Warsaw is a city that defies all stereotypes. Poland’s capital has an unusual history but is at the same time a dynamic and modern city - it oozes energy. It surprises and delights those who choose to visit.
Situated in the heart of Europe, Warsaw is the ideal destination for a weekend trip. It can be reached in just a few hours and getting around town is easy thanks to excellent public transport. Importantly, tourists feel safe here and welcomed by the locals.
A must-see is the Old Town, which along with the Royal Castle has been included on the UNESCO world heritage list. The Old Town charms with its beauty and is the perfect place to get to know the city’s history, though Warsaw has much more to offer.
Green space covers almost half the city. Its beautiful and extensive parks entice people to relax and the Vistula river running through the centre is a popular place among residents for active recreation and meeting up. The river’s wild bank is a habitat for many species of birds and enables unhampered contact with nature.
Warsaw will not disappoint lovers of good cuisine. The numerous food bars, wonderful patisseries, elegant restaurants and culinary festivals are enough to make your head spin. And it’s worth adding that Warsaw is recognised as one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities.
It is also a great city for culture. Modern museums, art galleries, concerts and music festivals as well as other interesting events make Warsaw a real cultural capital. It’s impossible to get bored here.
There are plenty of reasons to not put off getting to know Warsaw. Plan a trip now and visit one of Europe’s best destinations in 2023.
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1. See the Old Town, included on the UNESCO World Heritage list
Warsaw’s Old Town was almost completely destroyed during World War II. After the war, Varsovians undertook the extremely difficult task of reconstruction. The rebuilding effort represents a phenomenon on the global scale and the Old Town was included on the UNESCO list. Walking for hours around the charming streets and visiting the majestic Royal Castle, you can forget about the passage of time. But do not forget about the important attractions. In summer, in the Old Town Square, you can listen to worldwide stars during the International Jazz Festival. And in winter, browse through the Christmas market, go skating on the ice rink and drink hot chocolate.
2. Get to know the city’s unusual history at Warsaw museums
Warsaw has many stories to tell and the best way to encounter them is at the city’s museums. At the Warsaw Rising museum you will find out about Varsovians’ heroic fight against the Nazis, at the POLIN you will learn about how Jewish and Polish culture have been intertwined throughout the ages, and at the Chopin Museum you will become better acquainted with the great composer, who spent most of his life in Warsaw. The interactive displays and their enticing accompanying events are the ideal answer to rainy or wintry afternoons. And remember that most are free on selected days.
3. Relax by the Vistula
The Vistula is Europe’s last great wild river. Its natural banks are a habitat for many species of birds and for many Warsaw residents a favourite place to relax. Sandy beaches stretch out here, recognised by National Geographic as among the world’s most beautiful.
The Vistula also offers many opportunities for more active leisure pursuits. You can hire a kayak or a boat to admire the city from a different perspective or take a bicycle ride along the nature-rich cycle paths.
If on the other hand you prefer nightlife and the cafe scene, a must-see is the Vistula Boulevards (Bulwary Wiślane) – the capital’s most popular meeting place on summer evenings.
4. Be enchanted by Royal Łazienki Park
Don’t let the strange name put you off¬ – Royal Łazienki Park is considered one of the most beautiful parks in Poland. It is also a museum complex of the summer residence of Poland’s last king, Stanisław August. The architecture of the Palace on the Island or the Old Orangery with its Royal Theatre is in beautiful harmony with the surrounding greenery.
It’s worth making extra time to feast your eyes and take a break from the city hubbub. And if you visit Warsaw between May and September, you’ll have the chance to hear the famous Sunday Chopin Concerts.
5. Taste the best of Warsaw
The popular saying, “the way to the heart is through the stomach” is fully justified in Warsaw’s case. Warsaw has through the ages been a multicultural city and this is perfectly demonstrated by the local cuisine, which is very varied and full of flavour. Warsaw tripe, ‘pyzy’ (stuffed dumplings) or pierogi have long reigned over the traditional menu. Warsaw also has its own cake ¬– a chocolate sponge cake topped with whipped cream. Some even say it is tastier than Vienna’s Sachertorte, though it would be best to try it for yourself. If you are vegetarian, you surely already know that Warsaw leads the world as one of its most vegan-friendly cities.