Old Town (Starego Miasta) - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Old Town (Starego Miasta)

Old Town (Starego Miasta)

The busy Old Town provides the historic focal point of Warsaw, having been rebuilt in the original 17th and 18th Century style following the almost total destruction of the city during the war. The picturesque Old Market Square (Rynek) is at the centre, surrounded by restored buildings and colourful three-storey merchant houses with Baroque and Renaissance facades, lively open-air restaurants, art stalls and the Historical Museum of Warsaw. Around the two old central water pumps, the atmosphere is a constant buzz of activity with buskers, painters and musicians providing entertainment for the milling crowds, while around the fringes the clattering of hooves signals the arrival of another traditional horse-drawn carriage. Leading from the square is a network of cobbled streets and alleyways that contain beautiful Gothic churches and former palaces of the aristocracy. The impressive Royal Castle was once the home of the Polish Kings and is now a museum displaying tapestries, period furniture, portraits and other decorative collections. The narrow streets also lead to the ramparts and watchtowers of the medieval walls surrounding the old city, providing unforgettable views of the heart of Warsaw.

Information & Facts

The national language is Polish. English is widely understood in tourist areas.

The official currency is Zloty (PLN), divided into 100 groszy. Poland is essentially a 'cash country', and it is difficult to negotiate credit cards and travellers cheques in the cities, and well nigh impossible in rural areas. American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard are, however, accepted in places frequented by tourists. ATMs are also beginning to proliferate in Polish cities, where the sign 'Bankomat' indicates them. Money (preferably US$ or Euros) can be exchanged in the cities and larger towns at banks, hotels or bureaux called 'kantors', which offer the best rates. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and some are open on Saturday till 1pm.

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