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Warsaw: the cheapest capital in Europe?


Situated along the Vistula River in East Central Poland, Warsaw is known for its abundance of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque style palaces and churches. In spite of its beauty and historical significance, Warsaw ranked as the third cheapest European destination in 2019 according to Post Office- UK. This is great news for anyone who’s dreamed of a European vacation, but felt it wasn’t in their budget range. Obviously what really matters are the numbers. So just how cheap is it to travel, eat, and play in Warsaw? Keep reading to find out!

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Where to stay in Warsaw

Finding a safe and clean place to stay is probably your main concern. Luckily, Warsaw has numerous well-reputed hostels for as low as $13 a night. This is a great option if you’re backpacking or you enjoy meeting new people. If you need more privacy, there are plenty of budget-friendly hotels for less than $50 a night. That leaves you plenty of money for things like cab fare and public transportation.

How to get around

While taxis are readily available, consider investing in a one, two, or three-day Warsaw pass that includes free public transportation and access to all major attractions. These passes start as low as $35, but they’re even cheaper if you opt out of public transportation. This may be a better choice for you if you don’t plan on going out too much. When you do though, cheap transportation is easily found through ridesharing apps like Uber. Free walking tours are also available if you want a more active option. Just make sure to book ahead of time, and be prepared to tip your guide.

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Cheap eats and drinks

Finding cheap grub is always a challenge when you’re far away from home, but eating at a Polish milk bar, also known as “bar mleczny,” costs just around $7. And don’t worry – these eateries serve a whole lot more than just milk. In spite of its name, a milk bar is actually a cafeteria-style restaurant where you can load up on hearty dishes such as pierogies, homemade soups, breads, and sausages. As for drinking, that’s another area where you can easily blow your budget. For a quick and easy solution, head to the nearest grocery store where 16 ounce domestic beers go for less than $1.

Things to see and do

A great place to start your trip is the Old Town, where you’ll be treated to stunning examples of medieval architecture, such as St. John’s Cathedral and the Barbican. If you have the money to spend, there’s plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops to choose from. Warsaw is also known for its museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, which is within walking distance from the Warszawa Centralna railway station. For a completely free attraction, check out the Multimedia Fountain Park at the foot of the Old Town. During the summer nights, you’ll be treated to a water, music, and light show created by the park’s two huge water fountains. The jets are turned off for the winter, but you can still enjoy a holiday light show accompanied by Christmas music.

As you can see, there are Warsaw vacation options to meet just about every budget. It may not be as popular as Paris or London, but this elegant metropolis is definitely worth visiting!

Photo: Getty Images