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WARSAW

The capital city of Poland, the dynamic and historic city of Warsaw, holds a special place in the hearts of the Polish people. Situated along the banks of the Vistula River, Warsaw stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Poland. For those residing in the captivating city of Krakow, a day trip to Warsaw is not just a visit to the capital; its destruction to the ground and subsequent rebuilding reflects a difficult past marked by World War II.

In this exclusive city guide crafted by iVisitKrakow, we unveil the gems that make Warsaw an indispensable addition to your Polish itinerary. From meticulously reconstructed Old Town squares to the poignant tales of resilience echoing through the city's museums, Warsaw offers a captivating fusion of tradition and innovation. Get ready to transition from the cobbled streets of Krakow to the vibrant avenues of Warsaw, all within the span of a single day. Allow iVisitKrakow to be your guide as you embark on an unforgettable adventure in the capital city of Poland.

Image by Iwona Castiello d'Antonio - Warsaw, Poland

HISTORY

The rich history of Warsaw traces its roots back to the 9th century, when the first settlements emerged on the banks of the Vistula River. Warsaw officially gained city rights before 1300, marking the beginning of its journey towards becoming the capital of Poland.

The city's urban layout, as we know it today, underwent a transformative phase after enduring substantial destruction during World War II. The aftermath of the war saw Warsaw rising from the ruins, with a reconstruction effort that shaped its modern landscape.

The turbulent period of World War II left an indelible mark on Warsaw, with the city becoming a battleground for the Warsaw Uprising. Fueled by the terror imposed by the German occupiers and the looming threat of the Stalinist dictatorship, the Warsaw Uprising erupted on August 1, 1944. Covering the entire left-bank of the city, this valiant resistance effort lasted for an arduous 63 days.

During the uprising, not only did the insurgents fight against the occupiers, but a significant portion of the civilian population also actively participated in the struggle. Despite the courage and determination of the Warsaw residents, the uprising faced insurmountable challenges. Lack of adequate external support, coupled with the intensified extermination campaigns by the Nazis, ultimately led to the fall of the uprising.

The consequences were severe - Warsaw, once known for its unique atmosphere and often referred to as the "Paris of the North" during the interwar period, lay in ruins - 85% of the city was deliberately destroyed by the German forces. The city had to rebuild not just its physical structures but also recover the spirit that defined its identity. Warsaw's post-war reconstruction became a testament to resilience, as it emerged from the shadows of destruction to reclaim its status as the capital of Poland.

Warsaw, Poland

MUSEUMS

In the Royal Castle, you can admire paintings by Rembrandt and Canaletto. Explore the interactive Warsaw Uprising Museum to discover the stories of Warsaw residents who fought against the occupant during World War II, and at the POLIN Museum, delve into the rich, thousand-year history of Polish Jews. In Warsaw, a multitude of diverse museums and galleries await, offering a total of several dozen opportunities for cultural exploration.

THE WARSAW RISING MUSEUM

The inauguration of the Warsaw Rising Museum coincided with the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of fighting in Warsaw. Serving as a poignant tribute, the museum stands as an expression of homage from the city's residents to the brave individuals who valiantly fought and sacrificed their lives for the cause of an independent Poland and its cherished free capital.

The exhibition depicts fighting and everyday life during the Rising, keeping occupation terror in the background. Complexity of the international situation at the time of the Rising is portrayed, including the post-war years of the Communist regime and the fate of Insurgents in the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL). With the total area of more than 3000 m2, 800 exhibition items, approximately 1500 photographs, films and sound recordings, history of the days preceding the Rising is told. There are many free informative leaflets and flyers (in Polish and English), including 63 calendar pages covering the dates from 1 August 1944 to 2 October 1944 – each containing a summary of the most important events that took place on that particular day of the uprising.

Address: Grzybowska 79, Warsaw 00-844  

Official Website: https://www.1944.pl/en

You can also book a guided tour at GetYourGuide.

The museum is closed on Tuesday.

The admission on Mondays is free. 

Warsaw, Poland

POLIN MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS

The concept for establishing the Museum of the History of Polish Jews originated within the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, gradually gaining widespread approval both in Poland and internationally. In 1995, thanks to the support of both individual and institutional donors, the project commenced and persisted as a social initiative until 2005. On 25th January 2005, the persistent efforts of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland finally came to fruition. On that day, prompted by then Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński, the Museum was formally established as a public-private partnership involving the Association, the City of Warsaw, and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. 

In 2016, POLIN Museum won the title of the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA 2016). "POLIN Museum rose up to the challenge of creating an engaging and persuasive core exhibition without a substantial collection of artefacts. The programme of temporary exhibitions, educational activities, conferences, academic and artistic residences make the Museum a vibrant platform for dialogue and spreading the knowledge on Jewish history and heritage" – reads the EMYA Jury statement.

Address: 6 Mordechaja Anielewicza  St., 00-157 Warsaw

Official Website: https://www.polin.pl/en

You can also book a guided tour at GetYourGuide.

The museum is closed on Tuesday.

On Thursday, admission to the core and temporary exhibitions is free of charge.

Warsaw, Poland

THE FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum, situated within the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, stands as the world's largest Chopin centre. Its overarching mission is to meticulously preserve the legacy of the esteemed composer and ensure that knowledge about his life and oeuvre is accessible to the wider public.

At the heart of the museum's initiatives is a comprehensive programme that spans scholarly pursuits, exhibitions, educational endeavors, publishing ventures, and artistic pursuits. These multifaceted activities are not confined within national borders but extend to international platforms through strategic promotional campaigns. The museum actively engages in the collection, documentation, protection, and conservation of objects directly linked to Chopin's heritage. Simultaneously, it strives to make these invaluable resources available to the public.

Moreover, the museum is committed to acquiring and disseminating the contemporary creative output associated with Fryderyk Chopin, his musical compositions, and the era in which he lived. By fostering a dynamic and inclusive approach, the Fryderyk Chopin Museum serves as a vibrant hub, ensuring the continuous exploration and appreciation of the profound impact of this musical maestro.

Address: Gniński Palace (Ostrogski Castle), Okólnik 1, 00-368 Warsaw  

Official Website: https://muzeum.nifc.pl/en/

You can also book a guided tour at GetYourGuide.

Free admission day: Wednesday.

Warsaw, Poland

WALKING TOURS

At iVisitKrakow.com, we believe in making exploration accessible to everyone. Depending on your budget and expectations you can choose either paid or free (tip-based) walking tours which offer a budget-friendly way to experience the wonders of Warsaw while enjoying the expertise of knowledgeable guides. Here's why you should join:

Local Insights: Knowledgeable guides, well-versed in Warsaw's history and anecdotes, provide a unique local perspective, offering insights that go beyond conventional tourist experiences. Access to Hidden Gems: Uncover Warsaw's best-kept secrets and off-the-beaten-path treasures that might be missed on traditional tours. Explore charming neighbourhoods and quaint alleyways with guides leading you to hidden gems. Sustainable Exploration: Embrace eco-friendly travel by choosing a walking tour. Reduce your carbon footprint while delving into Warsaw's wonders on foot, connecting more intimately with the city and its surroundings. Engaging and Interactive: The walking tours are designed to be interactive and engaging. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and connect with fellow explorers, creating memorable and immersive experiences.

 

Discover Warsaw's rich tapestry through walking guided tours, where every step unveils a new layer of history and culture. Book your walking tour today for an authentic and immersive Warsaw experience.

HOW TO GET TO WARSAW

Situated in the heart of Poland, Warsaw, the capital city, is approximately 300 kilometers northeast of Krakow. The two cities are connected by a well-developed network of roads and railways, making it convenient for travellers to explore the diverse cultural and historical attractions that each destination has to offer. You may find the most convenient option to be a guided tour from Krakow to Warsaw. This experience takes away the stress and hassle, offering local insights and the opportunity to engage with your guide and fellow travelers. You have the flexibility to select a guide fluent in your language, and it is advisable to book the entire day. Opting for a guided tour is highly recommended for first-time visitors to Poland who want to maximize their experience. This choice is also ideal for individuals less familiar with the language, as it allows them to seek guides who can communicate in their native tongue. Below we have compiled alternative transportation options for those who prefer to travel independently, providing greater flexibility and peace at your own pace.

TRAINS

We believe that the most convenient, fastest, comfortable, and environmentally friendly way to reach Warsaw is by train. The trains depart from Krakow Główny railway station, located right in the centre of the city next to the Old Town, and arrive at Warszawa Centralna, just around the corner from the Palace of Culture and Science. Trains operate from early morning until late evening. You can conveniently check schedules and make bookings through the official PKP train portal. The Intercity adventure spans approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, offering comfort in 2nd class starting from 169 PLN (around 40 EUR). While there are potentially more economical train connections with another company (approximately 20 EUR), keep in mind that the journey may extend a bit longer.

BUSES

If you're on a limited budget, the bus connection from Krakow to Warsaw presents an economical choice. For example, the FlixBus service, operating every hour, provides a journey to Warsaw for as low as 8.99 EUR. However, it is decidedly less convenient if you value your time, as the journey duration varies between 4 hours and 15 minutes and 5 hours and 15 minutes, depending on the traffic.

PRIVATE TRANSFER

Whether you're travelling with a group or seeking the convenience of door-to-door service, these private transport options offer flexibility and comfort for a seamless journey. Consider the benefits of private transportation to enhance your travel experience. Enjoy a private transfer between Warsaw and Krakow with an experienced, professional driver and a stress-free travel with door-to-door transport.

RENT A CAR

For added independence and flexibility, renting a car is also a viable option, allowing you to explore Warsaw at your own pace. If you want to rent a car, fill the form below and save up to 70% with the Car Rental company.

LUGGAGE STORAGE

When embarking on your travel adventures, consider the invaluable convenience of luggage storage services for a truly comfortable experience. Whether you're exploring a new city, waiting for check-in, or making the most of the last day, storing your luggage frees you from the burden of carrying it around. This service ensures flexibility and peace of mind, allowing you to navigate your destination unencumbered. Opting for luggage storage is a strategic choice that enhances your travel experience, offering the freedom to enjoy your journey without the weight of your bags. Explore the possibilities and streamline your travel with hassle-free luggage storage solutions.

Exploring Warsaw with bags, suitcases, or a backpack on your shoulders can be fairly troublesome. Luggage storage is the safest solution you've been looking for. Find a luggage storage facility in Warsaw with luggage storage and enjoy an exclusive 5% discount by booking through us using this link or by clicking on the banner below:

Image by Marissa Grootes
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