Lazienski Palace, known as "The Palace on the Water", in Warsaw

Lazienski Palace, known as "The Palace on the Water", in Warsaw
Photo by: Robert Parzychowsk (Stock Exchange)

Howdy to all our loyal Disabled Traveler readers!

Last time around, we hit the streets to look at the best access guides for Krakow. As planned, we’re forging ahead to the majestic city of Warsaw, capital of Poland, to continue our journey.

As a reminder, this series is a little precursor to a trip I myself am taking in June, and I’ll be revisiting it to provide first-hand perspectives after I get back to the States.

For today, it’s on to the “phoenix city” to enjoy the wonders of Poland!

I’d like to begin by pointing out the helpful handicapped accessible information provided by Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin Airport. I’d also be remiss in my blogging duties if I didn’t mention Accessible Poland Tours, an established and trustworthy tour operator that exclusively provides customized itineraries for handicapped travelers. Accessible Poland visits Krakow, Warsaw, and many sights in the countryside, such as Auschwitz, which can be difficult to get to without help from local experts. The agency also maintains a Warsaw Without Barriers guide: it has overviews of public transport, museums, religious buildings, theatres, and restaurants. The English is a touch spotty, but don’t pass it up: it’s the best local guide online right now.

Warsaw is a city of theaters, which just happen to be among my favorite attractions of all. Though many of the thirty or so venues are housed in older or ancient buildings, a few have been retrofitted for disabled access. This includes the iconic Grand Theater, one of the most recognized symbols of Warsaw’s grandeur and perseverance. There are also splendid performances at the National Philharmonic, Roma Musical Theatre, and The Ester, Rachel and Ida Kaminska Jewish Theatre. In addition to wheelchair accessible seating, many of these fine institutions offer discount tickets to the disabled. If you’re looking for something a little spicier, Entertainment and Nightlife in Warsaw is for you. It lists several hot venues, some of which have disability access.

Now, on to the hotels! Something our American and European guests should keep in mind: the Polish zloty, still in use in the country, trades favorably with the dollar and Euro; even on a budget, it’s easy to find an affordable, feature-rich place to stay. The Radisson Blu Hotel Warsaw comes with my recommendation. With over 300 rooms, it offers four suites for disabled travelers and a huge number of amenities: like complimentary wireless Internet, a sauna, pet-friendly accommodations, and more.

Hotel Rialto is situated in Warsaw’s business district. It boasts close proximity to the Palace of Culture and Science, and can deliver Turkish and Finnish sauna treatments, as well as full-body massage. One room is adapted for wheelchair users, and the building and grounds are fully accessible. The Aramis Hotel also claims to have wheelchair accessible rooms and facilities, but doesn’t provide detailed information I could find. For full access to an extensive database of national hotels, click to StayPoland. It has a fair-sized compendium of information on attractions in the various cities, and includes accessibility info in search results, though not in the search function itself.

(On an interesting side-note, quite a large number of Polish hotels are pet-friendly, and that just means companion animals. I suspect, though I don’t know Polish laws on the subject, that most hotels welcome service dogs even if they don’t have specific features for handicapped guests.)

That’s it for Poland, and also the last leg of my trip that we haven’t covered yet on the ol’ blog. I’ll be reviewing London and Dublin quick-like in future posts to highlight new developments; and you’ll be hearing more about my voyage once it’s actually complete. Stay tuned for the Disabled Travelers News Round-Up for May, and plenty of new destinations and helpful tips. Adventure on!


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