Whether you come to Warsaw on a business trip, for a science conference, or as a tourist, this city has everything that a modern European capital could offer. Dynamic commercial and office centre, friendly public transport (bike sharing system Veturilo and one ticket for the metro, trams, buses and trains within the city), vibrant cultural life – these are just some of the elements, which make Warsaw a perfect embodiment of changes that have taken place in Poland in the past 25 years. The city is an open home for active and creative people from all over the country. But it is hard to forget about history, especially that complex: almost total destruction of the city during WWII, post-war reconstruction and the years of communism. That is why today’s Warsaw is an intriguing mixture of past and present, where traces of former communities or monumental soc-realist buildings are neighbouring with new skyscrapers.
Places worth visiting – recommended sightseeing tour
Warsaw looks the most beautiful in the rays of sunshine. A sunny day is a perfect opportunity to discover historical monuments of the Polish capital.
Trakt Królewski (Royal Route) – the most representative part of the city. The route is comprised of a series of connected streets that, in a straight line, will take you from Łazienki Królewskie to Nowe Miasto. Along the route you can admire the embassies, old buildings and pre-war palaces.
The best place to start your sightseeing tour in Warsaw is Łazienki Królewskie. This palace-and-park complex and the largest park in Warsaw was built in the 18th century by the last Polish king, Stanisław August Poniatowski. At the main entrance from Al. Ujazdowskie, you can see the statue of Fryderyk Chopin in an adjacent park, where summer concerts of Chopin's music take place. The Łazienki Park hides a multitude of magnificent buildings, among others: Old and New Orangery, White House and Palace on the Water. This classical edifice used to be the king's summer house; in its vicinity, you will find classical Roman theatre and French Garden, where you can observe proudly strolling peacocks.
On your way to Stare Miasto (the Old Town), we recommend you to walk along Nowy Świat and Krakowskie Przedmieście. Nowy Świat (New World) is a vibrant street full of colourful and classical buildings, restaurants, bars and shops. On Krakowskie Przedmieście, on the other hand, you will find the main gates of the University of Warsaw and Holy Cross Church, burial place of Fryderyk Chopin's heart. Further down the street, reconstructed based on Canaletto's paintings, on your right, you will see the Presidential Palace.
At the end of Krakowskie Przedmieście, there is a true jewel in a crown – Zamek Królewski (the Royal Castle), completely rebuilt after the WW2, and the oldest part of Warsaw – Stare Miasto (the Old Town). On the picturesque main square, surrounded by restaurants and street painters, you can spot the statue of the Mermaid of Warsaw, a symbol of the city. If you keep on walking slightly further ahead, you will discover the Barbican, as the old red brick fortifications are called. It is worth to mention that Marie Curie-Skłodowska Museum is located on the nearby Freta Street. Polish double Nobel Prize winner was born and lived in this building. Also, when you are on Freta Street, look underneath your feet. Maybe you will find the lines that mark where the walls of Warsaw ghetto used to be.
In your spare time, you can also go for a trip to Wilanów Palace. This royal palace-and-park complex was built in the 17th century by Jan III Sobieski as a gift to his beloved wife, Maria Kazimiera. It is situated in one of the newest district of Warsaw. Whole complex is open for visitors.
Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, opened in 2014, has easily become one of the most visited museums in Warsaw. The riveting architecture of this extraordinary place immediately catches the eye. This interactive museum tells the history of Polish Jews and Poland, from the beginning of the country to the modern times, in a colourful and captivating way. Collections are presented chronologically, which makes Polish history easy to follow. All descriptions are available in three languages: Polish, English and Hebrew.
Warsaw Uprising Museum is dedicated to one of the most tragic events in the history of Warsaw. The Warsaw Uprising began on the 1st of August 1944. This struggle for liberation and freedom led to the deaths of thousands of citizens and bombing of the city. Warsaw Uprising Museum tells the stories of insurgents and depicts the heroic fight for freedom. In the museum, apart from the regular collections, available in Polish and English, you can watch a short 3D film, 'City of Ruins', which shows the view of destroyed Warsaw.
Chopin Museum is dedicated to the most famous Polish composer, Fryderyk Chopin. It holds a vast collection of the master’s manuscripts and other artefacts associated with him. The museum offers interactive workshops for the visitors.
The Copernicus Science Centre is an interactive science museum. It contains over 450 interactive exhibits that enable visitors to carry out experiments and discover the laws of nature. The Centre is the largest institution of its type in Poland and one of the most advanced in Europe.
For more information about Warsaw’s attractions look here: http://wot.waw.pl/warsawcitybreaks/