24 hours in Warsaw
Written by Roberto Galea Illustration by Patrick Hruby
Many have joked that Warsaw in winter is like a black and white movie, with several shades of grey! But spend just a few hours in the Polish capital, and you will discover that what it lacks in colour, it makes up for in its vibrant and lively nature.
In Warsaw, there is an adventure lurking behind every corner, and no two streets are the same. Pre-war architecture stands beside contemporary buildings, melding together, creating a new synergy. According to an old folk tale, the city’s name comes from Wars, a fisherman, who eventually fell in love with a mermaid, Sawa. Up to this day a mermaid is depicted on the city’s coat of arms. It can be seen on taxis, and there's also an impressive mermaid sculpture in the Old Town square.
The city’s sole underground train line travels from north to south following the river. It is cheap, reliable, and comfortable, with climate-controlled cars.
The vast network of trams criss-crosses the city. It is a simple way of getting around, especially during the crowded rush hour.
As with trams, buses are the top choice for the locals. In winter however, be warned; they are usually stuffy and crammed with people.
This is by far the most convenient way of travelling around the city. Taxis are relatively low-cost in Warsaw, with the average rate at around z.2 (US$0.63) per km.