There are more central hostels and budget hotels in Warsaw than the Planeta. However, thanks to the tram right in front the hostel is very well connected to the major places of interest – downtown with the central station and the Palace of Culture and Science is just 10 to 15 minutes away.
The rather new place resides on the first floor of an old apartment building with a concierge. So don’t let the exterior throw you off: inside everything is clean and well taken care of. You might say that the functional design lacks personality. But I’m not even sure the Planeta aims to be a backpacker hotspot. I stayed from Wednesday to Sunday. During the week it was fairly quiet and on the weekend all the other patrons were Polish – ranging from students to middle-aged couples. Also, there are no maps or much sightseeing info at the front desk (the only advertising is for a shooting range and ballooning). I didn’t see that as a problem as there are a number of well stocked tourist information centers downtown (not to mention online guides).
I stayed in room 6, a double, sharing a bathroom with room 7. While the room is overall perfectly fine with a wonderfully hot and strong shower there were a few impractical details and one big annoyance: First up there are no closets, just a table with one chair and coat hooks to put your stuff. In addition there are no night lights – so bring a torch or use your phone for the night. But the worst part is the noise: Because the double windows do not close properly it feels like the tram runs straight through the room.
There is a well equipped kitchen with a telly showing Polish soaps. Breakfast is included: do-it-yourself bread rolls with cold cuts, cheese, corn flakes and, if you’re lucky, tomatoes and cucumbers. The coffee reminded me of my Africa trip: Nestlé powder coffee. But there is a coffee shop across the street and a few restaurants around. And if you want to cook there is a small convenience store next door (you can also buy your public transport tix there).
WiFi plus two communal PCs are free.