People used to call Warsaw "Eastern Paris" at the beginning of the last century for its beauty, charm, and romanticism. It is multi-faceted and diverse. Like the legendary Phoenix bird, it rose from the ashes, reborn from the ruins, and, as a result, became even more beautiful. The status of the capital does not burden Warsaw in any way. It is equally friendly to its guests and locals. Although the first ones may be a little confused by the light chaotics of the buildings and the sudden mix-up of styles. But people willingly forgive it all this, like any beautiful and capricious woman. This is a city that has character. Perhaps, it was the character that allowed the Polish capital to go through the tough challenges and survive.
Districts of Warsaw
You can literally call the sights of Warsaw royal — Castle Square and the Royal Castle, the Wilanów Palace, and the Lazienki Park. The Basilica of the Holy Cross and John the Baptist Cathedral, unique museums, and Copernicus Science Center — all these await you in magnificent Warsaw.
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
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.