Culture on the cheap?

According to a survey conducted by the British Post Office, Warsaw is the “best value cultural destination”.

I’d hate to take anything away from my beautiful Warszawa but that really is a lot of old smelly pants! In fact the whole survey is pants. How they got those costs is beyond me. They are suggesting a 3 day trip to Warsaw including a visit to the opera would cost 75 quid. The opera alone accounts for 24 so that means the rest of the trip cost a total of 219 PLN! Sleeping on the street and eating nothing but McDonalds, maybe, but otherwise – you’re ‘avin a larf!! The other costs are equally wrong but perhaps slightly less ridiculous.

Anyway, cost is one thing and the other is just what “culture” you’re likely to see in each city and on that front places like Rome, Paris, London and Amsterdam knock Warsaw into a cocked hat. Spend the damned money and go somewhere nice for goodness sake!

They complain about the entry price of 10.40 GBP for the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. WORTH EVERY PENNY!! I’d pay 104.00 and still not complain (providing they didn’t have too many exhibits out on loan). Van Gogh’s work is the only art to almost literally slap me in the face with it’s brilliance when seen “live” as opposed to prints or other reproductions. It simply cannot be reproduced. So, go to Amsterdam and go to the Van Gogh museum.

Even better, perhaps, go to Paris and go to Musee D’Orsay. Then you get a few very good good Van Gogh works (the site of my first exposure) as well as bucketloads of mouth watering impressionist stuff from the usual suspects AND some very yummy sculptures from Rodin. Now that’s what I call a museum worth visiting. Skip the Louvre and its Moaning Lisa, compared to D’Orsay it’s Boresville, Arizona.

The National Museum in Warsaw does have some excellent paintings but they are all Polish ones and therefore nothing that anyone else apart from me a couple of mates will have ever heard of or seen before. They are an “acquired taste” and so a three day, street-sleeping trip just won’t cut the mustard. Anyway, it’ll take you two of those days just to take in the grossness that is Matejko’s Grunwald and Siemiradzki’s, Christian Dirce!

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11 thoughts on “Culture on the cheap?

  1. The Warsaw opera costs 15zloty ?

    http://warszawa-i-ja.mabulle.eu/index.php/2008/05/05/137552-4-mai-vieille-ville-et-opera

    BTW

    The National Museum in Warsaw will have a new director from London :) …with a very interesting biography.

    http://www.timeout.com/london/aroundtown/features/1496/3.html

    So lets hope that there will be more international art in the future…maybe some Van Goghs.

    ps: today is museum night in Warsaw ,and you can see the 2 great Rembrands for free ;)

  2. Oh,man! Amsterdam and Van Gogh Museum would be my first destination of choice!

    And then, a city in the legendary Transylvania of Draculya voievod: Sibiu… Go there, it is worth also every penny!

  3. guest, the prices vary. From this page you can see between 17 – 60 PLN but I have certainly paid more than that for tickets before. It depends on the season, the performance and the performers. http://www.narodowy.pl/index.php?a=8194

    Mr Lohman does look like the kind of guy needed to make the most of Warsaw’s National Museum but I fear his appointments here might be more of a “non-executive” nature than hands-on.

    ivdanu, thanks for the Sibiu tip, I looked the place up and it seems well worth a visit sometime.

  4. I’m with you on the Musee D’Orsay. It’s brilliant.
    If you go on the first Sunday of the month it’s free, but you have to go early or brave the queues.

    Don’t even think about skipping the Salon de The on the top floor.

    The Louvre is doable I think but you have to have an itinerary or you just end up running around trying to see everything before they turf you out.

    Also rather fun is the Palais de Tokyo – conceptual art you can play in and open til midnight so you feel kind of naughty visiting it…

  5. Pint of beer at the Weymouth Arms, London W1: just under two quid, or 9 zlotys in our money. Half a litre of beer in Zakopane, 10 zlotys. My (Polish) money’s on London being a Value Culture Capital.

    Most international surveys including Poland are pants because they’ve failed to take a 40% currency appreciation over the past four years into account.

  6. So I’ll not bother visiting then?

    Actually, your travelogue with photos is quite good enough. Scrap the culture!

  7. Vanessa, of course visit, if you’re inclined. I just wouldn’t want anyone to visit expecting to find a cultural goldmine that will cost them peanuts because neither of those is true.

    Michael, that may be the root of the problem here.

    pinolona, I’ve not tried the Palais de Tokyo so I’ll put that on the agenda for the next trip, which really needs to be quite soon!

  8. depends what sort of culture you’re after…

    many good things going on… saturator, csw, dik fagazine… not sure about the internationality of it all:D

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