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 artifacts.
Poland is replete with relics of bygone wars, some more sobering, like Ul Próżna, a street that survived World War II and whose buildings still bear the marks of war. Then there is the festive Old Town. Restored just after World War II, 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 the composer Chopin, and there are dozens of attractions dedicated to his memory, including Chopin’s Benches, which tell 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, offering live performances of Chopin’s compositions, and perhaps a picnic.
Satisfy your appetite for retail in 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, including 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 favorites, but the doughnuts 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 with university students, while Nowy Świat Street has a variety of bars and clubs for all preferences.
The historic Praga district has become a favorite among artists and a sort of hotspot of creativity. A host of live concerts of all kinds are offered throughout the summer months. There are also many theaters, 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 meters 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 you'll have plenty to do, with botanical gardens, hiking and cycling trails, and the picturesque rivers to enjoy.
Because of its Renaissance architecture and breathtaking landscapes, Kazimierz Dolny is a favorite among painters and artists of all kinds. Its abundance of historical relics and rich culture has led to it being declared a cultural monument.