On first impression the country of Poland is clean and efficient. The traffic is manageable and its population is homogenous, with 97% being ethnic poles and 75% of the population practicing Catholicism. There are very few minority groups in the country. The city of Warsaw has a large percentage of its space dedicated to parks and green areas, about 30%. The number of trees is surprising. Although Warsaw was predominately rebuilt after WWII, it still has a charm to its Old City that’s attractive and inviting for tourists.
The Warsaw skyline is dominated by many tall, non-descriptive sky scrapers, some office buildings, others apartments and hotels. But the tallest building in town and one that sticks out both in its architectural style and its height is the Palace of Culture and Science built in the 1950s as a gift from Stalin to the people of Poland. Today it houses a few museums, conference rooms, and lots of offices. You can visit the observation deck or walk into its massive lobby.
One of Poland’s favorite sons is the musician Chopin, and the airport in Warsaw bears his name. You’ll be certain to hear Chopin’s music playing in the airport, in stores, and from several park benches situated throughout the city. Their other favorite son is Karol Wojtyla, better known as Pope John Paul II, and the airport in Kraków is named after him.