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This isn't so much a warning as much as a comment -- I spent three days in Warsaw and walked everywhere - a female alone. At no time did I ever feel unsafe. I remember thinking there are cities near where I grew up in the States that I would never even consider walking alone in daylight let alone at night. Yet in Warsaw, I was just fine.
Take the regular travel precautions with your valuables and don't go flaunting expensive equipment or wads of cash.
Be aware of your surroundings at all time and the people near you.
If you are ever uncomfortable, get out of that situation and place immediately. If possible, move quickly to where other people are - there is safety in numbers.
Updated Oct 26, 2011
While you are in great, amusing company watch for Polish hard drinks. They are often inexpensive and addictive. We, a bunch of 24 VT-ers in Piwna Kompania restaurant, gave a small gift from the restaurant: one small glass of delicious Polish cherry (Cherry Cordial, "wisniowka" in Polish) per each VT-head. Well, sweet midnight liquid warmed our bodies and encouraged us to order next glasses (10 zl/2.6 euros per each minus 10%)... one by one...
I can only tell you what MAY happen then. Do you want the whole list? Well, just top 5 in possibly chronological order:
1. you may agree to get merry unknown woman :-)
2. you may take artistic pictures (open the next picture, please, to see what I mean)
3. you may forget your hotel room number and a strange, foreign name of your VT-friend for whom the room was registered
4. you may not be able to open room door and thus put your body on a 5-star hotel corridor (well, hotel security knows how to make your sleep better, 5-star guys :-)
5. you may wrongly think the next morning that you put your body in "wrong" bed :-)
Luckily you may forget points 1-5 by the next morning :-). Keep smiling and do enjoy. Cheers :-))). One more "wisniowka", please!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
May I complain a bit, please?
Well, the city centre and the old town is quite well signed by new signs put for more and more numerous visitors. They had to spend quite a lot of money for them but... the guy (I think, it's a guy, women are more thorough, right?) from the City Palace (common name of Warsaw city government, guess why? :-) responsible for these signs had to love his power and Polish language a lot. He himself chose what those ignorant visitors who couldn't speak Polish should visit and what shouldn't. Look at the example direction signs in my pictures.
I can understand that there is no English translation of directions to the Public Prosecutor Office (Districtional and Apeal; brrr... I wouldn't like to be interrogated there) or to the Ministry of Health and Social Care (although it's unique backwater: the worst Polish ministry which works like 20 years ago = in Soviet style, a must see :-) but why there is no translation of directions to a monument to Adam Mickiewicz and to the military church as well as to the main post office (Poczta Glowna)? Are they banned? Re-do it again, guy. But this time pay for it from your personal savings, please, OK?
I have to e-mail my complaint to him... in Polish. Just in case you would like to join me in your language... the e-mail below, please :-).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: +48 (22) 595 30 63
There are some drastic scenes in pictures and movies displayed in Warsaw Uprising Museum. However they are always marked by red bilinqual warning sign "Attention! Drastic scenes" kids can't see them. The video-screens showing drastic scenes (execustions, victims' bodies etc.) are hidden in stone structures like on my pictures.
The museum is child friendly. There is the Little Insurgent Room designed for children where you can leave your kid under care of young, nice, trained and English speaking staff. It's right to the entrance, opposite to museum store (follow the link below, please).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: +48 (22) 539 79 01
Talk about a surprise downpour, and this was in late May. The sky's opened, and down came the rain in bucketfulls. The rain drops pounded off the pavement. Of course, I was without raingear, only my cotton floppy hat and a t shirt. At least it was not cold, but in the 5 minutes it took me to run to my hotel I was absolutely soaked.
Written Feb 19, 2011
We arrived from Paris at Frederick Chopin airport, Terminal , and were directed to one of the 5 carousels in Terminal 2 to collect our luggage. The luggage arrived very quickly. However one piece was missing. We had to return to Terminal 1 to report its loss- description , contents, luggage label with number, flight details, address in Poland, home address, telephone number and name.
We were told it would probably arrive on the evening flight. However, we eventually recieved it 6 days later, just before we left Warsaw.
Updated May 6, 2008
When you park your car in Warsaw you may sometimes be approached by a 'helpful' man, or even just a boy of twelve or so, who will offer to look after the car for you while you go shopping or sightseeing. The sum that he demands for it is usually small but there is a hitch. If you refuse, you may, on coming back, find your car badly scratched with a nail. I have come across this in the centre in Aleje Jerozolimskie, opposite the Palace of Culture, but there may be more such places. Actually, this ugly practice can be met in other Polish towns as well but Warsaw is the most notorious for it.
Update: It was only a week ago that we encountered this again, and again in Aleje Jerozolimskie, when we parked there to go to the restaurant Kredens. It was Sunday and there was plenty of parking space but an emaciated man, probably a drunk or a drug addict, pretended to secure a place for us. When we got out, he stood there and waited, saying nothing but we already knew what it was all about and gave him a coin. A woman, perhaps his wife or girlfriend, was carrying on the same business nearby.
It seems that everybody knows about it by now, except the police.
Updated Apr 30, 2008
We wanted to go to Warsaw in winter, but though it can be romantic to walk through the snow in Lazienki Park, it can get REALLY cold there in January. My advice: Pack your warmest clothing, and then pack some more (or visit in summer).
Written Jan 4, 2008
There are many homeless and drunk people in the main railway station - Warszawa Centralna. The tunnels underground the buiding are not nice epecially becasue the smell is terrible and maybe homeless people stands near the offices where you can buy tickets and aks to give money. Better say nothing to them, just ignore!
Written Oct 26, 2007
...in the morning, be sure to be there on time. Our flight to Budapest (we were flying standby so we were trying all flights) was scheduled to depart at 7:40am and the check in counters were already full of people by 6:30am.
One thing we liked was that they have security checks for a couple of gates instead of one big security check for all the gates.
Written Oct 1, 2007
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