Warsaw: a special gem in Poland

Warsaw: the city that would bring me back to Poland in a heartbeat.

So I sadly can’t say I got to spend too much time in Warsaw, or really have a recommended itinerary after my whirlwind time there (including a missed flight and a night that lasted until 7am -those are whole other stories). But it was just enough to make me want to come back again and again, and discover even more of Poland. Note: I was there in October 2015, just as it started to get colder and the air a bit crisper.

First off: Poland is cheap. Like, really cheap – despite being the 2nd biggest economy in Central Europe and 6th biggest in the EU. It also has amazing food and really friendly people. And, compared to Krakow, Warsaw is like its hipper, younger cousin (my opinion). A lot of people say you prefer one or the other: like a San Francisco/Los Angeles or Berlin/Munich rivalry, and in this case, Warsaw reminds me of Berlin – I loved it. Continue reading “Warsaw: a special gem in Poland”

Krakow: a day full of food

Sometimes you leave a city and your biggest memories of that place are the food. And the eating. And the drinking. It happens. Krakow was one of those places.

We got into Krakow late at night (sensing a pattern?) after a day full of train rides from Budapest into Brno, Czech Republic, a BlaBla car to Gliwice, Poland, and then trains all the way to Krakow.

Undeterred and obviously determined to soak in all of Poland, we headed right out after checking into the hostel and ended up at another Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa in the Old Town. I’ll say right away these vodka bars were probably one of my favorite parts of the entire trip – and no, not just for the alcohol. From the second you walk in, it’s like walking into a Russian bar and old-style American diner, blended into one. White tile, swivel bar stools, and 2 chalkboards – 1 for food, at 8 zl each (about $2), 1 for drinks (4 zl each). Old Communist posters and advertisements cover the walls, and people – young, old, and everywhere in between – keel over laughing, drunk, red-faced, and enjoying life. It’s a crazy scene. We also went to one in Warsaw that was not part of this chain that was a bit more authentic, but they’re really all great. It’s sadly also somewhere I knew right away I never would have ended up had I been alone or with someone other than a Polish person.

Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa – a chain of vodka bars all over Poland

 

Continue reading “Krakow: a day full of food”