Warsaw Essentials

A beautiful city with plenty of interesting things to do, the capital of Poland can enchant any visitor with its quite particular charm. If you don’t have much time in Warsaw and want to make the most of it, you can find below the sights that I consider truly essential in the city.

 

Warsaw Old Town

Warsaw Old Town is beautiful and has a series of colorful houses that make beautiful photos. We find a great number of must-see attractions there. One of them is the Market Square which was the center of public life of Warsaw until the nineteenth century. The place is especially lively during the summer when it gets dark later and the temperatures are higher. Several cafes are located in this area and you can take carriage rides around Old Town starting there. The Cathedral of St. Johnes, the oldest church of Warsaw which was built in 1339, can also be visited there. The most impressive of the buildings in this area, however, is the Royal Castle. It has already worked as parliamentary headquarters and monarchy residence. Nowadays, it’s a museum that houses an incredible collection of art of the city. It’s worth remembering that much of what we see there are new buildings even if they appear to be centuries years old. Warsaw Old Town was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War and it was rebuilt based on paintings from the times before the bombings.

 
Image: Wikicommons.
 
 
Image: Wikicommons.

 

Royal Route

The Royal Route is one of the most beautiful streets of Warsaw. It houses palaces, mansions and churches, as well as the University of Warsaw. It’s also a busy shopping street with many cafes and restaurants. The Presidential Palace and the entrance to the University of Warsaw are located side by side on the Royal Route as well. It’s really worth it visiting the two places! You can make a guided tour at the Presidential Palace cause it’s quite interesting to visit its interiors. The campus of the University of Warsaw is also an interesting place to be explored a little bit further. The buildings located on campus have an amazing architecture, and the Botanical Garden on the library ceiling is also a must! At the end of the Royal Route, we have the Lazienki Park which is full of palaces, temples and monuments. It houses the monumental Lazienki Palace, one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in Poland, that is a museum of architecture nowadays.

Image: Wikicommons.

Image: Wikicommons.

Image: Wikicommons.

Palace of Culture and Science & Zlote Tarasy

The Palace of Culture and Science is the most famous monument in Warsaw. The building was a “gift” from the Soviet Union to Poland, but the Poles consider that it’s a horrific reminder of the times in which they were under Soviet domination. In front of it, we have a mall with a quite bold architectural design: Zlote Tarasy. It has an impressive transparent glass roof with rounded and irregular shapes, as well as many shops, restaurants and a cinema.

 
Image: Wikicommons.
 
Image: Wikicommons.
 

Wilanów Palace

Wilanów Palace was a former royal residence which is located within a park and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It has an imposing neoclassical facade, adorned with sculptures and murals. It survived through the two World Wars and is currently part of the National Heritage of Poland.

 
Image: Wikicommons.
 
Image: Wikicommons.

Warsaw Uprising Museum

Warsaw Uprising Museum is a relatively new museum and is one of the most complete ones talking about the Second World War. It went through a great process of curation and has excellent multimedia features. It recounts the dramatic story of the anti-Nazi resistance very interactively. The exhibition shows how it was to live in the besieged city and how the Poles managed to retake it from the Germans. The videos of the time shown in the movies are not to be missed.

 
Image: Wikicommons.
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