Learning the way around the old town

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We are leaving from Copenhagen in the morning to go to Georgia. We have gotten a reasonably cheap ticket – unfortunately this meant having a ten hour layover in Warsaw on the way to Tbilisi which means we get a long day ahead of us.

Building close to the old town

We arrive in the airport in Warsaw and find a place to buy a couple of tickets for the bus to the center. We find the bus going to the center pretty easily but we are not exactly where to get out and start our explorations. Unfortunately there wasn’t a tourist information where we could pick up a map of the attractions so we just jump into the bus and decide to drive until we reach the central station. We kind of assume the central station is located in the middle of the tourist part of the city – and if not there is probably a place to get a bite to eat and a tourist information.

We get out of the bus and into the central station. Unfortunately we don’t find the food selection at the station very interesting – there are only a McDonalds and some shops selling sandwiches of different sort. We don’t find any tourist information either. So we leave the station and go across the street. Here is a large Marriot hotel where we manage to get a map of the city – and it turned out they had a reasonably cheap lunch deal in their restaurant as well. So we try the food here which is really good value and we get a map and get orientated of our surroundings.

It turns out the central station wasn’t quite as centrally located as we had expected. The old town of Warsaw is a bit of a walk away from the station – in the direction the airport bus continued after we got out at the station.

Palace of Culture in Warsaw – gift from Stalin

Though the visit to the station is a complete waste – next to the central station is a large skyscraper. This is an old famous building which is part of the so called seven sister’s series of skyscrapers. The seven sisters are seven buildings in Moscow which used to be the tallest buildings in Europe – they were made in Stalinist style to prove the Soviet Union was on the forefront of skyscrapers in the world. The Soviet Union decided to give some buildings as gift to other countries – including Warsaw. I am not sure a city which had been completely destroyed by the Nazis at the end of the Second World War really dreamed of a building like this or some smaller and more useful buildings – but they got one anyways in Warsaw. The building is pretty impressive and we enjoy looking at it while walking by.

We finally get to the street leading down to the old town. Along the street are some pretty buildings and we walk by them as we make it down to the old town. Right when we get to the old town we see the large royal castle at the square where the old town starts. There is no royal family in Poland so there is no residence at the castle and it has been transformed into a museum. We decide to go inside and look at the museum which is turns out to be free on a Wednesday. We enjoy the old castle which has some pretty room.

Square in front of the Royal Palace

After the visit to the museum we continue through the old town. The old town of Warsaw was severely damaged after the war – but it has been carefully rebuilt. In fact the reconstruction has been so good the old town has been elected as a part of UNESCO world heritage list.

We get to the old town square of the city which is the highlight of the old town. We have early dinner at the square enjoying the view of the square and the people walking by.

After the square we walk to the old city wall. It is getting dark – but the wall actually look pretty interesting in the fading light so we enjoy the view of the wall before we head back to the royal castle searching for the bus to take us back to the airport.

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