I started November 2019 with a short trip: three days to discover Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It was a journey in collaboration with WizzAir, which provided me with airline tickets, to go and explore the city and then tell you about their services. Before talking about flights and the airline, let’s talk about the city.
Money and cost of living
In Poland, they have the Zloti as a local currency. At the time of my trip to Warsaw (1-4 November 2019), the exchange rate was (approximately) 1 euro: 4 zloty, therefore a fairly advantageous exchange rate.
As for the cost of living, I found affordable prices! A double room for single use, for 3 nights in a central hotel, I paid 258 euros. Lunches and dinners never cost me more than 20 euros sitting at a restaurant (drinking only water, however) and the first dinner at the Hard Rock Cafè, always costly place, cost me 16 euros (sandwich with french fries, Pepsi with refill and ice cream). The entrances to the museums cost between 15 and 20 zloti (therefore, maximum 5/6 euros). For three days I spent around 200 euros in total to “live” the city; so let’s talk about 458 euros including the hotel; if we also add the 15 euros of transfer from the hotel to the airport on Monday morning, we reach 473 euros for my entire stay.
Warsaw has an excellent and extensive network of public transport, which covers all areas of the city without however entering the ancient town (they only coast it). Between bus, metro and tram, I have always found a means of transport that took me where I wanted to go, and I will have made a maximum change of means. I admit that it took a few minutes to understand how the subway works (I didn’t see maps inside the two stops where I shot), but in the end, I arrived at my destination.
Often, unfortunately for us, the announcements on the vehicles (meters, trams, buses) were only in Polish: they were also made in English only rarely, in the city centre or where there was an exchange of interest, including tourism (bus station to go outside the city, for example).
Buses and tram tickets
20-minute ticket: costs 3.20 zloti (less than 1 euro);
75-minute ticket: it costs 4.40 zloty (1 euro “and something”);
24-hour ticket: 15 zloti (just under 4 euros);
Tickets can be purchased at all metro stops, at all bus and tram stops and, after hearing, also on board the vehicles (buses and trams). On public transport, you can only buy the 20-minute ticket by paying by credit card.
Getting around town
I had no difficulty getting to the areas of Warsaw that I chose to visit. Apart from the Saturday morning that I went to visit the “Prague” district, I admit that I never got very far from the city centre (which also includes the old city, but not only) and this has certainly made getting around easier.
I walked a lot and used public transport quite often: I never found it difficult to move, and if there were no means of getting directly to where I wanted to go, I was able to do stretches on foot without getting anxious or afraid. I brought a small touring club tour guide with me to get the essential information during the trip. I noticed a few signs and indications in English, I must admit it. Still, I think I can say that this did not affect my visit too much: among the few signs that I found, the guide (with maps per area) and the navigator are managed not to miss anything.
I found a good level of English, which allowed me to relate to people without difficulty. Only once did I have a few more problems, because the person in front of me didn’t speak it very well, but we understood each other anyway (the lady tried in every way to understand what I wanted, despite not expressing it very well).
Travelling alone in Warsaw
Let’s face it: I didn’t have any problems wandering alone, both day and night, and I never felt unsafe. I shot mainly in the centre, ok, but I never found myself in uncomfortable situations (as I always say: very often you need to pay a little more attention to how you organize your trip to avoid dangerous situations). When I moved a little further from the centre, on Saturday morning to visit the “Prague” district, I admit that I had fun seeing the curious looks of the people in the area: probably there aren’t many tourists there! But in any case, it was only a question of very curious looks and nothing more.
As for some aspects of the trip, I obviously organized myself based on the fact that I was alone and had to return on Monday morning with the 6 o’clock flight! No peripheral areas, If not during the day and to see some central place in the history of the city, no crazy returns late at night and hotels in a reasonably central area (I slept at the Mercure Warszawa Centrum). We are talking about the precautions that I adopt in all the cities I visit when I am alone.
Now let’s talk about the airline, which contacted me in early October to discuss the collaboration, and I have to start by admitting that it was my first trip with them, even though I’m curious about many of the destinations they offer.
How did I find myself? Given that it was my first ever experience with them, I would say that the experience was excellent. The positives? Here are some of them:
° Good management of the boarding phase: not chaotic, not pulled for long and without any hitch;
° Priority “really priority”: who like me had the priority ticket went up really first of all and not, as I have seen other companies do, only a few seconds before the passengers without priority (otherwise you wouldn’t buy it if you then went up together);
° Few announcements on board, during the flight (only on the way back did they make one or two, but nothing so annoying and harassing). I only tell you that on the way back, on the 6:25 am flight, I was also able to sleep (something that never happens to me in flight, not even when I return from the United States);
° Fairly spacious seats, compared to the average of low-cost airlines;
° New and clean aircraft.
° Announcements from the cabin not too frequent, with all the “usual” information necessary and which could be of interest to passengers (flight duration, what time we arrive at our destination and things like that). Usually, in Polish and English, the first officer said it also in Italian on his return.
Were there any negative sides? Taking into account that it was my first experience with them, I would say that it was somewhat positive. If I really had to come up with a problem, I would say that the tables were a little uncomfortable (but that depends on the manufacturer from which they purchased the planes). The only “real problem”, the delay in departure from the outward journey, was linked to the traffic at Fiumicino airport and not to WizzAir.
Having said that, today I would like to tell you about two WizzAir programs: the WIZZ Priority and the WIZZ Discount Club.
WIZZ Discount Club
I start here because it is a new service that the company offers. We are talking about a service provided with a subscription, which allows those who frequently travel to save money on their tickets. The thing I found most interesting? That if you go with friends, the Discount is also extended to travel companions (I give you the details in a few lines). But in what sense do we talk about discounts and extensions to friends? I try to explain it through the same examples that the company does on the website:
° Discount of € 10 per flight for fares from € 19.99 upwards during the season of the subscription;
° 5 € discounts on the charge for checked baggage when you buy it online
° If you travel with friends, they too will have a discount. Obviously, you have to go all together, and we are talking about a travel companion for the Standard subscription and up to a maximum of 5 for the Group subscription;
If you want to read more about it, of course, I refer you to the dedicated page on the official WizzAir website. The page of the official website of the company
It happens to everyone, once they arrive at the boarding gate, to hear the priority passengers (or those registered in the mileage accumulation programs, with the scheduled airlines) first. WizzAir also offers (for a fee) this service, which entitles you to:
° Priority check-in
° Priority boarding
° Trolley 55x40x23 in the cabin (maximum 10 kg)
° Second-hand luggage 40x30x20 (backpack, bag or computer bag)