Hello, dear readers!
Here comes a blog post about our travel to Warsaw! As promised, as early as I could manage!
This article, the fifth one already, will begin with a note of gratitude to everyone who reads our blog. I truly appreciate each and every one of you for reading, sharing, using it for your planning, or simply reading it for fun! I want to express my gratitude to all of you for believing in what we do. I could write numerous posts, but if nobody reads them, there would be no point in continuing. So, once again, thank you, and we are sending lots of love to all of you!
Rave-Induced Decision: Exploring Warsaw as Our Destination
So this time it is a travel to Warsaw!
The decision to go there was influenced by a rave. I came across an event on Facebook called Exhale, which was scheduled to take place in Warsaw, Poland on the 12th of May. The event is organized by the famous DJ Amelie Lens. I stumbled upon this post in late February, and the tickets were set to be released on the 27th of February at 16 CET.
Can you guess who were the first ones to grab those tickets? It was us, of course! 😀 Since February, we had been eagerly looking forward to visiting Warsaw in May! And since we were in time to buy one of the cheapest tickets, it cost 97.86 EUR for the three of us to go there. Not a bad price, considering the event’s significance!
First things first – how should we get there? Taking a flight is definitely not a great idea since it’s quite expensive, and LOT is the only airline that operates flights to Warsaw. My car broke down, so that option was out. The only choice we had left was to take a bus. We checked out a few companies – Lux Express, Eurolines, and Flixbus. After careful consideration, we settled on Flixbus because of its more affordable prices.
Another reason why we chose it was that my friends had a flight from Warsaw on the 13th of May, and they informed me that there was a 20% discount for the first trip with this company. Hell yes, we wanted to save some money! So we decided to go with Flixbus and paid 119.95 EUR for three people to travel to and from Warsaw. Yes, you read that right, it was that cheap! And of course, this time we bought the tickets almost a month before the trip, on the 13th of April, so we managed to secure the discounted seats quite early. Thank goodness for that!
Affordable Accommodation in Warsaw's Mokotow District
As always, finding a place to stay was a challenge. This time, it was due to the lack of hostels offering rooms with a private bathroom and WC. So, we had to explore other options. Thankfully, Poland is known for being affordable! Well, perhaps not as cheap when you procrastinate until the last minute 😀 Therefore, we began our search on Airbnb and stumbled upon a lovely apartment. Unfortunately, it was already booked.
Then we returned to Booking.com to search for an apartment, and we found a decent one called “Walk distance to Mokotow business park.” We paid 140.76 EUR for a two-night stay, so the price was quite reasonable, despite the not-so-great distance to the city centre 😀 but the travel to Warsaw was not about being close to the city centre 😀 check some pictures from the apartment here!
Two Days of Adventure and Unexpected Delays
Having shared with you all the pre-trip details, I can’t wait any longer and dive right into another tale from the perspective of empty chairs! Let the wandering begin!
First things first, here is our list of things to do in Warsaw in two days:
+ rave & Eurovision, which happened to take place on the 13th of May this year. Quite early, isn’t it?
So, the weekend in Warsaw was all planned out. But just like with every one of our trips, the actual experience didn’t quite match what was written on the paper. However, fear not, because this tale will reveal all the details! Now, let’s embark on the beginning of our trip.
So on Thursday evening, after watching half of the Eurovision semi-final, we started picking up our bags and getting to the random station where the overnight bus will go from. The bus was late for 15 minutes, and in the app, it was written that the bus had left! How is that even possible?! But well, at least the bus came.
Bus Mishaps, McDonald's, and Exploring Warsaw
We got into random places at the back of the bus because there were no assigned places. Oh god, how big a mistake it was to take the seats in the back! The bus window was making a random and loud noise all the time, it was impossible to sleep, old guys were snoring and it was just a disaster! I couldn’t sleep, but luckily there were some places left at the front of the bus. The experience of taking this bus was not the best – there was even no water at the toilet to wash your hands, no Wi-Fi or sockets, but it was written that there would be these things…
But no more ranting! We finally reached Warsaw at 6 o’clock in the morning. Downloaded an app called Jakdojade, which proved really useful for travelling by bus, and then took a bus straight to the city centre. We were eager to grab something to eat since we were really hungry! Can you believe where we ended up? McDonald’s! We got some food and coffee and sat there for a while because we just wanted to rest outside the bus. Afterwards, we went to put our things in a locker at Warsaw’s central station and, already tired, began our travel to Warsaw.
Our apartment should have only been available from 4 o’clock in the evening, but, it was already ready at 1 o’clock!! Lucky us! BUT the wanderers knew that we have to get as much as possible from the city on Friday since we weren’t sure if we will be able to get up from bed after dancing 😀 So, with the backpacks in the locker and eagerness to get as much as possible, we officially started the travel to Warsaw (or maybe it began when we got to Warsaw? Well…)!
A Journey Through Historic Streets and Landmarks
I will start with the route that we took, making it easier to follow our journey from Warsaw’s central station. The route was as follows:
There was a lot of walking, considering that we had been awake since who knows when which made the walking even harder! 😀 I’ll be honest – we basically just went through the sights and took pictures 😀 But hey, we still brought back the memories, so it was definitely worth it to stroll around the city!
Warsaw's Royal Route: From Nowy Świat Street to the Magnificent Old Town
So the tour started with us heading to the Old Town via Nowy Świat Street. From what I’ve read, the Royal Route usually starts from Castle Square (Old Town) and then goes to Krakowskie Przedmieście and Nowy Świat Street. But we decided to do it the other way around! Starting from Nowy Świat Street, we went to Krakowskie Przedmieście and also visited the University Campus, which looks incredibly beautiful. The university resembles a castle, and I enjoyed being there because it reminded me of Vilnius University!
After that, we continued wandering and came across the Presidential Palace, where we couldn’t resist taking some pictures. Then, on a whim, we decided to visit a random church because, well, why not? We stepped inside and were amazed by the abundance of gold in one place! Later, I discovered that the church is called the Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationist, and I highly recommend paying it a visit!
And then, oh, and then, it was time for the gem of Warsaw – the Old Town. This wasn’t my first travel to Warsaw, and one of my favourite spots is undoubtedly that grand square surrounded by beautiful buildings. You can truly sense the city’s magnificence there, both in the past and the present! The square is home to the iconic pink Royal Castle, which held great significance for the Polish kings and, of course, for the Commonwealth that existed between Lithuania and Poland.
Culinary Delights in Warsaw: Savoring Pierogi and Discovering Local Cuisine
Then, once again, we stumbled upon a random church, which we later discovered was called The Church of Jesuits. It was one of those discoveries that came after the fact 😀 Unlike the previous church, this one wasn’t adorned with gold; it had a simpler design, creating a nice contrast between the two.
As hunger started to set in, we began contemplating the idea of indulging in some pierogi to satisfy our taste buds! We found a place near the Old City Walls, but the seating options didn’t appeal to us as they were in the shadows. So, we took a leisurely stroll around the Old City walls and Barbican, searching for a better spot. We were already feeling a bit irritable, tired, and hungry, but it was a must to appreciate the view of these places because they looked fantastic!
And then, finally, the wandering souls reached the much-awaited part of the trip – FOOOOOOODDDD!!!! We were determined to find a good place without relying on Google. Lo and behold, we stumbled upon a charming establishment with an old-fashioned interior that immediately caught our attention. To add to our excitement, a sign proudly proclaimed that lunch was a steal at just 25 zl. It was a clear sign that this was the place to be, so we eagerly settled in for a satisfying meal!
This place is called U Pana Michała. We ordered pierogi with curd, beef, and lamb, and, of course, the magical drink known as beer nowadays 😀 And oh boy, how wonderful those pierogi were! Well, the beer was a simple lager, nothing too exciting, but the pierogi… Unfortunately, we were too hungry to take a picture of the food, but this place definitely gets our recommendation!
After the meal, our energy levels were slightly restored, so we resumed walking around. We went to the spot where the Marie Curie Statue stands and then continued our journey to the Royal Castle Gardens. It’s a truly beautiful garden where you can admire the river and catch a glimpse of the Praga district, which we planned to visit later. However, exhaustion started to take its toll, and we decided it was time to rest before the party!
Ascending the Palace of Culture and Science for Breathtaking Views in Warsaw
But before heading home, keeping in mind that Saturday might not be very productive, Donatas and I decided to go to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science, as Fausta had already been there. It seemed like some kind of free day because there were many children in line 😀 So we had to wait a bit to reach the top, but it was definitely worth it. See it for yourselves! It cost 5 EUR for adults to reach the top, but it was certainly worth the money!
After everything we had done today, having already taken around 20,000 steps, we decided to forgo taking a bus and opted for a convenient Bolt ride instead, especially since our batteries were dead!
We arrived at our apartment and went straight to bed. Our midday nap was abruptly interrupted by our Polish neighbours, who woke us up with their loud singing and shouting 🙂 But it was time to wake up and prepare ourselves to break a sweat. After all, that was the main reason we planned this travel to Warsaw in the first place. We couldn’t just skip it and choose sleep 😀 So, after getting ready, we once again booked a Bolt (feeling like rich folks :D) and headed to EXPO XXI, where the event was taking place.
Disappointments, and Cultural Encounters
To sum up our experience at the event, I would say that we’ve definitely been to better raves. It was enjoyable when Amelie Lens was playing, and the crowd was going wild, but it wasn’t her best set. We also met some fellow Lithuanians who were in Warsaw for the same reason, and they too were not particularly impressed with it. Since the rave didn’t meet our expectations, we surprisingly decided to leave quite early, which was a shock to all of us considering we had planned to stay until the end 😀
Another reason we weren’t so thrilled about the rave was the attitude of some Polish people. When we started conversing with them in English, they looked at us as if we were aliens. And when we mentioned that we were from Lithuania… Well, to put it nicely, they became even ruder than before.
In general, our experience was that Polish people didn’t seem to like us very much. Whether it was at the rave, in shops, or basically anywhere we encountered them 😀 I believe it might be due to the historical tensions between our countries, and the fact that Vilnius, our capital, is still a subject of dispute 😀 But well, this is just our personal experience, and we’re not asserting that every Polish person feels this way. It’s just what we’ve encountered. And if any Polish people are reading this, please let me know in the comments – why do you harbour such animosity towards Lithuanians? 😀 If others have insights too, feel free to leave a comment! 😀
Now, getting back to the tale of our journey home after the rave. Of course, we took a Bolt ride back 😀 The best part of leaving early was that we would have more time to explore something else in Warsaw on Saturday! We rested a bit and prepared ourselves for another leisurely stroll around the city.
Parks, Statues, and Eurovision Fever
Sooo, here’s the brief plan for Saturday as our travel to Warsaw continues:
- Powązki Cemetery
- Warsaw University Library Garden
- Vistula Boulevards and the Mermaid
- Royal Łazienki Park
The plan for Saturday was short, nothing that would make us collapse from exhaustion. We needed some energy for Eurovision 😀
Next on our list was the Vistula Boulevards, which we originally intended to visit on Friday, but our energy levels were too low at the time 😀 It’s a vibrant and charming area where people can relax and enjoy themselves. We also made sure to pay a visit to the statue of the Mermaid, which eventually turned out to be a symbol of Warsaw! It’s quite amusing because Copenhagen also has a mermaid as its symbol, so it was a lovely continuation of our trip to Copenhagen 🙂
The final stop before heading home to watch Eurovision was Royal Łazienki Park. Donatas decided he had enough adventures for the day and didn’t join us there. Oh, what a loss for him! The park was absolutely stunning, with extraordinary buildings, peacocks gracefully roaming around, and blooming lilacs, rhododendrons, and chestnuts. We brought along some soap bubbles and played with the children, who were instantly captivated by the magical bubbles 😀 It was a sight too beautiful to put into words! Of course, I’ve included some pictures for you to see!
And then it was time to head home for Eurovision! I won’t digress into the details here because this isn’t a blog post about Eurovision, it is about our travel to Warsaw, but let’s just say Finland should have definitely taken first place 😀
Sunday Funday: Water Park Adventures and Relaxation
Moving on to Sunday, the day for the water park and relaxation! We left the apartment around 12 and booked a cab with Free Now (a similar app to Bolt) because, let’s be honest, if we had relied on trains and buses, we would have needed to leave at 10, and well, sleep took priority! 😀 Here comes the eternal dilemma of sleep versus money, and sleep emerged as the clear winner!
So, we finally reached the water park, wasted no time, and dove right in. We enjoyed the pools, got some refreshing elixirs (aka beers), and of course, savoured some delicious food 😀 We tried out the different waterslides, and most of them were suitable for one or two people. However, there was this one particular slide with a big floaty where we decided to break the rules and 3 of us went in. Well, let’s just say we were promptly kicked out of the zone… 😀
We also skipped the sauna area because, well, you have to be naked there, and let’s just say we’re a little too shy for that. We only managed to take two pictures, but I’ll leave a link where you can check out the park. Do we recommend the park? Absolutely! The relaxation we experienced there was well worth it. Three adult tickets cost us 117.90 EUR (39.30 for the whole day, excluding the saunas).
And so, our travel to Warsaw was coming to an end… We hopped on a bus to Żyrardów, and from there, we caught a train back to Warsaw. Nothing too fancy this time 😀 Once we arrived in Warsaw, we took in some final sights, grabbed a bite at McDonald’s, and then made our way to the bus station for our journey back to Vilnius. The return trip was a bit smoother, but let’s wrap up our adventure on a positive note without shedding any tears over the bus ride! 😀
Interesting Numbers, Random Facts, and Helpful Tips
- Step count – 82,152, which translates to approximately 53.5 kilometres! Please note that the steps taken in Suntago are not included in this count 😀
- As for the cost of a budget travel to Warsaw, the total amount spent by the three of us was around 800 euros. This includes expenses for transportation, accommodation, food, and drinks. It may seem like a lot of money considering it was a trip to Poland 😀
- Speaking of which, Poland is generally considered a cheap country. However, be careful not to get too carried away, as you might end up spending more than expected thinking that things are inexpensive (as we experienced firsthand :D).
- One essential companion when travelling by bus in Warsaw is the Jakdojade app. It’s your best friend for navigating the city’s bus routes.
- To save money, we adopted a similar eating strategy as we did in Copenhagen. We found a nearby grocery (maybe not the cheapest one) store where we bought bread, meat, and tomatoes, and had our meals either as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The ratio varied, of course, :D, but it helped us save some money, so we definitely recommend it! 😀
- Biedronka is the best and cheapest grocery store in Warsaw (and Poland)!
- When in Warsaw, trying pierogi is an absolute must! Don’t miss out on this delicious Polish dish.
- In our opinion, the best places to visit in Warsaw are the Palace of Culture and Science, Royal Łazienki Park, Old Town, Krakowskie Przedmieście, and Barbican. These spots offer a wonderful glimpse into the city’s history and beauty.
- You don’t necessarily need to carry Polish currency with you as cards are widely accepted. Unless, of course, you plan to visit a bazaar or a similar local marketplace where cash might come in handy!
- Bolt, Free Now, and Uber are great alternatives to buses for convenient travel
And with that, we conclude our blog post about our exciting travel to Warsaw. We want to express our gratitude to all of you for reading and joining us on this adventure. Stay tuned for our next escapade (a little hint: it’s a city that begins with the letter B)!