Billed as the cross-roads of Europe, Warsaw has found itself fought over and through for centuries. Most recently World War II left Warsaw as largely rubble, meaning even the ‘Old Town’ is only 50 years old, reconstructed with careful thought and attention to detail. However, Warsaw is the Capital of modern Poland, and is thriving and building a flourishing contemporary vibe that shakes off its former Socialist roots and instead is demarking itself as a vibrant, democratic heart of modern-day Poland and wider Europe.
Unsurprisingly it is a city dotted with commemorative sites that speak volumes of its turbulent past, but this is now a city full of contrast. From the revitalisation of the Praga District with its artists and creativity, to the wonderful array of parks and gardens, to the socialist architecture of the past, this former home of Chopin has shaken off its reputation for grey concrete and is now a bustling community rich in history, the arts and culture ready to rival any other European capital city.
Warsaw’s Top Picks:
Warsaw has a wonderful mixture of sights that speak both of the modern Warsaw of today without neglecting the memory of the past. Visitors can see the full range of what Warsaw has to offer and enjoy a stay in this bustling capital.
- Royal Castle: It has to be said that this is a reproduction due to destruction during World War II, but nonetheless this massive splendid Royal Residence needs to be seen to be believed. After Royalty had made this home it moved on to being the home of Russian tsars, then the President, and is now a museum show-casing period furniture and works of art.
- Wilanów Palace: Head a short way out to the south of the city centre to this incredible palace – dating back to 1677 – which miraculously survived World War II almost entirely unscathed. After the war its art and period furnishings were retrieved from storage making the Wilanów Palace a showcase of historic Poland. From the Grand Entrance Hall to the Dining Room to the Gallery of Polish Portraits, there is something to be discovered around every corner.
- Łazienski Park: Warsaw at its finest is enjoyed in this beautiful park, especially between May and September when you can relax on the lawns to al fresco Chopin concerts on Sundays at 12pm and 4pm. Children can run free and have fun spotting peacocks exploring from amphitheatre to follies in amongst the formal garden lawns and the wild patches.
- Chopin Museum: No visit to Warsaw would be complete without paying homage to Poland’s most famous composer. The Chopin Museum is housed in the Baroque Ostrogski Palace and the life and works of Chopin are brought to life through multi-media including the wonderful listening booths. Highly popular, it is strongly recommended that you book in advance.
- Old Town Square: Painstakingly rebuilt following destruction in World War II, you now wouldn’t know that the blend of Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic and Neoclassical buildings all were erected once more in the 20th The tall houses nestled in the partly walled Stare Miasto make for a wonderful backdrop as you enjoy a coffee watching contemporary Warsaw life go by.