When I got the chance to visit Warsaw I was incredibly excited. Warsaw may not be one of the most popular Eastern European city break destinations, like Prague or Budapest, but that was even more reason for me to want to visit.
I currently live in Sofia, Bulgaria so exploring Eastern Europe is something that I am doing more now than ever before. I love the Eastern European culture and people, and although Poland and Bulgaria are different in many ways, I also found some similarities between Warsaw and Sofia which really made me feel at home there. For example, the language has some similar words which made it easier for me to understand street signs. Poland doesn’t use the cyrillic alphabet like Bulgaria however they share many common words such as ulitsa (street) or apteka (pharmacy).
Warsaw also felt very safe and friendly. I’m sure, just like any other city you should be aware, however I never once felt unsafe, even when walking around the centre alone. The Old Town in particular had a wonderful vibe. There were lots of tourists taking photos or sitting having coffees but the overall feeling was calm. As I walked around I found a lovely little market selling all sorts of handmade things, I watched the passing horse and carts and I sat on a bench by the Mermaid statue, Warszawska Syrenka, reading the legend of how a beautiful Mermaid once fell in love with Warsaw and pledged to protect the city forever. I later joined the free World War Two walking tour which I’ve written about here. This was a very emotional couple of hours and a really special way to learn about the history of Warsaw during the second world war.
The choice of restaurants in the old town is plentiful and everything I tried was delicious. I recommend you eat in one of the traditional restaurants in the Old Town and order the Zurek, traditional Polish sour soup. The prices in the Old Town are probably higher than other areas but the atmosphere definitely makes up for that and even here you’re not likely to spend more than 15-20 EUR on a meal with drinks.
If you are wondering which European city to visit next, I highly recommend that you make Warsaw your next city break destination. Warsaw is very pretty, friendly, not expensive at all and has loads of interesting history. There’s so many parks and museums too meaning you can enjoy the city, whatever the weather. I definitely want to explore more of Poland after visiting Warsaw and I hope to also return to this beautiful city soon too!