Warszawa metro second line

Travel tip: Warsaw metro has a new line

At the beginning of March 2015 Warsaw got its long-awaited second metro line.

The east-west route’s central stretch is 6 kilometres long and forms the core of the line which will ultimately consist of  up to 27 stations. The remaining stations are planned for 2020.

There’s also another branch of the same line, the so called south-eastern branch, which will split the line in more or less the same way London’s Northern line is split into separate branches.

The new line has connected the gigantic National Stadium to the centre of the Polish capital, providing easy access to the venue from the left bank of the Vistula River.

So if you’re planning a trip to Warsaw, make sure to visit some of the new stations if only to admire their design, which can only be described as clean, simple, but also quite spectacular.

Here’s a picture of the (then still unfinished) Nowy Świat station, taken last year:

And here is Świętokrzyska Station last week, days after the new line became operational:

But probably the most spectacular escalator can be found at the new Centrum Nauki Kopernik Station:

The third line of the Warsaw metro has already been proposed, but so far proved controversial and there’s no specific launch date yet.

Images by Liwnik and Wiesław Ludwiczak, Creative Commons/Flickr.

animated history of Poland

An animated history of Poland

The recent success of Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida at the Oscars made me revisit some of Poland’s great filmmakers again.

And by pure accident I came across this – an 8 minute video, depicting the history of Poland through animation, created by Tomasz Bagiński, a BAFTA-winning Polish illustrator, animator and filmmaker, who was also nominated for an Oscar.

In 2010 Bagiński was commissioned to create a short animated movie for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

In 8 minutes and 30 seconds we experience twelve centuries of Polish history from the early settlements to the most recent events with Poland as part of the European Union.

So if you’ve never studied Polish history, here it is – in an 8-minute, animated nutshell:

 

Polish numbers – polish your Polish, part 19

Numbers are the most basic words you can learn and they prove hugely useful particularly when you travel to Poland.

The following table should help you understand them when you notice them written down:

Polish numerals 0-10

 

And here is how to pronounce them:

What’s important to remember is the fact these are the Polish numerals. Not nouns. In other words, you can use them to say ‘one ticket’ or ‘3 beers’. But in most cases the nouns used to describe the number itself are slightly different.

In the next episode of ‘Polish your Polish’ we’ll cover the basic rule that will allow you to recognise and use the numbers between 11 and 20. Such fun.
More in the “Polish your Polish” series

Ten best museums in Poland

Booking.com describes Krakow's Polish Aviation Museum as "one of the best Aircraft Museums on the planet".
Booking.com describes Krakow’s Polish Aviation Museum as “one of the best Aircraft Museums on this planet”.

Booking.com published a top 10 list of the best Polish museums as voted for by the website’s users.

There are not that many surprises there, the entire list – maybe just with a couple of exceptions – is what you would normally find in each decent guide to Poland.

I’m not exactly sure how the list was compiled (I suspect algorithmically, based on the ratings), but it’s still a great overview of what people visit in Poland – from the well-known places like Auschwitz or Malbork Castle, to less-known gems like Galicia Jewish Museum or Polish Aviation Museum.

Some usual suspects are missing though and some less traditional museums have also been skipped, but that’s why you have me to bring you the rest, no?

Here’s the entire Booking.com Top 10:

1. Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Oswiecim

2. Warsaw Uprising Museum, Warsaw

3. Polish Aviation Museum, Krakow

4. Rynek Underground, Krakow

5. Majdanek National Museum, Lublin

6. Malbork Castle (Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku), Malbork

7. Cracow Saltworks Museum, Wieliczka

8. Galicia Jewish Museum, Krakow

9. Jewish Museum and Synagogue Auschwitz, Oswiecim

10. Museum at Market Square (Muzeum Mista Krakowa), Krakow

Poland is beautiful

This video turned out to be very popular when I posted it on my Facebook page yesterday, so I thought  I’d add it here too for those of you not on Facebook. (But if you ARE on Facebook, have you liked our page?)

This film is almost a by-product of several campaigns done by a Polish ad agency for their clients. They combined the unused footage into a 4-minute video, which so far has attracted over 1.4 million views on You Tube.

The film shows beautifully shot aerial views of many picturesque corners of Poland: from the wide sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea to the greenery of the Polish mountains in the south.

Can you name them? Can you name the cities featured? Go on, impress me… (TIP: The clues are there if you watch to the end…)

Has your perception of Poland changed?

Warsaw by Adam Smok via Flickr, used under the Creative Commons licence
Warsaw by Adam Smok via Flickr, used under the Creative Commons licence

Poland has been a member of the European Union for over ten years now. A lot has changed during the past ten years.

Many more Poles than ever before live and work in the UK and other EU countries. Lots of foreigners from the same EU countries have moved to, and live in Poland too.

Poland’s Donald Tusk is now the president of the European Council, Poland has tragically lost its president and a number of high-profile politicians in the tragic plane crash in 2010.

It’s also successfully co-hosted the European Football Championships in 2012 and has become more prominent on the international scene.

There have been many more good and bad headlines featuring Poland and its citizens in the British – and international – press, the country itself has transformed enormously and it’s attracted a lot of new tourists, investors and, hopefully, fans.

But are you one of them? Has your perception of the country changed over the past decade? I’d be curious to find out, regardless of whether you live in or outside of Poland.

Here’s a very short poll, but if you feel you want to elaborate on this question, please leave a comment below.

Has your perception of Poland changed over the past 10 years?

View Results

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