Sunday, 11 February 2018

13 hours in Warsaw

While looking for things to do in Lublin, I noticed we were only a few hours away from Warsaw, Poland's capital city. To get a coach there cost us around a fiver each, and we booked through a website calling PolskiBus which was really easy - would definitely recommend! The coach station was a few minutes away from our apartment by taxi, and we got there at around 4.30am ready for our 5am coach. We had extra leg room seats and the journey was fine; as good as a coach journey that early in the day can be!



We arrived in Warsaw just after half 7, when all that was really open was McDonalds, so we made our way there for breakfast. If you get a large meal you get two hash browns OR chips. Wild. So we killed some time eating and staying warm before following Google maps to the Warsaw ghetto wall. Sort of. We got there, sure, but we didn't actually see the wall. I've got no idea where we went wrong, but that was pretty disappointing especially as it had taken us so long to walk there! As it was a Saturday, nothing opened til 10am except for the big mall (Zlote Tarasay) which is next to the main train station. We wandered around a few shops (Bath & Body Works!!!! 12 hand sanitisers!!!) then got ourselves a drink in Costa, counting down until the rest of the city woke up.


Realising we were quite far from the old town, and because it was SO COLD, we got a taxi over - our driver acted as a tour guide, pointing out various places, which was really sweet; he dropped us off by the Statue of the Little Insurgent, which was really interesting - it's a dedication to all the child soldiers of Poland's past, which was pretty harrowing. We then wandered through the streets to admire the pastel buildings and pretty architecture; looked out from the viewing platform across the dual carriageway to the river; watched everyone ice skating on a rink around the cute little mermaid statue/fountain. Apparently the mermaid is the symbol of Warsaw, which we didn't have a clue about, but you do see it around when you've noticed it once!


We'd seen on Leanne's instagram that there was a Sarkis exhibition on in the National Gallery of Art with a giant neon rainbow; I love a good art gallery, so we walked there in the cold through a lovely park and paid our 15PLN each to get in. It had mostly modern art, and some lovely paintings, and of course the promised neon rainbow as well as some neon quotes along the walls. It was slightly underwhelming, but nice all the same and made for some cracking insta shots. There's a bar/restaurant in the art gallery, too, so we had a cocktail there before bracing the cold again - I had a sex on the beach and Sam opted for a long island iced tea, and it came to around 50PLN for the two (a tenner, give or take) and the cocktails were huge as well as strong.



Another insta-friendly place we were dying to go to was the Neon Museum; being on the other side of the river there was no way we could walk there so it was back in a taxi (side note, if you're in Poland then iTaxi is a really handy app and you can pay in cash as well as card) to Soho Factory, a really hipster part of town with a zip wire, a restaurant, the Neon Museum itself and some other bits & bobs - it's labelled as an avant-garde space for business and culture, which I'd say is about right. The museum costs 12PLN per person and it is SO worth it. It's jam packed with old communist-era neon signs, some lit up and some not, from shops, hotels, restaurants and more. It's floor to ceiling colour and industry and history, and I just loved it. I'll pop all my pictures into one review post, so keep your eyes peeled!



We made our way back to central Warsaw, to Flying Tiger specifically, and by this point we were getting hungry so after buying pointless things like sticky notes and birthday cards for nobody in particular we went off in search of food. A lot of the restaurants were jam packed, and by the time we reached Pizza Dominium we were ravenous. Sam ordered a large Pepsi which was easily 1.5 pints, and I ordered a Somersby which turned out to not be cider as expected, but apple lager instead. We each got a pizza, obviously, and they were huge and so nice. It came to around £16 which isn't bad for dinner in a capital city, and even though there was a power cut while we waited for our pizza it was still a lovely experience.


Even though it was freezing, we decided to walk back to the old town where it was full of fairy lights and people and bars. We ducked inside one bar, a basement type deal which only seemed to serve tea (about 78 varieties) and a few types of spirits; it felt too awkward to leave, after they'd gone to the trouble of finding us English menus, but neither of us like tea so we got cokes and sat there, people watching. After that we wandered the old town a bit more, admiring all the sparkling lights and the Christmas decorations that hadn't been taken down yet, and it was nearly time to make our way back to the coach station but we had time for a vodka and coke in a little bar called Przed i Po looking out over the back of the old town. Bliss.

By the time we got back to Lublin we were exhausted and cold but happy - I'd definitely recommend taking a day trip to a different city if you're in Lublin, because it's so easy. Warsaw, I'll be back.

2 comments:

  1. You and Sam have made me really want to visit Warsaw and Lublin, I've never been before but I've really enjoyed seeing your travel tweets :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

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  2. WOW. Warsaw definitely sounds promising :D The Neon museum looks so cool and though it must've been freezing, I think the city was worth it. Love all the pictures, they make me want to take a trip to there too! <3

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