Country: Poland  Region: Europe
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Warsaw Info

Warsaw(Polish: Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and, with 1.7 million inhabitants, its largest city. It is located on the Vistula River (Polish: Wisla), roughly equidistant (350 km, 217 mi) from both the Baltic Sea (Baltyk) in the north and the Carpathian Mountains (Karpaty) in the south.


Summers in Warsaw can very from mild to exhaustingly hot. In most residences and some hotels, there is no air conditioning, which means the days and nights can be hot to the point of interrupting one's sleep. Travelers should bring light, summer clothes for the day, but bring an extra jacket for evenings, which can sometimes get a little chilly.
The winters, on the other hand, are brutally cold. Weather can often force the city to come to a standstill. When it snows, it may take up to an hour's time just to travel a few city blocks with traffic at a standstill and road crews seemingly caught off guard (despite warnings from meteorologists in several days in advance). Public transportation will also be utter chaos with buses and trams running late. On the first day of snow in 2010, it took upwards of three hours to travel from Warsaw's Wola district to the northern tip of Warsaw's Mokotów district; a trip that should take no more than 30-45 minutes. Travelers would best be advised to bring heavy, water-resistant shoes with them when traveling in Poland in late Autumn to early Spring.


The Warsaw Convention Bureau is the official tourist information agency in Warsaw and can provide visitors with information regarding hotels, attractions, and events. They also have maps for travelers. Unfortunately, the bureau's website isn't well designed and doesn't provide all that great of information, though, it can be helpful. They operate three locations in Warsaw.
There are a few other organizations that are useful when planning or looking for information about a trip to Warsaw. The City of Warsaw has a lot of useful information on its website and would be a good place to get some information. Destination Warsaw has some useful information, but seems to trump up its members' products, restaurants, and services over others. It's main goal is the promotion of Warsaw as a destination abroad. The best source of practical tips, contacts, and current event information is the Warsaw Insider, available at every concierge, tourits information and larger newsagents'; the Warsaw Voice, an English language weekly newspaper, also maintains a good calendar of events on its website.
A wise investment may be the Warsaw Tourist Card [8], which can either be purchased for a 24 hour period or three days. The card will get you into museums for free or for a discount. It also doubles as a ticket for public transportation in Warsaw. You may also be able to get discounts at galleries, sports facilities, shops, restaurants, and discounted tours, car rentals, or accommodation. The card can be purchased at the tourist agency's offices around the city, some hotels, and a few other locations.


As is the case with most major cities, Warsaw is situated on a river. The river's name is Vistula (Polish: Wisla) and it crosses the city on a north-south axis, dividing it into two parts, usually referred to as the left bank (Polish: lewy brzeg adj. lewobrzezna Warszawa) and the right bank (Polish: prawy brzeg adj. prawobrzezna Warszawa).

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