The capital of Poland and the largest city in that country is Warsaw in the east-central area of the country and it is on the river Vistula, mainly on its western side.
Warsaw basic data
From the information I find on Wikipedia, it appears that Warsaw’s first fortified settlements appeared in 12th and 13th century. It became important in the late 16th century when royal court was moved from Kraków to Warsaw by Sigismund III.
It was the capital of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until the end of 18th century. The most important parts of the city are on the west side of the river, you will see this in detail also in the interactive map below.
Note that this Polish capital should not be mixed with yet another city with exactly the same name in Indiana, USA. The Polish Warsaw original name is Warszawa and they pronounce it as Varshava.
When I was there, we had a guided tour of the city. The guide, a woman with obvious extremely strong anti-Soviet feelings, was telling us that the imposing building, which you see in the middle of the top picture above, was hated by everybody. The reason is that this was a gift by Soviet Union.
The buildings of the same shape can be found in several cities in the former Soviet Union area. Frankly speaking, in my view, the building is in fact very impressive and it stands out in the surrounding which is without eye-catching objects. See how this looks in a picture that I took in a late afternoon:
There is a small historic area close to the royal palace, and if you are there you can see the house where an extraordinary woman was born. Have you ever heard of the two-time Nobelist Marie Skłodowska-Curie? Yes, that is right, that women was from Warsaw. This is the table on the wall of her house:
The historic area is small apparently because the city was heavily bombed and destroyed during World War II.
How far is Warsaw airport from city center?
If you decide to visit Warsaw, most likely you will land on their Chopin international airport. Why this name, Chopin? Well, the famous composer was born near Warsaw and he grew up in that city, that is why. The picture below shows the house where he lived. They are proud of this fact, and with all good reasons.
The airport is very close to the city, around 7-8 km or so, and you have plenty of options to use public transportation, no need to take a taxi at all.
Below you have an interactive Google map of Warsaw, so you can zoom in to see every street and also zoom out to see the larger area:
Is it safe to visit Warsaw?
I am absolutely sure it is, from what I know, in general, the overall risk is low and this is a city without violent crimes. But this is not surprising, the picture below shows what may happen if people misbehave.
I am joking of course, this is a scene from the old town area. The brave person in the center volunteered for this scene, this was one of my colleagues from the conference.
On a personal note, I have been in the city twice, and on some occasions I was not able to find the way, and I was helped with very friendly people. So here I want to say thank you.
Is Warsaw a pretty city? Is it worth visiting?
When I was there, I did not find it very pretty so be honest. But this city is changing fast, and you will realize this from the video below.
I was there twice in relatively short intervals, one week only each time, so it is best to hear from somebody who is from there, and you will know if it is worth visiting or not. I am happy to show you this video of an extraordinary girl who is from Warsaw, she is a famous YouTuber. So have a look and see what she says about the capital of Poland, Warsaw:
How many days in Warsaw is enough?
As mentioned, the old town area is small and you can see it all in a day or two. But you might want to have a guided tour of the royal palace, visit various museums, and listen to classical music at various places. So add a few days more.
You can make a few hours tour to the nearby places around the city and taste some of Polish traditional meals. The picture below is from such a place close to the town:
How cold does it get in Warsaw? Does it snow in Warsaw?
In winter months the average temperature is below zero degrees Celsius. So indeed, this is a cold city in winter.
You can have snow in a period of up to four months, from somewhere in November to early March. Most snow you can expect in February, but I think this is typical for the East Europe in general.
So this was my short rapport about Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Thank you for reading. Let me know if you have questions or comments, there is a comment box below.