Soviet constructions and gritty clubs: A 7 days in Warsaw designed it my favourite vacation location

Having difficulties to determine on your following metropolis break? Here’s why it ought to be Warsaw.


Warsaw had hardly ever been on my travel radar. But when my mate asked me to join him on a birthday vacation, I thought why not?

1 of his favourite bands was actively playing, the flights and accommodations ended up cost-effective, and we figured that, if nothing at all else, there would be some fantastic pubs and bars.

Real truth be explained to, we were being fairly clueless about the Polish funds. Good friends who’d frequented the nation ahead of had invested long weekends in Gdansk or Krakow. When we told them we were being alternatively heading to Warsaw, their response was one of shock.

Determined to make the most effective of our vacation, we set off on a late-Oct morning, wrapped up and all set for what we envisioned would be a cold and gray 7 days forward.

Minor did I know that Warsaw was about to come to be my new favourite holiday location.

Soviet-period architecture layered with modern day skyscrapers

We observed out very swiftly that our grey eyesight of Warsaw was incorrect. The city centre is a lovely combine of old and new with so a great deal to see in each and every direction. And, possibly most remarkably, it felt hotter and drier than the United kingdom we’d still left behind.

The metropolis was thoroughly rebuilt immediately after World World II and has been through key modernisation in new a long time. The ensuing jumble of streets and buildings meant it wasn’t always easy to uncover our way all around on foot. CityMapper was our close friend, and there was no scarcity of bars to drop into for a speedy drink whilst we obtained our bearings.

The community transport technique was easier to get to grips with. There was a Metro station 10 minutes’ stroll from our lodge, and from there it was a small journey to Warsaw Central.

This landed us correct by the Palace of Society and Science, the sixth-tallest constructing in the EU. I had been urged to see it by my girlfriend, who has a keen desire in Soviet-period architecture. In spite of her enthusiasm, I was not really geared up for how remarkable it was as a structure, standing tall and keeping its individual from the modern skyscrapers and searching malls in the region.

We compensated the tiny fee of 25 złoty (all-around €5.70) to go up to the viewing terrace, which towers 114 metres more than the town with spectacular sights that had been well worth the funds.

We weren’t certain what Stalin would have made of the Environmentally friendly Caffè Nero that now greets you at the entrance, even so.

A brief wander absent, Złote Tarasy buying centre proceeds the capitalist change with Polish and worldwide manufacturers, and big restaurant chains like Hard Rock Cafe and McDonald’s.

Warsaw’s historic Outdated City presents a deep-dive into Poland’s earlier

Warsaw’s Outdated Town is tiny when compared to all those of quite a few other European capitals – but it is no much less deserving of a visit. It was meticulously restored after WWII to revive generations of Polish culture – an exertion that has gained it UNESCO Globe Heritage Web page standing.

Dominated by the gorgeous Royal Palace, the primary square is a sight to behold.

We relished checking out the inns and dining establishments there, wherever we tried pierogi and delicious venison goulash washed down with beer. However there are plenty of memento retailers, it in no way felt like a tourist lure.

We visited the Museum of Warsaw, far too, which reopened in 2017 and gives an priceless perception into the historical past and improvement of the metropolis and Poland at massive.

From bougie brunches to youth subculture: Another side to Warsaw

Past the primary vacationer sights, Warsaw is a city vibrating with lifetime – from the deluxe to the gritty.

We cherished dining at Café Bristol, a Viennese-design and style brunch establishment in the historic Resort Bristol. Opened in 1901 and still left virtually entirely unscathed just after Earth War II, its exquisite checkerboard dining room on the prestigious Krakowskie Przedmieście road is the excellent area to take pleasure in a breakfast of bacon, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms with a brimming bread basket.


On the other aspect of the spectrum, Hybrydy Klub – the object of our journey – provided an remarkable glimpse of Warsaw’s alternative youth society. The two a nightclub and a stay music venue, it specialises in rock, and rates had been low-priced for somewhere in the centre of the metropolis.

Both equally becoming football lovers, we also made the decision to check out Warsaw’s groups. We headed to Polonia Warsaw, the oldest sports activities club in the metropolis, where by we kitted ourselves out with its black shirts and scarves.

Why Warsaw really should be on everybody’s radar

My stop by to Warsaw modified my notion of Poland as a put for rowdy stag dos, inexpensive beer and probably the odd Xmas current market.

Packed with lifestyle, the cash hits that sweet spot the place the standard of living is superior but the cost of residing is small. So, factors like having out and heading to bars really don’t expense as significantly as they do in other well-liked journey places.

Warsaw is far from getting undiscovered, though. In 2019, it welcomed close to 10 million site visitors – a portion of Paris’s 38 million travelers, but continue to a substantial quantity. In 2023, it was hailed as the finest spot to pay a visit to in Europe by the European Most effective Destinations index.


With Poland’s financial system on track to overtake that of my residence state – the United kingdom – by the conclude of the decade, according to comments manufactured by Labour Occasion leader Keir Starmer last calendar year, time could be running out to encounter Warsaw on a spending plan.

Before then, I hope to acquire edge of a new higher-speed rail line established to backlink Warsaw with Lodz and Wroclaw as I keep on my Polish odyssey.