Prior to coming here, I had always been told that Krakow was the best of Poland’s major cities to visit. However, after seeing Warsaw, I think I may have to disagree. Maybe this was due to the fact I stayed with friends and visited outside of the tourist season, but I found the city to have a particular unique charm that resonated really well.
Warsaw is unique in the fact that it was entirely rebuilt after the Second World War, meaning such features as the historic old town are actually fairly new. The city itself has a nice and welcoming ascetic, with unique cultural architecture, scenic views of the river, and numerous green parks that sometimes stretch as far as the eye can see. You get a little bit of an East meets West feel, both visually and culturally as Poland sits at the crossroads of Europe and Warsaw, the capital, serving as the main hub. It is a very walkable city and prices are very reasonable/affordable by European standards.
I, personally, have only seen the city in November, so I didn’t get the best weather for a visit. But that said, I recommend walking along the Wisla, exploring the numerous parks, and spending at least one full day wandering the old town. It’s a really pretty sight to see with many unique streets and alleys. Also, make sure you enjoy the food and drink. I particularly enjoy perogis, and have never before in my life seen such a variety as I did here. On top of that, several bars are actually open all night, allowing you to enjoy Polish beer that is cheap, strong, and delicious.
So yeah, if you visit Poland, make sure you see Warsaw. Although Krakow is nice in and of itself, Warsaw has a bit more authentic feel and does not have the large crowds of tourists.