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  • The two main tabloids are Fakt and Super Express - there is also a free newspaper called Metro.

The Airport[edit]

The airport is quite small by Western European standards, which can be an advantage, because it is less of a mess (although not always). It has direct connections with some 70 destinations, mostly in Europe and in the eastern US. In 2005, some 7 million passengers were served.

The Chopin Airport is home to LOT Polish Airlines - one of the oldest (est. 1929) existing air carriers.


The procedure is the same as everywhere, but prepare to actually wait for your baggage (to be fair it's not the only airport where gross delays happen).

  • Terminal 1 departures are on the first floor (not ground).
  • Arrive at least 60 minutes before the scheduled take-off (120 minutes for flights to the US and Canada).
  • Obey all the restrictions for baggage contents.

Addressing Scheme[edit]

The correct addressing scheme is:

An example A template
1 Sz.P. Janina Nowak Salutation AddresseeName
2 ul. Cicha 132/16 StreetAbbr. StreetName BuildingNo (/FlatNo)
3 62-600 Gniezno PostCode City


Polish: basen or pływanie

There are many swimming pools in the city. Look for OSiRs (Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji, Sports and Recreation Centres).


Polish: kręgle or gra w kręgle

  • Hula Kula in the Warsaw University Library (Biblioteka Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego or BUW) ul. Dobra 55/66
  • Arco Bowling ul. Bitwy Warszawskiej 1920 19
  • Hokus Pokus ul. Powstańców Śląskich 126a and in Sadyba Best Mall ul. Powsińska 31

Items of specific interest[edit]

Items of specific interest include clothing (both foreign and local brands), which is cheaper than elsewhere in Western Europe.


Read the Buy section of the Poland article first. See the images of Polish notes, coins. and their security features (PDF).

Shopping malls[edit]

The most upmarket shopping centres are arguably CH Promenada (Praga Południe) and Blue City (Ochota). Other significant shopping destinations are: CH Reduta (Ochota, adjacent to Blue City),

CH Targówek, Wola Park and Fort Wola (both in Wola, but not close to each other), Klif, Sadyba Best Mall and Warszawa Wileńska (Praga Północ, also a railway station).

Factory (Ursus) is a factory outlet, where defective clothing is sold at bargain prices. Centrum Janki and M1 Marki (described in Targówek) are not really in Warsaw but there are free buses running.


The name hypermarket, meaning something even more super than a supermarket, made a big career in Poland in the late 1990s. These are generally huge self-service shops, which attract customers by advertising low food prices and then try to flog them something more. Recently the quality of food in hypermarkets has decreased as the better off customers are moving to "delicatessen" shops such as Alma in Promenada (Praga Południe).

Hypermarkets are usually open 8AM-10PM. If you want to avoid queues, the best time to visit is either early in the morning or just before the closing time. Popular hypermarkets found in Warsaw include: Carrefour, Géant, Tesco, Real and Auchan. There are also some slightly smaller chains like E.Leclerc, Hypernova and Żabka. Discount supermarkets like Biedronka and Leader Price offer only junk food and are best avoided.

DIY. There's an abundance of DIY supermarkets in Warsaw: Castorama, Conforama IKEA, Leroy Merlin and OBI.

Folk Souvenirs. Earthenware, textiles, etc. If you want one, try Cepelia at pl. Konstytucji 5, ul. Krucza 23/31 or ul. Chmielna 8.

Sports Equipment. The bigger shops are Decathlon, Go Sport and Ski Team (not only skis).

Consumer electronics[edit]

Consumer electronics (Polish: RTV) and household appliances (Polish: AGD) are not particularly cheap in Poland, due to the high VAT and relatively small competition. There are four big consumer electronics chains: Media Markt, Euro RTV-AGD, Electroworld.The competition between them is purely for a show and consists in exchanging disparaging advertisements (in which the Media Markt is the leader).

Better prices can be achieved by shopping on-line or using any of the price comparison services, such as Ceneo and Skąpiec. For computer equipment, there is a quasi-mall in the underpasses at the intersection of al. Armii Ludowej and al. Niepodległości called WGE (Polish: Warszawska Giełda Elektroniczna) [1] and there is a computer bazaar every weekend nearby at ul. Batorego [2].


Antique markets are in:


  • Jarmark Europa (near Rondo Waszyngtona) the Asian market on the top of the now-unused sports stadium, is a place which most Warsaw dwellers detest but it can be interesting from a tourist's point of view provided you keep your wallet in a safe place. In the beginning of the 1990s, hordes of people from the former Soviet Union came here to sell literally everything they had. Nowadays it's mostly about cheap Asian clothing, sometimes counterfeit, and most of the sellers are Vietnamese. From time to time, some CDs or DVDs can also be seen there - they're counterfeit too.
  • MarcPol This ugly, to say the least, provisional market hall (sometimes referred to as the hangar) will probably remain on its place in the very centre of the city for the next few years, as the owner seems to be well-connected with the present rightist government. Visit this oddity if you wish but do not leave any money there. As for a tourist attraction, the entry is free.

Eat (excerpts)[edit]

As Warsaw dwellers are becoming more and more eager to eat out, new restaurants are mushrooming. Most people (excluding maybe Jacques Chirac) will be able to find something up to their taste on the culinary map of Warsaw.

  • Uniwersytecki near the entrance to the Warsaw University main campus at Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 is frequented by both students and lecturers (who call it affectionately the Cockroach).
  • Dworzec Centralny (at the -1 level)
  • ul. Mazowiecka (perpendicular to ul. Świętokrzyska near ul. Nowy Świat). Soup (chicken is good) Soup: 6.00-8.00 zł. Main course 9.00-14.00 zł.

With delivery[edit]

There are several restaurants that offer meals delivered straight to you. The delivery time is typically about 30 minutes. Usually, the delivery is free for orders above 20.00-30.00 zł. There is no obligation or custom of tipping the deliverers.

Hot spots[edit]

Hot Spots are listed here. Many of the Coffee Heaven cafes offer free Wi-Fi connection for your own laptop.

Places with interesting names[edit]

  • Praga is also a Polish name for Prague, the capital of Czech Republic (same etymology)
  • Włochy is also a Polish name for Italy - the district was named after the Italian immigrants that lived there
  • Names of many places in Warsaw originate from French descriptive names:
    • Żoliborz - jolli bord, a beautiful bank
    • Mokotów - mon coteau, my hillside
    • Wilanów - villa nova, a new city (the original name was Milanów)
    • Marymont, Marywil, etc.
  • Several places are named after various emotions:
  • Names of two districts, Ursus and Ursynów, derive (albeit indirectly) from Latin ursus, which means a bear.
  • Bródno (in Targówek) - a ford, albeit with a different spelling and same pronunciation it can also mean [it is] dirty [here]. To maintain equilibrium, there is also Czyste (in Wola) meaning clean.
  • There are a few atypical street names in Warsaw - among them are: ul. Abecadło - the Alphabet Street, ul. Kubusia Puchatka - Winnie-the-Pooh Street, ul. Spalinowa - Exhaust Fumes Street
  • ul. Batuty had its five minutes of world-wide fame in the Henryk Batuta hoax

Public toilets[edit]

Which is the right one?
Even if you have found a toilet (Polish: toaleta or WC) another problem may arise as before you are able to relieve yourself you will see two doors: Men's room with a triangle and the women's room with a circle on it. Apart from the mentioned symbols you may also find:

  • K, damski or żeński for ladies
  • M or męski for gents

There is a shortage of public toilets in the city, although those that exist generally maintain a good standard. The cost is usually 1.00 zł or 2.00 zł. Sometimes there will be no toilet paper (Polish: papier toaletowy) in the cubicle and you will need to take it at the entrance from the "operator" (Polish: babcia klozetowa, "toilet granny" - yes, this is a feminine profession). This is a relic from the communist era where the toilet paper was a much sought-after commodity.

Restaurants and bars are forced by law to have toilets inside, but that doesn't mean every place complies. It's not common practice to use their toilet without ordering (at least coffee), but if you ask the waiter, he won't mind in most cases.

Sometimes you have to get a key to the toilet at the counter. Several other places where restrooms are readily available:

  • Warsaw Central Rail Station (Dworzec Centralny), 3 toilets in different places of underground corridors
  • Metro, toilets on every subway station (usually near one of exits), paid
  • University buildings, and state office buildings are in general publicly accessible and should have toilets

And if all else fails, there's always a McDonald's nearby (although an attendant may require you to show a receipt).