Warsaw travel guide – Best things to do and see
Despite the turbulent history of the city, Poland’s capital is today a modern business city and a cultural center of the country. It is one of the greenest European metropolises and a city full of energy, interesting places and wild nightlife; even though (unfairly) treated as an underrated destination, you will be pleasantly surprised once you experience it. In this Warsaw travel guide, I have listed my favourite things to do and see in this beautiful city.
Top Things to See in Warsaw
Old Town – The most famous part of Warsaw is the Old Town; about 3 centuries ago this charming place was a small fortified town, which remains can still be seen today. It was almost completely destroyed during the WWII, but once perfectly restored, it was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lazienki Park – This vast area from the 17th century is the largest park in Warsaw. It is located a few miles outside the city. Except the amazing nature, you will find here a monument dedicated to Frederic Chopin and nearby is the breath-taking Lazienki Palace.
Praga Quarter – This part of Warsaw, located on the right side of Vistula, was a separate town until the 18th century. It was pretty much neglected in the past, but today it became an art quarter where you can find galleries, theaters, cinemas and old buildings turned into pubs and bars. This area was spared during the WWII, so you will have a chance to see some of the pre-war architecture samples.
The Wilanow Palace Museum – This 17th cenutry palace once served as king’s summer residence, but today it is the most impressive example of Baroque architecture in the entire country. There is a museum inside the palace where you can see some remarkable artworks. The palace is surrounded with a huge park full of sculptures and fountains – just the right place for a city break.
Royal Route – This is a boulevard south from the Old Town of Warsaw, a place where kings, royals and presidents have walked centuries and decades ago. It is often compared to the Champs Elysees; place full of churches, palaces, monuments and many other significant city buildings Presidential Palace and University of Warsaw.
Royal Castle – It is located on the Castle Square, one of the favorite Warsaw’s attractions. It is open for public and you can explore its rooms, including king’s chambers. The Royal Castle is today a place where annual events like festivals, galleries and exhibitions are held.
Palace of Culture and Science – This is the highest building you will see in Warsaw, a gift that Stalin gave them during the post-war restoration of the city. People in Poland are not very thrilled with the building and find it grotesque. However, it is a nice viewpoint where you get to see the city like in the palm of your hand.
Warsaw Mermaid – If you visited the Old Town, you had a chance to see this statue that represents the symbol of Warsaw. But, as you explore the city you will get across more statues like this one. It is considered to be a “sister“ of the mermaid in Copenhagen and there is an interesting legend of how it became the protector of Warsaw.
Images: Fran Urbano