Warsaw Highlights Photo Gallery

When a trip is off to a good First impressions are very important, and this first impression was good. Warsaw's airport terminal is new, and thanks to Schengen, I didn't have to clear immigration here and exited with relative ease. A new train line takes arriving tourists to the city in less than 20 minutes at the wonderful cost of about 1 euro. Great!

Not all of the city's public transport is sparkling new. Some of the trams are still old rolling stock, but they weren't as prevalent as in Prague or Budapest.

There are 2 subway lines, 1 of which is brand new.

Poland suffered tremendously under various occupying forces in the 20th century. The Uprising Museum commemorates those who rose up against the Germans in World War II as the Soviets looked on from across the river.

Propaganda is a powerful tool during war times, so the presses needed to keep rolling.

The old Warsaw is slowly being transformed and brought into the 21st century. There are new glassy skyscrapers going up but big empty lots and short residentials still fill the gaps in between. It is not the typical commercial city centre as I've seen elsewhere in Europe.

Communist-era residential blocks are still easy to find in this part of town.

Although it was still the heart of winter, temperatures were not too bad and it was a comfortable stroll with hat and gloves on.

Not many tourists were out and about exploring Warsaw's winter. I had lots of space all to myself.

Krakowskie is the beautiful shopping street that leads out of the Old Town. With big sidewalks and a wide variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, it is a comfortable stroll to enjoy the architecture on both sides of the street. I was only interested in the supermarket ...

... and this place. The guidebook recommended donuts. With orange bits on top and rose cream jelly inside, it was a heavenly and worthwhile consumption of about 1 euro.

Winter didn't kill off street-level activity though. The flower stands were well-stocked and ready for business.

But after visiting Europe so many times, this type of architecture is starting to get stale.

The city was utterly destroyed during World War II, but was carefully rebuilt after. Hard to believe these are all modern buildings.

Welcome to the rebuilt Old Town.

This looked like a Christmas market set up.

Lazienki was the residence of Poland's last monarch. After a long walk from the main road, I arrived at the Palace on the Island. Although small, the rooms have nevertheless been meticulously restored and free from the tourist crowds.

Back in communist times, workers get a free meal thanks to government subsidies at these old-fashioned cafes. They still exist today, although in dwindling numbers.

The Polish Army Museum has an interesting assortment of aircraft and other heavy equipment in its outdoor section.

Let's shoot down a few Cold War enemies.

Inside, visit on the free admission day to see various weapons from medieval armour to accessories from more recent conflicts.

Although itineraries tend to suggest at most 2 days for Warsaw, I allocated a full extra day's worth of time to explore the many museums in the city. Across the river in Praga, Czar PRL is a small little showroom of life under communism. It wasn't easy to find - tucked away in an industrial building in a run-down section of a run-down part of town. Here, the friendly staff gave me a personal tour of the exhibits.

Back in those days, this machine had its glass chained to prevent stealing. That also meant everyone drank from the same glass.

I didn't have much time left for the Ethnographic Museum, which showcases the country's cultural heritage through costumes, handicrafts, and even furniture.

Nice cat walk!

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