The city of Warsaw deserves a far better press. It is overshadowed as a tourist destination by smaller Polish cities such as Kraków and Gdansk. Yet, for a first taste of Poland, Warsaw is hard to beat. There is a beautifully restored old town, and a lively bar and café scene, much of the latter well removed from the tourist haunts of the old town. Stroll down Poznanska to the newly restored Koszyki market hall (reopened in October 2016) for to see how young Poles enjoy cosmopolitan style. The city has some first-class parks and gardens. Warsaw has a rich Jewish history, superbly showcased in the new POLIN Museum on the history of Poland's Jews, and a rich thread of contemporary Jewish life which spills out from synagogues into bars with klezmer music and cafés with Jewish food (most of it not kosher!).
Warsaw is the hub of Poland’s comprehensive rail network, with routes fanning out from Warsaw in all directions. Daytime international trains run direct to Prague, Vienna, Grodno (Belarus), Berlin and many other cities. A new direct daytime link to Lithuania may be introduced in early 2017.
The city benefits from an excellent range of overnight services (all with comfortable sleeping cars) with direct trains leaving most evenings for Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Kiev, Lviv, Minsk and Moscow. There is also a direct train at least once weekly to Paris, taking 20 hours for the journey to the French capital. Other cities served weekly include Milan, Verona, Genoa, Nice and Monaco.
For those who prefer to travel by day, Berlin is the obvious stepping stone to Warsaw for travellers from western Europe. The Berlin-Warszawa-Express (BWE) links the two cities 4 times each day, taking 5 hrs 30 mins for the journey of just under 600 km. All international train services serve Warsaw’s two main stations: Wschodnia and Centralna. The latter is much the more convenient for the city centre. Many trains also serve Zachodnia in the western suburbs of the city. Warsaw has a dense web of suburban rail services, complemented in the city centre by trams, buses and the useful M1 north-south metro line. The first portion of a new east-west M2 metro route opened in 2015.
Travel to Warsaw by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe
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