One of the biggest reasons Jase and I decided to move overseas was for the opportunity to travel and see more of the world. So we made a deal with ourselves that we would do our best to travel some place new at least once a month during our time in Switzerland. So when we realised that we didn’t have a trip booked for November a few weeks ago we opened up google maps and picked a city in a country we hadn’t been to yet and didn’t know very much about – and that was Warsaw in Poland. We also wanted to do as little planning as possible and really go with the flow for this trip (if you like you can read all about my slow travel philosophy here). So we booked our flights, an Airbnb and a food tour. The rest of our two days in Warsaw we just decided on the go and you can read all about how our trip went below.
Where to Stay
To make the most of our two days in Warsaw we decided to stay in the inner city area. We stayed in an Airbnb close to Central train station. This meant we could walk to any of the places we wanted to see within 30 minutes. And the train was very close by if we decided to go further or didn’t feel like walking.
Day One: Warsaw Old Town + Food Tour
Stroll down Nowy Swiat
We started our first day in Warsaw bright and early with a 30 minute stroll to the old town. Walking down Nowy Swiat – the bustling main street that leads into old town and finding lots of shops, landmarks and little parks along the way. One shop to take note of is called A.Blikley. Established in 1869, A.Blikley is the most well-known bakery in Poland. A place people flock to for their famous donuts. However we decided to skip the donuts here because we got a tip from a local about an even better spot to get donuts. I’ll share that one with you below.
After our walk to old town we made a beeline for the first cafe we spotted because an icy breeze had set in and we were pretty chilly by this point. As much as I wanted to plan as little of this trip as possible and go with the flow I do wish we’d done a quick google for breakfast spots in old town. Only because there were so many nice places but we were so cold we didn’t feel like walking around finding something.
The Warsaw Heritage Interpretation Centre
We actually explored old town before we found the Heritage Interpretation Centre. But I would recommend going to the centre first so you have a better understanding of the city while you are exploring. It gives you a really good visualisation of what Warsaw looked like after the second world war – 85% of the infrastructure was destroyed. Then it shows you how the town has been rebuilt using pre-war architect drawings and paintings from the 18th century – when the city was at the peak of its glory.
Exploring old town
Once we had arrived in old town we put away our map and let our feet lead the way. Walking down pretty little pastel alley ways, small streets which surprised us with sky high churches and into the main square. We stumbled across a gorgeous little cafe called Shabby Chic Coffee & Wine Bar. The perfect spot for breakfast, morning tea or a takeaway coffee. If you are looking for an authentic Polish souvenir you will find plenty of amber jewellery and gorgeous traditionally painted ceramic shops scattered throughout the old town. We generally don’t set out to purchase souvenirs for the sake of it, but we fell in love with the ceramics and had to take a piece home with us.
Most of the time we aren’t big fans of group tours because we feel that they can be very generic. But we do love a good small, alternative food or bicycle tour. We’d heard good things about the food in Warsaw so we decided to book a tour with Eat Polska and it did not disappoint. Our wonderful guide Natalia took us to try a range of different traditional Polish dishes from both traditional and modern restaurants (oh and there was a sneaky shot of Polish vodka of course). We learnt all about nostalgic Polish dishes. To top it off we finished with a hot chocolate from the famous Polish chocolate shop E.Wedel.
Keep a look out for these favourites on traditional Polish menus:
- Wild mushroom soup
- Red borscht with dumplings (a sour beetroot soup)
Pierogi (dumplings with different kinds of sweet or savoury fillings)
Day Two: Coffee, city views and donuts
Coffee coffee coffee
When a quick little google search the night before (lesson learnt on day one!) had revealed cafe Ministerstwo Kawy had the best latte in the world. So there was no question about where we would start day two. Of course we always take these kinds of claims lightly because we are (ahem, Jason is) coffee snobs. So when Jase has two coffees in a row it’s a good sign that the coffee is pretty damn good. Oh and the carrot cake was to die for. And yes I had carrot cake for breakfast. Holidays don’t count.
The Palace of Science and Culture
It feels like no matter where we were in Warsaw we could see The Palace of Science and Culture building. Jase was keen to visit because it seemed to resemble the Empire State Building, which has been on his bucket list for most of his life. But after a little research we found out the two had nothing to do with each other. We felt like visiting it anyway and enjoyed the view of the building from the park below as well as the view of the city from the viewing terrace on the 30th floor.
Shopping shopping shopping
Warsaw is a great place to go for affordable shopping. I don’t normally prioritise shopping on our trips but coming from Switzerland (which is very expensive) we took the opportunity to get a few winter basics. Also a great activity to have as a backup for a rainy or freezing winters day. There are plenty of shopping destination options but we chose Złote Tarasy, which is new, big and right near The Palace of Science and Culture.
The best donuts in town
I mentioned earlier that we got a local tip on the best place to go for donuts in Warsaw, don’t worry I haven’t forgotten! This teeny tiny shop would be very easy to walk right past if you didn’t know about it. Although it is common to see a queue out the front, which makes it a bit more obvious. Cukiernia Pawłowicz is a traditional Polish donut shop and they are most famous for their rose-jam donuts topped with almond flakes. Make sure you have google translate ready though as there are lots of delicious flavours to choose from. I (of course) couldn’t go past the rose-jam option (number 2 on the menu)!
Overall we were really happy with how our mostly unplanned, slow two days in Warsaw went. The only thing I would change is doing a little research on the best spots to eat in old town. Let me know which of the traditional Polish dishes you’d love to try below!
LIKE MY OUTFITS?
You can find all of my outfit details in my carry on only packing list for Warsaw. You can shop these pieces and support Jayde Archives at the same time by using some of the affiliate links below:
- Beige long sleeve
- Grey long sleeve
- Beige cable knit sweater
- Multi colour sweater
- Black parka
- Pink teddy coat (old, similar here or here)
- Blue jeans
- Navy jeans (similar ethical option)
- Blush scarf
- Checked scarf
- Blush beanie (old, similar here or similar ethical option)
- Blush hair bow
- Tan mittens (old, similar here)
- Leather sneakers
- Tan winter boots
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