As this was my first time visiting Warsaw, I was eager to find out what the hate is all about. What did I find? 10 things to hate about Warsaw:
1. People in Warsaw speak Polish
Um, have you heard Polish before? It’s a little bit like Russian, except even harder to pronounce and with an even more bizarre grammar (if that’s possible). Seriously, why do some languages have to be so impossible?
2. Milk Bars
While trying to keep a budget of under $15 a day, Dan and I have had a lot of meals of bread, cheese and sausage, but in Russia we also often ate at Soviet style cafeterias, or stolovayas. They’re super cheap, and a great way to sample homestyle Russian cuisine. They also generally serve huge portions, which were perfect for helping me bulk up for the Siberian winter!
Well, it turns out Poland has similar cafeterias: the milk bars. Warsaw is full of Soviet-style milk bars with tons of delicious food, and because menus are in Polish we pretty much had to order several dishes to get a chance to see what everything was.
After feasts of zurek, kapusniak, pierogi, and potato pancakes, my waistline does not appreciate you and your tasty milk bars, Warsaw!
3. Kami lives there
I’ve been following Kami’s blog for a long time now, and I was pretty sure that our strikingly similar taste in travel destinations meant that we were destined to be fast friends. Ugh, as if I need yet another friend who lives oh so far away from me!
Kami showed us around her favorite spots in Warsaw (including a milk bar, of course) and we happily baffled Dan with a good round of travel blog gossip. Ah, how am I going to convince Kami to leave her beloved Warsaw and move to Norway?!
4. Warsaw’s History
You may think these “hates” are tongue-in-cheek, but this one is serious. No city should have to go through what Warsaw experienced in World War II. Ever.
The Uprising Museum gives a great summary of events if you want to brush up on your European history while in Warsaw.
5. Warsaw’s West Bank
The west side of the river was essentially destroyed during the war, but now has been rebuilt complete with a new version of the “Old Town.” It definitely feels like the more touristy and less interesting side of the city, but I can’t even really dislike it because of its tragic past. So typical, Warsaw!
6. Warsaw’s East Bank
The east side of the river includes Praga, Warsaw’s slightly rough, hugely artsy district, which is basically a slap in the face to any city that thinks it has a cool alternative neighborhood. Praga wins, always.
7. The Neon Museum closes at 5 pm
What museum doesn’t stay open to at least 10 pm? And are you seriously trying to tell me that the only other place I can visit such an extensive neon exhibition is in Las Vegas?! What a tease, Warsaw!
8. All of the Street Art
Oh Warsaw, you and your beautiful street art. Like, we get it, you’re totally artsy and alternative, so how about you stop showing off, okay?
9. The Nightlife
From teeny one-room vodka bars to bars serving over 50 beers on tap, who do you think you are, Warsaw? Budapest?
10. Nothing At All
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.
Because what better way to end a blog post than with a quote from a 90s classic?
Wait, don’t answer that.
Where to Stay in Warsaw
If for some reason you’re still interested in visiting Warsaw after reading this, my advice is to stay at The Warsaw Hostel!
The Warsaw hostel is perfectly located in a beautiful old tenement house near the Old Town and just a few steps away from a metro station. It had more of a low-key vibe when we visited (in off-season), so I’d say it’s the place to stay if you’re looking for a really good night’s sleep instead of a party hostel.
Many thanks to The Warsaw hostel for hosting me during my time in Warsaw. As always, all opinions are my very own!