Warsaw Poland Weekend Trip

Have you been to Krakow or Warsaw in Poland? Whether it was on a short weekend break or even a Krakow stag do, both cities are gorgeous and highly underrated in the usual Europe trip. Rather than only heading to Western Europe, every Europe trip should also have at least one destinations in Eastern Europe. So far I have been to Budapest, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Krakow. The architecture is stunning and the people are incredibly friendly. So do add at least one Eastern European city to your trip!

I visited Krakow because of a friend’s wedding. And, I am not sure how, I managed to book the flights to Warsaw instead of Krakow and only figured it out in train on the way to the airport in London haha. I will just blame in on task juggling during an incredibly busy day in the office when the flight-booking-to-do slipped entirely down the priority list. So while I was doing three things at the same time the task of book-flights-for-dates-XY-to-Poland seemed somehow completed with tickets to Warsaw…after all, Warsaw is right next to Krakow, isn’t it :)?

It’s not!

Right after accepting the ‘situation’ we booked a rental car to drive straight from Krakow to Warsaw. It was actually a nice drive. The freeway in Poland was quite new and they did take the speeding limits that seriously. Well, at least nobody stopped us ;)

Three hours and some coffee later, we arrived happily in Krakow, checked into the hotel, got changed and headed over to the pre-wedding party. We did miss dinner but arrived perfectly in time for the after-party!

The rest of the wedding week was relatively issue-free and lots of fun with a beautiful bride and wedding celebration :) The only issue we had was explaining to the non-English speaking taxi driver that he should bring us to the church where the ceremony was held. The word church did not ring a bell at all. He apparently assumed I had just introduced myself to him and responded with a smile, pointing at himself and saying his name. Awesome. And we were in a bit of a hurry as we didn’t know exactly where the church was (obviously..) and wanted to arrive well ahead of time. My phone didn’t have any internet so I wasn’t able to check google maps. Next I tried to explain our destination by making praying gestures and repeating ‘Amen’ several times. Well, not sure he got that either. Probably not as he didn’t look like he just had an ‘a-ha-moment’. He just smiled at me. In the end nothing helped and we had to run back to the hotel room to get the wedding invitation with the name of the church on it. At least that worked out. He got it. And 15 mins after entering the taxi for the first time, we finally were on our way. And also arrived in time for the ceremony. Just in time :)

Krakow

Krakow is such a beautiful city with so many things to explore. And even if you just decide to spend your day having coffee and reading a good book in the market square (Rynek Glówny) of the city’s old town, Krakow’s vibe is unique.

Rynek Glówny

The market square is incredibly beautiful and is surrounded by beautiful townhouses and churches. The square dates back to the 13th century and is one of the largest medieval market squares in Europe.

Krakow Poland Weekend Trip

The building dominating the main square’s centre is the Cloth Hall (pictured below) with its Town Hall Tower on one side and the Church of St. Adalbert on the other side. On the eastern corner of Krakow’s market square is the St. Mary’s Basilica. The basilica was originally built in the 13th century and, after destruction, rebuilt in the 14th century. St. Mary’s Basilica is open until 6pm and one of the must-sees when visiting the market square.

Krakow Weekend Trip to Poland Krakow Poland Weekend Trip

Plan at least a full day for Krakow’s main square as you might want to have brunch and relax in one of the coffee places between your sightseeing excursions. Also venture off the main square and explore the surrounding streets. Another highlight of Krakow is the Wawel Cathedral. We didn’t get the chance to visit this one as we opted to drive to Auschwitz-Birkenau instead.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

The memorial is located 1.5 h away from Krakow by car and there are several organised tours from Krakow to Auschwitz per day. As you probably know, Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest of the Nazi German concentration camps where 1.1 m men, women and children lost their lives. The museum shows former prisoner rooms and lots of documentary photography, prisoner garments and personal items taken from the Jewish deportees. Though you don’t need much more visual help to understand the terror that happened in the camp, there are also sculptures and models showing how prisoners lived in the camp and how they were treated. It is a horrible and shocking place that should be a must-see for everyone visiting Krakow – just so that we never forget what men are capable of and that this part of history will never repeat itself. After returning back to Krakow we didn’t feel like doing much anymore that evening and just went for dinner. I suggest you don’t make lots of plans for the rest of the day after vising Auschwitz-Birkenau as you will probably not be in the mood for anything.

Warsaw

On the way back from Krakow to the airport we stopped in Warsaw. So at least we got some sightseeing out of flying to the wrong airport.. Warsaw is really pretty, especially the old town (first photo of the blog post). So if you pass by Warsaw, definitely take some time to explore the old town, sit in beautiful coffee shops and enjoy the beautiful ambiance. Head up the St. Anne’s Church to have a stunning view over the old town of Warsaw. If you have a full day of sightseeing in Warsaw, also visit the Royal Castle. For classic music lovers, the museum of Chopin is a must-see. And to learn about an important aspect the history of Warsaw, visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum. I was not able to take many photos in Warsaw as I forgot to charge my camera in the morning. So just type ‘Warsaw Old Town’ into google and you will see exactly what I mean with beautiful ambiance :)

 

Apart from hosting two amazing days of wedding celebrations, the Mount Lavinia Hotel is also quite a catch when you are simply up for a lovely resort hotel on the beach in beautiful Sri Lanka. The hotel’s history dates back to more than 200 years ago which made me choose this historic photo of the Mount Lavinia Hotel rather than a new one. Well and also, I was so busy having a good time at the wedding we attended that my blogging ‘duties’ found themselves rather at the bottom of my priority list :)

Nevertheless, the hotel is really beautiful so I thought I’d have to let you guys know about it in case Sri Lanka is on your travel bucket list. The Mount Lavinia Hotel is one of the best colonial hotels in Sri Lanka, so if you decide to stay a few days in Colombo, you can’t go wrong with this one. They have a beautiful pool area, yummy food and cocktails, great SPA facilities and an amazing view of the ocean at night. Also there is a private beach with lots of waves for extra fun haha. Though if you want to go surfing, you’d rather head to the south of Sri Lanka. You can read more about the hotel here and in case you are interested in reading about our weekend trip to Sri Lanka, click here.

 

Mount Lavinia Hotel Sunset View Of Ocean

While we were around one month into our trip through Vietnam, friends of ours had their wedding in Sri Lanka. Most of the wedding guests had quite long trips to get to Sri Lanka (mostly from London and Australia) but we just ‘hopped’ over from Saigon haha. It was an amazing long weekend trip from Vietnam and the wedding was lots of fun! Sri Lanka’s beaches are also super beautiful, so that obviously was another big plus!

Wedding Fun

The wedding was a mix of a western (Australian) and a traditional Indian wedding and held at the Mount Lavinia hotel in Colombo. The hotel did an amazing job in decorating the different venues and made sure that both traditions were properly accounted for. Day number one of the wedding celebration consisted of a fun beach barbecue during the day and a henna party at night. I found it super fascinating how quickly the henna was painted on my hands and arms… the below design was done in less than 5 mins! The rest of the henna party was then spent dancing to Bollywood-style music :)

Sri Lanka Mount Lavinia Hotel Henna Party Wedding

The wedding ceremonies were held on day two. Whilst the Indian wedding ceremony lasted around two to three hours, the western ceremony was finished in around 30 min.. There was a coffee and cake break between the ceremonies which was exactly what the guests needed after sitting still for such a long time haha.. Both ceremonies were absolutely beautiful :)

Sri Lanka Wedding Trip
At night we had an amazing dinner on the beach and then hit the dance floor until early in the morning. Everything was so beautifully decorated – AGAIN! 

Sri Lanka Wedding Weekend

La Voile Blanche

Sri Lanka Colombo Beach Trip La Voile Blanche

While waiting until we could check in to our apartment on the first day we decided have a cappuccino and a cocktail at La Voile Blanche. I totally loved this place as it has amazing food and super yummy cocktails. There is also a direct beach access so you can sip your cocktail while sunbathing. In fact we liked La Voile Blanche so much that we came back the day after the wedding for a relaxed day on the beach before heading to the airport at night. If you like playing in big waves during sunset (like me in the photo below!) and a yummy cocktail afterwards, come to La Voile Blanche :) To read more about the place, read my post about it here.

Sri Lanka Colombo Beach Trip