After our 12 hour journey to Warsaw from Niepołomice (lesson learned: never make plans to travel the day after a Polish wedding), Broc and I were relieved to arrive in Poland’s capital. Warsaw is a very different city from Kraków. The streets are wider, the buildings are larger, and much of the infrastructure is new; the result of the Nazis’ plan to destroy the city after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. As we left Warsawza Centralna to make our way to our hotel, the imposing yet beautiful Palace of Culture and Science dominated the streetscape, a prevalent reminder that the Soviet Union dissolved only 25 years ago.
Despite Warsaw’s intense history, the city is absolutely beautiful. Broc and I spent our day in Warsaw exploring the city and enjoying the warm weather. Warsaw is home to some of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited, and I was surprised at how many there were throughout the city. After starting our morning off with coffee from Zorza, we ate brunch at Palmier with Sophia and Georgy, who were also in town for the day. We tried to fit in as much sightseeing as we could, visiting the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, Staszic Palace, the National Library of Poland, and Warsaw Old Town. We also went to POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which is a new museum situated on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The central exhibition was fantastic, with features such as reconstructions of historical synagogues, replicas of Jewish streets in Poland, and haunting multimedia narratives about the Holocaust.
I really enjoyed Warsaw; from the spectacular restaurants and modern architecture to the abundant green spaces and quality of life, this unexpectedly beautiful city completely took me by surprise. There is still so much I want to see and do in Warsaw, I know I will be planning a trip back soon.