Thinking of a wintery weekend in Warsaw? (you really should be! :))
As the beautiful Christmas Markets kicked off in Warsaw last week, now’s the the perfect time to try out this historic city, with an old town that’s been fully re-built after WW2 (and now a UNESCO site) – a great feat to see for your own eyes!
The Warsaw Christmas Market runs til January 8th and it’s a great time to tuck into some hearty polish food, mulled wine and beer, pick up lovely traditional trinkets and gifts and explore Warsaw if you need to walk some of the food off 🙂
So what are the top 10 things to do in Warsaw?
- Warsaw Old Town and Royal Castle – one not to miss, and the setting for the yearly Christmas Markets. Visit the castle, stroll around the old town main square and stop for a lovely lunch, tea (with lemon and sugar :)) or a nice mulled beer (or cool zywiec in the Summer!). Marvel at the beautiful Syrenka (mermaid) sculpture in the middle of the square – Warsaw’s emblem and go for some warming dumplings in the pierrogeria by the Barbakan (Barbican walls) – our favourite dumpling place in Warsaw!
- Royal Baths Park – take a bus to Lazienki (or tram) and enjoy a stroll in this beautiful royal park. Discover the palace on the water and take a trip on the cute gondolas on the lake or if you come back in the Summer, you can listen to an open air Chopin concert – great reason to go back again! 🙂
- Maria Sklodowska-Curie Museum – this museum is based in the ‘New Town’ – slightly newer than the old town, but still pretty old :). The Nobel prize winner was actually born in Warsaw in 1867, learn more about her life in this great little museum (and there’s plenty of restaurants around in the New Town for a bite to eat afterwards).
- Golden Terraces Shopping Centre – quite a recent addition to Warsaw and adjacent to the Warsaw Central Station (great for shopping in between trains!), this shopping centre is sleek, modern and covers all the major UK, French and other international as well as Polish shops. There’s also a big food court, a supermarket, Hard Rock Cafe and a LOT Airlines check in place where you can get rid of your luggage before a flight and shop in peace (yes, have used this before!)
- Wilanow Royal Residence (just outside Warsaw) – visit this beautiful baroque palace and gardens dating from the 13th century which was once the residence of King Jan III Sobieski in 1676.
- Delicious cakes – in between the traditional hearty Polish food and the delicious polish beer, pop in for something sweet at the famous Blikle café located at the elegant Nowy Swiat Street or the Bracia Gessler Ice Cream Parlour (Brothers Gessler) – modelled inside on a Grecian building.
- Chopin’s Zelazowa Wola (just outside Warsaw) – 46km west of Warsaw, the Zelazowa Wola village is surrounded by picturesque landscape and contains the home where Chopin was born in 1810, you can also catch Chopin concerts in the Summer – another one to come back for next year!
- Kampinos National Park (just outside Warsaw) – on the north west outskirts of Warsaw, this huge national park was created in 1959, covering 407 square kilometres and it’s been a UNESCO site since 2000. Situated by Zelazowa Wola, it’s a good place to combine with the visit to Chopin’s birthplace.
- Warsaw Uprising museum – for around 10 zl (£2) you get to experience this multi media museum dedicated to the poignant Warsaw Uprising of WW2, probably one of the best museums in Poland!
- Palace of Culture– a view from the top – the Rolling Stones performed here in 1967 and the tallest building in Poland also houses a theatre, cinema, museum, conference hall and even a university! Take a lift to the 30th floor for great views of Warsaw.