Last weekend I had the chance to go to Warsaw. About 6 years ago I hosted a girl from Poland for the first time with Couch Surfing, and she lives in Warsaw. I promised her (and myself as well) that in the future I would visit her in Warsaw. Well, it turned to reality, and wohooo, I went to Warsaw! The list is created by me, and I visited them in 2 days.
1. Walk at Nowy Swiat street
Nowy Swiat street is definitely one of the part of Warsaw where you can find everything: nice restaurants, nice shops, churces, and very beautiful buildings. In the South part of the street you can mainly find restaurants and shops, and going to the North you can see more governmental buildings, churches, and so on. On this street you can find the neoclassical Statisz Palace, with Copernicus’s monument in front of it. A few steps later, you can see the Holy Cross Church, which accommodates Chopin’s heart in one of its column inside. The main campus of the University of Warsaw is also here, where you can have a little walk. This university is the biggest in Poland, but its buildings are spread all around the city. Don’t miss to see the Wizytek Church, whis is one of the most noticable rococo churches in Warsaw. The Presidential Palace is located pretty closed to the Old Town. Carmelite Church, next to the Presidential Palace is very similar to the Wizytek Church.
2. Hang around in the Saxon Park
Saxon Park is a perfect place for hanging around, having a nice walk. It has many sculptures, fountains, a lake, a playground, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument which is erected for unknown soldiers who died for Poland during the wars. There is an eternal flame as well, which is protected by 2 guards from the Polish Army. The guards change hourly, in every single days.
3. Royal Castle, Sigismund’s Column
Arriving to the Old Town the first picture is the Royal Castle and the Sigismund’s Column. It got its name after Sigismund III. King, who moved to Warsaw from Krakow in 1596. This area a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.
It’s nice to walk throught the small streets (especially Piwna Street) to reach the Kanonia, the Market Square of Warsaw. This square is the oldest part of the city, its origin comes from the 13th century, when the merchandisers met in this square to sell their products. You can see Warsaw’s iconic Mermaid there as well.
The Barbican is one of few remaining relics of the complex network of historic fortifications that once encircled Warsaw. During World War II, particularly the Siege of Warsaw (1939) and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the barbican was largely destroyed, as were most of the Old Town’s buildings. It was rebuilt after the war, during 1952–1954.
6. Multimedia Fountain Park
If you want to experience something beautiful, but you’re not afraid of the crowd, you can visit the Multimedia Fountain Park, where the fountain changes its colours according to some music. Unfortunately during my visit the fountain didn’t work, but between May and September you should definitely visit this place in Warsaw.
7. Church of All Saints
Walking in the city centre, you can visit the biggest church of Warsaw, the Church of All Saints. In front of it there is a small little park, where you can sit down and you can watch the local kids playing there, or some good looking guys doing skateboarding. During the German occupation this church was one of those Catholics churches, which were in the ghetto. Its priest, Fr. Monsignor Marceli Godlewski helped a lot of Jews escaping from the Germans.
8. Palace of Culture and Science
If you are on a budget holiday, or you don’t like going to museums, you still shouldn’t avoid the Palace of Culture and Science, which is the highest building of Poland. The 233 meters tall building is a gift from the former Soviet Union, built by around 3500 Soviet workers. Many Polish didn’t like the building, because they though about it as a symbol of the Soviet occupation, and, the tower doesn’t really fit into Warsaw – which I don’t agree with. Tourists can go up to the tower, and you can have a panorama from 144 meters. (it’s not free). There is an old joke from Warsaw about this: this is the most beautiful point of the town, as you cannot see the tower itself.
9. Wilanów Palace
Although on most days the entrance to the Wilanów Palace is not free, you can visit it on Thursday without paying any admissions to the castle or to its garden. The palace is located a little bit out of the city (40 minutes from the center), but you can easily go there by bus. According to my friend the palace was built on the plans of Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna.
10. Lazienki Park
When you’re in Warsaw, you shouldn’t miss visiting its biggest park, the Lazienki Park. This park has some very interesting points, some lakes, rivers, a Chinese garden, an Egyptian temple and palaces, including the Palace on the Isle, which is built on an island in the middle of the park (entrance is possible, but there is an admission). On this island you can also see a small theater, inspired by ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The park is also homes several squirrels and peacocks.
There are so many more places which should be seen in Warsaw. Don’t hesitate to start walking on the streets and explore the architecture. You can find random buildings built in very nice style (like the National Theater, or the Public Library, or City Hall, etc.) Warsaw differs from most Polish cities, and it has a very big competition with Krakkow. Most people prefers Krakow, as it’s an old city, it has more tourist attraction, while Warsaw is totally different, it’s a new town which was totally rebuilt after the World War II.
I hope I could bring some mood to visit Warsaw in the future. Don’t hesitate to write a comment with your questions or your opinion about Warsaw.