Ah travelling, its something that I and many others simply adore to do. Being able to do it as frequently as possible but also being able to pick out great and interesting places can be difficult when travelling costs a lot of money. Being a student who can only work part time on top of university, I cannot exactly rake in huge amounts of money, however I work my very hardest and try and travel at least every other month 🙂 Balancing out big long haul trips with a few short haul European trips is generally the way I go to make travelling interesting but affordable. However even Europe can begin to cost a lot of money once you have purchased flights. Also how many times have you and people you know been to Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona? They are very common destinations for people to travel to for a taste of culture, and although they are all amazing places you should try and visit in your lifetime, what frequent traveller hasn’t been there? Furthermore due to their huge popularity, higher costs often accompany visiting those cities. This is why Eastern Europe has begun to steal my heart and I have begun with Poland.
Now this is the great attractiveness of Poland. You can fly to most Polish cities from the UK with discount airlines Ryanair and Wizz. On my next trip I am actually flying out of Stansted with Ryanair and back into Luton with Wizz due to convenience and flight times. Flights can be as little as £9.99 each way, cheaper than my rail fare to university daily. Hotels can also be cheap but some can hike up in peak season. A 5* hotel in the centre of Warsaw will only cost £50 a night most of the year, of course you can get a stay even cheaper if you drop down to 3* but if you cannot get a 5* that cheap anywhere else, I say take advantage! Food is also very cheap, meals in good restaurants can be £5. Basically as a whole living costs are very low which also leads to transport, activities, shopping being very cheap. Compare to this to the hotel rates and living costs in other Western European cities, it is quite big, especially if you do not have much money to play around with.
|I found Hedgehogs in Warsaw! </3 </3 </3|
Where to go in Poland, what is there to see?
Well Poland is home to many wonderful cities, notably Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw and Gdansk. There are many more but these are all easily accessible, cheap and full of culture. Warsaw the only city I have visited so far is a great blend of classic European old town, modern shopping/entertainment, interesting culture and history. It basically ticks all the boxes and I’m sure you’ll be able to see that from my photos. Krakow and Wroclaw are mainly known for their beautiful old town squares and if you have ever been to Brussels or smaller Belgian towns, they have that kind of atmosphere. I cannot say much as I still haven’t had the pleasure of visiting them but apparently they are so beautiful and quiet, even in peak season they will not be overly crowded. Finally Gdansk which is a port town on the north baltic coast of the country. Here is much like Warsaw in the sense that it is a blend of everything you want a city to be, but it also feels much like Bruges and Amsterdam. To top it off, a 5 minute drive away from the town and you have a beautiful beach in Sopot. Gdansk is next on my list this summer, and its easy to see why 🙂
|Part of Warsaw’s old town|
I would recommend Warsaw as a good starting point. This is because the city is not huge and is very easy to get around with the trams (plus who doesn’t love trams?!). The food is simply superb and has a lot of character, try the famous Radio Cafe as it offers great Polish cuisine that tastes great with good atmosphere. The cafe was where people could listen to Radio Free Europe during the Cold War, there is much history to be told here! Linking on to my next point, there is lots of history to be found in Warsaw. The solidarity museums/monuments, the remains and memorial of the ghetto and the infamous ‘Stalin Tower’ which is actually known as the Institute of Culture and Science. If you want your typical city break features, Warsaw has great shopping centres, a Hard Rock Cafe and an observation deck to view the whole city. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it ticks all the boxes ;D
|The ‘Stalin’ tower|
|Dumplings – because I love them so much I ordered a mixture of all the fillings <3|
|Views from the observation deck|
|One of the many trams with the stadium in the background.|
|And of course, Hard Rock Cafe, everything in this photo was £4|
Well that’s all from me, I hope this post inspires you to be a little different and try out some new destinations even if it’s not Poland. Visiting Warsaw has definitely made me put other Eastern European cities and countries on my list, but I still have many places to visit this year so it won’t be for a while. Of course it’s not groundbreakingly different or inventive but it’s a destination not everyone thinks about, which is a great thing at keeping costs down 🙂