Warsaw in 24 Hours: An Unplanned Trip

Getting sent to Warsaw on a creaky overnight bus (twice!) wasn’t my idea of a good time. I made the most of it, though, and wrote up this piece to help out any other bleary-eyed travelers kill time while they wait for bureaucracy in Poland.

Warsaw in 24 HoursWhy Warsaw in 24 Hours?

Twice, now, I’ve been to Warsaw. Twice, I’ve taken the winding, creaking, confusing night bus from Prague, Czech Republic to the capital of Poland. Can’t say it’s been my favorite thing to do. “Why do you have to go to Warsaw for your Czech work visa??” students have asked me countless times. Guys, I still don’t know. At any rate, I made the best of my cheapskate travel style and increasingly limited schedule to run around as much of this city as a post-12-hour-night-bus-traveler-carrying-their-pack possibly could.
(Travel notes: you can use a credit card anywhere, no need to exchange money. Grab a Warsaw 24 hour transport pass from the ticket machines at the bus/metro stop)

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Mad swagger.

Here we go, Warsaw in 24 Hours:

First up, Stalin’s penis. Not really. It’s just a monumental building from Josef Stalin given as a not-so-welcomed gift to the Polish people. You really can’t avoid seeing it. I tried. Somehow, I kept ending up back in its shadow. If you’d like, you can pay to go to the top for a view of the city OR instead you can wander around the outside wondering about all the statues. Really gets you thinking about Communist era gender, multiculturalism, and intellectualism roles. Tiny bladder toilet note: you can pee here for free.

Check out Warsaw’s Parks.

Moving right along to a breath of far fresher air: Warsaw has some really lovely parks. There’s a ginormous one near all the embassies. It has a palace on the water called Palace on the Water (or Lazienki Palace). Pretty neat. There are peacocks and interesting statues.
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Lazienski Palace

A note on Warsaw’s statues: they’re pretty cool. Lots of people busting out of rocks. Jagged humans. The occasional tree-rock-human combo. Plenty of brain-busting gems, too. Like what? A statue of Marie Curie.

Visit the Marie Curie Museum (it’s cute)

Discoverer of radium and all around badass woman of history, that’s what. There’s a museum dedicated to her. At just 1€ it’s the cutest museum you can afford anyways. They’d like to remind you that Marie Curie is Polish, so consider using her hyphenated name: Marie Sklodowska-Curie. The museum is located right next to the heart of Warsaw’s tourist land:

Old Town Market Square.

This is where all the pretty stuff is. Go here. Take pics. Watch all the tour guides show their groups how to play the musical benches (not to be confused with musical chairs).
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Old Tow Market Square

Musical benches? Yup. They exist because Chopin existed. He left his heart in Warsaw…literally…allegedly. The city seems to have a thing for reclaiming its people.

Warsaw Rising Museum

What must be the coolest thing to do in Warsaw (as it’s the thing I keep missing out on) is to visit the Warsaw Rising Museum. Dedicated to “those who fought and died for independent Poland” it’s an obvious choice for spending your waiting-for-it-to-be-time-to-get-back-on-the-bus time. But you can’t go on a Tuesday. Or any public holidays. Likely some other no-go days in there. Just check the schedule carefully, eh? Long and short of a bleary-eyed visit to Warsaw? Same as anywhere, y’all. Walk the streets, walk the parks, and don’t forget to eat!
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Free WiFi for Your Warsaw in 24 Hours Comfort!

Just off the bus? Can’t handle life anymore? Here’s a list of 10 cafes with free WiFi. You’re welcome.
These bloggers had more fun:
Read in-depth stuff here and here, also this.

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