About The City Of Warsaw Poland
This page is about the City of Warsaw Poland. It gives you an overview of Warsaw. For specific city information and videos on many of those same topics, use the search engine that you see above.
How To Eat and How To Act in Poland
Every country has its own unique culture, eating habits and expected norms of behavior. You are best to learn about the Polish culture and what to eat before you get here. Here is a link to some excellent information that you can use. Travel And Culture Guides - Poland's Culture, Heritage and History
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Warsaw, Poland is the capital city of the Republic of Poland. Warsaw is located on the Wisla River somewhat in the center of the country. For a map of Poland that shows Warsaw's location within the country, click here.
Modern Warsaw is a city with a past but of the future. The history of such events as the Miracle on The Wisla, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, the destruction and rebuilding of the Warsaw Old Town and the city around it, still stand out in many minds. But in the minds of the young people - the modern voice of Warsaw- growing up a society still in transition from command to market economic conditions, they map be on a historical map of Warsaw, and that is where they will stay as Warsaw grows, prospers and becomes a leading European Union City.
If you are traveling to Poland you will probably pass through Warsaw because the Central Train Station and the Warsaw International Airport are both located in Warsaw. And if you are traveling to Poland and doing research on the internet, you will find that getting maps and other information that you can use to prepare is very difficult. This page is an attempt to provide useful information rather than a series of links that keep you surfing the web.
Warsaw in the eyes of many people is a city of many opportunities. Warsaw is a dynamic and growing city. Not only is it the seat of the Polish government, it is a trade and financial gateway for Europe.
Warsaw Travel Information
Hotels - The skyline and number of hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions generally surprise visitors to Warsaw. Hotels in Warsaw are generally of the highest standard. There are many top names already in the city center and more are under construction. Whether you want a five star hotel or a cheap hotel in Warsaw, there are many choices that fit all budgets.
Poland is a beautiful country. Once you have been to the “must see” places in the Polish cities, get out into the Polish countryside. There are many wonderful places in Poland that you can visit.
To better serve you we have tried to develop a package of maps of Poland and Polish tourism guides that you will see in the various tourist shops once you arrive in Poland. So that you can better plan your travel to Poland, you can get these delivered to you by mail from Poland or you can pick them up at the Warsaw Trade Center. Information about those maps is at the top of this page.
Every country to which you travel has its good spots and bad spots, good people and bad people. Cultures differ and people are individuals. A tourist is a tourist anywhere in the world and will be treated as a tourist. Poland in no different. Expect to be treated differently in each region of Poland and by each individual Polish person.
In addition to the good things we are trying to show you about Poland in our site, here are a few travelers tips that will keep you out of trouble in Poland and any other city outside Poland to which you might travel.
Poland is a country of strong people. Go to the Old Market in Warsaw, Poland and look at the buildings. And then look at some of the post cards at the vendor stands. The heaps of rubble and bricks in the pictures were sorted out, one by one, and reassembled by the Polish people into the beautiful buildings that you now see all around you. The Polish people rebuilt their Old Town - men, women and school children - brick by brick.
And then go to the Royal Castle. The Polish people rebuilt that brick by brick. And then look at the treasures. They took pieces of them from the castle before they could be stolen or destroyed, kept them hidden in their homes, returned them and reassembled them.
Go to the top of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw, Poland. Look at the pictures on the walls of nothing but square miles of rubble. Then look at the city that is there now. And when you walk the streets of Warsaw, Poland remember that there are over 200,000 missing Polish people buried under your feet. But life goes on.
The legacy of communism is strong here. It has hurt the Polish culture and the people. But it is they who were in the vanguard of breaking communism. They died in Gdansk and other places around Poland to drive out the disease of Lenin. And now they are working to rebuild their country. Read every economic publication that discusses Eastern Europe. Every one talks about the great things that Poland has done and is doing.
You can take communists out of the government but you can not take communism out of the people. So many of the older people are lost in the new structure. But the younger generation is not part of the old order. They are proud of their parents ability to survive and how their country has recovered. When you come here you will, if you look, almost see two Poland's.
The Polish culture is different. But isn't that why you are traveling - to see different cultures and meet different people? So I suggest that you do not tell them how great your country is. Look and ask about the great things that the Polish people have done. Poland helped bring down the communist orders in Poland as well as other countries so that you do not have to worry as much about nuclear missiles being launched at your country. The are survivors and will survive as they have over the centuries.
Visit the castles and museums. The fortress at Malbork, Poland is unbelievable. The Black Madonna in Cztestochowa, Poland is something to see even if you are not a Roman Catholic. The Cathedral in Krakow, Poland is a work of art. The Polish Lakes Region is beautiful. Stop at the monument at the Gdansk Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland and thank the workers who fought. Go for it. You only live once.
CURRENCY - The local currency is the Polish Zloty. The EURO, the currency used by most European Union countries, will not replace the zloty for a few years.
Change your money at a KANTOR. These are money exchange kiosks that you will find all over Poland. The hotels will also change money for you, but the exchange rate is not good. DO NOT change with someone on the street or in front of a KANTOR. Like sharks, such people know where there is easy picking. Most kantors give you a fair deal. You can check the conversion rate that you should expect by clicking here..
EMBASSIES AND CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE - Most are located in Warsaw. Here is a link to a listing of them. Embassies In Poland
PUBLIC TELEPHONES - You will find that public telephones are readily available. You will need a phone card to use them. You can buy them in kiosks and post offices.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - It is great, once you know how to use it. Learning how to use it includes guarding your pockets and bags, avoiding groups of young men, avoiding people who are carrying empty plastic bags or newspapers over their arms and avoiding crowded situations in general. Even the locals get burned.
TRAMS AND CITY BUSSES -Trams and buses require a ticket purchased at street side vendors ( look for the sign “Bilety MZK” ) which you must punch in the little ticket punches hung on the walls of the vehicles. You need a ticket each time you get on a new tram or bus, unless you buy a monthly ticket. (In some cities you buy a ticket for a certain time of ride on the tram. ) Monthly tickets are a bargain. Ask a local person for details.
If you get on a tram and do not see people punching tickets, they probably have monthly tickets. Do not assume that you do not have to punch yours. Plain clothes inspectors, of not such a pleasant disposition, routinely check tickets. Get a ticket and punch it.
LONG DISTANCE BUSES - There are private bus lines and state owned bus lines that can get you almost anywhere in Poland. If you want to see the country, try them. They are very inexpensive and fairly good to travel in. It is a great way to see the real Poland.
TRAINS - There are many connections around the country. Do not expect English spoken at the ticket counters and do not expect anything that resembles service or polite conduct. But they are a good, inexpensive way to travel. Inter City and Euro City trains are, by contrast, great.
As the population shifts to the automobile as the preferred mode of transportation, the level of service and safety on many trains is degrading. Nights, and when there are football (soccer) games or concerts, they are simple dangerous.
First class seats do have their advantages in Poland.
TAXIS IN POLAND AND WARSAW IN PARTICULAR
Taxis are the same all over the world. There are honest drivers and those that take advantage of tourists. Honest drivers are often found in corporate groups that obey the local laws. Tourists can be sure to be overcharged by independent drivers who look for customers at airports, train stations, near hotels, major intersections and tourist attractions. Poland is no different than any other country in the world. Just follow a simple rule and you won't be hurt. Use a corporate taxi service. There are some very helpful, friendly drivers in some of these services.
Since our firm is based in Warsaw and many arrivals to Poland are via either the international airport or the central train station in Warsaw, we will discuss Warsaw. The concepts apply to the rest of the country.
A radio dispatched taxi service is recommended. We list here a few radio taxi groups that we know in Warsaw. Check the telephone book for a complete listing. They charge rates allowable by the law, they generally know where they are going, they generally give correct change and a receipt, and they sometimes drive safely. Buy a discount card from the driver. You save 10% and have a card with the telephone number to give to the restaurant waiter when you ask him to call a cab for you.
You may have occasion to pick a cab off the street. Look for a cab advertising a telephone number. Then look for one with advertising for other firms on the side panels. You are likely to be all right. The more advertising a cab has on it, the less likely you are to be burned.
Hotel cabs usually charge a double tariff since they work from the hotel only. But they are generally reliable and usually know where they are going. You save money if you have the hotel call a radio cab for you. Use your discount card to get the cab of your choice. Some operators speak English.
Once again, do not take a cab without advertising on it, without the rates GLUED in the window and without a corporate or radio logo on it. You WILL get taken for a ride. And if your are, the police probably will not help you.
We have used all the services listed below.
Partner Taxi 96 69
Express Taxi 96 63
Tele-Taxi 96 27
Halo-Taxi 96 26
Super Taxi 96 22
Top Taxi 96 64
Radio Taxi 633 33 33
WARSAW CENTRAL TRAIN STATION (WARSZAWA CENTRALNA)- DO NOT take one of the cabs around the station. Drug trafficking is heavy here. It is the hangout for the alcoholic community. Walk across the street to the Marriott Hotel and take one of the hotel cabs or call a radio cab from the Marriott Hotel. Use the money you will save and have a meal or coffee and dessert at one of the Marriott's restaurants or coffee shops. (No exaggeration here!) Do stop at the newsstand at the Marriott and get your maps, papers and more. There are good Polish people at the Marriott.
OKECIE AIRPORT, WARSAW - DO NOT take a ride with one of the people who will greet you as soon as you exit customs. They do not quit when you tell them no. Ignore them and then tell them firmly, “NO!” Call one of the radio cabs. There are phones in the departure hall. Your cab will arrive in about 10 minutes.
A special Airport City Bus runs to the city centrum and to most major hotels. It is a bargain. It is a distinctive yellow with a list of stops painted on the side.
If you are on a limited budget, take the bus 175 which stops in the third lane outside the arrival hall. It will take you to the center of Warsaw, Poland. Get off near the Central Train Station or Marriott Hotel and get your bearings. ( Bus 175 is a notorious hangout for thieves. They spot tourists and work in groups to get into your pockets. Get a seat, get into a corner, stay away from groups of young men and watch, watch, watch. If someone starts shoving or shouting, cover your wallets and bags. It is likely a diversion.)
OLD TOWN, WARSAW, POLAND - Avoid the cabs that hang around there. But if you walk up Krakowskie Przedmiescie from the Old Town toward the Bristol Hotel there will be a line of taxis on the left hand side. They are generally radio cabs waiting for a call and are usually O.K.
SQUARES AND TRAFFIC CIRCLES - There are too many organized independents waiting for your money at these locations.
DESIGNATED TAXI STANDS - Look for a tariff posted in the window.
We do hope that this page about Warsaw Poland has helped.
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