The first Monday of May is a Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom, so naturally it’s the perfect opportunity to take a city break in Continental Europe. I wanted to try and tick off a country I hadn’t been to before and eventually settled on Warsaw, Poland.
Warsaw is known for it’s palaces, royal gardens and grand parks (all things which appeal to me greatly). The city has survived an incredibly turbulent past - around 90% of it’s buildings were destroyed by the Nazis during World War II and had to be completely rebuilt.
We took an early flight out of London on Saturday morning to Warsaw Chopin Airport and took the cheapest taxi ride ever to our hotel in the city (roughly £7 from the airport to the hotel!). Despite being a part of the EU, Poland have resisted adopting the Euro as their national currency which means everything is cheap, cheap, cheap!
The weather was pretty miserable when we arrived, so after checking in to our hotel we settled on an indoor activity - the Copernicus Science Centre. Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that the museum was already at capacity and they were not allowing new ticket sales. This was pretty disappointing as it looked like quite a fun museum and it had great reviews on TripAdvisor. The staff member we spoke to said it would be just as busy tomorrow unless we got their super early, and they are closed on Mondays which meant we had no opportunity to go back. If you’re planning a visit, I strongly suggest booking tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment.
At least by this time the rain had stopped so we wandered slowly back to the hotel, taking in some of the sights of the Old Town along the way. We even witnessed a motorcade, although we still have no idea what it was all about.
On Sunday we set out to Lazienki Park. The weather was perfect for a stroll through the gardens. We visited the Lazienki Palace as well, although unfortunately parts of it were closed for restoration. (Tip: you can gain entry to the palace for free on Sundays).
I could have easily spent most of the day wandering around the park, it was just beautiful. But we decided to head back to the Old Town and explore that area further. We found a viewing platform you could climb to get excellent views over the Old Town - for the bargain price of £1.
On Monday we visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which gives you a great insight into the city’s history during World War II. It was very informative but unfortunately also full of school groups and kids running around, not really giving the museum the respect it deserves.
Despite a couple of disappointments, I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to Poland and can’t wait to explore some more of this country.