We found tickets for 3.40zl to catch the bus from Warsaw Central to Stare Miesto (Old Town). Arriving within about 10 minutes, we hopped off and made our way up the stairs to get on level with the cobblestone plaza in front of the Royal Palace, as well as our hotel: Castle Inn.
Castle Inn was certainly an experience. The first interaction we had with the receptionist was short of splendid, the second was frustrating, along with the third and fourth. How interesting it was that our three best and single ultimate worst hotel reception experiences all happened in Poland! The downsides: rude (night) reception, the laundry service was 40zl/load and only could guarantee “2” loads (4 pants, 6 shirts, 1 sweatshirt) to be ready by 11am if handed over at 7pm, the room was very cold, with little help from the heater, the power went out twice for a minute or two each time, the Wi-Fi did not work (the night receptionist offered a tremendous solution: “try again”), and the tile in the bathroom had a few cracks. (It’s not really a negative but definitely an oddity: their list of “rules” was extensive and included denial of entry to your paid room if you appear to have consumed too much alcohol, prohibition of any non-registered guests in rooms between 10pm-8am, prohibition on noise during the same time, with the potential result of forced payment of the cost of a different room for any “disturbed guests.”) The upsides: the view/location and the morning staff.
We went out for one last Polish dinner, at the closest (~50meters) location of our favorite: Zapiecek! It was just as good as the first time! I added some dessert pierogi to the selections this time, a choice I surely don’t regret! If I find my way back to Warsaw, I may exclusively eat at Zapiecek. It’s affordable, even by Polish standards. It’s delicious. The waitresses dressed in highlander-dance dresses were all friendly and spoke English well, or at least well enough to get us through!
We stopped by the square after dinner. I grabbed a mulled wine for 10zl, enjoyed the lights over the ice-rink, and peered into the cases of the amber shops along the short walk back.
The next morning, after repacking our still unwashed laundry, we only had about 45 minutes to walk about old town before leaving. We walked past the square, out to the other side of the barbican and back to collect our luggage. Though a bit of time to get breakfast would’ve been nice, old town was small enough to wander for a morning and be satisfied.
Our Glob cab (99zl to Modlin) arrived at 11 across the plaza from the hotel (despite our hotel twice confirming our question that it would be in front of the hotel. I was happy with Glob, if not with Castle Inn.
We arrived 2 hours early for our ultimately 20minutes delayed flight to Stockholm. It was not until after passing through security to the terminal that we found out the Priority Pass app was incorrect, and the lounge was before security (where you can also get a fastpass for security). It was worth enduring security twice (with two full tests of our hands and bags for explosive materials) to get to the lounge. Free booze, buns, juices, and a decent charcuterie plate made Modlin my favorite lounge yet. Really, get that card. If you’re traveling through airports enough, IT. IS. WORTH IT!
On to Stockholm!