Are you planning on going somewhere during the darkest months of the year? Why not go to wintry Warsaw, the fascinating capital of Poland? It is time for us to dream back to a time before the Covid-19 pandemic, when traveling was less complicated.
In 2018, we planned our Christmas for several months. Well, maybe it wasn’t the kind of planning that normal families usually engage in. Instead, we were going back and forth in regards to if we should spend Christmas together with our families or make run off to spend it somewhere else. We did eventually spend Christmas with my family in Vagnhärad, Sweden, and Little A also had a few days alone with her grandparents. As far as we were concerned, we headed to Stockholm-Skavsta airport on boxing day, to spend a part of our Christmas in a wintry Warsaw.
The highlights of our trip included all the Georgian food that we ate, the long walks, and the hot chocolate from Chocolate Café E. Wedel.
Arriving at Warsaw Chopin Airport
We flew to Warsaw from Stockholm-Skavsta with Wizz Air in the afternoon. Both the flight and the journey went very smoothly. There is a direct train from the airport to the city
However, as Warsaw is quite big, the Old Town was quite far away. And if you go to Warsaw, you must see its Old Town. Most of it was actually completely destroyed during World War II. Interestingly enough, it was rebuilt according to old maps and you’d never realize that this part of town is not as old as it seems. Also, it reminds you of all the horrors that Europe faced in the 20th century.
A Christmas Walk in Wintry Warsaw
The plan for our first evening in Warsaw included a long walk. Before our trip, we had also decided that we wanted to eat at a Georgian restaurant. After all, we are great fans of Georgia. Just imagine our delight, when we accidentally bumped into a Georgian restaurant on our way to the Old Town.
A hearty Georgian meal later, we were on our way to the Christmas lights on Nowy Świat and Krakowskie Przedmieście. If you are bored today (and not Polish!), try to pronounce the latter name! The language has fairly interesting words, one must say. These two streets house a lot of beautiful monuments and buildings, including the Presidential Palace and Warsaw University. Here is also where we decided to get a cup of hot chocolate (and coffee!) from E.Wedel. It was yummy
As it was Boxing Day, we were not the only ones enjoying the beautiful Christmas lights. The road took us to the Royal Castle at Castle Square (in Polish plac Zamkowy w Warszawie) . The square serves as the entrance to the Old Town and was crowded with people enjoying the holidays. However, this was not an evening to explore the Old Town, it was instead the Christmas lightning along the road and at the square that made our evening a little more cozy.
Culinary Warsaw – A Day of Eating
Walking up the first morning in Warsaw was a foggy experience. Not in regards to any wine from the day before, but the city was covered in a thick fog that remained in place for most of the day.
For us it meant a lazy day with a great opportunity to enjoy the food options. When visiting Warsaw, one of the most common sights along the streets is small restaurants serving pierogi. This is small filled dumplings that can be either boiled or fried. The filling options are many, from meat, mushrooms and vegetables to sweet fillings like berries or fruits. They are usually served with sour cream or fried onions.
Further walks along the cold and foggy streets to walk off the food followed. If one hearty meal isn’t enough for a day, there are more Georgian restaurants to try out in the city. The first day in Warsaw had not satisfied our cravings for the Georgian cuisine.
Exploring a Wintry Warsaw
Our last full day in Warsaw was the day that we properly explored more parts of the city. To our joy, the weather was also better and we could see the buildings in front of us as we headed south, towards the large parks close to the city center. The two parks we visited were the small Park Ujazdowski and the much larger Łazienki Park.
Right next to the small park is the Ujazdów Castle, a castle dating back to the 14th century. It received much damage during the Warsaw Uprising.
It was, however, the larger Łazienki Park that took most of our time. The park is also known as the Royal Baths Park and is filled with ponds, monuments and historical buildings. It is especially the picturesque Palace on the Isle that will catch most visitors eyes.
A short bus ride north from the parks took us to the famous Old Town. The colourful buildings make you feel like you are walking along the streets of a long lost past. They might be reconstructed, but very little here will tell visitors that. While walking along the city walls and the historical streets we eventually ended up on the Gdański Bridge with a great view over the Old Town.
The bridge took us past the City Zoological Garden to the area of Praga-Północ. From here we took the bus to the outlet stores of Factory Annopol for some afternoon shopping. Once you find the buses, it is quite easy to get around in Warsaw and it was first once we got back with a evening view of the Palace of Culture and Science that we reckoned how much of the city that we had seen in one day. It was a lot of steps indeed.
Pizza in Modlin
Our trip ended with us returning to Sweden with Ryanair from Modlin Airport. Modlin is a village that is famous for some other things than the airport. It has one of the biggest 19th century fortresses in Poland. It also saw a battle in 1939 between Poland and Germany. Instead of things relating to war and history, we decided to grab some pizza while we were in town.
There’s something special about Polish pubs. They have a certain feel to them, it’s difficult to explain. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pizza with so much crust.
After the pizza and an unsuccessful attempt to get a taxi through an app that was then known as taxify, we walked back to the train station and caught the bus to the airport. If you’re looking for an airport with many shops, don’t go to Modlin! It is a small, but modern, airport. However, we returned home safe and sound after a few relaxing days in wintry Warsaw. Na zdrowie!