Having started out in Krakow, traveling north to Gdansk via other cities and saving Warsaw for last, we had heard many things about Poland’s capital city. Most locals who are not from Warsaw credit it significantly less than most other cities within the country. We even experienced people originally from Warsaw being critical and preferring other cities.
Knowing that pretty much the entire city had been wiped out during the later years of WWII, with few buildings left standing, we were curious to see the current day Warsaw. The oldest part of town that had been completely destroyed, literally reduced to rubble, was carefully rebuilt after the war based on old photographs and is now charming to stroll through. The rest of the city boasts many high rises, like any major European city, and spreads far and wide. Of course it also bears the signs of the former communist regime, including one particular building that was constructed to display the power and might of the Soviet Union at the time. The building currently serves as the Palace of Culture and Science.
We took a very interesting tour around the city with a very knowledgeable guide in his sixties. He took us through various time periods, covering political movements as well as the different socio-economic areas of the city.
Although we can see where locals disliking the capital city are coming from, we still enjoyed our visit and made the most of it.
In conclusion to our two week stint in Poland, we were simply blown away by it. Impressed by its beautiful and picturesque sights, intriguing history and simply left with a positive impression that cannot be exactly pin-pointed. One thing we know for sure: we hope to be back some day.