Budget

Dollar-Friendly Destinations 2008

by Danielle Pergament

The place: Warsaw, Poland

It's a poor man's: Prague

The financial analysis: Poland is not on the euro yet, so prices are very reasonable. The fact that it has (so far) escaped the attention of most tourists also helps to keep prices down. Plus, the Poles love Americans, so chances are you'll be bought a drink or two.

Price of a beer: $3 at most bars

What to do: Pack your hollow leg and make a night of it—you're in the land of heavy drinking and all-night clubs. Warsaw nightlife is dark and gothic, in a good way. Start out at local favorite Sklad Butelek or Tomba Tomba, a self-proclaimed "heterofriendly gay club." If you're still standing in the wee hours, head to the dance hall Luztro before you go back to your hotel and sleep it off.

Hotel: One of the only boutique hotels in the city, Hotel Rialto has 44 rooms done up with vintage furniture and a Roaring Twenties vibe. Even the price is a throwback: $175 a night. The staff is young, friendly, and likely to point you in the right nightlife direction.

Cheap eats: Any restaurant located in a university is a safe bet, economically speaking. Biblioteka, named for its location in the University of Warsaw library, is part traditional (the game-heavy menu), part modern (the ambience), and part Italian (the wine list has over 200 labels). Highlights include lamb with spinach and duckling served with caramelized fruit. Expect dinner for two with wine to come in around $80.

How to get there: Check out LOT or Czech Airlines, whose fares to Warsaw tend to be lower than those of American carriers.

Sklad Butelek

Luztro

Hotel Rialto
Tel: 48 22 584 8700

Biblioteka
Tel: 48 22 552 7195

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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