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Contiki Russia Plus: Days 14 & 15 – Warsaw, Poland

We arrived at the final stop of our whirlwind tour of Scandinavia, Russia & Eastern Europe late in the evening, so we decided to take it easy and relax at our hotel.  The following morning, we had a city tour with our local guide.  I had already been to Warsaw before (on my first Contiki), so I had already seen most of the sights, but it was great to have a basic understanding of the city so I could pick up on more intricate details!

Our first stop was Lazienki Park, home of the Chopin Monument.  The previous time I was in Warsaw, I was impressed by the beauty of the monument.  I still can’t put my finger on what specifically impresses me so much about it, but the entire atmosphere is unique!

The park even has benches that play some of Chopin’s famous masterpieces! After the park, we drove through Warsaw while our tour guide pointed out a few sights along the way.

This is the Warsaw Uprising Monument which honors the fight for Polish independence from the Germans during World War II

This is the Monument to the Fallen and Murdered in the East which honors those lost in struggles with the Soviet Union.

Our bus then dropped us off in the Old Town of Warsaw. This is one of my favorite parts of Warsaw – the combination of cobblestone streets and colorful facades is unrivaled.  I remember being fascinated by the Old Town, specifically the Market Square when I first traveled to Warsaw 4 years ago, but the weather was even better this time which made for an even better experience!

After the Old Town, our tour ended and we all went our separate ways to grab lunch.  Our Trip Manager suggested an amazing pierogi restaurant, Zapiecek, which had very good sangria (surprisingly, the two paired extremely well together).  As advertised, the pierogis were the best ones I’ve ever had in my life!

After our lunch, my friend and I explored the Old Town a bit.  I remembered a few off the beaten path streets that I discovered the last time I was in Warsaw, so we went to find them and took some pretty cool photos!

We then decided to stop at a restaurant and grab a drink and a French person invited us to join him.  We spoke about a variety of things including the recent terrorist attack in Nice, but it was yet another example of how traveling is as much social as it is about seeing sights!

After our conversation, we decided to climb up Saint Anne’s Bell Tower which advertised a spectacular view of the city.  It did not disappoint!

We then met back up with our group for a Chopin piano recital.  I’m not a huge fan of classical music, but it felt apropos to go to a Chopin recital in Warsaw.  I even recognized one or two of the songs!

After the recital, we went to our farewell dinner with the group.

After dinner, we ran back to our hotel to change before going out for one final evening on the town!  I didn’t stay out that late because I had a very early flight the following morning to Copenhagen.

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