No. 115, February â€“ March 2020
City Guide Winter Taste Sensations
Queen Machine - tribute band
Winter Taste Sensations
Feature Winter Taste Sensations p.12 Ahhh, queuing, a Polish pastime - it's worth the wait on Fat Thursday though!
Feature Winter Taste Sensations 12
Traditional Polish Dishes Modern Polish Cuisine Polish Alcohol
Arrival & Transport
Polish Facts & Language
Essential Warsaw Old Town The Royal Route Łazienki Wilanów Communist Warsaw Praga Jewish Warsaw Warsaw Uprising Museums
31 32 36 40 43 46 50 54 58 60
Polish Gift Ideas
Activities & Leisure
Day Trips Łódź
Cafes & Chocolate Lounges
City Centre Map City Map Old Town Map Royal Route Map Łazienki Map Wilanów Map Communist Warsaw Map Praga Map
76 78 108 80 110 121
9 10 32 37 40 43 46 50
Foreword Welcome to wintry Warsaw and the first Warsaw In Your Pocket of the new decade! The start of a new year brings with it a fresh and frigid start. While the weather may not be ‘tourist friendly’ per se, cold temperatures and potential snow drifts are the perfect excuse to go on a culinary trail, all themed with cultural events from commercially romantic Valentine's Day, Fat Thursday and Herring Night! What on earth, you may ask? Check out our feature on p.12 about traditions and taste sensations in Warsaw! It’s no surprise it can be cold in winter, and some people love to be out and about, and if it’s snowy, a walk in one of the city’s parks is a picturesque must! Whatever your interest, may it be Art, Gastronomy, Entertainment, Polish History, Science, Music, Religion, Jewish Heritage - Warsaw’s got you covered. Make sure to check out our Sightseeing section (p.30) to read up on Warsaw’s essential sights. February and March also typically bring with them a flurry of indoor entertainment options and 2020 doesn’t disappoint. Check p.16 for a list of events taking place in the city over the winter period. As always, let us know how you got on in Warsaw on our Facebook page (/WarsawInYourPocket) and/or show us what you’ve seen during your time in the city by using the hashtag #Warsawinyourpocket through social media, or if you prefer, just use good old fashioned email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Andrew Elliott has been living in Warsaw since 2016. With close ties to Poland, he finally decided to make the big leap from Scotland to get a more in-depth grasp of this fascinating country. Personal interests include astronomy, current affairs, food & drink, photography & videography! He even has a slight penchant for history.
COVER STORY Aerial shots are just so damn impressive, especially when the sky looks as good as this! Taken from above Świętokrzyski Bridge, the riverfront and city centre are all visible. Photo: Adobe Stock.
PUBLISHER & STAFF Publisher IYP City Guides Sp. z o.o. Sp.k. ul. Karmelicka 46/51, 31-128 Kraków iyp.com.pl email@example.com Circulation 25,000 copies published every 2 months Writer & Editor: Andrew Elliott Sales Consultant: Jarek Śliwiński (+48) 606 749 643 Events:Monika Boguszewska-Stopka (+48) 728 879 494, Patrycja Ples, Katarzyna Mrozewska-Fenz Research: Zuzanna Onuszko, Aleksandra Sosnowska, Dominika Sosnowska Layout & Maps: Marcin Jakubionek Social Media & Marketing: Juan Sarabia Copyright Notice Content and photos copyright IYP City Guides Sp. Z o.o Sp.k. unless otherwise stated. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The brand name In Your Pocket and maps are used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardinu 9-4, Vilnius, LT, tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76).
BEST PREMIUM BRANDS IN WARSAW 34
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WHENEVER YOU NEED THEM LA PERLA BEAUTY CLINIC
House of Fashion KLIF UL. OKOPOWA 58/72, 01-042 WARSZAWA / WWW.KLIF.PL
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Polish pÄ…czki (doughnuts) are as good as they look! Get in our belly!
Winter Traditions and Taste Sensations! Traditions in Poland often have religious origins, with some having had their heyday long ago while others are still celebrated, albeit with a lesser enthusiasm than in previous generations. What cannot be denied is that traditions involving food and drink are as popular as ever...
Winter Traditions and Taste Sensations! For all that Poland has got going for it, the trend of making economic, social and cultural progress at breakneck speed, there’s one thing which keeps people in the country firmly grounded, a homage to generations past, and it’s all thanks to continuing a celebration of... age old traditions. There are many of them, mostly with their origins in the Christian calendar or Slavic pagan rituals, but it seems there isn’t a month that doesn’t go by without some wacky form of ritual being observed.
GOT A SWEET TOOTH? Our favourite has to be Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday, this year falls on 20 February), which is essentially Poland’s equivalent of Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day (albeit 5 days before), celebrating the last opportunity to eat as many sweet and fatty delights before Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the fasting season of Lent. On this day, Poles are often seen partaking in another ole pastime: queueing. Yup! The queues just seem to stretch for miles, but it’s all with the good aim of waiting in line at a cukiernia (bakery) to get your hands on one of the best Polish treats there is – pączki (ponch-key). These are large deep-fried doughnuts typically filled with rose jam (or other marmalades), glazed with sugar, and sometimes topped with candied orange peel. Each cukiernia has their own unique varieties, ranging from chocolate filling to advocaat! There are two particular locations in Warsaw selling some of the best pączki you’re likely to eat, with one being right in the city centre, it’ll no doubt be the most accessible to visitors – it’s the family run Cukiernia Pawłowicz on ul. Chmielna 13 (G-7), between the touristy ul. Nowy Świat and Metro Centrum. This place is a gold mine for treats, and walking past even on a regular day leads to some heavy will power kicking in to resist temptation. We don’t always win...
Don't eat too many pączki or you'll turn into one!
Between February-April, the strangest of all has to be the Drowning of Marzanna (Topienie Marzanny) on the Spring Equinox (21 March). Marzanna is the Polish incarnation of the old Slavic goddess of winter, plague and death and to burn, then drown an effigy of her is a way for superstitious Slavs to protect themselves and encourage the timely arrival of spring and ensure a good harvest. It all sounds a little bit morbid, but today, despite not being as popular as in previous generations, young children in some kindergartens and primary schools still partake in this send off to winter. The water theme goes on well into April, when on Easter Monday, ‘Lany Poniedziałek’ (Wet Monday) is observed by boys throwing buckets of water over girls they like and spanking them with pussy willows! The acts are often expected to be reciprocated! Now, it all seems quite bizarre, and some of you may be glad to know that it’s a tradition which has been the focus of heated discussion in recent years between those for and against it. Indeed, police warn the public in the run up to the day that to soak someone is deemed to be breaking the law and can lead to some serious financial fines and even jail time! Those are just two of the more known, and quite frankly, odd traditions, however, the ones which remain more popular than ever are those which revolve around food and drink! Do we have your attention?
The 2nd location is Pracownia Cukiernicza “Zagoździński” in the western Wola district on ul. Górczewska 15. This is one of Warsaw’s most famous family run bakeries, especially when it comes to the delights of pączki. Opened by Władysław Zagoździński in 1925 on ul. Wolska 53, (later on Wolska 66), it remained
One heck of a queue for pączki on ul. Chmielna (G-7)!
on this street until 1973, when they moved to the current address where the 4th generation of the family continue doing what they do best. It’s not uncommon to find a long queue here anytime of the year, but on Fat Thursday you can expect it to be even longer. And quite right! If you can muster up the patience to wait (be warned – sometimes hours), you won’t be disappointed! 13
Winter Traditions and Taste Sensations! The city has some of the best dining experiences in not just Poland, but on a true European scale – don’t underestimate what’s on offer. To that end, if you’re looking for some extra special places to take your loved one, we wholly recommend the wonderful Elixir by Dom Wódki (p.100) with its food pairing menus and great views looking out towards the National Theatre. The colourful Restauracja Różana (p.102) doesn’t just look delicious with its flowery decor, but the food too is divine. Coming here, the setting is perfect for a relaxed and romantic evening. The oldest restaurant in Warsaw, U Fukiera (p.103) with its grand old age, is still up there with the big guns in terms of unique interior, mood, food and overall classy experience, right in the heart of the Old Town (p.32). Once you’ve both had your fill of fine dining, a charming walk along the Royal Route (p.36) is always a grand idea. And later, the Palace of Culture’s (p.49) viewing terrace (normally only open in winter until 20:00) is open on Valentine’s Day, for an evening session running 20:00-22:00. Night time panoramic views of Warsaw. Perfect.
The quaint flowery interior of Restauracja Różana (p.102).
Five days later, there’s another food based tradition, which may not exactly be to everyone’s taste. Celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the last day to indulge before Wielki Post (The Great Fast/Lent) begins. It’s also the day that marks the end of the Karnawał (Carnival) period, which in many other countries is the day people will celebrate before the forty days of fasting and religious observance should begin. In Poland this is known as Śledziówka or Śledzik (literally Herring Night) and you’ll find the traditional pickled herring washed down with shots of vodka in many homes, bars and restaurants. Be warned this can get messy despite the fact most people are supposed to be at work or university the following day. In 2020 Śledziówka falls on 25 February, and if you’re on town, there are plenty of vodka bars to try it, such as Pijalnia Wódki (p.109).
NEW TRADITIONS? Who said traditions have to be old? The last few decades have seen an increased interest in some imported western traditions, even if they are mainly commercial. And the most famous of all is, of course, St Valentine’s Day (the 14th being a Friday this year). Now, you wouldn’t think that Warsaw is one of the top 10 romantic destinations in Europe... and you’d be right, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a perfectly lovey-dovey day in the city. Our top recommendation to you would be not to buy flowers – is it reasonable to buy your significant other a plant which is, essentially, dying after being chopped at the stem? Hardly the best symbol of your love, huh? Instead, focus on the experiences you can have together in Warsaw. 14
If the romantic side of things is less your thing, and/or, you simply aren’t in Warsaw at the right time, you may instead be in the city on St Patrick’s Day (14 March), which again, was never celebrated in Poland with the same gusto as how the Irish Diaspora have always treated it in the U.S.A. That said, it’s become a popular night especially
Herring and vodka!
amongst students, with the city made of up of a large minority of international students who’ll accept any excuse for a party. You can enjoy some Irish madness, if you wish, near the Old Town in Molly Malone’s on ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 41 (G-5), and in Irish Pub Miodowa just around the corner on ul. Miodowa 3 (F-4). And there’s your eclectic mix of winter-meets-spring traditions; we’ve thrown in everything from witch burning, doughnut feasts, partying, romantic walks and views, all the way up to fine dining experiences. Warsaw’s a great city to experience it all.
Millions of stars? See them at the Copernicus Science Centre Planetarium! Watch the winter sky without having to spend the night out in the cold. It’s warm and cosy inside, with perfect dark conditions for observation. Even though outer space can be very cold, don’t worry – the stars will keep you warm.
Karol Radziszewski. The Power of Secrets.
EVENTS BY DATE UNTIL 08.03 » WINTER AT THE NATIONAL STADIUM
Don’t miss the opportunity to try some winter sports at the National Stadium. Every year one of the biggest stadiums in Europe is transformed into a huge snowy village with almost 5,000 square meters of ice – 3 huge ice rinks, a winter slope, a chillout zone and a food court. Apart from the ice skating you can also test your curling skills or go to the biggest indoor skatepark in Warsaw. Do not miss the 12-meter ice hill intended for sliding down in snow tubes straight from the bleachers. Loads of fun for everyone brave enough to go down!QK‑6, PGE National Stadium, Al. Księcia J. Poniatowskiego 1, MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 22 295 90 00, More info about opening hours and prices on the website, www. zimowynarodowy.pl.
UNTIL 24.02 » WILANÓW ROYAL GARDEN OF LIGHT 3D DISPLAYS
The facade of the wonderful Wilanow Palace is used as the backdrop for a light and music show, described as 3D mapping and which is all accompanied by the enchanting sounds of Baroque music. Shows last approximately 10 minutes and take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 17:30, 18:30 and 19:30.QP‑2, The Wilanów Palace Museum, ul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22 544 27 00, Tickets 20/10zł, children under 7 free, www. wilanow-palac.pl. 16
UNTIL 24.02 » WILANÓW ROYAL GARDEN OF LIGHT
To bring a little cheer to cold autumn and winter evenings (and some appeal to an otherwise grey garden), the Wilanów Palace has turned the outdoor premises into a special Royal Garden filled with thousands of colorful diodes mimicking the baroque shapes of plants. One of Warsaw’s most beloved holiday traditions, almost every local family turns out at some point during the season to see these festive illuminations. On Fri, Sat and Sun evenings, there are shows using 3D projections onto the palace facade. Note that the last entrance is at 20:00.QP‑2, The Wilanów Palace Museum, ul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22 544 27 00, Admission 5-20zł, children under 7 free, www.wilanow-palac.pl.
14.01 - 29.02 » THE FUTURE IS NOW | EXHIBITION AND PERFORMANCE OF MACIEJ RAUCH AT WUWU
Youth, love, beauty and death are the main subjects of Maciej Rauch’s artworks. The artist interprets the most burning issues in his mystical paintings, installations and music videos. The exhibition at WuWu will feature paintings from various cycles created by the artist - “Alien Boy”, “The curse or blessing” and “On the other side”. The visitors will also hear an artistic commentary to his oil painting “Alien Boy”. QK‑2/3, Bistro Bar WuWu, Plac Konesera 1, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 355 30 02, www. wuwu.bar.
Events 08.01 - 25.03 » WEDNESDAYS UNPLUGGED
Come listen to live, acoustic music every Wednesday at Hard Rock Cafe! As always the music is of the best quality, and so is the food! Now you can enjoy both. So invite your friends or meet new people at Hard Rock Cafe who just like you enjoy both great music and great food! QE‑8, Hard Rock Cafe, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 222 07 00, www.hardrockcafe.com/location/ warsaw. Every Wednesday.
30.01-01.03 » THE LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS
Marie Duplessis, the girl who grew up to inspire The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas, was born into an impoverished, violent household in Normandy. The victim of human trafficking, she became a mistress to many opulent lovers, among them composer Franz Liszt and Alexandre Dumas. John Neumeier’s ballet takes place during the auction which follows the death of Margaret Gautier, once the most desirable Parisian courtesan. The story is a series of memories, told by various characters close to her. QF‑5, National Opera, Pl. Teatralny 1, tel. (+48) 22 692 05 07, Tickets 44-253zł, www.teatrwielki.pl.
09.02 18:00, 15.02 12:00, 16.02 12:00, 21.04 19:00, 22.04 19:00 » FREDRIANA
To celebrate the bicentennial of Stanisław Moniuszko’s birthday, the Polish National Ballet prepared two Alexander Fredro’s comedies, The Sarmatian Parable, based on The Revenge, and Man and Wife. The author of the first is Conrad Drzewiecki, the creator of the Polish Dance Theatre, followed by Anna Hop’s innovative and eclectic choreography of Man and Wife. QF‑5, National Opera, Pl. Teatralny 1, tel. (+48) 22 692 05 07, Tickets 6687zł, www.teatrwielki.pl.
12.02 - 01.03 » FINE DINING WEEK
Fine Dining Week is a culinary extravaganza for the most demanding food aficionados during which chefs of the best restaurants share their cooking philosophies. The festival focuses only on exclusive restaurants, offering dishes from the most prestigious establishments. During the festival, participants choose a restaurant where they are given an opportunity to taste five different dishes upon reservation on the website. In the rich offer of all restaurants participating in the Fine Dining Week, vegetarians and meat lovers alike will certainly find something for themselves. QParticipation 129zł/person, www.finediningweek.pl.
14.02 20:00 » VALENTINE’S DAY AT HARD ROCK CAFE
In doubt how to celebrate Valentine’s Day? What would your better half prefer? Will it be a special dinner, or maybe an incredible exotic drink, or a unique surprising event? Well, the solution is right in front of your eyes, right here at Hard Rock Cafe! Come to Hard Rock Cafe on the 14th of February and enjoy delicious dinner accompanied by your favourite drinks, and let the
Mokollective band performing the most romantic songs entertain you both!QE‑8, Hard Rock Cafe, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 222 07 00, Admission free, www.hardrockcafe.com/ location/warsaw.
15.02, 20.02, 22.02 19:00 » MAGIC FLUTE
The innovative version of Mozart’s Magic Flute, produced by Berlin’s Komische Oper, is a stunning, hallucinogenic spectacle, a surreal visual extravaganza, in which actors exist suspended in crazy animation. The production, according to the director Barrie Kosky, is a tribute to silent cinema. An amazing spectacle, full of references to the Yellow Submarine, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and superheroes. This production offers a complete disregard for 150 years of conventional thinking and accumulated, arbitrary tradition. Certainly the fresh take on the Mozart’s great work that cannot be missed! QF‑5, National Opera, Pl. Teatralny 1, tel. (+48) 22 692 05 07, Tickets 33-253zł, www.teatrwielki.pl.
17.02 19:00 » RAY WILSON - GENESIS CLASSIC
Ray Wilson is a Scottish singer and guitarist, best known as vocalist in the post-grunge band Stiltskin, and Genesis. Famous for his very personal style and minimalist musical production that creates a particularly intimate atmosphere. During the upcoming concert, Ray will present both solo work and the greatest Genesis hits, as well as songs from his latest album Upon My Life, summarising 20 years of his solo career. QF‑9, The Music Theatre ROMA, ul. Nowogrodzka 49, tel. (+48) 22 628 89 98, Tickets 90190zł, www.adria-art.pl.
03.03 19:00 » QUEEN MACHINE
The greatness of Freddie Mercury and Queen is nearly impossible to replicate. Finally, the wait is over. Enter Queen Machine, one of the most authentic tribute acts performing the legendary Queen’s amazing repertoire. From “We are the Champions”, “We Will Rock You”, “Somebody to Love” to “Bohemian Rhapsody” and countless other hits, all are presented with respect, attention to detail and with a focus on Queen’s magnificent showmanship. Featuring the charismatic and extremely talented front-man Bjarke Baisner, Queen Machine continues to deliver magical experiences for all Queen fans with songs from one of the most popular rock bands of all time. In this dazzlingly colourful show, Bjarke Baisner gives an exceptionally authentic rendition of the energy, magnetism and stage charisma of the legendary Freddie Mercury, and the musicians accompanying him with virtuosity and precision reproduce the sound of Brian May’s guitar, John Deacon’s bass and Roger Taylor’s drums. When Queen Machine steps onto the stage, the audience is guaranteed to get the show of their lives. It is also worth knowing that Queen Machine raises money for the AIDS foundation and over the years has been able to donate quite a lot of money to help the fight against AIDS Freddie Mercury succumbed to. QJ‑10, Torwar Hall, ul. Łazienkowska 6A, Tickets 120200zł, www.vivamusic.pl. 17
Events 02.03 19:00 » SUKHISHVILI GEORGIAN NATIONAL BALLET
200 dancers dressed in 2500 costumes will perform on the Katowice “Spodek” stage. Georgian National Ballet “Sukhishvili” was founded 70 years ago. They perform traditional Georgian folk dances, but they constantly embellish them by adding new contemporary arrangments. These incredible dancers had been watched by over 90 million viewers. They are often referred to as the “hurricane on stage”, the most unique theatrical phenomenon and the eighth wonder of the world! Accompanied by their own incredible orchestra, it is the performance not to be missed. QF‑5, National Opera, Pl. Teatralny 1, tel. (+48) 22 692 05 07, Tickets 145-295zł, www.teatrwielki.pl.
03.03 18:30 » STORMZY
Stormzy is a British rapper, singer and songwriter who garnered attention on the UK underground music scene through his Wicked Skengman series of freestyles over classic grime beats. Known for his controversial and outspoken comments on UK politics, Stormzy endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and very loudly criticised Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party leadership campaign. The British rapper has just announced his “H.I.T.H Tour” consisting of 55 concerts in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, North America and Africa. The also artist announced the release date of his new album “Heavy Is The Head”, and last week his single “Own It”, featuring guest appearances by Ed Sheeran and Burn Boy, was released. QF‑12, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10, tel. (+48) 22 825 60 31, Tickets 130zł, www.alterart.pl.
06.03-31.03 » CARMEN
‘Love is a rebellious bird that none can tame’ says Carmen, the heroine of the most scandalous opera about an irrepressible young Spanish woman that went on to become one of the best known and best-loved pieces of music of all time. It has everything - high drama, passionate characters, a love story. And what’s more, it’s absolutely packed with great melodies. Georges Bizet wrote many great works, but the melodies contained in Carmen remain the most entrancing to this day. An innovative production by Andrzej Chyra, additionally inspired by the cinema of Mexican arthouse guru: Carlos Reygadas.QF‑5, National Opera, Pl. Teatralny 1, tel. (+48) 22 692 05 07, Tickets 44-253zł, www. teatrwielki.pl.
07.03 20:30 » BASSEKOU KOUYATÉ & NGONI BA [MALI]
Named by the BBC “best African artist of the year”, Bassekou Kouyaté is one of the true masters of the ngoni, an ancient African traditional lute. He has collaborated with many musicians in and outside of Mali, such as Ali Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate, Taj Mahal, Damon Alban, and Joachim Kühn. His band Ngoni ba includes Amy Sacko (vocals), Moustapha Kouyaté ( bass ngoni), Mahamadou Tounkara (dundun, yabara, tama) and Moctar Kouyaté (calebasse).QG‑11, Pardon, To Tu, Aleja Armii Ludowej 14, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 513 19 16 41, www.pardontotu.pl. 18
09.03 19:00-22:00 » PASION DE BUENA VISTA
Cuban artists Pasión de Buena Vista are returning with their signature brand of peppy Caribbean music that brings a blast of island warmth to Łódź. The atmosphere is like a breezy Havana club complete with saucy dancers and Latin rhythms—it’s almost more like a vacation to Cuba than just a concert.QF‑9, The Music Theatre ROMA, ul. Nowogrodzka 49, tel. (+48) 22 628 89 98, www.makroconcert.com/pl.
21.03 - 22.03 » WARSAW COFFEE FESTIVAL 2020
Visit Warsaw’s vibrant coffee scene during the 6th edition of the Coffee Festival! The two-day festival will feature artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings, and demonstrations from world-class baristas. If you have not visited the festival in previous years, here is your chance. Meet thousands of coffee lovers and indulge yourself in the smell and taste of this aromatic liquid. This upcoming event will take place in the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw.QE‑8, Palace of Culture & Science, Pl. Defilad 1, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 656 76 00, Admission 10zł, www.warsawcoffee.pl.
25.03 19:00 » KENSINGTON
Kensington, the most popular rock band in the Netherlands today, has released two EPs and five studio albums so far: “Borders”, “Vultures”, “Rivals”, “Control”, and “Time”. The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Eloi Youssef, guitarist/ vocalist Casper Starreveld, bassist Jan Haker, and drummer Niles Vandenberg. Their concert in Warsaw is part of their European tour promoting the most recently released fifth album, “Time” which includes such compositions as “Bats”, “What Lies Ahead”, “Ten Times The Weight” and “Chronos Pt.1”. QProgresja Music Zone, ul. Fort Wola 22 (Wola), tel. (+48) 22 419 54 12, Tickets 89-129zł, www.goodtaste.pl.
26.03-28.03 » WARSAW BEER FESTIVAL
Many people are surprised about the high quality of Polish beer. If you relish the opportunity to savor top-notch beer, this is the perfect place for you! Indulge yourself with the aromas, tastes and flavors of some of the finest craft and home brews in the land. Some may be overwhelmed by the selection of over 700 beers that will be available. If that is the case, Beer Guides will be on hand to assist you in finding the perfect brew for your taste. This event is more than just about drinking, it is really about understanding and appreciating what goes in to the creation of a delightful beverage. There will be several workshops and tasting events available to attendees, some of which will be in English.QJ‑10, Legia Warszawa, ul. Łazienkowska 3, tel. (+48) 22 318 20 00, Tickets 15-25zł, www.warszawskifestiwalpiwa.pl.
26.03 - 28.03 » ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR AT FERIO WAWER GALLERY
Forget the big box stores and dive into an amazing creative offer of your local artisans. Revel in a sense of discovery and support local artists and craftsmen. While visiting the Arts and Crafts Fair at Ferio Wawer Gallery, look for small batch treats, one-of-a-kind gifts, home decor, stationery, jewellery, apparel, art and more. Support your local artists!Qwww.jarmarki-sztuki.pl.
Events 03.04 18:00 » SCOOTER
Scooter is a German group whose music is a combination of dance, rave, breakbeat hardcore, happy hardcore, trance and techno genres. The group is the embodiment of dance music at its most over the top and excessive. Their first very successful single “Hyper Hyper Hyper” was created by the freestyle vocalist H.P. Baxxter for a danceable instrumental track. Over the years, the band has released over 20 studio albums, with such big hits like “How Much Is The Fish”, “Maria”, “One” or “The Logical Song”. Their carnivalesque live shows involve lasers, pyrotechnics, dancers, and copious amounts of audience participation. Scooter is considered the most commercially successful German single-record act with 23 top ten hits.QJ‑10, Torwar Hall, ul. Łazienkowska 6A, Tickets 119-139zł, www.torwar.cos.pl.
03.05 19:00, 04.05 20:00 » SINATRA WITH MATT DUSK
Matt Dusk is a Canadian jazz vocalist with four certified gold albums Two Shots, Good News, Old School Yule!, Jet Set Jazz, and two certified platinum albums My Funny Valentine, The Chet Baker Songbook and Just the Two of Us. The upcoming concert in Warsaw is a tribute to the American music legend, Frank Sinatra. The artist will take its audience to the times of elegance and sensuality, into the smoky clubs of Las Vegas in the 1960s, when the charts were dominated by such standards as “Come Fly With Me”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” or “Fly Me To The Moon”. QF‑9, The Music Theatre ROMA, ul. Nowogrodzka 49, tel. (+48) 22 628 89 98, Tickets 129149zł, www.goodtaste.pl.
UNTIL 30.06 » MAREK SOBCZYK. STRAIGHT RAINBOW.
A rainbow is associated these days with LGBT, salvation, and to some is purely an enchanting product of Nature. Marek Sobczyk’s unusual sculpture (square-shaped) returns after 30 years to the Małachowski Plaza in front of Zachęta Gallery. This time the sculpture hopefully will invite discussions about life, spirituality, and social divisiveness that emerged over the period of last years. The sculpture erected in 1991 as a part of Epitafium exhibition will hopefully initiate an important discourse tackling the burning social issues. QAdmission free, www.zacheta.art.pl. 19
Events UNTIL 18.05 » AUGUST ZAMOYSKI. THOUGHTS CARVED IN STONE
August Zamoyski was a Polish sculptor, an author of stone compositions in simplified and geometrised form. His first works were influenced by French Cubism and Italian futurism. Later he developed his own, monumental style related to Classicism. At the end of his life, Zamoyski created expressive religious works. The large-scale exhibition at the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature presents Zamoyski’s works which have been recently purchased to become part of the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw. It will not be a classic museum show though, but instead an intimate portrait of Zamoyski against a historical background - places he lived in, artists he befriended, and many fascinating personalities surrounding the sculptor. As part of the exhibition, a fragment of the artist’s workshop will be reconstructed, with the artist’s original tools on display, including hand-cut chisels. QF‑4, Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature, Rynek Starego Miasta 20, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 831 76 91, Admission 16/8zł, www.muzeumliteratury.pl. Open 11:00-18:00; Thu 12:00-20:00; Sat, Sun 12:00-17:00. Closed Mon.
UNTIL 01.03 » POLISH NATIONAL IDENTITY
The Polish National Identity exhibition presents nearly 300 posters from the collection of the Poster Museum in Wilanów. The exhibition has the character of a unique visual arts show. It features a series of images scattered throughout the century, relating to the idea of identity in various degrees, sometimes barely alluding to it. The exhibition is arranged according to thematic groups, not necessarily chronological. Mixing time periods reinforces the idea of the timelessness of a poster. After all, history repeats itself, and it is especially true when it comes to Poland. QPoster Museum, ul. S. K. Potockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22 842 48 48, Admission 12/8zł, www. postermuseum.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; Mon 12:00-16:00.
14.03 - 26.04 » MEASURING MAN
Great opportunity to learn more about your own body and discover your own uniqueness! Apart from figuring out your weight, height etc. you will be able to test your reflexes, sensitivity to stimuli, check the force of landing after a jump, count the frequency of your heartbeat, truly get to know your body like you never did before. There are 40 engaging exhibits at the Measuring Man exhibition to help you with this. Treat your body like your own private research material - run variety of tests and experiments and be the judge how far you are willing to go examining yourself. QI‑6, Copernicus Science Centre, ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 22 596 41 00, Admission 31/21zł, www.kopernik. org.pl. Open 09:00-18:00; Sat 10:00-18:00.
UNTIL 08.03 » LEGO BLOCKS EXHIBITION
It is a true Lego extravaganza! Over 120 new exhibits, incredible buildings from all over the world, interactive models, lifesize figures, tons of inspirational ideas plus Duplo zone for the youngest fans of Lego. 20
Notre Dame Cathedral, World Center Twin Towers, St. Peter’s Basilica, Imperial Star Destroyer, giant roller coaster, Great Wall of China, Harry Potter figures, video games and many more attractions are on display until March 8th at the PGE! There is no need to go to Legoland and Disneyland anymore because you can see these most amazing theme parks up close at the PGE. The bravest visitors can visit specially created Lego Horror Room. All in all, it is the most incredible exhibition, a must-see for both children and adults. QK‑6, PGE National Stadium, Al. Księcia J. Poniatowskiego 1, MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 22 295 90 00, Admission 28-31zł. www.wystawaklockow.pl. Open 10:00-21:00; Sat, Sun 10:00-20:00.
UNTIL 15.10 » LEONARDIANA IN POLISH COLLECTIONS
In the historic Wilanów collection created by successive owners of the palace, there is a mysterious image of Christ the Saviour (Salvator Mundi), as well as other interesting paintings included in the group of the socalled “leonardiana”, including, among others, works by Bernardino Luini. The current exhibition focuses on “Leonard’s myth” exemplified in Polish collections by several dozen works (paintings, drawings, engravings). Many of them need to be officially recognised, so this is a “research” exhibition which not only presents these extraordinary artworks, but also the history and a context of their acquisition. In addition, the exhibition presents technologically advanced research methods and their results as well as methods of assessing their age.QP‑2, The Wilanów Palace Museum, ul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22 544 27 00, Admission 10/7zł, www.wilanow-palac.pl. Open 09:00-16:00. Closed Tue.
UNTIL 01.03 » PLEASE FEED THE DWARFS!
“Please feed the dwarves!” is an artistic installation by Kamila Szejnoch. The artist presents dwarves as rational cult beings, inhabiting worlds parallel to ours. They are part of folk beliefs, have become part of modern material culture and protagonists of Disney’s animated fairy tale. Their true image though is full of heroic deeds - they stand guard, protecting houses with their tiny posture.
Events According to many folk beliefs they live under the house’s floor and protect it from evil spirits, ensuring the house’s prosperity.QF‑6, National Ethnographic Museum, ul. Kredytowa 1, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 827 76 41, Admission free, www.ethnomuseum.pl. Open 10:00-17:00; Wed 11:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-18:00; Sun 12:00-17:00. Closed Mon.
archives of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. QI‑10, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, ul. Jazdów 2, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 628 12 71, Admission 10/5zł, www.u-jazdowski.pl. Open 11:0018:00; Thu, Fri 12:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-19:00. Closed Mon.
18.01 - 15.03 » ANNA SIEKIERSKA - WEEDS AND PEOPLE
The exhibition is the first solo presentation of hysslom art in Europe. It is an experiment with stretching time and space. “Itte kaette” means “back and forth” in Japanese. It is a constant change, a movement and a method of action of the collective, created by Itaru Kato, Fuminori Hoshino and Yuuu Yoshida. Hyslom art plays with risk, and its anarchistic actions are based on cooperation with people and nature. One day during the stay in Copenhagen, Hyslome collective found a boulder that resembled a stone once lost in Japan. The members of the collective decided to transport it to their country. The U-jazdowski exhibition is a stopover on this journey. QI‑10, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, ul. Jazdów 2, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 628 12 71, Admission 10/5zł, www.u-jazdowski.pl. Open 11:00-18:00; Thu, Fri 12:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-19:00. Closed Mon.
Anna Siekierska is an artist and a nature activist, whose project is a kind of manifesto against marginalising the presence of non-human neighbours (plants and animals). She perceives wastelands as positive places, an opportunity to save the city’s naturally developing ecosystems. The artist believes that the environment can be healed by refraining from typical human interference. The exhibition will present her new works installations, photographs, sculptures and films. QF‑6, Zachęta - National Gallery of Art, Pl. Małachowskiego 3, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 556 96 00, Admission free, www.zacheta.art.pl. Open 12:0020:00. Closed Mon.
UNTIL 08.03 » HYSLOM ITTE KAETE. BACK AND FORTH.
UNTIL 29.03 » KAROL RADZISZEWSKI. THE POWER OF SECRETS
UNTIL 03.05 » BIK VAN DER POL. FAR TOO MANY STORIES TO FIT INTO SO SMALL BOX
The Dutch duo Bik Van der Pol tell the story of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art on the occasion of its 30thanniversary. They ask - Who owns history? What is memory and what is oblivion? Who creates archives? Can word-of-mouth stories be a legitimate part of them? Is it possible to build a community around a collection of artworks? The works of artists who exhibited at the Centre become props and come live in a spoken performance that will take place on specific days in the exhibition space. The project Far Too Many Stories to Fit into so Small a Box is based on the collection and
What’s going on? /WarsawInYourPocket
Karol Radziszewski is a multimedia artist, painter, author of installations, photographs, videos and interdisciplinary projects. His archive-based methodology crosses multiple cultural, historical, religious, social and gender references. The question posed by the exhibition is “What is queer memory?”. The Power of Secrets at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art is an experimental solo exhibition – the first such broad presentation of Karol Radziszewski’s art. The artist combines facts with fantasies and creates documents using shreds of memory. He documents the history and fate of queer communities. The exhibition at U-jazdowski include pieces by Ryszard Kisiel, Natalia LL, Libuše Jarcovjákova, Wolfgang Tillmans and the Canadian collective General Idea. QI‑10, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, ul. Jazdów 2, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 628 12 71, Admission 10/5zł, www.u-jazdowski.pl. Open 11:00-18:00; Thu, Fri 12:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-19:00. Closed Mon.
17.04 - 30.11 » MURANÓW
Only rubble was left of the Warsaw Jewish district after WWII, and its former residents perished in the Holocaust.. The new residential district, Muranow, was commissioned to be built and repopulated by people from all over Poland and abroad, who began to create a new identity of the place. But the foundations of pre-war buildings are still to be found underneath the pavements, houses and green spaces of today’s Muranów. The exhibition attempts to present the unique history of this district, and retell the district’s history through the prism of selected locations, their inhabitants and visitors. QD‑4, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, ul. Anielewicza 6, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 471 03 01, www.polin.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; Wed, Sat, Sun 10:00-20:00. Closed Mon, Tue. 21
Arrival & Transport
Warsaw is Poland’s most navigable city by far. | Photo: Adobe Stock
BY TRAIN Warsaw’s main train station, Centralna, is a hulking metal giant that sits conveniently in the city’s centre and is the main hub for trains arriving in the capital. Additionally, passengers may disembark at the smaller Warszawa Wschodnia (Warsaw East station) between Praga Północ and Praga Południe districts, and Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West station) on the border of Ochota and Wola districts. WARSZAWA CENTRALNA TRAIN STATION Warsaw Central Station (Warszawa Centralna) is exactly what it says on the tin: central. And thanks to recent renovations, we’re happy to say it’s now easier to navigate. Once you alight from your train, take one of the two facing escalators in the centre of the platform, which lead you up into one of the underground passages that flank the main hall. Whichever side you come up on you will be one level below ground level and the ticket hall. Kantors can be found in the underground passageway between Centralna and the Marriott. Signs for ATMs (bankomats) are everywhere, and the machines can be spotted at almost every turn. Tourist info can be found across the street at the Palace of Culture - just look for the ‘i’ sign (open daily May-Sep 08:00-19:00 and Oct-Apr 08:00-18:00). Tickets for the public transport system can be bought from most newspaper kiosks. Left luggage is located in the underground corridor that runs below the main hall. Look for Przechowalnia Bagażu, where stewards will look after your bag, or opt for one of the plentiful lockers. Connect to a Polish network via mobile by getting SIM and pre-paid cards from the same newsagents (you now need to register any new SIM card so expect a bit of a wait). 22
Both entrances of the main hall are covered by taxi ranks, and by passing via tunnels under the main road you’ll find bus and tram stops though once you enter, the signs are more of a hindrance than a help and you may never be seen or heard of again. Officially sanctioned SAWA taxis and ELE taxis can be called to pick you up. On the ground level there is a travel office run by Polish rail on the Złote Tarasy side of the building to the right of the stairs heading down to the platforms under the Centrum Obsługi Klienta sign (info line 197 57, www.intercity.pl). Open from 09:10 - 20:30, the multi-lingual staff (they can even assist the deaf ) can search for the cheapest/easiest connection, sell you international and domestic tickets, and can help plan your trip for you. There is a new info point called InfoDworzec open 07:00 - 21:00 which offers more general tourist info. The selection of outlets selling food and drink at Centralna has improved dramatically. There are all kinds of local and international coffee joints, fast food chains and kebab shops to grab a quick bite or pass some time.QE‑8, Al. Jerozolimskie 54, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 391 97 57 (from foreign mobile phones). Open 24hrs. Note that due to system maintenance seat reservations cannot be made between 24:00-01:00. WARSAW EAST TRAIN STATION QL‑3, ul. Kijowska 20, tel. (+48) 22 391 97 57 (from foreign mobile phones). Open 24hrs. WARSAW WEST TRAIN STATION QAl. Jerozolimskie 142, tel. (+48) 22 391 97 57 (from foreign mobile phones). Open 24hrs.
Arrival & Transport BY PLANE WARSAW CHOPIN AIRPORT Warsaw Chopin Airport has recently seen the opening of Zone CDE, a glass and steel giant that sits rather awkwardly next to the newly renovated Zone AB. Both Zones AB and CDE have a wealth of shops, restaurants, tourist and public transport (ZTM) info, ATM machines, fast food (McDonald’s!), car rental offices, exchange offices etc. and they are collectively called Terminal A. A new viewing platform has recently opened and is free from 06:00 - 22:00 and located near the entrance to the train platform. There is also a Kiss and Fly parking zone where you can drop passengers off for free (the first 5 times) up to 7 minutes (careful because for 15 mins it’s 30zł). Subsequent stops cost 1zł p/min! Long stay multi-storey car parks P1, P2 and P4 (rooftop for vehicles over 2m in height) vary in prices: 1h 10zł, 24h 120zł, 2 days 200zł, 3 days 280zł, 4 days 360zł, 5 days 440zł, 6-10 days 250zł, 11-15 days 300zł and 20zł for an additional day. The taxi rank outside exits 1 and 2 offers three certified companies: iTaxi, MPT and Ele Taxi. The 15-30 minute ride to the centre costs around 35-50zł, though be on guard for unlicensed sharks who will try to charge three or four times that. After hearing several complaints, we suggest agreeing on the price with your driver before setting off. Cheapskates can catch the brand new train into the city or get bus no. 175. The train station can be found underground by turning right outside of whichever arrivals area you leave from and going all the way to the end of the covered section where you will find escalators taking you down to ticket booths. The SKM trains run several times an hour and are red and white in colour. Line S2 takes you to Śródmieście station in the city centre and runs twice an hour, while line S3, S30 and RL take you to Warsaw Centrail station and run once an hour. To take one of these trains you need a normal public transport ticket (exactly the same as what you’d use for the bus) that are available from the ticket booths and cost 4.40zł. The KM trains run once per hour, are green and white, and will take you to Centralna. They have their own ticket office at the station with a fixed price of 6.80zł, but you can use an SKM ticket here as long as you have the train driver validate it. They also have a new ticket available which covers your transfer from Chopin to Modlin Airport and also gives you 75 minutes travel in the first zone of ZTM (22zł). The train ride to the centre should take around 20 minutes. Bus stops can be found in front of arrivals at Zone AB and Zone CDE. Buses run frequently between 04:58 and 22:58 with journey time taking approximately 25 minutes. At night when the 175 stops running travellers can take the N32 night bus, which runs every 30 minutes.Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 1, tel. (+48) 22 650 42 20, www.lotniskochopina.pl.
TOURS TO AUSCHWITZ AND BIRKENAU FROM WARSAW Price from 400 PLN You can choose many other tours from our offer: http://www.abeverest.pl/index.php/poland-tours
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AIRPORT TRANSFERS AB EVEREST TRAVEL Relieve the strain of standing around looking lost and bewildered at Modlin by booking the ‘door-to-door’ services of AB Everest. Fill out the English reservation form on their website (total prices are confirmed during the booking process) and an English speaking driver will be waiting to whisk you straight to your destination. Prices start at 25zł per person but the price gets cheaper the more passengers there are travelling to the same address. Check their website for details. They also offer one day tours from Warsaw to popular destinations across Poland, which include: Auschwitz and Kraków, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Hitler’s former Wolf’s Lair, Białowieża National Park, Toruń and Warsaw Outskirts Tour, to name a few.Qul. Obrońców Tobruku 18, tel. (+48) 722 26 17 31, www.abeverest.pl. MODLIN BUS Modlin Bus offers transfers from Modlin Airport to the centre of Warsaw, with drop-offs in front of the Palace of Culture (E-8 - in front of ‘Kinoteka’ on Al. Jerozolimskie) and Chopin Airport, and onward travel to Łodź. Tickets start at 9zł if you book ahead online; at their desk near the airport’s exit you’ll pay 23-35zł for travel to Warsaw and 25-45zł to Łódź. All buses equipped with wi-fi. Qtel. (+48) 703 40 39 93, www.modlinbus.com. 23
Arrival & Transport BY CAR Warsaw is located in the heart of the country and has extensive road links with other major Polish cities. Having said that the competition on the road’s front isn’t fierce. Roads leading into Warsaw tend to be of decent dual carriageway standard, though once you enter the city limits Warsaw traffic can become a serious problem - particularly during the week. Most major hotels are located in the central area and you should be heading in most cases for the Central Train Station (Dworzec Warszawa Centralna) and its neighbour, the Palace of Culture (PKiN). Parking in the central area is generally available on-street where there are standard parking charges payable at roadside machines. Most major hotels will offer some form of off-road guarded parking. Be warned that Polish driving behaviour is not the best, especially comparing to driving in western Europe. WARSAW-MODLIN AIRPORT Modlin Airport looks like a shiny overturned tin can nestled in a forest in the middle of nowhere. This is one of the biggest cheap airline hubs in Poland and Ryanair currently operates 48 connections across Europe here. As of the 2019 Summer Season, four out of top five five tour operators and Travel Agencies in Poland (Nowa ITAKA, TUI Poland, Coral Travel and Grecos Holiday) offer regular charter flights to 8 vacation destinations from Warsaw/Modlin Airport The interior is modern and well-equipped to handle international travellers. Inside the arrival/departure halls you’ll find all the services you could need, from ATMs (bankomat), info desk, free wifi, three currency exchange points (kantor), vending machines, shops (including duty free), one playground, a few restaurants and numerous car rental companies. Those looking to end up in Warsaw’s city centre have three main options for transport: grab a cab or private shuttle, take a bus to the capital, or board one of the green and yellow shuttles that will take you to Modlin Train Station where you then take a train to your destination. The Koleje Mazowieckie train route is economical (19zł total for shuttle and train), though slightly time consuming (50 minutes total); buy a ticket from one of their stands located in the baggage hall or at Arrivals near the exit doors. Of the many bus transfer services (a full range of which you’ll find on our website), Modlin Bus is the most comfortable and convenient; tickets range from 9zł (if booked ahead at modlinbus.com) to 35zł (at the airport - look for their stand in the baggage hall or near the Arrivals terminal exit). If money isn’t an option, the airport’s official taxi partners Sawa Taxi and Taxi Modlin offer transport to the city centre from 159zł (199zł between 00:00 and 06:00).Qul. Gen. Wiktora Thommée 1A, Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, tel. (+48) 22 315 18 80, www.modlinairport.pl. 24
Indeed, Poland is one of Europe’s leading nations in road fatalities, a statistic that will surprise few who have had the pleasure of using the roads here. Although the quality of the roads has improved greatly in the last decade, with the resurfacing of old roads and the addition of new expressways and motorways (a work still ongoing), aggressive and impatient driver behaviour still results in many accidents. Police seem unwilling to control irresponsible driving, and don’t be surprised to see cars shooting through red lights, cutting each other up and staking a claim for the Formula 1 championship. The speed limit is 50km/hr in cities (60km/hr between 23:00 and 05:00), 90km/hr outside urban areas, 120km/hr on dual carriageways and 140km/hr on motorways. Seat belts must be worn at all times and it is illegal for drivers to use hand-held mobile phones. Following the letter of the law all cars should be equipped with a first aid kit, warning triangle, fire extinguisher, rear mud flaps and right and left hand outside mirrors. Flouting the rules will cost you 200zł (for using a mobile), 100zł (not wearing a seat belt) and up to 1520zł for speeding! The legal limit for drink driving is 0.2% blood/alcohol level. Put simply, if you’re driving, don’t drink. EU citizens may use their home driving licenses as long as they are valid, however citizens of countries that didn’t ratify the Vienna Convention (tsk, tsk Australia and America) will find their licenses invalid (though that hasn’t stopped anyone we know from driving their girlfriend’s car). Carry your license and passport at all times when driving. Since April 2007 it has been compulsory for headlights to be switched on at all times. GUARDED PARKING Guarded Parking actually means supervised CCTV, 103 spaces available all for the pretty price of 10zł p/hour, or 120zł p/day.QF‑6, ul. Królewska 11 (Sofitel Warsaw Victoria Hotel), MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet.
Arrival & Transport VEHICLE HIRE All most travellers need to rent a car in PL is 18 years of age, a credit card (not debit), and a valid foreign driver’s licence. Be aware, however, that those from countries that didn’t ratify the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (tsk, tsk, United States, China, Australia...) cannot legally drive on their home licences; technically an International Driver’s License is required in those cases. Though some rental companies (the dodgier ones) will still rent you a car, be aware that you are assuming full liability for any damages if you get behind the wheel; you also run the risk of getting a citation from the police for driving without a valid license. If you’re looking to leave the country in your rental car, be aware that you can’t cross the borders into Belarus or Ukraine in a rental car. Although you shouldn’t have problems crossing into other Schengen area countries, we advise you always check each hire company’s policies about cross-border travel. AVIS BUDGET Also at Modlin Airport (ul. Gen. Wiktora Thommee 1A), Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (E-9, Marriott Hotel) and ul. Łopuszańska 12A (Włochy).Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650 48 72, www.avis.pl. Open 07:00-23:30; Sat 08:00-20:00; Sun 08:00-23:00. EUROPCAR Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650 25 64, www.europcar.pl. Open 07:00-23:00. HERTZ Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650 28 96, www.hertz.com.pl. INNOGY GO The largest electric car sharing service in Poland with a fleet of 500 BMW i3 and i3s waiting for you to scan the QR code and drive off. Install their app, register your personal information, driver’s licence and payment details, then search for car locations. Costs are from 1.19zł p/min driving the i3, 0.19zł stopover fee, and a daily fee of 239zł for 24h (239zł p/day thereafter). The i3s cost 1.49zł p/min, daily fee of 299zł for 24h. Free parking applies for electric, however, parking restrictions still apply to all cars, so be careful. For full details, visit their site.Qtel. (+48) 22 212 60 90, www. innogygo.pl. SCOOTER RENTAL QG‑8, ul. Nowogrodzka 22, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 690 99 77 60, www.skutery-centrum.pl. Open 07:3019:30. SIXT Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Chopin Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650 20 31, www.sixt.pl. Open 07:00-23:30; Sat 07:00-22:00; Sun 08:00-23:00.
RIDING THE POLISH RAILS The Polish rail network has steadily improved over the last decade with new stations in most of the country’s major cities, new rolling stock, and high-speed lines now available. The high-speed Pendolino route between Kraków and Gdańsk (via Warsaw), christened in 2014, has cut travel times between north and south from 12 to only 5.5 hours. Though the costs have increased, by western standards Polish rail travel is still very affordable, with a 1st class ticket from Warsaw to Kraków costing 80-240zł (about €35), depending on time of travel. You must buy tickets prior to boarding all services, either online at pkp.pl (you’ll receive a PDF ticket, which shows your name - you will be required to show ID to the conductor), or buy directly in the ticket office (kasa) in stations. Travel times can vary widely depending on the type of train making the journey. Generally the longer a train takes, the older the rolling stock, the less amenities it will have and the less comfortable you’ll be. The shorter the journey, the nicer the train (and higher the price). The state-owned Polish rail network PKP run so many different classifications of train that it makes the head spin, but here’s a quick run-down. Express InterCity Premium (EIP): the fastest and most comfortable trains on offer (Pendolino), 1st and 2nd class include electrical sockets, limited wi-fi, adjustable seats and a restaurant carriage serving food and refreshments. Express InterCity (EIC): comfortable 1st and 2nd class compartments, which include electrical sockets and limited wi-fi service. InterCity (IC) trains are modern, comfortable and relatively cheap and will get you to wherever you need to go. EuroCity/EuroNight (EC/EN) are the perfect choice for rail trips around Europe. EuroCity trains are quick connections to major European cities, and EuroNight are fast international night trains. Twoje Linie Kolejowe (TLK), are much cheaper and older trains with mostly 2nd class compartments (comfier 1st class is available). You may find yourself on a TLK route if you’re travelling to a small town. Our advice is to show up early, as these routes are often overcrowded and you may be forced to sit or stand in the aisle. For more information on train times and prices check the official website of Polish Railways - www.rozklad. pkp.pl, or try the very useful route planning site e-podroznik.pl. On the former you can book a ticket without the hassle of queuing at the station. If you find yourself faced with long queues in the train station then you’ll be pleased to hear you can hop on most trains (except EIP trains!) and buy a ticket direct from the conductor. You’ll pay a 10zł surcharge for this, but credit cards are now accepted. 25
Arrival & Transport USEFUL TRANSPORT APPS E-PODROZNIK.PL Travelling around Poland is becoming easier for visitors to the country, much easier than what we had to experience 10-20 years ago, for sure! With a host of sites and services available to ease your travels woes, one of the best is e-podroznik (e-traveller). This is your one stop shop for planning all major cross-country travel in Poland whether it be by bus or train. You can search timetables and buy tickets online by visiting their site en.e-podroznik.pl or download their app to plan, search and buy tickets. JAKDOJADE: Despite the fact that Warsaw’s metro, bus and tram network is incredibly easy to use, even for foreigners, we’ll still admit to being a bit put off from using it at first; that is until we discovered the veritable skeleton key to unlocking public transport: the Warszawa.jakdojade.pl website and the jakdojade app. The former is a great tool for advance planning, but the app is more practical for figuring out how to get from point A to B once you’re out in town and away from your computer. Just type in your starting address (the app does this automatically) and destination, or pin the locations on a map; select the time you want to depart or arrive, and Jakdojade magically churns out the best method for you to get there. For those who prefer to feel smarter than their phones, you can also find timetables and network maps at ztm.waw.pl. GLOB CAB TAXI: Not to be outdone, Glob now has their own app - good, because they are one of the better ones operating in the city, charging only 2zł per km, and with fixed rates for transfers to/from the two major airports: Warsaw Chopin Airport is 29zł to/from the city centre and 99zł to/from Modlin Airport. Their app is easily found on the App Store and Google Play - Please note: you must use a registered Polish no. to sign up (prepaid or contract). To order by phone, call either +48 1-9668 or +48 666 00 9668. UBER: Not only has Uber (uber.com) arrived in Poland, but the company is investing heavily in Kraków specifically, and has in fact chosen Kraków as its European hub. If you’re already an Uber user, you’ll find that the alternative taxi service - whose free mobile app offers cheap one-tap, no cash, no tip rides from local drivers - has good coverage across Katowice and all of Poland, however there are some drawbacks. Specifically, Uber drivers don’t have the same permissions as regular cabbies and may not be able to take you as close to your destination, or get you there as directly; such is the trade-off for slightly cheaper rates. 26
BY BUS If you come to Warsaw by bus, odds are you’ll be landing at the main bus station on Al. Jerozolimskie, while budget options like FlixBus drop passengers off a short distance from Metro Młociny. FLIXBUS Services leave from the bus stances at either Metro Młociny, Metro Wilanowska, in front of the Palace of Culture & Science at Plac Defilad, and from Warsaw West Train/Bus Station, depending on where you’re travelling. Qul. Kasprowicza 145 (Dworzec Autobusowy Metro Młociny, stance 1), www.flixbus.pl. P
MAIN BUS STATION Coaches arrive and depart – unless otherwise stated – from the Warsaw West Bus Station (Dworzec Autobusowy Warszawa Zachodnia). Find a currency exchange and two ATM (bankomat) machines located in the main hall. There is no Tourist Info point, for the closest you’ll have to make the journey into the Palace of Culture (p.49, entrance from ul. Emilii Plater). There’s a legitimate left-luggage operation and a travel agency located here. You’ll also be able to buy SIM cards (for which you’ll need to register your details with ID), prepaid cards and transport cards. Taxis to the centre run between 20-30zl (refuse a lift from any of the smiling unlicensed operators who offer you a lift). The bus running to the centre is found right across a busy highway and getting there is an adventure in itself seeing there are no signposts in the subway leading there. Basically from the main hall duck down under the sign saying Dworzec PKP, head down the stairs, turn right, follow the corridor to its conclusion, turn right again – you’ll see two stairwells leading to the surface. Take the left one and presto, there’s your bus stop. Confused? Not half as much as we were. Good work Warsaw. To get to the Central Train Station take bus no.s 127, 158 or 517. At night you’ll be needing N35 or N85. The journey takes approximately 15 minutes so buy a 3,40zł ticket valid for 20 minutes. Remember to validate your ticket on boarding.QAl. Jerozolimskie 144, tel. (+48) 703 40 34 03, www.dawz.pl. Ticket office open 05:30-22:00. U
Arrival & Transport PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Warsaw has an extensive bus and tram system crisscrossing the city as well as a good metro system with M1 line running north-south and M2 running east-west. Over 1,500 buses operate in and around the city, and run 05:0023:00. After that night buses run on most routes twice every hour. All night buses display the letter N. ‘Fast buses’ (marked with red digits) skip the smaller stops. Tickets (all valid for use on metro, bus and tram) can be bought from machines with instructions in English dotted around the city, at all metro stations, and some bus and tram stops. Tickets can also be purchased from machines on buses and trams, where you can pay by card, or using exact change only. Alternatively, kiosks also sell tickets. A standard public transport single ticket costs 4.40zł. If you’re travelling to the further reaches of Warsaw you’ll be needing a ticket that covers both zones 1 and 2 – these are priced at 7zł. Note that the airport is in Zone 1. Still with us? Good. There is also a 20 minute ticket at 3.40zł. Tickets valid for 24 hrs are priced at 15 or 26zł if travelling through both zones. A weekend ticket (available from 19:00 on Fri till 08:00 on Mon) costs 24zł (also a weekend group ticket is available for up to 5 people and costs 40zł). A 3-day ticket costs 36zł for zone 1 only and 57zł for zones 1 & 2. Those over 70 ride for free, as do children up until the end of September of the year they turn 7, but you must have photo ID with you (in such cases, to enter the metro, use a ‘wejściówka’, which is a ticket that allows you to enter the electronic gates - they can be found from dispensers next to the gates). Everyone else pays full fare unless in possession of an ISIC card. This entitles you to buy a reduced ticket (ulgowy).
Tentative construction of a Warsaw metro system first began in 1938 and was spearheaded by the forward thinking mayor Stefan Starzyński, however, the first line finally opened for business a whopping sixty years later! To be fair, engineers and designers had a lot to deal with in the interim, namely the ravages of the second world war and the perils of communism. The Cold War brought a change in priorities. City planners were called to create a super-deep underground system, primarily to allow for swift troop movements below the city. By 1953 over 700 metres of tunnels had been carved underground but the death of Comrade Stalin saw all works abandoned. In 1995, the North-South M1 line opened and eventually grew to 21 stations. The eastwest M2 line, intersecting at Metro Świętokrzyska, opened in 2015, originally consisting of 7 stations - 3 more were added in 2019. More are currently being built, with plans to have 21 by 2022. The metro is key to any visit in Warsaw.QF‑8.
Once you’ve got a ticket you will need to validate it in one of the box-style kasowniks in buses/trams. On the metro this must be done before you get on board. Plain clothes ticket inspectors stalk the lines, dishing out 270.40zł for those without valid tickets (we understand quick payment results in the fine being lessened). They often don’t look very official and you are within your rights to request identification.Qwww.ztm.waw.pl.
TAXIS It’s still always better to ring ahead than hail a taxi. Be vigilant; we’ve heard plenty of horror stories. The accepted fare from Chopin Airport to the centre is 35-50zł; we suggest you agree this price with your driver. The companies we list usually have someone on their switchboard who speaks English. Tipping is not expected. ELE TAXIQtel. (+48) 22 811 11 11, www.eletaxi.pl. GLOB CAB TAXI Qel. (+48) 666 00 96 68, www.globcabtaxi.pl. 27
City Basics Polish Facts & Language
The Polish language can feel like a maze, or an optical illusion at times... | © Alana de Haan
Some of you arriving in a new country like to know some basic facts about the place. So in a whirlwind, here you go: Poland covers an area of 312,685km2 and is the 9th biggest country in Europe. Its population is 38,858,000 with Warsaw, the capital, being the largest city with 1,763,615 inhabitants. The longest river is the Vistula (Wisła) at 1,047km, and the highest point is Rysy (2,499m) in the Tatra Mountains. The local currency is the Złoty (gold), with a 0.5L of beer costing you roughly 2.75zł in a shop and 10.00zł in a bar. Now that you’re here, attempting discourse in the Polish language can be terrifying and humiliating, but fortunately many Poles have a healthy command of English. Learning a few key Polish phrases will nonetheless smooth your time here and may even win you friends. On the downside, Polish is officially recognised as one of the most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn. On the upside, words in Polish are actually spelled the way they are pronounced. While many letters represent the same sounds as in English, we have listed some basic words and phrases to help you get by. Powodzenia (Good luck)!
BASIC PRONUNCIATION ‘ą’ sounds like ‘on’ in the French ‘bon’ ‘ę’ sounds like ‘en’ as in the French ‘bien’ ‘ó’ is an open ‘o’ sound like ‘oo’ in ‘boot’ ‘ć’ like the ‘ts’ in ‘bits’‘ ‘j’ like the ‘y’ in ‘yeah’ ‘w’ is pronounced like the English ‘v’ ‘ł’ like the ‘w’ in ‘win’ ‘ń’ like the ‘ny’ in ‘canyon’ ‘cz’ and ‘ć’ like the ‘ch’ in ‘beach’ ‘dz’ like the ‘ds’ in ‘beds’ ‘rz’ and ‘ż’ like the ‘su’ in ‘treasure’ ‘sz’ and ‘ś’ like the ‘sh’ in ‘ship’ ‘drz’ like the ‘g’ in ‘George’ ‘r’ is always rolled
POLISH WORDS & PHRASES
Yes No Hi/Bye (informal) Hello/Good day (formal) Good evening (formal) Good-bye Good Night Please Thank you Excuse me/Sorry
Tak Nie Cześć Dzień dobry Dobry wieczór Do widzenia Dobranoc Proszę Dziękuję Przepraszam
(Tahk) (Nyeh) (Cheshch) (Jen doh-bri) (Doh-bri vyeh-choor) (Doh veet-zen-ya) (Doh-brah-noats) (Prosheh) (Jen-koo-yeh) (Psheh-prasham)
My name is... I’m from England. Do you speak English? I don’t speak Polish. I don’t understand. Two beers, please. Cheers! Where are the toilets? You are beautiful. I love you. Please take me home. Call me!
Mam na imię... Jestem z Anglii Czy mówisz po angielsku? Nie mówię po polsku. Nie rozumiem. Dwa piwa proszę. Na zdrowie! Gdzie są toalety? Jesteś piękna. Kocham cię. Proszę zabierz mnie do domu. Zadzwoń do mnie!
(Mam nah ee-myeh…) (Yehstem zanglee) (Che moo-veesh po an-gyel-skoo?) (Nyeh moo-vyeh po pol-skoo.) (Nyeh row-zoo-me-ehm.) (Dvah peevah prosheh.) (Nah zdrovyeh!) (Gdjeh sawn toe-letih) (Yes-tesh pee-enk-nah.) (Ko-hahm chuh.) (Prosheh za-byesh mnyeh doh doh-moo.) (Zads-dvoan doh mnyeh!)
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If pesky climate change doesn’t ruin things, this is how nice Łazienki Park (p.40) can look in winter.
Warsaw Sightseeing In the not-too-distant past, Warsaw was a sea of ruins. From the ashes it arose once more, and being compared to a Phoenix is highly appropriate. Today, Warsaw is a vibrant city, inevitably conscious of its tragic past, but buzzing with confidence, looking to the future. There’s plenty to discover here, so read on to find out more... 30
EssentialMuseums Warsaw loading ramp to Treblinka once stood (Umschlagplatz, p.57), as well as one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe (p.55). The crowning jewel for those with an interest in the city’s Jewish past, however, is POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (p.55) - the biggest financial investment ever made in a cultural venue in Poland’s history. The results are amazing, and like the Uprising Museum, it’s simply a museum you shouldn’t leave town without visiting.
Winter fun at the National Stadium (p.16). Photo: ©Warsaw Tourist Office.
Sightseeing and Warsaw don’t usually go together, and the reason for that, if not the blame, falls on her citizens. While some cities may have been happy to wait out Nazi occupation, the Warsaw locals were having none of that. The ensuing uprising which took place in 1944 would become both the most glorious and tragic episode in the city’s history. Doomed from the outset the Warsaw Uprising (p.58) enraged Hitler, and his retribution proved swift and brutal. Warsaw was to be wiped from the face of the map, and his cronies set about their orders with a zealous fury. While Red Army tanks stood stoically stationed across the river the Nazis set about blasting western Warsaw into oblivion. Anything deemed of cultural importance was dynamited, and whole districts were set on fire. By the time ‘liberation’ arrived, over 85% of the city lay in total ruin. “I have seen many towns destroyed, but nowhere have I been faced with such destruction,” commented a visibly moved Dwight Eisenhower on a later visit to the city. That the city still stands at all is tribute enough to the indefatigable spirit of the Polish capital. Nowhere bore the brunt of the Nazi malice more than the Old Town (p.32), and it’s here that most tourists will choose to start their tour of Warsaw. Using paintings and photographs as an architectural blueprint, the Old Town was painstakingly rebuilt, with the reconstruction of the historic centre only completed as late as 1962. The area’s inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List speaks volumes for the effort involved, and nothing is more striking than the colourful, wonky-looking burgher houses that frame the Old Town Square (Rynek Starego Miasta, F-4).
Sightseeing in Warsaw is not all about the city’s tragic past, and can also involve the endeavours of scientific discovery. One of Europe’s most fascinating museums, the Copernicus Science Centre (p.64), and it’s accompanying planetarium (p.68), is a fully immersive experience, packed with interactive and multimedia displays, frequent exhibitions and events. Named after the famed Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, the centre is a super-modern, throught evoking venue not to be missed. The museum itself is found on the pleasant Vistulan Boulevards (p.68), which are gradually being renovated in stages, and are perfect for walkers, cyclists and even lazy loungers! Despite some amazing new projects in recent years, the city’s defining landmark will always remain the fearsome Palace of Culture and Science (p.49). Looking like something you’d see in Ghostbusters the building towers at 237 metres in height, and was until recently the tallest and largest structure in Poland. Commissioned by Stalin as a ‘gift from the Soviet people’ the building was completed in 1955 and built using an estimated 40 million bricks. The crowning glory of the structure is the viewing platform on the 30th floor, a must see. Across the river the Praga suburb (p.50) is undergoing a long due revival, and its growing reputation as an artistic haven is evident in the cafes that have sprung up along the pre-war Ząbkowska street. But while the Praga area is breathing once more, it still looks shabby. For a glimpse of Warsaw’s Imperial beauty head instead to her palaces, in particular Łazienki Park and Palace (p.40) and Wilanów Palace - dubbed ‘The Polish Versailles’ (p.43). Enjoy exploring Warsaw.
There is far more to Warsaw than its Old Town however, and one museum that demands to be visited is the Warsaw Uprising Museum (p.59). It’s here that you’ll learn about the city’s doomed rebellion against the Nazis in 1944. Packed with interactive displays, photographs, video footage and miscellaneous exhibits this is guaranteed to leave a deep mark on all visitors, and will go a long way in explaining why today’s Warsaw is far from the architectural pearl it once was. Although the Nazis flattened the Jewish Ghetto after a heroic uprising in 1943 there are still traces of Warsaw’s Jewish past (p.54), including a remaining piece of the Ghetto wall (ul. Sienna 55, D-8), a memorial where the
Plac Zamkowy in the Old Town.
© Jacek Kadaj, istockphoto
The picturesque Old Town looks even better with a touch of snow. | © Swellphotography, dollarphotoclub ta Fre
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A labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, ornate tenement facades and picturesque plazas, it’s easy to understand why the Old Town is Warsaw’s top tourist area. A window into the ‘once-upon-a-time’ of Warsaw’s golden days when it was one of the country’s architectural pearls, the Old Town was entirely rebuilt after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, and is also symbolic of Warsaw’s rise from the ruins of WWII and of Varsovians’ pride in their city. At the end of 1944, 85% of Warsaw’s left-bank had been razed to the ground and half of its population had perished. The Old Town was hit with particular Nazi efficiency, and by the time the Red Army rolled across the river it was little more than a smouldering wasteland. To their credit the Capital Reconstruction Bureau chose to rebuild the historic centre, a painstaking process that would last until 1962. Using pre-war sketches, paintings and photographs the Old Town was carefully rebuilt, and is a stunning testament of the city’s will to survive.
WHAT TO SEE Most visits to the Old Town begin on Plac Zamkowy under w King Sigismund’s Column. There isn’t a more popular meeting place in the city, and not a minute of the day when the steps to the statue aren’t besieged by dating couples, school kids and skateboarders. Erected in 1644 by Sigismund’s son, Władysław IV, the 22-metre column was designed by Italian architects Augustyn
Old Town Locci and Constantino Tencalla. Local legend asserts that Sigismund rattles his sabre whenever Warsaw is in trouble, an occurrence first reported during the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising and again during WWII. With the Warsaw Uprising in full swing the column took a direct hit from a tank shell and came crashing down. Amazingly Sigismund survived, losing only his sword, and he was returned to his new perch in 1949. The remains of the original column can be seen nearby at the side of the e Royal Castle. Moving north, head up ul. Świętojańska to have a gaze at the historically rich rSt. John the Baptist Cathedral (ul. Świętojańska 8) and the Renaissance-era Jesuit Church next door (ul. Świętojańska 10). If you’re struggling to believe that at the end of 1944 all before you was just rubble, take a look at the black and white photographs illustrating the devastation on ul. Zapiecek; the Old Town’s subsequent inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980 is also remembered in some cobblestone pavers here. Resisting the draw of the market square for the time being, instead head down ul. Piwna - aptly named ‘Beer Street’ after the 15th century breweries that once operated here for a glimpse of y St. Martin’s Church at ul. Piwna 9/11. Flattened during the war, the only fragment to survive was a half-burned figure of Jesus. During the period of Martial Law, Solidarity supporters would convene here to worship and hold secret meetings. As with the rest of the Old Town, the real beauty of ul. Piwna lies in the details - check out the elaborate motifs and gargoyles that peer from the facades, including a flock of pigeons on the portal of number 6. Stay on the left flank of the Old Town to check out the area around ul. Piekarska and ul. Rycerska, once home to a small square used for executions. Nicknamed ‘Piekarka,’ this is where witches and other ne’er do wells were burned at the stake, hanged, or beheaded. Marking the end of Piekarska, just outside the old city walls, check out the sword waving figure of u Jan Kiliński - a legendary Polish patriot and hero of the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising. Tadeusz Kościuszko himself once lived nearby at Szeroki Dunaj 5; this wide street was formerly home to Warsaw’s fish market, while the narrow street running at a 90-degree angle, Wąski Dunaj, was the town’s Jewish Quarter during the Middle Ages. Directly behind the wall, and onto ul. Podwale, you’ll find one of Warsaw’s most poignant landmarks - iThe Little Insurgent Monument, which honours the memory of the child soldiers who fought and died during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Follow Podwale as it curves northwards, and you’ll eventually arrive at the o Barbican. Crowning the set of defensive walls which once protected the city, this fearsome rotund structure dates from 1548. Today it serves as a bridge between the Old and New Town. At this point you’ll find your nose pointing straight down ul. Nowomiejska, which will finally lead you to the beautiful a Old Town Square (Rynek). Measuring 90 by 73 metres, this square is Warsaw’s defining highlight, lined with richlydecorated burgher houses. During the 15th century the Old Town Square was home to Warsaw’s Town Hall, though this
Courtesy of Royal Castle Archive, by Andrzej Ring, Lech Sandzewicz
More a palace than a castle, this building is the pride of Warsaw, reconstructed from a pile of rubble at incredible cost between 1971 and 1984. Much of the furniture was donated by now deceased commie buddies such as the GDR and USSR, and much of the money for rebuilding came from generous donations from exiled Poles. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle has been the residence of Polish kings, then of the president and then the seat of parliament. The prescribed tour will take you through the Kings’ apartments and chambers, heavily adorned with paintings of famous Polish moments. Maps on the wall reflect Poland’s greatest days, when it stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The apartments of Prince Józef Poniatowski are also open to the public, although a separate ticket is needed, and includes his surprisingly cerulean bedroom and grand collection of paintings. Some of the halls are reputed to be intermittently haunted by a ‘white lady.’ According to legend her appearance signals imminent disaster. The nearby chapel boasts an urn containing the heart of Polish hero and freedom fighter Tadeusz Kościuszko. Next on the tour, the Houses of Parliament. Last but not least, the opulent Great Assembly Hall has so much gold stuck to the walls it’s hard to resist the temptation to scratch some off - just a bit, they wouldn’t notice. Behave or get accosted by vigilant wardens and enjoy the views across the river to the Praga district instead. For those interested in the Castle’s reconstruction the basement exhibition “From Destruction to Reconstruction” details the building’s resurrection after World War II rendered the place a pile of rubble. Note that this exhibition is free. The east-wing also contains the Gallery of Paintings, Sculpture and the Decorative Arts, included in the ticket price, which has works by Rembrandt. The newly renovated and re-opened 2.5h French Baroque Royal Gardens are very much worth seeing too, found round the back, near the river, they have been returned to their former glory, with a modern yet elegant touch. QG‑4, Pl. Zamkowy 4, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 355 51 70, www.zamek-krolewski.pl. Open 10:0018:00; Fri 10:00-20:00; Sun 11:00-18:00. Admission 30/20zł. Wed free. U 33
Old Town was pulled down in 1817 and never replaced. Today you’ll find a couple of water pumps dating from the 19th century, as well as Warsaw’s best loved monument - s Syrenka. Cast in 1855 this mermaid’s form graces every bus, tram and coat of arms you’ll find in the capital. While the Old Town Square presents no shortage of ways to part tourists from their cash, one place that is worth popping into is d U Fukiera at Rynek 27 (p. 103). The culinary tradition here dates from 1810 when the Fukier family turned this place into Warsaw’s top winery, and their guest list reads as something of a Who’s Who of stage and screen. Nearby is the Warsaw Museum. Leaving the square from the opposite corner from the Historical Museum, make a left down ul. Celna, turn left again on ul. Brzozowa and visit the gOld Town Heritage Interpretation Centre for an in-depth multimedia led trip detailing the Old Town’s architectural history, from origins, to destruction and post-war rebuilding. Head back up ul. Brzozowa to reach a grassy bank that offers sweeping views of the River Wisła. Known as h Gnojna Góra (Compost Hill), this small knoll once served as the town rubbish dump, and at one stage was also renowned for its healing properties - people with obscene amounts of money would actually come here to be buried up to their necks in rubbish in a supposed cure for syphilis (doesn’t work, we’ve tried). Head back towards the Old Town by walking towards ul. Dawna, whose trademark blue archway is one of the most picturesque sights in the city. Finally, conclude your epic walking tour by swerving onto ul. Kanonia. Once a graveyard, this little square features a cracked cathedral bell (that promises good luck if you touch the top and circle it) as well as one of the world’s most narrow houses at number 20/22. Note the covered walkway nearby, which links the Cathedral to the Royal Castle. This was built after a failed assassination attempt on Sigismund III. The King escaped unharmed, but the hapless hitman, Michał Piekarski, found himself skinned alive, stretched by four horses and then chopped into pieces with an axe! You yourself are now within horse-stretching distance of your starting point by the Royal Castle and Sigismund’s Column. Point your fatigued figure in the direction of Krakowskie Przedmieście and prepare yourself to take the path of Kings along The Royal Route. Cue fanfare! MUSEUM OF WARSAW After a long and exhaustive renovation, one of our favourite museums in Warsaw finally reopened in grand fashion at the end of May 2017. The museum’s stored permanent collection (300,000 items total) now consists of three new curated sections: The Things of Warsaw, Warsaw Data and The History of Tenement Houses. Only 7,352 objects were initially selected to be displayed over 8 thematic rooms, however, now all remaining rooms are open (21 in total). Every item has been carefully chosen and many played starring roles in the city’s history. There is plenty to see in this fascinating museum. The very buildings the museum 34
Old Town is located in are a sight to behold. Interestingly, despite severe damage during the war, many of the original aspects of the architecture remained intact and can be viewed during your visit. The museum is a truly amazing and kinaesthetic way of experiencing the events and understanding the processes that formed Warsaw as we know it today. Note, a ticket here also grants entry into the Praga District Museum.QF‑4, Rynek Starego Miasta 28-42, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 277 44 02, www. muzeumwarszawy.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; closed Mon. Admission for both perm/temp exhibitions 20/18zł, perm only 20/15zł, temp only 12/7zł. All come with headphones. Thu free. U ADAM MICKIEWICZ MUSEUM OF LITERATURE Find out about the smart Alec who inspired Romanticism in Poland. As well as having a number of manuscripts and historical artefacts connected with Mickiewicz, the museum also has exhibits connected with other leading Polish writers. Be sure to check out the three other related sites that are part of the city’s Museum of Literature: the Władysław Broniewski Museum of Literature at ul. J. Dąbrowskiego 51 (F-15), the Andrzej Strug Museum of Literature at Al. Niepodległości 210/10A (E-11) and the Maria Dąbrowska Museum of Literature at Rynek Starego Miasta 22/24.QF‑4, Rynek Starego Miasta 20, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 831 76 91, www.muzeumliteratury. pl. Open 11:00-18:00; Thu 12:00-20:00; Sat, Sun 12:0017:00; closed Mon. Admission 6/5zł, Sun is free for the permanent exhibit. Children and students up to 26 years of age pay 1zł. N
The charming streets of the Old Town
OLD TOWN HERITAGE INTERPRETATION CENTRE The Old Town Heritage Interpretation Centre is a branch of the Warsaw Museum, however, it focuses on the architectural history of the Old Town and its destruction during World War II and rebuilding efforts thereafter. The museum includes some great interactive multimedia pieces as you walk through the old basements of the building.QF‑4, ul. Brzozowa 11/13, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 635 34 02, www.ciz.muzeumwarszawy.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; closed Mon. Admission 10/7zł. Thu free. Groups over 10 people 7/5zł. U 35
The Royal Route
Castle Square marks the beginning of the Royal Route! | Photo: Adobe Stock
Warsaw’s famed ‘Royal Route’ links the city’s three Royal residences, starting from the Royal Castle on Plac Zamkowy, via Łazienki Park’s Palace on the Island, en route to Wilanów Palace in the district of the same name. Covering 11km in length, this main artery through the city takes in a great range of Warsaw’s historic buildings, parks, churches and monuments, making a trek down the ‘path of the Kings’ a ‘must-do’ part of any visit to the city. The heart of the route, along Krakowskie Przedmieście and Nowy Świat, will also lead you past, or more likely into, a grand selection of bars, restaurants and shops. Granted, a few of the further out parts of the route may not be anything to write home about, but it really is worth making the effort in order to visit the beautiful Wilanów Palace, gardens and parkland. We let you know what not to miss in our walking tour. UL. KRAKOWSKIE PRZEDMIEŚCIE Krakowskie Przedmieście is easily one of Poland’s most prestigious and well-known streets. It stretches from the Royal Castle in the Old Town (p.32) until it blends into ul. Nowy Świat. With the Royal Castle and Old Town covered extensively elsewhere in the guide, we begin our stroll from the sabre-rattling King Sigismund’s Column just outside the castle. This popular meeting point sees its steps visited by buskers, tourists and white-gowned brides in search of memorable snaps. From this point head to St. Anne’s Church 1 , a neo-classical effort that survived the war but came within a whisker of collapse when work on the W-Z street tunnel in 1949 caused several landslides; it took a team of 400 workers two weeks to shore the foundations 36
and stabilise the soil, but the real hero of the hour was Romuald Cebertowicz - a professor who invented a way of solidifying the soil via the use of electrical currents. The interior of St. Anne’s is fine, but the real reason for visiting is the viewing platform, which offers impressive views of the Old Town, distant shots of the Praga district (p.50) with the red and white of the National Stadium dominating, and of the city centre skyline with the big point building (yes, that one) looking over all others. A short stroll will take you to the Adam Mickiewicz monument 2 . This statue was erected in 1898 - the centenary of the birth of Poland’s best-loved bard. Unveiled at a time of Imperial Russian repression the very creation of his likeness was regarded as something of a bombshell, and over 12,000 patriotic Poles turned up to cheer the ribbon cutting. Standing behind Mr. Mickiewicz at no. 62 is a building where Fryderyk Chopin played a concert at the age of 13 (Now Chopin Point, p.39)! As you walk along the route, be sure to stop at any of the 15 Chopin Benches. Designed by Professor Jerzy Porębski, they feature a button, when pressed, unleash a 30 second torrent of Chopin. Each bench contains descriptions in EN/PL to the site’s relevance to the composer. Continuing, you’ll find the elegant Bristol Hotel. A brass plaque boasts of its many famous guests: Picasso, Nixon and Dietrich, to name but a few. Across the street is the newly revamped Raffles Hotel Europejski - fun fact, it was here in 1967 The Rolling Stones stayed during their 1st visit to Poland, all under the watchful eye of the security services. Legend has it they very much enjoyed Polish vodka in the
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OLID u c y ń ska Inn ARNO hotel bar... we’ll leave it at that. Across the street again, the ŚC a Nike I" dzk Dom Literatury current building of the Ministry of Culture and Art is Bi iłowiczowsk a Dan also home to its own historical factoid - it was here that Bellotto 1 St. Anne's Ź Napoleon met his paramour Marie Walewska at a ball held ród łow a rska in his honour. Ma Senato y rien n l szta a tr t Going onward, you’ll see the 17th century Church of the Pl. Tea Chopin Point nuns of the visitation where Chopin attended in his National Bednarska Opera youth, also playing on the impressive original organ as a a Trębacka 2 cał student. Next door is one of the best examples of the classical Nie 3 Presidential style to be found in Poland, and another location connected Palace Poniatowski to Chopin where he played his first public concert... Ossolińskic a h Karow Cross-monument Bristol Stop for photos by the stone lions and stern looking guards Tomb of the Karowa Unknown Soldier Saxon outside the Presidential Palace 3 . Construction began Garden Piłsudski Chopin Puffa Lux in 1643 at the behest of Stanisław Koniecpolski, although Benches Królewska he died before it was completed. It passed into the hands Nuns of the Gęsta Visitation Zachęta Sofitel Wiślana of various aristocratic families and in the 18th century it 4 Warsaw became the famed venue for lavish society banquets - none Lipow Traugutta Kredytowa University being more extravagant than the party held to celebrate 5 Radna Holy Ethnographic the coronation of Stanisław II August Poniatowski in Rysia Cross Harenda n ź a o b 1789, when the astounding sum of over two million złoty Mazowiecki O Oki Doki Dowcip was spent entertaining 4,000 guests. Some will say it was Camera Copernicus Świat-Uniwersytet Nowy money well spent; Poniatowski proved to be one of Poland’s Świętokrzy ska Bart finest monarchs and the constitution of May 3, 1791, signed osze wic Pl. z Moniuszki Powstańców on these very grounds, is recognised as Europe’s first. When Warszawy Poland regained independence in 1918 the reconstructed Sienkiewicza Motel ONE Warecka Tam Ordyna ka building was commandeered to serve as home to the Polish Gromada cka Boduena Chopin Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers. It saw more Chopin Mural Złota Museum Górskiego momentous events in 1955, this time when the Warsaw Pact 6 – the Soviet Union’s answer to NATO – was ratified within la Szczyg Royal Route Chmielna its walls. In 1989 round table talks between the communists Moon Chmielna Residence Foksal Ambasada and the opposition were held here, paving the way for Apartments Widok political freedom, and in 1994 it was appointed as the official Boutique B&B Indigo home of the Polish President and is where current President PURO Smolna Andrzej Duda and his family presently reside. Novotel The Centrum AL. JEROZOLI Palm Going further, why all of a sudden do you see young, fresh MSKIE Charles VITKAC de Gaulle Nowogrodzka faced kids? Well, you’re in the land of Warsaw University Mysia Polish Army 4 . Dating from the 17th century the main building, known National Museum Museum Żurawia as ‘Villa Regia,’ was remodelled and renovated several times before Warsaw U was established here in 1819. Chopin even 7 Pl. Trzech Wspólna lived here, with plaques found at the entrance to the campus Ksią Krzyży żęc Mercure a - look up at the building behind you to see another location St. Alexander's Grand he lived in! The uni had a tough time under Russian rule; Hoża a ńsk ela
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The Royal Route FRYDERYK CHOPIN
Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park (p.40).
Poland’s greatest composer, Fryderyk Chopin (18101849) has lent his name to everything from vodka to airports (and even an asteroid). Most sources agree he was born on February 22, 1810, yet some claim his family could be found celebrating his birth on March 1. There’s one thing we can be certain of, however, and that’s his birthplace – the town of Żelazowa Wola (p.71) 50km west of Warsaw. Shortly after the family moving to Warsaw in 1811 after his ‘father’ found a job as a French tutor. By all accounts he was a prodigy from the offing. Fryderyk started learning piano aged four, and by age eight had already performed at what is now the Presidential Palace (p.37). A diligent student he was educated at home for the first 13 years, before attending Warsaw’s Lyceum, and then the Warsaw Music Conservatory from which he graduated in 1829. Within three weeks he made a sparkling foreign debut in Vienna, before returning to Poland to perform the premier of his Piano Concerto in F minor. A keen traveller, Chopin set off to play in Vienna in November 1830, following a farewell party in a Wola tavern. Unbeknownst to him at the time, that was to be his last taste of Warsaw. By the end of the month Poland had risen against the ruling Russians. Choosing to stay in exile, he settled in playboy Paris where he was welcomed by Polish émigrés, as well as upcoming composers and high society. The 1830s saw Chopin enjoy an impressively productive spell, composing a series of acclaimed polonaises and mazurkas. The defining point in his life was in 1837 when he met the controversial author George Sand (yes, that’s a woman). He embarked on a torrid nine year affair with this classic ‘scarlet woman’. Racked with chronic lung problems, broke, ill and broken-hearted, Chopin led an increasingly miserable and secluded life. He finally passed away in his Paris apartment aged just 39. Buried in Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, on his insistence his body was cut open (he was petrified of being buried alive) and his heart later interned in a pillar of Warsaw’s Holy Cross Church. For Chopinologists, our map on p.37 shows sites connected to Chopin along the Royal Route, marked with a musical note . 38
closed in retaliation for the 1830-31 Uprising, the university continued to operate underground, though by 1859 the Tsar calmed down enough to rubber stamp the creation of a School of Medicine. Today, with some 57,000 students on the roll call, the university stands out as the largest and arguably best in Poland. Notable alumni include former Israeli premier Yitzhak Shamir, writer Witold Gombrowicz, award-winning hack Ryszard Kapuściński, the late president Lech Kaczyński and poet Julian Tuwim. Head across the street to visit the Church of the Holy Cross 5 . This is the famed final resting place of Fryderyk Chopin’s heart, which was sealed in an urn at his own request and placed behind a tablet featuring his likeness, becoming a place of pilgrimage for his legions of fans. Finish your Krakowskie Przedmieście wander with a visit to the Nicolaus Copernicus monument, located opposite the church, appropriately seated in front of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The monument was unveiled in 1830 and has seen plenty of action, particularly during WWII when the Nazis added a bronze plaque suggesting the astronomer was actually German. In 1942 a brave boy scout removed the plaque, causing the Nazis to remove the monument and bomb several others as retribution. Fortunately Copernicus was recovered and restored following the war. The controversial plaque is in the Museum of Warsaw (p.34). QG‑4, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet.
Copernicus holding his astronomical model on Krakowskie Przedmieście. 6 UL. NOWY ŚWIAT Nip across the ul. Świętokrzyska intersection and Krakowskie Przedmieście suddenly becomes the New World! The story of ul. Nowy Świat (New World Street) dates back to medieval times when it was traversed by Kings on their way between Warsaw and Kraków, with the first settlements appearing here in the 17th century. Levelled during WWII, the street found itself rebuilt in rather uniform neo-classical style, as returning it to its predominantly Art Nouveau pre-war style was simply unfeasible. Nowy Świat, along with its little off-shoot streets, has long been seen as one of THE places to be seen and is home to numerous shops, bars and eateries, which are ideal pitstops before shoving off to snap a pic of the former home of cult writer and Anglophile Joseph Conrad at no. 45. Drop into the renowned Café Blikle (no. 33), famous for once serving doughnuts to a young
The Royal Route and sweet-toothed Charles de Gaulle. Just across the street you will find super trendy ul. Foksal for more gastronomic and drinking opportunities; follow it to its end to see Zamoyski Palace (ul. Foksal 1/2/4), a neorenaissance pearl designed by Marconi and the scene of a botched assassination attempt on the Russian governor in 1863. Infuriated Cossack troops reacted by launching a piano once tickled by Chopin out the window. Back onto Nowy Świat you should now be in sight of our city’s famous plastic Palm Tree which stands on the de Gaulle roundabout at the intersection of Al. Jerozolimskie and Nowy Świat. First off, this is not actually a tree, rather a steel column (specially designed so it can bend in the wind), covered with natural bark and leaves made from polyethylene. Created by artist Joanna Rajkowska, the palm links the fauna of the city of Jerusalem with its namesake avenue ‘Jerozolimskie’ in Warsaw. It was unveiled on December 12, 2002. The populace liked this surprise Christmas present so much it became a permanent fixture, as well as the occasional sleeping habitat of returning clubbers too trollied to figure they haven’t stumbled on a desert oasis. And with that in mind, before reaching the palm tree, one must stop off at an oasis, and there is no place better than the legendary rat-like maze of Pawilony (The Pavilions) located behind the gates at number 22. Klaps (ul. Nowy Świat 22/28, Pavilion 12A, G-8) is a can’tmiss experience if you like your décor to include a wall of plastic boobs and beer taps crowned with vibrators! Once safely across de Gaulle roundabout, you will be greeted by a monument to the great General himself. Behind him stands the hulking edifice of the former Communist HQ (p.47). You have to love the irony that in the 90s it briefly served as home to the stock exchange; today the building hosts numerous offices, a bar and a Ferrari dealership. Scurry along this fairly uninspiring stretch of Nowy Świat to Pl. Trzech Krzyży 7 , home to the beautiful 19th century classical style St. Alexander’s Church. The surrounding area is home to some of Warsaw’s top boutiques, including the likes of Burberry, Zegna and Escada. Continue onward along Al. Ujazdowskie and take in the great architecture as you go through an area filled with embassies and consulates. Stop off in the charming Ujazdwoski Park 8 before continuing on the Royal Route in Warsaw’s most famous park...on the next page. QH‑8, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet.
Presidential Palace (p.37)
Chopinologists will be delighted to know there’s no shortage of daily Chopin recitals in the city, all of which take place along the Royal Route meaning you’re no more than a stone’s throw away from hearing the composer’s touching music. Once you’re done visiting sights connected to the composer, you can choose from one of three of our favourite locations for recitals. The first takes place in the House of Music on ul. Nowy Świat 63 (17:00, 50zł), the second occurs in Chopin Point on ul. Krakowskie Przedmieśćie 62, (19:00, 75/50zł) in the same building where the composer played a concert at the age of 13!, and finally, in Chopin Salon on ul. Smolna 14/7 (19:30, tickets 30/60zł). Happy listening.
FURTHER ON From Plac Trzech Krzyży (H‑8), Warsaw’s ‘royal route’ continues down the Embassy-land of Aleje Ujazdowskie past the Ujazdowskie and Łazienki Parks (H‑10/I-11), down ul. Belwederska (I‑13), ul. Sobieskiego (J‑15) and Aleja Wilanowska to ultimately end at Wilanów Palace - the 17th century private residence of King Jan III Sobieski. While a walking tour of the remaining 10km isn’t realistic, or especially rewarding, Łazienki and Wilanów are both required visits for getting a broader sense of Warsaw’s history and former glory as the grand capital of a vast and wealthy commonwealth stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. We detail both destinations extensively further on in our Sightseeing section, and though both could occupy the better part of a day on their own, you can also easily continue your tour from the bus stop at the southern end of Pl. Trzy Krzyży. To get to Łazienki Park, simply hop on bus numbers 116, 166, 180 or 195 and get off two stops later at ‘Łazienki Królewskie’. For Wilanów, take bus 116, 180 or E‑2 and get off at ‘Wilanów’ 25mins later. 39
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Łazie|nPhoto: kowskaŁazienki Par The Palace on the Island (p.41) looks eerily mesmerising in winter. That snow though...perfect for a snow angel. MDM Paderewski
Łazienki Anyone who still thinks that Warsaw is a city of concrete and cement has clearly never been to the city’s lung, the incomparable Łazienki Park. Quite simply, this glorious, 17th century park, spread over 74 hectares, is one of the jewels in Poland’s crown, which might explain why half of Warsaw chooses to spend its summer Sundays here. Fear not though, for so big is Łazienki that it never gives the impression of being crowded, and even on the busiest of days you will always be able to find a quiet, shady corner somewhere.
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ŁAZIENKI PARK The name Łazienki means baths and is derived from the park’s centrepiece and best-known attraction, the Palace on the Island. The palace was originally built in the 17th century as a private bathhouse for Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski, owner of the adjacent Ujazdowski Castle and much of the surrounding land (and much of Poland, come to mention it). The bathhouse was bought by the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, in 1772 and converted into a private residence (thus taking the name Palace on the Island). It was at this time that the grounds were formally laid out as a private garden, most of the landscaping being carried out to the designs of Karol Ludwig Agricola and Karol Schultz. Today dotted with many palaces (big and small), summer houses, pavilions, mansions, cafes, restaurants, lakes and theatres, Łazienki offers much to see and to make the best of it you should plan to spend a full day here. While you can buy tickets for each Łazienki attraction individually, you can also purchase a one-day ticket (40/25zł) which offers single-access to a chunk of the attractions (the Botanical Garden is not among them). Łazienki, up until very recently, was further evidence of the fact that many Central Europeans have never quite grasped the idea of what parks are actually for. With superbly kept grass at every turn, perfect for picnics, pick up games of cricket, softball, football or whatever else it is people get up to in parks in the western world, Łazienki once took a very stern ‘look but don’t touch’ attitude when it came to its lawns. That said, the park now allows you to have a picnic on all patches of grass in the park. Finally, progress!QI‑11, ul. Agrykoli 1, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 506 00 28, www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl. Open 07:00-21:00.
CHOPIN MONUMENT & TEMPLE OF SIBYL On entering the park proper, make your first port of call the Chopin Monument, sculpted by Wacław Szymanowski and unveiled in 1926. It depicts Chopin sitting right here in Łazienki, next to a willow tree. The original sculpture was destroyed during WWII, and the one we admire today went up in 1958. Almost hidden in the trees a few metres from Chopin is the astonishing Temple of the Sibyl (closed to the public), an 1820s replica Greek Temple built entirely of wood. Look out too for a gaggle of other little buildings here such as the Hermitage, the Egyptian Temple and the Water Tower. None are currently open to the public.QI‑12, MPolitechnika, www.lazienkikrolewskie.pl.
Palace on the Island
Photo: Filip Kwiatkowski©Warsaw Tourist Office
PALACE ON THE ISLAND The Palace on the Island is Łazienki’s raison d’etre. The palace - completed in 1683 to designs by Tylman Gamerski - was originally a bathhouse, converted into a residence in the late 1700s (after being bought by Stanisław August Poniatowski). The palace is built on an artificial island that divides the lake into two parts, and is connected to the surrounding park by two colonnaded bridges. The façades are unified by giant Corinthian pilasters that link its two floors and are crowned by a balustrade that bears statues of mythological figures. The northern façade is relieved
GETTING TO ŁAZIENKI Any number of buses stop in front of the park’s three main entrances on ‘Al. Ujazdowskie’, including numbers 116, 222 and 503 from the Old Town/Nowy Świat. Bus 108 takes you from ‘Plac Trzech Krzyży’ to stop ‘Agrykola’, on the park’s eastern edge - bus 162 gets you to the same location but from the Praga disctrict at stop Dw. Wileński. From the city centre, however, perhaps the easiest way of reaching Łazienki is to take trams 4 and 35 from ‘Centrum’ (or 10 and 18 from ‘Dw. Centralny’) to ‘Pl. Unii Lubelskiej,’ and walk 300 metres along ul. Bagatela to the park’s southern entrance, in front of the Belvedere Palace. Orientation around the park is relatively easy given the prominent placement of maps and signs - in Polish and English - in key locations. There is also a very good Łazienki complex map (again, in Polish and English) which can be picked up for free from the Palace on the Island. If you enter the park via any of the entrances on Al. Ujazdowskie, chances are you will end up, willingly or not, via some surprisingly hilly paths set with tall trees, at the vast artificial lake in the park’s centre, straddled by the magnificent Palace on the Island. In doing so however, you risk missing out on a few treasures, such as The Museum of Hunting & Horsemanship, so try to circumnavigate the park instead. While you can buy tickets for each Łazienki attraction individually, you can also purchase a one-day ticket (45/30zł) which offers singleaccess to a chunk of the attractions (the Botanical Garden is not among them).QH‑11, ul. Agrykoli 1. 41
Łazienki site (U-jazdowski Kino) plus a top notch restaurant and café.QI‑10, ul. Jazdów 2, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 628 12 71, www.u-jazdowski.pl. Open 11:00-18:00; Thu, Fri 12:00-20:00; Sat 10:00-19:00; closed Mon. Admission 16/8zł to all exhibitions, two exhibitions 12/6zł and 10/5zł for just one, Thu free, students up to 26 years of age 1zł. U
Just some of the many statues in the park.
by a striking central portico, while the southern façade’s deep central recess lies behind a screen of Corinthian columns. Today a museum, almost all of the palace can be visited including the main reception room, Solomon’s Hall, decorated in the most extravagant of Baroque styles with a series of paintings depicting the History of Solomon. They were executed for King Stanisław Augustus in 1791–93 by Marcello Bacciarelli and depicted the monarch himself as the biblical king. Many of the king’s personal rooms are also open to the public, set in their original context.QI‑11, ul. Agrykola 1, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 506 00 28, www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; closed Mon. Admission 25/18zł comes with headphones, Fri free. Children and students up to 26 years of age pay 1zł. UJAZDOWSKI CASTLE CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART A castle of some description has been on found on this site since the time of the Masovian Dukes (1300s), but the Ujazdowski Castle we see today was completed in a Baroque style in 1730 for Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski (it was his bathhouse that later became the Palace on the Island and gave Łazienki park its name). Ujazdowski survived two centuries before being gutted by fire during WWII, and was indeed lucky to escape total destruction: the retreating Nazis actually tried to blow it to pieces, as they did a number of Łazienki’s finest buildings. But as is so often the case - what the Nazis couldn’t do the communists could, and though the original walls and foundations remained structurally sound in the 1950s Poland’s communist authorities decided to tear down the shell of the building and place a military theatre on the site. Common sense prevailed however, and the 1970s saw Ujazdowski rebuilt to its original plans. It today plays host to several large exhibition halls dedicated to showcasing rotating exhibitions of the very best contemporary art inside; find a wild mix of the good, the bad and the ugly, featuring the work of Poland’s leading contemporary artists here. Worthy and undoubtedly necessary, the gallery also houses a very good bookshop and reading room where you can freely peruse a huge collection of albums, magazines and books many of which are in English. There is also a fantastic cinema on 42
MYŚLEWICKI PALACE When in Łazienki Park, make sure you have time for a guided tour of the magnificent, semi-circular and recently restored Myślewicki Palace. The tour lasts about 30 minutes. The palace was the official residence of the king’s nephew, Józef Poniatowski, and is very much ‘as was’ complete with original murals, furniture and art.QJ‑11, ul. Agrykola 1, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 506 00 28, www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; closed Mon. Admission 10/5zł. Fri free. Guided tours in English 130zł per group. Children and students up to 26 years of age pay just 1zł. MUSEUM OF HUNTING & HORSEMANSHIP Very much as advertised, this museum will appeal to any avid horse enthusiast.QJ‑12, ul. Szwoleżerów 9, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 522 66 30, www.lazienkikrolewskie.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; closed Mon. Admission 10/5zł. Fri free. Children and students up to 26 years of age pay 1zł. Guided tours in English 120zł per group. OFFICER CADETS SCHOOL In the eastern section of Łazienki near the Palace on the Island stands a large, classical building constructed in a horseshoe plan. Built by King Stanisław Poniatowski as a kitchen, the building was expanded in 1778 (it was deemed to small to serve the king’s need) and eventually morphed into the Infantry Officer Cadets School in 1822. On November 29th 1830, second lieutenant Piotr Wysocki led an uprising, aided by the young men of the school, which led to the November Uprising, a nationwide uprising at the time.QJ‑11, ul. Agrykola 1, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 506 00 28, www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; closed Mon. Admission 10/5zł. Children and students up to 26 years of age pay just 1zł.
Atmospheric winter vibes.
Photo: Łazienki Park
Winter illuminations at Wilanów Palace. | Photo: Mike Mareen
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The ‘Polish Versailles’ is just one of the many fitting monikers applied to this splendid late 17th-century palace which can be found in the Warsaw district of Wilanów, 10km south of the city centre. Essential visiting for all who come to soak up the capital’s lavish culture and wish to understand a little more about ancient Poland, Wilanów is more than just a palace – it represents an era from which much has been lost. The palace, park and surrounding ensemble of buildings represent the height of Polish Baroque and this is one of Poland’s greatest national treasures.The sprawling 45-hectare setting is also full of things to do, from visiting the superb Poster Museum next door to renting a rowboat on the palace’s lake. If the weather’s good and you’ve got time to spare, it’s easy to spend an entire and thoroughly rewarding day here.
O I ER W
It is very easy to visit Warsaw and imagine its history stretches no further back than the post-war communist era and before that to WWII, when the city was effectively wiped from the map of Europe. But that would be to only understand a small part of this city’s history. The nation’s capital has been in Warsaw since the late 16th century and at one time was the centre of the burgeoning Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a union which lasted over 200 years and whose territory at once stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea (incorporating much of modern day Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States). With so much of pre-war Warsaw destroyed there are few places to experience what this must have been like more than at Wilanow’s palace and gardens.
Queen’s Bedroom in the Wilanów Palace by Aleksander Gryglewski, 1874
Wilanów gets its name from the Warsaw borough in which Wilanów Palace is located. First mentioned in the 13th century as Milanów, the then tiny village changed hands several times before being bought in the 17th century by the family of Stanisław Leszczyński. Leszczyński began building a palace here, but the project was halted by the Deluge and the subsequent capture and plundering of the region by the Swedes. In 1676 the abandoned Milanów was bought by King Jan III Sobieski looking for a country retreat away from Warsaw, and he ordered a new palace to be built on the site. Originally called ‘Villa Nova’ (New Village), the name was soon polonised to the one it’s known by today. A brick manor house was built in 1680, expanding in two stages into a palace during the years 1681-1696 under the supervision of Agostino Locci to his own design. After Jan III Sobieski’s death in 1696, his widow returned to France and the palace, through their sons, became the property of Elżbieta Sieniawska who continued to develop the palace. Sieniawska, like many of the subsequent owners, honoured Sobieski by conserving much of the palace in memory of the victorious king. It was to become a royal residence again in the early 1730s during the reign of August II the Strong. Over the next two hundred years the palace became the property of a succession of the most important Polish families including the Czartoryskis, Lubomirskis, Potockis and Branickis, and each left their mark as they expanded and developed the property. One of its most enlightened residents was Stanislaw Kostka Potocki who in the early 19th century made his collection of art and access to the royal apartments of King Jan III Sobieski available to the public. Keep an eye out for the words ‘Cunctis patet ingressus’ on the palace floor signifying that the palace and its collection were ‘open to all.’ The palace avoided the fate of the city of Warsaw and survived the war virtually intact, though its collections were seriously looted. Confiscated by Poland’s post-war Communist government, Wilanów became part of the National Museum in Warsaw and was painstakingly renovated during the 1950s and early 1960s, opening its doors to the public again in 1962. 44
WILANÓW PARK & GARDENS The 45 hectares that make up Wilanów Park grew over the centuries according to the particular fancies of its owners. The park’s present form dates from the extensive and mostly faithful renovations made during the 1950s, overseen by the architect and historian Professor Gerard Ciołek (1909-1966). The park grounds include a two-level Baroque garden, a Neo-Renaissance rose garden, a classical English landscaped park and the so called English-Chinese landscape park. The park near the Orangery, East, North and Rose gardens and their associated architecture were recently the subject of a major revitalisation program and during work on the Baroque garden a series of archaeological digs discovered several artefacts, including ceramics dating from the 12th century. Until the 24 February there is a spectacular light installation in the orangery called Królewski Ogród Światła (Royal Garden of light, p.?).Qul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16. Open 09:00-16:00. From February 24 open 09:00-18:00. Admission 7/5zł, Thu free. Note that an obligatory 0zł ticket is still required on Thursdays. Really.
Wilanów Park & Gardens
Photo by W. Holnicki
THE WILANÓW PALACE MUSEUM The first museum at Wilanów was opened in 1805 by the palace’s owner at the time, Stanisław Kostka Potocki. The current museum, which takes up a substantial portion of the palace’s interior, comes in two parts. Having bought your ticket, enter the wing on the right and descend the stairs. Head through a small room, up the stairs into the first part of the museum - The Polish Portrait Gallery. Wander through room after room of portraits of the rich and the powerful from the 16-19th century. If portraits are your thing you will find this very interesting, though the lack of descriptions is frustrating. The tour leads you around the upper level of the house, however, during winter and well into 2019, this will be closed for renovation. Downstairs you will find yourself in the Wilanów Palace Residence. Featuring residential rooms, suits of armour, Etruscan vases, magnificent frescoes and even a private chapel. The central part of the lower floor is the most impressive. It is here that you will find the private apartments of King Jan III Sobieski and his wife, while the wings house the apartments of the subsequent owners of the palace. It is quite easy to spend a couple of hours
Wilanów wandering around the palace but be warned that it tends to fill with schoolchildren during the week and tourists at the weekends so there’s not really a best time to visit during the school year. The gardens are open 09:00-16:00 until 31 Jan. For all the latest information on permanent/temporary exhibitions, visit the Wilanów Palace website. QP‑2, ul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22 544 27 00, www.wilanow-palac.art. pl. Open 09:00-16:00; closed Tue. Admission 25/20zł, Thu free, but you must obtain an obligatory ticket. Audioguide (available in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish) 10zł. Tickets can be purchased online. U POSTER MUSEUM Housed inside the Wilanów Palace’s former indoor riding area, the Poster Museum features two large halls full of wonderful posters from all over the world. At over 55,000 pieces, this is reportedly the largest poster collection to be found anywhere. The museum focuses on the artistic merits of the posters rather than their documentary value and plays host to a cycle of temporary events and exhibitions.Qul. S. K. Potockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22 842 48 48, www. postermuseum.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; Mon 12:00-16:00. Admission 12/8zł, Mon free. ST. ANNE’S CHURCH A church has stood on this site since the 14th century, when the wooden church of St. Leonard was built here. This was replaced by a Gothic wooden construction and graveyard in the 16th century and wasn’t replaced with a brick one until well after the time of Jan III Sobieski in 1772. The new church was called St. Anne’s and was founded by Prince August Adam Czartoryski to a design by Jan Kotelnicki. Czartoryski’s grand-daughter, Aleksandra Lubomirska Potocka, decorated the church with art in the period 17991831, the most precious of which is the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary in the main altar. Between 1857 and 1870, Aleksandra’s son August and his wife extended the church to a design by Henri Marconi. The church received a Neo-Renaissance look and the
marvellous dome was added. In the gardens surrounding the church building you will find terracotta shrines marking the fourteen Stations of the Cross, while within the church, in the crypt under the chapel, are the tombs of the Potocki family. The church suffered damage during both world wars and was even used as an internment camp by the Nazis, who also looted and damaged it. The church bells dating from 1723 and 1777 survived thanks to the bravery of the local people who hid them; today they are housed in the newly built Third Millennium Tower.QO‑2, ul. St. Kostki Potockiego 18, tel. (+48) 22 842 18 01, www. parafiawilanow.pl. Open 08:00-17:00; Sat 08:00-12:00; Sun 13:00-17:00.
GETTING TO WILANÓW The Palace and Gardens at Wilanów can be reached best of all by bus or taxi directly from the city centre. The city’s metro system does run to a stop called ‘Wilanowska’ but this is about 5km from the palace and will involve taking a bus (139, 710 or 724) from outside of the station. All buses stop directly outside the palace gates at the ‘Wilanów’ stop. BY BUS From the Old Town/Plac Zamkowy/Nowy Świat (F4), Pl. Trzech Krzyży (H-8) and Łazienki Park (H-11): Take buses 116 or 180; journey takes 25-35 minutes. From the centre (F-8): Take bus 519 or 200 from Warszawa Centralna train station, or 519 from outside the Cepelia store on ul. Marszałkowska 99, next to the roundabout. From Metro Wilanowska Bus Station: Take buses 139, 200, 251 or 339. BY TAXI Costing 35-40zł with a recommended company such as Glob Cab Taxi (+48 666 00 96 68), a taxi ride to Wilanów is something of a false economy, taking more or less the same time as the bus to get there. If you prefer the comfort and privacy of your own car then definitely stick to our recommendation.Qul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16.
St. Anne’s Church
Photo by Stanisław Kłosin
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Communist Warsaw The concept of ‘judging by first impressions’ has never been a favourable one to Warsaw, but to anyone that knows you should never judge a book by its cover, the city can surprise and warm even the coldest of hearts! But lets take the first concept at face value – you arrive in Warsaw’s city centre and what do you see? Grey buildings... a lot of grey buildings! True, there are old buildings, modern soulless glass structures here and there, but it’s undeniable that grey still dominates. So why is this? Well, it’s simple - war. Warsaw experienced an invasion in 1939, a Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and finally, the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and subsequent German destruction of all buildings culturally important to Poles. After the war, the city was in ruins, the Communists were in power, and when it came to rebuilding, their architecutral style ruled the day, and that’s why Warsaw looks the way it does. Grey, but beautiful!
WALKING TOUR We have chosen for you the easiest and most logical route to take in the most important locations showing the rise of Communism, and its architectural style, in Poland. The route works well in terms of chronological order and ends nicely smack bang in the city centre, from where you can make your way to your next desitination with realtive ease. Should you choose to do so, you can do the tour in reverse order. The total length of the route is only 3 kilometres, but if you get tired during the tour, you will always be a short distance from any public transportation stop. To begin the tour, head to the Charles de Gaulle Monument across from the Palm Tree on the corner of ul. Nowy Świat and Aleje Jerozolimskie (H-8). 1 CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE POLISH UNITED WORKERS’ PARTY The name of this building was once long, don’t you think? Unnecessarily long, intended to be imposing as well as informative, we suppose. Building began on the HQ for what was once Poland’s dominant Communist Party, the PZPR (Polish United Workers’ Party), in 1948. It was completed in 1952, and was used by the party right up until 1990 and the fall of the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL). Thanks in no small part to a heavy dose of irony, after the fall of Communism it functioned as the Warsaw Stock Exchange until 2001. Following this jibe at Communism, it was kicked while it was down and later became the Centre for Banking and Finance, which still functions here to this day. It also contains showrooms for luxurious cars, and also some trendy bars. Ouch. But anyway, we’ve had our little giggle at the Capitalism v. Communism tussle, now onto the serious stuff. As you may know, after World War 2, Poland was in the process of rebuilding, but at the same time, Moscow’s grip on the country grew ever stronger, especially betweewn 1945-48. Houses were gradually being rebuilt, and people were trying to put their lives back together, but at the same time, pieces of socialist realist architecture began to appear in Warsaw - a real sign of the changing political landscape. The Communist Party HQ was one
of the first to be built. Interestingly, construction was officially said to have been funded by the members of PZPR, but the reality is that the public purse financed it, along with a scheme for people to ‘willingly’ buy symbolic bricks (something people were forced to do!) as donations to aid the construction of this building and Poland’s rebuilding process as a whole. Indeed, Warsaw’s other famous Communist relic, the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN) also benefited from this scheme. A little nugget for you - granite from the Tannenberg Memorial (formerly in Prussian Hohenstein, now modern day Olsztynek) was used here as building material. The Tannenberg Memorial was built in 192427 to commemorate German soldiers on the 10th anniversary of the second Battle of Tannenberg against Imperial Russia. Following his death in 1934, President of the German Reich, Paul Von Hindenburg was interned here until Nazi troops removed his remains as the Soviet Army advanced into Prussia in 1945. The structure was destroyed with demolition charges during a hasty retreat. The job was completed by Polish authorities in 1949 and part of what was left was carted to Warsaw. Now, think of the importance this building once held as the place where the ruling party made all of their major decisions, or more to the point, where political puppets rubber stamped decisions already largely made by Moscow. It was to continue this way until the fall of Communism. In 2009, the building was registered as a listed monument, and though it doesn’t function as a tourist attraction, it’s still worth a visit to walk around and get a feel for the system, and architectural style, that once dominated Poland for so long. Go back now to the Charless de Gaulle monument, cross ul. Nowy Świat, head left and continue for a short walk until you reach your first right. Walk to the end of this small street.QH‑8, ul. Nowy Świat 6/12, MCentrum. 2 FREE SPEECH MEMORIAL The Free Speech Memorial found on ul. Mysia is right in front of what is a modern day governmental building. However, back in the days of Communist Poland (the PRL era), this used to be the main office of the Censorship Agency which controlled all media and information outlets across the country, from radio, TV and the press to even the nature of characters in books, and representations of the ideal family. Pure and simple, its mission was the control of the masses through propaganda. Censorship instructions were given just a stone’s throw away at the Communist Party HQ, naturally. The design and meaning of the memorial is quite fitting, and bridges the space between these two locations so deeply rooted in the fabric of Communist Poland. The black strip symbolises the redaction markings made by censors. The redaction strip abruptly comes to an end near the former censorship office to symbolise the victory of free speech as the communist system crumbled. The information board nearby depicts an example of censorship with its own blanked out text for you to decipher. For all tech geeks, the seats nearby contain QR codes which you can scan to play a game created by
Communist Warsaw the project’s designers. Heading in the same direction you just walked, go along ul. Nowogrodzka until you reach ul. Krucza and turn left. Here you will see many examples of old ministerial buildings (still in use today) built in the socialist realist style between 19512. Of particular interest is the current day Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on ul. Wspólna 30 with its fancy columns - serving no other purpose than to look impressive! Continue along Krucza until you see the next stop of the tour, 3 Bar Bambino, a slightly more upmarket take on the old state subsidised Communist era eating dens known as ‘milk bars’, which acted as makeshift work canteens all over Poland. Cheap grub galore. Continue the same way until you reach ul. Piękna, turning right.QG‑8, ul. Mysia 2, MCentrum. PLAC KONSTYTUCJI A wonderful spectacle of socialist realist architecture. Designed by Jankowski, Knothe, Sigalin and Stępiński, Pl. Konstytucji was projected to be an ‘expression of creative optimism and peaceful work within the socialist system.’ Constructed between 1950-52, and officially christened on July 22, 1952, the square was originally intended to serve as a focal point for all state parades which would then go down ul. Marszałkowska to Plac Defilad (Parade Square) in front of The Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN). The reality of this plan was short-lived as this has been a car park since the 1960s. Lovely, huh? Plac Konstytucji is quite an anomaly in the urban fabric of Warsaw, for it was the crowning glory of the project to build Marszałkowska Dzielnica Mieszkaniowa (MDM, the Marszałkowska Housing District). In a sea of devastation across the city, this area was the first housing district to be completed in the city; it was quite an achievement and heralded as a big success at the time. The square you see today didn’t exist before the war, but to accommodate the plans to provide a square for the people, buildings were flattened here (so too was the case on ul. Marszałkowska and PKiN). In fact, if you look at a map of the area today, you’ll notice that ul. Koszykowa - once one long continuous street - is now split by the square, with its two severed parts now lying in the north-west and south-east sections of Plac Konstytucji. The square itself is dominated by three monumental street lamps looking like giant tridents, mosaics here and there, but things get even better along the tail end of Marszałkowska, leading to Plac Zbawiciela, where socialist reliefs of workers line the street. From here, walk straight down ul. Marszałkowska, taking in the architectural sights along the way.QG‑10, Pl. Konstytucji, MPolitechnika. 4
5 UL. MARSZAŁKOWSKA One of Warsaw’s main streets, measures 3580m running north-south from Plac Bankowy (next to Ratusz-Arsenał Metro station, E-5) right down to Plac Unii Lubelskiej (H12). The street was inaugurated in 1757 by the namesake of the street, Grand Marshal of the Crown Franciszek Bieliński. Back then the street was much shorter than its modern day version, running from ul. Widok to ul.
Commie Puppet HQ
Królewska (the stretch currently between Metro Centrum and the start of Ogród Saski, F-6/8). The 19th century saw the street gradually become the heart of the city as the Warsaw-Vienna Railway Station was built nearby on Aleje Jerozolimskie in 1844-45. The latter half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th heralded a plethora of ornate buildings being built along the street, with many cafes, restaurants, shops and cinemas being located here in the bustling heart of the city. All looked well until the outbreak of World War II which inevitably led to damage and destruction, firstly during the initial invasion in September 1939 and more acutely during and after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 (p.58). It’s estimated that 80% of the street was destroyed. Following the war, a massive rebuilding plan began across Warsaw, and indeed, Poland as a whole. It may surprise many to know that despite wartime devastation, quite a handful of pre-war buildings on Marszałkowska survived the war, but they would later fall foul to the Communist’s plans to make the city centre look more Soviet. What you see today is the result of this plan, socialist realist architecture lining the majority of the street. This is most evident from the section that leads from the current day Plac Konstytucji (Constitution Square, built between 1950-52) to the city centre where the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN, completed in 1955) now stands. In fact, it was due to the projects of creating a socialist realist city centre that the street itself was widened, partly to accommodate Communist parades that would lead from Plac Konstytucji right up to Plac Defilad (Parade Square) in front of PKiN. If the pre-war buildings stuck out too much in the street, away they went! Across the street from PKiN, 6 The Eastern Wall, a collection of buildings and tower blocks, was built in 1962 as Soviet architects looked to the west for inspiration and ideas - the results often lead to brutalist monstrosities popping up like mushrooms. Today the street looks much the same as it has for a while now, but the Eastern Wall itself underwent renovation, and the famous Rotunda Bank building is currently in the process of being redeveloped. Now for some sights of the city, enter PKiN at the entrance (facing ul. Marszałkowska).QE‑6/G‑11, ul. Marszałkowska, MCentrum.
Communist Warsaw 7 PALACE OF CULTURE & SCIENCE Originally commissioned by Stalin as a ‘gift from the Soviet people’ the 237 metre structure actually takes its inspiration from the capitalist world, namely the Empire State Building. Stalin had sent a secret delegation to New York to learn both about the building and American construction methods, though the outbreak of WWII meant that it wasn’t until 1952 that his architects were able to commence putting their knowledge into practice. Over 5,000 workers were ferried in from the Soviet states and housed in a purposebuilt village in Jelonki. Working around the clock, it took them just three years to complete the Palace. In all 16 died during the construction, though despite the Olympian efforts of the labourers Stalin never lived to see his pet project completed. Built using an estimated 40 million bricks and housing 3,288 rooms the Palace’s purpose was to serve as not just party headquarters but also ‘the people’s castle’, with invitations to the annual New Year’s Eve Ball issued to the best workers in socialist Poland. Regardless of this the building became an object of hatred and the palace was seen as no more than a symbol of Russian hegemony. Viewed from a distance – apparently it can be spotted from 30km away – the palace appears a faceless monolith. Viewed closely several intricate details appear in focus. Under Stalin’s orders architects travelled around Poland’s key cultural sights, from Wawel to Zamość, observing Polish architectural traditions, hence the numerous crenellations, courtyards and motifs. Once inside the ground floor becomes a maze of halls and corridors. Brass chandeliers hang over clacking parquet flooring, secret lifts lie hidden around and allegorical socialist reliefs take inspiration from ancient mythology. The building boasts over 3,300 rooms most of which are conference facilities or offices. Besides the theatres, bars and museums on the ground level, visitors
Socialist Realist Relief on Plac Konstytucji
Photo by Mat Fahrenholz
© Paweł Jagiełło
looking to further explore the building can take a tour of some of the conference and commercial spaces, but are best directed to the viewing terrace on the 30th floor (Mon-Sun 10:00-20:00). To get there you’ll need to buy a ticket, after which you’ll be shepherded into an old-style lift complete with a lovely lift attendant who has probably been doing the job since the building opened. From the observation point, take a look around Warsaw, see the crazy mix of socialist realist housing blocks all over, from right in the city centre, to outer districts. And here ends our tour, however, should you wish to explore the topic further, here are some further recommendations for you to visit.QE‑8, Pl. Defilad 1, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 656 76 00, www.pkin.pl. Open 10:00-20:00. Admission for the viewing level is 20/15zł. You can purchase tickets online. U SOVIET WAR CEMETERY Dominated by a huge needle-like monument this is one of the first Warsaw landmarks seen on the way from the airport. The towering monument was one of the first to be built in the city following the Second World War. It features some interesting socialist reliefs depicting Red Army troops liberating Polish civilians, and the inscription reads ‘To the memory of the soldiers lost in the liberation of Poland 1944-1945’. Mass graves containing the remains of 20,000 soldiers flank each side of the memorial.QC‑14, Al. Żwirki i Wigury 51, MPole Mokotowskie. MUSEUM OF LIFE UNDER COMMUNISM If walking around Warsaw’s city centre and admiring the remnants of Poland’s Communist past is not enough for you, why not check out the ‘Museum of Life under Communism’ in the centre? Started privately in 2014, this is not simply a museum that recollects facts and figures, it’s a unique place that shows what everyday life was like for people during the years of Poland’s Communist rule - which includes a mock up of a typical PRL era living room! An essential place to visit, especially for younger generations and those who have never lived under such a system! QM‑4, ul. Piękna 28/34 (corner of Plac Konstytucji and ul. Piękna), MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 511 04 48 08, www.mzprl.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; Fri 12:00-20:00. Admission 18/12zł. 49
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Praga Gritty. Bo-ho. There are a lot of terms being tossed around to describe Praga, the eastern district of Warsaw that hugs the Vistula River, and they’re all fairly apt. Praga was once regarded as off-limits to Western visitors thanks to its criminal underclass and imposing tower blocks, but a revival of sorts now makes this section of town worthy of emphasising – especially if you prefer to see the city’s artsy underbelly and get away from the well-trodden tourist path in Old Town from where you see the towers of Sts. Michael & Florian Cathedral and the rounded dome of the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene. The area is still years away from being hipster-soaked Brooklyn or boho Montmartre, but that’s exactly why now is the time to go: a visit will mean you can say you saw the evolution in progress, before gentrification engulfs the area. In practice, and geographically, Praga has always been set apart from Warsaw proper. Until 1791 the district was its own separate town and the inability to build a permanent bridge between Praga and Warsaw until the mid-18th century surely proved a factor in the separatism (ferries in the summer and a stroll across the iced-over Vistula in the winter were the main option for transit in the pre-bridge days). Finally in 1791 King Stanislaw August Poniatowski attached the district officially to Warsaw, dissolving it of its independence (at least on paper). Praga wasn’t given much time to enjoy its new status as part of Warsaw thanks to the The Battle of Praga in 1794, which saw an aggressive invasion by the Russian army. Following the quick but devastating battle the Russians burned the entire district and massacred the 20,000 Poles. During World War II Praga wasn’t quite as devastated as left-bank Warsaw (which isn’t really saying much if you’ve seen the condition Warsaw was left in). The Russians, again, arrived in Praga in July 1944 and stopped at the Vistula, famously leaving the Polish Home Army dangling during the Warsaw Uprising. Today working-class Praga is the standard-bearer for cool, especially among those who find the tourist-heavy Old Town too Disneyfied and the sterile clubs of Warsaw proper as distasteful. Folks here prefer their bars dark and their fun improvised, and visitors can easily spend a day checking out the attractions, like street art murals and the Praga Koneser Center with its Polish Vodka Museum.
TOURIST INFORMATION The Praga district’s tourist information office, located in the newly opened Koneser Center. Free maps and guides are all available here, and of course, some very helpful staff to keep you right!QK‑2/3, Pl. Konesera 2, MDworzec Wileński, www.warsawtour.pl. Open 10:00-20:00.
© agnieszkalll / dollarphotoclub
If the bears at the entrance to Park Praski piqued your interest, then head to nearby Warsaw Zoo, which opened in 1928 and covers an area of 40 hectares. 500+ species (over 12,700 animals) call it home and that includes lions, gorillas, giraffes and elephants. The zoo was bombed at the beginning of the WW2 and by 1945 all the animals had either been killed, deported to the Third Reich, eaten by locals or escaped. Zoo director Jan Żabiński became a hero; wounded in the 1944 Uprising, he helped save countless lives by sheltering Jewish orphans in the zoo. It re-opened in 1949.QH‑3, ul. Ratuszowa 1/3, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 619 40 41, www.zoo. waw.pl. Open 09:00-16:00. From March open 09:0017:00. Admission 20/15zł. Family tickets available. 1 PRAGA DISTRICT MUSEUM Located in the heart of Praga this relatively small museum has struck just the right chord with its interesting and impressive permanent exhibition, which not only covers the complex history of Warsaw’s right bank settlements over the years, but also captures the colourful district in several interactive multimedia exhibits. We recommend exploring every corner of this great museum and it will inevitably encourage you to head out the door and explore Praga itself. For more info about events and upcoming exhibitions, log onto their website. QJ‑3, ul. Targowa 50/52, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 518 34 30, www.muzeumpragi.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; Thu 10:00-20:00; closed Mon. Admission for both permanent and temporary exhibitions 12/8zł, permanent alone 10/7zł, temporary exhibitions 5/3zł. Thu free. U 2 UL. ZĄBKOWSKA Nowhere is Praga’s revival better illustrated than ulica Ząbkowska, the natural gravitational point for all the Boho and artistic types. Originally lined with timber frame houses, Ząbkowska experienced a fierce blaze in 1868 that led to wooden lodgings being replaced with tall tenements, all but one surviving WWII. Post-war neglect hit the street hard, with Ząbkowska allowed to fall into such disrepair that plans for wholesale demolition were seriously considered. However it survived, and today restoration work has seen many of buildings returned to their former glory, or currently undergoing redevelopment, streets repaved and galleries opened. For some the very name Ząbkowska is synonymous with lively bars (W Oparach Absurdu, Łysy Pingwin etc.) filled with student revolutionaries.QJ‑3, ul. Ząbkowska, MDworzec Wileński.
Praga WARSAW STREET MURALS
‘Fight Club’ by Conor Harrington on ul. Środkowa 17.
Poland has a long, lauded tradition of graphic art, with large-scale Polish advertising and poster design known internationally for their high artistic quality. With such a knack for graphics, it stands to reason that Poles would have a penchant for street graphics as well. And they do. In Warsaw street art has seen a tidal wave of popularity, and in the last few years new street murals have become a common sight around town. In fact, the emergence of street art as a growing and legitimised artistic discipline has created an interesting dichotomy in Warsaw’s urban landscape between both sanctioned and unsanctioned works of ‘graffiti art’ and the prolific gang signs, slurs and football-related graffiti that city paint crews have targeted in their war on ‘vandalism.’ Each year the Street Art Doping Festival invites top international street artists like BLU, ROA and DALeast, to leave their large scale marks around town. Examples of some great murals can be seen at ul. Racławicka 17 (F-15), ul. Rakowiecka 2C (G-13) and ul. Bliska 23 (in Praga Południe) respectively, also, if you stick to the length of ul. Stalowa (J-2/K-1), to your left and right, you’ll frequently see murals. Home-grown work can also be seen all around the city, with the more down at heel districts of Praga and Wola being particularly well represented. Keep your eyes open for works by local Varsovian artists NeSpoon, SC Szyman and Simpson, who have all added their creativity on many of Warsaw’s buildings, walls and pillar boxes, rivalling what other cities like Berlin have to offer. Be quick to check out some murals - one of our favourite murals of a castl4e in the sky, once located on ul. Mińska 12 (Praga Południe) is no more - gone with the building it was painted on! At any rate, those with an interest in street art will have little trouble tracking it down in Warsaw, and we’re making it even easier. On the maps in the back of our print guide we’ve marked street art locations with a spray can symbol , so you can literally use them to give yourself a tour of Warsaw’s urban art. We’ve also put it all online with GPS coordinates at inyourpocket. com/warsaw/street-art so that your smartphone can do the work for you. We encourage you to do just that, and check out some of Warsaw’s alternative art. 52
3 PRAGA KONESER CENTER Located in what was once the legendary Koneser Vodka Factory, which produced the spirit from 1897-2007, the area is huge, and for a long time lay almost derelict, with exception of becoming an artistic hangout for a few years with bars and clubs. A few years ago, the plans to redevelop this space began, and finally in 2018, the revamped Polish Vodka Museum reopened, a touching nod to the site’s former role, the first building in the huge complex which consists of 18 buildings over 5ha, now includes bars, museums, apartments, office and commercial spaces, and even the Warsaw Headquarters of uncle Google (he knows everything!). The old brick buildings have been scrubbed up nicely, and mix well amongst a collection of modern architecture. A visit to this site is well worth your time, not least to learn about the history of Polish vodka, the site itself, and its importance to the district of Praga along with fantastic places to eat and drink, in the form of super cool and amazingly designed Zoni (p.94) and the delightful WuWu (p.98).QK‑2, Plac Konesera 2, MDworzec Wileński, www.koneser.eu.
Praga Koneser Center. 4 POLISH VODKA MUSEUM The site of a former Vodka factory, closed in 2007 and now restored to become one of the beacons of the newly renovated Praga Koneser Centre. We at IYP have been swept off our feet by Polish vodka (not in that way!), due to its fascinating history and variety, and now, we feel it our duty to enlighten all who visit the country about the fascinating details and metamorphosis of the drink which has for a long time suffered an image problem, associated with... umm...getting hammered. The museum is a multimedia filled experience, taking you from the early beginnings to modern day production methods. Along the way, you will see a variety of really old vodka bottles, be treated to a vodka tasting, and afterwards, have the opportunity to buy some classy gifts. The museum is a celebration of the wonderful spirit, so deeply tied to Polish history itself. Tours start every 20 mins and provided in English (French, German, Russian and Spanish available when booking in advance). Please note, those under 18 are allowed to visit provided they are accompanied by an adult! A visit here is a must.QK‑2/3, Pl. Konesera 1, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 419 31 50, www.muzeumpolskiejwodki.pl. Open 11:00-20:30; Fri, Sat 11:00-21:30. Admission 40zł. L6
Praga 5 PGE NATIONAL STADIUM Opened January, 2012, PGE Narodowy can hold 58,000 fans. The construction was built using hundreds of 45m pillars driven into the ground to stabilise the 25m of war rubble the stadium sits atop. Priced at 1.2 billion PLN, history buffs will note the Socialist era ‘Relay’ statue at the entrance has been preserved in a nod to the site’s heritage – it was here that Stadion Dziesięciolecia (10th Anniversary Stadium) stood, built in the 1950s to mark the anniversary of the end of WWII. This was also the site where, on September 8, 1968, in front of 100,000 people, Ryszard Siwiec set himself alight in protest of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Today, this is an exceptional place to watch football or megaconcerts. English tours conducted Mon-Fri 12:00, 14:00 and 17:00, and Sat/Sun 12:00, 14:30 and 17:00. All tour info can be found on their website.QK‑6, Al. Księcia J. Poniatowskiego 1, MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 22 295 90 00, www.pgenarodowy.pl. 6 NEON MUSEUM Across all of Poland, the trend for turning old industrial spaces into cultural hubs is progressing well, and why should Warsaw be any different? The 8ha of Soho Factory is now firmly set as a cultural venue mixed with a collection of designer shops, office spaces and restaurants. Postindustrial chique certainly sums this up. The crowning glory of the site is no doubt the illuminating (non pun intended) Neon Museum, bringing together Communistera Poland’s many neon signs which were long associated with bad times and thrown on the rubbish heap until they were collected by passionate curators.QM‑4, ul. Mińska 25, Soho Factory, Building 55, MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 665 71 16 35, www.neonmuzeum.org. Open 12:00-17:00; Sat 12:00-18:00; Sun 11:00-17:00; closed Wed. Admission 15/12zł. U
Warsaw’s National ‘Disco’ stadium.
which hosts trendy bars, cafes, restaurants (including the fantastic Dom Polski, p.100) and mix of boutique and oldschool shops - Saska Kępa is as close as Warsaw gets to the ‘Little Village’ areas of London or Paris. As such it’s a great place to wander around, people watch or marvel at the architecture, including majestic 19th century manor houses, superb examples of 1920s and ‘30s modernism, Cold War tower blocks and ultra-modern developments.QL‑6/7/8, ul. Francuska, MDworzec Wileński.
GETTING TO PRAGA
Recreation of Picasso’s Syrenka at ul. Obrońców 28/30. 7 SASKA KĘPA - UL. FRANCUSKA One of the most desirable districts of Warsaw; with property prices staunchly high, the neighbourhood is home to the nouveaux riche, the intelligentsia and much of the capital’s art community. Now in the shadow of the National Stadium, the sporting complex now plays a major role in bringing visitors to the focal point of the area: ul. Francuska,
By far the easiest way to get to Praga is to take the M2 Metro to the end of the line (Dworzec Wileński), and you’re in the heart of the district. From Warszawa Centralna the 160 bus will take you across the river and drop you at the Park Praski stop, a great place to begin your tour of Praga (you can nod at the bears as you disembark). If you’re in the Old Town simply walk down the steps near the Royal Castle to Al. Solidarności and the Stare Miasto bus stop, taking buses 160 and 190 to head over the river to Park Praski. Trams 23 and 26 will get you to Praga and back from the Old Town area. These same buses/trams will return you to Stare Miasto. 53
Jewish Warsaw enough and as the noose tightened, starvation became the principal enemy. In 1941 over 100,000 died this way, their bodies often left to rot in the streets. Of the 800 ghettos scattered around the Third Reich, Warsaw was the largest and also the deadliest. At its zenith approximately 380,000 residents found themselves squashed into the ghetto, with an average of eight people to a room. Yet amid this sea of suffering a remarkable social scene flourished, as proved by the meticulous ghetto diaries kept by Emanuel Ringelblum. Although murdered by the Nazis in 1944, Ringelblum, an intellectual and social activist, kept volumes of notes documenting the day-to-day life of ghetto inhabitants. It is from his painstaking notes we learn of the soup kitchens and charities that existed, of the musical concerts and cabarets and the fifty or so underground newspapers that circulated.
One of the amazing exhibits in Polin (p.55)
At the time Hitler chose to expand Germany’s territories under the odious excuse of providing ‘living space’ for the German people, Warsaw’s Jewish population numbered 350,000 and growing. Neither pogroms nor the occasional boycott of Jewish businesses deterred Jews from settling in the Polish capital and only New York could boast a larger Jewish community. Yet within six years Warsaw’s thriving Jewish scene was all but wiped out, with over 90 percent perishing either in the Warsaw Ghetto or the gas chambers of Treblinka. Although anti-Semitism was by no means rare, Poland was seen as a relative safe haven, and it drew settlers forced into flight by more discriminatory regimes elsewhere. By the inter-war years the Jewish population had made significant contributions to the social, political and cultural fabric of Poland. When Warsaw fell following a brief yet brutal siege the city’s ancient Jewish population was damned to destruction. By 1940 Jews were forcibly penned into an area that already housed most of the Jewish population. On March 27, 1940, the Judenrat - a Jewish council answerable to the Nazi’s whims, was ordered to build a wall around the ghetto and a resettlement deadline of October 15 was handed to the city’s Jews. Failure to move into the assigned area was punishable by death. Spanning 18km and enclosing 73 of Warsaw’s 1,800 streets, the area was carved into a ‘small’ and ‘large’ ghetto, both linked by a wooden bridge (p.57) standing over ul. Chłodna. From the beginning, conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto were harsh; recovered Nazi files show that while ethnic Germans in Warsaw were granted a food allowance totaling 2,613 calories per day, Jews and other groups deemed ‘sub-human’ were expected to survive on 184 calories. Unsurprisingly a black market supported by a smuggling network ran rife, with some 80% of the food in the ghetto supplied through illegal means. Still it was not 54
The illusion of a self-contained, cruel, but surviving parallel world was shattered in 1942 when the Wansee Conference rubber-stamped plans for the ‘final solution to the Jewish question’ and the first deportations to death camps began in July. Over the next few weeks around 265,000 Jews were harried to a waiting area known as Umschlagplatz (p.57), from which they were loaded into cattle wagons destined for the Treblinka gas chambers. For too long the Jews had been limited to passive resistance, but now, with rumours circulating about death camps, a band of ill-equipped insurgents faced up to the full weight of the Nazi military machine. The Ghetto Uprising (p.56) began on April 19, 1943. Numbering a few hundred the Jewish fighters continued their resistance, but faced with superior weaponry, it was a doomed struggle. By May 16 the Uprising was over, the rest of the ghetto was levelled, and its inmates deported. It is estimated that some 15,000 Jews survived the war hiding out on the Aryan side. Today, Warsaw’s Jewish population is estimated to stand only around 2,000, however, efforts have been put into honouring the city’s Jewish heritage and reintroducing Jewish culture - most notably the opening of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in 2014. Here we list some places worth visiting. JEWISH HISTORICAL INSTITUTE A chilling recollection of Polish Jewry and one of the few institutions in Poland focusing entirely on the study of the history and culture of the Polish Jews (Polin now being the best known). This amazing building (which survived the war, but still bears the scars) houses exhibits relating to secular and religious Jewish life in the country from its beginnings to the annihilation during WWII and beyond. As well as an excellent bookshop, the institute’s museum, opened in 1948, features temporary exhibitions and a particularly moving permanent exhibition titled ‘What we were unable to shout out to the world’, dedicated to the underground archive of the Warsaw Ghetto and its creators, the Oneg Shabbat group, telling the struggles of those who experienced the holocaust, but ultimately knew
Jewish Warsaw they may perish. This is their record. A must see.QE‑5, ul. Tłomackie 3/5, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 827 92 21, www.jhi.pl. Open 09:00-18:00; Sun 10:00-18:00; closed Sat. Tickets only purchaseable on their website (above). Admission 15/10zł. Sun free. ENG Guided tours cost 40zł (400zł for groups of 10+), PL 30zł (300zł for groups of 10+), and are twice a day: ENG tour at 11:00 and PL tour at 14:00. NOŻYK SYNAGOGUE Built between 1898 and 1902 in a neo-Romanesque style, this was the only Warsaw synagogue to survive the ravages of war. It was fully restored between 1977 and 1983, and is still used by Warsaw’s Jewish community today. You can visit Mon-Thu 09:00-17:00, Fri 09:00-13:00 and Sun 11:0017:00 (but not during Thu-Sun services 13:15-13:45).QE‑7, ul. Twarda 6, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 620 43 24, www.warszawa.jewish.org.pl. Admission 10zł. N OKOPOWA STREET JEWISH CEMETERY A beautiful and poignant place to visit. The cemetery was originally founded in 1806 and currently houses around 250,000 tombs. Amongst those buried here are Ludwik Zamenhof, inventor of the international language Esperanto.QB‑5, ul. Okopowa 49/51, tel. (+48) 22 838 26 22, www.cemetery.jewish.org.pl. Open 10:00-17:00; Fri 09:00-13:00; Sun 09:00-16:00; closed Sat. Admission 10zł. N PLAC GRZYBOWSKI This delightful square connects the city’s past to its present and unites the worlds of commerce, religion, entertainment and art. The main attraction of the square is the large 19th century Renaissance All Saints’ Church that stands at one end. The church was heavily damaged during the start of WWII and later in 1941 was inside the Warsaw Ghetto. During the first year of the Ghetto it remained operational and served the Christian Jews who lived within the Ghetto wall. The Parish Priest Fr. Monsignor Marceli Godlewski actually helped to house Jews in the parish rectory and even assisted several Jews to escape the Ghetto entirely. The church was almost destroyed again during the Warsaw Uprising. It was eventually rebuilt after the war only to be surrounded by tall buildings on almost all sides. This was more an ideological move than an architectural one as the Communist regime attempted to hide the iconic church and diminish its power. Hence the triangular square’s exceedingly eclectic architecture. The square was totally renovated and features dozens of benches, neatly landscaped grassy areas and a pond with a waterfall. Joining the square is ul. Próżna, the only full street that survived the Jewish Ghetto. For a long time, it remained derelict, a window onto the past, however, in recent years, one side was restored to its pre-war splendour, while the second side awaits revival. It is here, that the former heart of the Jewish area of Warsaw undergoes a mini-revival in the form of the Singer Jewish Culture Festival, which has taken place every year in late August/early September since 2004.QE‑7, MŚwiętokrzyska.
A millennium of Polish Jewish history is explained in this excellent museum which opened in 2014 and won the prestigious award for European Museum of the Year in 2016! Located in the Muranów district, this is where the Warsaw Ghetto stood during World War II. The building is a stunning copper and glass structure designed by Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki. Each of the eight galleries addresses a different era in the long history of the Jewish people beginning in the forests of Poland of King Mieszko I (960-992), where legend has it the first Jews settled. The exhibition goes on to chart periods where Jews enjoyed social and religious freedoms and protection not bestowed upon them elsewhere in Europe, to the calamitous events of the 20th century. Covering over 4,000m2, the exhibition is well laid out and includes clear English descriptions. We recommend taking one of the audio guides, or join one of the regular guided tours. While the period of the Holocaust is described very well, for the most part the museum’s permanent exhibition is a celebration of a thousand years of Jewish life in Poland. Give yourself a few hours to be able to fully explore the various galleries. The museum is also home to a canteen-style kosher restaurant, a café and a Resource Center that features a specialist library dedicated to the history, culture and religion of Polish Jews. POLIN is extremely active with a rich cultural program, temporary exhibitions, concerts, debates, films, lectures and workshops and is helping to promote a new positive dialogue in Poland.QD‑4, ul. Anielewicza 6, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 471 03 01, www.polin.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; Wed, Sat, Sun 10:00-20:00; closed Mon, Tue. Last entrance to the permanent exhibition is 2 hours before closing. Permanent exhibition: 27/17zł, Temporary exhibition: 15/10zł and combined ticket for 32/22zł. Thu free. All tickets can be purchased on www.bilety. polin.pl. U 55
Jewish Warsaw during World War II
German troops on patrol in the ghetto as buildings burn. | National Archives and Records Administration
If you are ever in Warsaw during April/May, you will be here during the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Throughout the city, official commemorations are held, there are discussions in the media about the historical importance of the event, but most importantly, there are symbols of remembrance dotted around the city that citizens of the world visit and pay respect to the people that perished on the streets of Warsaw. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, although inevitably destined to fail, has gone down in history as an act of defiance, an act of protest against the inaction of the world in helping the Jewish people in their plight during the Second World War. This was their time to fight. And so it was to be that from 19 April to 16 May 1943, following years of torment, the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up, vastly outmatched by the superior numbers and weaponry of the German war machine. The fighters had a simple choice: go quietly and die anyway, facing extermination in a camp, or die fighting, defying the barbaric system which had spread across Europe. In 1942 there came a tipping point in the untilthen passive resistance of Jewish people, as they were moved from ghetto to ghetto, camp to camp, under the pretences of resettlement or being made to work. Some believed resettlement was taking place, others that they were needed as labour for the German war effort, others simply accepted they could do nothing to get away. But by now word was spreading, initially through rumours, then from witness accounts, that Jews were being exterminated in camps. Between July and September of 1942 alone, around 280,000 Jews were deported from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka extermination camp, another 11,000 were sent to labour camps, and around 10,000 were killed in the ghetto itself during the deportation process. On 28 July 1942, amidst deportations, members of Jewish youth organisations formed the Jewish Fighting Organisation (ŻOB - Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa), with a young Mordechai Anielewicz appointed as its leader. 56
The first act of defiance actually took place on 18 January 1943, prior to the uprising itself, which saw fighters armed with pistols infiltrate a column of Jews being marched to the Umschlagplatz by German escorts. They attacked the Germans, which allowed people to scatter. Of the planned 8,000 deportations, 3,000 were prevented from taking place as the Germans suspended further deportations until further notice. There now remained around 50,000 Jews in the ghetto. They knew what was to come, and so they built bunkers wherever they could. The fighters were buoyed by the apparent success of the January action, however, when the Germans planned to liquidate the ghetto on 19 April 1943, they came much better prepared with tanks and heavy artillery. This did not prevent the Germans from receiving a nasty surprise, however, as they entered to find the streets deserted (everyone hiding in bunkers) and the fighters, armed with pistols, grenades, and some automatic weapons and rifles, attacked. Numbering only around 700 fighters, the Germans were stunned on the first day of fighting, losing 12 men while the rest were forced to retreat beyond the walls of the ghetto. The fighters continued their dogged resistance, and though the Germans quickly broke the military organisation of the Jewish fighters, pockets of resistance couldn’t be easily dealt with, so the Germans began to use heavy artillery and even Stuka dive bombers. It was a doomed struggle. Vicious streetto-street, house-to-house battles ensued, with insurgents often burnt out of their boltholes by flamethrowers and gas. On 8 May, German forces surrounded the principal command post of the rebels on ul. Miła 18 and though some did escape, rather than face capture, Anielewicz and his cabal opted for mass suicide. By 16 May the Uprising was over, with German commander Jurgen Stroop announcing, “The former Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no longer in existence.” With the fighting over, the rest of the ghetto was levelled, and its inmates either sent to Treblinka or assigned to Gęsiówka (ul. Gęsia), a small concentration camp nearby. As a final, symbolic act of Jewish Warsaw’s demise, the Germans blew up the Great Synagogue on ul. Tłomackie.
Jewish Warsaw during World War II It is estimated 7,000 Jews and roughly 300 Germans were killed during the Ghetto Uprising. The survivors of the Ghetto liquidation, some 42,000, were transported to the Majdanek concentration camp near Lublin. Very little remains of the former ghetto today, however, to give you an idea of scale, the area consisted of 1/3 the size of the city of Warsaw (mainly the Mirów/Muranów and Wola districts, plus parts of the city centre). Despite the destruction, small parts of the ghetto remain, from buildings that somehow survived destruction and even fragments of the ghetto wall. A FOOTBRIDGE OF MEMORY (KŁADKA PAMIĘCI) One of the most enduring images of the Warsaw Ghetto is that of the footbridge constructed over ul. Chłodna to connect the large and small Ghettos. Commemorating this today is a pair of metal poles connected via optical fibres which, after the sun sets, project the shape of the footbridge over the road via light. Designed by Tomasz de TuschLec and installed in 2011, the memorial also has viewing windows inside the poles where visitors can flip through images of life in the Warsaw Ghetto. By now you’ve also probably noticed the pavement outline that symbolises the ghetto’s borders, which can be found on the sidewalk as you tromp down ul. Chłodna.QC‑6, Intersection of ul. Chłodna and ul. Żelazna, MRondo ONZ. UMSCHLAGPLATZ Found on ul. Stawki, close to the intersection with ul. Dzika, Umschlagplatz is a bleak, slightly disappointing monument marking the spot where around 300,000 Jews were loaded on cattle wagons bound for Treblinka. The Nazi commandant in charge of the deportations lived directly opposite on ul. Stawki 5/7.QC‑3, ul. Stawki, MDworzec Gdański. MIŁA 18 BUNKER A grass mound and monument now marks the spot from where the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was lead by the Jewish Combat Organisation, and where many of its fighters, including commander-in-chief Mordechai Anielewicz, are buried. Three weeks after the start of the Uprising, the bunker was discovered by the Nazis on May 08, who used tear gas to try and force the command out. Though some were able to escape, the majority chose to ingest poison rather than surrender. Their bodies were never exhumed after 1945 and the site became a war memorial. Located on the corner of ul. Miła 2 and ul. Dubois, due to post-war changes in Warsaw’s urban landscape the site no longer bears the address ‘Miła 18.’QD‑3, ul. Miła 2, MDworzec Gdański. MEMORIAL TO THE EVACUATION OF WARSAW GHETTO FIGHTERS Unveiled in 2010, this monument is located right next to the sewer entrance where a group of about 50 fighters from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising escaped on May 10, 1943. On May 1, Symcha Ratajzer-Rotem (codename ‘Kazik’) was ordered by the leaders of the Jewish Combat Organisation to get to
the ‘Aryan’ side of the wall and make contact with one of the Uprising’s leaders, Yitzhak Zuckerman, who would help in evacuating fighters from the Ghetto. Kazik returned on the night of May 8 to aid the escape of fighters from the bunker HQ at ul. Miła 18. The escape could not happen immediately, but on May 10 many of the fighters exited the sewer here and went straight into a waiting truck which took them to the outskirts of Warsaw. Most of the fighters would later go on to fight in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 in the ranks of the partisan People’s Army (Armia Ludowa). Some of those to escape the Ghetto on this day were Cywia Lubetkin, Tosia Altman, Michał Rozenfeld and Marek Edelman.QC‑8, ul. Prosta 51, MRondo Daszyńskiego. GHETTO HEROES MONUMENT In the middle of a large, attractive square beside the POLIN Museum, you’ll find the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, which commemorates the first Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Designed by Leon Suzin and sculpted by Nathan Rapoport in 1948, close by stands an earlier memorial tablet to the Ghetto Heroes, also by Suzin, which was unveiled in 1946. Interestingly, stone used in the monument had been brought to Warsaw by the Nazis and was to be used in architectural projects planned for a new Warsaw by Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer. In the square, you’ll also find a statue of Jan Karski, a Polish resistance fighter famed for informing the allies about the existence of Nazi death camps and the systematic destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto.QD‑4, ul. Zamenhofa, MRatusz Arsenał. JEWISH GHETTO WALL FRAGMENT Following the Ghetto Uprising the whole area was levelled so few traces remain. If you duck into the courtyard at ul. Sienna 55 (or from ul. Złota 62) you will see remaining parts of the ghetto wall complete with commemorative plaques. Somewhat impressively, the local government have decided to honour Warsaw’s Holocaust history by introducing a ‘Ghetto Trail.’ Developed with the help of the Jewish Historical Institute the route has seen the boundary of the former Warsaw Ghetto outlined on pavements, as well as the appearance of 21 dual language information boards positioned in places of particular interest.QD‑8, ul. Sienna 55, MRondo ONZ. RUINS OF THE RISING Between 1939 and 1944 85% of the left-bank of Warsaw was completely destroyed, with the city centre bearing the brunt of the damage. In spite of the herculean rebuilding work that has since taken place, bullet scarred walls on prewar tenements can still be found in relative abundance in the few parts of the centre that escaped total destruction. Perhaps most obvious of all is the building at ul. Waliców 14, which was part of the Warsaw Ghetto, featuring shellpocked facades and a wall half-tumbling down. Amazingly, this building survived the invasion of September 1939, The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Directly across the street from the building is one of the few remaining pieces of the Ghetto wall, marked by a plaque.QD‑7, ul. Waliców 14, MRondo ONZ. 57
Warsaw Uprising Within days German reinforcements started pouring in, and on August 5th and 6th Nazi troops rampaged through the western Wola district, massacring over 40,000 men, women and children in what would become one of the most savage episodes of the Uprising. It was to prove a mixed first week for the Poles. In liberated areas, behind the barricades, cultural life thrived – over 130 newspapers sprang up, religious services were celebrated and a scout-run postal service was introduced. Better still, the first allied airdrops hinted at the support of the west. As it turned out, this was just papering over the cracks. The Germans, under the command of Erich von dem Bach, replied with heavy artillery, aerial attacks, armoured trains and tanks. Even worse, the practice of using Polish women as human shields was quickly introduced.
Considering the epic scale of the bloodshed, and how brutal Hitler’s tactics were in subjugating and eliminating each and every ethnic group, it’s little surprise Poland gave birth to Europe’s largest resistance movement. By July 1944 the Red Army led by Marshal Rokossovsky had reached the Wisła, and on July 22 Nazi Governor of Warsaw Ludwig Fischer ordered the evacuation of German civilians from Warsaw; sensitive papers were torched and destroyed, trains screeched westwards and all the signs suggested liberation was but days away. German intelligence was aware that an uprising was possible, yet nothing seemed clear cut. Fischer’s appeals for 100,000 Poles to present themselves to work on antitank defences were ignored, as were broadcasts reminding the Poles of their heroic battle against Bolshevism in 1923. Tensions increased with Red Army leaflet drops urging Varsovians to arms, and were further exacerbated on July 30th with a Soviet radio announcement declaring, “People of the capital! To arms! Strike at the Germans! May your million strong population become a million soldiers, who will drive out the German invaders and win freedom.” Still, like boxers prowling the ring, each side appeared locked in a waiting game, so much so that German military dispatches on the afternoon of August 1, 1944 concluded with, “Warschau ist kalm.” Warsaw was anything but. On orders from General Tadeusz ‘Bor’ Komorowski 5pm signalled W-Hour (‘Wybuch’ standing for outbreak), the precise time when some 40,000 members of the Home Army would attack key German positions. Warsaw at the time was held by a garrison of 15,000 Germans, though any numerical supremacy the Poles could count on was offset by a chronic lack of weapons. Nonetheless the element of surprise caught the Germans off guard, and in spite of heavy losses the Poles captured a string of strategic targets, including the Old Town, Prudential Tower (then the tallest building in Poland), and the post office. The first day cost the lives of 2,000 Poles, yet for the first time since occupation the Polish flag fluttered once more over the capital. Hitler, meanwhile, was roused out of his torpor, screaming for “No prisoners to be taken,” and “Every inhabitant to be shot.” 58
The insurgents were a mixed bag, featuring over 4,000 women in their ranks, a unit of Slovaks, scores of Jews liberated from a Warsaw concentration camp, a platoon of deaf and dumb volunteers led by an officer called Yo Yo, and an escaped English prisoner of war called John. Fantastically ill-equipped, the one thing on their side was an almost suicidal fanaticism and belief. Casualties were almost 20 times as high as those inflicted on the Germans, yet the Poles carried on the fight with stoic self-assurance. Airdrops were vital if the uprising was to succeed, though hopes were scuppered with Stalin’s refusal to allow Allied planes landing rights in Sovietheld airports. Instead the RAF set up a new route running from the Italian town of Brindisi to Warsaw, though casualty rates proved high with over 16% of aircraft lost, and the drops often inaccurate – one such mission concluding with 960 canisters out of a 1,000 falling into German hands. All hopes, it seemed, rested on the Russians. After six weeks of inaction Rokossovsky finally gave the go-ahead for a Polish force under General Berling to cross the river and relieve the insurgents. The operation was a debacle, with heavy casualties and no headway made. For the Russians, this single attempt at crossing the Wisla was enough; Warsaw was on its own. Already by this time the situation in Warsaw’s Old Town, defended by 8,000 Poles, had become untenable, and a daring escape route was hatched through the sewers running under the city. The Germans were now free to focus on wiping out the remaining outposts of resistance, a task undertaken with glee and armour. 600mm shells were landing on the centre 8 minutes, and casualties were rising to alarming rates. Surrender negotiations were initiated in early September, though it wasn’t till the end of the month that they took a concrete shape. Abandoned by her allies the Poles were forced to capitulate, some 63 days after they had taken on the Reich. “The battle is finished,” wrote a eulogy in the final edition of the Information Bulletin. “From the blood that has been shed, from the common toil and misery, from the pains of our bodies and souls, a new Poland will arise – free.”
Warsaw Uprising THE AFTERMATH Having deposited their weaponry at pre-designated sites, 11,668 Polish soldiers marched into German captivity. The battle had cost up to 200,000 civilian lives, while military casualties between Germans and Poles would add a further 40,000 to the figure. Hitler was ecstatic; with the Uprising over, his plan to raze Warsaw could finally be realised. Remaining inhabitants were exiled (though around 2,000 are believed to have seen the liberation by hiding in the ruins), and the Germans set about obliterating what was left of the city. “No stone can remain standing,” warned Himmler, and what happened next can only be described as the methodical and calculated murder of a city. Buildings of importance to Polish culture were dynamited by teams of engineers, while less historic areas were simply burned to the ground. “I have seen many towns destroyed,” exclaimed General Eisenhower after the war, “But nowhere have I been faced with such destruction.” Modern studies estimate the cost of damage at around $54bn. In human terms Poland lost much more. With the Uprising died a golden generation, the very foundation a new post-war Poland could build on. Those veterans who survived were treated with suspicion and disdain by the newly installed communist government, others were persecuted for perceived western sympathies. Post-war Soviet show trials convicted 13 leaders of the Uprising for anti-Soviet actions, and thereafter the Uprising was condemned as a folly to serve the bourgeois ends of the Polish government-in-exile.
WHAT TO SEE MONUMENT TO THE WARSAW UPRISING It was only with the regime close to collapse that this unconventional, not to say controversial monument was unveiled. Completed in 1989 and designed by Wincenty Kućma, it depicts a group of insurgents in battle, and another faction retreating into the sewers.QE‑4, Pl. Krasińskich, MRatusz Arsenał.
The Monument to the Warsaw Uprising depicts fighters preparing for battle.
Opened in 2004, this remains one of Poland’s best museums. Packed with interactive displays, photographs, video footage and miscellaneous exhibits it’s a museum that’s guaranteed to leave a mark on all visitors. Occupying a former tram power station the 2,000m2 space is split over several levels, leading visitors through the chronological story of the Uprising (provided they don’t make any wrong turns, alas, a common mistake). Start off by learning about life under Nazi rule, your tour accompanied by the background rattle of machine guns, dive bombers and a thumping heartbeat. Different halls focus on the many aspects of the Uprising; walk through a replica radio station, or a covert printing press. The mezzanine level features film detailing the first month of battle, before which visitors get to clamber through a mock sewer. The final sections are devoted to the creation of a Soviet puppet state, a hall of remembrance, and a particularly poignant display about the destruction of the city; take time to watch the black and white ‘before and after’ shots of important Warsaw landmarks being systematically obliterated by the Nazis as punishment. Near the exit check out the film “City of Ruins,” a silence-inducing 5 minute 3D aerial ‘film’ which took 2 years to make and used old pictures and new technology to recreate a picture of the desolation of ‘liberated’ Warsaw in March 1945. There is also an exact replica of a B24 Allied plane once used to make supply drops over the besieged city. A viewing platform (open weather permitting) and ‘peace garden’ wrap up this high impact experience. FYI: There are new QR-code triggered videos for the hearing impaired at every exhibition. QB‑7, ul. Grzybowska 79, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 539 79 05, www.1944.pl. Open 08:00-18:00; Thu 08:00-20:00; Sat, Sun 10:00-18:00; closed Tue. Admission 25/20zł (children under 7 free). Sun free. Audioguides in 27 languages 10zł p/person. U 59
Museums Warsaw has an impressive selection of museums, and even older establishments are getting facelifts to bring the visitor experience into the 21st century. Without doubt the big four places on your list should be the Warsaw Uprising Museum (p.59), which charts the defining period in the history of modern Warsaw; the Copernicus Science Centre (p.64), which is the city’s most interactive and kid-friendly museum; the Chopin Museum (p.60), which is both interesting and another one of Warsaw’s best examples of a modern museum experience; and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (p.55), which highlights 1,000 years of Jewish history in Warsaw. Most of the museums listed below present a cycle of temporary exhibitions, details of which can be found in our Culture & Events section on page 20.
The multimedia filled Fryderyk Chopin Museum.
PKO ROTUNDA RETURNS! In late 2019, an iconic landmark returned to Warsaw’s centre. Originally designed by Jerzy Jakubowicz and opened in 1966, PKO Rotunda Bank Polski earned the nickname “the General’s Cap” due to its specific ‘round and crowned’ shape. Its central location made it THE top meeting point – every Varsovian knows exactly what “Meet me by Rotunda” means. In 2010, plans were drawn up to completely rebuild Rotunda (approved in 2015). The structure was rebuilt though there were initially doubts as to whether the original structure survived (in 1979 a gas explosion ripped through the building, killing 49 people, injuring 70 and demolishing 70% of the building). The architects from Kraków based GOWIN & SIUTA aimed to rekindle the meeting spot, but this time, right inside. The bank is now on the two lower levels with the upstairs becoming a sleek 530m2 open space where you can admire views through panoramic windows, watching city life whizz past, all while chilling out on comfy seats in the cafe (p.75) or co-working away on your laptop. The exterior patio, shaped like an amphitheatre, contains 11,500 plants on the ‘living’ walls (along with a memorial plaque to the victims of the ‘79 explosion). We can happily sit inside for hours. So see you inside Rotunda, huh?QF/G‑8, ul. Marszałkowska 100/102, MCentrum. 60
FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM Touted as one of the most high tech in Europe, this museum opened in the spring of 2010 to mark the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth. Over four floors of interactive exhibits, the entire life of Chopin is shown from start to finish, leaving absolutely no detail out. So comprehensive is the collection it even features the last letter he wrote to his family and dried flowers from his deathbed. Also on display are his death mask, a recreation of his Paris drawing room, and even an intriguing section on the women who made the man. What really revolutionises this museum, however, is the way your route is conducted. Aside from an avalanche of touchscreen multimedia, the museum allows visitors to ‘adapt their trip to their particular circumstances.’ Put simply, those entering can choose exactly what they want to see. Even better are the e-card tickets that can be swiped along different interactive exhibits to allow the visitor to hear music, stories or watch a film. The number of visitors is restricted, so we suggest reserving tickets in advance via the website. Located in the Ostrogski Palace, the building itself is something of a Warsaw landmark. Originally designed by Tylman van Gameren, in the past it was home to a Napoleonic military hospital, and its catacombs are said to be home of the legendary Golden Duck - a princess charmed by the devil before being transformed.QH‑7, ul. Okólnik 1, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 441 62 51, www.muzeum.nifc.pl. Open 11:00-20:00; closed Mon. Admission 22/13 zł. Wed free. Guided tours in English 120 zł and Polish 100 zł, available by prior arrangement. U KATYŃ MUSEUM The Museum has recently been relocated to the impressive Citadel and the permanent collection can now be viewed in appropriately grand and stoic surroundings. The museum documents the shocking events of 1940 when around 20,000 Polish officers were executed by their Soviet captors in the middle of a Russian forest. The museum has a host of objects, documents and personal effects that have been recovered from the site near Smoleńsk, Russia. The artefacts from the victims and a scrolling list of the victim’s names needs no explanation and the multimedia
Museums presentation of the extenuating circumstances, the victim’s stories and historical relevancy are well thought out and it’s worth exploring the whole museum. Despite this, there are, however, audio guides available for 10zł (English, Polish, French, German and Russian).QE‑1, ul. Jana Jeziorańskiego 4 (entrance from Nowomiejska gate), MDworzec Gdański, tel. (+48) 261 87 83 42, www. muzeumkatynskie.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; closed Mon, Tue. Admission free. Guided tours (available in English, Polish, Russian) 60zł-150zł for groups no larger than 35 people; arrange in advance. U MARIA SKŁODOWSKA CURIE MUSEUM Born Maria Skłodowska on November 7, 1867, this museum is dedicated to the Polish lass would go on to become a famed scientist better known to the world as Madame Marie Curie. The recently renovated building which houses the museum is also the birthplace of Marie Curie. The museum exhibits encompass a charming homage to the life and work of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, including displays of Curie’s personal letters that show another side to the famed scientist. Artefacts on display include many personal effects, such one of Curie’s black dresses and even her nail file, as well as a small collection of scientific instruments. One of the museum’s two rooms has been adapted as a recreation of Curie’s laboratory to give visitor’s a glimpse into her daily life. The lady who gave the world so much, including the chemical element polonium (named after the country of her birth) died in Savoy, France, on July 4, 1934, the victim of leukaemia, which she is believed to have contracted during her many years of dangerous research. Guides are on hand for tours in English (150zł) and in Polish (100zł).QF‑3, ul. Freta 16, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 831 80 92, www.mmsc.waw.pl. Open 10:00-19:00; closed Mon. Admission 11/6zł, Tue free. U MUSEUM OF POLISH PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT Set in a neo-Renaissance villa designed by Italian-born Mary Lanci the Museum of the Polish People’s Movement is an absolute must for museum diehards (the museum has added some English brochures to help non-Polish visitors). Everything here is focused on Polish people/peasants, with the oldest exhibit being a 17th century manuscript approved by King Jan III Sobieski granting serfs a tax reduction. Most of these scrolls, documents and papers will be lost on the foreign visitor; making more sense are the printed materials, which include election posters from the interwar years, as well as decrees, ration cards and purchase vouchers supplied by the occupying Nazis during WWII. Times under communism are particularly well represented, and visitors will see a number of stirring Soviet chic posters encouraging hard work and high production. Art fans will be pleased to find a series of paintings depicting peasants in full battle, including of course Tadeusz Kościuszko doing his bit against the Russkies. A temporary exhibition titled ‘Village Life of Years Gone by’ is currently available.QAl. Wilanowska 204 (Mokotów), MWilanowska, tel. (+48) 22 843 38 76, www.mhprl.pl. Open 08:30-15:30; closed Sat, Sun. Admission 4/2zł. Thu free. N
GUIDED TOURS AB EVEREST TRAVEL As well as dealing with airport transfers, AB Everest also offer one day tours from Warsaw to popular destinations across Poland, which include: Auschwitz and Kraków, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Hitler’s former Wolf’s Lair, Treblinka and Majdanek, Białowieża National Park, Toruń and Warsaw Outskirts Tour, to name a few.Qul. Obrońców Tobruku 18, tel. (+48) 722 26 17 31, www. abeverest.pl. ADVENTURE WARSAW Various tours of Warsaw are on offer all while cruising in a vintage Nysa 522 (check their site for details). Group, private and walking tours also available from this crew of young, enthusiastic local guides, who will even take you and your stag party around town or host a pub crawl.QM‑4, ul. Mińska 25A/111 (Praga Południe), MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 515 90 85 05, www. adventurewarsaw.com. Open 09:00-17:00. CITY SIGHTSEEING WARSAW If Warsaw needed proof that it has finally arrived as a tourist destination surely the launch of City Sightseeing is it. Hour-long tours by way of a familiar red, doubledecker bus let you take in all the major tourist sights. Buy one ticket and hop on and off the bus of your choice, either blue or red line. All buses depart from the Palace of Culture on the Emilii Plater side. Commentary available in a multitude of languages. See their website for tour details, routes and timetables.QE‑8, ul. Emilii Plater, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 793 95 79 79, www. city-sightseeing.pl. Tickets 24hrs 70zł, 48hrs 90zł, 72hrs 100zł. 7-day ticket for Warsaw and Kraków/ Gdańsk/ Wrocław available for 120zł. 14-day ticket for all four cities cities costs 210zł. FREE WALKATIVE! TOUR The experienced locals at Free Walkative! Tour provide some of the best guided trips we’ve experienced, and yes, at no cost to you...well, they do work for tips, once you’ve been shown an in-depth look at the city, it feels wrong not to say ‘Thank You’! Tours are offered in English, German and Spanish (private tours available in other languages by prior arrangement), meeting at various times/locations around the city (depending on the tour and language). Just turn up and join the tour, easily spotted with yellow umbrella carrying guides! The Old Town and Warsaw at War tours meet at King Sigismund’s Column (G-3), the Jewish Warsaw and Communist Warsaw tours start in front of the All Saints’ Church in Plac Grzybowski (p.55), and the Alternative Warsaw and Warsaw Street Art tours in front of the Praga district’s Sts. Michael and Florian Cathedral (I-3). It is a must to check their site for the latest schedule. 61
Museums ASK THE CONCIERGE
Dear Warsaw In Your Pocket Readers, Greetings from Warsaw! The festive season has long gone and we look forward to the warmer part of the year, however, we are still in the middle of winter, so let’s make use of it. February still gives us a chance to take a view the last beams of light which come from the Royal Gardens of Light in Wilanów (p.16). The illuminated park is only available till the 23rd February 2020. If you would like to do a little more than walking then I suggest trying out ice skating. There are several spots in Warsaw which offer this activity (p.67). The most picturesque rink one is located at the Market Square in the Old Town (p.32). The largest rink is situated inside the PGE National Stadium. It offers a range of activities like the curling and sledge track as well as the winter bar to warm up. The same venue offers also an exhibition which will amaze adults and children: The Lego Buildings Exhibition (p.20) will present over 120 constructions which have never been displayed in Warsaw. It is available till the 8th March. After a long day exploring the city you simply cannot miss Warsaw’s amazing and versatile food scene. One of the restaurants that recently joined the city’s list of impressive eateries is called Epoka. It offers set menus with Polish recipes that date back to the XVII century. The meals are prepared under the watchful eye of Marcin Przybysz who has worked with some of the world’s best chefs. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience then this is a place you should not overlook. Please remember that in case of any questions, you may always refer to the concierge in your hotel. We will be glad to assist you. We are waiting for you in Warsaw! Łukasz Ciemuchowski Member of Les Clefs d’Or Raffles Europejski Warsaw 62
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART ON THE VISTULA The Museum on the Vistula is a new exhibition space, an addition to the Museum of Modern Art (Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej - headquartered in the city centre on ul. Pańska 3) right on the river’s edge, which will house the majority of the museum’s exhibitions until the new headquarters is built. Opened to the public in March 2017, the building was designed by Austrian architect Adolf Krischanitz, and between 2008-10, was used by the Berlin based Kunsthalle Art Gallery. Now, the building has been provided free of charge to MoMA by the Viennese Thyssen-Bornermisza Art Contemporary foundation. Very kind of them. Check out MoMA’s site for current/future exhibitions; 01-19/03 there will be some disruption to normal service due to installation of a new exhibition. To get there, take the metro to Centrum Nauki Kopernik or take buses 127, 318 & 385 to ‘Biblioteka Uniwersytecka’ and cross the street to the Vistulan Boulevards.QH‑5, ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 22, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 22 431 07 55, www.artmuseum.pl. Open 12:00-20:00; Sat 11:00-20:00; Sun 11:00-18:00; closed Mon. Admission 5/2zł, children under 7 enter free. Ticket prices subject to change. NATIONAL ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM When on ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście across from Warsaw University, head straight down ul. Traugutta and you’ll find this museum at the end of the street. Tragically overlooked by far too many visitors to Warsaw (who can’t see past World War II and communism) this is a joy of a museum that showcases and highlights all that’s best about Poland’s cultural heritage. There are costumes, handicrafts, furniture, Polish inventions, art, photographs; most of it is beautifully presented in what is a superb building. The museum is one of the city’s most active, putting on all sorts of temporary exhibitions plus they organise hands-on events and workshops. There is also a new permanent exhibition: ‘Korean Gallery’ showing Korean culture, the showcase of which is a replica of a traditional house (Hanok). Directors of Warsaw’s other museums might want to come and take notes. Just brilliant, and unquestionably essential. The current permanent exhibits “The Order of Things” “The Pauper’s Bible: Art of the Poor and Downtrodden” plus the latest temporary exhibition “Departures” can all be explored. Check their site for details of temporary exhibitions. QF‑6, ul. Kredytowa 1, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 827 76 41, www.ethnomuseum.pl. Open 10:00-17:00; Wed 11:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-18:00; Sun 12:00-17:00; closed Mon. Due to museum renovation, the ticket price for the temporary exhibition and permanent collection admission is 6/1zł, students up to 15 years of age 1zł, Thu free. U NATIONAL MUSEUM Located inside a huge and decidedly bizarre inter-war building, this museum is a must for anyone visiting the city. Dating from 1862 and operating under its current name since 1916, there’s a huge array of permanent exhibitions and antiquities. Visitors will find a wealth of delightful 15thcentury Dutch and Flemish paintings as well as several
Museums Botticellis in the newly curated Gallery of Old Masters which also includes several galleries of Polish art from the 16th century onwards, including some of the best work by the country’s leading painters - Chełmoński and Matejko to name a few. The “Professor Kazimierz Michałowski Faras Gallery” is the newest permanent gallery to open and is the only exhibition in Europe featuring Medieval Nubian paintings from the Nile River Valley south of the First Cataract. The latest exhibition to open is the Gallery of Polish Design. All in all, it’s worth seeing. Make sure to check their website for more info. QH‑8, Al. Jerozolimskie 3, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 621 10 31, www.mnw.art.pl. Open 11:0018:00; Thu 11:00-20:00; closed Mon. Admission 20/10zł for the permanent gallery. Tue free. Children and students up to 26 years of age pay 1zł. U NBP MONEY CENTRE It may not look much from the outside (being the HQ of the National Bank of Poland), however, inside is one of the best museums in Warsaw. Seriously. And it’s completely FREE! Enter the main gate, then the door on the left to go through airport style security, and from here you will begin your journey through the history of world economics. Again, this may sound far from exciting, but this museum is supermodern, multimedia packed and fantastically interactive - for both adults and kids! Start off learning about the history of commerce in ancient civilisations, to the importance of trade through the millenia, right up to present day. This is not just a museum about money, but of the very essence of the world system. The interactive elements are immensely informative as you walk through a safe, lift a real gold bar (not as light as they seem to be in the movies!) and learn how to spot fake bank notes. We were mightily impressed.QG‑7, ul. Świętokrzyska 11/21, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 185 25 25, www.cpnbp.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; Thu 10:00-20:00; closed Mon. PAWIAK PRISON Built in the 1830s to serve as a Tsarist prison, Pawiak came to the fore during WWII when it slipped into the hands of the Gestapo. During the Nazi occupation it became the largest political prison in Poland and saw over 100,000 inmates pass through its gates. Of this number over 37,000 were executed within the grounds, while a further 60,000 were transported to extermination camps. Subterranean cells designed to house three people were often crammed with up to 18 prisoners. Dynamited during the German retreat, Pawiak has been restored as a memorial to all those who suffered inside, and now houses haunting photo displays, prisoner belongings and reconstructed cells all explained in Polish, English and German. A mangled tree, preserved after the war, stands outside the gates bedecked with obituary notices dating from 1944. Guided tours available in English for 100zł, max group size of 30 people. Call in advance to arrange. QC‑4, ul. Dzielna 24/26, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 826 90 91, www.muzeum-niepodleglosci.pl/pawiak. Open 10:00-17:00; closed Mon, Tue. Admission 10/5zł for Pawiak, 20/10zł for Pawiak and all other branches run by the city (valid for 1 week). Thu free.
Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw
See the biggest Chopin collection all over the world! Museum is open: Tuesday – Sunday: 11.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m. buy online: www.bilety.nifc.pl www.muzeum.nifc.pl
FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM IN WARSAW Ostrogski Castle (Gniński Palace) 1 Okólnik Street
Museums COPERNICUS SCIENCE CENTRE
© Copernicus Science Centre
A rare example of European Union funding being used in a genuinely visionary way, the CSC is the very best science centre in Europe, and one of Warsaw’s top tourist attractions. Arriving at the main doors of the stunning building, visitors are met by the centre’s very own Robothespian - an interactive humanoid robot that can be prompted to make a number of sounds and movements. Not only will you learn an awful lot, but you’ll have a blast exploring the museum’s numerous thematic areas spread over two floors, among them: Bzzz! (aimed at kids between the ages of 0-6), RE:Generation (for young adults) and the remaining section has combined previous exhibitions into an ‘Experiment Zone’. As with any science centre, each area demonstrates a range of phenomenon by way of experiments, button pressing, quizzes and in some cases physical exertion. Don’t overlook the Planetarium of the Copernicus Science Centre, which immerses visitors in 20 million stars, and also screens films about natural science and the origins of life on earth (separate ticket required, admission 2D: 22/16zł and 3D 27/21zł). From 26 September - 19 December there are special evenings, once a month on a Thurssday, for adults only titled ‘Secrets and Lies’. It’s easy to declare that the centre is well-worth a few hours of your time and will impress you with its design and range of experiments. To get there take buses 105, 118 or 127 to the ‘Biblioteka Uniwersytecka’ stop (CSC is around the corner), or buses 102 or 162 to ‘Metro Centrum Nauki Kopernik.’QI‑6, ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 22 596 41 00, www.kopernik.org.pl. Open 09:00-18:00; Sat 10:00-18:00. Note that Planetarium has separate opening hours. Admission 31/21zł. 64
POLISH ARMY MUSEUM The chronological history of the Polish army is presented in a series of gloomy rooms. Suits of armour, crossbows, muskets, medals and paintings pack this museum, though the scarcity of English-language explanations mean you’ll need to hire an English-speaking guide to get the most out of the place (make sure to call in advance). The room at the end is dedicated to Poland’s role in WWII, with specific emphasis on the Warsaw Uprising. Curiously, the best part of the museum is actually free of charge: the outdoor collection of 20th century weaponry includes an array of tanks, missiles, aircraft and rocket launchers (open all year round).QH‑8, Al. Jerozolimskie 3, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 629 52 71, www.muzeumwp.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; closed Mon, Tue. Admission 20/10zł, Thu free. Polish and English audioguide 5zł. N VODKA MUSEUM Whisky is to Scotland as wine is to France, and going by the same logic, vodka is to Poland. The Vodka Museum is an independent undertaking, its origins formed in the pure passion for Poland’s national drink by the owners of the fantastic Elixir restaurant; it aims to show you the fascinating history of Polish vodka, and teach you how it should be respectfully, slowly sipped, tasted, and more importantly - enjoyed (think how you would treat a dram of whisky and you get the idea). Don’t worry, you’ll get to have a tasting at the end. The museum contains hundreds of original pieces connected to vodka, showcasing such unique items as a Napoleonic soldier’s canteen, once filled with vodka for the Russian campaign, to vodka sent to the U.S. during the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920-30s (a brotherly gesture, for alcohol starved brothers across the pond!). A visit to this museum is an eye-opening and enjoyable experience, which instils in any visitor a new appreciation for the spirit. Tickets cost 19zł to see the permanent exhibition, 39zł for included vodka tasting, 75zł with premium vodka and 99zł for super premium! Highly recommended.QF‑5, ul. Wierzbowa 11, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 657 89 96, www.muzeumwodki.pl. Open 11:00-18:00; Fri, Sat 13:00-21:00; Sun 12:00-19:00; closed Mon. Last entrance 60 minutes before closing. Admission 19zł. ZACHĘTA - NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART Unmissable, and so close to ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście. One of the leading galleries in Poland, with a focus on the contemporary. The Zachęta National Gallery of Art (Narodowa Galeria Sztuki) is located in the centre of Warsaw, just across from the Saxon Garden. The name of the gallery derives from the Polish word for encouragement and refers to the group that created it: Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts (Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych), created in 1860. The gallery does a fine job in bringing the best in contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century to you in a mix of temporary exhibitions.QF‑6, Pl. Małachowskiego 3, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 556 96 00, www.zacheta.art.pl. Open 12:00-20:00; closed Mon. Admission 15/10zł, Thu free.
Activities & Leisure
Hulakula one of the most entertaining places for both kids and adults!
FSO SHOOTING RANGE (STRZELNICA FSO) Shooting at FSO = adrenaline pumping fun. I could stop there, but there’s some important stuff you must know! First and foremost, the shooting range is located in the grounds of the former Polish car manufacturer FSO, which produced iconic cars such as the Polonez, a mass-produced geometric beast, between 1978-2002. It’s through the main gate that you enter and take a left until you reach the range at the end of the lane. If you’re arriving by bus, get off at stop Śliwice and it’s directly behind the petrol station, you can’t miss the ‘welcome FSO’ sign at the end of ul. Aleksandra Kotsisa. Once you’re there, choose from various packages, ranging from 59-599zł, which take you on a walkthrough of gun history, from old revolvers and pistols, Soviet era weaponry, all up to modern-day shooters. The range caters for groups of various sizes and can take up to 45 people, which can be anything from smaller stag/hen groups to larger corporate events (conference facilities are available for an entirely different type of meeting like no other work then play by shooting!). It is essential you book in advance (to ensure an English speaking instructor), bring photo ID (passport, ID card or drivers licence), and don’t turn up under the influence of alcohol, otherwise you will not be allowed to take part! Highly recommended.Qul. Jagiellońska 88/10B, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 604 24 01 95, www.strzelnicafso.pl. Open 10:00-23:00; Sun 10:00-18:00.
HULAKULA LEISURE CENTRE Hulakula is one of the most modern indoor entertainment centres in Warsaw. There’s plenty to do here for both adults and kids of all ages. For all the Big Lebowskis out there, you can strut your stuff on no less than 28 of their 10-pin bowling alleys, and there are even special lanes for kids only. For billiard players, you’re catered for too, with 8 LEO Black King tables. If bowling and/or billiards isn’t your thing, they have a damn cool ‘old-school zone’ full of classic arcade game machines, pinball machines and air hockey tables, to name a few! As for the little ones, depending on age, there is a soft-toy toddler zone, and for slightly older kids, there’s an indoor playground that is full of mazes! Recommended for a family day out, or even for the kidults amongst you.QJ‑4, ul. Jagiellońska 82B, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 669 00 10 01, www. hulakula.com.pl. Open 12:00-24:00; Wed, Thu 12:0001:00; Fri 12:00-03:00; Sat 10:00-04:00; Sun 10:0024:00. Prices vary depending on day of the week and hour of day: 1hr of lane time costs 50-140zł. Billiards 29/39zł per hour.
MK BOWLING ENTERTAINMENT CENTER The lastest entertainment center to appear in the capital the more fun we can all have, the merrier. Found inside Galeria Młociny in the northern district of Bielany, it’s easy to get to, being just 2 mins away from the final stop of the M1 metro line ‘Metro Młociny’. Once you’re there,
Activities & Leisure
you have the choice of 12 bowling lanes (6 people p/ lane), 3 pool tables or VR machine experience to have some fun; all serviced with a bar that also dishes out neapolitan style pizza. All activity prices vary between the day you choose to go and whether it’s before/after 17:00. For bowling, the price ranges are 59-139zł, for pool 20-35zł and for the VR it’s 25zł for 15min, 35zł for 30min and 60zł for 1 hour. To ensure you don’t miss out C C on the fun, we recommend calling in advance to reserve. Qul. Zgrupowania AK Kampinos 15 (Galeria Młociny, M M 2nd floor), MMłociny, tel. (+48) 600 80 05 56. Open 12:00-22:00; Fri 12:00-24:00; Sat 10:00-02:00; Sun Y Y 10:00-22:00. CM CM
FLYSPOT WARSAW INDOOR SKYDIVING CY CY Do you believe you can fly? This futuristic adrenaline CMY CMY a junky paradise has both a freefall simulator and Boeing 737 flight simulator, so spread your wings! K Prices start from 229zł for adults and 199zł for kids K18 and under in the freefall simulator/3 mins. For adults only, the Boeing 737 simulator costs from 249zł for 20 mins, although you’ll get more if, well, you choose a more expensive package.Qul. Wspólna droga 1, Ożarów Mazowiecki, tel. (+48) 698 62 65 00, www. flyspot.com. Open 08:30-24:00. HANGAR 646 A great place to literally jump around with masses of trampolines spread over nearly 3,000m2. Found in an old industrial area across the river from the Old Town you’ll also find drink and snacks available and lots of things to keep the kids happy. Also check out their other locations at ul. Dalanowska 29 in the Targówek district and ul. Domaniewska 37A in the Mokotów district. Opening hours subject to change, so best check their site for the latest info.QWał Miedzeszyński 646, tel. (+48) 22 299 54 59, www.hangar646.pl. Open 08:30-21:00. Last entrance 1 hour before closing. Admission 29zł/ per hour, 24zł/per hour group ticket (min. 8 people) online; 34zł/ per hour, 29zł/per hour group ticket (min. 8 people) stationary. PINBALL STATION Remember a time before everyone could play games on their phones? A time when even having a games console was considered a luxury for kids? For those that didn’t have this, arcade games, and pinball machines inparticular were a damn cool form of entertainment (and minor obsession). Relive those days in this interactive pinball museum containing over 50 machines from the 90s (the oldest they have is from 1933!), with walls adorned with old school arcade posters. To get there, travel to Plac Zawiszy bus/tram stop, or take the short walk from Rondo Daszyńskiego Metro Station.QB‑9, ul. Kolejowa 8A, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 600 63 31 15, www.pinballstation.pl. Open 13:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 13:00-24:00. Admission 40/35zł.
FSO SHOOTING RANGE REAL GUNS GUNS REAL REAL AMMO REAL AMMO REAL FUN! REAL FUN!
100 METERS METERS AXIS AXIS 100 UNDER THE THE ROOF ROOF UNDER OPEN 77 DAYS DAYS AA WEEK WEEK OPEN
ICE SKATING ALL ICE RINKS ARE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE END OF FEBRUARY/EARLY MARCH, DEPENDENT ON WEATHER CONDITIONS. NATIONAL STADIUM ICE RINK QK‑6, Al. Ks. J. Poniatowskiego 1, MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 22 295 98 76, www. zimowynarodowy.pl. Open Mon-Fri 15:00-23:00 and Sat-Sun 09:00-00:00. Rink A: weekdays 14/11zł; weekends 16/13zł. Rink B: weekdays 16/13zł; weekends 19/16zł. OLD TOWN ICE RINK QF‑4, Rynek Starego Miasta, MRatusz Arsenał. Open 10:00-21:00. Sessions run 10:00-12:00, 13:0015:00, 16:00-18:00 and 19:00-21:00. Admission free. PKIN ICE RINK QE‑7, Pl. Defilad 1, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 656 76 00, www.pkin.pl. Open 10:00-21:00. Breaks in skating 13:00-14:00 and 17:00-18:00. Admission free. PLAC EUROPEJSKI ICE RINK QC‑7, Plac Europejski, MRondo Daszyńskiego. Open weekdays 16:00-21:00, weekends 12:00-21:00. Admission free, cost of skate hire 10zł p/h. 67
Activities & Leisure PLANETARIUM OF THE COPERNICUS SCIENCE CENTRE A trip to outer space is made simple at the Planetarium of the Copernicus Science Centre, which is tucked behind the giant Copernicus Science Centre (p.64) as its own distinct venue. Visitors can choose different 40-minute films (which require headsets for English and Russian) that are geared towards different age ranges and interests. Inside, the audience is immersed in the solar system thanks to a spherical screen that surrounds the 139 seats on all sides. Four digital projectors display images of the starry sky (we’re talking 20 million points of light) and simulate space travel to bring planets and moons into view - the whole experience is visually stunning! Before each film, there is a 20-min live show about the skies over Warsaw that change with the seasons. School groups dominate the Planetarium’s seats during daytime hours, therefore, we can’t stress enough that booking in advance is highly recommended – when we dropped in, only one of the numerous daily shows had available (and very limited) space, such is the popularity of this venue. Fridays now feature “concerts under the stars,” with live piano adding to the experience and a permanent exhibition “Look: there’s the Earth!” A not-to-be-missed attraction. 2D movies cost 22/16zł and 3D 27/21zł. A visit to the planetarium is a sensory experience, one which he wholly recommend you try out. Trust us, you won’t regret it. Science geek, over and out.QH‑5, ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 22 596 41 00, www.niebokopernika.pl. Open 09:30-18:30; Fri 09:0021:30; Sat, Sun 10:00-20:00. U
OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS VISTULAN BOULEVARDS Warsaw sure has scrubbed up its riverside pretty nicely in the last few years. Here’s the unique part about Warsaw's riverfront - the west side (the left bank) has concrete boulevards (Bulwary Wiślane) with bars and cafes dotted around in summer, while the right side of the river remains wild providing a unique contrast. Warsaw can now say its riverside boulevard is one of the best in Europe, if not the world; comparable to that of the Thames, the Seine and the Tiber (the then Mayor’s words!). Gradually completed in phases, first started at the turn of the 20 century, then enlarged in the late 1930s and 1970s, in 2013 a plan to modernise the boulevards was hatched, and the first section of the revamped boulevards was opened in 2015, followed by further extensions in Jun and Aug 2017, with the latest linking section re-opened in Mar 2019. The new sections are filled with recreational spots. To get there, walk down to the riverfront from the Old Town, or roll right in by metro line M2 to Centrum Nauki Kopernik station, and choose to walk, ride a bike, skate the length of the boulevard or if it’s cold, find an indoor cafe to sit in and enjoy the views.QG‑3, Bulwar Karskiego. 68
Activities & Leisure SKIING CSN SZCZĘŚLIWICE Found in the western Ochota district, and more specifically, its ski centre, works out a treat for any fans of winter sports visiting or staying in Warsaw. If you don’t have any hills in your city - build them. This is exactly what happend in this case, having been used as a dumping ground for rubble after World War II, and later as a general refuse dump. It was only in the late 1960s that the mound of rubbish was covered with earth to be turned into a park, and as of the 1980s, a ski slope. The tallest hill in Warsaw, it measures at only 152m, but it’s certainly a well equipped centre covering and area of 35,000 sq/m with Poma ski lift and chair lift, where you can hire your equipment and even take up skiing/snowboarding lessons. The centre has undergone a huge modernisation which they’ve only just complete in time for snowfall in early 2020!Qul. Drawska 22 (Ochota), MRondo Dzasńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 622 69 61, www.gorka-szczesliwicka.com. Open 10:00-20:00. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing. Admission 1223zł per hour.
SWIMMING AQUAPARK WESOLANDIA Beat the cold and head for some indoor swimming, fitness and wellness! Wesolandia includes a junior swimming pool, 3 saunas (Finnish, Infrared and Turkish), Jacuzzi, slide, fitness centre. The main pool has a length 25m, depth 1.11.8m for all to enjoy. Children up to 3 years of age enter for free, ages 3-7 pay only 10zł, family tickets cost either 11zł p/person or 18zł (unlimited). Parking is available on site with the first 30 mins being free, and the first 3 hours only costing 3zł, and 1.50zł for evey subsequent hour. Take a dive here to beat the winter coldness!Qul. Piastowska 3, tel. (+48) 22 773 91 91, www.wesolandia.pl. Open 07:00-22:00. Admission 12-20zł per hour. All day tickets (sauna) 19-32zł. Open ticket for all facilities, per person, per day is 49zł. WODNY PARK The best pool of the lot with saunas, steam rooms, snow cabins, solariums as well as loads of slides and other recreational facilities. Prices range from 69-95zł/52-71zł all day, 20-34zł/15-26zł per hour and 35-59zł/26-44zł for 2.5 hours (yes, the pricing is weird). Happy Hours are on offer with a fixed price Mon-Fri 17.50/9.50zł per hour from 09:0015:00.QH‑16, ul. Merliniego 4 (Mokotów), MWierzbno, tel. (+48) 22 854 01 30, www.wodnypark.com.pl. Open 06:00-22:00; Sat, Sun 06:30-22:00. (Spa open 11:0022:00. Admission 42-78/32-59zł).
Find more activities online warsaw.inyourpocket.com 69
The shells of the once mighty Modlin Fortress are perfect for exploration, and in winter, they are steeped in a historical aura.
Day Trips Thereâ€™s plenty to see and do in Warsaw, however, we understand that not all visitors are content with just visiting the capital and may wish to explore beyond the city limits. Thereâ€™s something for everyone across the whole Mazovian region, and this section highlights some of theÂ most interesting things to see and do, from visiting sites full of history, music, relaxation, and outdoor activities for those looking for something more fun-filled and leisurely! 70
Day Trips MODLIN FORTRESS Situated in the town of Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, 30km north-west of Warsaw, the 19th century Modlin Fortress (Twierdza Modlin) is one of the longest buildings in Europe at 2,250m. It’s here at the meeting point of two rivers, the Narew and Vistula, in 1806 Napoleon ordered the creation of a defensive point (he is rumoured to have designed one of the first buildings). The complex was later expanded by Tsarist troops from 1880 onwards and the main fort became part of a larger defensive project, consisting of two defensive rings. The entire complex eventually became redundant as military technology and strategies evolved in the 20th century. The fortress saw major action in the Battle of Modlin, during the 1939 Defensive War after Nazi Germany invaded Poland. 24,000 troops held out from 13-29 September and were one of the last to capitulate. Post-war, the fortress was used by the Polish military, but now it has been sold to developers. Despite this, parts of the fortress are still open to tourists. Although entry onto the terrain is free, to explore certain areas, you must pay. The underground basements are currently closed, however, the museum of the September campaign is open daily 10:00-17:00 (closed Mon), and finally, the viewing tower, open daily 09:00-17:00 (10zł). The easiest way to get there is by Koleje Mazowieckie ‘RL’ train, which leave once an hour at 08:15 from Warsaw Central Train Station to Modlin, from where the fort is a 10 minute walk to the west along the river. Opening times may vary, check website for details.Qul. gen. Józefa Bema 500, Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, www. twierdzamodlin.pl. PALMIRY NATIONAL MEMORIAL & MUSEUM This highly recommended museum in the forest outside Warsaw significantly ups the standard for how a small exhibit can pack a huge punch. A little history: during World War II the forests of Palmiry and Kampinos became a refuge for those fleeing the destruction in Warsaw (many Home Army soldiers regrouped in the woods). It also became the site for 21 separate mass executions performed by German soldiers against 1,700 Poles and Jews, many of whom were academic and cultural figures. Inside this well-organised modern block visitors will see how the Poles used the forest for training and hiding weapons, and how the Germans turned their refuge into a killing field. Information boards clearly explain what happened in the forest and displays include exhumed items like documents and photos, even sections of trees with ammunition still buried in their bark. Outside visitors will see a giant cemetery of marked and unmarked crosses dedicated to the victims. While the museum is mainly dedicated to what happened here during World War II it also makes note of the fact that Poles have taken to these woods during the Kościuszko Uprising in 1794, the November Uprising in 1831 and the January Uprising in 1863. Getting to the museum from Warsaw is fairly easy, though a little far. Take Metro M1 to Młociny Bus and Metro Station (end of the line) then catch bus no. 750, which
© fotobroda, AdobeStock
will take you straight to ‘Łomna-Cmentarz’, then you’ll have to walk the final few hundred metres to the museum. For this journey, you’ll need a zone 2/strefa 2 ticket. Depending on the time of day (peak/off-peak), buses run every 30-60 minutes, there and back.QPalmiry, tel. (+48) 22 720 81 14, www.palmiry.muzeumwarszawy.pl. Open 10:00-16:00; closed Mon. Admission free. FRYDERYK CHOPIN BIRTHPLACE & PARK IN ŻELAZOWA WOLA This museum celebrates both the Historical Birthplace of the lauded composer and pays tribute to the dramatic history of the very museum itself. Half of the house has been filled with early 19th century keepsakes, instruments and paintings, and many visitors attest to the haunting spirit of Chopin that lingers throughout. Outside the impressively landscaped bucolic garden makes for a nice walk. As you walk around the gardens, there are craftily hidden speakers serenading you with Chopin’s music. The museum and park are open 09:00-18:00, it’s best to check their website for availability of English tours (we recommended to buy tickets for this online). Żelazowa Wola is 54km west of Warsaw and can be reached in one hour by bus and train. The best way to get there is to go with a tour group (p.61) or get a Koleje Mazowieckie train (Route 3) from Warszawa Śródmieście train station to Sochaczew or a TLK train from Warszawa Zachodnia Train Station - once there, get ZKM bus no.6 which goes to Żelazowa Wola (bus no.1 to Kampinos also stops there). QŻelazowa Wola 15, tel. (+48) 46 863 33 00, www. muzeum.nifc.pl. Open 09:00-16:45. Museum closed Mon (park open). Admission 23/14zł for the museum and park, 6/3zł for the park only. For groups o 15+ 19/11zł. Wed free. AB EVEREST TRAVEL As well as dealing with airport transfers, AB Everest (p.23) also offer one day tours from Warsaw to popular destinations across Poland, which include: Auschwitz and Kraków, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Hitler’s former Wolf’s Lair, Białowieża National Park, Toruń and Warsaw Outskirts Tour, to name a few.Qul. Obrońców Tobruku 18, tel. (+48) 722 26 17 31, www.abeverest.pl. 71
Łódź WHAT TO SEE How many times have you heard a shopping centre call itself ‘More than a shopping centre?’With Manufaktura, for once the hype is entirely justified. It is the largest shopping and entertainment development in Central Europe covering a space of 150,000m2, ranking as one of the most impressive urban regeneration projects anywhere, and its success has inspired further bold urban planning projects that have given the city a certain swagger.
Piotrkowska - Europe's longest street!
For many newcomers and tourists alike, Łódź is an anomaly in many ways. Though you may not have the first clue how to pronounce it (think of it as “Woodge”), Łódź has emerged as one of Poland’s most exciting young cities. It may not possess the postcard panoramas and historical charisma of Prague and Kraków, post-industrial Łódź has garnered much praise for its fantastic film pedigree and dynamic cultural calendar, the longest pedestrian high street in Europe, and some of the country’s finest afterdark venues. Economically and architecturally it is often compared with other post-industrial revitalisation success stories, such as Manchester and Rotterdam. This is all well and good, however Łódź remains impenetrable to many would-be visitors. Some basic information is needed before one can thrust oneself headlong into the all-night industrial warehouse parties and cut up the red carpet at film premieres. Today, Łódź remains an important cog in the Polish wheel. Derelict factories are being converted into luxury apartments, buoyed with a new confidence in itself, the city continues to expand its horizons and we highly recommend a visit to see what all the hype is about. The transition is ongoing - and believe us, the time to go is now. To learn all there is to love in the city, visit lodz.inyourpocket.com - the best English-language guide to Łódź.
Manufaktura today is the result of Poland’s largest renovation project since the reconstruction of Warsaw’s Old Town. Originally a series of factories constructed in the latter part of the 19th century, the restoration quite simply has to be seen to be believed. Enter through Poznański gate, where workers used to file through everyday, and you’ll arrive at ground zero: the 30,000m2 Rynek (main square). Featuring Europe’s longest fountain, the square is the cultural hub, with restaurants, fitness club and IMAX cinema. The complex can boast a state of the art 4-star Andels hotel, a Museum of Art as well as the History of Łódź museum set in the palace of the former mill owner Izrael Poznański. Thanks to Manufaktura’s success, the rest of the city has seen a kick-start to its gastronomy and party scene - walk along ul. Piotrkowska, Europe’s longest pedestrian street, which rates as one of Poland’s most famous party scenes, with places like OFF Piotrkowska, hosting trendy bars, clubs and places to eat, too located in the ground of an old industrial building, and Piotrkowska 217 hosting restaurants and food trucks have all but assured the city’s hip credentials. EC1 cultural centre (below), a former power station found directly across from the main train station Łódź Fabryczna, with its planetarium and soon to open science museum is a must see. The famous film school, founded in 1948 as a pet project of Stalin, has nurtured the talent of Polański, Wajda and Kieślowski, The city continues to change at a breakneck speed with new hotels queuing to join the market, and property investors discovering the hidden beauty and investment opportunities offered by the city’s run-down brick buildings and fast transit connections to Warsaw. Don’t miss out.
GETTING TO ŁÓDŹ Łódz lies 140km south west of Warsaw and is easily accessed by train. With new modernised lines, getting to Łódz from Warsaw is easier than ever, with journey times of 1.5 hours. If you’re travelling from the capital you’ll need to book a ticket running to the new Łódź Fabryczna train station. The city centre is best reached by tram or taxi. Taxis stand directly outside the main entrance to the station, although only use cabs that are clearly marked. 72
EC1: Red brick mixed with modern architecture - lovely!
Cafes & Chocolate Lounges Warsaw has some pretty cool cafes, with the standard well and truly raised high in the last few years. We’ve chosen a handful of our favourites for you, and as it’s winter, we’ve also thrown in some chocolate lounge recommendations. Happy eatin’... HOW YOU DOIN’?
If you and your friends are obsessed with the US sitcom Friends, and you can’t quite budget a trip to New York to take in that cult sitcom feel...instead, go to the corner of one of the most communist looking parts of Warsaw, Constitution Square, for that same vibe. There’s no Gunther here, but you can get a decent choice of coffees, teas, smoothies, cocktails, snacks, sandwiches and desserts. There’s also alcohol to help you cope with the Chandler Bing of your group.QG‑10, ul. Piękna 28/34, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 508 54 67 92, www.howudoin.pl. Open 07:30-22:30; Fri 07:30-23:30; Sat 08:30-23:00; Sun 08:30-21:30. 6
KAWIARNIA KRUCZA 23
It’s reassuring to know some folks like to keep things simple. It’s a café and it’s on ul. Krucza, so let’s call it Kawiarnia Krucza! Excellent coffees (including drip, chemex and aeropress), cool teas, wines and beers plus a range of soft drinks. Add to this a variety of all-day breakfast options, cakes, salads, pastas and a Mon-Fri lunch option (soup and main for 20.90zł from 12:00-16:00, and 16:00-18:00 -20% on soft drinks, and alcohol). Regular events (check their Facebook page) add a touch of fun to the stylish grey plastered interior.QG‑9, ul. Krucza 23/31, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 502 49 47 46. Open 09:00-21:00. TUB6
MONIQUE BAKERY & WINE
This French style cafe really is underselling itself by saying Bakery and Wine. Ok, they do make some great rustic breads, fine cakes/ pastries and have a small selection of nice wines, but they also do great salads, tartines, filled pancakes, freshly squeezed fruit cocktails and are open from 8:00 for a variety of breakfasts. A little Parisian style diamond on Krucza. The corner location allows them to open up two sides of the exterior. The staff are attentive and look great in their crisp shirts and blouses. They have a 2nd location in Galeria Mokotów.QG‑8, ul. Krucza 41/43, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 629 39 74, www.moniquebakery.pl. Open 08:00-21:00. 6 74
Rotunda shaped cheesecakes in PKO Rotunda Cafe! 10366-10367-PKO Rotunda - 153x54+5 mm.indd 1
PKO ROTUNDA CAFE
Warsaw’s iconic city centre PKO Rotunda (p.60) has returned and this time round, not just as a bank, but with a whopping 530m2 open space containing a cafe selling top quality grub, from morning bagels, salads, teas/coffees to sweet treats in the form of Rotunda shaped cheesecakes! Rotunda has always been a meeting place for Varsovians, and now you can meet inside, chill out, hold business meetings or co-work using free wifi, or just have a good ole chin wag against a panoramic backdrop of Warsaw! With almost 60 seats, there’s plenty of space!QF/G‑8, ul. Marszałkowska 100/102, MCentrum. Open 08:00-21:00; Sat 10:00-21:00. U
E. WEDEL CHOCOLATE LOUNGE
The reason everyone at Wedel looks like they’re in a daze is because this is the mothership of chocolate cafes. Wedel is the country’s longest established chocolate manufacturer and one of the best known brands. This classy venue is located in what was once the factory and cafe of the Wedel business. The menu here is impressive in both size and scope, covering every variety of chocolate drink, dessert, truffle and ice cream dish imaginable. Chocolate comas are inevitable.QG‑7, ul. Szpitalna 8, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 827 29 16, www.wedelpijalnie.pl. Open 08:00-22:00; Sat 09:0022:00; Sun 09:00-21:00. T6
Yes it sounds awfully similar to Wedel, and their histories are equally alike. Confectioner Adam Piasecki founded the company in 1898 in Kraków and it became a recognisable Polish brand for sweets. Their Warsaw chocolate lounge is located on Krakowskie Przedmieście where chocoholics can still indulge in a ridiculous array of truffles and treats. The hot chocolate’s impressively diverse for the adventurous, with Cherry Crush and Cinnamon Islands recommended for those who like to compliment their chocolate with additional flavours!QG‑6, ul. Królewska 2, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 828 14 99, www.wawel.com.pl. Open 09:00-21:00. 75
Traditional Polish Dishes Polish food is famous for being simple, hearty and not especially colourful. You simply haven’t had a thorough sampling of it until you’ve tried all the traditional dishes below, all of which can be found in some of our favourite places mentioned on p.98. Smacznego! BARSZCZ
A nourishing beetroot soup, barszcz may be served with a croquette (‘barszcz z krokietem’), with miniature pierogi floating in it (‘barszcz z uszkami’), or simply as broth in a mug expressly for drinking (‘barszcz solo’). A recommended alternative to other beverages with any winter meal, we’d be surprised if you can find a bad cup of barszcz anywhere in Poland, so make sure you return home with barzszcz stains on at least one of your shirts.
Though there’s no standard recipe for this hearty stew, ingredients usually include fresh and pickled cabbage, sausage, onion, mushrooms, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, caraway and whatever else is on hand. In fact, metaphorically bigos translates to ‘big mess,’‘mish-mash’ or ‘confusion’ in Polish. A Polish restaurant or prospective bride can be fairly measured on the strength of their bigos, so put it to the test.
Translating to ‘little pigeons,’ this favourite dish is kind of like a ‘cabbage enchilada,’ if we may say so. Consisting of boiled cabbage leaves filled with rice, onion and typically beef, gołąbki are rolled up and baked or steamed, then served under a tomato or mushroom sauce. Polish legend claims that King Kazimierz IV fed his army gołąbki before the Battle of Grunwald, and their unlikely victory has been attributed to the fortifying meal ever since.
This is ‘pork knuckle’ or ‘ham hock,’ as in the part of a pig’s leg between the knee and the ankle. Boiled, braised or roasted, this is the closest the Poles come to barbecue, and is a true delicacy. The meat should slip right off the bone, be served with horseradish, and washed down with beer. Generally sold by weight, you might end up with more than you bargained for, but it’s certainly an Instagram opportunity. Go caveman. 76
Traditional Polish Dishes
Polish pierogi can conquer any appetite.
Typically served with mashed potatoes and pickled cabbage, this is probably the most popular meal in Poland. Essentially a breaded and fried pork chop, ‘kotlet schabowy’ is quite similar to Viennese schnitzel, and a solid bet for a cheap, filling, risk-free meal. If you’re awoken on a weekend by the sound of profuse banging - that’s the sound of the meat being tenderised with a spiky mallet, so best mind your manners.
Poland’s most famous food, you haven’t had pierogi until you’ve had them in PL. These doughy, stuffed dumplings are typically steamed or pan-fried. Traditional fillings include potato (Ruskie), sweet cheese, minced meat, mushrooms and cabbage, or seasonal fruits. If you nose around, however, you’ll find plenty of maverick fillings like chocolate, lentils or even chicken livers; the possibilities are limitless and they are served literally everywhere.
These greasy, fried potato pancakes are very similar to hashbrowns or Jewish latkes (if that means anything to you), and may be served in a variety of ways. Keep it simple with just sour cream (‘placki solo’), or turn it into a hefty meal by ordering them smothered in mushroom sauce or - our favourite - goulash (‘placki po węgiersku’). Highly caloric, they’re also a tried and true hangover cure.
It doesn’t get any more Polish than żurek – a unique sour soup made from a thick stock of fermented rye flour. Typically chock full of potatoes, sausage and hard-boiled eggs, żurek is most often thickened with cream, and seasoned with marjoram, garlic, salt and pepper. The result is a tasty grayish gruel that any Polish peasant would be proud to polish off. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get it served in a bread bowl. 77
Traditional Modern Polish Polish Cuisine Dishes
Food pairing with vodka in Elixir by Dom Wódki (p.100).| © Dom Wódki
We all know and love traditional Polish dishes (or at least we hope you do), and we cannot argue against trying out some traditional pierogi or barszcz, but bear in mind, the last few years have seen a huge leap forward in the world of Polish gastronomy. The exciting changes are in a way a reflection of the major economic and social changes which have been underway in the country over the last 30 years, but especially during the last decade.
Beef with cabbage, chanterelles, beans and wine sauce in PAM PAM © PAM PAM Restaurant (p.92).
A tasty lookin’‘piece of meat’ with horseradish sauce at Bistro Bar © Bistro Bar WuWu WuWu (p.98).
It’s not often you can intertwine politics and food together, unless a politician has been egged by someone with ‘opposing views’, to put it lightly. But the reality is, the many chefs, restaurant managers and restaurateurs have all gained 78
from years of experience, some of whom took full advantage of Poland joining the EU in 2004 to go work in restaurants all over Europe (and the world!). Many started as trainee chefs, some left with previous experience, but they all took the time to gain knowledge, improve their skills, with some even working in the world’s top kitchens. And when they came back, their talent was evident, and we’re glad to say, you can go to some top class restaurants and experience some truly fantastic taste sensations. The approach is so simple, yet so effective. The chefs have set out to show off their experience through contemporary flare, while simultaneously honouring the classic cultural dishes of their childhoods. Simple ingredients, simple foods, given a slight but aesthetically stunning modern make-over. So what are the things to look out for?
Modern Polish Cuisine LOCAL/REGIONAL INGREDIENTS
It might seem fairly obvious, but sourcing local ingredients is one of the best things modern chefs can do, and in Poland, there’s no shortage of fruit, veg and meat, therefore, the variety of ingredients, although remaining largely local, can lead to some exciting recipes being conjured up. Simple ingredients, but made to look far more grandiose through the imagination and skill of the chefs.
Seasonal menus have become increasingly popular in some of Poland’s top restaurants, and again, it is a simple but effective approach that leads to frequent and exciting menu changes which will always keep punters happy, while still retaining an element of traditional tastes, but still expressing exciting new flavours. Poland is quite unique in that seasonal products have never really been out of fashion, so it’s always a pleasure to see some old favourites making a re-appearance from time to time!
Roasted duck soup with wonton dumplings in LAS (p.101).
and to jams from seasonal fruits. But a particular old favourite has emerged in fine dining experiences: nalewki (homemade liqueurs), made from fruits and pine syrup.
Crème brûlée with popcorn and cherries in PAM PAM Restaurant © PAM PAM (p.92).
CONNECTING WITH OLD TRADITIONS
The perfect example of seasonal products meeting old traditions becomes apparent in Autumn when menus are dominated by mushrooms such as the mighty ‘Boletus edulis’ (PL: Borowik Szlachetny) or ‘Chanterelles’ (PL: Kurki), which Poles love to go picking, both as a hobby and desire to use in all forms of preparation, from immediate cooking, drying for use in soups in winter, and to pickling! And with pickling, there arise jars of vegetables all grown in Poland,
A very modern and elegant take on a Polish classic - Steak Tartare in Photo: ZONI ZONI Restaurant (p.94).
Food pairing, a relatively new idea from the early 21st century, is the notion of combining certain foods or drinks that complement each other in taste. This is perfect for Poland. Regional Polish vodkas and wines have been gaining increasing popularity, and the changing attitudes to alcohol in Poland have led to similar approaches to how the French treat wine and the how the Scots treat whisky. To be enjoyed, slowly, pleasantly, and not by means of batten down the hatches. Old favourite dishes, like pickled herring, for instance, go wonderfully well with certain types of Polish vodkas and liqueurs...
WHERE TO EAT? Luckily for you, there are many top venues to sample modern Polish cuisine. Conveniently located in the city centre Elixir by Dom Wódki (p.100) is the perfect fine dining venue to go and try out food pairing with some top class liqueurs and vodkas. PAM PAM Restaurant (p.92), also in the centre, mixes Polish classics with international cuisine, but still maintains the honourable nod to the traditional recipes. ZONI Restaurant (p.94) and Bistro Bar WuWu (p.98) takes a refreshing approach to Polish cuisine in the revamped and fantastically designed Praga Koneser Center (p.52), with the latter producing wonders with many of their vodka based cocktails. In the Powiśle area (I6) near the river Vistula, the humble, but no less tasty LAS (p.101) takes a hip approach to Polish cuisine which still manages to conjure up nostalgia for old dishes while exciting the palate. 79
The revamped Brooklyn House (p.81) is tastier than ever!
Warsaw’s come a long way fast, and nowhere is the urban vibrancy more apparent than in the city’s progressive culinary scene. Today one can find quality dining experiences from most corners of the world, though the predominance of Italian trattorias, sushi bars and designer burger joints never ceases to amaze us. As regards to tipping, 10% is standard (easy math!). While our rigorously researched opening hours would seem self-explanatory, be aware that venues will close their doors if business is slow, and some ‘restobars’ employ different sets of hours for bar and kitchen - the times we list in such cases are for the kitchen. Below is a selection of recommendations depending what you are looking for: BUSINESS ZONI Restaurant (p.94) and Elixir by Dom Wódki (p.100) are experienced locals offering food that will impress the client and give you room to talk shop, while PAM PAM (p.92) is elegantly styled inside a pre-war tenement. Impressive, indeed. CHEAP The street food truck trend is fantastic, and even better when this type of food can be purchased at an actual venue, step in Oh My Pho (p.83), which does some fantastic Vietnamese food. If it’s quick but good hearty food you seek, our Milk Bar recommendations (p.102) will do just the trick, as will Polish classics Gościniec (p.100) and Zapiecek (p.104). 80
COUPLES For a romantic and elegant night out Elixir (p.100) ticks all the right boxes, while those looking for somewhere with a more casually stylish atmosphere should get some Italian vibes at the fantastic Ciao Napoli (p.94) - a quaint and personalised experience. SEN (p.92) offers a comfortable setting with great views of the river, and Sushi classic OTO!Sushi (p.97) is a firm favourite. KIDS Hard Rock Cafe (p.82) is always going to be a favourite and they do know how to make your special ones feel like Miley or Justin. Credit also goes to Trattoria Da Antonio (p.96) for their family centred restaurant with a playroom for the young ones to enjoy. LADS Launch an attack on the fries and burgers at TGI Fridays (p.82) while downing pints of lager and watching the footie. If it’s food for the whole squad you’re looking for, one of the food markets (p.85) will be able to accommodate you. POLISH You simply can’t come to Poland and some of the regional cuisine - it’s hearty, it’s full of vegetables and it’s certainly meaty (read more in our Traditional Polish Dishes section on p.76. Eat in Warsaw’s oldest restaurant, the extravagant U Fukiera (p.103), or for a refreshing and elegant take on Polish cuisine Restauracja Różana (p.102) is a class act that’s hard to beat. For a full-on rustic Polish experience in the big city, the rustic style of Dawne Smaki’s (p.98) is a good choice.
Restaurants SYMBOL & PRICE KEY 6 Animal friendly
C‑1 Map Coordinate
N Credit cards not accepted
E Live music
U Facilities for the disabled
o Year-round Garden X Smoking room available
€ €€ €€€ €€€€ €€€€€
most mains under 25zł most mains 25-45zł most mains 45-75zł most mains 75-115zł most mains over 115zł
T THE BESRS B U R G E AW I N WA R S
BARN BURGER Decorated like a college common room with cult movie posters and some random Americana, Barn Burger has convinced plenty of coeds to ditch their diets and dive into juicy cheeseburgers or even the aptly-named ‘Heart Attack’ burger (mmm, bacon!). Every sandwich is partnered with chubby fries and a cup of coleslaw, and you’re a champ if you can finish the entire wooden tray’s worth of food before you. Check out their new second location as well at ul. Zgoda 5.QF‑7, ul. Złota 9, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 888 22 27 50, www.barnburger.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Sat 13:00-22:00; Sun 13:00-21:00. €€. U6 BROOKLYN HOUSE NEW This classy bar and restaurant takes the classic American diner concept to a whole new level. The upstairs specialises in burgers and wings with the design paying homage to the ‘chrome and vinyl’ look of 1950’s US diners. Downstairs the open kitchen presents a seasonally changing menu of signature dishes inspired by both traditional and new American cuisine (think steaks and ribs). The burgers and tacos are definitely worth a look in. Enjoy delicious dishes accompanied by a menu of classic American drinks & cocktails while watching your favourite sports. A kids menu is on offer, and lunch specials Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00 for 25zł choose between two sets; pizzas or burgers, or a main, soup and dessert. Also, from Mon-Fri 16:00 - 19:00 they have happy hours with a 50% discount on all alcohol, but only applicable with meals. Recommended.QD‑7, Al. Jana Pawła II 18, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 114 34 34, www.brooklynbw.eu. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-24:00. €€€. PT6 JACK’S BAR & RESTAURANT So Mr Jack Daniels is in town and he’s brought a projector screen with him! Opened in 2015, Jack’s is a bar, restaurant and event only cinema, all of which come together nicely. Found inside a renovated pre-war tenement building, the interior takes a 180 degree turn and has that American post-industrial feel, with a ceiling
Brooklyn House is THE destination for best burgers, hot-dogs and steaks in the heart of Warsaw. Being a truly American joint, we’re extremely proud of our meats and selection of cocktails and beers. Brooklyn is a cool, hip and relaxed place where you and your friends can chill. It is especially known for its top atmosphere during all sports events which you can watch on our numerous screens. If you have your mind set on burgers and steaks – head straight to Brooklyn by ONZ roundabout.
Jana Pawła II 18 00-116 Warsaw Reservation: + 48 22 114 34 34
/ BROOKLYN HOUSE / brooklynhousepl / @brooklyn_house_pl
t f i G
blotted out with hundreds of JD bottles - quite the touch! For food, the steaks, burgers and chicken wings are outstanding. For drinks at the bar, aside from the obvious choice, there are dozens of options from beers to the harder stuff! Keep an eye on their site for all the latest info on live music events in dedicated mini cinema hall!QG‑8, ul. Bracka 18, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 400 28 23, www.jackscinema.pl. Open 12:00-01:00. €€. TUE6 HARD ROCK CAFE Is there anything more American than sinking your teeth into an 8oz. burger stacked with cheddar and bacon while staring at the jacket worn by Jimi Hendrix on the cover of Are You Experienced? The Hard Rock Cafe has based a business around the concept of unrivalled burgers and impressive memorabilia, and Warsaw’s chapter is no different. The two-story venue features a wall made of 675 guitars and their impressive menu offers even more mouth watering American grilled, fried and melted classics (veggie options also available). The dark basement bar churns out heaping drinks that look like they require two straws. Live music is available on ‘Wednesday Unplugged’ at 20:00.QE‑8, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 222 07 00, www.hardrockcafe.com/location/warsaw/. Open 09:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-01:00. €€. TUE6 TGI FRIDAYS NEW The 2nd venture for the TGI Fridays brand has arrived in Warsaw, and right in the city centre on the tourist trail! The copy+paste experience is much improved here, what with there being an open kitchen and a bloody impressive dome ceiling at the back! You can’t go wrong with the tried and tested favourites on the menu, but special mention goes to the Fridays signature burger! The Mon-Fri lunch menus 12:00-16:00 are brow raising and won’t break the bank. The bar here is still well stocked, and full of promotions. Happy hour runs Mon-Fri 16:0018:00 with special cocktails only 15zł. Each Friday 17:0022:00, hourly ‘Ring the Bell’ prices apply to shots, with the time matching the price (17:00 = 5zł and so on...). Their other location, with a much bigger bar, is found on Al. Jana Pawła II 29 (D-6). Kudos. QG‑7, ul. Chmielna 1/3, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 797 20 99 30, www.tgifridays. pl. Open 12:00-24:00; Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00-01:00. €€€. PTU6
Present this card and receive a complimentary Hard Rock souvenir with minimum 99 PLN purchase. Co-branded items not included. Offer expires 30. Dec. 2020. Not valid with other offers, one per person per visit. Valid only at Warsaw location.
KOKO & ROY First thing’s first, credit goes to the owners for making an American styled venue that isn’t a generic reproduction of a diner. This is a completely modern take on an American bar and restaurant, which is entirely refreshing. The interior is a modern type of place, filled with paraphernalia that wouldn’t look out of place in a music themed New York cafe. To understand the venue, you have to understand the owners, a couple, one being Polish the other American. Poifect. Burgers are the staple on the menu, but the Octopus is a highly recommended option. The drinks are
Restaurants great too, as is watching the interactions of the staff with each other and guests. A friendly, good food type of place for any expat Americans to get a little taste of home, and for all others to join in and feel welcome. Recommended. QF‑9, ul. Wilcza 43, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 699 85 64, www.kokoandroywarsaw.com. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri 12:00-02:00; Sat 10:30-02:00; Sun 10:30-17:30; closed Mon. €€€. UE6
ASIAN AZIA CONCEPT Don’t we all just love a 3-for-1 deal? With AZIA Concept, you have just that with 3 Asian restaurants in one massive 1200m2 space. Take your pick from Chinese (Dim Sum), Japanese (Hana Sushi) and Thai cuisine (Nai Thai), found in Arkadia Shopping Centre. Normally, it’s fair to associate shopping centres with fast food outlets, however, following recent extension work to the food court in Arkadia, there are now also high punching restaurants with AZIA Concept being up there with the best. All the chefs hail from Asia and use the highest quality ingredients to make meals to original high quality recipes. Ideal for a bite to eat after some shopping.QC‑2, Al. Jana Pawła II 82, CH Arkadia, MDworzec Gdański, tel. (+48) 503 53 75 37, www.azia.pl. Open 10:00-22:00; Sun 11:00-21:00. €€€. T DU-ZA MI-HA Kebabs are fine but every now and then we all want something a little different for a late-night feast. That’s where Duza comes in. Noodles of all types with an endless variety of sauces and mixes, and the spicy beef ramen, Hong Kong duck and Shoyu ramen all come at great prices. To the delight of anyone who has eaten a three in the morning shoarma too many - it’s open 24 hours at weekends. Also at ul. Jasna 24, ul. Puławska 82.QF‑7, ul. Złota 3, MCentrum. Open 10:00-22:00; Sun 11:0022:00. Fri, Sat open 24hrs. €. B6 OH MY PHO Oh My Pho, indeed! At least that’s what I was saying to myself after trying their food. Found on ul. Wilcza, just off the main ul. Marszałkowska, this Vietnamese street food joint serves up some mighty dishes (not bad considering the reasonable prices). The interior is small (two rooms), sparse, with some white and red walls with photos dotted around; you’ll most likely walk in and have to wait a short time while you wait for others to eat up and make space, but that’s just a sign of how popular this place has become for those looking for good quality quick food. The menu is extensive (including vegan and vegetarian), so you’re spoilt for choice - we went for Nuong Kieu Saigon (with chicken) and Bo Xao (with beef ) and were delighted at how tender the meat was. Friendly service and good food - a simple combination that works well.QG‑9, ul. Wilcza 32, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 579 12 61 83, www.ohmypho.pl. Open 11:0022:00. €€. 6 83
Beef n’ Pepper
BEEF N’ PEPPER Hidden away in a small alleyway alongside the famous Roma Theatre, the exterior may well look like you’re about to enter a 1970’s shopping mall, but inside it’s a smart, urban steakhouse and bar. Expect top grade Polish cattle (28 days wet-aged) - the quality is excellent and the fact that they use the finest local meat means prices are surprisingly reasonable. Seafood options and Louisiana Chicken Wings struggle for a look-in as beef rules. In addition to a fine wine list, the slick bar also has a brilliant selection of whiskies and bourbons. Live music is available every Tuesday from 19:00.QF‑9, ul. Nowogrodzka 47A, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 785 02 50 25, www.beefandpepper.pl. Open 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-23:00. €€€€. TE6 BUTCHERY & WINE A wonderful addition to the Warsaw dining scene winning points for originality and simplicity. This bright, modern, relaxed venue has an open kitchen and enough wine on display to float a battleship. The menu features a range of real steaks prepared exactly to order and served on wooden boards with additional sauce and side options.QG‑8, ul. Żurawia 22/20, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 502 31 18, www.butcheryandwine.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00. €€€€. T MERLINIEGO Restaurants using their address as a name tend to be pretty special and Merliniego is a damn good example. Well known for their steaks and seafoods the menu also includes some excellent Polish highlights like goose breast and American beef to grilled octopus, tuna steak and Scottish salmon. Steaks include black Angus rib eye (imported from Ottomanelli & Sons of New York) and the staggeringly pricey +9 Wagyu Kobe. The two level interior is rich in deep colours, raw brickwork and exotic woods. Marvel at the vast wine display as you enter. Michelin recommended in both 2017 and 2018. QH‑16, ul. Merliniego 5, MWierzbno, tel. (+48) 696 16 90 90, www.merliniego.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€€€. T 84
BALKAN MUNJA “When did this pop up?!” was our first thought, so quick is the mushrooming pace of new buildings appearing in the Wola district of the city. The location is great for those wandering around exploring Warsaw’s old streets, and the food inside is veggy and meaty! The interior is, well, long enough to throw a baseball, but as for design, it’s warming, modern, and has a fantastic open kitchen to watch your food being prepared. In the true Adriatic style, the tables are prepared for any guests, from businessmen, tourists, and large groups, such as families, to enjoy their meals. The seasonal drinks are great and the hearty meat platter is best eaten between 3 - we tried between 2 and felt like we had a depth charge thrown at us. Recommended.QC‑7, ul. Grzybowska 43, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 664 90 11 61. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri 12:00-00:40; Sat 13:00-00:40; Sun 13:00-22:00. €€€. TU NA BAŁKANY Just off Plac Konstytucji, take a left down the lane at ul. Koszykowa 53. That’s the easy part, the challenge is wrestling the giant curtain at the entrance. Once you’ve tangoed with it, it’s all pleasant thereafter. Set in a sparse interior with Balkan movie posters, bulbs and bottles making up the core of the design, which surprisingly creates a warm atmosphere, perfect for lunch time visits, romantic evenings, and group gatherings. The menu is packed with vegetables and meat (of course it is), and the starters with grilled and battered vegetables definitely raise an eyebrow. The mains come with great regional dips and cheeses an the desserts are a delight. Seasonal nonalcoholic/alcoholic options are available, as are regional wines. A nice choice.QF‑10, ul. Koszykowa 47 (entrance from ul. Koszykowa 53), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 118 38 38, www.nabalkany.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 13:00-22:00. €€€. TU6 RUZA ROZA The newly transformed Ruza Roza hits the bullseye in almost every department. Perfectly situated on trendy ul. Francuska, a well thought out garden space and an interior which is fresh and sophisticated. Every detail has been carefully considered. The seasonally changing menu may has a distinctive Balkan flair yet they aren’t afraid to expand and experiment with other cuisines. Expect the freshest local and regional produce throughout the colourful menu. It’s also a top spot to drop in for a cocktail (with occasional live music on Fridays 19:00-22:00). Lunches available Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00 for 19.90zł (soup & main).QL‑7, ul. Francuska 3, tel. (+48) 22 616 35 97, www.ruzaroza.pl. Open 12:00-21:00; Wed, Thu 12:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 12:0023:00. €€€. TU6
Full contents online: warsaw.inyourpocket.com
Restaurants CZECH ČESKÁ PIVNI RESTAURANT The Czech Beer and Culinary experience has finally been corporatised and franchised at this popular city centre restaurant. As much as we’d like to hate this place for its sterilised atmosphere, average food and sub par service - the Pilsner is the real deal and served up fast, cold and as foamy as you like (go half and half ). So in summary, it has most of the qualities of authentic Czech places minus the McCzech corporate packaging. Since the prices are competitive and portions quite large, this turns out to be a great spot for a mid-day city escape or an early evening Urquell session.QF‑8, ul. Chmielna 35, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 602 33 34 44, www.ceska.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-24:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€. TU6 U SZWEJKA This ageing establishment, equipped with Czech street signs and images of simpleton Szwejk, is a bit of a Warsaw classic, and while it looks brash and basic the food is fine and the portions are scary. The steak is inconsistent, so best stick to ordering standards like sausages and schnitzel. Patience is a good tactic to use with the staff, but there’s certainly no criticism of the Pilsner on draught - cut the dismal waiting times by ordering in steins. Lunches available Mon-Fri 12:00-15:30. They also have nightly live music from 19:30 throughout the week, and 14:00-18:00 on Sundays (along with a nanny service on this day only).QG‑10, Pl. Konstytucji 1, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 339 17 10, www.uszwejka. pl. Open 09:00-24:00; Sat, Sun 10:00-24:00. €. TE
FOOD MARKETS Food and drink markets are becoming ever popular in Poland, and especially so in the capital. Day time markets, night markets, street food festivals, beer festivals, indoors, outdoors, they’re all available in high and low season, spread out across Warsaw like a big cuddly safety blanket. Eat up, drink up, simply indulge by checking out some of Warsaw’s best food markets, which we’ve listed here for you. HALA GWARDII Hala Gwardii, the twin building of Hala Mirowska (D-6), has returned to its pre-war roots and is once more a food market where you can peruse and buy speciality products or feast on local and imported foods from a big choice of stalls. After the war, it served as a bus depot until eventually becoming a sports hall used by the military Sports Guard Club (from where the name originates). It’s an eclectic mix of things, being a market, a food hall, a place for events, and it is still in use for sports like boxing (the walls are adorned with legends of the Polish boxing scene), all in a grimier version of Hala Mirowska - the exterior of the building is not in great shape!. The choice of food is very much worth exploring!QE‑6, Plac Żelaznej Bramy 1, MRondo ONZ, www.halagwardii.pl. Open Fri, Sat 09:00-01:00; Sun 10:00-23:00 only. HALA KOSZYKI See p.106QOpen 09:00-01:00. 85
LE VICTORIA BRASSERIE MODERNE Located inside the Sofitel Victoria Hotel, Le Brasserie sparkles with a sophisticated colour scheme of beige, creams and greys. Black and white light fittings, orange highlights, window-like mirrors and comfy geometric seating add a warm and spacious feel to Didier Gomez’s design. The slick open kitchen area draws your eye to the work of chef Maciej Majewski and his team as they prepare seasonally adjusted dishes based on classic and modern brasserie-style French cuisine. Prices are seriously competitive with nearby restaurants, making it an attractive proposition for a stylish and upmarket dinner date or business lunch.QF‑6, ul. Królewska 11, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 657 83 82, www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw.com. Open 12:0024:00. €€€€. TU6
BOLLYWOOD LOUNGE A restaurant which is more popular than ever, and ideally situated smack bang in the middle of the lively Nowy Świat. The menu features authentic and aromatic meat and vegetarian dishes, plus a range of Indian courses, all excellently prepared by chefs from northern India. Drop in Mon-Fri for their lunch menu from 12:00 - 16:00 (19.99 zł) and Sundays before 17:00 get a 30% discount on the whole menu. The good deals don’t end there - Mon is -50% on 1 dish all day, Tue 2-for-1 shrimp portions, Wed 50% off a vege dish of your choice, Thu lamb dishes come with a free beer/glass of wine, Fri fish dishes are 50% off, Sat specials on champagne and prossecco...and of course, daily happy hours 16:00-20:00 on beer and wine, shisha for 25zł Mon-Thu after 22:00. Eat, relax, and enjoy. To leave well-fed and entertained is a plus, non?QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 58, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 509 16 51 66, www.bollywoodlounge.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-01:00. €€. TU
FUSION FUSION Beautifully presented food in the modern, if regularly quiet, interiors of the Westin hotel. The food here is very good, if a tad pricey compared to city restaurants, but you get what you pay for, with everything being of a superior quality. Regular seasonal specials based around particular ingredients keep happy local foodies coming back for more. Don’t miss their Business Lunch Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00 at 39zł.QD‑7, Al. Jana Pawła II 21 (The Westin Hotel), MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 450 86 31, www.restauracjafusion.pl. Open 06:30-10:30, 12:0022:30; Sat 07:00-11:00, 12:00-22:30; Sun 07:00-11:00, 13:00-22:30. €€€€. TU
GEORGIAN RESTAURACJA RUSIKO A family run Georgian restaurant located at the Plac Trzech Krzyży end of Al. Ujazdowskie. The owner, Davit Turkestanishvili is a much revered ambassador for his country’s cuisine in the city and with his mother and aunt ruling the kitchen, authenticity is guaranteed (the restaurant is even named after his mum). The interior has a nice contemporary feel, mixed with traditional elements – like the Georgian tapestries and rugs adorning the walls and floor. If unfamiliar with the cuisine of the region, we recommend sharing one of their ‘taste of Georgia’ starter platters or the succulent broth filled Chinkali meat pouches before delving into the delicious and exotically seasoned mains. The menu is exciting, and food presentation certainly looks exotic. A kid’s area is available, which also emphasises the close ties Georgians place on food and family as a social event for all. As an addition to the exciting food, check out their wine bar, which only sells Georgian wine, brandy and other strong alcohols!QH‑9, Al. Ujazdowskie 22, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 629 06 28, www.rusiko.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; closed Mon. €€. TB6 86
GURU RESTAURANT & BAR Guru was borne from a years long dream of the owners to open an Indian restaurant. We’re lucky they got their wish, as they are redefining Indian cuisine with a flare of modernity. And what a better place to try than in Warsaw, the city which has been transforming at lightning pace - the redevelopment visible on the very street where Guru is located, ul. Widok, right next to Metro Centrum (as central as it gets!). The perfect location for both casual dining and business meals, the interior is a mix of traditional and modern, as is the menu with its classics (with a real Tandoori oven!), all the way to the drinks menus. Lunches served Mon-Fri 12:00-15:00 with business option (soup & main) costing 27zł and the express just 21zł (one dish). Recommended.QG‑8, ul. Widok 8, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 857 06 04, www. gururestauracja.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 12:0023:00. €€. T6 NAMASTE INDIA What began as a modest Indian-owned grocery store soon expanded into a full-on ethnic restaurant and proved so popular that a second location was needed to meet the demand for delicious Indian cuisine. For office workers around town, this - the newly expanded original location - remains the best, and we’ll agree that it simply doesn’t get much better for Indian food in the capital. Better still, the prices are set so low you can’t help but ask what’s the catch. There isn’t one; we’ve tried pretty much everything on the menu, and have yet to find a weak link. Consider ringing ahead for takeaway because waiting times can be torture and ask about booking their new private room for parties and meetings.QG‑8, ul. Nowogrodzka 15, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 357 09 39, www.namasteindia.pl. Open 11:00-23:00; Sun 12:0022:00. €€.
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Restaurants INTERNATIONAL B52 RESTAURANT Found on Warsaw’s main ul. Marszałkowska, the street which is always buzzing with traffic, people, and all the noises we associate with the city has some new attractions in the form of a collection of new cafes, bars and restaurants. Restaurant B52 recently landd and is a bit of all three; although its main function is a restaurant, there’s nothing stopping you from coming here to enjoy the breakfasts (Mon-Fri 09:00-12:00, with additional tea/coffee/lemonade for 1zł, and SatSun 09:00-13:00 with prossecco for 5zł), the lunches Mon-Fri (soup, main & dessert for 25zł), the impressive mains menu, and of course, the night time drinks - their ‘fishbowl’ glasses (no joke, they are big) are colourful and easy to share on that first date...or hog for yourself. On our visit, we tucked in to some steaks, which were damn good. The interior is post-industrial, but the cool thing for us are the mirrors on the walls, allowing everyone to see the buzz of the street outside. Cool. QG‑8, ul. Marszałkowska 84/92, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 514 13 79 94, www.b52warsaw.com. Open 09:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-24:00; Sun 09:00-22:00. €€. TU BE 6
DECODING THE MENU Since one of the main things you’re likely to be doing while in town is eating, here are a few words you’re likely to encounter on any menu in town. Smacznego! (Enjoy your meal!) śniadanie breakfast zupa soup przystawki appetisers dania główne main dishes dodatki side dishes ziemniaki potatoes kapusta cabbage ser cheese chleb bread warzywa vegetables owoce fruit mięso meat kurczak chicken wieprzowina pork wołowina beef ryba fish deser dessert ciasto cake lody ice cream napoje drinks kawa coffee piwo beer 88
BEZ TYTUŁU Ul. Poznańska continues its hefty onslaught to become one of the hippest streets in the city centre with the opening of this elegant restaurant and cocktail bar. The restaurant is owned by partnership - Julien Barbotin-Larrieu and Kasia Michalski, who also run the contemporary art space in the foyer of this gloriously renovated townhouse. The space combines a number of intimate areas all linked by ‘untitled’ (Bez Tytułu) artworks from their collection. Head chef, Erwan Debono may bring his French culinary expertise to the kitchen, but this is a man who brilliantly combines the best international and local produce for his unique signature dishes. Ms. Michalski is certainly raising the art meets fine dining experience to a truly international level in the city. Their ‘Bez Tytułu’ bar, found in the basement, is open Tue-Sat from 18:00 (to the last client), where you can try a cocktail to accompany a snack.QF‑9, ul. Poznańska 16, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 251 52 88, www.beztytulu.com. Open 12:0022:00; Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 16:00-23:00; closed Sun. €€€. XT 6 BISTRO TENTEGO This is one of these places we just love for the concept daytime lounging, eating and drinking, and well, almost the same at night, but with louder music and more alcohol. Found along the Royal Route at the northern corner of Łazienki Park, the location is pretty chilled - heck, there’s a hundreds years old oak tree round back that can atest to that. The menu is mixed with burgers, pizzas, seafood and regional dishes with the chef’s own touches, all of which we enjoyed. The daytime is pretty much for everyone here,
Restaurants families enjoying the garden, but at nighttime this place turns the volume up on their sound system, and it’s equally atmospheric setting makes an impact at night, indoors and outdoors. Check it out for yourself. Recommended.QH‑11, ul. Jazdów 1B, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 780 15 28 73, www.bistrotentego.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Sat 11:0023:00; Sun 11:00-21:00; closed Mon. €€. TUB6 BOSKA PRAGA This is the type of upscale multipurpose venue that Praga has been lacking and most certainly deserves. The multilevel lofted restaurant offers plenty of space for elegant wining and dining while also providing some cosy corners to curl up with a laptop and coffee. Their extensive menu is truly impressive if not a bit exhaustive with everything from wood fired pizza, sleek salads to cutting edge meaty mains and exotic specials. Don’t miss their breakfast menu 08:30 - 12:00 (Mon-Fri) and 09:00 - 13:00 (Sat-Sun) or lunch specials served 12:00 - 16:00 (Mon-Fri). Head downstairs to the basement for a private party or leave your kids in their huge kid’s corner (with an animator at the weekends from 12:00!). Boska means divine and it’s not just a line.QI‑4, ul. Stefana Okrzei 23, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 404 54 89, www. boskapraga.pl. Open 08:30-22:00; Fri 08:30-23:00; Sat 09:00-23:00; Sun 09:00-21:00. €€. TU6 DER ELEFANT Opened back in 1990, this long-running establishment is spread over various rooms and floors, with a choice of dining experiences. From the street you’ll find their dinerstyle seafood bar with plenty of fresh fish; alternatively, enter through the courtyard to find a mock shop inside which you’ll see the chefs racing to fill the rapid flow of orders. The concise but diverse single-card menu offers a choice of hot and cold starters (including the recommended Alaskan Crab’s legs), burgers and steaks, the aforementioned fresh fish and some salad and pasta options. They also have a lunch offer, Mon-Fri: a soup, main and dessert for 26zł (24zł without the soup). An attractive layout and prices lower than you would expect considering the location make Der Elefant insanely popular, not least with families thanks to the small but fun children’s play area upstairs.QE‑5, Pl. Bankowy 1, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 890 00 10, www.derelefant.pl. Open 11:0024:00; Mon 12:00-24:00. €€€. TUE FIRST FLOOR RESTAURANT Those staying at Varsovia Apartamenty Kasprzaka will be delighted to know that not only is there a restaurant available (non-guests also welcome), but that it packs a punch on the culinary scene of Warsaw. The interior is a modern take on Art Deco - simple but elegant with an open kitchen, a perfect setting to enjoy the vibes and watch as your favourite dishes are created, and where you can ask all the questions you want. First Floor Restraurant is a perfect place for families, business people and all round foodie fans!Qul. Kasprzaka 31, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 255 99 50, www.firstfloorrest.pl. Open 07:00-22:00. €€€. TU6 89
Restaurants GRAND KREDENS Few places in Warsaw match this for a fine, dare we say, splendid dining experience. The revamped decor is delightfully eclectic and the menu - with a terrific variety of Polish cuisine to savour - is well up to the challenge of its rivals which includes even getting on board with the kiddy playground corner. It is not by any means the cheapest place in town, but we would be fairly certain that however big the bill, you will leave feeling well satisfied. Trust us. This has been around Warsaw longer than we have - since 1997, to be exact, which is a testament to how great it is. It’s a treat, so don’t miss out.QD‑9, Al. Jerozolimskie 111, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 629 80 08, www.kredens.com.pl. Open 10:00-24:00; Sat, Sun 12:00-24:00. €€€. TUE6 INFORMAL KITCHEN The popularity of this restaurant only proves that they’re getting everything right: the spacious and bright bistro atmosphere, the well attired and highly competent staff (all of whom speak English), the brilliant chefs in the kitchen, and the heavy emphasis on creating “comfort food” inspired by travel experiences, family get-togethers, and other social eating events - Nigel Slater would be doing somersaults across the bleached wooden floor! All ingredients are sourced from Polish and European producers with excellent eco credentials and the menu changes regularly, depending on the availability of seasonal products.QF‑6, Pl. Małachowskiego 2 (entrance from ul. Traugutta), MŚwiętokrzyska, tel. (+48) 531 91 85 34, www.informalkitchen.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-21:00. €€€. TU6 MEZA RESTAURANT If you’re staying in the Hilton there really isn’t much reason to go beyond the foyer. This place has it all, and that includes the superb Meza Restaurant decorated with what can only be described as a psychedelic magic carpet. It’s a large area, but the designers have been clever enough to incorporate lots of wood pillars to break up this space, while a glass wall allows diners the opportunity to watch all the comings and goings in the lobby; that means anything from the arrival of daytime TV crews, to stubble clad stags plodding around in dressing gowns. That’s eye catching enough, but the real star of the show is Michał Kotowski. He’s the head chef, and his menu is a fantastic mix of new Polish and European cooking. Breakfast available Mon-Fri 06:30-10:30, Sat-Sun 06:30-11:00 and supper Mon-Sat 18:00-23:00.QC‑7, ul. Grzybowska 63 (Hilton Warsaw Hotel), MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 356 55 76, www.hiltonwarsaw.pl. Open 06:30-23:00; closed Sun. €€€. TU MOOD RESTAURANT Found inside an old Varsovian building along the classy ul. Nowy Świat, this restaurant setting really sets the mood for a pleasant culinary experience - European cuisine served with artistic flare, and in a style that raised the eyebrows of Gault & Millau, no less. The concept here is to serve high quality meals, the slow food philosphy reigning supreme, all topped up with a top selection of wines, and other alcohols. A pleasant 90
Restaurants experience all round, and one you’ll no doubt enjoy.QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 66, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 418 57 55, www.mood-restaurant.com. Open 07:00-22:00; Sat 08:00-22:00; Sun 08:00-20:00. €€€. T MOONSFERA Located on the rooftop of the Museum of Sports and Tourism, this restaurant has one of the best views of a panoramic Warsaw. With the view being so good, the food needs to match the already high expectation, oui? And it is. The head chef, and owner, is Jarosław Uściński, the President of the Polish Association of chefs and bakers. So it’s safe to say he takes cuisine fairly seriously. The menu is filled with a mix of Polish/International dishes made with the chef’s own personal touch, both modern and elegant, and it shows as soon as you stare wide eyed at your plate as it’s placed in front of you. A great place to eat and relax, but also somewhere you can also take part in cooking classes. We like that, making the experience inclusive. Here, here.Qul. Wybrzeże Gdyńskie 4, MPlac Wilsona, tel. +48 22 560 37 33, www.moonsfera.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€€. NADWIŚLAŃSKI ŚWIT Named after a track by the enigmatic and long departed rock singer Czesław Niemen, the name Nadwiślański Świt (Daybreak over the Vistula) also references the proximity of this trendy bistro bar to the mighty river itself. Located in the former lobby bar area of a late 1960’s Warsaw hotel, original design elements of the era blend in nicely with the overall contemporary look of the interior. You’ll find an extensive menu of modern European dishes, a range of classic burgers, seafood, pizza and pasta options. “% Buffs” will be well impressed with the range of tap and bottled regional brews and be sure to sample the delightful peach & apricot spritz. QI‑6, Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 31/33, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 733 18 58 12. Open 09:0023:00; Sun 09:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-24:00. Lunch is served Mon-Fri 12:00 - 16:00; price 19.90zł (soup + pizza), 24.90 zł (soup + main dish). (25-46zł) €€. TUS6 NA LATO DAY & NIGHT A powiśle area favourite in summer, just because you cannot lounge outside on the patio in winter, it doesn’t mean this place isn’t buzzing. Visit during the day to get some awesome breakfast (Mon-Fri 08:30-12:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-12:30) and the rest of the day, grab some international dishes (heavily leaning towards southern European cuisine), all mixed with an ethos for locally sourced produce, cooked with an artistic touch. The setting, both the location and the interior, work well, as they are pleasant on the eye and the soul. On Fri & Sat, let the night set in as the venue becomes a dancefloor - blink and you’ll miss the transformation. Get well fed, dance your socks off, or sit at the bar continuing to drink wonderful cocktails. If that’s not enough, check out Jackpot Warsaw 777 on the premises, a heady mix of palm trees and Tennessee bar feel very romantic, indeed. Not a bad set of choices, huh? QI‑9/10, ul. Rozbrat 44A, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 696 87 84 49, www. na-lato.com. Open 08:30-00:00; Fri 08:30-05:00; Sat 10:0005:00; Sun 10:00-00:00. €€. T6 91
Restaurants PAM PAM RESTAURANT Hands down one of the best places we’ve been to recently. Found on the stylish ul. Emilii Plater (modern, vibrant, with a touch of pre-war class), PAM PAM had us intrigued as we walked in - a mix of classic style with post-industrial bare brick, and the back room, more private, cosy even. The entire place has a classiness to it, which is matched by the premium menu. Relax, and let the very professional waiting staff do their business - ever so helpful. Special mention must also go to head chef Paweł Rumowski whose own artistic flare is visible in all the creative dishes, filling but light, that will glide their way to your table. Stylish food, in both looks and taste, a classy setting, for business people having lunch meetings, to the more serious dinner dates for couples. A wonderful place. QF‑9, ul. Emilii Plater 9/11, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 629 29 29, www.pampam.com.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Sat 15:00-22:00; closed Sun. €€€. B ROZBRAT 20 For all intents and purposes, faultless. A fine dining experience of the old school, though the food has a contemporary twist and packs a seriously sophisticated punch. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly. As for the wine list, it needs no introduction: it is one of the best in all Poland, and knowledgeable staff will help you choose the best compliment to your meal. An indulgence, go for it. It’s best you know that there is a kitchen break 16:00-17:30 during which only drinks are served.QI‑9, ul. Rozbrat 20, tel. (+48) 22 416 62 66, www.rozbrat20.com.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; closed Sun. €€€€. 6 SEN NEW Open little over a year, and found right next to the Vistulan Boulevards, the panoramic river views from SEN are impressive in their own right, whether it’s summer or winter. But swing your head back round to the dreamy modern interior - the name SEN means ‘dream’ in Polish, and with floating candles set above the well stocked bar, you know the menu is likely to impress. It does. Open only on Fri & Sat, this restaurant functions 19:00-23:00 (reservations necessary, kitchen open until 01:00), with an international menu consisting of tempura prawns, tapas, steak tartare, to name a few things, all complimented with awesome cocktails - as appetising as the vinyls the menus are found on. It’s beyond 23:00 that the club vibe takes over, gifting you one of Warsaw’s best club experiences. Dress to impress, for there is a selection on the door. Great venue.QUl. Wioślarska 6, tel. (+48) 883 02 50 25, www.senwarsaw.pl/. Open Fri & Sat 19:00-05:00 only. €€€. PXBEL THE COOL CAT This has become one of our favourite spots in the last few years. With a hip and laid back atmosphere you might be fooled into thinking it’s just another hipster bar/cafe. A quick glance at the action packed menu though will take your taste buds on a tour through some truly original Asian influenced breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Start with Israeli shakshuka then graduate to a Korean pork bun served with bacon, chicken, tofu and crab. Take note: their 92
speciality is ramen! Their exceptional coffee and alcohol selection mean that you can quite easily find an excuse to hang out here eating and drinking all day and night (guilty as charged). Don’t miss their three course lunch specials for 26zł and their weekend brunches (Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican), served on boards, all day for 35zł are nothing short of epic. This Powiśle district venue near the river is worth checking out, but worry not if you want to stick near to the centre as they have a 2nd location on ul. Marszałkowska 8.QI‑7, ul. Solec 38, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 574 81 18 16. Open 08:30-22:00; Fri 08:30-23:00; Sat 09:00-23:00; Sun 09:00-22:00. €€. T6 THE ALCHEMIST GASTROPUB We already love The Alchemist for bringing the future of drinking not only to Warsaw but to the world, with their patented ‘beer wall’ (8 taps). As impressive as the drinks selection and beer card method of purchase is to us, their international food selection is also an eye catcher. The menu is full of old gastropub classics and modern delights, from good ole [posh] fish & chips, American burgers, sea food, pizzas, salads, right up to big juicy steaks. The presentation of the food is as sleek and pleasing as the interior design, which is hard not to admire. Fun fact: the Warsaw Metropolitan where The Alchemist is housed was designed by British architect Norman Foster. A touch of modernity added to the Old Town area. We can stay here for hours just chilling with our beer cards and sharing platters. Top venue. QF‑5, Plac Piłsudskiego 3, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 628 00 23, www.thealchemist.pl. Open 12:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-01:00; Sun 12:00-21:00. €€. B6 WINESTONE The Mercure Hotel’s concept restaurant has proven itself a popular venue for the local business set. The name ‘Winestone’ comes from the menu’s selection of ‘Les Planches’ - dishes served on simple stone tablets, and the incredible range of fine wines in stock here. The menu also covers a range of seasonally changing international and French style dishes, as well as some modern interpretations of Polish classics. A lunch menu is available weekdays 12:00-15:00. Presentation is slick and the staff are wonderfully polite and professional. The relaxing and modern interior is perfectly unstuffy and features Warsaw’s must-have restaurant design element - the open kitchen. There is also a shop for taking home olives, wine and bread of your own following your meal. You can’t go wrong with this city centre restaurant. Also located on ul. Krucza 28 in the Mercure Warszawa Grand and ul. Zagórna 1A.QE‑8, ul. Złota 48/54, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 697 37 55, www.mercure.com. Open 08:30-24:00; Sat, Sun 10:0024:00. €€€. TU6
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Restaurants ZONI RESTAURANT We could just sit and stare at the interior all day. Once a key building in the former vodka distillery here, the revitilsation of Praga Koneser Center and its Polish Vodka Museum (p.52) included ZONI Restaurant as the place to eat in the complex. It’s all post-industrial inside and we love every detail; the flooring made from old vodka barrels, and the former kilns, incorporated into the restaurant’s design. Locals love it, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed internationally too, for ZONI finds itself as one of seven shortlisted restaurants for The World Interiors News Awards 2019. Fun fact: the restaurant was designed by Nizio Design International, the same people behind the Warsaw Uprising Museum and POLIN. Impressive. Architectural gossip aside, the accolades don’t end there, for head chef Michał Gniadek, was crowned ‘young talent’ of the year 2018 by Gault & Millau. His International al a carte menu focuses on seasonal ingredients, adding a modern flare to Polish dishes. All this amazing food is coupled with a fine selection of alcohols, from fine wines, cocktails, and a vast collection of vodkas. Stunning interior, delightful food. What an experience.QK‑2/3, Plac Konesera 1, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 355 30 01, www.zoni.today. Open 12:00-23:45; Sun 12:00-20:00. €€€. U6
ITALIAN CIAO A TUTTI DUE There are numerous reasons to venture into the southern Mokotów district of Warsaw, not least because it’s one of the oldest parts of the city, but a charming place to walk around, taking in the sights of former palaces and villas. While you’re here, you’re going to want to fuel up on some good food. Found right in the heart of Old Mokotów, Ciao a Tutti DUE is a popular venue with both locals and visitors. They serve the usual flare of antipasti, salads, but their main selling point are the pizzas (seasonal ones too!), with all their ingredients imported directly from Italy. The queues here can be quite big at weekends, so best make a reservation before you go. Live Italian music available every other Wednesday. They have a 2nd location near Metro Politechnika at al. Niepodległośći 217.QE‑15, ul. Jarosława Dąbrowskiego 27, MRacławicka, tel. (+48) 730 32 44 44, www.ciaoatutti. pl. Open 12:00-22:00. €€. TE6 CIAO NAPOLI Located a short distance away from the Old Town Square (p.32), Ciao Napoli’s aim is to bring a piece of little Naples to the middle of Warsaw. Having originally opened on Wąski Dunaj 4/6/8 (F-4), it succeeded. With word spreading it has one of the best pizzas in the city, we had to see for ourselves, and we were not disappointed. Think of our delight when they opened a 2nd location on ul. Długa with more seating available, a bigger kitchen, and an expanded menu, all with the friendly atmosphere and cosiness of the first restaurant. Offering a selection of antipasti, salads, pastas, piadina, seafoods, and desserts, it is the choice of Neapolitan pizzas with their fantastically made thin and crispy dough which really stick out. A lunch option Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00 is availble for 23zł 94
Restaurants consisting of soup, pizza and a water! As if things couldn’t get any better, they have Mon-Fri happy hours from 16:00-19:00 with 2-for-1 cocktails. You leave satisfied, especially when you realise, despite being in a tourist hotspot, just how reasonably priced the whole experience was.QF‑4, ul. Długa 6, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 666 32 27 33, www.ciaonapoli. pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-23:00. €€. T6 FOCACCIA RISTORANTE The restaurant is housed in the 16th century Hotel Bellotto, just a sabre’s swipe from the Old Town tourist checkpoint of Zygmunt’s column (they offer clients coveted free parking as well). The interior is a modern, airy and uncluttered space with admirable attention to detail. In keeping with the zeitgeist, the traditionally inspired Italian menu is booted well into the 21st century with the chef’s modernist tweaking, including breakfast 07:00 - 10:30 (there is then a break 10:3012:00). Offsite catering is also provided engagements. They recently opened a patisserie (open daily 09:00 - 20:00) called ‘Miodowa Cafe’ (Honey Cafe) which features a vast dessert menu all based on honey. A revamped garden is also on offer for guests to enjoy.QF‑5, ul. Senatorska 13/15, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 829 69 69, www.focaccia.pl. Open 07:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 07:00-23:00. €€€. T
LITTLE SICILY IN THE HEART OF WARSAW “TRATTORIA DA ANTONIO ITALIAN FLAVOURS AND SICILIAN TEMPERAMENT”
PIAZZA RISTORANTE We’ve been humbled by the proliferation of top quality eateries opening in shopping centres recently. You can be forgiven for thinking that a restaurant in such a place doesn’t warrant consideration, but we can confidently say this is a misconception. Piazza Ristorante is located right at the entrance to the classy Plac Unii shopping centre, with a great view out onto the square with the same name. The interior is International/Italian in style, with a modern touch, but we really do recommend trying to have a view outside and watch the world go by in the charming square. We put Piazza to the test with a starter, main and dessert, and each course just got better as they appeared in front of us. Pizza fans (myself included) will be pleased with the thin and crispy dough. Sea food, meat and salad lovers will likewise be pleased. Friendly staff, great location and easy to get to on trams 4, 35 or bus 501, from the centre. Recommended.QG‑12, ul. Puławska 2, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 204 04 83, www.piazzaristorante.pl. Open 10:0021:00; Sun 10:00-18:00. €€€. T SEXY DUCK Arriving pretty early in the day at 12.30, imagine our surprise to find the place a packed, feeding frenzy of customers with the fantastic smell of Italian cooking and fresh herbs in the air plus the incessant natter of happy eaters. We had to check our watches to make sure it wasn’t late evening! The two level interior ticks all the boxes in terms of nicely done rustic/ semi-industrial design, that, while certainly nice, is really starting to feel a bit ‘old hat’ around town. As well as a list of pizza & pasta dishes, all beautifully presented in a truly rustic manner. Duck actually does make quite a few appearances on the menu so we’ll forgive the slightly daffy name!QG‑10, Plac Konstytucji 3, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 400 37 37. Open 09:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-24:00. €€. T6
Żurawia 18 street
Phone: +48 22 625 54 17
Włodarzewska 79 street Phone: +48 725 755 755
Aleje Jerozolimskie 119 Phone: +48 22 629 39 69
www.trattoriadaantonio.pl restauracjatrattoriadaantonio trattoriadaantonio
Restaurants SYRENI ŚPIEW The old Warsaw favourite has returned to the delight of locals, although time, with a much bigger bag or tricks than it had before. Now located in the Praga Koneser Center (p.52), much like its previous modus operandi, Syreni Śpiew is a fantastic bar, lounge and club to enjoy the weekdays and weekends, however, the heart of the new venue is the brick wood fired oven which churns out some pretty awesome Neapolitan pizzas! And there in lies the extra trick: food. Although focused on pizza, the menu likewise includes a flare of Medittarrannean staples from antipasti, salads and more. Eat, drink, have fun, and you’ll definitely need no sleep here before you repeat it all again.QK‑2, Plac Konesera 4, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 602 77 34 49, www. facebook.com/syrenispiew. Open 12:00-22:00; Wed, Thu 12:00-01:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-05:00. €€. PXUBE6 TRATTORIA DA ANTONIO ŻURAWIA Sicilian born chef Antonio Centurrino has been a fixture in Warsaw’s Italian culinary scene for as long as we can remember and his fans will be delighted with his latest venture on ul. Żurawia. There are four spacious and elegant rooms that have recently been given the royal treatment. Being Italian, family plays an important role in the proceedings, so one of the rooms is kitted out as a play room for kids. Their comprehensive menu features some house specials alongside tried and true classics. New locations on Al. Jerozolimskie 119 and ul. Włodarzewska 79.QG‑8, ul. Żurawia 18, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 625 54 17, www.trattoriadaantonio.pl. Open 11:00-23:00; Sat, Sun 12:00-23:00. €€€. T6 TUTTI COLORI This quaint post-industrial pizza venue borders fits in with the surrounding area filled with old warehouses on ul. Burakowska, just a stone’s throw away from Westfield Arkadia shopping centre. We’re here for the pizza. Tutti Colori’s tagline is ‘the best pizza begins with the dough’ - YES! Pizza lovers will love to know the dough is elegantly thin! There are over 30 pizzas to choose, from rossa to bianca (our favourite being the Velutto with mascarpone), but there are also other Italian favourites like antipasti and deserts. All this accompanied with great wine, and even some beers. 2nd location at ul. Postępu 5.QB‑2, ul. Burakowska 15, MDworzec Gdański, tel. (+48) 692 12 60 38. Open 12:00-21:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-22:00; Sun 12:00-20:00; closed Mon. €€. T6
MIDDLE EASTERN TEL AVIV FOOD & WINE Jewish cuisine in Warsaw gets a bad rap – think singing waiters and old town rip-offs. So Tel Aviv is a refreshing change, a cool vegan restaurant which doesn’t play to the standard caricature. On the contrary, find a hip venue that draws everything from intrigued backpackers to remnants of the local Jewish community to lovers of middle eastern cuisine (hello, hummus). Weirdness like Sabbath chillout sessions add to the random, eclectic nature of this place, and it’s rounded out nicely by Israeli drinks and nibbles. This place does well to show that vegan cuisine can 96
Restaurants be both visually stunning and damn tasty, with menus featuring plant based and gluten free menus. It’s become quite the cult venue in Warsaw.QF‑9, ul. Poznańska 11, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 621 11 28, www.telaviv.pl. Open 10:00-00:30; Fri, Sat 10:00-02:00; Sun 10:00-23:00. €€. ATS6
JAPANESE OTO!SUSHI One of our favourite sushi spots in Warsaw which in 2019 celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. Sure, the location helps – who can argue with eating on swanky Nowy Świat (p.38)? – but the helpful staff and great menu options put it squarely on top. They offer traditional sushi, but they’re not afraid to experiment with flavours too (mixing strawberries with salmon maki rolls is surprisingly delightful)! Ducking in for a lunch special will get you heaps of fresh sushi along with a free miso soup, and green tea for a reasonable price. The sushi masters engage with customers (something the regulars love!) as they ply their trade, but the interaction doesn’t end there, for they also arrange sushi training sessions and live cooking shows (check their Facebook page for upcoming events). Catering service and takeaway option with delivery also available. You can’t go wrong with this place.QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 46, MNowy ŚwiatUniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 828 00 88, www.oto-sushi.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-24:00. €€. UBSV UKI UKI Who would have thought it? A Japanese place in Warsaw and it’s not a sushi bar! Their speciality is freshly made udon or ramen noodles served in pork or fish broth with a variety of accompaniments; tempura shrimp, stewed pork, etc. Watch head chef Taira Matsuki and his skilled team preparing the dishes in the open kitchen and chat with the enthusiastic staff about the ritual of eating your noodles. Prepare yourself for a strenuous workout while grinding your sesame seeds with a traditional Japanese mortar and pestle.QG‑9, ul. Krucza 23/31, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 428 26 96, www. ukiuki.pl. Open 12:00-21:00; Sun 12:00-20:00. €€. T6 WABU SUSHI & JAPANESE TAPAS Sometimes stiff formality and pretence go hand in hand with fine dining venues, and although the food may be great, overall it all feels, uch...tiring. It’s therefore nice to experience exclusive dining in the Japanese Izakaya style (informal eating) restaurant. Wabu is very much a place for all types of people, from businessmen, families to tourists, so relax and enjoy. The interior is a minimal and elegantly unfussy gem, going for that old Japanese look, blending in nicely with its modern surroundings on Plac Europejski. The menu is varied, inclusive of what you’d expect in sushi restaurants, however, Wabu also provide a kids menu, and a mighty lunch menu (12:00-15:00). The alcohol menu is extensive and bound to please everybody. Wabu is simple and elegant. Recommended.QC‑7, Plac Europejski 2, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 668 92 59 59, www.wabu.pl. Open 12:00-23:00. €€€€. T6
MODERN TAKE ON JAPANESE CUISINE
OPEN EVERY DAY 12:00-23:00 GROUND FLOOR WARSAW SPIRE, PLAC EUROPEJSKI 2 +48 668 925 959 WABU@WABU.PL | WWW.WABU.PL WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/WABUSUSHI
Restaurants POLISH ALEGLORIA Magnificent, enjoyably over-the-top restaurant in the finest part of Warsaw where the strawberry-themed decor appears amazingly at home and where the modern Polish cuisine - often featuring strawberries and goose specialities - will leave you determined to come back for more. It is rare that a restaurant can so seamlessly present the pure pleasure and simplicity of Polish cuisine while at the same time elevating it to world-class gourmet standards. Wow!QH‑9, Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 584 70 80, www.alegloria.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€€€. TU AMBER ROOM Set inside the Sobański Palace what was (and indeed still is) the domain of the Polish Business Round Table Club has now opened its doors to the paying public. From the outside it looks the sort of place you’d see Prince Charles walking around shaking hands, though inside, and in spite of the marble and chandeliers, it’s a well designed area with more than a nod to modernist touches. The seasonal menu includes such must-haves as saddle of venison, Jerusalem artichoke, chestnut, spelt pancake, forest fruits, madeira jus. Of course, such pleasures aren’t cheap, but then neither are they in the astronomic zone you’d be likely to presume. QH‑10, Al. Ujazdowskie 13, tel. (+48) 600 80 09 99, www.amber-room.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:0021:00. €€€€. T BELVEDERE Nestled inside Łazienki Park, Belvedere is a romantic orangery filled with foliage and a smattering of welldressed tables both inside and out. Having undergone a head to toe renovation, the Belvedere is a stunningly dramatic venue with peacocks wandering the grounds and multiple waiters offering first class service. The food lives up to the atmosphere. Your options include a weekday lunch menu (called the Bellunch menu) consisting of a 2 course set for 71zł or 3 course set for 81zł and a Sunday brunch option 12:00-16:30 for 199zł (kids menu also available) all set to occasional live chillout music. Few places in Warsaw are this classy or this expensive, and dare we say women are right to assume a booking here means something big is in order.QI‑12, ul. Agrykoli 1 (New Orangery in Łazienki Park, entrance from ul. Parkowa), MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 606 10 20 02, www.belvedere.com.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-17:00. €€€€. TE BISTRO BAR WUWU The revamped Praga Koneser Center, the former home of vodka production, now hosts a bunch of new venues, most of which deal with the exciting forward thinking changes in Polish cuisine and updated approaches to tasting vodka. Consider a visit to WuWu Bistro both an intriguing lesson, but also a slick experience, where you’ll be shown that Polish vodka is not only to be swigged in large volumes at Polish weddings but can be mixed into a whole array 98
of exciting cocktails and drinks, can be enjoyed alone, or accompanied by modern takes on Polish cuisines. All ingredients are regionally sourced and the end results stir up emotions and memories of youthful encounters with smells and tastes of traditional Polish food, which is apparent on the delighted expressions on the local patrons’ faces.QK‑2/3, Plac Konesera 1, MDworzec Wileński, www.wuwu.bar. Open 12:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-03:00. €€. U6 BRASSERIE WARSZAWSKA From the fine folks behind the peerless Butchery & Wine comes Brasserie Warszawska - a culinary capstone that will surely court the attention of the folks at Michelin. Praise is well-deserved here with exquisitely prepared and presented cuisine matched by expert service in an interior that feels both modern and classic. In fact, it’s an accessible type of elegant that means no ties are necessary, so come as you are to sample this mix of Polish and international cuisine. A fine range of cocktails is available to wash down with your food. The à la carte menu is on offer all day, lunch menu 12:00-16:00 Mon-Fri and dinner/supper menu 12:0022:00 Mon-Sat.QI‑9, ul. Górnośląska 24, tel. (+48) 22 628 94 23, www.brasseriewarszawska.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; closed Sun. €€€€. TU CZERWONY WIEPRZ Workers of the world unite around a large choice of wellpresented Socialist Bloc cuisine. Deriving its name from a former meeting place for members of the early communist movement, legend has it that even Lenin paid this place a visit in 1909. The interior is based on the style favoured by the 1950’s -1960’s party elite, and the walls are bedecked with memorabilia of the era. Somehow the owners have managed to carefully side swerve tackiness and the whole experience has a lovely, faded and nostalgic glam to it. Immensely popular with locals and tourists alike (including Bruce Willis, Lennox Lewis and the Real Madrid football squad), 2012 saw ‘The Hog’ voted one of the 25 best and most interesting restaurants in the world by the Spanish Trade Leaders’ Club.QC‑7, ul. Żelazna 68, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 850 31 44, www.czerwonywieprz.pl. Open 12:00-23:00. €€€. TU DAWNE SMAKI It’s great to find a traditional Polish restaurant amongst the endless string of international eateries on Nowy Świat (p.38). Dawne Smaki thrives on old style Polish cooking, so get ready to sample a comprehensive range of homegrown specialities. The whole spectrum is pretty much covered, from the basics like herrings in oil, pig’s trotters in aspic, pierogi, right up to some high class mains like loin of venison and hand chopped steak tartare. Of note is their cart containing slow food. Find Kasztelan and Grimbergen beers on tap, plus live music Thu-Sun 19:00-22:00. Private parties can rent a VIP space too.QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 49, MŚwiętokrzyska, tel. (+48) 22 465 83 20, www. dawnesmaki.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-01:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€€. TUE6
Restaurants DOM POLSKI Much ink has been spilt over the virtues of Dom Polski, some of it in these pages, but there is no getting away from the fact that this is a great restaurant. And we’re quite right to say this, as it’s been in business for over 20 years (no mean feat in Poland!). Found in a discreet villa on Warsaw’s millionaires’ row in the fancy Saska Kępa area (p.53), you can expect Rolls Royce service from the minute you walk in. The food is equally great, chosen from a menu which is mercifully short, with just a couple of starters and several main courses to choose from; how it should be, in other words. We went for the żurek followed by the potato pancakes with smoked salmon and red caviar and, really, we couldn’t fault a thing. To experience the service and food here, is to understand why this simple but effective model has worked for so long. They have a 2nd location on ul. Belwederska 18A.QL‑7, ul. Francuska 11, tel. (+48) 22 616 24 32, www.restauracjadompolski.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€€. ELIXIR BY DOM WÓDKI When we first heard of Elixir we instinctively thought, surely someone has already thought of this? Unbelievably, nobody had - so, top marks to the masterminds behind this classy establishment. At their Vodka Atelier you can try over 600 vodkas from around Poland and the globe; the range goes from PRL era classics to Polish ‘small batch’ distillers, designer vodkas, flavoured vodkas and culminates in the staggeringly priced “Młody Ziemniak 2017 volare”(25ml for 50zł). The restaurant itself features stunningly presented, contemporary takes on Polish classics with a “food pairing” system which recommends specific vodkas to complement the ingredients and flavours of each dish. An Absolut (pardon the pun!) top-spot and a truly unique venue on Warsaw’s culinary map.QF‑5, ul. Wierzbowa 9/11, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 828 22 11, www. domwodki.pl. Open 12:00-23:00. €€€. T FOLK GOSPODA Far from promising on the outside, Folk Gospoda unravels on entry as a glorious slice of traditional Poland. It’s inside a rugged interior of stout furnishings and ceramic pots you’ll find boys and girls in peasant attire rushing around carrying plates of fortifying Polish food (think heaps of duck). Indeed, the Polish highlands meet the city inside Gospoda, and that’s never more so than when the band strikes up to hoot and holler over the sound of busy diners. On weekends the restaurant thoughtfully employs a kids corner with child minders from 13:00 - 18:00 so you can properly focus on your food. They also offer 15% off all take away orders.QD‑7, ul. Waliców 13, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 890 16 05, www.folkgospoda.pl. Open 12:0023:00. €€€. TU GOŚCINIEC POLSKIE PIEROGI Walking towards the Old Town, you’re going to feel an air of nostalgia come over you. The location is stunning, the buildings have their unique style, and this whole area sums up the traditional romantic image of Poland. To top 100
Restaurants it off, you’re going to want to try some traditional Polish grub, right? Gościniec has just that, right at the entrance to the Old Town, with hearty food from soups, pierogi, potato pancakes and various meat offerings, all at very reasonable prices. You can’t go wrong with pierogi, but we’d personally also recommend the cabbage rolls stuffed with meat (known locally as gołąbki - go-wompki)! The drinks on offer too are quite funky, from cold to warm options, all served up by the friendly staff wearing traditional Polish attire! It may all feel very kitsch inside, but the food is immense. They have other locations further back on ul. Nowy Świat 41, and deeper into the Old Town on Podwale 19 and ul. Piwna 14, should you choose to venture some more before eating.QG‑5, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 29, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 273 69 36, www.gosciniec.waw.pl. Open 11:00-22:30; Fri, Sat 11:00-23:30. €. T6 KUCHNIA WARSZAWSKA Located on the first floor of the Logos Hotel, a cold war period oddity filled with the character of that era, Kuchnia Warszawska is a brilliantly hidden away gem serving classics of Warsaw cuisine. The restaurant interior has been tastefully refitted and the pale colour scheme makes it all wonderfully airy and fresh. Considering the extremely reasonable prices, the elegant, friendly and professional staff, excellent local dishes and attention to detail, these guys are seriously punching above their weight. For an added surprise, ask to see the private hire room - a full on and original, late 1960’s PRL meeting room with amazing views of the Vistula Riverbank. Mixing a piece of history with a gastronomic experience - we couldn’t encourage you more even if we tried. Recommended.QI‑6, Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 31/33, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 730 77 89 22, www.kuchnia-warszawska.pl. Open 06:30-21:00; Mon, Tue 06:30-16:00; Sun 06:30-18:00. €€. TU LAS Walk off the street and into what feels like the side kitchen to a dreamy like secret garden, with its swing, outside seating, leafy surroundings, ahhh, it’s serene... until a train wooshes past on the nearby track and startles you somewhat! Don’t let that put you off though, for inside, the leafy theme continues - the name of the venue is Polish for 'forest', so they're doing just it just like it says on the tin!. Here you’ll find a very stunningly modern and hip take on Polish cuisine using seasonal ingredients, and great cocktails to match (returning in the evening is a must when you can chill out with friends). The portions are just right, with very ingenious presentations of what may otherwise have been considered bland looking, but always tasty, Polish staple foods. No matter what the season, this is definitely a great place to eat, and relax with a drink. If you’re near the river, it’s so close that a quick visit wouldn’t go amiss.QI‑7, ul. Solec 44, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 514 76 07 67. Open 12:00-24:00; Mon 16:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-02:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€. T6 101
Restaurants MOKOTOWSKA 69 Every Varsovian is familiar with the funny little round, folly of a building situated at the Plac Trzech Krzyży end of ul. Mokotowska. Part space station, part rustic farm building it was home to the German restaurant, Adler, for as long as anyone can remember. Times change though and under the new ownership of Merliniego 5’s steak kings, Andrzej Rudnicki-Sipayłło and Bartek Czerwiński, it has reopened as an elegant little restaurant serving up an inspired menu of traditionally influenced Polish cuisine. The seasonal menu does not shy away from some more unusual Polish offerings like Mazurian catfish sauteed with horseradish and paradise apples, or Mazurian crayfish. The less adventurous are also well catered for and, with Andrzej and Bartek at the controls, their world class steaks (Black Angus and Tajima Beef, among others) and the brilliantly selected wine list are never far from your thoughts.QH‑9, ul. Mokotowska 69, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 628 73 84, www.mokotowska69.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€€€€. U6 PRODIŻ WARSZAWSKI This restaurant takes its name from a cult piece of PRL era kitchen equipment, the Prodiż - a plug in, one pot pressure cooker/broiler that any self respecting family simply had to have. In the restaurant, one has been converted into a
MILK BARS Expect a rare insight into Eastern-Bloc Poland in Milk Bars (Bar Mleczny). Subsidised by the state, this was food for the masses back in the day. With the fall of Communism many Milk Bars ceased to exist although a few survived and to gain cult status. They make it possible to eat lots in return for a handful of coins. Pay at the counter then watch in awe as matronly ladies serve up everything from budget excellence to bowls of slime. BAR MLECZNY FAMILIJNY Stern...stern, but fair, is the best way to accept the reception you can expect from the staff in Bar Mleczny Familijny. The food hits the spot in your stomach quite well. Sparse interiors abound, do not expect to be swept off your feet.QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 39, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 826 45 79. Open 07:00-20:00; Sat, Sun 09:00-17:00. €. U MLECZARNIA JEROZOLIMSKA Also at ul. Świętokrzyska 20, ul. Emilii Plater 47, ul. Bagatela 15, ul. Sienna 83, and ul. Nowowiejska 6, ul. Górczewska 124, CH Reduta, Al. Jerozolimskie 148, Galeria Bemowo, Powstańców Śląskich 126, CH Promenada, ul. Ostrobramska 75C and ul. Moliera 8.QG‑8, Al. Jerozolimskie 32, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 602 38 17 34. Open 08:00-20:00; Sat, Sun 09:00-19:00. €. 102
lamp and hangs on the brick lined walls. Other vintage items like enamelware mugs and demijohns add to the decor and rather than looking tacky, look more like the work of an obsessive and focussed collector. The Polish menu doesn’t mess about and doesn’t attempt to ‘fix what ain’t broken’, so expect expertly prepared and well presented Polish classics, as well as some hardcore traditional dishes like veal shank with mushrooms over vegetable purée or duck breast over cherry sauce with baked potatoes and salad with baked beetroot. No lounge/chill-out music here and they’re open until the last customer (seriously!) so be ready to open your minds to Polish hits of the 1950s-60s!QF‑9, ul. Poznańska 16, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 127 71 71, www. prodizwarszawski.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00-24:00. €€€. 6 RESTAURACJA RÓŻANA A two-floor pre-war villa full of chichi touches, flowers and crockery. Very pretty, but you’ll soon learn they attract return customers on account of the cooking, not the interiors. The setting might look high-end but the prices are certainly not, and you’ll find Różana recognised across the city as one of the best dinner deals around. The catfish fillet with white onion sauce, green pepper sauce with blanched spinach, garlic and black lentils is divine. Also try the roasted duck, with apple sauce, cranberries, potatoe purée and fried apple. Plenty claim to be open till the last customer leaves, but only these guys are the real deal – if there’s people dining then the kitchen will stay open, and that doesn’t matter if it’s midnight or daybreak. Don’t be shy to stay and eat, the staff are happy to make sure you are 100% satisfied with your visit. Highly recommended.QH‑13, ul. Chocimska 7, MPole Mokotowskie, tel. (+48) 22 848 12 25, www.restauracjarozana.com.pl. Open 12:00-24:00. €€€. TE RESTAURACJA WIDOKÓWKA NEW One of the newest Polish restaurants to open in Warsaw right in the Old Town (p.32)- what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in taste and atmosphere. Widokówka, meaning postcard, feels just like that with a very snug and homey interior, it’s almost picture perfect. The design is warming enough, but the food just takes the coziness up a notch. A modern take on traditional Polish cuisine, we were quite surprised with the quality, with each spoonful and forkful from the seasonal menu eliciting a memory of Polish grandma’s cooking despite the modern aesthetic. A lunch menu is available Mon-Fri 12:00-16:00 with soup, a main and water with lemon costing only 23zł. There’s some great food to be had here, and despite its location, the prices certainly won’t dent your bank account. Try the board of regional hams and the homemade liquors - delightful.QF‑4, ul. Piwna 40/42, MRatuszArsenał, tel. (+48) 882 92 29 33, www.facebook.com/ widokowkarestauracja. Open 12:00-22:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-23:00. €€. T6
U FUKIERA The most famous and oldest restaurant in town, and not by just a few years, we’re talking about a tradition going way back to the 16th century! Taken under the wing of Magda Gessler, of Poland’s MasterChef fame, this classy place has a guestbook that speaks for itself; Naomi Campbell, Henry Kissinger and Sarah Ferguson are a few of the names who’ve taken a seat here. And no wonder. The magical interior is a work of art, crowded with paintings and antiques, all blending with the tastes and scents of your food to create a fantastic ambience - it’s hard not to feel a part of history when dining here. The food is the perfect indulgence with perfectly presented dishes. This is a truly fine dining experience right in the heart of Warsaw’s Old Town. Enjoy the great food and soak up the atmosphere (order up until 23:00). Check out their website for a 360 degree multimedia tour of the venue before you go - quite fun!QF‑4, Rynek Starego Miasta 27, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 600 99 99 33, www.ufukiera.pl. Open 12:00-24:00. €€€€. T STARY DOM Not by any stretch of the imagination centrally located, but well worth the trip south for a rollicking, rustic, bigportioned, slap-happy Polish experience. Usually crowded with happy diners you will see why quickly: they get a lot right where others too often fail. Service, for example, is good, prices fair (it’s not central Warsaw, so they sensibly
do not charge central Warsaw prices) and the food is well above average, occasionally inspired. For families, childcare is provided at weekends 12:00-17:00 - nobody leaves unhappy. On a point of trivia it is part-owned by the man who played Pope John Paul II in the incredibly successful Polish cinematic version of his life.QH‑16, ul. Puławska 104/106, tel. (+48) 22 646 42 08, www. restauracjastarydom.pl. Open 12:00-24:00. €€€. T WARSZAWA WSCHODNIA Not content with running a rather large number of restaurants in the city centre, the Gessler clan set their sights on the never-quite-rejuvenated area of postindustrial Praga with this popular venture in the trendy Soho Factory complex. One of the two main brick walled rooms is vast, the smaller room has a central kitchen area which diners sit around and watch the frantic goings-on of the chefs at work (there is also a third room available plus a VIP room by reservation only). Ultimately, this ‘island’ eating concept is rather irritating, noisy and a tad ‘aromatic’ in our opinion. Mind you, none of that stops the young, rich and beautiful from piling in here. The kitchen, under the command of Robert Kondziela, presents a modern take on Polish classics and contemporary French cuisine, and serves it ‘round the clock.QM‑4, ul. Mińska 25 (Praga Południe), MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 22 870 29 18, www.mateuszgessler.com.pl Open 24hrs. €€€. TUE6 103
Restaurants ZAPIECEK Packed at all hours, this pierogi kitchen assumes the ‘Grandmother’s country cottage’ look, with pots and pans hanging from every shelf, and lots of hard timber touches. Much talked about, their deliciously light dough pockets come with all the fillings you can imagine. If you don’t fancy a sit down then check their street-level takeaway window for lunch-on-the-run. Also at Al. Jerozolimskie 28 (G-8), ul. Freta 18 (F-3), ul. Wańkowicza 1 (Kabaty), ul. Freta 1 (F-3), ul. Świętojańska 13 (F-4), and ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 55 (G-5).QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 64, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 692 41 35, www.zapiecek.eu. Open 11:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 11:0023:30. €€. T
Silk&Spicy is a beautiful and delicious destination that connects the two exotic world cuisines of Thailand and Japan. The philosophy of Silk&Spicy: food determines your consciousness, pleasure and harmony.
ŻEBRA I KOŚCI It’s great to see the buildings around ul. Poznańska finally gleaming following renovations, a touch of class and history restored. Enter Żebra i Kości (Ribs and Bones) to be further impressed by the historical architectural details inside (original fountain from the turn of the 20th century). Further inside, the interior becomes classy and modern. But enough about the premises, we’re here for meat! We were eating with our eyes when looking at the impressive menu, and the fantastic smells from the kitchen clouded our concentration, so we ended up with beef sirloin tartare, veal thymus with crunchy porcini mushrooms, żurek with porcini mushrooms, and beef ribs with demi-glace sauce - the ribs just slid off the bones. So soft, so tender. The cocktail list accompanying the menu is definitely worth a look in! Recommended.QF‑8, ul. Poznańska 38, MCentrum, tel. +48 22 536 33 27, www.zebraikosci.pl. Open 14:00-22:00; Fri 14:00-23:00; Sat 12:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00. €€€. 6 ZIELNIK CAFE From the outside it may look like you are about to enter a florist. A gorgeous interior split into four dining rooms come bursting with plants, greenery, and froufrou Laura Ashley touches. The menu is on a par with some of the best restaurants in town, with dishes like roasted duck to pick from. Child friendly venue with a playground in the park across the road.QG‑15, ul. Odyńca 15, MRacławicka, tel. (+48) 22 844 35 00, www.restauracjazielnik.pl. Open 11:00-22:00. €€€. T
SPANISH Żurawia 16 street
Phone: +48 22 629 70 12
Francuska 49 street
Phone: +48 660 447 941 www.silkandspicy.pl
TAPAS GASTROBAR There can be no better recommendation for this smart, yet simply designed tapas bar than the fact that they have been known to reduce some of their Spanish customers to tears as their minds hurtle back to the real tastes of home. The bar is the brainchild of the team behind the superb Casa Pablo, so you know to expect great things. The authentic and traditional range of around 30 tapas dishes are representative of the many regions of Spain and the kitchen is run by a chef from Saragossa whose passion for the art could
Restaurants well be unsurpassed in the city. Organising a private event (bdays, business meeting, anniversaries etc.)? You can rent the whole place out if need be. Quite brilliant!QC‑7, ul. Grzybowska 63 (entrance from ul. Wronia), MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 251 13 10, www.tapasgastrobar.pl. Open 12:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-24:00. €€. TU6
TEX-MEX EL POPO Singing parrots and serenading Spaniards; El Popo sure know how to add the dynamite to dining. Having suffered something of an identity crisis not long back El Popo have emerged stronger for the experience, serving exciting grub. Always busy, and for good reason too. On Margarita Tuesdays, order one , get a 2nd free. We love a bargain. QF‑5, ul. Senatorska 27, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 827 23 40. Open 12:00-24:00. €€. TE6 RICO Found on an unassuming corner of al. Jana Pawła II, one of Warsaw’s main arteries, near two major museums (Pawiak Prison and POLIN) this Tex-Mex restaurant turned out to be a bit of an eye-opener, not least due to the colourful interior artwork. Entering, you can be forgiven for thinking this is a tiny venue, however, there is a larger, equally colourful space downstairs. The bar is well stocked (and not just with alcohol) and the food hit the tasty spot for us, after a long yearning for good Tex-Mex. Breakfast is served until 13:00 at weekends. The Mon-Fri lunch menu is 12:00-16:00, and is worth noting: burgers, burritos and quesedillas come with a lemonade included in the price, and all this followed by 2-for-1 happy hour on Mon-Thu 16:00-18:00. Not bad, not bad.QC‑4, al. Jana Pawła II 61/204, MRatuszArsenał, tel. (+48) 600 60 07 70, www.ricowarszawa.pl. Open 12:00-22:00; Fri 12:00-23:00; Sat 09:00-23:00; Sun 09:00-21:00. €€. T6
THAI SILK & SPICY No expense has been spared on the lush, perfectly designed interior and it’s nice to see a little ray of sunshine along the less salubrious end of ul. Żurawia. Sushi and Thai battle it out on the menu, and since we would rather go for Sushi in a small clinically white sushi bar, Thai wins the day! A good tester for any Warsaw Thai venture is Tom Kha Gai; weighing in at a rather hefty 25zł for a bowl of soup, we were relieved that this one was pretty tasty despite suffering from the rather common lack of ‘chilli kick’. Unfortunately the average Polish palate still dreads the fiery fruit, and restaurants compensate accordingly. Be aware of the obsession with weekend reservations, even when the place is half empty. Also found in the Praga district on ul. Francuska 49, where this time we went for Sushi and were delighted with the taste!QG‑8, ul. Żurawia 16/20, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 629 70 12, www.silkandspicy. pl. Open 11:00-23:00; Sat, Sun 12:00-23:00. €€. T6 105
Restaurants HALA KOSZYKI
THAI THAI Run by the Godfather of Warsaw’s Thai cuisine, Surachart Urajaroen, this restaurant is 100% the real deal. No messing around with fusion concepts or little Polish additions. The five strong Thai kitchen team stick firmly to tradition and the results are spectacular. Based in the National Theatre building itself, the exterior of hefty, grey stonework gives you no inkling of the opulent interior which awaits you. Black walls decorated with Thai designs and gold curved ceilings create a very calming and relaxing environment. The well laid out seating areas also offer you the option of dining in a more private space, great for business meetings or an intimate dinner date.QF‑5, Pl. Teatralny 3, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 601 81 82 83, www.thaithai.pl. Open 12:00-23:00. €€€. XT
UKRAINIAN Hala Koszyki
From the outset Hala Koszyki has managed to raise the love and hate hackles of the city’s ‘out on the town’ set. How many world cuisine eateries of various sizes can you squeeze into one space? Actually, due to its popularity, fate may decide what you’ll eat as tables are packed most times of the day or night. Amazingly popular amongst the young and the beautiful, Hala K will probably remain THE place to be seen for some
KAMANDA LWOWSKA Here’s a restaurant that gets back to basics, offering up a cavalcade of dishes that have been otherwise deleted from modern Warsaw. Featuring peasant pictures and brick ceilings this isn’t the experiment in vanity you expect of ul. Foksal, choosing instead to hark to the times when Ukrainian Lviv was actually Polish Lwów. The emphasis is firmly on the good old days – before moustached dictators started dictating Poland’s borders – and the design is a pleasing jumble of craftwork and clutter. The menu, too, has been painstakingly perfected, and includes such masterstrokes as tartare and a meringue cake with raspberry mousse.QH‑7, ul. Foksal 10, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 828 10 31, www.kamandalwowska.pl. Open 12:00-24:00. €€. TE
time to come - mainly because it’s easy to be seen due to its open plan layout. Top class little independent bistros sit next to some of Warsaw’s chain restaurants like American Jeff’s (the 3rd in Warsaw) and the biggest restaurateurs including Mateusz Gessler’s gastronomic outpost - Port Royal. The street food bazaar has some brilliant food on offer, with stands offering flavours from all over the world. There are of course some shops here too, however, in reality, they’ll always play second fiddle to the top class dining area. Even if you can’t find a table at any of the cool eateries and bars, we urge you to spend some time taking in this stunning market hall. Don’t forget to look up, down, sideways etc. as beautiful hidden details abound!QF‑10, ul. Koszykowa 63, MPolitechnika, www.koszyki.com. Open 09:00-01:00. 106
LOKAL VEGAN BISTRO This communally run “local” restaurant have achieved the impossible: they serve up hot and hearty plates of VEGAN Polish dishes that are often more delicious than their porkheavy counterparts. What is more, they change their entire menu every two weeks so unless you check out their FB page you won’t know exactly what to find. Alongside vegan ‘cutlets’, cabbage concoctions and beet soups, you’ll also find plenty of more exotic international dishes plus a few surprises. Huge portions, fresh ingredients, cheap prices (Mon-Fri 12-16, a lunch menu consisting of a ‘cutlet’, soup and kompot drink for 25zł), a buzzing friendly atmosphere filled with locals all add up to be one of the best spots for a healthy lunch or dinner in the city centre.QG‑9, ul. Krucza 23/31, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 517 61 51 22. Open 12:0021:00; Sun 12:00-19:00; closed Mon. €. TU6
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Bottoms up with classy drinks at Woda Ognista (p.114)
4 Polish Alcohols You Have to Try â€Śplus several others that also workâ€Ś
Polish Alcohol VODKA TRANSLATOR Poles have been producing and drinking vodka since the early Middle Ages, distilling their skill into some of the best vodka blends available in the world, many of which date back centuries. The most highly regarded clear Polish vodka brands must be Belvedere, Chopin, Luksusowa, Ostoya, Pan Tadeusz and Wyborowa, all of which you’ll find in any alcohol shop.
Poland’s national drink has many exciting variations © Fabrizio Sciami for you to try…
1. ŻOŁĄDKOWA GORZKA
Due to its very name, which translates to something like ‘Bitter Stomach Vodka,’ Żołądkowa Gorzka gives even the most infirm of health an excuse to drink under the guise of its medicinal properties. Though it comes in a variety of flavours, the original orange label (‘tradycyny’) is an aged, amber-coloured liquor flavoured with herbs and spices, Żołądkowa has a unique aroma and sweet spiced taste unlike anything you’re likely to have tried before. Incredibly palatable, we prefer it on ice.
One of Poland’s most popular overseas vodka exports, Żubrówka - also known as Bison Grass Vodka - has been produced in Eastern Poland since the 16th century. Flavoured with a type of grass specific to the primeval Białowieża Forest (a blade of which appears in each bottle), Żubrówka is faint yellow in colour, with a mild fragrance of mown hay and a subtle taste which has been described as ‘floral’ or having traces of almond or vanilla. Delightfully smooth as it is on its own, Żubrówka is most commonly combined with apple juice – a refreshing concoction called a ‘tatanka’ or ‘szarlotka’ depending where you are.
Popular in Poland and Lithuania, Krupnik is a sweet liquor made from honey and a multitude of herbs. Buy a bottle for Mum – drinking booze doesn’t get any easier than this. In winter, hot krupnik is a popular personal defroster with hot water, lemon and mulling spices added.
4. MIÓD PITNY
Mead, or ‘drinkable honey,’ preceded beer’s arrival in Poland and has remained a favourite since the Middle Ages. Since 2008, Polish meads have been protected under EU law as a traditional regional specialty. Distilled from honey, the drink is extremely easy to consume and comes in four strengths with Połtorak being the strongest (15-18%).
While clear vodkas are generally reserved for giving away at weddings and mixing in cocktails, the real fun is in sampling Poland’s flavoured vodkas and nalewki - a more general term applied to a large range of Polish liqueurs and aged tinctures made from vodka or neutral spirits and fruits, herbs and spices. Vodka shot & snack bars like Pijalnia Wódki on ul. Nowy Świat 19 (G-8) are a great place to try them. Here are just some of the notable varieties you can find at the bar or shop. Wiśniówka - cherry vodka Cytrynówka - lemon vodka Pigwówka - quince vodka Orzechówka - walnut vodka Piołunówka - wormwood liquor Wódka figowa - fig vodka Wódka śliwkowa - plum vodka Wódka gruszkowa - pear vodka
HOT BEER? Though the Polish winter is famous for being long and brutal, fear not, the Poles have a method for taking the bite out of this blustery season, and as you can probably guess - it’s alcohol (congratulations, Kowalski). For those in need of a warm-up that wince at the thought of vodka, we have two words for you: hot beer, or ‘grzane piwo’ as it’s called by the locals. Essentially a frothing hot pint spiced with artificial ginger syrup, clove, cinnamon and other mulling spices, for some this Polish specialty is an acquired taste, for others an early Christmas present, and others still an utter profanity. You can try it out at Czerwony Wieprz (p.98), Dawne Smaki (p.98), Folk Gospoda (p.100), Gościniec (p.100), Grand Kredens (p.90) and Zapiecek (p.104). Similarly popular is ‘grzane wino’ - or mulled wine - easily found in all of the aforementioned venues, and all Polish restaurants (p.98). The popular regional brand is Grzaniec Galicyjski and you’ll be delighted to discover you can buy it in almost any alcohol shop and easily prepare it at home. Still not sure? Keep mulling it over...and Na zdrowie!
Following a major revamp, Enklawa (p.116) now has that extra oomph factor!
The explosion of bars and clubs in Warsaw means you are never far from a fresh beer or decent nightspot. On the other hand, it‘s still easy to find yourself stranded outside the bolted doors of a supposedly popular club on a Wednesday night, or ending up in a deserted bar. Local knowledge is a prerequisite to achieving a successful night out. Warsaw‘s young arty crowd prefer the down-at-heel clubs and bars that have popped up in the districts across the river: Stara Praga (p.50) and the fashionable and increasingly gentrified Saska Kępa (p.53). In practise, many bars and clubs will stay open well beyond the call of duty if the need arises, but by the same benchmark will happily bolt the doors if business is slow. Below are a few rapid-fire suggestions for those who need an instant plan; LOCAL Warsaw‘s multi-tap bars Kufle i Kapsle and Piw Paw (P.120) attract a mix of locals, expats and tourists all of whom are attracted by their exceptional selection of handcrafted Polish and European beers. Weles (p.114), found at the end of a secretive alleyway is a great place to go if you have a liking for cocktails and mythology... we’ll say no more.
6 Animal friendly
N Credit cards not accepted
E Live music
U Facilities for the disabled
o Year-round Garden
X Smoking room available
CHEAP It has to be The Pavilions (G-7), a ramshackle collection of dive bars in the courtyard behind Nowy Świat 26 that offers Warsaw drinking in its rawest form. And if you don’t mind cheap beer and vodka shots explore W Oparach Absurdu (p.114) where folk tend to chillout or go for a few before a night out. LADS For Sports on TV, pints and pub banter head along to TGI Fridays (p.82). Once the need to move like Jagger‘ kicks in, head to one of the clubs on ul. Mazowiecka (F-6/7); home of Room 13 (p.118), one of the biggest clubs in town, and the revamped Enklawa (p.116). Those in search of sensual pleasures and the erotic arts (otherwise known as strippers and lap dancers!) should check out our adult section (p.121) and then proceed wisely. COUPLES The cocktails at The Alchemist GastroPub (p.114) are made with the precision of an atomic scientist; it may not sound romantic, but it is! Judging by the numerous sexy couples seated at the bar, Woda Ognista (p.114) hits the right note with their Pre-War Varsovian style interior decor and drink concepts to match! WuWu (p.112) is one impressive place to relax in each other’s arms. SPLURGE The Roots (p.114) cocktails are worth the dip into your wallet, as well as the atmosphere inside. For more impressive partying, head to SEN (p.118). If you’re dressed to impress hit up Level 27 (p.117) for the chance to party sky high atop a skyscraper.
Nightlife BARS & PUBS AURA BAR Walking around Warsaw’s atmospheric city centre side streets, you could easily miss this place. It’s barely bigger than a small bedroom. Despite its size, it’s been causing quite a stir amongst Warsaw locals who are more than happy to squeeze in. Found on the corner of an eye catching pre-war residential building, entering, you’ll immediately see why all the hype is justifed. Small, dark, moody in all the right ways; it has a relaxed Moroccan interior design to draw your attention. Once you’ve stopped looking at the design of the place, your head then spins in the direction of the wall of bourbons behind the bar - a huge selection for such a small venue. The cocktails here, based on seasonal ingredients, are as delicious as the atmosphere. Also try the cheese and meat boards. It's hard not to be impressed by such small places that pack a big punch.QG‑9, ul. Hoża 27, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 791 88 81 98. Open 17:00-01:00; Fri, Sat 17:00-02:00; Sun 17:00-00:00. 6 B52 RESTAURANT Isn’t it great when you can continue sitting in a perfectly nice restaurant, and instead of going to seek out the nightlife, it just sort of appears around you? Not that we’re lazy, or accuse you of being so, it’s just sometimes we all find a cool place and just want to stay that little bit longer... Restaurant B52 has the daytime covered, as well as the night time, making this a perfect place to eat early and listen to some tunes until the end of the night. If you’re here and have enjoyed the food already, crack on with the great drinks on offer, and if you’re up for a challenge, definitely try out the ‘fishbowl’ cocktails, if only for the novelty value of drinking from a huge glass! As centrally located as they come, this is top place with even nicer staff.QG‑8, ul. Marszałkowska 84/92, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 514 13 79 94, www.b52warsaw.com. Open 09:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-24:00; Sun 09:00-22:00. B6 BACK ROOM BAR Head down ul. Koszykowa, just off from Plac Konstytucji, and at no. 53 on your left, head down to the end of the lane which looks more like a residential car park. Keep hugging the right-hand side, walking past a few restaurants, and voilà, you’ll reach the Back Room Bar an appropriate name indicating how well hidden it is! It would be a shame to miss this place, as inside, the mix of American 1930s bar and inter-war Varsovian lifestyle is strong; all with a heady art deco atmosphere. To top off the atmospehere, they have live music every Thu from 20:30. The cocktails the friendly dressed-for-the-part staff make are great, the setting perfect for a private drink, or a mingling session with friends. No harm in trying it out, huh?QG‑10, ul. Koszykowa 49A, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 794 49 56 59, www.backroom.bar. Open 19:0000:30; Thu 19:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 19:00-02:00; closed Mon, Sun. E 111
Nightlife BAR STUDIO Quite an ambitious little place this. A Bar set in the foyer of Teatr Studio, which is located in one wing of that big pointy Communist building right in the city centre (you can’t miss it!). It aims to mix theatre, political discussion, and social events, all with some snacks, food and drinks thrown in for good measure. A great place to hang out in before you head to the theatre, but likewise, it punches above its weight as a stand alone venue, without having to piggyback on the fame of the theatre itself. Its central location is another plus!QF‑8, Plac Defilad 1, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 603 30 08 35, www.barstudio.pl. Open 09:0002:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-05:00; Sun 10:30-02:00. UE
JAZZ 12ON14 JAZZ CLUB This jumpin’ joint has a clear mission to promote the Polish jazz and present a world class stage for top international acts. Hosting major concerts every week, plus jam sessions and student ensembles, this modern club has fantastic acoustics and instruments (some donated by top Polish Jazz artists). They recently celebrated their 150th concert and aren’t slowing down so stop by their ticket office (which doubles as a Jazz CD shop).QF‑10, ul. Noakowskiego 16, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 635 49 49, www.12on14club.com. Open 18:00-01:00; closed Mon, Sun. 6 HARENDA A vast bar filled with stout wooden benches and brass lamps. The crowd is committed to heavy drinking, and is an interesting cross-section between the good, bad and ugly of Warsaw. Although regular music events take place here, it’s fans of jazz music who will be most interested in their autmn/winter calendar of ‘Funk me. Jazz Monday!’ and ‘Blues Tuesdays’ cycles, taking place every, well, every funking Monday and Tuesday. Expect singers, musicians and dancers - a joy to the ear!QG‑6, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 4/6 (enter from ul.Oboźna), MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 826 29 00, www.harenda.pl. Open 10:00112
BAR-SZAWA Enter via a small door to one of the lovely old townhouses on ul. Lwowska and creep down the sterile, tiled stairs into the basement until you get to a simple door with the word OPEN on it. That may not sound very appealing but you would be mistaken, this little tapas bar is great. The bar is a basic affair with a neat little chill out room at the back. Beers, a few Spanish wines, a menu of tapas dishes and grilled Spanish sandwiches/rolls keep the hunger and thirst demons at bay. The stand out thing is that the young Spanish and Polish owners and staff are exceptionally friendly and fun. Everyone is welcomed like old friends. Paella nights, music, DJ’s etc. appear whenever the fancy takes them. Funky local bar with the human touch!QF‑10, ul. Lwowska 17, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 691 45 90 69. Open 17:00-24:00; Mon 17:00-23:00; Thu 17:00-02:00; Fri, Sat 17:00-04:00; closed Sun. E BISTRO BAR WUWU Welcome to a place where stereotypes of traditional Polish food and vodka can be stamped out with ease. As much as we love both, it feels like a wave of fresh air to encounter a venue which embodies the exciting changes in Polish gastronomy and attitudes to drinking vodka. Consider a visit to WuWu an extra curricular activity, where you’ll be shown that Polish vodka is not only to be swigged in large volumes at Polish weddings but can be mixed into a whole array of exciting cocktails and drinks, all of which can be enjoyed alone, or accompanied by modern takes on Polish cuisines using only regionally sourced seasonal ingredients. WuWu aim to stir up emotions and memories of youthful encounters with smells and tastes of traditional Polish food, and for visitors, this is where the delighted expressions on the local patrons’ faces act as a stamp of approval.QK‑2/3, Plac Konesera 1, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 355 30 02, www.wuwu.bar. Open 12:0024:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-03:00. U6 CHARLIE Billing itself as a venue where elegance meets comfort, this lounge bar feels like the type of place your classy ole pal Charlie himself would invite you into. If you don’t know anyone called Charlie, then let this venue be the substitute to fill that void! Found on the likewise elegant ul. Mokotowska, one of our favourite areas of Warsaw,
Nightlife just off the beaten track, come here to check out a wide selection of cocktails, all in the pleasantly dark and moody atmosphere, and be sure to check out their events calendar for a host of live acts, jazz, DJs on a Saturday, and various dancing parties.QG‑10, ul. Mokotowska 39, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 739 09 75 14, www.charliebar. pl. Open 19:00-02:00; Fri, Sat 19:00-03:00; closed Mon, Sun. XE HARD ROCK CAFE Sure you don’t need to see Freddie Mercury’s red leather pants to enjoy a night out, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. The Hard Rock Cafe’s large downstairs bar area is jumping at night even when live rock shows aren’t on the agenda. The endless bar mixes up a long list of colourful cocktails for a heavily ex-pat crowd taking in paraphernalia like a well-worn Bee Gees guitar and a black leather outfit that formerly clung to Madonna’s early 90s frame. Live music is available on ‘Wednesday Unplugged’ at 20:00. QE‑8, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 222 07 00, www.hardrockcafe.com/location/warsaw/. Open 09:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-01:00. E6 KLUB SPATIF Although you may not immediately be aware of it, this place is quite legendary in the Warsaw culture scene. Granted, if you’re not familiar with the old and new glitterati of Polish film and theatre, then all the photos of stars on the walls will mean nothing to you, but don’t let that put you off. Set inside an old and elegant Warsaw tenement building (also home to the Association of Polish Theatre and Film Artists), this was a magical place between the 1950s-70s, where emerging stars would spend most of their time mingling! But after languishing for years thereafter as ‘U Aktorów’, it was decided to revamp, and so it happened in 2017 that Klub SPATiF returned. The transformation has been impressive. With a mix of old interiors and a touch of the new (the chair ‘chandelier’ at the entrance is quite eye-catching!), this is now a bar, restaurant and cultural venue that is firmly suited to current day crowds, while paying a nice nod to its importance in Warsaw folklore.QH‑9, Al. Ujazdowskie 45, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 625 14 98, www.klubspatif.pl. Open 13:00-23:00; Wed, Thu 13:00-01:00; Fri 13:00-04:00; Sat 19:00-04:00; closed Sun. BE6
8 SELF SERVICE BEER TAPS - CRAFT BEERS, CIDER & PROSECCO PLAC PIŁSUDSKIEGO 3 5 min walk from Old Town 0048 22 628 00 23
Self Service Craft Beers and Prosecco on tap – the only one in Poland Plac Piłsudskiego 3, 00-078 Warszawa, (22) 628 00 23, firstname.lastname@example.org
KITA KOGUTA Even with the myriad of trendy drink bars around town it’s still a bit of a rarity to stumble upon a place where the staff seem permanently smiley, jolly and on the point of being certified - this is such a place, where you’ll also receive a free cup of popcorn. As you do. Two levels of surprisingly unpretentious cocktail juggling mayhem, DJ nights and some of the weirdest auteur concoctions available in the city, like the ‘Green Lantern’ cocktail! The staff will help you think up a drink based on your tastes and preferences. Great atmosphere, great drinks. To keep up to date with events they may host, check out their Facebook page. QG‑9, ul. Krucza 6/14, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 512 30 72 84, www.kitakoguta.pl. Open 18:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 18:00-02:00; closed Mon, Tue, Sun. B 113
Nightlife THE ALCHEMIST GASTROPUB Welcome to the future of drinking. As you make your way to the stylish bar past the spacious terrace, you’ll quickly notice a strange site on the far wall: 8 pristine unattended taps all begging you to imbibe. This is The Alchemist’s patented “Beer Wall” and it is the first of its kind in Europe. Top up a handy “Beer Wall card” then pour yourself as many local craft beers, proseccos or ciders as you like. If you magically leave with excess credit on your card, just come back tomorrow and keep it rolling (beer cards are good for up to 6 months!) Futuristic guzzling gizmos aside, their food is also top notch with an all day menu that includes intriguing beer snacks, British gastropub classics, American burgers, sea food, beef steaks, salads and impeccable pizzas.QF‑5, Plac Piłsudskiego 3, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 628 00 23, www.thealchemist.pl. Open 12:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-01:00; Sun 12:00-21:00. TUB6 THE ROOTS COCKTAIL BAR & MORE While the cocktail revolution continues to shake and stir Warsaw’s drinking habits, some places manage to stand out from the crowd. In our opinion The Roots has secured a special place in the hearts of cocktail devotees. First up, the bar is a shrine to the noble art of being a barman/ cocktail mixer, check out their intriguing collection of vintage ‘tools of the trade’ – the growing collection of mixers alone stands at nearly 100 items! Add to this a library of antiquarian books on the subject of bartending/ cocktail mixing and you know you are dealing with hardcore scholarly mixologists. Two great menus; one featuring classics of the trade and another which presents signature drinks based on seasonal Polish regional flavours. Food is also available in the form of Polish fusion menu, which in itself sounds intriguing. Quite brilliant!QF‑5, ul. Wierzbowa 11, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 828 22 33, www.therootsbar.com. Open 17:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 17:00-02:00. 6 WELES BAR Walk past and you could very easily miss the entrance to this, well, quite frankly, hidden cocktail bar. Found in the far corner of an alleyway, you woulnd't give a 2nd glance to the rather barren looking entrance. It's looks as if they were trying to hide something, but don’t worry, there’s no prohibition shenanigans here, instead, a crypt-like bar which descends into the underworld...not literally, thankfully, but instead to the mysterious domain of Weles, the Slavic god of the underworld, and patron of magic, music and prosperity. The moody crypt vibe they’re rockin’ is definitely intriguing, so much so, that to not sample some of the drinks which catch your eye as the barmen ply their trade would feel like an offence to Weles himself! Try we did, and converted we were. The cocktails are perfect. To say anymore would give away too many secrets, which you can only discover with a visit... QG‑8, ul. Nowogrodzka 11, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 602 77 39 97, www.welesbar.pl. Open 19:00-02:00; Mon, Sun 19:00-24:00. U6 114
WHISKEY IN THE JAR NEW The Polish brand’s take on the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ ‘steakhouse’ has really taken off after continuing success in Poznań, Wrocław and Łódź, with Whiskey in the Jar is now preparing its upcoming rock stop in Warsaw! We’ve been to them all, and they are indeed impressive. Although the chances are you’ll most likely come here during the day or early evening for some top quality steaks (with gret names like Viking and Mr. T . Bone), there’s no doubt you’ll be able to stay way longer to enjoy the delights of...cocktails! The list is extensive, all served in funky glasses and jars, most containing bourbon, ooh yeah! This Rock ‘n’ Roll bar/restaurant also has some impressive works by artist Tomasz Górnicki inside (just another bonus in their bag of tricks), giving it a sleek gritty vibe. Be careful not to drink too many cocktails here - they are damn tasty!QG‑9/10, ul. Marszałkowska 53, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 798 80 56 18, www.whiskeyinthejar.pl. Open 13:00-01:00; Sat, Sun 12:00-01:00. €€€€. UE6 WODA OGNISTA Before we mention the place, we’ll mention the area - ul. Wilcza, one of many nice streets here that can be described as being ‘off the beaten track’, hiding some wonderful pre-war architecture, which do not seem immediately apparent if walking on Warsaw’s main ul. Marszałkowska! You get a feel for the place when walking around and no doubt you’ll want to experience more of this ‘forgotten Warsaw’, which is exactly where Woda Ognista fits in. Enter a bar decorated with a 1920s-30s interior decor, the classy staff dressed up to match, and you already know you’ve entered a great place. Prepare to be impressed by their seasonal menu offerings, with fantastic Polish style cocktails and dishes that take you on a journey through Warsaw’s cultural history. Put simply, this is a wonderful place to experience a modern spin on pre-war Varsovian style and we’re sure the likes of Eugeniusz Bodo and Mieczysław Fogg would have approved.QH‑9, ul. Wilcza 8, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 258 14 41, www. wodaognista.com. Open 17:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 17:0002:00. 6 W OPARACH ABSURDU (IN THE MISTS OF ABSURDITY) This bar could have a weird-off with fellow Praga bar Po Drugiej Stronie Lustra that would easily end in a draw. Both favour twinkle lights, flea market knick-knacks and crap furniture, though Absurdu has recently been renovated and embraced strong colours, and bright murals. Absurdu is spread over numerous rickety levels and populated by local bohemians who crave live music, strong drinks and craft beer. A small menu of snacks and Polish staples (yep, pierogi) are available to line your stomach. Being inside feels like you're sitting inside an old antique shop, but that's why we love it, and if you're in the Praga district, it'd be a shame to miss it.QJ‑3, ul. Ząbkowska 6, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 660 78 03 19. Open 12:00-03:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-05:00. XE
Top quality steaks of the best tenderloin in the world. Original JAR`s based on whiskey. Live music.
Let’s meat in Warsaw
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Nightlife CLUBS Clubs in Warsaw range from sedate to sinful, and we cover the full gamut here. A night spent clubbing means you’ll most likely greet the dawn because, unlike the closing times you might be used to, Polish clubs stay open until the sun comes up. Expect a cover charge at most venues that can range from 5-20zl depending on events, and note that toilet paper is often a luxury that seems to universally run out around 22:00. ENKLAWA - THE LEGENDARY NIGHTLIFE It may be quiet by day, but Mazowiecka is home to a number of the city’s top night spots and high up the list comes Enklawa. Keeping their fingers on the pulse of current club trends, live music and fashion events it attracts a pretty classy and sassy weekend crowd, and to stay ahead of the game, they’ve recently undergone a big renovation, which includes some huge screen! If you can’t wait for Friday to come around, not a problem, hit the club as early as Wednesday to appease your desire! Inside, you’ll find 3 bars and a very spacious dancefloor, which you can enjoy, or watch over, from their VIP booths. Enklawa’s popularity means that invites and passwords may be required to get past the lads on the door, but once inside, you’ll find a unique atmosphere like no other venue in Warsaw.QF‑6, ul. Mazowiecka 12, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 827 31 51, www.enklawa.com. Open 22:00-06:00; closed Mon, Tue, Sun. XU HULAKULA Indoor entertainment centre by day, and indoor entartainment centre by night - but at night, under a very different guise than its more family orientated daytime function. It may not immediately seem like it, but the idea to also use an entertainment centre as an altogether great night out for nightlife seekers is a top idea. The indoor space is huge. We wholeheartedly encourage you to check out their calendar for upcoming events, which includes recurring events like 80s/90s nights, and unique weekend parties too. We guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised and definitely won’t be disappointed!QJ‑4, ul. Jagiellońska 82B, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 669 00 10 01, www. hulakula.com.pl. Open 12:00-24:00; Wed, Thu 12:0001:00; Fri 12:00-03:00; Sat 10:00-04:00; Sun 10:00-24:00. XU HYDROZAGADKA You will not find a more unkempt bar than Hydrozagadka; this place has barely changed since it opened way back in 2007, and it still looks like it’s been ransacked by students; it’s almost advisable to check yourself for fleas when leaving. Decorations aren’t so much limited as virtually non-existent, and you won’t find much more than brick walls and a collection of seats that appear to have been rescued from the rubbish. Have we scared you off? We hope not, for while it looks scruffy, they don't need to change a damn thing as this has emerged as one of the 116
Nightlife best places in town, found right in the heart of Stara Praga (old Praga) as both an artistic and music venue with off-beat performances enjoyed by a crowd that doesn’t get out of bed till way after noon.QJ‑2, ul. 11 Listopada 22 (Praga Północ), MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 505 84 93 86, www.hydrozagadka.com. Open Fri, Sat 20:00-04:30 only and during events. XUE LEVEL 27 Anyone with vertigo, a word of warning, as the name alone suggests, this is not going to be some basement or ground level club. So, now that you’ve heeded our warning...or you choose not to, get up top and find yourself in one of Poland’s top clubs (actually, now it's officially one of the world's top clubs), with DJs splurging out R&B and Hip Hop on Fridays, House music on Saturdays (stricter door policy this night, so dress smart/smart casual!), all the while beautiful people dance away. Expect regular themed parties and all manners of entertainment from fire shows to dancers. The venue also offers the possibility to hold fashion shows, private events etc. A major draw in summer is the open terrace where you can dance until the sun comes up over Warsaw, a beautiful sight in itself. But just because it's winter, don't dare think it's not worth coming here. You know the level. You know where to go.QC‑9, Al. Jerozolimskie 123A, tel. (+48) 733 66 10 94, www. level27.pl. Open Fri, Sat 23:00-06:00. E NA LATO DAY & NIGHT Na Lato has been a Powiśle favourite for a while now, both during the day and night. The setting, both the location and the interior, work well, as they are pleasant on the eye and the soul. After a meal, sit back at the bar on a Fri or Sat, letting the night set in until bam! - the transformation from restaurant to dance floor passes by you in the blink of an eye, especially if you’re cocktailing early. Get well fed, dance your socks off, or sit at the bar continuing what you were doing before. If that’s not enough, check out Jackpot Warsaw 777 on the premises, a heady mix of palm trees and 19th century Tennessee bar feel - very romantic, indeed. Not a bad set of choices, huh?QI‑9/10, ul. Rozbrat 44A, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 696 87 84 49, www.na-lato. com. Open 08:30-00:00; Fri 08:30-05:00; Sat 10:00-05:00; Sun 10:00-00:00. X N58 CLUB Smack dab in the heart of the action on Nowy Świat, N58 is the latest club addition to the famous street. Right above the Bollywood Lounge, move from seeing sequined dresses, scented water pipes and shaking hips and undulating bellies to the more familiar beats of R’n’B, Hip Hop, Funk and Soul, commerical music, dancehall, twerk, to general mash-ups of them all! On Thursdays, they even have Russian karaoke! IF you get peckish during the night, no need to leave and hunt down some food as they serve a selection of snacks. Check out their Facebook page to see information on all the latest events.QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 58, MNowy ŚwiatUniwersytet, tel. (+48) 500 01 58 58, www.n58.pl. Open Thu 20:00-01:00; Fri-Sat 21:00-04:00 only. 117
Nightlife OPERA A no-expense spared design masterpiece found in the basement of the National Opera. Descend the curving stairwell and all you’ll see is boys with attitude, dressed in popped collared polo shirts, and a heart-stopping spread of gazelle-like girls. If you were wondering where the good lookers went, you’ve found the answer. Tread down wood boards and through vaulted tunnels to reach the main arena, checking out the numerous side rooms on the way; this place was formerly known as Bedroom, and that’s because of the alcoves found shooting off in every direction. Each comes decorated with poufs, loungers and Persian drapes, and serve as a great spot to enjoy illicit activities. If you’re searching for a venue for your next private party, you can rent out the whole place from Sun-Fri.QF‑5, Pl. Teatralny 1, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 828 70 75, www. operaclub.pl. Open Fri, Sat 22:00-06:00 only. XE ROOM 13 CLUB & LOUNGE Warsaw has had the benefit of a club explosion (clubsplosion?) in the last decade or so, and after visiting venue upon venue, Room 13 is one that stands out. Located in the heart of the legendary Mazowiecka street, the interior is a striking mix between modern club theme and stunning old architectural style of the building. Couches and pillows adorn the interior, and if your idea of heaven is two bars, a VIP room, a wide array of music and lots of high heels, then consider this your nirvana.QF‑6, ul. Mazowiecka 13, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 827 60 44, www.room13.pl. Open Thu-Sun 22:0005:00 only. X SEN NEW If you’ve come to SEN (PL for ‘dream’) to enjoy the restaurant (19:00-23:00), we give you a humble nod for making a solid choice, but if you’ve decided to stay for when the club vibe takes over, we salute you - you won’t be disappointed. Although not huge, the setting is altogether pleasant as the panoramic backdrop paris up perfectly with the centrepiece: the dancefloor, which fills up quickly, everyone dancing with style to hip hop and R&B mashups (it’s worth keeping en eye on their packed events calendar!). There is a door selection, so dress to impress, and don’t be put off - the staff do their best to maintain the unique and positive character inside, which just adds to your enjoyment. The music’s great and the bar is well stocked, what’s not to enjoy? If you stay until the end, you may very well agree with the venue’s tag line: it was all a dream.QUl. Wioślarska 6, tel. (+48) 883 02 50 25, www.senwarsaw.pl. Open Fri & Sat 19:00-05:00 only. PXBEL SMOLNA This sparse and bunkerlike club based on the Berlin underground techno model is situated in a grand old city centre townhouse, just seconds away from the landmark ‘palm tree’. The music delves deep into the murky world of all aspects of electronica but they’re a pretty radical and experimental group of folks, so you never know what musical journey they’ll whisk you through. Three 118
Nightlife dancefloors, including the newly installed outdoor patio space (the neighbours will love that one), three bars (cocktails included) and a chillout room make up this hugely popular venue. Keeping things enigmatic and secretive, they have a strict “no photos/no smartphone” policy and some pretty cryptic advertising clips which tell you nothing. The door policy seems pretty reasonable, simply in place to keep out aggressive yobos and anyone with a Nikon D5200 strapped around their neck. Expect long queues, especially during weekends.QH‑8, ul. Smolna 38, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, www.smolna38.com. Open Wed 20:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 23:30-08:00 only. SYRENI ŚPIEW One of Warsaw’s favourite venues of recent times has returned, with the mermaid’s song (from where the name hails) carrying across the river to its new location in Praga Koneser Center (p.52). The postindustrial style fits in with the revamped ethos of Syreni Śpiew; a place to take in the atmoshphere and create memories. With 4 floors, 4 bars and 3 stages, this is the perfect spot to sip away and eat during the day, and then party the weekend away. Slide inside and let them ply you with upscale cocktails and top shelf whiskies while you schmooze to some smooth tunes. While it’s a low key high class chill during the week, there are plenty of regular events to enjoy before the weekend vibe goes sublime with carefully curated live music and DJs that keep the parties going all night long. Check their Facebook page for all the latest events.QK‑2, Plac Konesera 4, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 602 77 34 49, www.facebook.com/ syrenispiew. Open 12:00-22:00; Wed, Thu 12:00-01:00; Fri, Sat 12:00-05:00. €€. PXUBE6 TEATRO CUBANO WARSAW The warm tropical Caribbean breeze has finally reached Warsaw in the form of the very first Cuban lounge and club. The giant palms outside flanking the entrance set the tone and as you enter the giant club you are enveloped by vibrant blues and yellows as the staircase takes you into the huge open spaced club with high ceilings. In the middle there’s a huge bar prominently featuring Havana Club rum, a likely sponsor of this jumping joint. Behind the bar is a massive stage which hosts regular international touring acts (many Caribbean!) as well as parties with DJ, mix of Latino and pop music. There is also a huge section behind a DJ booth with, well, private booths and even a mezzanine to check out the whole scene from above. Bring your dancing shoes and get ready to get down!QF‑5, ul. Fredry 6, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 538 19 44 94, www.teatrocubano.com. Open 12:00-05:00; Sun, Sat 22:00-05:00. XBE
Where’s the party? /WarsawInYourPocket 119
Nightlife MULTI TAP BARS 2013 was officially the “year of the beer” in Poland. And not just any old beer… damn good micro-brewed craft beers and ales made by dozens of small breweries then shipped to sleek new multi-tap bars, ale dens and beer pubs all over Poland. Warsaw has been in the vanguard of this renaissance and a whole cache of bars have opened in the past few years offering a wide variety of sultry suds to a rapidly expanding community of beer enthusiasts. DRUGIE DNO - MULTITAP BAR This is one of our favourite streets in terms of bars. It has quite a few bars dealing in craft and multitap beers, which to us is perfect - long may they keep standards up! Found at the far end of Nowogrodka (heading east), Drugie Dno has a splendid 15 taps on offer, easily chosen from the board behind the bar. Take your drink and stare at the walls (alone or with someone) and ponder whether the stripped back brick walls were an intentional design choice or merely a compromise due to restricted funds. Regardless, it’s cool, having that post-industrial feel. The food is tops, from burgers, to the neat ‘party boards’ for sharing as you chat. Great place for relaxing and chatting. 2nd location on ul. Tarczyńska 5/9.QG‑8, ul. Nowogrodzka 4, MCentrum, www.drugiedno.pl. Open 15:00-24:00; Mon 15:00-23:00; Fri, Sat 15:00-02:00; Sun 15:00-22:00. 6 KUFLE I KAPSLE Hot on the heels of the original Warsaw real ale bar ‘Cuda na Kiju’ comes this beer drinker’s paradise. The name ‘Kufle i Kapsle’ means ‘Beer Mugs and Bottlecaps’ and the interior is a perfect blend of European traditional bar design mingling with Polish features, such as the large tiled heater in the back room. 20 taps are on offer and the bottled beer selection has more variety than a Glaswegian glass recycling bin! An interesting selection of bar snacks are also available. In contrast to many other local bars, expect it to be packed and buzzing from around 17:00. We love it! (Also visit their other locations at ul. Księdza Jerzego Popiełuszki 19/21 paw. 1 and ul. Solec 46A).QG‑8, ul. Nowogrodzka 25, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 127 72 18, www.kufleikapsle.pl. Open 14:0002:00; Fri 14:00-04:00; Sat 12:00-04:00; Sun 12:00-02:00.
phone: (+48) 576 75 48 08
PIW PAW 57 tap beers and a wall of refrigerators stuffed to bursting with over 200 bottled beers may sound like you’ve died and gone to heaven, but it makes for a rather odd business plan. Besides bragging rights, we can’t really see the reason behind the massive selection, or the fact that the venue only has around a dozen tables and, even more scarily, only two toilets! In fairness, a large amount of trade comes from the off-licence side of things – even the tap beers can be poured into containers and taken with you. The meticulous queuing system at the bar also detracts from it having a real pub atmosphere. Whatever the down-sides, one cannot deny their passion for great beer. Also on ul. Foksal 16 and ul. Mazowiecka 9.QG‑8, ul. Żurawia 32/34 (entrance from ul. Parkingowa), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 534 73 45 00, www.piwpaw.pl. Open 24hrs.
Adult Entertainment We advise sticking to venues listed here which are central and established. Be warned we’ve had reports of 8,000zł being spent willingly in one club listed here and 8,000 sterling spent unwillingly in one not here. If you go by taxi, make sure the driver takes you to the correct club, not one they have a partnership with. Avoid street solicitation! HUSTLER GENTLEMEN’S CLUB Located in the heart of the classy part of Warsaw’s centre, Nowy Świat, and currently the one and only Hustler in Europe! This exclusive club is filled with beautiful women, a wide selection of alcohols and even a VIP room for private reservations. Although one of the smaller clubs in Warsaw, it is definitely one of the best with a great atmosphere. Open from 21:00 - 05:00, get there early, leave late.QH‑8, ul. Nowy Świat 3, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 576 75 48 08, www.hustlerclub.pl. Open 21:00-05:00. IMPERIAL DRINK BAR & MORE This place is stupidly easy to find, with the Palace of Culture and Science directly behind you! Despite the address, enter the discreet entrance round the corner at ul. Pankiewicza. Once inside, you’ll find a host of dancers, along with a well stocked cocktail bar. There is a main dance area, but should you want some more privacy, there are two VIP rooms for that extra special one to one...QF‑9, Al. Jerozolimskie 53 (entrance from ul. Pankiewicza), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 356 20 16, www.imperialclub. pl. Open Tue-Sun 21:00-05:00. Closed Mon. PLAYHOUSE GENTLEMAN’S CLUB This smart gentlemen’s club, located in a chunky communist era building on al. Solidarności, has certainly hit the top of the tree (or pole?) with their classy approach to showing off the female form in luxurious surroundings. Their reputation in this market has even gone international, with influential website AskMen.com recently voting them the best strip club in the world! Three floors covering over 800m2, four bars, three VIP rooms, an in-house ATM and 57 sizzling hot women makes Playhouse THE place to visit for the discerning gent with a penchant for the erotic. Payment methods accepted: cash, card, Bitcoin and Paypal. QD‑5, Al. Solidarności 82A, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 794 00 70 00, www.playhouse.pl. Open 21:00-05:00. X SOGO CLUB The largest of all the strip clubs in Warsaw at a size of 1200m2! It’s ridiculously easy to get to from any part of Warsaw. Simply head to the beginning of ul. Nowy Świat (G-8, at the Palm Tree) and you’ll see the brightly lit building in the distance. The place consists of three levels: the main hall containing two bars and hundreds of seats, and VIP rooms, and even conference facilities. Should you want more privacy, the Gold Club option provides private rooms with a dedicated lounge bar and washroom facilities! The club has their customers desires in mind and will stay open longer if you feel you simply cannot leave at 05:00!QH‑7, Al. Jerozolimskie 6, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 629 92 09, www.sogoclub.pl. Open 20:00-05:00. XL 121
Polish Gift Ideas If you’re pondering what may be the best present to bring home for friends and family, look no further than our friendly tips on typically Polish gifts. They’re unique to the country and won’t set you back a million dollars, nor are they as tacky as a simple keyring made thousands of miles away. Here’s the best on offer...
It doesn‘t get any more Polish than amber (OK, it‘s all over the Baltic coast), and you won‘t find a tourist hot spot without at least one shop selling Baltic gold. The gem is often full of mesmerising insects caught up millions of years ago. There‘s no specific item you need focus on, however, more often than not, amber jewellery is popular. If that‘s not good enough, buy anything from a giant amber vase, watch, chess set, to...licquer - simply a bottle with small pieces of amber mixed with spirit. The best places to find amber are Art Gallery Amber Silver Line (p.125) and Art Studio Jewellery Schubert (p.125), both in Warsaw’s Old Town (p.32).
HANDCRAFTED FOLK ITEMS
Poland‘s folk image is strongest in rural areas, and equally so in tourist trinket shops. Still, don‘t let this put you off as there are plenty of places to buy unique Polish handmade gifts, ranging from traditional ceramics from Bolesławiec Pottery, in Pomaluj.Art (p.127), to lace cloths and garments, famous to the Silesian region (Beskid mountain area) in the form of Koniaków lace. One of the best places for handcrafted goods is the oldest shop of its type in Poland: WSS Społem (p.128). Here you can buy anything from old style Polish wooden dolls, traditional lace cloths, and of course, various pots, pans, cups, plates and vases, to name but a few!
POLISH SWEET TREATS
You may already know the wonders of Polish food - all that meat, all that veg, yum - but the country is big on its sweet delights too. It can be hard to walk past a Polish cafe or confectionery shop without salivating. You may not quite get a large box of Polish doughnuts back home without them getting crushed, but there are plenty of other options, such as Hala Koszyki (p.126) with its shops and stalls, and Wawel and Wedel (p.75) full of chocolates and sweets. Your family or friends’ dentists won’t necessarily be happy with your gifts, but their cheeky sweet tooth will be delighted!
FASHION & JEWELLERY
Despite amber ruling the roost in terms of top choice for Polish jewellery, this does not mean that the country is doomed to wear nothing but amber necklaces, rings and earrings. There is variety out there, even among the tourist hotspots of Warsaw. Lilou (p.125) is a phenomenal success in Poland where you can find gold and silver jewellery items and have your own input in creating your favourite piece. As for fashion, you only need to keep your eyes-peeled to see the capital is filled to the brim with trendy young things strutting their stuff around the street. High street brands mix with boutiques, all of which you can read about in the upcoming pages... 122
www.amberwarsaw.pl www.warsawamber.pl 123
Follow in the steps of royalty to stock up on amber jewellery in Art Gallery Amber Silver Line (p.125)
SUNDAY SHOPPING BAN Since 2018 government regulations have increasingly restricted Sunday trading in Poland. In 2020 there will be only 7 Sundays in the year when shops are allowed to be open. There are some exemptions from the ban, namely pharmacies, gas stations, kiosks, bakeries, openair markets, Żabka convenience stores (most of which close at 23:00) and souvenir shops (oh thank god). Note that the Sunday hours we list for venues are the hours they keep only on those Sundays when trade is allowed. 2020’s shopping Sundays are: Jan 26 | April 5, 26 | Jun 28 | Aug 30 | Dec 13, 20
ALCOHOL & TOBACCO ALEMBIK If you’ve just come out of the Polish Vodka Museum in Praga Koneser Center (p.52) with a new appreciation for Poland’s national drink, then right around the corner, in the same building, you will find Alembik, a small but impressively stocked shop where you can purchase your very own vodkas. Here you will find Polish brands such as Luksusowa and Wyborowa, but not only, as they also sell premium whiskeys, cognacs, rums, gins and champagnes. For those with deeper pockets, there is also the opportunity to shop in private in their cosy 2nd room, where you can also enjoy tasting some exclusive products. Classy.QK‑2/3, Plac Konesera 1, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 513 28 92 60, www.koneser.eu. Open 12:00-20:00; closed Sun. CIGARRO - CIGAR SHOP & LOUNGE The newest cigar shop and lounge to hit Warsaw, set inside a historic city-centre tenement building, quite literally a hop, skip and a jump away from the Marriot Hotel’s main door. A selection of 50 cigar brands with 400 types, series and lines, are all stored in the focal point in Cigarro Poland’s biggest walk-in humidor, ensuring all cigars have been stored in the right humidity and temperature. Here you can find known brands like Cohiba, Alec Bradley, Perdomo, Oliva or Rocky Patel, to name a few, and the lesser known, but gaining in popularity, Plasencia, J.C. Newman or Indian Motorcycle, a tribute to the world famous American motorbike. If you’re not content to buy
Shopping and go, the modern-classic Cigarro club section with basement bar can accommodate 25, and the ventilated VIP ‘Robusto Room’ is perfect for groups of 4 to enjoy their chosen cigar and choice of drink from single malt whiskeys, bourbons, rums and even wine. A classy venue, indeed. QE‑8, Al. Jerozolimskie 61, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 668 83 46 88, www.cigarro.pl. Open 11:00-22:00; closed Sun. VODKA MUSEUM SHOP A visit to any museum usually ends with a visit to the gift shop, sometimes whether you like it or not, you’re routed through the building to stare at the selection of trinkets and stuff you don’t need. This is entirely different here, as a visit to the Vodka Museum (p.64) leaves you with an admiration and understanding of vodka, and in the shop, you can leave with a piece of this experience with a unique set of gift options - premium vodkas, but also other quirky vodka related paraphernalia like cocktail shakers! The museum shop here is definitely worth a browse as you’ll leave with a special item you just can’t buy most places.QF‑5, ul. Wierzbowa 11, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 657 89 96, www.muzeumwodki. pl. Open 11:00-18:00; Fri, Sat 13:00-21:00; Sun 12:0019:00; closed Mon.
AMBER & JEWELLERY Vodka isn’t the only golden nectar popular in Poland; the country is renowned for its amber and the craftsmen who handsomely shape the fossilised resin into unique and coveted pieces of jewellery. Come back from PL without bringing baby some Baltic Gold and you’ve booked yourself a stint in the doghouse. The best place to begin your search is the Old Town, which is filled with purveyors of amber baubles. ART GALLERY AMBER SILVER LINE This gorgeous gallery specialises in luxury handcrafted jewellery of the amber variety, but crystal, silver and gold items can be purchased here too. This is the location of what is the largest and oldest Amber dealers in the City, a family run business going back to 1988, proudly selling amber of Polish origin - certified by the International Amber Association. Even heads of State and royalty have been spotted procuring presents here, from Bill Clinton to Japanese princesses (whose thank you letters you can see inside)! Choose from pieces by Polish artisans and top designers, plus high quality jewellery made with other precious stones.QF‑4, Rynek Starego Miasta 9/11/13, MRatusz Arsenał, www.warsawamber.pl. Open 10:00-19:00. ART STUDIO JEWELLERY SCHUBERT There’s no end to the amber offerings you’ll find near the Stary Rynek, and here’s another. With beginnings which date back to the 19th century, the Schubert brand is still going strong. Helpful sales people will not only answer all amber based questions you may have, but will also help you choose the right item, whether it’s for you, or you’re
buying as a gift. The products here range from the smaller end of the scale from bracelets, earrings, pins, oh my!, to lighters and right up the size scale to chess sets! There’s more stuff here than you can imagine.QF‑4, ul. Piwna 12/14, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 635 29 38, www. worldofamber.pl. Open 09:00-20:00. FREY WILLE Fine jewellery and fashion accessories inspired by masters like Klimt and Mucha. Frey Wille boutique hails from Austria, and what sets it apart from most places are the handmade items; the philosophy of the boutique is to create works of art which are rooted in humanism, pieces which are bourne from an artistic love and passion, indeed, made by artists themselves. What’s more, much of the jewellery undergoes an enamelling process, binding fine glass onto metal, which revolutionised Frey Wille’s works from 1981 onwards to offer the fine pieces you see today. Located on Piłsudski Square, Frey Wille is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Old Town area. Underground parking is available (441 spaces) in the Metropolitan building, where Frey Wille is located - clients of FW will have their ticket stamped by staff to ensure free parking!QF‑5, Pl. Piłsudskiego 1, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 827 55 03, www.freywille.com. Open 10:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-16:00; closed Sun. LILOU Phenomenally successful Polish jewellery chain where customers can select their own components and create a unique and personal piece. The range continues to grow, with the original idea of the personalised bracelet still the biggest seller. Choose a bracelet type and any number of simple silver or gold plated charms in a variety of shapes - hearts, dogs, cats and the likes, and then have it hand engraved with whatever or whoever means a lot to you. A ‘must have’ item amongst local celebs and fashionistas. Also at ul. Francuska 27, CH Arkadia, Galeria Mokotów and Sadyba Best Mall.QH‑9, ul. Mokotowska 63, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 506 19 08 97, www.lilouparis. com. Open 11:00-19:00; Sat 11:00-18:00; Sun 11:0016:00. WORLD OF AMBER This is truth in advertising at its best. World of Amber is, literally, a world filled with all things amber. Interested in a three-masted pirate ship made of amber? How about a goblet trimmed in amber? A glasses case? Beyond these unusual trinkets World of Amber also has the usual beads, rings, neck-breaking pendants and bracelets that are a must-have souvenir. The shop has a large number of knowledgeable staff, which means you’re never left lingering over a glass case waiting in vain for service. Which we like even more than the chess set made entirely of amber. We swear. Also at ul. Piwna 12/14 (B-2) and ul. Piwna 26 (B-2).QF‑4, ul. Świętojańska 11, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 831 16 00, www.worldofamber.pl. Open 09:00-20:00. 125
Shopping BOOKS, MUSIC & FILMS Good luck finding your morning paper; despite the millions of flights that land each morning, most English language dailys don’t hit the shops until the afternoon, sometimes not untill the next day. The most comprehensive source of foreign press can be found at EMPiK, but you might also try the newsagents found in five star hotels. As far as magazines are concerned, EMPiK blows the competition out of the water, though you can expect to pay a hefty mark-up for your mag of choice. THEBOOKS.PL A unique place in Warsaw selling used English (and Spanish) books, but if that wasn’t enough for English speakers missing easy access to books in their native language (or those learning the language, for that matter), then the best thing about TheBooks.pl is that each English book only costs either 3, 6 or 9zł, and a few slightly more at 12/15zł (books with no price tags cost 9zł, Spanish 12 or 18zł) - still a bargain! A wonderful ethos, making English language books accessible to all. You can buy online, but it’s a funky place to visit - it has that nostalgic book shop feel.Qul. Puławska 140, MWierzbno, tel. (+48) 507 92 44 92, www.thebooks. pl. Open 11:00-19:00; closed Sun. All books cost 6zł €.
CHOCOLATIERS Poland has a healthy and dangerous chocolate tradition. Here are a few of Warsaw’s most decadently delicious den’s of Chocolate indulgence. Drool over pristine cases of hand made bonbons, pralines, cakes fudges and even sip a cup hot cup of molten milk chocolate. My momma always said that life is like a box of chocolates, so give the gift of life today. E. WEDEL CHOCOLATE LOUNGE “OLDFASHIONED SHOP” The reason everyone at Czekolady Wedel looks like they’re in a daze is because this is the mothership of chocolate cafes, ground zero for all things dark, milk and achingly sweet. Wedel is the country’s longest established chocolate manufacturer and one of the best known brands in Poland. A true Polish legend that’s been operating since Karol Wedel first opened a chocolate factory in ul. Szpitalna in 1851. In here you’ll be able to find all manner of chocolate treats, whather for yourself or as a gift for someone. Be careful when entering: chocolate comas are inevitable. Try their other city centre location on Krakowskie Przedmieście 45.QG‑7, ul. Szpitalna 8, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 827 29 16, www.wedelpijalnie.pl. Open 08:00-22:00; Sat 09:00-22:00; Sun 09:00-21:00.
FASHION & ACCESSORIES The stylish denizens of Warsaw’s streets are an easy indicator that fashion is important in the capital city. Trot out anything less than your best and it won’t go unnoticed, we promise you. With the opening of dom handlowy VITKAC the city has seen the arrival of major labels like Gucci and 126
Lanvin, and the Likus Concept Store and Dom Mody KLIF are reliable go-to places for the latest designer offerings. Check out high quality Polish brands like Reserved, Vistula and Tatuum, all of which you’ll undoubtedly find in Warsaw’s shopping centres like Galeria Młociny, Zlote Tarasy and Westfield Arkadia, or in outlets like the popular ‘Factory’ chain and Designer Outlet Warszawa. VICTORIA’S SECRET This boutique certainly needs no introduction. Even if you know nothing of fashion, you’ve no doubt heard of Victoria’s Secret, the brand that has become synonymous with stylish lingerie and glitzy angel winged fashion shows. Warsaw, it seems, is delighted to have Poland’s only VS stores, and although previously their only boutiques in the city were on the smaller scale of grand, focusing mainly on accessories & perfumes, the new store in the city centre’s Złote Tarasy shopping mall is much bigger than before (now including Victoria’s Secret PINK), but the opening of Poland’s first VS flagship store in Arkadia Shopping Mall, with the full selection of clothing, including their lingerie, perfumes and accessories has gone down well with fashion bloggers and Varsovians alike! In Arkadia, you can’t miss it - it’s located right at the front entrance!QC‑2, Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), MDworzec Gdański, tel. (+48) 22 445 02 05, www. victoriassecret.pl. Open 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00.
FOOD & SWEETS GALERIA TEBE Anyone that knows anything about gingerbread treats will associate them with the Polish city of Toruń, however, it was here we learned that Warsaw too has a long gingerbread making tradition in bakeries which were once located in the Old Town’s ul. Miodowa. This business is packed with an array of interestingly made treats, and if that’s not enough, there are information sheets in various languages for any visitors. Visit online to view their gingerbread wonders.Qtel. (+48) 601 38 22 84, www.piernikidekoracyjne.pl. HALA KOSZYKI How many world cuisine eateries of various sizes can you squeeze into one space? A lot! Amazingly popular amongst the young and the beautiful, Hala K will probably remain THE place to be seen for some time to come - mainly because it’s easy to be seen due to its open plan layout. Top class little independent bistros sit next to some of Warsaw’s chain restaurants and the biggest restaurateurs. The street food bazaar has some brilliant food on offer, with 9 stands offering flavours from all over the world. There are of course some shops here too, however, in reality, they’ll always play second fiddle to the top class dining area.QF‑10, ul. Koszykowa 63, MPolitechnika, www.koszyki.com. Open 09:00-01:00. NAMASTE INDIA Better known as one of Poland’s best takeaways, Namaste also doubles as a bit of a grocery store with a small but decent line of products imported from Asia – including
Shopping herbal shampoos, heat-and-eat curries, soft drinks and spices. Lots of spices.QG‑8, ul. Nowogrodzka 15, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 357 09 39, www.namasteindia. pl. Open 11:00-23:00; Sun 12:00-22:00.
GIFTS & SOUVENIRS E-MANUFAKTURA It’s sometimes hard to find that perfect gift from Poland to take back home with you. We understand the problem, and it may be the case you get home, only to regret not having bought that sweet little tea cup you had your eye on. Now this is why we whole heartedly recommend E-Manufaktura, which is not only a shop in Warsaw, but also an online shop for you to look through an extensive catalogue in the comfort of your home. From egg cups, plates, bowls, and all other kitchenware you can think of, you’ll find it here! The famous hand-painted ceramics, Bolesławiec, make up the core of what’s on offer. It doesn’t get more Polish than this. A must use service.QF‑3, ul. Freta 14, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 636 06 84, www.e-manufaktura.com. Open 10:00-18:00. FOLKSTAR As far as souvenir shops go, each major Polish city has them, selling all manners of trinkets and oddities, however, Folkstar ups the game to offer tourists to Poland the chance to buy what can only be described as traditional items, steeped in ethnic Polish folklore, but given a slight design makeover to add a modern twist. Even before you enter, you are bedazzled by the sheer range of colours of all the products - they definitely are eye-catching, we give them that! Not only can you buy souvenirs here, but the extensive collection of items range from household, office and fashion items! You’ll definitely find something you’ll like in here, the designs are too wonderful to pass up.QE‑8, Aleje Jerozolimskie 54 (shopping unit N33 in Central Station), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 530 06 22 04, www.folkstar.pl. Open 09:00-20:00; Sat 09:00-18:00; Sun 09:00-16:00. POMALUJ.ART - GALERIA BOLESŁAWIEC & STUDIO CERAMIKI There are many great Polish gift ideas, but none as visually exciting as Bolesławiec pottery. With a mix of cups, plates, bowls and other kitchenware with various colours and designs, you can’t go wrong to buy friends, family, or even yourself one of these classic but quirky items. What’s more, at this location, not only do you get the chance to buy something of your pleasing, but you can join in some workshops to make your own! The studio is quite sizeable, well-kitted out, and whether you’re trying to recreate scenes from the film Ghost (not recommended in front of others) or perhaps the kids want to mess about and make anything they want and paint all over it (which is allowed, even encouraged), the end results are sure to raise a smile. The staff speak English!QF‑8, Al. Jerozolimskie 49, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 690 80 01 84, www.pomaluj.art. Open 12:00-20:00; closed Sun. 127
Shopping ROCK SHOP You know a city has made it when it gets a Hard Rock Cafe and is there anything which says ‘I’ve been there’ more than a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt? Ahem. Pick up the ‘Warsaw’ one to add to your collection at the shop inside the HRC in the Złote Tarasy development opposite the train station.QE‑8, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 222 07 00, www.hardrockcafe.com/location/warsaw/. Open 09:00-24:00; Fri, Sat 09:00-01:00. WSS SPOŁEM If you’re in the vicinity of Old Town and New Town, and you’ve soaked up the atmosphere of this beautiful part of Warsaw, you may now want to take a little piece of Poland home with you. WSS Społem, the country’s oldest cooperative, going strong since 1869, is the perfect place to visit. Kitted out with all manner of folk items, from clothing to kitchenware and and sweet products, buying that perfect Polish gift to take home is made all the more easier. The helpful staff will do their best to aid your search for the ideal souvenir. This place is definitely an old favourite for gift ideas. Recommended.QF‑4, ul. Długa 8/14, www. wss.spolem.org.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; Sat, Sun 10:0017:00.
SHOPPING MALLS DESIGNER OUTLET WARSZAWA Probably one of the best looking outlets we’ve seen in Poland (certainly not the usual outlet look you’d expect!), set inside a unique looking collection of buildings made to evoke the same feelings looking at the Baroque style buildings of Warsaw’s Old Town. Indeed, this is a premium designer outlet, with the interior specifically made to make you feel like you’re walking through a classy little fashion street. Here you’ll find discounts ranging from 30% to a huge 70% on premium brands like Armani, Boss, Calvin Klein, Guess, Furla, Liu Jo, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger through to lifestyle brands like Adidas, Geox, Kazar, Levis, Mango, Nike, Salewa, Salomon, Timberland, 4F and many more. Found just 30 mins from Warsaw’s city centre, and 20 mins from Warsaw Chopin Airport, it is easily reached by car and public transport - from the centre, travel south by car along ul. Puławska in the direction of Piaseczno, and by metro to Metro Wilanowska and then buses 709 or 727 onward to stop Energetyczna 01, using a zone 2 ticket.Qul. Puławska 42E, Piaseczno, MWilanowska, tel. (+48) 22 737 31 15, www.designeroutletwarszawa.pl. Open 10:00-22:00; Sun 10:00-21:00. DOM MODY KLIF The nationwide Klif chain have long been present in Warsaw, though if you think you’ve seen it all before then think again. Attracting fashion lovers for over 20 years offering a range of Polish and foreign boutiques; but as with all shopping centres, the proof comes in the pudding, i.e. the tenants. Now on show are top tags from MaxMara, Elisabetta Franchi to PennyBlack, as well 128
as Michael Kors, Lidia Kalita, as well as well-known and respected mainstream brands such as H&M, Olsen and S’portofino. The draw, other than the brands, is the convenient and easy to get to location - roll in by tram, bus or car. What’s more, this is the only shopping centre to have a concierge point, all for the benefit of the shopper. For true connoisseurs, this year, Klif prepared a unique GLAM & FASHION STUDIO, where anyone can use the services of stylists and make-up artists.QB‑4, ul. Okopowa 58/72, tel. (+48) 535 41 14 58, www.klif.pl. Open 09:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00. U FACTORY OUTLET ANNOPOL FACTORY’s second Warsaw location is a little bit out of town but that usually means the further you travel the bigger the discounts! This massive offprice outlet features brands like: Nike, Adidas, Smyk, Ecco, Empik, Guess, Wrangler, Pepe Jeans, Reserved, Marc O’Polo, Converse, Vans, Puma, Tefal, Tommy Hilfinger and more. To get there take Metro M1 from ‘Centrum’ to ‘Dworzec Gdański’ and then change to tram no.1 and get off at ‘Toruńska’ (this stop is by request only so no napping) or ‘Annopol’.Qul. Annopol 2 (Białołęka), tel. (+48) 22 441 90 00, www.annopol. factory.pl. Open 10:00-21:00; Sun 10:00-20:00. FACTORY OUTLET URSUS This outlet centre is preoccupied with fashion, offering top brand names at 30-70% discounts over other shopping malls. Recognisable names among the brands include Desigual, Adidas, O Bag, Etam, Gant, ASICS, Brax, United Colors of Benetton, Smyk, Empik, Rossmann, Medicine, New Balance, O Bag and many more. One of the only such outlet centres in Europe, you can access it by taking the SKM train from Śródmieście and getting off at SKM Ursus, or by catching bus 127 at Dworzec Centralny and switching to bus 194 or 716 at PKP Włochy. Your final destination will be Ursus-Ratusz. If you are traveling by car, take the S8 route or Nowolazurowa street.QPl. Czerwca 1976r. 6 (Ursus), tel. (+48) 22 478 22 70, www.ursus.factory.pl. Open 10:0021:00; Sun 10:00-20:00. GALERIA MŁOCINY Found in the north-western district of Bielany, and easily accessible via metro - being right on the doorstep of the final stop, ‘Metro Młociny Bus, Tram & Metro Station’ this is Warsaw’s newest shopping mall, and an impressive one at that! With over 200 stores, a ‘meet and eat’ dining area in a post-industrial styled zone (a friendly nod to the area’s importance as a steelworks) containing 50 food & drink venues, a super-modern cinema complex, bowling alley and gym, all spaced out over a 75,000m2 area. The topping on the cake is the impressive rooftop terrace where you can enjoy various cultural events such as dances (a homage to Bielany district public dances of a bygone time), shows and concerts. There are also 2000 parking spots here should you choose to drive.Qul. Zgrupowania AK Kampinos 15, MMłociny, www.galeriamlociny.pl. Open 10:0022:00; Sun 10:00-21:00.
Royal Castle in Warsaw?
Ok, but shopping first. more than 300 brands always 30-70% off
Outlet Factory Annopol, Annopol 2, Warsaw Outlet Factory Ursus, Plac Czerwca 1976 R. 6, Warsaw
Warsaw's Plac Grzybowski (p.55). | © stompi stompi AdobeStock
24-HOUR PHARMACIES APTEKA BEATAQC‑6, Al. Solidarności 149, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 620 08 18, www.aptekabeata.pl.
24-HOUR POST OFFICE POCZTA POLSKA QF‑7, ul. Świętokrzyska 31/33, MŚwiętokrzyska, tel. (+48) 22 505 32 18, www.poczta-polska.pl.
COMPUTER & PHONE REPAIR CZWARTY WYMIAR TELEPHONE REPAIR QE‑8, ul.Chmielna 106 / U3, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 513 77 74 44, www.telefony4w.pl. Open 10:00-18:00; Sat 10:00-14:00; closed Sun. LAPTOPCONTROL.PL QH‑8, ul. Smolna 13/13, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 500 41 03 89, www.laptopcontrol.pl. Open 10:00-19:00; closed Sat, Sun.
CONSULATES & EMBASSIES There are over 95 embassies in Warsaw. Here are some of those most relevant to our readers. AMERICAN EMBASSY IN WARSAW QH‑9, Al. Ujazdowskie 29/31 (entrance from ul. Piękna 12), MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 504 20 00, www. pl.usembassy.gov. 130
AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY IN WARSAW QG‑8, ul. Nowogrodzka 11, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 521 34 44, www.australia.com. BRITISH EMBASSY IN WARSAW QJ‑11, ul. Kawalerii 12, tel. (+48) 22 311 00 00, www. gov.uk/government/world/poland. CANADIAN EMBASSY IN WARSAW QH‑9, ul. Matejki 1/5, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 584 31 00, www.canadainternational.gc.ca/poland-pologne. FRENCH EMBASSY IN WARSAW QH‑9, ul. Piękna 1, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 529 30 00, www.ambafrance-pl.org. GERMAN EMBASSY IN WARSAW QH‑10, ul. Jazdów 12, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 584 17 00, www.polen.diplo.de/pl-de. IRISH EMBASSY IN WARSAW QG‑8, ul. Mysia 5, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 564 22 00, www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/poland. ISRAELI CONSULATE & EMBASSY IN WARSAW QE‑11, ul. Krzywickiego 24, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 597 05 00, www.israel.pl. ITALIAN EMBASSY IN WARSAW QF‑6, Pl. Dąbrowskiego 6, MŚwiętokrzyska, tel. (+48) 22 826 34 71, www.ambvarsavia.esteri.it.
SPANISH EMBASSY IN WARSAW QJ‑11, ul. Myśliwiecka 4, tel. (+48) 22 583 40 00, www. exteriores.gob.es/embajadas/varsovia/es/Paginas/ inicio.aspx.
GENEALOGY NATIONAL ARCHIVE QF‑4, ul. Krzywe Koło 7, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 635 92 68, www.warszawa.ap.gov.pl. REGISTRY OFFICE QE‑5, ul. gen. Wł. Andersa 5, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 443 12 30, www.um.warszawa.pl.
LAUNDRY 5ASEC QE‑8, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 465 93 56, www.5asec.pl. Open 09:00-22:00; Sun 09:00-21:00. BLANC LYS Qul. Antka Rozpylacza 2A, tel. (+48) 508 16 28 10. Open 08:00-20:00.
PRIVATE CLINICS VIP DETOX Sometimes you’re so damn busy and overworked on business trips that you feel the urge to see a doctor, but all they’ll ‘subscribe’ is, well, advice to rest. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. But hey, there’s always another option, to seek the professional 24h services of VIP Detox who come to you, and not vice versa, to administer drip doses of all the right minerals and nutrients the body needs to keep you boosted, fresh and sharp! Call to describe your symptoms, the reasons for them, and agree a price, before your visit. During the session, which can last from 45mins to 1.5h, you will have a quick discussion about your medical history before the 1000ml drip solution of vitamins, glucose and electrolytes are administered. You’re in safe and knowledgeable hands from start to finish with qualified medics. Essential revitalisation from a trusted service. Qtel. (+48) 787 99 86 54, www.vipdetox.pl. Open 24 hrs.
RELIGIOUS SERVICES ST PAUL’S ENGLISH SPEAKING CATHOLIC PARISH QD‑5, Al. Solidarności 80, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 600 38 49 16, www.warsawcatholics.pl. WARSAW INTERNATIONAL CHURCH (PROTESTANT) QF‑4, ul. Miodowa 21B, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 601 33 10 32, www.wic.org.pl.
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HEALTH & EMERGENCY In case of an emergency, mobile phone users should dial 112 to be forwarded to the police, fire department or ER. From a landline or public phone dial the following: Ambulance: 999; Fire: 998; Police: 997. English, German and Russian speakers have separate lines specifically designed for foreigners in distress: +48 608 59 99 99 or +48 22 278 77 77. Both numbers can be reached from a mobile or a land-line and are hotlines in case you run into any troubles during your stay. For urgent medical emergencies, the emergency room in PL is called SOR, and should only be visited if it is really necessary. In less urgent crises, we recommend you visit a private clinic, where you’ll get better service and avoid the long queues in Polish hospitals.
RELOCATION COMPANIES LESS MESS STORAGE QAl. Krakowska 271, tel. (+48) 22 395 38 00, www. lessmess.pl. Offices open Mon-Fri 09:00-19:00 & Sat 9:0017:00. 131
The sleek modern interior of the revamped Hotel Raffles Europejski Warsaw.
CREAM OF THE CROP BELLOTTO HOTEL QF‑5, ul. Senatorska 13/15, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 829 64 44, www.hotelbellotto.pl. 20 rooms (5 apartments). PLKHDFw hhhhh HILTON WARSAW HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTRE QC‑7, ul. Grzybowska 63, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 356 55 55, www.warsaw.hilton.com. 314 rooms (10 apartments). PUL6KHCDFw hhhh HOTEL BRISTOL WARSAW QG‑5, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 551 10 00, www. hotelbristolwarsaw.pl. 206 rooms (41 apartments). PU6KHCDFw hhhhh HOTEL WARSZAWA QF‑7, Plac Powstańców Warszawy 9, MŚwiętokrzyska, tel. (+48) 22 470 03 00, www.warszawa.hotel.com.pl. PUL6KHCDFw hhhhh INTERCONTINENTAL QE‑8, ul. Emili Plater 49, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 328 88 88, www.warsaw.intercontinental.com. 414 rooms (26 apartments). PUL6KHCD Fw hhhhh MAMAISON HOTEL LE REGINA WARSAW QF‑3, ul. Kościelna 12, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 531 60 00, www.mamaison.com. 61 rooms (61 singles, 61 doubles, 2 apartments). PULKHCDF w hhhhh 132
MARRIOTT QE‑9, Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 630 63 06, www.warsawmarriott.com. 523 rooms (95 apartments). PUL6KHCDFw hhhhh RADISSON COLLECTION HOTEL WARSAW QE‑7/8, ul. Grzybowska 24, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 321 88 88, www.radissoncollection.com/en/hotelwarsaw. 311 rooms (28 apartments). PXUL6 KHCDFw hhhhh RAFFLES EUROPEJSKI WARSAW QG‑5, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13, MNowy ŚwiatUniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 255 95 00, www.raffles.com/ Warsaw. P6KC DFw hhhhh REGENT WARSAW HOTEL QI‑13, ul. Belwederska 23, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 558 12 34, www.regent-warsaw.com. 246 rooms (2 apartments). PXTULKHCDFw hhhhh SHERATON WARSAW HOTEL QH‑9, ul. Prusa 2, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 450 61 00, www.sheraton.pl. 350 rooms (19 apartments). PU L6KHDF hhhhh SOFITEL WARSAW VICTORIA QF‑6, ul. Królewska 11, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 657 80 11, www.sofitel-victoria-warsaw. com. 366 Total rooms. PUL6KHCDF hhhhh
UPMARKET FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON HOTEL MOKOTÓW Qul. Suwak 7B, tel. (+48) 22 263 66 00, www. fourpointswarsaw.pl. PULK HDF hhhh HAMPTON BY HILTON WARSAW CITY CENTRE QE‑9, ul. Wspólna 72, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 317 27 00, www.hampton.com. ULHF hhh HOLIDAY INN WARSAW CITY CENTRE QD‑8, ul. Twarda 52, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 257 66 99, www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/warsaw/ wawcc/hoteldetail. 256 Total rooms. PTUL6 KHF hhhh HOTEL SIXTYSIX QG‑7, ul. Nowy Świat 66, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 826 61 11, www.hotelsixtysix.com. 18 Total rooms. P6KHF hhhh INDIGO WARSAW QH‑7, ul. Smolna 40, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 418 89 00, www.indigowarsaw.com. PTUL6KH DF hhhh LEONARDO ROYAL HOTEL QC‑7, ul. Grzybowska 45, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 278 88 88, www.leonardo-hotels.com. 178 rooms (1 apartment). PULKH hhhh MERCURE WARSZAWA CENTRUM QE‑8, ul. Złota 48/54, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 697 39 99, www.mercure.com. 338 Total rooms. PUL 6KHD F hhhh MERCURE WARSZAWA GRAND QG‑9, ul. Krucza 28, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 583 21 00, www.mercure.com. 299 rooms (6 apartments). PU L6KH DF hhhh NOVOTEL WARSZAWA CENTRUM QF‑8, ul. Marszałkowska 94/98, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 596 00 00, www.accorhotels.com. 742 rooms (1 apartment). PULKHD F hhhh POLONIA PALACE HOTEL QF‑8, Al. Jerozolimskie 45, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 318 28 00, www.poloniapalace.com. 206 rooms (3 apartments). PU6KHDFw hhhh PURO WARSAW HOTEL QG‑8, ul. Widok 9, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 899 80 00, www.purohotel.pl/en/warszawa. PUL6KH DFw hhhh
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Hotels RADISSON BLU SOBIESKI HOTEL QC‑9, Pl. Zawiszy 1, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 579 10 00, www.radissonblu.com/en/sobieskiwarsaw. 452 rooms (30 apartments). PUL6K HDF hhhh
MID-RANGE B&B HOTEL WARSZAWA-OKĘCIE QAl. Krakowska 193, tel. (+48) 22 577 17 60, www. hotelbb.pl. 154 rooms (154 singles, 154 doubles). PTUL6 hh BEST WESTERN HOTEL FELIX Qul. Omulewska 24 (Praga Południe), MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 22 210 70 00, www.bwfelix.pl. 227 Total rooms. UL6KHw hhh CAMPANILE QC‑9, ul. Towarowa 2, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 582 72 00, www.campanile.com.pl. 194 Total rooms. PUL6KH hhh CHOPIN BOUTIQUE BED & BREAKFAST QH‑7, ul. Smolna 14/7, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 22 829 48 00, www.bbwarsaw.com. hhhh GOLDEN TULIP WARSAW CENTRE QC‑9, ul. Towarowa 2, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 582 75 00, www.goldentulipwarsawcentre.com. 144 rooms (1 apartment). PU6KHDF hhhh IBIS STYLES WARSZAWA CITY QD‑7, ul. Grzybowska 43, MRondo ONZ, tel. (+48) 22 488 33 00, www.ibis.com. PTUHF hhh IBIS WARSZAWA CENTRUM QB‑6, Al. Solidarności 165, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 520 30 00, www.hotelibis.com. 194 Total rooms. PUL6KH hh MDM QG‑10, Pl. Konstytucji 1, MPolitechnika, tel. (+48) 22 339 16 00, www.hotelmdm.com.pl. 134 rooms (1 apartment). PU6KH hhh
SYMBOL KEY P Air conditioning Y WarsawPass Tourist Card F Fitness centre
H Conference facilities
U Facilities for the disabled
L Guarded parking on site
6 Animal friendly
C Swimming pool X Smoking rooms available
Hotels METROPOL QF‑8, ul. Marszałkowska 99A, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 325 31 00, www.hotelmetropol.com.pl. 211 Total rooms. ULKH hhh
SOUND GARDEN HOTEL Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 18, tel. (+48) 22 279 14 00, www. soundgardenhotel.pl. 206 rooms (5 apartments). PUL6KHF hhh
MOTEL ONE WARSAW-CHOPIN QH‑6, ul. Tamka 38, MCentrum Nauki Kopernik, tel. (+48) 22 417 60 01, www.motel-one.com. PTU L6
MOXY WARSAW PRAGA QK‑3, ul. Ząbkowska 29, MDworzec Wileński, tel. (+48) 22 279 66 99, www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wawokmoxy-warsaw-praga. PUL6 hhh PLATINUM HOTEL & RESIDENCE Qul. św. Urszuli Ledóchowskiej 12, tel. (+48) 22 263 63 63, www.platinumresidence.com/wilanow. PUL 6KHF hhh
MAMAISON RESIDENCE DIANA WARSAW QG‑8, ul. Chmielna 13a, tel. (+48) 22 505 91 00, www. mamaisondiana.com/pl. 46 rooms (46 apartments). PTLKF PLATINUM RESIDENCE QC‑7, ul. Grzybowska 61, tel. (+48) 22 419 00 00, www. platinumresidence.com. 224 rooms (224 apartments). PTULKCDw RESIDENCE ST. ANDREW’S PALACE QF‑8, ul. Chmielna 30, MCentrum, tel. (+48) 22 826 46 40, www.residencestandrews.pl. 24 apartments. PK
IBIS BUDGET WARSZAWA CENTRUM QJ‑9, ul. Zagórna 1, tel. (+48) 22 745 36 60, www. accorhotels.com. 176 rooms (176 singles, 176 doubles, 14 triples). PUL6 h
VARSOVIA APARTAMENTY JEROZOLIMSKIE QAl. Jerozolimskie 216, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 419 95 00, www.varsoviaapartamenty.pl. PUL
START HOTEL ARAMIS QH‑7, ul. Mangalia 3B, MWierzbno, tel. (+48) 22 207 80 00, www.hotelaramis.pl. 233 Total rooms. UL6 KH h
VARSOVIA APARTAMENTY KASPRZAKA Qul. Kasprzaka 31, MRondo Daszyńskiego, tel. (+48) 22 255 99 99, www.varsoviaapartamenty.pl. PUL K
START HOTEL ATOS QH‑7, ul. Mangalia 1, MWierzbno, tel. (+48) 22 207 70 00, www.hotelatos.pl. 138 Total rooms. PUL6K hh
AIRPORT HOTELS COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT WARSAW AIRPORT Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 1J (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650 01 00, www.courtyardwarsawairport.com. 236 rooms (3 apartments). PULKHF hhhh GOLDEN TULIP WARSAW AIRPORT QAl. Krakowska 235, tel. (+48) 22 118 58 58, www. goldentulipwarsawairporthotel.com. 90 rooms (1 apartment). PU L 6 K H D F hhhh HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WARSAW AIRPORT Qul. Poleczki 31 (Ursynów), tel. (+48) 22 373 37 00, www.hiex-wa.com. 124 Total rooms. PULK H hhh RENAISSANCE WARSAW AIRPORT HOTEL Qul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 H, tel. (+48) 22 164 70 00, www. renaissancewarszawa.pl. PUL6KHCD Fw hhhhh 134
HOSTEL PUFFA LUX QG‑5, ul. Karowa 31, MNowy Świat-Uniwersytet, tel. (+48) 535 55 08 55, www.puffahostel.com. H HOSTEL STARA PRAGA Qul. Czapelska 24 (Praga Południe), MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 510 23 02 62. 21 rooms (10 doubles, 10 six-person roon, 1 eight-person room). L LULL HOSTEL QK‑7, ul. Jakubowska 4, MStadion Narodowy, tel. (+48) 608 03 17 43, www.lullhostel.pl. T OKI DOKI CITY HOSTEL QF‑7, Pl. Dąbrowskiego 3, MŚwiętokrzyska, tel. (+48) 22 828 01 22, www.okidoki.pl. 37 rooms (19 doubles, 2 triples, 1 quad, 9 six-person room, 6 eight-person room, 150 dorm beds). 6Y OKI DOKI OLD TOWN QF‑4, ul. Długa 6, MRatusz Arsenał, tel. (+48) 22 635 07 63, www.okidoki.pl. 25 rooms (15 doubles, 3 quads, 3 six-person room, 4 eight-person room, 100 dorm beds). PULH
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Index If the venue you’re looking for isn’t listed, you’ll likely find it among the hundreds of places in Warsaw listed on our website: warsaw.inyourpocket.com 12on14 Jazz Club 112 AB Everest Travel 61, 71 Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature35 Adventure Warsaw 61 A Footbridge of Memory 57 AleGloria98 Alembik124 Amber Ring 125 Amber Room 98 Aquapark Wesolandia 69 Art Gallery Amber Silver Line 125 Art Studio Jewellery Schubert125 AURA Bar 111 AZIA Concept 83 B52 Restaurant 88, 111 Back Room Bar 111 Bar Mleczny Familijny 102 Barn Burger 81 Bar Studio 112 Bar-Szawa112 B&B Hotel Warszawa-Okęcie133 Beef n’ Pepper 84 Bellotto Hotel 132 Belvedere98 BEST WESTERN Hotel Felix 133 Bez Tytułu 88 Bistro Bar WuWu 98, 112 Bistro TenTego 88 Bollywood Lounge 86 Boska Praga 89 Brasserie Warszawska 98 Brooklyn House 81 Butchery & Wine 84 Campanile133 Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party47 Česká Pivni Restaurant 85 Charlie112 Chicago's Bar & Grill 82 Chopin Boutique Bed & Breakfast 133 Chopin Monument & Temple of Sibyl 41 Ciao a Tutti DUE 94 Ciao Napoli 94 Cigarro - Cigar Shop & Lounge 124 City Sightseeing Warsaw 61 Copernicus Science Centre 64 Courtyard by Marriott Warsaw Airport 134 CSN Szczęśliwice 69 Czerwony Wieprz 98
Dawne Smaki 98 Der Elefant 89 Designer Outlet Warszawa 128 Dom Mody KLIF 128 Dom Polski 100 Drugie Dno - Multitap Bar 120 Du-za Mi-ha 83 Ele Taxi 27 Elixir by Dom Wódki 100 El Popo 105 E-Manufaktura127 Enklawa - The Legendary Nightlife116 E. Wedel Chocolate Lounge "Old-Fashioned Shop" 75, 126 FACTORY Outlet Annopol 128 FACTORY Outlet Ursus 128 First Floor Restaurant 89 Flyspot Warsaw Indoor Skydiving67 Focaccia Ristorante 95 Folk Gospoda 100 Folkstar127 Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Mokotów 133 Free Speech Memorial 47 Free Walkative! Tour 61 Frey Wille 125 Fryderyk Chopin Birthplace & Park in Żelazowa Wola 71 Fryderyk Chopin Museum 60 FSO Shooting Range 66 Fusion86 Galeria Młociny 128 Galeria Tebe 126 Game Over Escape Rooms Warszawa67 Getting There 41, 137 Ghetto Heroes Monument 57 Golden Tulip Warsaw Airport134 Golden Tulip Warsaw Centre133 Gościniec Polskie Pierogi 100 Grand Kredens 90 Guru Restaurant & Bar 86 Hala Gwardii 85 Hala Koszyki 85, 126 Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre 133 Hangar 646 67 Hard Rock Cafe 82, 113 Harenda112 Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre 132 Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport134
Warsaw’s syrenka in the Museum of Warsaw (p.34) Holiday Inn Warsaw City Centre133 Hostel Puffa Lux 134 Hostel Stara Praga 134 Hotel Bristol Warsaw 132 Hotel SixtySix 133 Hotel Warszawa 132 How You Doin'? 74 Hulakula116 Hulakula Leisure Centre 66 Hustler Gentlemen's Club 121 Hydrozagadka116 Ibis Budget Warszawa Centrum134 Ibis Styles Warszawa City 133 Ibis Warszawa Centrum 133 Imperial Drink Bar & More 121 Indigo Warsaw 133 InFormal Kitchen 90 InterContinental132 Jack's Bar & Restaurant 81 Jewish Ghetto Wall Fragment57 Jewish Historical Institute 54 Kamanda Lwowska 106 Katyń Museum 60 Kawiarnia Krucza 23 74 Kita Koguta 113 Klub SPATiF 113 Koko & Roy 82 Kuchnia Warszawska 101 Kufle i Kapsle 120 LAS101 Łazienki Park 41
Leonardo Royal Hotel 133 Level 27 117 Le Victoria Brasserie Moderne86 Lilou125 Lokal Vegan Bistro 106 Lull Hostel 134 Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw 132 Mamaison Residence Diana Warsaw 134 Maria Skłodowska Curie Museum61 Marriott132 MDM133 Memorial to the Evacuation of Warsaw Ghetto Fighters 57 Mercure Warszawa Centrum133 Mercure Warszawa Grand 133 Merliniego84 Metropol134 Meza Restaurant 90 Miła 18 Bunker 57 MK Bowling Entertainment Center 66 Mleczarnia Jerozolimska 102 Modlin Fortress 71 Mokotowska 69 102 MOMU102 Monique Bakery & Wine 74 Monument to the Warsaw Uprising59 Mood Restaurant 90 Moonsfera91
Index MOTEL ONE Warsaw-Chopin134 Moxy Warsaw Praga 134 Munja84 Museum of Hunting & Horsemanship42 Museum of Life under Communism49 Museum of Modern Art on the Vistula 62 Museum of Polish People's Movement61 Museum of Warsaw 34 Myślewicki Palace 42 N58 Club 117 Na bałkany 84 Nadwiślański Świt 91 Na Lato Day & Night 91, 117 Namaste India 86, 126 National Ethnographic Museum62 National Museum 62 National Stadium Ice Rink 67 NBP Money Centre 63 Neon Museum 53 Novotel Warszawa Centrum133 Nożyk Synagogue 55 Officer Cadets School 42 Oh My Pho 83 Oki Doki City Hostel 134 Oki Doki Old Town 134 Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery55 Old Town Heritage Interpretation Centre 35 Old Town Ice Rink 67 Opera118 OTO!SUSHI97 Palace of Culture & Science 49 Palace on the Island 41 Palmiry National Memorial & Museum 71 PAM PAM Restaurant 92 Pawiak Prison 63 PGE National Stadium53 Piazza Ristorante 95 Pinball Station 67 Piw Paw 120 PKiN Ice Rink 67 PKO Rotunda Cafe 75 Plac Europejski Ice Rink 67 Plac Grzybowski 55 Plac Konstytucji 48 Planetarium of the Copernicus Science Centre 68 Platinum Hotel & Residence 134 Platinum Residence 134
Playhouse Gentleman's Club121 Polish Army Museum 64 Polish Vodka Museum 52 Polonia Palace Hotel 133 Pomaluj.art - Galeria Bolesławiec & Studio Ceramiki127 Poster Museum 45 Praga District Museum 51 Praga Koneser Center 52 Prodiż warszawski 102 PURO Warsaw Hotel 133 Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel133 Radisson Collection Hotel Warsaw 132 Raffles Europejski Warsaw132 Regent Warsaw Hotel 132 Renaissance Warsaw Airport Hotel 134 Residence St. Andrew's Palace134 Restauracja Różana 102 Restauracja Rusiko 86 Restauracja Widokówka 102 Rico105 Rock Shop 128 Room 13 Club & Lounge 118 Royal Castle 33 Rozbrat 20 92 Ruins of the Rising 57 Ruza Roza 84 Saska Kępa - Ul. Francuska 53 SEN 92, 118 Sexy Duck 95 Sheraton Warsaw Hotel 132 Silk & Spicy 105 Smolna118 Sofitel Warsaw Victoria 132 Sogo Club 121 Sound Garden Hotel 134 Soviet War Cemetery 49 St. Anne's Church 45 Start Hotel Aramis 134 Start Hotel Atos 134 Stary Dom 103 Syreni Śpiew 96, 119 TAPAS Gastrobar 104 Teatro Cubano Warsaw 119 Tel Aviv Food & Wine 96 TGI Fridays 82 Thai Thai 106 The Alchemist GastroPub 92, 114 TheBooks.pl126 The Cool Cat 92 The ROOTS Cocktail Bar & more 114 The Wilanów Palace Museum44
Trattoria Da Antonio Żurawia96 Tutti Colori 96 U Fukiera 103 Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art 42 UKI UKI 97 ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 35, 36 ul. Marszałkowska 48 ul. Nowy Świat 38 ul. Ząbkowska 51 Umschlagplatz57 U Szwejka 85 Varsovia Apartamenty Jerozolimskie134 Varsovia Apartamenty Kasprzaka134 Victoria's Secret 106, 126 Vistulan Boulevards 68 Vodka Museum 64
Vodka Museum Shop 125 Wabu Sushi & Japanese Tapas97 Warszawa Wschodnia 103 Wawel75 Weles Bar 114 Whiskey in the Jar 114 Wilanów Park & Gardens 44 Winestone92 Woda Ognista 114 Wodny Park 69 W Oparach Absurdu 114 World of Amber 125 WSS Społem 128 Zachęta - National Gallery of Art 64 Zapiecek104 Żebra i Kości 104 Zielnik Cafe 104 ZONI Restaurant 94 Zoo51
FEATURES & CATEGORIES Airport Transfers 23 Ask the Concierge 62 Chopin recitals 39 Copernicus Science Centre 64 Decoding the Menu 88 Fryderyk Chopin 38 Getting to Łazienki 41 Getting to Łódź 72 Getting to Wilanów 45 Getting to Praga 53 Guided Tours 61 Hala Koszyki 106 Health & Emergency 131 Hot beer? 109 History 44 Ice Skating 67 Jazz 112 Metro-Morphosis 27 Milk Bars 102 Pko Rotunda Returns! 60 POLIN 55 Riding the Polish Rails 25 Royal Castle 33 Sunday shopping ban 124 Steak 84 Tourist information 51 Uprising Museum 59 Useful Transport Apps 26 Warsaw Street Murals 52 ZOO 51 137