Poland | Day 1: Warsaw Old Town

Last weekend my friend Naomi and I decided to take a five day break to Poland, visiting Warsaw and Krakow. This is what happened.

I wake up at 8am everyday. Weekday or weekend, alarm or no alarm, it doesn’t matter. My enthusiasm therefore when my alarm started going off at 5:30am was somewhat limited.

My flight from Edinburgh to Warsaw was at 7:50am, and because I was feeling like living life on the edge I decided to arrive at the airport just before 7am. This proved to be a mistake as I only just made my flight and didn’t have time to get food or a coffee. I didn’t end up eating until 4pm.

Upon landing in Warsaw Modlin Airport I turned my phone on and waited for a message from Naomi to let me know she’d landed. While I was flying from Edinburgh, she was flying from London, so we chose flights that got in around the same time so we could travel into the city together.

Top tip: When meeting a friend at an airport, make sure you’re flying to the same one.

After Naomi and I spent 15 minutes trying to find each other in the airport, we realised we were not in the same one.

Sadly for me, my airport was miles outside of the city. While I enjoyed a bus ride through the Polish countryside, Naomi was at the hotel drinking beer and living it up.

Eventually, Naomi and I were reunited in a sweaty embrace in the middle of the lobby of our hotel, Radisson Blu Centrum. The hotel was 5* but actually quite cheap (we paid £131 for two nights for a double room), it had a great location and it was very comfortable. That said we did have some issues with our shower – I only seemed to get scalding hot of freezing cold water, and Naomi had a near death experience after the shower head shot off and went flying at her mid-shower.

The walk from the bus stop to our hotel

After some catching up we took to the streets. It was a cool 31C (it was not cool) and the sun was shining, as we only had the afternoon and evening we decided to explore the Old Town.

I’ll say this now, the Old Town is absolutely stunning. I was bowled over with how beautiful the architecture was, I won’t try and describe it because I think the photos speak for themselves.

Castle Square
Old Town Market Square
Old Town Walls
Warsaw Barbican

Our route from the hotel took us to Saxon Garden > St Anna’s Church > Castle Square & The Royal Castle > Royal Cathedral > Old Town Market Square > Warsaw Barbican > New Town Market. This is a linear route up through the Old Town and I would recommend stopping off at each.

The Old Town isn’t huge but you can spend a few hours exploring the churches and the castle, wandering down the side streets and dining on one of the squares. We stopped for a late lunch at 4pm on Castle Square and I stuffed my face with carbohydrates, it was delightful.

Royal Castle
New Town Market
Royal Cathedral

At about 6pm we decided to take a wander to go and see the outside of Kransinski Palace and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews to take in some more architecture. They’re only about a ten minute walk from the top of Old Town. We then headed for some local craft beer at Muranow Craft Beer – Beer World, which by the way, is a great spot and there were no other tourists there, win.

Krasinski Palace
Museum of the History of Polish Jews

As the sun began to set we walked back across to the Multimedia Fountain Park on the Vistula River. Every evening they put on a water fountain display with lights and music, which we sat and watched while chatting away for hours. I would recommend going to see it in the good weather, it was simple but honestly mesmerising.

Multimedia Fountain Park

Eventually the tiredness hit us and at about 10pm we decided to stroll back through Old Town and make our way to bed. We may or may not have also stopped at MacDonald’s on the way. Please don’t judge.

Check out Naomi’s blog, Oh Six Eleven.

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