Discover Warsaw
The romantic city with a tough history

The city of parks and magnificent palaces that have risen from the ruins

Districts of Warsaw

In 2002, when Poland underwent administrative reform, Warsaw was given the status of a "powiat", consisting of one gmina, which, in turn, is divided into 18 dzielnicas or districts. The most interesting for tourists are Śródmieście and Wola, where most of the attractions are concentrated.

Population

Warsaw, like the whole of Poland in general, is a mono-ethnic city. The vast majority of the city's inhabitants are Polish (over 95%). The representatives of other nationalities are very few here, mostly Germans, Belarusians, and Ukrainians. As in many modern cities, the proportion of women living in Warsaw is slightly higher than that of men, 54% and 46% respectively.

Brief history

Despite the fact that documentary records of Warsaw date back to the XIV century, archaeologists have determined with absolute certainty that the first settlements here emerged as early as the X century. According to legend, the city's name comes from the names of two lovers — the fisherman Wars and the mermaid Sawa. The image of this mermaid, in fact, is the symbol of the city to this day.

Another legend says that the name of the Polish capital combined the names of the twins — Wars and Sawa, whose mother, a poor fisherwoman, helped a lost prince, and he became the godfather of the kids and rewarded their parents for their help. The family used the money to build a house. Other fishers began to settle around, and gradually a city sprang up.

The first rulers of Warsaw became dukes of Mazovia. In 1596, the city became the capital of Poland and the residence of the Polish kings. At that time, Warsaw began to develop and rebuild rapidly, but already in the XIX century, it lost its position, becoming an ordinary provincial town of the Russian Empire. It was able to return the status of the capital of independent Poland only after World War I. During World War II, it almost disappeared from the face of the earth. In 1944, under Hitler's order, the city and its historic center were almost completely destroyed.

The city had been recovering for a long and painful time, but it was very effective. Today, the historical center of Warsaw is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as an example of the restoration of destroyed historical heritage.

The best time to visit Warsaw

A trip to the capital of Poland will be most comfortable from May to October. This is when the weather is most suitable for walking, the relative humidity decreases, although there is more precipitation. The only downside will be the abundance of tourists on the city streets and the queues to visit the most popular attractions. However, winter is also a good time to visit Warsaw. You can devote more time to museum collections and explore the local cuisine, wandering through the cozy restaurants.

Useful notes

In order not to get caught by crooks and not to pay twice or even three times more for a trip, get in a cab, make sure that the car has a picture of a mermaid, the symbol of Warsaw, yellow and red stripes, and the glass on the right rear door there is a table indicating the rate per kilometer. Besides, the cars of official taxi companies always have meters and cash registers.

Experienced tourists are advised not to change money in Warsaw in banks or exchange offices at hotels. The most profitable and fair exchange rate in the so-called offices (Kantor wymiany walut). There are a lot of them in Warsaw. However, if you want to know where to go, just search for "Kantor wymiany walut Warsaw" and the nearest ones will appear on the map.

Tickets for transport in Warsaw are better to buy in newsstands or special vending machines. You can also pay the driver, but then the trip will cost more. Do not forget to stamp your ticket.

Public transport in Warsaw works until 23:00. After that time, the easiest way to get to your destination is by cab. The buses run at night, but the interval of movement is 30 minutes.

The tourist card in Warsaw is somewhat different from those offered in most European cities. It covers only the city's major attractions, but not the right to travel on public transport. Unless you can get a ride on the Hop-on and Hop-off sightseeing buses. The card can be purchased online, and guests of the Polish capital under 26 years and over 65 years are entitled to a discount.

Things to do in Warsaw

  • View the city from the highest building in Poland, the 42-story Palace of Culture and Science, which was constructed in 1955 as a gift to the Polish people from the USSR. There is a magnificent viewing platform on the 30th floor of the palace.
  • Walk around Castle Square and be sure to go to the Royal Palace, see the apartments of King Stanisław August Poniatowski, the dance hall, admire the drawings of the Old Town of Warsaw, the work of Bernardo Bellotto. By the way, they allowed recreating the architecture of Warsaw. On Sundays, admission to the Royal Castle is free.
  • Make a wish at the magic bell on Kanonia Square by walking around it three times.
  • Find musical benches and sit on them, enjoying the immortal works of the great Chopin.
  • Stroll along the beautiful street called Krakowskie Przedmieście, and then go to the library of the University of Warsaw and climb to the roof. There's a gorgeous two-tiered garden there, a stunning place for a romantic date. The area of the garden is more than a hectare.
  • Take at least one day to see the unique museums of the Polish capital — National Museum, Museum of the Polish Army, Museum of Caricatures, Chopin Museum, Museum of Fire-Fighting, and Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum.
  • Take selfies with the Little Mermaid, whose statue stands on the city's most beautiful square, the Market Square. It is difficult to believe, looking at the merchant houses with unique architectural details, that they have not been standing here for several hundred years but were carefully reconstructed in the late XX century according to the ancient drawings.
  • Buy sweets at the famous A. Blikle confectionery, on Nowy Świat Street. It has been working here since 1869 and has become a real magnet for the sweet tooth.
  • Take part in a Polish tradition, horse racing. Choose a favorite and place a bet. Or you can just admire the horses. The Warsaw hippodrome is one of the largest and most beautiful in the world.
  • Try the local culinary attractions — bigos, flaki, zurek, and tartar. Those who like their drinks stronger can have a glass of Zubrowka or a glass of local beer.

Map Warsaw

Hotels in Warsaw

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