How to find the best Warsaw Guide?
If you are planning to travel to Warsaw, you will surely start with searching for knowledge about the capital of Poland and the country you are going to. Or at least you should, as knowing in which hotel you may stay and which restaurant you may eat in is a knowledge which will come in handy, but won’t give you enough information to fully enjoy your trip. Visiting a given place, no matter if you are planning to go there for a business trip, an expo or as a tourist does not only mean getting from point A to point B – as the old saying goes, “it’s the journey that counts”.
In this case, getting to a place you’re visiting for a certain reason should be connected with experiencing it as completely as possible – instead of staying in the hotel or an apartment thry to live and breathe the city you’re in, so you will make some memories you will remember, instead of making the whole travel just another business trip.
That is why finding a perfect guide to any city, not only Warsaw,, is so crucial. A good guide should have all of the necessary ingredients of an extensive travel info, but simultaneously should serve as an entrance to the culture and the atmosphere you’re going to experience. Instead of telling you “this restaurant has the best pierogi in town”, it should tell you why they are the best, what the citizens think of them and what exactly pierogi are! Without getting an insight into the culture of the place you’re visiting you cannot fully understand the environment you are in right now, so look for something that can explain it to you. Not only it will make your trip better, but you’ll be smarter thanks to the many new interesting facts you have learned.
For example – if you are going to Warsaw, no matter if it’s just a shirt stop or an extended stay, it is crucial to understand why the city looks the way it looks, what does the “Phoenix” nickname means and why there is so much hate and love for the city, both from its citizens and from other places in Poland. A good Warsaw guide will explain how the city was established and the most interesting facts from its history, but the perfect Warsaw guide will also tell you why the history turned out the way it did. It makes for a very interesting read, as the history of the capital of Poland is troubled, engaging and unique.
Cultural background of the place you’re visiting should always be explored before you get there. It’s best to start with the area around the hotel or apartment you’re going to stay in – each corner and alleyway in Warsaw has its own interesting story to tell and every nook and cranny is worth looking at. You may find a little bit forgotten St. Mary’s chapel inside one of the tenement houses. You can look at still not covered bullet holes – one of the last witnesses of the horrible events that took place here during the Second World War. You may find the remains of an old synagogue turned into a marketplace. You can learn a lot just from listening to the locals who will tell you stories about what was like to live under the communist regime – you may hear both funny and horrifying tales all at once. You also can also gain knowledge about the prosperity of the city during the middle ages and the renaissance. And, of course, taste the Polish Cuisine, regarded as one of the best in the world (especially if getting the most out of your meal for a fair price is your thing).
A perfect warsaw guide is like your own local inhabitant who will tell you everything, from the places he or she likes to the history of the family from the present day to the early middle ages. But it will make it an interesting tale that will read like the best novel, with heroes, villains, damsels in distress. Only dragons will not be there (you should visit Cracow for that).
All right, you know the general characteristics of a perfect Warsaw guide. But how can you find it? Well, the first thing (rightfully so) that comes to mind is the internet of course. But simply typing in “Warsaw Guide” and counting on finding a perfect guide from the get go may prove to be impossible. So, how to find it? First of all, a so called “first hand opinion” is always handy – due to the fact that Poland is a popular travel destination since it joined the European Union and thanks to the numerous work immigrants that prove their worth all around Europe, you will find someone from Poland nearby. Don’t hesitate to ask them if they know a good English guide which captures the unique atmosphere of their country and Warsaw. Don’t be afraid – Poles are very friendly people who love to talk about their homeland. They always try to answer all the questions a foreigner may have to present the country the best they can, so if you wish to know more about the place you’re going to, asking the national is the best bet. In addition, if you find some interesting info, you can easily verify it that way.
Word-of-mouth is also a great advisor when it comes to travel and tourism. Visit a reputable internet forum (like the official forums for Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet) and ask any question you may have, about the area you are going to and the place you’ll be staying in. You will get opinions both from other foreigners and from the locals and they always offer a distinctive insight that will help you immensely in your upcoming travels without a doubt.
And the final word of advice – there really is no one, perfect Warsaw guide. A true traveler combines the knowledge from numerous places to create own guide tailor made for his or her needs. Read everything you can read, ask about everything you can ask, learn everything you are able to learn and complie all this information into one comprehensive document – when you will be creating it, you will preserve it even more in your mind. This way you can be sure to experience all there is to experience in Warsaw. Check the official guides available online or in bookstores – they have all the basic knowledge you should know anyway, so try to note or remember anything that may prove useful – from the names of places that are true “must-see” spots to the information useful for any traveler – currency used, tickets for public transportation and the like. If you add the info you have gathered from the sources mentioned above to this general knowledge, you will have a pretty good chance to create a perfect Warsaw guide.