TRAVEL DIARY | Warsaw
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED - APRIL 23rd, 2017 -- The spring holidays have arrived, and we took advantage of the time off work and flew to Warsaw, Poland for five days. And let me tell you, five days is the perfect amount of time for a city like Warsaw.
This was my first time in Poland, and I wasn't sure what to expect. So, I got on Instagram and started planning. I was about two seconds into my search before I realized that we are entering a foodie heaven. And architecture tours are a *must*. And that's just what we did.
We made a few dinner reservations, we did a tour of the Old Town and another tour of communism in Warsaw (with a focus on architecture) and I would recommend the same to anyone looking to travel.
Day one was an amazing intro to the city, as we made our way from the hotel to Bułkę przez Bibułkę (Zgoda 3) for some coffee and bagels. Along the way we discovered one of this city's highlights: the "cukiernia", Polish for 'bakery'. Perhaps it was because Easter is right around the corner, but each cukiernia was PACKED, lines down the street, and everyone leaving with something sweet in their hands. So, of course, we joined the crowds and just ate *so* much sweets this trip - so worth it though.
We stayed at H15 Boutique Hotel, which I recommend totally! It was such a comfortable and totally luxurious stay. The building is also really historic too, making it all the better. The only thing missing was an amazing coffee spot right around the block, and well, we found that on day two! An Instagram friend recommended that we check out Cophi on Hoża 58/60, which was about a one minute walk away from the hotel. The cafe has a cool menu with lots of specialty drinks, but a classic cappuccino is the best. They have some amazing roasts, lovely baristas and amazing vibes. It also is a little taste of the Tel Aviv coffee scene in Warsaw, which was quite special to me.
Warsaw's Old Town is the newest Old Town in Europe. It was nearly completely destroyed during WWII, sadly like most of Warsaw, but was rebuilt. I will not get into too many details, but I will leave a link here in case you'd like to read more. Instead of a wander, we decided to join a free walking tour (here) and had an amazing tour guide (Pse!) who took us through the palace, the streets, talked about the architecture, who once lived there, and what the area is up to today.
I know, Old Towns may seem similar in many European cities, and they also may seem very touristy (well, they are). But Warsaw's Old Town has a bit of a unique charm. It is very connected to art and to its' history. Go on a sunny day, wear comfortable shoes, bring some water and an extra camera battery!
Yes, I'm going back to cakes again. We found an amazing little tea room, on poniedziałek 13-20, not too far from Old Town. After a whole day wandering and snapping, it was the right time for a late afternoon cake and tea. And though the tea at Odette's was great, the cakes stole the show.
Another major foodie moment was with our dinner at Rozana. Besides that Rozana is one of the MUST restaurants of Warsaw for the traditional Polish food, the cakes were simply to die for. The cake table conveniently waits for you at the entrance to the restaurant, just in case you were thinking of skipping dessert that night. We had a meringue cake with citrus cream and strawberries. No, it doesn't get much better than that.
Living next to one of the biggest markets in Tel Aviv, I think, has made us much more aware of (and intrigued by) markets in other major cities. Therefore, we stopped by Hala Mirowska, Warsaw's farmer's market. It was amazing both peaking into a Polish supermarket and seeing the food (and cheap prices, in comparison to Tel Aviv) and also the fruits and veg being sold in the market - all grown in Poland. Apples galore! So many amazing apples. Also strawberries, and lots of greens.
My regrets from the trip:
- I wish we explored the area of Praga more. We took a quick stroll through, and I wish we had added another day to our trip dedicated to Praga.
- I wish we brought bigger suitcases so that we could bring home some groceries and Zara. Yes, Zara is about 40% cheaper than in Tel Aviv.
- I wish we had done a bike tour. Unlike many European cities, Warsaw is quite flat, and has amazing bike paths everywhere. Next time, I'll be renting a bike to get from place to place (instead of Ubers/public transport)
There are MUCH more photos on my Instagram! Follow me here, if you aren't already 😜
Have you been to Warsaw? xx