I spent a January weekend in Warsaw, dancing at the Zouk Libre Festival. Though it was a short visit, I still had some time to enjoy the winter Warsaw!
Almost in the smack middle of Poland is this cute capital city. Warsaw is a buzzing business and student city, and can just imagine the hoards of tourist floating around the medieval quarters during the summer. Perhaps it was lucky of me to be there on a nice & quiet winter weekend.
One thing is quite evident is that the people in Poland must love Christmas. Or decorations. Because still in the middle of January the city was full of holiday light fixtures and ornaments. I think you may see Warsaw up from space from all the lights they've used to illuminate the old town! It was quite cute though, and I guess it helps you not notice how cold and dark it is this time of the year.
The old town is compact, with lots of tourist shops, bars and restaurants. There's also an ice rink if you want to go skating! The main streets down from the old town (Krakowskie Przedmieście) is full of even more shops, cafés, restaurants... I felt very safe walking everywhere, even late in the night. People are nice - they just don't speak a lot of English.
Another thing I would say about Warsaw is that it's cheap. Ridiculously cheap. As a Northern European, I'm used to the fact that it's cheaper everywhere I travel - but Poland really is one of the least expensive places I've been to. Well, in Europe at least! So here is where you can easily splurge on a nice hotel room, right in the center of Warsaw, enjoy delicious meals and go shopping. And still come home with extra zlotys to spare.