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Things to do in Warsaw

Things to do in  Warsaw

Welcome to Warsaw

Warsaw has emerged from the war-torn destruction of World War II as a resplendent city, and Poland’s capital now thrums with an energy all its own. A colorful confection of 17th-century townhouses gives Old Town Square Market enchanting charm; the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie) is a poignant reminder of the past; and St. John’s Cathedral (Katedra Sw Jana) never fails to impress with its Gothic grandeur. See all of the visual treats and more on a sightseeing tour—explore in a Communist-era van or retro Fiat, on a Segway, or on a walking tour. Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum near Krakow, a former Nazi concentration camp, makes for an accessible day trip, and offers insight into Poland’s sobering past; while excursions to Gdansk and medieval Malbork showcase the beauty of Poland’s architecture. Music lovers can enjoy a Frederic Chopin piano concerto or visit the birthplace of the renowned composer in Masovian Country, revelers can capture Warsaw’s party spirit on a bar crawl, culture connoisseurs can learn about the city’s communist and Jewish heritage at the Life Under Communism Museum (Czar PRL), and history buffs can admire countless historic monuments on The Royal Way in Warsaw, home to the Royal Castle and Wilanow Palace.

Top 10 attractions in Warsaw


Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto)

Almost entirely destroyed during WWII, Warsaw’s historic Warsaw Old Town (Stare Miasto) underwent an extensive restoration that transformed the area into a vibrant riverfront hub. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the neighborhood boasts striking recreations of 17th- and 18th-century structures, as well as the Warsaw History Museum.More

Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki)

The Palace of Culture and Science is the tallest building in Poland, completed in 1955 as a gift to Poland from the Soviet people and Joseph Stalin himself. The building iscalled Pałac Kultury i Nauki in Polish, abbreviated PKiN, and has over 3,000 rooms on its 42 floors, which include offices, institution headquarters and the Polish Academy of Sciences. There is a post office, cinema and swimming pool, as well as museums, libraries and theaters. The Congress Hall (Sala Kongresowa) and Concert Hall (Sala Koncertowa) are considered the most important of their kind in the country. The former can hold nearly 3,000 people and has been considered the home of Poland’s jazz music scene. Artists such as Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones have performed here. Not surprisingly, there have been some negative feelings around the building, as many Polish citizens believe it is a symbol of Soviet domination.More

Warsaw Royal Castle (Zamek Krolewski)

Built in the beginning of the 17th century, the Royal Castle of Warsaw - or Zamek Krolewski - marks the entrance to Old Town, and was the official seat of the Polish monarchy up until the beginning of the 19th century, and also housed the Polish Parliament throughout history. Although, like most of Old Town, the castle was destroyed during World War II, it underwent major reconstruction between 1971 and 1984, and is now fully open to the public. The beautiful brick facade of the castle is bookended by the bulbous spires so common to Polish architecture, and the castle square alone is worth visiting. In addition to the classic Polish architecture, Italian influences are strong, as the palace was designed by an Italian architect. As such, the building is exquisite, and should be on every Warsaw visitor's agenda. Containing an incredible collection of artwork and art objects, the interior of the castle is a beautiful also houses part of the National Museum.More

Warsaw Old Town Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta)

The Old Town Square Market - or Rynek Starego Miasta - is the oldest part of Warsaw, originally constructed in the late 13th century. After being destroyed by the German army, it was restored after World War II to its beautiful prewar charm, lined with 17th and 18th century houses, shops, and restaurants. The historic center of Warsaw, cafe life is at its height with street vendors and performers abound. Stop to try a local beer or taste traditional Polish fare and admire the incredible architecture all around you. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this area is not to be missed.More

Warsaw Royal Route (Trakt Królewski)

Originally used as a communication route, Warsaw's famous Royal Way (or Royal Route) is a beautiful, 2.5 mile-(4 km) long road that goes from the The Royal Palace at Old Town to the Wilanow Palace. Walking this road assures you an incredible view of Polish historical landmarks, including St. Anne's Church, the Tyszkiewicz Palace, the Holy Cross Church, St. Alexander's Church, Lazienki Park, and so much more. An entire day can be spent exploring the monuments and side streets that are considered part of the "Road of Kings", and there are innumerable sights to be seen. An impressive monument to the Polish composer Chopin sits in the Lazienki park, and during the summer, classical musical concerts are held on the lawn. In addition to being the living quarters of many Polish nobles, including the Polish president, museums, chic shopping, people-watching, and fine eateries are abound on this most beautiful and historic of streets.More


Praga is Warsaw’s right-bank area that was once an independent town, from the time of its first mention in 1432. In the late 18th century, it became formally associated with Warsaw as a small settlement. In its early days as a suburb, many buildings were repeatedly destroyed by natural disasters and military battles; the only surviving historical monument from that time is the Church of Our Lady of Loreto. Although it suffered repeated damage in its early days, Praga managed to resist WWII destruction, and today, it’s considered one of Warsaw’s trendiest neighborhoods, oozing a cool bohemian vibe. Post-industrial buildings have been converted into art galleries, cinemas, and pubs. Also look for pre-war elements like sidewalks, apartments and lampposts. Praga is quite a departure from the well-traveled tourist spots in Warsaw proper. Its popularity is on the rise, so now is the best time to visit.More

Warsaw Jewish Ghetto (Getto Zydowskie)

The Warsaw Jewish Ghetto - or Getto Zydowskie - is considered to be one of the most haunting and historically poignant places to visit in all of Poland, and for good reason. Before World War II, there were over 400,000 Jews living in Warsaw, and by 1942, all members of the Jewish community were forced into the German-constructed ghetto, demarcated by a 10-foot-high (3-meter high) wall circling around a specified sector of the Jewish district. In addition to being the restrained living quarters of the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation, the Jewish Ghetto was also the place from which thousands of men, women, and children were dispatched to the Treblinka Concentration camp in the summer of 1942, which, in turn, led to the Ghetto Uprising. While the majority of the wall was destroyed in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, three sections still stand and are not to be missed.More

St. John's Archcathedral (Archikatedra Sw. Jana)

This stunning Gothic cathedral in the heart of Warsaw's Old Town is one of the most interesting historical landmarks. Built in the 14th century, St John's Cathedral - or Katedra Sw Jana - is one of the oldest churches in all of Poland, but was completely destroyed during World War II during the Polish Uprising. However, like much of the Old Town, it was reconstructed after the war, true to its original architecture. In addition to being the site of many historical events, such as the coronation of the last Polish king, the cathedral also houses the beautiful red marble tombs of many Mazowian dukes, and its crypt is the resting place of many celebrated Poles such as Nobel Prize-winning author Henryk Sienklewicz. The Gothic architecture and artwork is some of the most impressive in Warsaw, and is not to be missed.More

Wilanow Palace (Museum of King Jan III)

One of the only landmarks in Warsaw to remain untouched by the World Wars, the stunning Wilanow Palace is one of the most beautiful buildings in Poland. Stroll around the incredible gardens, take in the Gallery of Polish Portraiture, or just take in the ornateness and splendor of both the interior and exterior design of the Palace.More

Warsaw Uprising Museum (Muzeum Powstania)

One of the best museums in Warsaw, this space is dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising, an effort of the Polish Resistance Movement during the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1944. Opened in 2004 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the movement, visitors experience a thorough survey of every stage of the uprising, from the breaking out of the fighting to the fate of the resistance members.More

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