Stroll along Trakt Królewski (the Royal Route)
Trakt Królewski (‘The Royal Route’) is undoubtedly the most beautiful part of the city, encompassing five connecting streets on which many culturally important buildings and monuments are located. It starts on the edge of the Old Town and stretches for over a mile. After touring the UNESCO-listed Old Town, head along Krakowskie Przedmieście street (check out the University of Warsaw’s campus, Church of St Anne, Nicolaus Copernicus’ monument, and the Polish Academy of Sciences), then onto the swanky Nowy Świat street (great for bars and cafés), down Aleje Ujazdowskie (check out the Three Crosses Square with St Alexander’s Church) and end at the famous Royal Łazienki Park.
Laze in Royal Łazienki Park
This biggest and most charming park in the whole of Warsaw was designed in the 17th century in the Baroque style. The park is home to a number of palaces (including the main Palace on the Water), a neoclassical amphitheater and orangeries. Often in summer, there are free yoga and meditation classes in the park.
The Wisła (Vistula) River
Recently, the Wisła (Vistula) River bank has become a trendy meeting place with a cultural addition to it. The new beach pavilion and café space Plażowa hosts a cycle of concerts called ‘Miejskie granie’ (‘urban playing’) performed by Poland’s best young musicians. And the great thing about these concerts is that they are free. Plażowa also provides an outdoor theater and cinema, a swimming pool for children, a renting point for sport and beach accessories, as well as many cafés and bars.
Tour the Copernicus Science Centre
The largest Science Museum in Poland is named after the most famous Polish astronomer of all, Nicolaus Copernicus. The stylish Copernicus Science Centre is not to be missed. Expect permanent displays that impress both adults and children, regular events and workshops and seasonal exhibitions.
The Museum of the Warsaw Uprising
The Museum of the Warsaw Uprising has the motto ‘We wanted to be free – and to owe this freedom to ourselves’, and it presents the history of the 1944 uprising,crucial for the development and the end of World War II. It is a must for everyone interested in world history and military studies. It was modelled after the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and uses multimedia design in order to replicate the atmosphere of the uprising. You can see some of the bunkers used in the uprising, read extracts from newspapers printed at the time, as well as understand the chronology of the battle proceedings. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
The Royal Castle
Warsaw’s Royal Castle is situated in the Old Town on the beautiful Castle Square. It was a residence of the Polish royalty between the 16th and 18th centuries. The castle was completely destroyed by the German army during World War II and, because of the Communist regime, it was only reconstructed in the 1980s, but it blends into the Old Town’s atmosphere very well. The interiors host a collection of portraits of the Polish kings and a collection of 23 18th-century paintings of Warsaw ordered by Poland’s last king, S. A. Poniatowski.
Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN)
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN) is a newly opened, interactive and vibrant museum that also served as a cultural centre, organizing various workshops, debates, lectures and other temporary events. The main exhibition depicts the thousand-year old history of the Jews in Poland. POLIN’s very location is significant, too – it stands in the centre of the former Jewish ghetto of World War.
Palace of Culture and Science
Warsaw’s iconic must-see building is the Palace of Culture and Science. It was a ‘gift’ from Stalin back in the Communist era and has divided opinion among the city’s residents. Love it or hate it, the building is pretty hard to miss. For sublime views of the city, buy a ticket and head to the viewing platform on the 30th floor, via the lift. The building itself has a theatre and cinema inside it and hosts regular events.
Old Town Square
At the centre of the partially walled Old Town (Stare Miasto), the Old Town Square is, for those with an eye for historic buildings, the loveliest square in Warsaw. It’s lined with tall houses exhibiting a fine blend of Renaissance, baroque, Gothic and neoclassical elements; aside from the facades at Nos 34 and 36, all were rebuilt after being reduced to rubble by the Germans at the close of WWII.
Warsaw’s multimedia fountain park
Located on the outskirts of the old town and fronting the Vistula River. You can enjoy a multimedia presentation in the evenings with a water fountain and laser light extravaganza accompanied by popular artists like Lady Gaga and transitioning to famous composers like Chopin. You can check out the schedule of water performances here.