Poland’s capital was essentially rebuilt after being completely destroyed by the Nazis during WWII. Now the sprawling metropolis offers a large variety of modern restaurants, shops and nightclubs, whilst its varied history is remembered in the museums and architecture of Old Town.
Food and drink
For a peek into Communist-era Poland, step into one of the city’s remaining bar mleczny (’milk bars’), which serves traditional Polish food at rock-bottom prices. As expected, the vodka in Warsaw comes in all sorts of types and flavours. Tea and coffee are also popular, so quaint cafes are prevalent.
Three huge shopping malls in Warsaw offer all the Western brands at cheaper Polish prices. Visitors can spend a whole day here, buying anything from groceries to designer shoes, shopping for gifts at the Christmas market and dining in the eclectic food court.
Things to see and do
- Palace of Culture and Science - As Warsaw’s tallest building, the best city views are from the top of this prime example of Stalinist architecture.
- Warsaw Uprising Museum - Details city life during WWII, including how the residents bravely resisted German forces for two months.
- Zamek Krolewski (Royal Castle) - Reconstructed in the 1970s, the 18th-century palace for Polish royalty later housed parliament, and now serves as a museum.
- Lazienki Park - Extensive green space hosting free concerts in the summer to celebrate Warsaw-native, Frederic Chopin.
- Jewish Ghetto Memorial and Museum - A moving monument and museum dedicated to the city’s Jewish population, which was decimated during WWII.
- Walk the Gothic, cobblestone streets of Old Town for a glimpse of baroque palaces and churches.
- Relax in Lazienki Park, with its magnificent gardens, ponds and 18th-century, neoclassical palace.