Warsaw’s most beloved symbol is the mermaid. According to legend she is the city’s sworn protector, having won the locals’ hearts with her captivating song. She oversees a city of many sides, where history, nature and modernity coexist seamlessly, from parks and gardens to avant-garde festivals, museums and more.
Much of Warsaw’s allure is in its well-preserved palaces and period buildings each with a story of its own. Some of the more popular sites include the Wilanów Palace and the Łazienki Królewskie Palace, which feature beautiful gardens, works of art and historical artefacts.
Poland is replete with relics of bygone wars, some more sober like Ul Próżna, a street that survived World War 2, with buildings that still bear the marks of war. Then there is the festive Old Town, restored just after World War 2, it is an ideal spot for coffee and local art, and is home to another famous Warsaw landmark, the Royal Castle.
One of the city’s most famous residents is composer Chopin, and there are dozens of attractions dedicated to his memory including Chopin’s Benches, that tells his story through audio and digital content at locations throughout the city. The Chopin Monument in Łazienki Królewskie is a relaxing option during the summer months with live performances of Chopin’s compositions, and perhaps a picnic.
Satisfy your appetite for retail amongst Warsaw’s fashionable malls where local and international brands can be found. Pay a visit to Nowy Świat Street, for some of the trendiest shopping and dining, or Galeria Mokotów, one of the largest malls in the city.
Warsaw offers many leisure opportunities from theme parks and fairs to annual festivals, like Carnival in March and the Contemporary Opera Festival in April. The Multimedia Fountain Park features a water, light and laser show with accompanying audio runs every weekend between spring and early autumn.
Start your exploration of local cuisine with bigos, considered Poland’s national dish, it is a centuries-old recipe made with a variety of stewed meats and sauerkraut. Golabki and pierogi dumplings are also local favourites, but the donuts from Café Blikle have attained legendary status – the long lines are the evidence.
Warsaw nightlife has much to offer from the techno club scene to relaxed lounges and bars. Dobra Street 33/35 is a collection of bars popular among university students, while Nowy Świat Street has a variety of bars and clubs for all preferences.
The historic Praga district has become a favourite among artists and a sort of hotspot for creativity. There are also a host of live concerts of all kinds during the summer months. There are also many theatres, like the well-known Teatr Polonia, as well as opera houses, both indoor and open-air, for children and adults alike, which can be experienced outside the summer months.
Outside the city, the wild beauty of Kampinos National Park awaits. Home to a number of endangered species, it is ideal for hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. You can also find Poland’s widest tree there – a poplar 11 metres wide – as well as beautiful marshlands among other things.
Experience the incomparable crisp air of Konstancin-Jeziorna, a spa town known for its natural remedies for a variety of conditions. You’ll find its pine-scented air refreshing and will have plenty to do with botanical gardens, hiking and cycling trails as well as the picturesque rivers to enjoy.
Because of its Renaissance architecture and breathtaking landscapes, Kazimierz Dolny is a favourite amongst painters and artists of all kinds. Its abundance of historical relics and rich culture has led to it being declared a cultural monument.