Why go to Warsaw?

Apr 27th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Why go to Warsaw?

I'm currently planning a three week trip in August, and our current probable destination are Prague, Budapest, Krakow, and Warsaw.

Until now I was sure of these cities, although I'm beginning to question Warsaw. Since it was destroyed and rebuilt, i'm wondering if anybody as any advice towards 'older' more authentic cities in this part of the world (that would fit in with the trip i'm mentioning). I would like to visit Auschwitz, however, and this is near Warsaw. Does anybody have any convincing arguements towards keeping Warsaw in my trip, or ruling it out? Help...
worldview is offline  
Apr 27th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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Auschwitz is near Krakow not Warsaw

Warsaw though like you say largely blitzed in the war is, like Berlin, in its own way fascinating in part because of that

There are remnants of the Jewish Ghetto with appropriate memorials, the ornate residence of the President, a vibrant town centre with really neat open-air markets, a good dose of 'Socilaist Realism' architecture, which though more functional that picture postcard beauties are memorable for what they are

A classic Soviet style town center that is quickly being made more modern, etc.

That said from your criteria i think you should skip it.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2008, 05:06 PM
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Now I don't require an "older, more authentic city". Those are qualities I like in any city, although your description of Warsaw is encouraging. Plus, I just realized that I don't know when I'll be back in Poland, and since i've already planned to visit the country, I'm still very much interested in seeing Warsaw and possibly I'll spend a day or two less in the city and visit another nearby Polish city for a night or two...your thoughts?
worldview is offline  
Apr 27th, 2008, 05:15 PM
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My spouse commuted to Warsaw multiple times on business, so I've heard detailed accounts. Here's my 15-second synopsis:

1. Warsaw, while not a sordid or dangerous place, is nonetheless pretty low on the list of central European cities.

2. Lots of concrete.

3. And no-one smiles.

4. Krakow is an entirely different matter.

I myself would have no interest in visting Auschwitz but that's just a matter of personal preference.
tedgale is offline  
Apr 27th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Anyone who's been to Warsaw, please provide you 15 second synopsis? Go or no go?
worldview is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 02:07 AM
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How old are you? Do you like opera and ballet? Are you a history buff? Do you like great food? All of the cities you mention can offer the same venues. Warszawa is now a 'business' city. It has survived the Germans and the Soviets and rebuilt itself. Read a bit of its history..especially that of the Polish-Russian War of 1919-20.
GSteed is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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I would say go. We had 3 days in Warsaw and 3 in Krakow - took the train between cities. Had an excellent time.
The old town square in Warsaw is very pretty and there are some other interesting things to see as well!
carylspall is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 03:07 AM
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Last year we spent three days each in Warsaw, Krakow and Wroclaw. I would recommend visiting the latter two, but I wouldn't bother with Warsaw.
adeben is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 03:34 AM
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We were there in September on a genealogy expedition. We liked the old town, Lazienski Palace (sorry for spelling), the park with Chopin's statue (with its Sunday pm piano concerts), several beautiful churches and the numerous monuments to those killed in WWII. The history of Warsaw and the Poles is amazing.

That being said, Warsawa would be the lowest on our list of all the Euro capitals I've visited. As indicated, the Nazi destruction of most of warsawa leaves it with crumbling, soviet style architecture. We were stunned at the lack of friendliness or even reasonable customer service at the many restaurants and stores visited. Traffic was a mess. You still had old ladies in babushkas selling a few onions and mushrooms on street corners.

Bottom line: Unless you want to spring for a tour guide to take you around and fill you in on the things that would make Warsawa memorable, I's suggest going elsewhere.
JN is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 04:05 AM
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I have only been once to Warsaw, but I found it to be a very vibrant, lively city. One of the few in Europe with a skyline, by the way.

True, people who prefer Disney-esque rebuilt old towns may not have too much to see in Warsaw.
But I found that mix of historic buildings of the pre-socialist and the socialist era, and of those built afterwards very exciting.

I met only friendly people in Warsaw, and they were all very patient when coping with my 20 words of Polish. But it is a busy big city, and people are probably too busy to grin all day.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 04:11 AM
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Anyone who's been to Warsaw, please provide you 15 second synopsis? Go or no go?

15 seconds:

Centre: disney style rebuild of completely destroyed old town. Over priced bars and restaurants. Dodgy areas around the station.

outskirts: Soviet and bleak.

I wouldn't go back and I know why every pole under 30 is now in the UK.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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Warsaw sounds like the Everytown in England - big towns that is - blah
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 05:38 AM
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A bit early for the paint innit?
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 06:19 AM
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There are a LOT of "rebuilt" places which were bombed in Europe during WW II including London so please, can we stick to the issue...I'm trying to decide if a trip to Warsaw (vs. Krakow) is worth it and so far it doesn't seem to be, "Disneyesque" or not.
Dukey is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 06:24 AM
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Go to Warsaw. I was there several years ago for a couple of days and wished I had planned for one more day.
wallyhook is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 08:19 AM
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...I'm trying to decide if a trip to Warsaw (vs. Krakow) is worth it>>>

It isn't. Krakow knocks it into a cocked hat. Really, it's a no brainer. Go to Krakow.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Since you have three weeks why not take a day or two to see Warsaw? Who knows when you'll go that way again. Of course Warsaw doesn't compare favorably against Krakow because we're talking apples and oranges here.

I visited the two cities this past November and was glad to have seen both, for what each has to offer in its own way.

travelchat is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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Worldview; Do yourself a 'favor'. Google or yahoo 'Warsaw' and then click on 'images' to view the old town. Then make your decision. Yes, it was destroyed, but rebuilt like before WW2. In our first visit to Poland, I didn't want to visit Warsaw. Our second visit we went to Warsaw and wished we had stayed two nights. We also visited two other wonderful cities in Poland, Wroclaw and Torun. Everyone has a different view of their likes and dislikes. You decide. ENJOY Iris P.S. Go to inyourpocket.com and download information on Krakow and Warsaw. Wroclaw too.
iris1745 is online now  
Apr 28th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Okay, i'm going. The decision has been made. That was the original plan, and since I don't know when I'll be back in the area, we're gonna go. I hate to plan for more days in Krakow than Warsaw, but from the sound of it, it may be a good idea to trim a day off the Warsaw trip, and spend another day elsewhere in Poland...
worldview is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 12:40 PM
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I think Warsaw is worth the visit, myself (althogh you probably will prefer . The rebuilding of the old town centre has been done well (imo). I second the recommendation for Lazienki Palace/Park, and I liked the Wilanow Palace too, although they might be too similar for you to want to do both. As you're interested in WWII, you could go to the museum of the Warsaw uprising and the Jewish ghetto.
Nonconformist is offline  

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