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Whats your favourite Polish city and why?


Ahusain 3 | 12
29 Jul 2013 #91
Just spent the wknd there...ye, agreed^_^

Am in Katowice currently. Aside from being, er, a (construction) work in progress shall we say, it's begun to grow on me in the less than 3 wks I've been here. Kato isn't exactly a contender for most picturesque city in Poland but u can't fault it for its travel connections or for stuff to do...
Marius 1 | 33
29 Jul 2013 #92
My pick:

1. Warsaw.
2. Gdansk (Trojmiasto)
3. Wroclaw.

I liked also Lublin, Sandomierz and Zamosc, really pretty city centres, but too small for me to consider as favorite city.

Lwow is also beautiful by the way, but it lacks water access (river/sea). A really nice city should have this.

Haven't visited Poznan, Bydgoszcz, Bialystok, Szczecin, Lodz, Torun yet, though :)
Czekoladowic - | 1
30 Jul 2013 #93
1. Warsaw
2. Warszawa
3. Varsorvie

I am a capital city person :) born in one and will prolly die in one maybe its coz my dad made me and my sisters spend all our holidays everywhere else but in the city or during my 8year stay in Poland 7were spent in Warsaw. I love traveling and I have been to most cities/villages in Poland but I am always relieved when I see the Warsaw city lights after a trip outside Warsaw :)
Chemikiem
25 Aug 2015 #94
Warsaw. I'm liking it much more than I thought I would :)
Wroclaw a close second.
Harry
25 Aug 2015 #95
Warsaw. I'm liking it much more than I thought I would :)

Where have you been so far?

Wroclaw a close second.

I was there a couple of weeks ago and loved it.
Chemikiem
25 Aug 2015 #96
Warsaw Uprising Museum ( absolutely fab ), Laźienki Park ( there was a nice concert there on Sunday afternoon ),Stare Miasto and all the sights, royal route, castle etc. Went to Praga this morning, stopped off on the way back to see Copernicus Science museum but it was so busy they had stopped selling tickets :(. Going to new Jewish museum POLAN tomorrow and Nowe Miasto. Also had a quick trip to the top of Palace of Science and Culture for the view and a coffee. Might go to Wilanów Palace tomorrow depending on time.

Warsaw has surprised me, I really wasn't expecting to like it as much as I do!

Ooh! Nearly forgot! Was on my way back from £aźienki Park when i found ( and photographed ) the new resting place for the rainbow! Looked very nice in it's new home too!
Harry
25 Aug 2015 #97
Might go to Wilanów Palace tomorrow depending on time.

I'm not sure it's worth the trip really (takes a while to get there). There are certainly bits of Warsaw I like more.
Chemikiem
25 Aug 2015 #98
It doesn't look to be that close on the map I have to be honest, so I'll see.
I've probably seen most of what there is to see, I'm ticking things off on the map as I go along. I've done a hell of a lot of walking. Gave in and got the metro to Praga this morning.
Harry
25 Aug 2015 #99
It doesn't look to be that close on the map I have to be honest, so I'll see.

Jakdojade.pl says it's 36 minutes from Metro Centrum if you go to Metro Wilanowska and then get bus 139 (and don't go during rush hour).
Chemikiem
26 Aug 2015 #100
OK, thanks very much for that Harry.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Aug 2015 #101
Jakdojade.pl says it's 36 minutes from Metro Centrum if you go to Metro Wilanowska and then get bus 139 (and don't go during rush hour).

Depends on your budget, but from Rondo De Gaulle'a it should be less than 30zl in a taxi.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,688
26 Aug 2015 #102
While in Warsaw you may perhaps consider visiting the "Pompeii. Life in the shadow of a vulcano" hi-tech exibition by Samsung on the National Stadium which came directly from Naples in Italy and they say it is magnificent. But the exibition was shown in the British Museum in London in 2013 where it was nominated the "cultural event of the year", so you may have seen it already.

In Wilanów Palace there is this collection of "coffin portaits", a distinctively Polish phenomenon which did not occur elswhere in Europe, they say. It is part of their general painting collection.

I received two couples of British people over the recent years showing them Warsaw and every time I was surprised at the things they liked best. These were rather short, 2 to 3 day visits, so they could see much less than you. One of the couple was fascinated by the walk over the roof of the new building of the University Library. The other were spending hours at the exibition in the same University Library entitled "London - the capital of Poland" or something like that, devoted to Polish political and cultural life in London during the Second World War, but I think they had close friends down there in the UK who were war-time exiles from Poland. The lady of that couple was a chemistry teacher and was particulary interested in seeing the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum. This museum is in the New Town of Warsaw, in the building where the then Maria Skłodowska was born in 1867 and used to live there with her parents until she left Poland for Paris in 1891. My friend pointed my attention to the fact who is on the photos showing the scientists of the time: "Look, these are all men and the only woman among them is Marie Curie!". (Something like the pictures from the European summits in the 1980s where the only woman on them was Mrs Margret Thatcher and which some newspapers were calling a "group photograph with a lady".) The lady of the other couple observed that the portraits of Polish gentry in Wilanów Palace were quite different than the ones showing British gentry of the time (posing, smiles, dress) she saw in the UK.

As for Wrocław, I would be glad to hear your opinion some other time.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
26 Aug 2015 #103
Nowhere. Polish cities suck. It's going to take a generation or two to clean up the neglect. And don't get us started on the graffiti :(
Ziemowit 12 | 3,688
26 Aug 2015 #104
We know you are an attention-seeker and you are seeking attention in this little thread, Dougpol. You'd better go and walk your dog!
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Aug 2015 #105
Sort of true, Dougpol. Some people don't care too much about how things look and one of the downsides of capitalism is the proliferation of foul billboards and garish plastic roofs and window frames.

I'd add though that in Venice it's taken centuries to turn neglect into faded elegance. Some of the old bits of Praga (round ulica Mała etc) have a kind of beauty. The residents may of course disagree.

Białystok is one of my favourite cities, and I've also a soft spot for Siedlce. Not beautiful, nothing exotic, not full of ancient buildings, but just nice. Szydłow has something special too.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
26 Aug 2015 #106
Some people don't care too much about how things look

I was referring to the vast problem of industrial grime. And how to remove it.
On government buildings that were built of brick or stone, this is not a problem, and the taxpayer is held to account. But the mass of tenements and commercial facades dating from the 1800s is another matter. Most are rendered, and cleaning would likely rip that off. So it's a slow process unfortunately.

As for bombed out cities like Gdansk, and communist neglected cities such as the Silesian conurbation, that is going to take the couple of generations i was referring to, to deal with.

Other places such as Wroclaw and Krakow are alright on the surface, until you walk behind the facades and see the true extent of the problem. The burning of coal domestically, decaying infrastructure, vast tracts of property no longer fit for purpose, subsidence, high maintenance costs, ridiculous "preservation orders" on slums barely 100 years old so the tenants have no rights....

Disgusting city centre developments that are completely lacking in aesthetics - having learnt nothing from the disasters of inner city redevelopment mistakes in Britain (The 1968 Nottingham Victoria Centre - the UK's first inner city shopping mall)

The list of problems goes on and on. And central government does not have the budget to attack the problem in a thorough way, demolishing and restructuring inner cities, such as Britain did in the 1960s (criminally demolishing much of our Victorian architecture in the process) Very little of partitioned Poland's buildings were of the same architectural importance as the above however.

Let us not say the Polish cities are by definition all ugly per se - amazing chances have taken place. Mostly due to EU funding of course and private commerce (cue the nationalist contingent on this board....)

In conclusion, Poland's cities, if you get out of your Audi, and walk around and investigate, are *********.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Aug 2015 #107
£ódż just wouldn't be the same without the industrial grime that gives it an air of faded elegance.

I agree hugely about development mistakes. So many are car orientated and not people friendly. In Poland there was never very much Victorian architecture to destroy, however some first class 1950s and 1960s buildings are being despoiled or destroyed for the sake of cheap tatty newness. 1960s marble interiors plastered over and painted orange or covered in Formica. Same with exteriors.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
26 Aug 2015 #108
"Chances" was a Freudian slip. With the past lack of regulation on the garish design of buildings, I think it is the correct term, as far as developers taking the chance to build some nonsense that should never have been approved.

There is a proposed project to develop Gdansk's "Grain Island" that Scottie will be aware of. I will post an artists' impression when I find a link. I will leave the board to decide on it's merits.....
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Aug 2015 #109
One problem is that people don't seem to like the idea of living in converted industrial buildings as much as they do in the UK or US. People in Poland want bling and shiny new buildings.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
26 Aug 2015 #110
£ódż just wouldn't be the same without the industrial grime that gives it an air of faded elegance.

Now now Jon. Behave :) You know what we're talking about:) Every British city centre has been de-grimed. And the Victorian buildings returned to how they were designed to appear.

Nottingham city centre is a great example. The British Lodz.

People in Poland want bling and shiny new buildings.

Exactly! And the OP asked about the wonder of great Polish cities, and I am saying there aren't any.

Oxford for example ****** all over Krakow.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Aug 2015 #111
With Lodz, (and a lot of other Polish cities, towns, villages) just. Few pots of paint would make the difference. This cultural thing about not keeping up to the exterior of your home (are you listening, Pol3?) unless you do a totalny remont is responsible for a lot of the problems with cities' appearances.

Somebody please tell them that an external paint job every 5 or 10 years is normal and that there are other colours than grey.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
26 Aug 2015 #112
This cultural thing about not keeping up to the exterior of your home

In a respectable society the council would send a compliance letter to the householder, and if he does not maintain his property within a certain time-frame, council workmen come and do it for him, and the bill is ALWAYS higher than if the owner had met the demand.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Aug 2015 #113
Exactly. The neighbours would basically be going ballistic and writing to the council. In buildings with some shared area in Poland, all the old biddies do their very best not to maintain it, since their flats are nearly always bequeathed to a relative who would use it rather than sell and in any case, they don't like shelling out £20 each towards paint.

They rarely object to festooning very old buildings of architectural and historical importance with satellite dishes - this has blighted parts of the old town in Poznan.

In some smaller Polish cities, they also have buildings insulated (with of course subsidies) and part of the deal is painting them. The paint colours (often two-tone) are chosen by old glimmers with cataracts. Some of the early 60s estates are like that, and the building colours are chosen by the residents of each block rather than the estate as a whole. Sometimes this makes a sort of unity by inclusion, otherwise it just clashes.

Parts of Warsaw have been affected by this.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
26 Aug 2015 #114
We are just two oldish blokes ******** about the state of Polish cities. The OP said that Wroclaw specifically was great. That's fair enough. But for the purist, Polish cities are best visited through an alcoholic haze.

German cities - then you're talking architecture and beauty. Polish cities, nope.

And of course - it doesn't need spelling out.... anything of beauty in present day Poland was built by Germans.
jon357 63 | 14,255
26 Aug 2015 #115
Yes, the alcoholic haze helps. I do like Bialystok, especially in the summer. Zamosc is good too, but only the middle bit.

Kazimierz Dolny is massively overrated. Nothing special at all, sub-Hebden Bridge.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,800
26 Aug 2015 #116
In a respectable society the council would send a compliance letter to the householder, and if he does not maintain his property within a certain time-frame, council workmen come and do it for him, and the bill is ALWAYS higher than if the owner had met the demand.

That's exactly how it should work here.

To be fair, the problem in Poznań now is not with privately owned buildings, but rather city-owned ones. The city itself has made it clear that they would like to sell them, but no-one is going to buy a building filled with alcoholics that **** on the stairwells.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Aug 2015 #117
I do like Bialystok, especially in the summer.

So do I. The Rynek is completely closed to traffic now, and there are pavement cafes on three sides of the square. Winter is another thing altogether, but the regular, peaceful free concerts and good food make summer very pleasant in B.Stok.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,409
26 Aug 2015 #118
summer very pleasant in B.Stok.

+1. B Stok is very nice. It has the only remaining and original Hortex cafe/milk bar Great stuff too :)
I think the OP was talking about the BIG cities, and I was purposely dissing them. They have the giant budgets, and are running out of excuses.
Chemikiem
27 Aug 2015 #119
Didn't get around to going to Wilanów in the end, more than likely i will come back to Warsaw and fit it in then.

To anyone thinking of a trip to Warsaw, I can thoroughly recommend it, loads to see and do! I've been here since Saturday and although i got to see most of the sights, there's still a few things I didn't get time to see.

@ Jon, if I come back i think a taxi to Wilanów would be easier. 30 PLN isn't that expensive and saves time messing around with catching buses.

Sadly, I am leaving today, but i've had a great time :-)
Roger5 1 | 1,458
27 Aug 2015 #120
Warsaw Uprising Museum, Laźienki Park,Stare Miasto and all the sights, royal route, castle, Praga, Copernicus Science museum, Jewish museum POLAN tomorrow, Nowe Miasto, Palace of Science and Culture

No Białystok, Star of the East? Next time you're here contact me if you'd like a guided tour around Białowieża.


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