Warsaw's toilet gets facelift for Euro 2012

AP News
Posted: Jul 14, 2011 3:35 PM
Warsaw's toilet gets facelift for Euro 2012

Thousands of fans at next year's European Championship in Poland will enjoy new stadiums, highways _ and fancy new restrooms at Warsaw's main train station.

With sleek porcelain toilets and walls decorated with playful images of the White House, floppy-eared dogs and huge red lips, the chic new toilets at Warsaw's Central Station are light years away from the drab and smelly communist-era restrooms there just weeks ago.

Designed by the Dutch firm 2theloo, the toilets are part of a 48 million zloty (euro12 million, $17 million) makeover that this communist-era station, built in 1970s, is getting ahead of the Euro 2012 championships that Poland will co-host with Ukraine in June.

"There is no comparing it with the previous toilet," said cleaning woman Barbara Stopinska, 56. "This is much easier to clean. You really want to work here."

For 2 zlotys (50 euro cents, 70 U.S. cents) men can enjoy a private moment while looking at an image of the White House, or use a urinal while looking at a goofy puppy. Women have stalls decorated with images of books on shelves or a view of sunbathed terraced houses.

Before moving on, visitors can also refresh themselves with lotions or fend off hunger pains with peanuts, chocolate, bottled drinks or coffee, all offered at a shop in the restroom.

For locals, it's a delightful surprise from a railway better known for being chronically short of money and offering substandard services and rundown trains.

"It's very chic and definitely worth the money," said Justyna Cichosz, 31, who used the restroom after arriving from the southern town of Mielec. "It is modern and just beyond comparison with railway station toilets as we know them."