Why is Warsaw so chaotic? Discover the hidden strategy!

Mysterious reasons for the existence of gated communities, giant shopping centers, a huge square in the middle of the city center and more.

Find out why only Warsaw can survive the attack of ALIENS.

I promise this video will change your perception of Poland’s capital.


Osiedlowy fryzjer

Nie chcąc odstawać od najnowszych trendów i mód w dziedzinie stylizacji włosów postanowiłem w końcu zajrzeć do fryzjera i skrócić swoje przydługie loki. Przyznam, że w tej sprawie zadziałałem pod wpływem impulsu, a konkretnie treściwego, różowego napisu, który zobaczyłem spacerując po Muranowie: „Fryzjer Damski Męski”. Zaledwie trzy słowa, a ile w nich treści!

Od osiedlowy fryzjer

– Czy zdąży mnie Pani jeszcze ostrzyc? – zapytałem po wejściu do gabinetu. Godzina była co prawda młoda (17:45), ale za to zapięta pod szyję kurtka pani Grażynki sugerowała, że jej dzień pracy już się skończył. Po chwili zastanowienia zgodziła się jednak, czując się pewnie w obowiązku do wypełnienia obietnicy wywieszonej na tabliczce drzwi: „Fryzjer otwarty w godzinach 10-18”.

Zostałem posadzony na niskim fotelu, a pani Grażynka przystąpiła do pracy. Było chłodne październikowe popołudnie, ale atmosfera osiedlowego fryzjera pozwalała o tym zapomnieć. Ze ścian spoglądały twarze słonecznie uśmiechniętych modeli, których falujące fryzury przywoływały lata 90-te. Moją kontemplację żelowych fryzur z portretów przerwał płynący z radia głos Maryli Rodowicz, który tak kwitował to spotkanie na Muranowie:

Są dwa światy i nas jest dwoje, do swych miejsc przypiętych jak rzepy,

Rzepy! Cóż za trafna metafora naszej sytuacji Pani Grażynko!

Ty masz pewnie więcej spokoju, ja mam dzieci.

Z  tym pierwszym pudło, ale fakt – dzieci nie mam.

Są dwa światy i jedno słońce, które u nas słabiej coś grzeje,

Piękne słowa! No i zimno się zrobiło ostatnio.

Ty masz pewnie duże pieniądze, ja nadzieję, ja nadzieję.

Całe dwie dychy mam czyli cennikowe „strzyżenie męskie”, ale pewnie jeszcze tu wrócę…

Od osiedlowy fryzjer

Tips for guides (and visitors)

This blog was though as a medium of communication between city guides and travelers on the one hand, and guides and citizens of the city on the other. We want to show tourists a local perspective, but also present a new point of view to the locals, so they can become explorers in their own city.

Anyway, I though it’s a good idea to make a list of things we learn while guiding tours in Warsaw. These tips can be useful both for tourists as for locals who want to take a longer walk in their city.

These are my tips for today:

Stuff you have to take

1. Comfortable shoes that will keep your feet dry.

Seems obvious, but many people assume that since they aren’t going hiking they can wear shoes on heels, fancy sandals, or their old pair of sneakers. While wearing these for a trip in the mountains can be dangerous in the city it might be a bit unpleasant. Your best of with some walking shoes with a thick sole – you will be walking a lot!

2. Umbrella

Fall is often called the golden season in Poland, but I prefer to call it the wet season.

3. A map

I try to always carry one of those free maps with me, because the city can be sneaky 😉 Last time I was guiding a tour I forgot it and although I knew the way I was stressed all the time that I can’t check it to be 100% sure.

4. Hot tea!

It’s the best way to become the most popular person in the group. Take a thermos of tea with honey with you, or vodka, if you want to do it “the polish way”. It’s also a good idea to buy hot beverages in paper cups and take them with you instead of staying in warm cafes to dink them.  I know it feels sooo good when the weather is gloomy, but you will be immediately cold when you go outside.

5. Food!

If you have a nice big breakfast in your hostel or at your hosts’ flat you tend to think you will never get hungry again (or is that just me?) But believe me, if you will be walking around the city all they long you will get hungry sooner than you think. In the places popular with tourists bars are expensive and grocery stores may be hard to find. So: take a sandwich, and if you really need a store, ask a student, they always know where to find cheep food:)

What is your advice for travelers exploring cities?

What are your tips for field-trips in the city? 

What to do on a rainy day – top 5 activities

So today I was guiding a tour of Polish tourists from another town. As we were climbing the stairway to the roof of the University Library to see the gardens it started raining. Fortunately it stopped quiet quickly but it got me thinking: what are the best activities in rainy Warsaw.

I would recommend one of these:

1. Go to a museum There are three new, modern and really spectacular museums in Warsaw: Centrum Kopernik (museum of science where you can experiment yourself, check out their site, it is as modern as the place itself), Chopin Museum (where you can listen to his music in special cabins, smell his favorite smell of violets, learn about the women of his life and visit a splendid palace-castle while you are there) and The Museum of the Warsaw Uprising (postindustrial space with a modern exposition that brings the viewer back in time, you can also see a 3D reconstruction of pre-war Warsaw). Seems like an obvious choice? Well, I guess it is. Whenever a drop of rain falls in Warsaw, a queue starts forming in front of all of these museums.

2. Go to a different museum – how about Dom Spotkań z Historią (History Meeting House located on the Royal Rout, close to the University, where you can see free interactive expositions about the history of the City? There is also a great cafe and a bookstore). If you like at least 3 of these things: castles, old paintings, marble, teapots, Turkish carpets, jewelry, old coins and medals, velvet, waxed wood you will enjoy the Royal Castle. If you like modern art you will definitely like Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej (Center for Contemporary Art) also placed in a formal royal residence with a park and a wonderful view over the garden, or Zachęta (in the city center). They both have good temporary expositions. There is also the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is waiting for a new building close to the Palace of Culture.

3. Don’t go to a museum Hang out in bars. I think the best place to do this are the pavilions on the back of Nowy Swiat. Close to the palm tree, first gate to the right. Smoke a shisha, drink a beer, have some vodka (not at the same time, please! that would be a drink called UBoot), eat some sushi or a falafel, drink a beer and so on and so on… 🙂 Here’s a map

4. Go shopping Most people go to Zlote Tarasy, the shopping center close to the main train station (Warszawa Centralna). I don’t like being indoors all the time, so I would prefer the shops along Marszałkowska street (H&M, C&A, Pull&Bear and so on). You can go from one to another without getting wet thanks to a roof hanging over the street. In Wars&Sawa shopping center there is also a cafe with a great view on the Palace of Culture.

5. Get wet! Go to the pool. I really recommend Warszawianka Wodny Park (Aqua park which is a bit costly but well worth the money. There is an olimplic swimming pool, recreational pool with slides, a false river, a waterfall, Russian banyas a cold chamber with snow and a spa center.

Anyway, I hope there will be only sunny days, and you won’t need this list.

What would you put on your list of best activities for rainy days?

My gift for you: free city guide (in polish – ouch!)

Click here to download the issue

Once upon a time me and some fellow philosophy studens edited  a magazine called “Traktor Królewski”. It was a lot of fun creating it and (I hope) the readers  enjoyed it. Now, “TK” is no more, but it would be a pity for it to be lost forever.

This is why I wanted to share my favorite issue (OK, I’m being immodest, as I was editor in chief).

It is a guide to the city seen by the students, and it includes a lot of unknown, strange and sometimes creepy spots. The topics include: Warsaw FAQ,  a guided tour of the cities second-hands, an overview of the industrial district (Ursus), manual on how to enter a pub only for Russian diplomats, an interview with the creator of Warsaw studies, the mysterious night walkers, reviews of the best milk bars and much more.

The only problem is that it’s in Polish. But hay, it’s a beautiful and easy language 😉


Download it! 

Revenge of cyclists

This is a film that recently became very popular on the web. Although in the end it turns out its a ad for a clothing company it is mostly controversial because of the violent anti-pedestrian message. For me it was quite funny, because I cycle a lot in the city and I often have to deal with rude drivers and pedestrians. Often they just don’t get that it is a normal means of transport for some people (“go ride in the countryside!”, “get a car if you want to drive in the street”).
Recently I was crossing a park on my bike and a dog bit my leg. I complained to the owner, and she said: “it’s because you damn cyclists go everywhere with your bikes!”

Now that’s what I call a violent message!