Poland's capital of Warsaw has seen more than its fair share of action and activity over the years, making it one of Europe's most intriguing cities to visit.
Following widespread destruction during the Second World War, Warsaw hostels have replaced ruined infrastructure, and the city has established itself as a cultural center in Poland.
The original Old Town has been meticulously reconstructed following its near-complete wartime obliteration which can often give it an artificial feel.
But despite having lost some of its original atmosphere, there is a kind of Hollywood resilience to the way this once provincial village has re-established itself, complete with endearing cultural treasures.
The Royal Castle, restoration of which began in the 1970s, is perhaps the finest example of the Old Town's never-say-die attitude. There are also plenty of busy bars and restaurants that play host to tourists and locals alike.
For those interested in exploring the country's post-war reconstruction, the Warsaw Uprising Museum offers a sombre, yet refreshing, recreation of the city's struggle against invasion.
This exciting Warsaw attraction has architectural undertones that hark back to Versailles. The palace is steeped in history, from the site's humble beginnings as a small 13th century village through to its establishment as a second home for Warsaw royalty in the 18th century.
Winalow Palace Museum is also worth a peek, providing some interesting pre-war insights into the lives of the Polish ruling class as well as some national artwork. Budget travelers are advised to go on a Sunday when the museum offers free admission to visitors, although with the sacrifice of guided tours.
There are several quite beautiful parks in Warsaw that are also deserving of a visit. On a fine day they are a superb place to break up explorations with a relaxing picnic away from the main tourist haunts and hostels in Warsaw.
The Lazienki Park also offers tourists a chance to take a walking tour of one of Warsaw's other surviving royal attractions, the Palace on the Water bathhouse, which sits on an artificial island dividing the park's two lakes.
Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for Hostelbookers, Paul Scottyn did a backpacking tour of Poland, he checked out a variety of the country's budget accommodation, including a number of most Warsaw hostels