A perfect day in Warsaw


What: My favorite tips for sightseeing and more
Where: Warsaw, Poland

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First impression of Warsaw: A lot of high buildings!

How did you get the idea to spend a weekend in Warsaw, my friend asked me surprised. The capital of Poland doesn’t really count to the top tips among the European destinations and is rather rarely visited by travelers. But Warsaw is a truly positive surprise and as a city trip highly recommended.

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The Cultural Palace – Pałac Kultury i Nauki – the landmark of the city and a considerable Palazzo Prozzo

Once you get closer to Warsaw’s center you will first pass concrete wasteland that rather reminds of Berlin-Marzahn or Hamburg-Mümmelmannsberg. As in all former countries of the Eastern bloc the socialistic construction eternalized itself in the monumental buildings, especially in the Cultural Palace, which virtually stands out of the Warsaw skyline. The building that has been built in gingerbread style was once a present of Stalin to Poland and therefore still counts as sign of oppression for many Polish people today. For sure an imposing construction. It is especially the old town that fascinated me from the beginning of my trip. Warsaw’s center has been nearly completely destroyed during the Second World War. Only in the following decades the historical houses were reconstructed with a lot of love for detail.

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Warsaw, the underestimated metropolis. Stare Miasto – the Old Town

The Polish capital is stronger connected to the era of the Second World War than any other city. Warsaw and its mainly Jewish inhabitants have suffered immeasurably under the terror of the Nazis. It was a special need to give me an idea of the former Warsaw Ghetto and its extent. Today bronze plates paved in walkways remind of the Ghetto wall, which stretched over three square kilometers in the district of Wola from 1940 onwards. A visit to the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising ‘Powstania Warszawskiego’ also gives a comprehensive impression of this gloomy chapter of Poland’s history. Here, the story is reproduced in a multimedia and impressive way.

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Beautiful sightseeing and charming alley in the Old Town

After the museum visit and dispute of history I now particularly notice the beauty of Warsaw. Especially in the neighborhoods of Mostowa and Stare Miasto, with their filigreed, neoclassical and baroque house-facades. Everywhere you will find small cafés that invite you to linger. One drinks tea, coffee latte or one of the craft beers brewed in Poland, before I visit the memorial site of the composer Frédéric Chopin, where the heart of the Polish national composer is kept. Speaking of Chopin: fans of his music are recommended to see one of the open-air piano concerts that take place from May to September in Łazienki Park.

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Trendy restaurant in the Mirow district: The ‘Winosfera’

It is well known that culture increases appetite for more. Those who love the hearty Polish cuisine are well served in traditional restaurants such as ‘Dawne Smaki’. In Warsaw, however, a young and modern culinary scene has also been established, such as restaurant ‘The Elephant’, which has recently been launched by Mystylery. The ‘Winosfera’ in the district Mirow is also very popular with its extensive range of wines. For a small drop-off, go to the ‘Panorama Sky Bar’ of the Marriott Hotel: simply enjoy great cocktails and the 360-degree view of the skyline of Warsaw. Then I fall tired into the bed of my hotel, the Sofitel Victoria in Warsaw’s Old Town. A smartly designed hotel with excellent service: I will certainly come back soon! BvH

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The boulevard ‘Nowy Swiat’ is part of the former royal route and today counts to one of the great historic avenues of Warsaw’s Old Town

How to get to Warsaw:

From Berlin the best and fastest way is to go by plane with Air Berlin or by train in 5.5 hours

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Today declared as World Cultural Heritage of Unesco: The Old Town of Warsaw

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The Saint Kasimir Church on the ‚Ulica Freta‘ street

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The ‘Ulica Mostowa’, with its colorful house-facades and cobblestones, looks as if time had stopped here

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The Barbakane (town wall) was built in 1548 and is located at the transition from the Old Town to the New Town. At the beginning of the 15th century, the New Town, the district of the artisans, was founded

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The Royal Castle at the Castle Square

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The ‘Plac Zamkowy’ place with the Warsaw Castle

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The Cultural Palace seems almost omnipresent. It just appears everywhere, no matter from where you look

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Modern skyscrapers occurrence all over Warsaw – like the 220 meters high Warsaw Spire-Tower, which was still under construction during my visit

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The Museum of the Warsaw Uprising ‚Powstania Warszawskiego‘:

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Here, the story is reproduced in a multimedia and impressive way

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In the Warsaw Ghetto, from 1940 until the deportation in the extermination camps, 450,000 people lived under the most adverse conditions. Today bronze plates paved in walkways remind of the Ghetto wall, which stretched over three square kilometers in the district of Wola

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The Nozyk Synagoge in the ‘Ulica Twarda’ built in the style of neo-Romanesque neo-Byzantium in 1902, was used by the Nazis as a camp in 1941. The building was restored in 1977. It is the only pre-war synagogue in Warsaw

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The only preserved street of the former Warsaw Ghetto in Mirow is the ‘Ulica Prozna’. Up to a few years ago, the bullet holes were still visible in the facades, which now shine in new splendor…

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… Here, a young new scene now established, with many street cafés and galleries, such as the ‚Galeria Velt‘ and the Café ‚Prozna‘

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Pretty hip: Warsaw reminds of the Berlin scene in some parts of the city and its street cafés

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The halls of Mirowska: In these historical market halls you will find the true Poland. Fixed prices are rather an exception. May the bargaining begin!

Warsaw, what a beautiful city!

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The main street of the New Town ‘Ulica Freta’ was built at the end of the 14th century and was once the trade route from Warsaw to the north

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Those who love the hearty Polish cuisine are well served in traditional restaurants such as ‘Dawne Smaki’

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In the garden of the restaurant ‚Dawne Smaki‘ you will be able to escape the big city and to enjoy Polish Piroggen – stuffed pastries. For dessert they serve fresh fruits with whipped cream

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Nikolaus Kopernikus-monument on the ‘Krakowskie Przedmieście’ street

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The Holy Cross Church on ‘Krakowskie Przedmiescie’ street …

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The heart of Frédéric Chopin, which has been pickled in French cognac, has been resting in a pillar of the Holy Cross Church since 2010. The inscription on the memorial tablet reads: “For where your treasure is, there is your heart.”

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What a beautiful light incident on the altar

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Dziekuje – Thank you!

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Warsaw doesn’t really count to the top ten of European hotspots. Wrongly, in my view!

Off to Warsaw!

Merken

Merken

Merken

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Sarah
    at 11:39

    I love it! I do agree that Warsaw is beautiful. I love visiting this city and can’t wait to go there again. I really enjoy exploring Warsaw and all the great places there. My last, and so far favourite, discovery is an amazing Bar in the Old Town called Bubbles. I had the best lunch there and really love the atmosphere, it was one of the best evening in Warsaw!

  2. Jen
    at 11:41

    Great tips, it really looks like a plan for a perfect day to me 🙂 I do agree that Warsaw is wuite underrated but on the other hand it may be a good thing – at least it is not too overcrowded with tourists 🙂 I like its atmosphere and how diverse it is. The one place that I always go back to is a restaurant in Mokotow called the Akademia. It is amazing place where you can try Polish dishes in modern versions and combined with more European flavors. It is unique and truly delicious:)

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