Why Warsaw should be your next city break

Why Warsaw should be your next city break

Krakow may be considered Poland’s prettiest city, but Warsaw has a unique beauty of its own that travellers shouldn’t overlook.

Rich in history, culture and green spaces, the country’s capital city took me by surprise during my recent trip and now I cannot recommend a Warsaw city break enough!

A Warsaw city break

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that Warsaw, and Poland generally, hadn’t really been on my travel radar. Our summer trip to the city was actually the choice of my step-kids. I’m quite chuffed to say that when we asked them where they’d like to go for our summer trip they came up with Warsaw because “all our friends go to France and Spain and we want to visit somewhere different!”

Flights were cheap and we found a wonderful central apartment called the ‘Warsaw Nest’ via Wimdu, so we booked everything up and started to look at what the city had to offer.

A tumultuous history

And this was when my interest was piqued. I discovered Warsaw’s tumultuous past, learning that during WWII its people were the first to stand up to the Nazis but that Hitler’s response to the Warsaw Uprising was to literally destroy 80% of the city.

Rightly so, the Warsaw Uprising is still a strong part of the city’s identity, and it still wears the scars of the battle, with bullet holes visible on many buildings. And although a terrible tale, it was amazing to learn about the strength of its people in the Warsaw Uprising Museum and to see how they rebuilt their devastated city.

A monument in memory of the Warsaw Uprising - this symbol can be found throughout the city.

A monument in memory of the Warsaw Uprising – this symbol can be found throughout the city.

The city still bears the scars from the Warsaw Uprising.

The city still bears the scars from the Warsaw Uprising.

Warsaw’s Old Town

And rebuild they did. Hitler wanted anything of value destroyed in the city just to ‘pay them a lesson’ and so the Nazis entirely destroyed Warsaw’s old town. Yet it stands today. How you ask? Well the original architectural plans were found and it was rebuilt stone for stone.

Walking round today it’s odd to think that these old looking buildings are actually less than 100 years old!

Warsaw's 'new' old town.

Warsaw’s ‘new’ old town.

Distinct districts offering a variety of attractions

Nods to the Warsaw Uprising may follow you around the city during your visit, but there is much more to the city. When possible we tried to explore the city by foot (taking advantage of Uber whenever my legs got too bad). This allowed us to see that each area of the city had a distinct look and feel, with the old town’s quaint squares juxtaposed by the financial district’s business buzz with tall, glass buildings and the iconic Palace of Science and Culture.

Like Marmite the locals either love or hate it. A gift from the Soviets I actually thought the building was amazing, although I did expect Zuul or the Stay Puft Marshamallow Man from Ghostbusters to appear…

More modern buildings can be found towards the south along the river, where you’ll also find the city’s university (if you get a chance visit the university library’s rooftop garden!) and the renowned Copernicus Science Centre.

Then just a short walk away you’ll come to tree lined streets dotted with cafes and restaurants reminiscent of Greenwich Village.

Looking up at the Palace of Culture and Science Warsaw

Looking up at the Palace of Culture and Science.

Old meets new in the financial district of Warsaw.

Old meets new in the financial district of Warsaw.

Green spaces and breathtaking palaces

Yup, Warsaw has it all – wide cobbled streets, a Jewish ghetto and beautiful parks scattered throughout the city including Lazienki Park a huge green space dotted with lakes, palaces and even an amphitheatre for summer Chopin concerts.

This is just a taster of what Warsaw has to offer (and I haven’t even started on the amazing chocolate, giant beer tankards or food platters!), but I hope it will show you that wide range of activities, culture and history it has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for bars and fun in the city’s many escape rooms or palaces, churches and classical music this city has it all.

This is why I think a Warsaw city break should be high on your travel list – it’s a truly wonderful city that offers elegance and luxury without breaking the bank.

Lazienki Park Warsaw

Lazienki Park – on Narnia?

palace on the water Lazienki Park Warsaw

The beautiful Palace on the Water at Lazienki Park.

Have you been to Warsaw before and would you agree? Or perhaps this has inspired you to visit? Let us know in the comments below!

 

warsaw city break | Ladies What Travel

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Keri

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

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10 Comments

  1. April 19, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    Warsaw is a very green city. There are many parks, squares and places where you can relax from the city bustle. It is also worth to visit Praga – a district on the right bank of the Vistula River. This is the most authentic part of the city.

    • April 22, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      I so wanted to visit Praga as the neon museum sounded amazing, but sadly I ran out of time. It’s an area I’d definitely make time to visit if I go back.

  2. Cassie
    April 26, 2017 / 7:22 am

    Warsaw is one of my favourite European cities of all times:) I love how diverse it is. On the one hand it is modern and full of huge buildings and on the other there are also many beautiful green parks. Old historical buildings stand just next to modern glass ones. Amazing! I love visiting Warsaw and discovering new places every time:) I am a huge foodie so I love going to restaurants. Last time a friend recommended me a bar called Bubbles and decided to go there. I was so surprised, because the food was delicious and high quality, not like in many bars. Great place!

    • April 26, 2017 / 4:38 pm

      So true Cassie! And so funny you mentioned Bubbles – only a few days ago someone recommended that place on my post about where it eat in Warsaw!

  3. July 7, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    Oh, totally! It has to be on my list.. I’m particularly interested in Warsaw’s Old Town tour after reading your post. Cheers!! #citytripping

    • July 10, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      Glad I inspired you – Warsaw really got me in the feels!

  4. July 10, 2017 / 1:00 pm

    I hadn’t realise md quite the hit Warsaw had taken during WW2 They are certainly made of string stuff. Would love to visit Warsaw. Thanks for linking #citytripping

    • July 10, 2017 / 3:03 pm

      Yeah I only discovered this when I visited. Its great that they’re so proud of their heritage too I think. Those times really made the city what it is.

  5. Lisa
    July 25, 2017 / 9:40 am

    I really like visiting Warsaw, not only because I have quite a lot of friends living there but also because of how great and interesting this city is. I have many amazing memories connected with Warsaw, for example my last birthday surprise that my friends have organized for me. I didn’t expect anything and they took me to a really nice restaurant in Mokotow called the Akademia, very elegant and exclusive where they have made a reservation and we spend an unforgettable evening. A group of amazing friends, very nice, cozy atmosphere and delicious food with great wine – it was one of my best birthdays! I will for sure go to Warsaw quite soon and I hope to visit the Akademia Restaurant again too 🙂

    • July 25, 2017 / 1:52 pm

      I think I heard of Akademia Lisa, well worth a visit you’d say?

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