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61, Solidarnosci Avenue, Warsaw
+48 (22) 8184989
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My Favourite Hotel in Praga
August 22, 2008
Best of IgoUgo
The Praski Hotel is a smalll hotel situated in the Praga area of Warsaw. How to get There-------------------------If travelling directly from the airport you need to catch a bus number 175 and then a tram number 32 from Pl. Zawiszy. Get off at the ...
The Praski Hotel is a smalll hotel situated in the Praga area of Warsaw.
How to get There
If travelling directly from the airport you need to catch a bus number 175 and then a tram number 32 from Pl. Zawiszy. Get off at the Park Praski tram stop which is near the church and hospital. Cross over the road and you will see the hotel on the right.
If you are travelling from the Central Station (Centralny) you have to catch the bus number 512 or 160 and get off at the Park Praski bus stop as above.
You will need to purchase a ticket beforehand. There is a kiosk outside of the airport and you need to ask for a bilet dobowy normalny (bilet dobovee normalnee). With this ticket you can travel on a bus, tram or metro.
Taxis cost about 45 - 60 zl from the airport. Always look for registered taxis . They will have a telephone number and the tarif written on the side of the vehicle. It's always best to negotiate the price first. On your return ask at the hotel reception and they will book a taxi for you which should work out cheaper.
As the hotel is used mainly by tourists it is in a really good location for reaching the Old Town and the city centre. It takes about 15 minutes to walk along the bridge over the River Vistula where the old town is opposite. Tram and buses stop across the road from the hotel to take you to the city centre. Across the road is Praski Park . A lovely shady park with flower beds and twisting paths. Squirrels run freely and are very tame. There are plenty of benches if you need a rest and there is a kiosk at the entrance selling snacks. Here you will be able to buy the famous Polish zapiekanka which is just like a baguette with a pizza topping. Usually covered in tomato sauce.
Adjacent to the park is Warsaw Zoo and I recommend a visit. The zoo has quite a big variety of different species from all over the world. Living conditions are very clean and none of the animals looked bored or in any form of distress.
About 250 metres from the hotel is a shopping complex called the Wilenska Centre. Inside are lots of boutiques, cafes, restaurants, Carrefour, chemist etc.
Next door to the hotel is a small supermarket and a Lebanese restaurant called Le Cidre. This restaurant is very much recommended. It is expensive but worth paying the extra.
On entering the hotel there is a small foyer with comfortable seating and a reception desk. Hotel staff were friendly and helpful but none of them could speak English. If you don't know anty Polish then French or German is your next best thing. Like with any language difference you can get by until it is something important and then it is frustrating trying to make someone understand. One incident I can remember is on the second day of our stay. We had been out all day sightseeing and returned to the room to find that the beds hadn't been made. The room and bathroom had been cleaned but the beds were just as we left them in the morning. My husband went downstairs to ask why this was the case but nobody really understood him so he asked one of the staff to go with him so he could show and explain about the beds. A very grumpy lady agreed and we showed her. She muttered some words of polish and then went away. About 30 minutes later a maid came with lots of cleaning tackle. She was about to start cleaning the room again. The receptionist had obviously thought we were complaining that the room hadn't been cleaned. This wasn't so. In the end I made the beds up myself and did every day of the stay. I am not sure if this happens in all hotels but in the Praski, beds were not made. Now I would be able to understand what the receptionist had muttered and would be able to answer.
Altogether the hotel has 31 rooms. Not all rooms have bathrooms but there are showers and toilets in the corridor available for use. Discounts are available for these types of rooms. Our room was a suite and was very spacious. Huge windows with full length curtains and a side window leading on to a balcony which you could sit out on (not in December!) and view the bear pit. Decor was the usual Eastern European style - horrid colours like bright purple and mint green. We had a TV with Polish and Russian channels, telephone, mini - bar, en-suite bathroom, seperate hallway, fitted wardrobes, reading lamps and bedside tables. One armchair and a unit to store clothes in. The hotel was centrally heated but the radiators were hardly powerful and in December we were actually cold when sitting in the room. We both hovered on top of the convector heater which was additional but not very relaxing.
Breakfast/Food and Drink
Breakfast is served in the Armenian tavern on the third floor. Not a lot to choose from I am afraid. Mainly eggs in various forms. Boiled, scrambled, fried, poached Good variety of Polish bread - sesame seed rolls, poppy seed rolls, granary, rye, pumernickel and various blackbreads. Seperate pots of jam and honey are served with the bread. Tea, coffee or orange juice to drink.
In the evening the tavern offers a range of Armenian and Polish dishes A meal costs about 10 euros. There is also a bar with a good selection of drinks. The decor is very rustic with wooden tables and various Polish traditional crafts hanging on the walls.
Apart from breakfast we only ever had drinks in the tavern as we always went next door to the Lebanese restaurant or walked into town to one of the many restaurants.
The hotel also has a conference room and there is a secure car park next door with a guard and a dog.
Reception staff will organise taxis, guides to take you around the city and if you wish to book for the theatre or any other attraction they will do this also.
I think that covers all the facilities now a snippet of information about the area
Praga the area
Praga is one of the most historical areas of Warsaw. I am sure that most of you know the history of Warsaw, the plight of it's Jewish people, and how the city was devastated and flattened by the bombing in the second World War. Some features in Praga did survive and in my eyes this is the old Warsaw.
The actual old town was totally rebuilt and is a Unesco Heritage site but it is like a set from a Disney film with it's brightly coloured houses. It looks clean and untouched. Praga has character - it is the heart of Warsaw. It has a reputation from Polish people as being dangerous especially at night. I think this was once the case but parts of the area are being regenertaed and it is becoming quite Bohemian. Old apartment blocks mingle with new, trams trundle down the main thoroughfare. There is a small theatre and many a bar with live music that stays open until the early hours. It is a lively community - I love the place.
On Ulica Zabkowska sits Bar Zabkowska which is visited by members of the older generation. A restaurant that doesn't sell alcohol, known as a 'milk bar',a throw back from communist times. Pirogi is served here - small ravioli type pasta with various fillings. You can take your own vodka or drinks.
In the same area but in streets just off Ulica Zabkowska some of the filming for Polanski's film The Pianist took place and I also believe parts of Spielberg's Schindler's List was filmed here.
Having lived in Warsaw this area of the city is now my favourite - it has real charcater as parts of Warsaw can be soulless. They have built a new city but Praga is the heart of the city.
As for the Praski Hotel, as jaded as it might be I really like it. It is definitely a budget hotel but comfortable, near to the city and all the attractions, next door to a super restaurant, reasonably priced with special offers at Christmas and other holidays. Worth a visit any time of the year.
Summary: A budget hotel in the heart of old Warsaw.
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