Flights to Warsaw
WARSAW – THE JEWEL IN THE CULTURAL CROWN OF CENTRAL EUROPE
The Polish capital Warsaw is the true cultural pearl of Central Europe, offering everything from historical architecture to contemporary museums. Prior to World War II it was known as the Paris of the East; since its restoration it has come to be called the City of the Phoenix, rising from the ashes of widespread wartime destruction. And for good reason – Warsaw has become one of Europe’s biggest metropolises, in every sense.
These are just some of the sights worth visiting in Warsaw
- Old Town: Almost 80% of Warsaw was razed to the ground in World War II, but thanks to the city’s recovery its Old Town remains home to some grand medieval buildings, the restored Royal Castle and the Warsaw Barbican. The Old Town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in the 1980s.
- Royal Castle and Royal Route: Restored in the 1970s, the Royal Castle is one of the most popular attractions in Warsaw. On the square in front of the castle you will also find Sigismund’s Column (a monument to the king of the same name and the oldest monument in the city) and St John’s Archcathedral. It is by the castle that the Royal Route begins – the main road through the city which leads to what was once the King’s summer residence, Wilanów Palace. Along the way you will find a large number of churches, palaces, museums and galleries.
- Łazienki Park: This regal park is home to a grand palace that was the summer residence of the last king of Poland. There is also a monument to the country’s most famous composer, Chopin, in the park.
- Palace of Culture and Science: This tower which adorns the centre of Warsaw is one of the tallest buildings in Poland and one of the country’s most recognisable symbols. Its viewing platform offers unbeatable views over the city.
- Copernicus Science Centre: Europe’s most modern science museum, this centre has something for visitors of all ages.
- Stary Rynek: Warsaw’s Old Town Market Place is surrounded by eye-catching buildings, each its own colour.
- University of Warsaw Botanic Garden: Considered the greatest gardens of their kind in Europe between the wars, the university’s botanic garden stands out today for its size and diversity of species – over five hectares you’ll discover more than 5000 different types of plants and flowers.
- Warsaw City: The gleaming towers of Central Europe’s most important economic centre will catch your eye from an impressive distance.
- Praga district: This corner of Warsaw, which survived the war largely unscathed, is renowned for its authentic historical architecture. It is home to Mala Street, on which the Oscar-winning movie The Pianist was filmed.
- The Mermaid of Warsaw: This sculpture, known as ‘Syrenka’ in Polish, stands on a square in the Old Town and is one of the symbols of Warsaw.
What is there to do around Warsaw?
- Wilanów Palace: Standing on the banks of the Vistula River, the summer residence of King Jan III and its luxuriant baroque park are called the Polish Versailles. It is one of the most beloved places in the country among Poles.
- Kampinos National Park: This enormous park is largely comprised of pine forest but also features sand dunes and mires.
- Zegrze Reservoir: Situated just north of Warsaw, this man-made lake draws people from the city in their thousands during the warm summer months. You can swim here, as well as try your hand at fishing, or simply relax and unwind.
Shopping in Warsaw
There’s no end of shopping in the Polish capital, with something to suit every budget.
- Złote Tarasy: This shopping and entertainment complex is the biggest of its kind in the city. It is situated right next to the central railway station and has more than 200 stores and restaurants.
- Galeria Mokotów: This shopping centre is considered to be one of the best in the world. It is home to a wide range of brand stores.
- Arkadia: This shopping centre has both brand stores and shoe and clothing stores offering a more affordable range of goods.
- Koło flea market: The most famous market in Warsaw. On weekends you’ll find just about anything here.
Eating out in Warsaw
When in Poland there are three things you simply have to try: baranina (roasted or grilled lamb), bigos (meat and sauerkraut stew) and gołąbki (cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat or mushrooms and rice).
For finer dining, book a table at Amber Room or InAzia, where the culinary experience will tickle the taste buds of even the most seasoned gourmand. If you’re travelling on a budget, try the Same Krafty pub, Stara Kamienica restaurant or Krowarzywa Vegan Burger.
Getting about in Warsaw
Warsaw has a multifaceted public transport system of buses and trams as well as its own metro. Tickets are very affordable.
The sights you’re likely to want to see in and around the Old Town are close together, so the best way of getting around between them is on foot.
Night buses serve the city twice an hour on ordinary routes, but there are also plenty of taxis to be found.