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Blick auf Warschau, Bild: fotorince / shutterstock

Warsaw – cosmopolitan city on the Vistula

Warsaw – Polish capital and modern metropolis with over 1.7 million inhabitants – has long since ceased to be an insider tip for tourists. This is where a UNESCO-listed old town, historic monuments, green parks and modern Poland meet. Whether it’s the relaxed sightseeing of a cultural tour or a tour through the lively nightlife – Warsaw presents itself as an ideal destination for a city trip.

UNESCO World Heritage Site – The attractions in Warsaw’s Old Town

Entrance to the University of Warsaw, Image: Chrispictures / shutterstock

Since 1980, Warsaw’s historic core has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the great destruction caused by the Second World War, the historic city centre was reconstructed true to the original in the late 40s and 50s. And even today, the historic panorama between the castle and St. John’s Cathedral forms an attractive destination for tourists in the heart of Warsaw. If you visit Warsaw, you should take your time for the old town.

Here stands the Warsaw Royal Castle with architectural Renaissance influences, where from the late Middle Ages to the In the 18th century, the Polish kings resided. The history of the neo-Gothic St. John’s Cathedral dates back to the 14th century, it is considered the oldest church in Warsaw. Classic sightseeing in Warsaw’s Old Town also includes the Barbican from the 16th and the 22-metre-high Sigismund Column from the 17th century.

If you want to stop off at restaurants or cafés, you should not miss the historic market square, whose photogenic panorama now enjoys an international reputation.

Historic architecture on the Royal Route

Warsaw Barbican
Barbican Warsaw, Image: krivinis / shutterstock

But Warsaw is not only the old town – even far away from the restored core, you can discover architecture and historic sacred buildings worth seeing. A popular place to stroll is the Royal Route, which leads from the Old Town to the Rondo Charles’a de Gaulle’a, for example, and thus knows how to present some of Warsaw’s sights along the way.

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The Polish monarchs once rode along the great representative street, especially in the Krakow suburbs district you can discover historic castles such as today’s Presidential Palace, the baroque Potocki Palace from the 17th century and the classicist Tyszkiwicz Palace from the 18th century. Along the Royal Route are some of Warsaw’s most important sacred buildings – including the Gothic St. Anne’s Church and the Baroque St. Joseph’s Church.

If you can’t get enough of historic Warsaw far away from the Royal Route, you should check out architectural marvels such as the Warsaw Citadel from the 19th century, the gigantic National Theatre Teatr Wielki from the 19th century and the landmark Kulturpalast from the 20th century. One of Warsaw’s most important historical districts is the popular Praga, which boasts historic buildings, proximity to Warsaw’s idyllic Vistula riverbank, parks and bars.

Natural Warsaw between the Vistula River and Łazienki Park

Skyline Warsaw
The skyline of Warsaw, Image: Mike Mareen / shutterstock

The natural dimension of Warsaw is revealed in the city’s parks and green spaces. A prominent example is Łazienki Park, which provides natural greenery in the central district of Śródmieście. The history of the idyllic 80-hectare park dates back to the 17th century. Here, too, there is the Łazienki Palace, an impressive historical building in the classicist style, which goes back to the architect Tylman van Gameren.

Between Kobushi magnolia, weeping willow and lilac, you can discover the Chopin monument, the antique-inspired theatre on the island and the classicist Belvedere Palace from the 17th century. Agrykola Park in the south of the city is also recommended, where you can see the historic Ujazdów Castle. One of the central parks is also the Pole Mokotowskie, which is built around a lake in the middle of the park. An idyllic walk along partly green banks is offered on the Vistula in the heart of Warsaw.

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Warsaw’s museums and cultural institutions

Visitors interested in culture can enjoy museums in Warsaw, some of which are internationally renowned. The dark chapter of the Second World War, for example, is commemorated by the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, which has been located in the former tram power plant since 2004. The history of the Jewish inhabitants of Warsaw and Poland from the Middle Ages to the present day is dedicated to the history of Polish Jews. Also worth mentioning is the National Museum Warsaw, which houses about 800,000 exhibits of works of art, paintings and sculptures.

Culinary specialties, shopping streets and nightlife

As befits the capital of Poland , Warsaw has a number of restaurants serving the country’s specialties – serving culinary specialties such as bigos or Poland’s popular pierogi and meat dishes. The milk bars, which became popular during the socialist era, are still very popular today as cheap snacks. Far from that, Warsaw has the culinary diversity of a cosmopolitan city – from Italian to Asian to Eastern European cuisine.

Restaurants can be found mainly in the historic center – whether on the market square or not far from the Königsweg. Modern Warsaw is evident in the capital’s nightlife, for example in the popular Opera Club in the basement of the National Theatre, Room 13 or the Tygmont jazz club. If you like shopping and strolling, you should not miss the noble shopping street Nowy Swiat, one of the largest shopping centers is the Arkadia Shopping Mall.

Excursion destinations around Warsaw: the Kampinos National Park

On the northwestern outskirts of Warsaw lies the Kampinos National Park, which was established in 1959. Here you can discover natural Poland between swamps, river arms, pastures and primeval forests. Since 2000, the park has been part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, where rare animal species such as the moose, the beaver and the lynx feel at home.