The Polish capital captivates visitors with the contrast between tradition and modernity: on the one hand is the picturesque old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rebuilt stone by stone like the Royal Castle. On the other hand, there are spectacular skyscrapers, modern shopping malls and a lively nightlife. Warsaw constantly alternates between hip and historic, Polish culture and an international atmosphere.
There are plenty of discoveries to be made in Warsaw by those interested in art, culture and architecture. There are exciting museums such as the award-winning Jewish Museum and contemporary Polish art galleries. The city centre is home to fascinating buildings such as the residential tower designed by star architect Daniel Libeskind and the monumental Palace of Culture. The banks of the Vistula River has good cafés and even a city beach for relaxation.
Warsaw is located in the Masovian Voivodeship, one of a total of 16 voivodeships (provinces) in the Republic of Poland. Rolling hills, dense forests and the valleys along the Vistula River characterise the region, which is located in central Poland. In addition to Warsaw, the region offers a number of interesting towns and villages, including Mazovia’s second largest city Radom and Żelazowa Wola, the birthplace of composer Frédéric Chopin. The town of Kazimierz Dolny, known for its pretty houses and romantic view of the Vistula, is also worth a visit. Kampinos National Park is a must for all nature lovers. The park is a protected UNESCO biosphere reserve and has forests far and wide marked with marshes, dunes and hiking trails.
1. Stroll through the Old Town and see the Royal Castle
2. There’s a great view of the whole city from the 30th floor of the Palace of Culture
3. Explore the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial and the Jewish Museum
4. Take a stroll through Lazienki Park and watch the tame squirrels
5. Take a trip by public bus to Wilanow Palace
1. Hands-on science at the Copernicus Museum
2. Trace the footsteps of Chopin in the Holy Cross Church
3. Shop and feast in the old Koszyki Market Hall
4. Take the 180 bus past all the main sights
5. Admire the paintings of Rembrandt and Canaletto in the Royal Palace
1. Cross the Vistula by ferry
2. Experiment and explore at the Copernicus Museum
3. Doll museum or railway museum? Simply visit both in Warsaw
4. Build sandcastles on the Vistula beach
5. Count the mermaids placed and depicted all over the city
Title image: Warsaw Old Town © TTstudio/AdobeStock
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