(The main concourse from the curb by our hotel. There are at least eight lanes of traffic plus two tram lines between us and the station. Buses come in on the other side.)
This is only the second time I've been here, and I've seen very little of the city. But the train station and environs here are unlike anything I've seen elsewhere. Specifically, the train station is in the middle of town with all trackage underground and a large concourse above at street level. But the tracks are deeper below ground than I expected, and there's an extensive pedestrian subway between street level and track level. It's all rather dank and rodent-like, with the whole works carrying the city's signature dirty earth tone color palette, and it's not closed off from the outside so that it's rather hot in summer and (presumably) cold in winter.
(I took a whole bunch of pictures but *surprise!* they all look like the same tunnel. Even to me. So we'll shorten the roster a bit. )
I've encountered these subterranean walkways at least a couple other places on my limited walks around Warsaw; usually they're a means of getting pedestrians across busy intersections. And even in these applications the walkways are lined with shops and businesses. But the tunnel system surrounding the Centralna station is extensive and the underground booths and shops must number several hundred. The train station sits on one of Warsaw's busiest thoroughfares, with our hotel and several other big businesses on one side and a high-end shopping / residential complex on the other side. To the Northeast is a large cultural complex. And the tunnel system connects all these locales together (which must be a godsend in winter). One can see the bustling train platforms below as one walks the tunnels, plus there are ticket booths and storage lockers and numerous restaurants and kiosks and services, all beneath 8 or 10 lanes of traffic plus a couple electric rail car lines.
(The descent down to the train platforms. The photo is taken from the pedestrian tunnel level and you can see the huge pillars which support all the car and bus and tram traffic above our heads.)
Warsaw is the only place I've been in Poland, so I don't know if I'm looking at some kind of regional architectural cuisine or seeing a one-off.
(A typical convenience-store-style kiosk. This one is unusually big since you can actually enter it.)