Warsaw, Poland, Cold Weekend Visit

Warsaw, Poland – A Cold Winter Visit

We have been to Warsaw a few times before and with Stockholm Skavsta Airport nearby the Polish capital is within easy reach. In January I decided to head to Warsaw for a solo visit. Wintertime and low season mean cheap flights, so it was a good opportunity to get away for a few days while Susann and Little A could rest at home. It would be a three-day visit, a cold winter visit.

Arriving From Stockholm Skavsta Airport

It was a Friday morning and a morning flight from Stockholm Skavsta Airport. It was a cold day, with a thin layer of snow on the ground, resulting in a smooth and short drive to the airport. Once parked it was just a short walk and straight through security. Priority boarding is nice sometimes, but it is quite useless when you land and a bus is waiting to take you to the terminal. Yes, that was the case at Warsaw Chopin Airport. First off the place meant first on the bus. It still waited until the plane was empty before driving us the few hundred meters to Arrival.

Luckily I was able to get access to the apartment at once in the morning, meaning that I only had to take a taxi towards the center of Warsaw and leave the bags. Well, a short time to rest as well after the early morning wake-up. It was finally time to once more explore the Polish capital, it was a few years since the last time.

A Short First Exploration of Warsaw

I spent the first day in Warsaw walking around in the center and enjoying the sunshine. Well, there were a few minutes of sunshine. The walk took me by the impressive Palace of Culture and Science before heading towards the old town. The Palace of Culture and Science was built in 1952 and reaches a height of 237 meters. It is closely related to the Seven Sisters in Moscow. These seven towers were all built in a Stalinist style in the 1940s and 50s.

The sun had disappeared behind the clouds once I reached the Old Town. At the entrance of the Old Town is the Royal Castle, another of the city’s impressive constructions. The castle was destroyed during the Second World War but was rebuilt in the 1970s. One of my favorite sights in the Old Town is the old town wall with its red bricks. Along the wall is the Warsaw Barbican, a larger fortification at one of the gates. As with a lot of the city, it was destroyed in the war and the current building is a reconstruction dating back to the 1950s.

Walking back towards the apartment, which was located in the district of Wola, it was obvious how large the city was. It takes quite some time to walk from one of the central parts to the next. I remember an earlier visit about 10 years ago. At that time it was a nightmare to navigate the city on foot. Roadworks meant roads were inaccessible for pedestrians and many times you had to turn around to find a new route. Now, Warsaw is a very walkable city, with wide pedestrian streets and a lot easier to get around.

Getting back in Wola meant ordering a pizza and having a calm evening. I was quite tired after the early morning flight from Skavsta.

Warsaw on Foot on a Cold January Saturday

It snowed a little during the night and I woke up to a gray and cold Warsaw. The week breeze made it even colder as I set out to explore more of the city. From the district of Wola, I walked past the Palace of Culture and Science and continued along the central streets towards the Vistula River. I arrived at the river near the bridge Most Świętokrzyski.

Heading down to the river is a must to understand why Warsaw is located where it is. This day the large ice blocks were floating downstream. But there was a nice view to with the impressive PGE Narodowy stadium on the other side. There is a park landscape along the banks of the river and a few more impressive buildings such as the Copernicus Science Centre. I followed the river until I reached the gardens of the Royal Castle. The castle looks completely different from the other side and I can only imagine that the garden here is beautiful during the summer,

After a short stroll in the Old Town, I continued back towards the Palace of Culture and Science and the district of Wola. I was cold enough by now to enjoy another evening indoors.

Skyscraper Safari

Sunday turned out to be another cold day. It was also a day where I headed in the other direction, away from the main tourist sights. It was time for a skyscraper safari. The district of Wola has developed into the financial district of Warsaw and is today home to some of the tallest office buildings in the city. One of these buildings is the Varso Tower. It is with a height of 310 meters the tallest building in Poland and one of the tallest in Europe. Other impressive towers include the Warsaw Spire (220 m), Warsaw Unit (202 m), Skyliner (195 m), and the iconic Złota 44 (192 m). Many of these towers look even more impressive after the sunset when they light up the skyline of Warsaw.

This last walk would conclude my weekend in Warsaw. It was time to prepare for my return flight early the next morning.

Early Morning Flight from Warsaw Chopin Airport

Sometimes it is difficult to fall asleep. Especially when you have a flight to catch in the morning. I only slept a few hours before my alarm woke me up again. It was time to take a taxi back to Warsaw Chopin Airport. Arriving at the airport told me how early this flight was. It was the first flight on the board for this morning. Stockholm Skavsta was at the top of the list for once. If Warsaw had a cold morning, that was nothing compared to what awaited me in Sweden.

Landing in Sweden was a return to a proper winter. There was plenty of snow all around the airport, which gave me hiccups after de-embarcation. A short walk through the airport I was soon heading towards the parking lot and my car. They were still plowing the snow at the entrance and I soon noticed the large amount of snow that had fallen overnight. It didn’t look like anyone had walked into the parking lot that morning. It was more than 20 centimeters of new snow and that was only on my way to the car.

To my surprise, the car was able to push through the snow and I made sure to keep the speed up as I headed towards the exit. It looked like I would get stuck if I stopped. It became the last adventure of the trip and I was soon back on the main road and eventually back home and to work. Yes, an early flight meant I was back home in time to start the work day.

Happy Travels!

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