Warsaw Chopin Airport (named after world-famous composer Frédéric Chopin, who else?) serves the capital and largest city of Poland, Warsaw. Considered the country’s biggest and busiest airport, Warsaw Chopin has an area of over 800 hectares (all in 1 terminal) and handles about 10 million passengers every year (roughly 40-50% of Poland’s total passenger air traffic). It has been operational since 1934, though it was almost destroyed in World War II (along with a huge proportion of Warsaw’s other buildings) and was slowly rebuilt from 1945 onwards.
Warsaw Chopin Airport is located only about 10 kilometres from the heart of Warsaw, with numerous public transport options available for making that commute. The simplest way to get to town from the airport is to take the underground rail link if you arrive in the city during the day – the ride should take no longer than 20 minutes. Otherwise, buses to the city are also readily available from the airport.
What to see and do
There are few success stories in the world that read quite like Warsaw’s past; the capital and largest city of Poland had once endured crushing oppression and destruction during World War II - with 85% of its buildings destroyed and its residents and leaders imprisoned or killed - to come back stronger, better and pulsing with new life. Today this resilient city is the economic and political hub of Poland, as well as a popular holiday destination that sees more than 8 million tourists a year.
For a comprehensive understanding of the past and present of Warsaw, look no further than the Warsaw Rising Museum where a huge collection of photos, videos, films, personal accounts from survivors and interactive displays of Warsaw’s history is available for your viewing pleasure. Be taken through the turbulent past and subsequent Rising of the city as you go through the many exhibits (including one of a Liberator bomber, a plane that used to drop supplies). Put yourself in the shoes of the oppressed, and be amazed anew at the difficult steps the city managed to take to pull itself back on its feet after being felled.
Next, visit the beautiful Łazienki Park (also known as Royal Baths Park, as it used to accommodate a royal bathhouse) with its unique ancient architecture – expect to see a 17th-century palace, Roman theatre, ancient Orangery, Egytian temple and more. The largest park in the country, it is one of the few structures left in the city that were constructed pre-war as it was not entirely destroyed during the fighting (though some repairs had to be undertaken post-war). Once the royal residence of a King, it is today a scenic spot for Warsaw’s residents to relax and unwind in.
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