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City that saw war, emerges peacefully and beautifully

City that saw war, emerges peacefully and beautifully

The bombs dropped. The city was destroyed. A wall went up and Warsaw was bathed in Red for decades. Wall comes down, capitalism floods the streets and voila – Warsaw, uprising. And there’s a very (very) short history of the capital of Poland.

It’s amazing how after such a short period of time, a city can recover with grace, beauty and modernity. This is evident even in Warsaw’s Centralna train station. When you arrive, take the escalator two levels up to the main hall for your choice of transport to the city center. Whether you take a bus, tram or train, prepare to be surprised.

About Poland

Modern skyscrapers greet the jaded traveler who expects to see holed-out hovels. There are vestiges of the past, like the Place of Culture and Science, a communist-style and once much-hated gift from the Soviet Union. The tallest building in Poland and a symbol of Warsaw, it now plays host to movies, museums, cafes and concert halls. Take the elevator to the top for a panorama of the city

Current edifices are far more contemporary. Want to shop? The Polish have a passion for fashion (and that doesn’t include babushkas.) Head to the Golden Terraces, where you’ll find two floors of shops, a food court, hotel and a movie theater. Or just admire the modernist architecture from the outside.

Warsaw easily intertwines the modern with non-musty old. For a relaxing afternoon, head to the Baroque-style Lazienki Park (Royal Baths). Created by the king in the 17th century, idle a while under the old oaks surrounded by squirrels and peacocks, little ponds and palaces. In the summer, don’t miss outdoor Chopin piano concerts that take place every Sunday at noon and at 4pm, by the composer’s monument. Grab a bite at Qchnia Artystyczna, the well-regarded restaurant within Ujazdowski Castle.

There’s even an Old Town and a New Town – built in both the 17th and 18th centuries. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets or head to the Market Square where you’ll find traditional Polish restaurants. On Krakowskie Przedmiescie and Nowy Swiat – the city’s main promenades, find newer pubs and cafes that house youthful ebullience.

Warsaw is well connected by train to other cities. Kraków, the artistic heart of Poland, is only three hours away by InterCity train. Historic Gdansk on the Baltic coast is a bit lengthier – a six hour ride – but oh! – the beauty you will see. Consider getting off the train in Malbork, just 20 minutes before Gdansk and visit its immense medieval castle. If you have a European East Pass, you could also visit Budapest, Vienna and Prague. With a Eurail Germany-Poland Pass, consider taking Berlin-Warsaw Express, which takes a bit over five hours.

Both these cities are living history. Once war torn and worn, each is embracing the current and contemporary. Travel back in time to Warsaw and find yourself back to the future.

Warsaw station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Warsaw.

Warsaw city guide

Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Trip Warsaw -Minsk night train | Natalia k. | 2013/10/02
    "comfort: 1) 3 beds on the line up and down-as result you can not even seat on the bed when it is open, 2) no space at all for the bags-this is the international travelling train-who is travelling without any bag? value for money: 1) the price is 2/3 of the air ticket -fast and comfortable way to travel comparing to all night jorney by the train with not cheap ticket finally- which is not worth for that jorney convenience: 1) at least it is night train and you can have a nap or sleep ) , otherwise it will be all day long endless jorney "