Snapshot – Warsaw

When I was making a list of places I wanted to visit on my trip to Europe last year, Warsaw wasn’t actually on the “must see” pile. It was simply somewhere I was stopping at for a couple of days between Berlin and Krakow. I’m almost ashamed to admit to that now. As it turns out, Warsaw was one of the prettiest cities on the itinerary and I would gladly return. 

I was staying in a district called Praga, it’s located on the eastern bank of the Vistula River, and location wise it was perfect. I had arrived in Warsaw via train from Berlin, from the main station I simply hopped a tram and about 4 stops later I was in Praga. There were the usual array of shops and restaurants around, all in all in was a relatively peaceful spot. Just at the end of the street was St Florian’s Cathedral, a magnificent and eye catching piece of architecture. From there, I just hopped a tram and one stop later I was across the river and at the Old Town of Warsaw. Now, Warsaw itself is the capital of Poland and Old Town Warsaw is the oldest part of that city. To be honest, it pretty much where I spent all my time. I just thought it was beautiful.

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St Florian’s Cathedral
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Castle Square: The Royal Castle is the red building on the right
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Church spire (St Martin’s from memory)
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One of the picturesque streets of Old Town Warsaw.
Walking up the stairs from street level, I arrived in Castle Square. Lined by colourful townhouses, with the Royal Castle on the right and Sigismund’s Column in the centre, it’s a breathtakingly beautiful old town. It is full of cobbled streets, churches, town/market squares, statues and monuments to the cities past, and surrounding it all the Barbican and the old fortified city walls. The history of this part of Warsaw is lengthy, and it’s interesting to note it was mostly destroyed during World War II, but honestly – you’d never know looking at it today. I would strongly advise joining a walking tour of the area in you really want a thorough explanation of what you’re looking at. I did. It took about 4 hours but it was absolutely worth it. All in all, Warsaw was a surprise … and a pleasant one at that.

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Some of the colourful townhouses of Old Town
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The Market Square
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All that remains to mark the perimeter wall of the Warsaw Ghetto
This post is part of my contribution to the April 2017 A-Z Challenge

For a list and links to my other challenge posts, click here

For those interested in revisiting my 2016 challenge post for W, here’s the link: Snapshot – Wadi Rum

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26 thoughts on “Snapshot – Warsaw”

  1. So my pre-suppositions about Warsaw show you why it’s so important to travel before assuming anything. I’m surprised by your (gorgeous) photos. I would have thought Warsaw buildings would be more “soviet” (can’t think of another word for what I mean) looking, but it looks more like Flemish or Dutch buildings.

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    1. You make an excellent point about not making assumptions. I didn’t really have any but that was more a product of disinterest (& how unjust that seems to me now!). This is the Old Town, so it’s possible that other parts of the city look more soviet era but this part of the city was so lovely I didn’t feel the need to explore further afield. Thanks for your thoughtful comment πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such delightful photos and a brief recap to boot. Old Town looks wonderful, especially when you realize what has happened there.
    Another wonderful post

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s funny what time will do to memories. I remember being wowed by Krakow and less so by Warsaw. Looking at your pictures, I almost wonder now if that was a product of travellers fatigue. You know, like being in Athens and thinking not ANOTHER fantastic ancient monument. I loved the photos of the colourful houses and have no memory of that from trip. I’ll have to pull my albums!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I can relate to travellers fatigue – not sure how many times I’ve said “not more roman ruins …” to myself πŸ™‚ Most people I’ve spoken to seem to prefer Krakow to Warsaw … I had such a blast in Krakow but I celebrated my birthday there so that probably influences my choice too. I’d be interested to hear what you find in those albums πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you for reading πŸ™‚ I understand what you mean too. As another reader said, they expected Warsaw to look more “soviet”. I think other parts of the city may well have looked like that but this Old Town was unbelievably colourful and full of beautiful buildings and history.

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