Things to Do in Warsaw
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, rose from the ashes of World War II like a Phoenix; rebuilding itself into a cultural and economic hotspot and reclaiming the title of “Paris of East Europe”. Situated on the banks of the Vistula River, Warsaw is an eclectic mix of royal heritage, rich history, natural beauty and chic modern lifestyle. The city is home to the largest airport in Poland — the Warsaw Chopin Airport. You can go for online flight booking as every major travel portal offer a variety of one-way and round trip deals. Warsaw is a must-visit place for travelers interested in history, architecture, music or contemporary art. Besides this, the capital has many interesting places to visit. To make it easier for you, we have prepared a list of things to do in Warsaw.
The Mermaid is the symbol of Warsaw and had earned its place in the city’s coat of arms. The Maid of Warsaw’s origins are shrouded in mystery and it has a significance in Polish history from the mid-14th century. Though many statues depicting the legendary figure of the mermaid holding a sword are found in Warsaw, it is the Mermaid Statue in the very centre of Old Town Square that serves as the city’s icon. A selfie in front of this bronze sculpture from 1855 is a great way to make a memory worth saving; and for sure one of the many things to do in Warsaw.
Warsaw’s Royal Castle is situated in the old town on the Castle Square. It served as the residence of the Polish Royal Family between the 16th and 18th centuries. The castle was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II and, because of the Communist regime, was only reconstructed in the 1980s. The majestic castle blends into the old town’s atmosphere and the interiors display a collection of portraits of the Polish kings and a priceless collection of 18th-century paintings of Warsaw ordered by Poland’s last king — S.A. Poniatowski.
The Royal Route
Warsaw’s Royal Way is a two-mile long stretch that starts from the Royal Palace at Old Town to the Wilanów Palace. A walk on this heritage road is one of the most beautiful things to do in Warsaw as it winds its way through some of the greatest Polish historical landmarks, including St. Anne's Church, the Tyszkiewicz Palace, the Holy Cross Church and Nicolaus Copernicus’ monument.
Towards the end of the “Royal Way” is a serene park designed in the Baroque style. This gorgeous landmark is the biggest park in the city. It was originally a hunting ground that was taken over by King Stanislaw August Poniatowski and transformed it into a splendid park. The park is now home to a number of palaces, a neo-classical amphitheatre, orangeries and a lot more. If you get lucky during the summer then you could witness open air classical musical concerts being held at its lawns.
Wilanów, pronounced as vee-lah-noof, is one of the top palaces in the city. Visiting this palace needs to be put on your list of things to do in Warsaw. In the historic period of 1677, King Jan III Sobieski refurbished an old manor into an Italian Baroque villa to be used as a royal summer residence. He named it in Italian — ‘villa nuova’. The architecture of the palace has seen changes over the centuries as every new owner went on to mark the palace with their own preferences and styles. With a bit of Baroque and neoclassical style the palace exhibits splendour of European architecture.
Museum of the Warsaw Uprising
The museum dedicated to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the advancing Red Army is a must visit for people interested in world history and military studies. It has been designed after the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and has used multimedia extensively to replicate the atmosphere of the 63 day long uprising.
Of special mention amongst the 60 museums in the city is the Chopin Museum which showcases the work of the country’s most famous composer and pianist Frédéric François Chopin. You could have a great time exploring the contents of this high-tech museum housed in the Baroque Ostrogski Palace. It features four floors of displays; and includes a basement where you can browse Chopin’s legacy to your heart’s content.
Neon museum holds special importance because of the preservation of iconic neon signs of the communist era. Moreover, it is located in the complex of old industrial buildings housing several designers and artists. Other exhibits spread around the factory are lit-up after dark which makes it one of the most fun things to do in Warsaw.