I visited Warsaw for the first time as part of a school exchange to Poland in 2000. Our exchange school was in Darmstadt’s partner city Płock and we did a day trip to Warsaw. I remember that, appart from the fun that we had all the time in Poland, I liked Warsaw for having a beautifully restored old town with the Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) with its colourful houses. Back then we also visited Warsaw Uprising Monument (Pomnik Powstania Warszawskiego) as a reminder of war terror.
I came back to Warsaw in 2006 to visit Tine who now lives in Brussels. Back then she did a year of studying abroad in Warsaw and we did only a little bit more of sightseeing. Her university was housed in the Palace of Culture and Science. A huge building that from its design already screams that it was a “gift of the Soviet people to the Polish nation” and built between 1952 and 1955. It is massive and in its way really impressive sitting just in the city overtowering everything around. You can visit one of its topfloors for a look around. I’m not sure why we didn’t do that but it could be that it was closed for some kind of repairs back then.
The next day we enjoyed a trip to the Łazienki Królewskie Park-Palace Complex seeing not only the beautiful gardens but also the building and monuments in this park. As it was and sunny day in spring lots of people did the same.
And I guess now would be the time before prices are getting even higher. The city (or maybe the country in general) that in 2000 was still, as many Eastern European destinations, a bargain is now nearly at a similar price level as Germany or at least not a bargain any more.