for sale, starting […]

Warsaw: Exploring a Foreign City

Warsaw is the capital city of Poland, a city that is enriched with culture and history. Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of visiting the country my Grandpa grew up in and finding out more about my Polish heritage. On the 17th of May 2016, I was finally able to make that dream come true. I spent five days exploring the city and learning about the countries incredible history. In this article I have complied some of my favorite places that I managed to visit, and some advice on the best ways of getting around. Things to do: The Royal Palace: This is located in the Old Town of Warsaw, I visited in the summer months so the opening hours were as followed: Monday – Wednesday: 10am – 6pm, Thursday: 10am – 8pm, Friday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm and Sunday: 11am – 6pm. Entry fee is roughly around 25,000pln, which is around $9AUD, however if you go on a Sunday you might be lucky enough to get in for free. There's guided tours available, but I decided to walk around on my own, there is plenty of signage and friendly English speaking staff to help you along the way. The Palace is located in Old Town Warsaw, which has beautiful old architecture, an awesome town square which is really nice if you just want to grab a coffee or a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant and simply people watch. The address of the Royal Palace is: plac Zamkowy 4, 00-277 Warszawa, Poland, and the closest tram stop is: Stare Miasto.   (Outside the front of the Royal Palace and the Kings Suite inside). The Palace of Science and Culture: This is the tallest building in Poland, 42 stories high, the construction started in 1952 and finished in 1955. The Palace was a gift to the people of Poland from the Soviet Union. It is rumored that the Polish people thought the building was an eyesore, but didn't want to be rude so didn't turn it down. Inside of the palace is many different exhibitions, when I went there, there was one on the Titanic and one on spiders (for those of the brave nature). There was also a festival of some sort run by the energy drink “Red Bull” out the front. One of the awesome features of this building, is that you can make a trip to the very top of the palace which has a look out, which on a clear day gives you a pretty awesome view of Warsaw. I went with this option over the the exhibitions, it costs 20pln ($7AUD), at the top you can walk the the top floor and let the whole view sink in. There's also a little gift shop where you can pick up something to remember you time in Warsaw. The address of the palace is: plac Defilad 1, 00-901 Warszawa, Poland, and is located very close to the Central Train Station. The palace is very east to […]

Poland: HEL PENINSULA – The Baltic Sea

Hel is in the northern part of Poland, where there is a nice coast with the beautiful beaches and wide offer of water sports. The main advantage of this place is that the Baltic Sea is partially separated from the land by the peninsula. It makes the place safe but in the same time the sea is not very calm there, there is a nice wind and waves.   Jurata   To be honest last weekend I have visited this peninsula after a long time. As a kid I used to go there every summer and spend one or two months in one of the villages there called Jurata. This is a really beautiful place with a wide pedestrian zone leading to the pier full of street artists willing to draw your portraits or decorate your hair. My current visit brought good memories and I did not come back disappointed, frankly, I did not feel like coming back at all. I am from the capital which is in central Poland so we decided to reach Hel by car, it took more or less 5 hours and we still had time to go out after the arrival.   W?adys?awowo   The first night we spent in W?adys?awowo – one of the cities on the beginning of the peninsula. This is one of the biggest summer destinations for people going to the seaside area in Poland. The city is small but still has some attractions to offer. That night there was a big event – Ballantine’s Brazil Shake Party in latin rhythms. That party took place in the beach bar with many other bars around, you could find food, drinks and music, all very close and very well situated. The only disadvantage is that you can’t pay by card there but there is a cash machine close by as well. Finally we ended up spending most of the night on the beach close by just talking and laughing. After some time a group of people joined us and we were singing sea shanties accompanied by the guitar sounds. You need to know that sailing is very popular in Poland and people from everywhere are coming to the seaside or to the lakes area (where by lakes you are able to reach the sea after few days) to sail. Usually they are renting a boat and many of us have actually a license that allow us to sail without any help of other people. So finally singing those shanties made us all in a good mood remembering all our past sailing experiences and camps from there times when we were teenagers. We all came to the conclusion that we need to organize a sailing trip soon so maybe you will be lucky enough to read another article about it. Seagulls in the polish seaside   Hel City   As we arrived in the evening the first day got over quite fast. We came back home in the middle of […]
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