It is Thursday and the third day of my visit to Warsaw. Looking back I can say, that my money got well invested and there are no regrets – so far. Thinking back of what I have seen the day before I decided to go there again because the weather cleared up and it might offer me the opportunity to take some better shots of the buildings and scenery.
My breakfast was as good as the days before and the sun was still shining. I grabbed my things, got on tram #23 and drove into town (stop: Stare Miasto = Old Town). And yes, when the weather is bright the Old Town shows its beauty. So I was wandering around, shooting pictures and tiny clips and enjoying the time being.
Because of the sunlight my target for this morning was the Muzeum Łazienki Królewskie, the Chopin statue and the Palace of Culture and Science. Later in the afternoon the baroque Wilanów Palace is on my to-do-list.
My journey took me on the Metro line and bus connection to the stop at the entrance to the Muzeum Łazienki Królewskie. Unfortunately the Orangerie and the Muzeum itself wasn’t open to the public but wandering through the park and enjoying the sunshine was an opportunity I liked very much. You can say: Have you seen one Museum you have seen them all – that’s not true. Each and every has its own taste and style.
Because of the sun all paths were in a kind of very muddy status and no fun to walk on. I therefore decided to rush through this area and reach the Chopin statue which is located within this area, too.
I went back into the town center and visited the Palace of Culture and Science. This building is “a gift of the nations of the Soviet Union” to the Polish society. Built by 40,000 workers and finished within 2,5 years. The building is 231m high and inside are 28 lifts in operation. A ride from the bottom to the 30th floor takes about 20 seconds. The view is fantastic up there. Some angles look like being in Manhattan and others show you the wideness of this area.
To move through Warsaw is quite easy when you do hold a 3-day travel card. You can jump on each bus, tram or even the Metro to go from north to south or east to west. I jumped on the Metro, changed at stop Polithechnika to bus line #519 to get to the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace at Wilanów.
In the 17th century (last quarter) Wilanów Palace was built for king Jan III Sobieski. Following owners engaged it quite a bit. During WWII it was occupied by officers of the German army and converted into a headquarter of the army. It represents the characteristic type of baroque suburban residence of that time period.
Unfortunately, the ticket box office was already closed at 15:00 hours. I was able to get a ticket for the park from a ticket machine but the weather conditions haven’t been pleasant. Therefore I only could walk the surrounding area, get a glimpse of the beauty of this place but was unable to enter the museum itself. Please double check the opening hours before going there. I went to a restaurant close by and had a late lunch instead which was delicious and very local, too.
Because of the fact that this was my last evening in town I decided to visit another museum instead. My target was the Warsaw Rising Museum that tells much about the start of WWII, the relation between the Soviet Union and Germany and what happened to the Polish nation and the Jewish community in Warsaw. The exhibition was breathtaking and very moving. I didn’t know how much this would move me: I felt that something like this never ever should happen again. “What is war good for for – absolutely nothing, says Edwin Starr in one of his songs and I fully agree with it. Accusing one nation for it is not the right way because there is guilt on both sides of the participating nations. My roots are somehow laying in Poland too because my mother is born in the Silesian Voivodeship and my father comes from Bydgoszcz (Bromberg) where cruelty happened at the beginning of WWII, too. For me it was really hard to walk through the exhibition and to read all about it. But I do see that memories must be kept alive.
I closed my day with a delicious dinner at the Artbistro Stalowa 52. This restaurant I can recommend because it has fancy food and the service is excellent, too.
The last day of my visit to Warsaw I spent in wandering around with no specific target in mind: Just relaxing, people watching and enjoying the daily live routine around me. I have to say that you should plan to visit this town when the weather is supposed to be better. It only makes sense to visit parks and palaces when flowers are blooming, birds are singing and all buildings are open to the public for visits. It was my fault to think that museums are open although it’s not high season.
When I count all of my expenses (flight, transportation, housing, meals) it adds up to a total of roughly 700 EUR (including tipping) for my independent visit to Warsaw which was worth it for me. You can save some money when you choose a different hotel, join a big group for sightseeing and don’t care about the quality of ingredients of the food you’ll get. I will come back to Warsaw in summer or maybe autumn to visit the palaces and castles than.