The capital of Poland is a busy cosmopolitan city where commerce, culture and history collide to create an intriguing holiday destination.
Warsaw is sometimes known as a “living museum” since most of it was destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising in World War II and rebuilt to look almost exactly the same. Walking around the old town, Stare Miasto, and past the iconic Mermaid statue, it’s hard to believe the aged-looking buildings have only been there for 60-odd years. There are many excellent museums throughout the city with insights into Warsaw’s dramatic past, including the National Museum, the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the Museum of Independence.
When you get flights to Warsaw, you’ll most likely head to Nowy Swiat, the picturesque main boulevard where you’ll find lots of shops and restaurants, as well as the seat of Polish government. Some eateries can be expensive here and if you’re looking for cheap meals, then try a “milk bar” which offers hearty simple food in a stripped-down bistro environment. If you’re looking for trendier modern spots, head to Praga on the east side of the Vistula river where you’ll find factories converted into art and restaurant spaces.
The most famous building is the Communist landmark built by Stalin, the Palace of Culture and Science, and you cannot miss it if you get cheap flights to Warsaw. This intimidating building once hated by Warsaw citizens is now loved as one of the best contemporary arts venues in the country, hosting concerts, exhibitions, art installations and innovative dining.