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  • Writer's pictureGiulia M.

5 things you do not want to miss in Warsaw

As some of you may know, my sister is currently living in Warsaw, doing her six-month Erasmus (like sister, like sister :) ).

Could I therefore not take the opportunity to visit her and explore a city I had never been to before? Definitely not!

And, G U Y S, maybe I started off a bit biased - but I certainly did not expect to find such a beautiful city. A stunning capital that is super easy to visit, where the ancient and the modern come together to create a true masterpiece.


So here I leave you here with 5 things not to miss in the wonderful city of Warsaw - plus two bonuses, because they deserve it.


  1. Getting lost in the streets of the Old Town

  2. Visiting the Royal Castle

  3. Discovering the modern part of the city

  4. Pop into the Palace of Culture and Science

  5. Eat local and taste the Pierogi


Getting lost in the streets of the Old Town

You haven't really been to Warsaw if you haven't walked the streets of the Old Town (Stare Miasto) at least once. A little gem in the Old Town, which - I discovered - was almost completely destroyed by Hitler's madness, rebuilt during the last century and declared a UNESCO Worls Heritage Site in 1980. We started with a visit from the beautiful Piazza Castello, and then made our way towards the central streets leading to the Market Square (personally one of the most beautiful squares I have ever seen, where every house facing it has incredibly beautiful exterior decorations). I definitely recommend taking some time to visit the narrow streets of the Old Town on foot (or by bike) and get lost between a typical restaurant and a shop selling local handicrafts.


Visiting the Royal Castle (Gardens included)

Castle Square is, of course, named after the Royal Castle overlooking it, which my sister and I decided to spend a couple of hours exploring. Not knowing much about the history of the city, I must say that I really enjoyed the visit, which ended with a visit to the gardens behind the castle. We easily managed to get the ticket on the same day at the ticket office, at a cost of around 7/8€. In case, however, you want to anticipate and buy the ticket online, you can do so directly from the castle's official website.


Discovering the modern part of the city

About a 30-minute walk from the Old Town, towards the southwest, the modern heart of Warsaw (Śródmieście Północne) rises imposingly; it was really interesting for me to go, in such a short time, from a quaint, old-style panorama to a completely different landscape, full of large, ultra-modern buildings and offices. One of the most characteristic structures in the area is the world-famous Złote Tarasy shopping centre, a structure built in 2007 and covered with a corrugated glass roof - full of shops but also very fascinating from an architectural point of view. I know, it seems strange to recommend a visit to a shopping centre, but I think it is a good example of the combination of old and new that is evident in this beautiful city.


Pop by the Palace of Culture and Science

In the modern part of Warsaw, the Palace of Culture and Science stands out imposingly, another must-see stop for me. Visiting the palace from the outside is impressive in itself, but it is also possible - at a cost of around €5 - to climb up to its rooftop terrace, located on the top floor, and enjoy a wonderful view of the Polish capital from above. Don't worry, for those wondering, there is a (very fast!) lift that takes you all the way up.


Eat local and taste the Pierogi

How could I not include food in this post?

An integral part of a trip is exploring the local cuisine; in fact, my sister and I catapulted ourselves into one of Warsaw's typical restaurants, Zapiecek (it's a chain, you can find several scattered around the city), to sample the most characteristic dishes. The average price, I have to say, is higher than other Polish restaurants, perhaps more geared towards a tourist clientele, but still on a fairly cheap level when compared to restaurants in Italy. Initially I feared there were not many meatless options, but instead everything vegetarian was - to my amazement and delight - well signposted on the menu. We therefore indulged in typical soups, gnocchi (?!), but ESPECIALLY, pierogi - typical Polish ravioli that are served in all sauces (literally); vegetables, meat, fish and even sweets covered in jam and icing sugar. You cannot go home without trying them!



Bonus


Take a walk on the wild side

Warsaw is an incredibly green city. Unfortunately - apart from the first sunny day - we were a bit unlucky with the weather, so we didn't get to take many walks surrounded by greenery. So I had my sister and her friends send me some photos (thanks Alice and Federico for 1) the pictures 2) having welcomed me at your party as if I was one of you, Gen Z 😊), as proof of how beautiful the parks in this city are. The most beautiful - apparently - is Łazienki Park.


Go Vegan!

I could not NOT mention this INCREDIBLE plant-based restaurant, called Vege Miasto and discovered absolutely by chance near my sister's house. Vegan cuisine revisited in a Polish version, super cheap and delicious. For a main course + soup (Y U M Y !) + water we paid only 7€. So if you are looking for vegetarian food or are simply curious to try it, don't miss it.



Many thanks: this time only one, to my sister Michela. Who has had the patience to put up with me for 21 years. Or rather, two. Thanks also to me, who has had the patience to put up with her for exactly the same amount of time. Tvb <3



Xx


Giulia

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