I’m continually impressed by the progress being made in the Warsaw central station (Warszawa Centralna). After 20+ years of very dark and dingy underground tunnels, it’s being beautifully renovated with bright coloured walls and is fast filling up with new boutiques and cafes.
There’s even some international names coming in – I spotted an Accessorize store in full bloom and a Starbucks cafe being built as well (although the local Polish cafes will hopefully continue to trade as you don’t really want too much tradition to be erazed…. and definitely not when it comes to Polish food!).
Of course i do miss my cute little donut & pastry stalls where I could buy a donut pretty much straight from the oven for 2zl (40p) – yes, there’s a post about that donut too. There was also a small greengrocer i’d buy my fruit from for the onward journey… to balance out the donut. My guess is most of them have been priced out of the now glistening corridors and given way to these new boutiques. There’s still a couple old side tunnels left with mobile, tea and shoe shops, wonder if they’ll be the next to disappear (or get a refurbishment) . But it’s all for the better as the new look is definitely something to be expected from a European capital as Warsaw awaits its stampede of tourists and football fans for Euro 2012 this summer.
If you find yourself with 30mins to spare at the central station, take a walk through the tunnels and explore the shops and cafes, especially with new ones popping up continuously…. there might be some you’ve not seen before (if it’s your 2nd visit).
What’s more, there’s an underground walkway into the very modern Golden Terraces (Zlote Tarasy) shopping centre above – which is a must to explore & right in the middle of all the new glass office buildings that seem to be popping up in all directions of Warsaw central station.
And if you don’t want to lug your luggage around, there’s very useful halls with lockers where you can leave you bags for up to 24hrs, and some are big enough to fit into!
See, who said train stations are for transit only! 🙂