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A fascinating and welcoming city
Warsaw is the captivating, friendly capital city of Poland, with much to interest the visitor. The city is set on the Vistula River, has an extraordinary history and an enchanting old town.
Best time to visit, festivals and travel tips
Warsaw is at its finest between May and October, though summers can be very hot. Winter visitors should be prepared for cold weather. The midsummer festival, known in Polish as "Noc Swietojanska", is an annual highlight with street parties and fireworks. The Polish composer Chopin is celebrated with free concerts in Lazienki Park from May until October, Beethoven's work features in a festival just before Easter, and Mozart at free concerts in June. Autumn visitors have much to enjoy with a music festival in September, while films and jazz feature in well-established festivals in October.
What you need to know about Warsaw
There's no shortage of fine vodka in Poland, and no shortage of people drinking it, but do be aware that drinking in public is officially prohibited. The local currency is the Polish zloty, and you'll find that the cost of living in Warsaw is much cheaper than at home. Restaurant meals cost around 40PLN, with beers at about 8PLN, soft drinks 4PLN, while a cheap meal can cost as little as 10PLN.
Getting around Warsaw and finding a room
Transport from Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport is plentiful, with buses (175 or 188, or the N32 night bus) costing less than ca. 5PLN and taking between 30 and 45 min to reach the city centre. You can also use the SKM suburban train (line S2 or S3) or the KML airport train, both of which cost about 4.50PLN and take less than 25 minutes to central Warsaw. Taxis are plentiful, cost about 40PLN and also take around 25 minutes to the city centre.
The cheapest accommodation is in hostels, from about 35PLN per person per night. A three star hotel will cost you from 250PLN. One tip during university holidays is to book student accommodation at around 45PLN per night.
Historic Warsaw is easy to walk around, but you'll also find an excellent public transport network when you need to travel further afield, with day travel cards valid on buses, trams and the metro system costing from 15PLN, with weekend passes at about 24PLN.