Warsaw Insider August 2022 #312

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19 WISŁA WONDERS The Capital’s Original City Magazine Since 1996

Riverfront essentials – p.12

#312

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AUGUST 2022

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Picasso: following Pablo’s footsteps – p. 7 Ultimate Chillout: ice cream special – p. 42 Coffee Culture: cafes for summer – p. 46



Contents August 2022

Reviews: Falla Wrap – p. 31 Franco Warsaw – p. 34 Café Vintage Kolektyw – p. 36 Rascal Bar – p. 38 Kufle i Kapsle Nowy Świat – p. 40

DISCOVER Otwarty Jazdów – p. 63

Cheat Sheet Warsaw Rising Museum – p. 66 Królikarnia CIRCUS – p. 68 Summer Cinema – p. 70

AND SO… to the business end of summer. After all the build-up through June and July, it's August when the sun hits its peak and the city and its people collectively melt. Yet as suffocating as it can be, we are at least fortunate that our little concrete paradise has a river running through it. Like moths to a flame, it’s to here that Varsovians head once the weather gets toasty – naturally, therefore, it’s the Wisła that gets the lion’s share of attention in this issue. But that’s not all, of course. Inland, we’ve followed in the footsteps of Picasso, amassed a list of our favorite summer coffee spots, and toured the town in search of Warsaw’s best ice cream. It’s been sweaty work putting that altogether, so we hope that our labors meet with your approval – see ya’ next month!

COVER PHOTO SHUTTERSTOCK, PHOTOGRAPH THIS PAGE BY ED WIGHT

Alex Webber

insider@warsawinsider.pl

Subscription Editor-in-chief Alex Webber insider@warsawinsider.pl

Publisher Morten Lindholm mlindholm@valkea.com

Distribution Manager Krzysztof Wiliński kwilinski@valkea.com

Art Director Kevin Demaria kdemaria@valkea.com

Content Editor Krystyna Spark kspark@valkea.com

Advertising Manager Jowita Malich jmalich@valkea.com

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MA-URI MASSAGE IS NOT ONLY A RELIEF FOR A TIRED BODY, BUT ALSO A REAL FEAST FOR THE SPIRIT. A massage like no other, Polynesian massage relaxes, eases tension and helps to achieve a perfect physical and emotional balance by introducing harmony between the body, mind and spirit. In addition, in this massage is a wonderful massage of the head, hair and face in addition to cosmetic qualities causes the "exposure" of emotions, and thus, the ordering of thoughts and strengthening of perception . Smooth movements to the rhythm of calming music give the massage harmony and balance in the human body. After the massage, you feel that you have more energy to act. Body & Mind massage by HANKA KRASZCZYŃSKA ul. Pełczyńskiego 28 E/lok. 24 Al. Jerozolimskie 45, Hotel Polonia Palace + 48 798 665 254 www.lomilomi.waw.pl


In front

PHOTOGRAPH BY KEVIN DEMARIA

PUBLIC SPACE

Fair & Square? Having been hyped for months, Plac Pięciu Rogów opened in July only to be greeted by stifled giggles…

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In front • news

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DID YOU KNOW? From a historical perspective, no building on the square boasts a richer history than the former Jabłkowski Department Store on Bracka 25. Completed in 1914, it thrived during the inter-war years during which time it gained a reputation as Poland’s answer to Harrods. Featuring the city’s first glass elevator and rooftop terrace, it enjoyed a reputation far beyond the country’s borders thanks to its mail order business. Used as a secret Home Army weapons depot during the war, its various guises after WWII saw it function as a children’s home and a shoe emporium. After a 25-year court battle, the building was returned to its rightful pre-war owners.

been planted here grow and become more green, then we will see how they connect to create an overhead green canopy.” Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski also reminded those present at the opening that City Hall had wanted to introduce more greenery, only to find their

request blocked by the conservator. Reeling from the criticism, steps have already been taken to increase the number of plants and trees, but as things stand what should have been one of the highlights of the summer has so far proved an epic disappointment.

PHOTOGRAPHS THIS SPREAD BY KEVIN DEMARIA

osting a total of PLN 15 million, what had been promoted as one of most important urban investments of 2022 found itself lambasted by both the public and the press. Having been promised “a peaceful city center enclave” filled with “shade-giving trees, fountains, benches and seating arrangements and outdoor art installations”, visitors to the newly-opened square instead found a meager selection of trees and a miserable fountain more redolent of a blocked plughole. Contrasted against the slick renderings that had been drip-fed in the months leading-up to the grand reveal, the reality was met with widespread surprise. Occupying the area where Bracka, Chmielna, Krucza, Szpitalna and Zgoda intersect, the project has seen traffic limited to just buses and vehicles with special permits. Of the other changes, space was also freed for restaurant gardens. However, despite an onus being reportedly placed on making the area more pedestrian-friendly, visitors were left flabbergasted by the results with many complaining about the over-usage of concrete and the overwhelming lack of greenery. For their part, City Hall were quick to remind people that the square remains a work in progress and should only be judged in a year’s time. Łukasz Puchalski, the director of the Municipal Roads Authority, said: “we have not managed to implement a project that has reconciled everyone, but rather one that has divided people. I propose giving this square at least a year so that the twenty-two trees that have


PUBLIC ART

Hail Pomodoro! Considered one of the world’s greatest living artists, a work by 96-year-old sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro has gone on show in Łazienki’s Modernist Garden. Made from fiberglass, the giant sphere riffs on Pomodoro’s obsession with such orb-like shapes. “In particular,” says the artist, “a sphere containing another sphere, burgeoning up from within it, can be read as a metaphor promising the rebirth of a less troubled and destructive world.”

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In front • news | history TECHNOLOGY

The Machines Are Taking Over…

TRANSPORATION

Underground Vibes Growing at the pace of a moody teenager, Warsaw welcomed two more metro stops as part of its ever-lengthening M2 line. Named Ulrychów and Bemowo, the duo were unveiled at the tail end of June in the northern part of the city. Notable for their patinated copper surfaces, the stations are part of a PLN 1 billion investment that should be completed in 2023. Currently numbering 15 stations, six more are due to be added over the following year.

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA, OPPOSITE PAGE SHUTTERSTOCK, WIKICOMMONS

Described as the first such device in the world, a branch of Żabka on Dobra 54 has thrilled the tech press after seeing the debut of a robotic hot dog seller called Robbie. Weighing 1.5 tons and standing 2.5 meters tall, the robot was developed by the Kraków firm VeloxAlpha and is capable of making three hot dogs at a time using his mechanical arm. Following the success of this prototype, plans are now afoot to bring Robbie to a Żabka near you!


When Poland Met Picasso Later recalling it as “the best two weeks” of his life, this August marks the 74th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s visit to Warsaw…

F

irst intended as merely a three-day jaunt, Picasso’s trip to Poland found itself considerably extended – officially, this was so that he could receive an award from President Bolesław

Bierut though it’s also possible the artist himself chose to delay his return due to his famous fear of flying. Just as likely, however, he was simply too busy having a whale of a time. As a card-carrying member

of the French Communist Party, Picasso found himself invited to attend an event in Wrocław. Pompously titled the World Congress of Intellectuals in Defence of Peace, it was held between the 25th and 28th of August and drew a host of champagne socialists: German playwright Bertolt Brecht, novelist Aldous Huxley, British author Graham Greene and the scientist Irène Joliot-Curie (the daughter of Marie). Even among such celebrated company, Picasso was undoubtedly the star of the show, and he cemented his reputation for eccentricity during a raucous dinner at Wrocław’s Monopol Hotel. Prancing around half-naked in the banquet hall, one guest is said to have complained about “the drunk Czech man undressing in the restaurant”. Having originally been flown into the country in a Soviet Li-2, Picasso’s love affair with Poland had begun even before he landed. Looking down on the arable land below, he reputedly exclaimed: “Look at those fields; that’s pure Cubism!” With this in mind, it’s hardly a surprise the artist chose to prolong his visit. And so it was, after finishing his duties in Wrocław, he climbed a train bound for Warsaw on the morning of the 29th, reportedly entertaining one autograph hunter on board with a belly dance. warsawinsider.pl

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In front • history The Bristol Hotel

Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44 Having been sequestered by the Germans during the occupation, the Bristol had survived the war largely intact, and this venerable institution was to serve as Picasso’s digs for the duration of his Warsaw stay. Before one gala dinner held here in his honor, the artist drew a portrait of Soviet propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg, as well as his guide and translator, Ewa Lipińska. It was here, too, that he autographed and dated a plate – donated to the Museum of Warsaw in 1978, it today forms a much-treasured part of their permanent collection.

Artist’s Canteen

ul. Obrońców 28/30 Picasso’s schedule was hectic with his itinerary including a dinner with Poland’s intelligentsia at Bagatela 10, dinner with the mayor at Wilanów Palace and a presidential ceremony at the Belvedere Palace – it was at the latter he, along with poet Paul Elouard, was awarded the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta. But among all that, he also found time for lunch at an artist’s canteen on Obrońców 28/30 – though the building is now locked from the public, peering through the fence you’ll find a copy on the exterior wall of his famous mermaid…

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The National Museum Al. Jerzolimskie 6

Picasso’s time in Warsaw included a tour of the flattened Ghetto and the city’s broken ruins. On a lighter note, he was also taken to the National Museum where he was given a personalized tour by the museum’s director, Stanisław Lorentz. Expressing his appreciation for the Polish art on display, he was also given special dispensation to smoke whilst admiring the art. After, he donated twenty hand-painted ceramic plates to the museum.

PHOTOGRAPHS OF LOCATIONS BY KEVIN DEMARIA, PICASSO LITHOGRAPH BY ZBIGNIEW DOLIŃSKI/NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WARSAW, CERAMIC PLATE COURTESY OF MUSEUM OF WARSAW

In The Footsteps of Picasso


The Mermaid ul. Deotymy 48

For one of Warsaw’s greatest lost treasures, look no further than the story of Picasso’s mermaid. Taken on a tour of the WSM Housing Estate in the Koło district, the artist whipped out a pen inside one apartment he was shown and sketched his take on the Warsaw mermaid. Measuring 1.7 meters by 1.8 meters, one witness remarked upon the work: “my God, her bosoms were huge – like two big balloons.” Word of the work spread quickly, and it wasn’t long until people – even President Bierut – were knocking on the door of the flat at Deotymy. With their patience waning, the owners applied for the removal of their private ‘Pikacco’ (sic). On turning up, one worker reportedly remarked: “and who on earth did that? My brother-in-law could do better.”

And Now… While Warsaw’s cultural institutions may find it difficult to rival the art collections of the Louvre or Tate Modern, they do, on the rare occasion, exhibit works by some of the greats. Such is the case at the Królikarnia Sculpture Museum, where viewers can view an original Picasso at the current CIRCUS exhibition. The Pablo Picasso work on display is a colored lithograph, dated between 19571961, titled Trick Rider and Clowns. Featuring the artist’s characteristic distortion of human form and almost crude rendering of bodily details, the work fits seamlessly into the narrative of the exhibition, where the peculiarity of performers is a trait to be admired. It will be on display until the 2nd of October 2022. - KS

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Temple Talk Set to host numerous performances this August as part of the annual Singer Festival, join us for an inside look at Warsaw’s only surviving prewar synagogue… Then home to Europe’s largest population

of Jews, pre-war Warsaw could boast in excess of 400 synagogues and Jewish places of worship. All were closed following a German decree issued in January of 1940, and though three were allowed to resume operations the following May, only one

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would survive the occupation and subsequent destruction of Warsaw. Located on Twarda 6, the story of the Nożyk Synagogue began in 1898. It was then that Zalman Nożyk, a wealthy merchant with a succesful haberdashery business, purchased the plot of land and, along with his wife, Rywka, initiated proceedings to build a synagogue. Purportedly designed by Leandro Marconi, a prolific architect whose other Warsaw projects included palaces on Ujazdowskie and Foksal, as well as the Great Synagogue on today’s Pl. Bankowy, it was built with a capacity for 600 people. Officially opened on May 25th, 1902, it immediately won favor. A report in the Israelite gushed: “this synagogue meets modern requirements in every respect. Impressive, but kept within the boundaries of good taste, its appearance, both inside and outside, as well as its wide spaces, and good ventilation and acoustics, prove that a skillful hand was at work here.” Zalman Nożyk died in 1903, and his wife eleven years later, and in accordance with their wishes it passed into the hands of the Warsaw Jewish

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA, OPPOSITE PAGE BOX PRESS MATERIAL (2)

In front • building spotlight


Klezmer & Odessa Gangsta Folk from Ukraine

The Singer Festival

Community – also leaving a substantial amount of money for its upkeep, the couple’s only condition was that it would retain the name Nożyk. Used primarily by richer residents, many of whom had bought permanent seats, the synagogue was briefly used as a stable by the Nazis, as well as a storehouse for animal feed. Absorbed into the so-called Aryan side of Warsaw after the size of the Jewish Ghetto was reduced, it was this circumstance that ultimately save it from demolition – others that remained within the Ghetto’s borders found themselves razed to the ground when the Nazis set about the methodical destruction of the former Jewish district. Though it sustained significant damage during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, the structure failed to topple and, in July of 1945, its battered shell hosted a symbolic service. Provisionally repaired in 1951, it again faced closure in 1968 following the mass emigration sparked by the government’s anti-Zionist campaign. Reopened in 1983 on the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, today the synagogue has assumed a central role in the city’s Jewish rebirth.

First held in 2004, the Festival of Jewish Culture (or Singer’s Warsaw as it’s known by many) has grown to become one of the city’s biggest annual events. Held for the 19th time, this year the festival will run from August 27th until September 4th. In light of current events, more artists than ever before have been invited over from Ukraine, and whilst most performances will take place in the Jewish Theater, the Nożyk Synagogue will also host several gala concerts. Confirmed at press time, those booked to appear include cantors Nachman Turgeman and Netanel Olivtski, the Bastard Trio and the Harmonium Duo. Other participating venues include Teatr Kwadrat, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Yiddish Cultural Centre. For more details, see: shalom.org.pl.

Yasmin Levy

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THE RIVERFRONT 19 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE! From the quiet, secret corners to the essential hits, we bring you all you simply have to do this August on the Wisła…

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To See You! Switched on in front of a crowd of 100,000 people on June 21, 2014, the neon sign attached to Most Gdański won a competition to ‘find a new neon for Warsaw’. Not without controversy, Mariusz Lewczyk’s design took top place by default after the original winner was disqualified for cheating. One of the city’s best-loved neons, its message cheerfully proclaims ‘miło cię widzieć’ (‘nice to see you’).

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA

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Nice…


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Respect… The Mayor

Premiering late last year, and just a stone’s throw from the Royal Gardens, it’s never a bad time to pay homage to two of Warsaw’s greatest leaders. Commemorated in brass, on the one hand you have Stefan Starzyński, the visionary Mayor whose tenure saw the construction of the National Museum, 44 schools, and plans for a metro. Having led by example during the 1939 Siege of Warsaw, he later died in German captivity. Then, flanking him, give a nod to his right-hand man, Juliusz Kulski. Succeeding Starzyński as Mayor, he worked in wartime under challenging circumstances but with the underground’s full consent.

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Have…

A Whale Of A Time

There’s plenty of modern installations to keep your eyes peeled for, and we love the sea monster that pokes out of the grass close to Most Gdański. Quirky as that is, it’s outdone by the fish and whale sculptures that writhe from the sands and squidgy flooring between the footbridge and the Museum on the Vistula. Capable of spurting jets of water, these stone creatures are a must for your Insta.

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The Riverfront

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Spot…

A Mermaid

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For…

A View To Treasure Not all of Warsaw’s views induce a sickening sense of vertigo. Walk south from Most Gdański and you’ll find an observation deck perched on what looks like an L-shape pushed onto its side. The shallow stairwell makes it an easy ascent for those that usually wobble at the thought of heights – despite its low center of gravity, the sightlines are stunning especially once the skies flush scarlet.

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Warsaw is a city of mermaids and you’ll discover her likeness on everything from buses and taxis to mugs and t-shirts. There’s also a few statues of the city’s mascot, but none have more history than the mermaid close to Świętokrzyski Bridge. Cast in bronze, it’s alleged to be the last monument to be unveiled in Warsaw before the Nazi occupation. The sculptor, Ludwik Nitschow, used a 23-year old poetess, Krystyna Krahelska, as his model. Serving as a medic in the Home Army, she was mortally wounded on the first day of the Uprising. The statue survived, albeit with 34 bullet dents that are visible to this day.


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Feed…

Your Head

It’s sometimes hard to view the right bank in terms of anything but its nightlife – but cultural life also thrives, with the most high profile bastion of such being the Museum on the Vistula. A branch of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, find a regular roster of challenging exhibitions inside a white cube building (topped by a show-stealing neon) that was transported from Berlin. Inspired by Gothic tales, pagan mythology, and motifs borrowed from mediaeval manuscripts, swing by this August for an exhibition of works by Aleksandra Waliszewska. After, visit the adjoining Paloma nad Wisłą for vegan food with a Californian twist. warsawinsider.pl

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The Riverfront

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Join…

The Herd Of Warsaw’s clutch of river-side bathing spots, then Poniatówka at the base of Poniatowski Bridge is easily the city’s fave – you know summer has officially started from the first moment you cross the bridge by tram and see hundreds of sunbathers dotted down below. Walking further south, you’ll encounter another classic piece of Warsaw – a muddy, overgrown patch of land that, at the weekends, becomes BBQ cook spot. As darkness sets in, it strike quite an image to see dozens of flickering fires illuminating the darkness.

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Let…

Your Hair Down The riverfront has no shortage of places to eat and drink, but for sheer madcap hedonism few can rival the Luna Park. Brought to you by the makers of Nocny Market, this place features a bar inside a carousel, a circus-stye big top, and an adjoining club with an entrance way constructed from outsized Lego bricks. Specializing in street food and late nights, it’s one of the most energetic weekends you ever wish to have.


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Drink…

On The Beer Barge! There are oodles of bars to choose from and your choice covers everything from cheapo clubs blasting 90s dance tracks to sophisticated venues frequented by gazelle-like girls and city boy types jangling the keys to their Merc. Being of simple pleasures, however, for our fave look to Barka Wynurzenie. Accessed via a bouncy gangplank, this craft beer barge gently rocks on the waves – something that considerably speeds up your journey into drunkenness.

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The Riverfront

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10 Use…

The Stairs Completed in 1959, the two-level Most Gdański is one of the unsung engineering triumphs of Warsaw. Largely, that’s thanks to an entrancing spiral staircase that’s become a favored photographic backdrop for ‘Just Married’ couples returning from church. The bridge itself isn’t bad for photos either, and that strikes especially true at dusk when the setting sun slashes through the latticed metalwork to cast geometric shadows on the timber planks that run alongside the tram tracks. warsawinsider.pl

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The Riverfront

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Whistle…

The Workmen Seen through a cloud of grit and dust, work on a footbridge connecting Praga’s Okrzei street with the Wisła’s right bank is well underway. Priced at PLN 120 million, the 452-meter crossing will enable cyclists to zip over the river in two minutes and pedestrians in six. Scheduled for completion in 2024, the investment has already aroused much interest.

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Get… Smart

The Kamień Educational Pavilion close to Warsaw Zoo station is a beauty: with its architectural form inspired by the rocky boulders so prevalent on this side of the river, the structure features a mezzanine reserved for exhibitions and a wider plot twisted with educational paths. Directly north, City Hall have announced plans to develop the Golędzinów Natural Park so as to safeguard the local wildlife.

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Take…

A Walk On The Wild Side Offering a sharp contrast to the party atmosphere of the left bank, much of the right side of the river can be described as Warsaw’s secret jungle. Seen as a wild mass of tangled vegetation, the trails that have been cut into the undergrowth are great for off-road cycling and nettle-stinging walks. Explore a little, and you’ll find yourself emerging onto thin walkways jutting into the river – these are the most sought-after fishing spots in town. warsawinsider.pl

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Riverfront

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Down… Size

The Insider is a big kid at heart, so the sight of an intricate scale model is fully certified to send us weak at the knees. So how about this: a few steps south of Świętokrzyski Bridge, look out for a complex rendering of the Sinfonia Varsovia. Due to be delivered in 2026 (fingers crossed), the PLN 430 million project is set to push Warsaw’s cultural scene in a world class direction – at least if this 1:10 model is anything to go by.

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Cheer…

SHUTTERSTOCK

The Flotilla As per tradition, Warsaw will pause at 5 p.m. on August 1st to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. But whilst the loudest patriots congregate at Rondo Dmowskiego, find thousands of others lining the river’s boulevards to view the flotilla of boats that will pootle down the Wisła to honor the insurgency. With all of the vessels firing flares and sounding their horns on the stroke of 5, it’s a stirring sight that tingles the spine – for the best view of the action, head to the area around Poniatowski Bridge. When you’re done, walk up to Kopernik metro station to view mangled bits of bridges blown to smithereens during the ensuing 63-day battle.

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Cycle…

Świętokrzyski Suspended via 48 ropes from a pair of 90-meter pylons, Świętokrzyski became the capital’s first suspension bridge when it was completed in 2000. Reputedly ‘the most filmed bridge in Poland’, the slender silhouette of this 479-meter project has become iconic of modern Warsaw, and as such it features frequently in commercials, pop videos, rom-coms and serials – in 2007, it even hosted an F1 event starring Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen. Featuring a user-friendly cycle path, it’s our favorite bridge to zoom over on two wheels.

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The Riverfront

17 Ride…

The Waves Every Warsaw bucket list demands a trip across the river on a tiny water tram. Bobbing over the waves like rubber ducks, a trio of such ferries (the Wilga, the Pliszka and Słonka) can be found plying their trade at various points on the map.

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Walk…

SHUTTERSTOCK

In The Clouds

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The Copernicus Science Centre has accomplished much since opening eleven years ago, not least by keeping its promise by injecting science with fun – packed with interactive displays, here you’ll survive an earthquake, fly on a magic carpet and stand on the moon. In summer though, one of the chief attractions is the rooftop garden. Free to enter, its meandering paths take you past a park designed to mimic a volcanic landscape. After, check out the strange installations in the gardens down below.


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Float… Away

Marketed as the first such facility in Poland, July saw the premier of a ‘floating beach’. What’s that? Well, basically no more than a barge covered in sand. Moored by the mermaid monument, the Kalima has already staged yoga meets and hosted pop-up stores – we expect more of the same in August.

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INSIDER'S

GUIDE For a catch-all solution offering a variety of food, drinks and social experiences under one address, check out the following Warsaw legends…

CENTRUM PRASKIE KONESER

Pl. Konesera 2, koneser.eu Set in the revitalized space of a former vodka factory, Koneser has seamlessly blended modernity with post-industrial scenery to create an energetic dynamic reflected by its rich cultural and artistic offer, niche boutiques, local stores and impressive food and drink offer. Highlights number the Polish Vodka Museum and the upmarket Syreni Śpiew bar-club.

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS SECTION ARE PRESS MATERIAL

COMMUNIT Y HUBS & FOOD HALLS


BROWARY WARSZAWSKIE

ul. Grzybowska 60, browarywarszawskie.com.pl Occupying a revamped 19th century, the Browary complex feels more like a district within a district with its revitalized historic buildings rubbing alongside upmarket new build. The food hall is the most premium in its category, though the sunken outdoor plaza is the place to be this summer. Don’t miss their flagship brewpub!

DON'T MISS! Featuring an intelligent menu of surf & turf options, the smart Blue Marlin restaurant has already seduced Warsaw thanks to its food and vibe, and that was joined in July by NAR, an atmospheric and sensual-looking sheesha bar.

ELEKTROWNIA POWIŚLE

ul. Dobra 42, elektrowniapowisle.com A former power plant, this remarkable regeneration project has kept hold of many industrial keepsakes such as the panel that once controlled the electricity flow to the Palace of Culture. A wonder to explore, highlights include a retail offer angled towards hip Polish design firms as well as an entire floor dedicated to unique beauty treatments.

Blue Marlin

NAR

FOOD & DRINK Lit by a sea of neon, the food hall is a street food mecca and ably supported by standalone restaurant projects scattered elsewhere: in terms of highlights, that means ace Tex Mex from the Blue Cactus and light bites at the design-minded Dock 19.

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INSIDER GUIDE COMMUNITY HUBS & FOOD HALLS NORBLIN FACTORY

ul. Żelazna 51/53, fabrykanorblina.pl Opened on the site of a former metal factory, the scale of Norblin takes a while to sink in. A beautiful combination of new and old, it’s a photogenic example of everything that makes modern Warsaw so captivating. Aside from Warsaw’s largest food hall, find museums (one dedicated to the factory space, another to Apple products – the tech brand not the fruit!), the luxury Kinogram cinema, the Bio Bazar farmers’ market and a diverse choice of bars and drink spots.

NEWLY OPENED! Delivered fresh each morning, pick up an artisan beer from the new bottle shop owned by Browar Tenczynek. The beers are the ideal companion for your weekend BBQ.

HALA KOSZYKI

ul. Koszykowa 63, koszyki.com Hala Koszyki changed Warsaw’s mindset when it first opened in 2016. Gathering dozens of niche venues under the wrought iron ceiling of a historic market place, it transformed Warsaw’s gastro scene and continues to be seen as the benchmark when it comes to such culinary concepts. FOOD & DRINK Street food units frame the area around the Central Bar, as do a spread of restaurants that include the upmarket Sen and the open-all-hours CMA – but the biggest pull in the summer is the outdoor plaza: it’s one of the city’s most popular meeting points.

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HALA GWARDII

Pl. Żelaznej Bramy 1, halagwardii.pl For many, this is the most ‘authentic’ of Warsaw’s hubs, something rooted in a design that has seen renovations limited so as to maintain the historical integrity of this Tsarist-era structure. Note: open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. FOOD On one side, a farmers’ market flourishes with fresh produce and artisanal goods a forte. Segregated by a communal seating plan in the center, the rest has seen the floorplan lined with street food units of high reputation. TIPPLES! Order up drinks from the Niewinność wine bar or beers from the lively San Escobar. Craft nerds should visit the pocket-sized Piwna Gwardii to guarantee a hazy night.

PZO FOOD HALL

ul. Grochowska 317, fabrykapzo.pl Warsaw’s latest food hub brings together six street food operators and a coffee point and bar inside a painstakingly designed space that falls back on every recent fad found in restaurant design. Highlights include mission burritos from MariCruz – enjoy your food haul inside or on the vast terrace outside.

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WARSAW'S BIGGEST For Warsaw at its best, visit us at Hala Gwardii for good vibes, the city's top food market, international street food tastes, traditional Polish products and a busy list of events aimed at young and old alike – winter doesn’t have to be boring! For more, see: www.facebook.com/halagwardii

BUZZ Open Friday through Sunday Plac Żelaznej Bramy halagwardii.pl


PHOTOGRAPH THIS PAGE BY KEVIN DEMARIA

THAT’S A WRAP

Warsaw’s hottest franchise goes from strength to strength…

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Review BACKGROUND Falla Wrap’s mothership has been churning out tasty plantbased cuisine since 2016, and in the years that have followed locations have been rolled-out across Poland: from the major cities such as Kraków and Gdańsk to smaller urban centers like Słupsk and Bydgoszcz. Now, joining their ever-expanding roll-call of addresses, find their latest branch inside what was once the epic Bangkok Soi on Jana Pawła II. INTERIOR Using a color palette straight from the opening credits of Miami Vice, this clean neon interior screams of the 1980s with its garish green tiles and colored strips of light. Pleasing as it is, for the real action sit outside under the shade of the On Lemon umbrellas – not many streets attract a higher headcount of daytime drunks, and you can rely on these chaps to royally entertain you.

INSIDER TIP Loaded with flavor, the sweet potato fries are a standout – you’ll make friends just by sharing them.- KD

Falla Wrap al. Jana Pawła II 50/18, fb.com/fallawrap

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PHOTOGRAPHS THIS PAGE BY KEVIN DEMARIA

FOOD The vegap as it is called in Falla Wrap is a healthy, sinless substitute for your greasy gyros craving. Also notable, order up the sweet and savory kimchi wrap packed with falafel, kimchi, hummus and an umami sauce that will have you asking if they sell it by the bottle.


GRAZE DOWN ON SUMMER

Belvedere rolls out its grazing menu in time for August…

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF BELVEDERE

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his summer, enjoy the freshest and most seasonal compositions courtesy of the Grazing Menu at the Belvedere Lato Restaurant. Offering a miniaturized romp through the finest tastes possible, our dishes have been specifically designed to evoke warm memories of the summer: whether it be our carefree youth or holiday moments spent by the sea. A unique culinary experience, we’ve let the season inspire us to create a series of simple dishes that will nonetheless surprise all who taste them. “Our menu incorporates the best and freshest Polish ingredients and include fish, vegetables and fruit mixed with exquisite additions such as truffles and artichokes,” says Anna Bykowska, the director of sales & marketing at the Belvedere. “In line with global trends, we’ve introduced a grazing menu to allow our guests to taste as much as possible in miniaturized portions.” Of the highlights, look out for Mazurian crayfish soup with pile dumplings, dill and cream or zander served with zucchini and new potatoes. Joining our top sellers, enjoy also our signature lamb with rosemary, mushrooms, spring onions and Parmesan, or spoil yourself with desserts such as mille feuille with mango, passion fruit, almonds and strawberry ice cream, or our beautiful hazelnut financier with hazelnuts, almonds, peaches and roasted butter ice cream. The original menu is complemented by our stunning setting in the heart of Royal Łazienki Park. BROUGHT TO YOU BY

Belvedere ul. Agrykola 1, belvedere.com.pl

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Review THE CAPER CRUSADER Franco states his case as Warsaw’s Numero Uno…

THE LOOK Bolero aluminum chairs and tables – a staple of eateries around Italy – linger outside covered by a Lamborghini red aw-

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA

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he enduring craze for Neapolitan pizza shows no sign of slowing – and as the competition heats up, so too does the overall quality. Located between Politechnika Metro and Pl. Konstytucji, Franco is the latest to shake the city’s bedsheets and offer something memorable… but could this really be the best pizzeria yet?


Franco Warsaw Ludwika Waryńskiego 28, fb.com/francowarsaw

I would be lying if I said this pizza changed my life, but it did change my spirit that afternoon

ning completed by an on-trend logo. Looking professional, it’s an aesthetic that demonstrates that this restaurant really means business. Once inside, the sheer depth of this cavernous space is enhanced yet further by a wall of mirrors positioned at the end. Elsewhere, the white and light interior is lent a hit of color thanks to overhead flowerpot lamps designed by Scandi design god Verner Panton. But the devil is in the detail, and it’s the little things that make the biggest impression. Dotted with Italian trinkets, and featuring plates adorned with messages, our favorite feature is a neon sign that buzzes with the words ‘aperitivo or vodka’. Well why not both, you find yourself thinking. Enjoy these to the max by sitting at the marble counter that runs against the window – it’s the ide-

al perch to engage in the noble pursuit of people watching. THE PIE This Insider, who hails from the city so nice that they named it twice (that’s New York, should you not know), has an almost Tony Soprano attitude towards anyone making pizza outside of the five-boroughs of NYC. And my biggest beef with Naples-style pizza is the floppy center which necessitates eating with utensils - each time I see people do that, it reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when Elaine’s boss, Mr. Pitt, eats a Snickers bar with a knife and fork. Fuhgeddaboudit! Franco, on the other hand, tugs my heart strings thanks to a pie that has micro-layers of crispiness and a charred kiss courtesy of a pizzaiolo that chooses to raise the pizza peel to the top of the oven

before removing the pie. STAR DISH When visiting a new pizza joint, the best barometer of its quality is the standard margherita – but even so, when I saw the word puttanesca on the menu it was impossible to ignore this and just stick to the basics. I would be lying if I said this pizza changed my life, but it did change my spirit that afternoon. A euphoric pleasure, find the pizza puttanesca composed of salty anchovies and a volcanic sauce with blasts of olives and capers. Magical in quality, it’s just about my favorite thing to eat this summer in Warsaw. INSIDER SECRET Don’t want to leave the dog locked up at home? Then bring it along – four-legged pals are absolutely welcome. - KD warsawinsider.pl

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Review

A FINE VINTAGE

Amusing antiques meet quirky coffee inside this treasure of a café…

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W

ith Hałas and Francuska 30 already doing a rather fine job, leafy Saska Kępa would thrive just as well without one more specialty café on its books. But boxing off Vintage Kolektyw merely as such would be doing it a disservice. More than a café, it has already grown to become a legend in its first 18-months of operation.

RETRO COLLECTIBLES Seen as a long, narrow room, find every surface decked out with vintage discoveries from the PRL era. That means everything from Marilyn clocks to rotary dial phones to that Virgin Mary table lamp that you’ve always secretly coveted. Though big buys are possible – tables and Jetson period chairs – it’s the little finds that are the best. Take your time to peruse a collection that frequently leans into the bizarre: the kind of face masks worn by the BTK killer in Mindhunter; plates painted with erect geezers in BDSM gear; porcelain puppies; rare movie posters; novelty teapots; and antique travel chests for your next pirate adventure. It’s extraordinary.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA

Seen as a long, narrow room, find every surface decked out with vintage discoveries from the PRL era


Café Vintage Kolektyw Al. Waszyngtona 30/36

CAFÉ CULTURE In line with the experimental look, the drinks offer is similarly unorthodox and involves non-alcoholic wines, kombuchas, homemade lemonades and alternative colas. The coffee is also a big deal, and here you’ll find cold brew and nitro supplied by Czarna Fala roastery, traditional Commie-style grain coffee (plujka) and brilliantly tasty Bombon – that’s a sensory Spanish concoction that marries espresso with sweet, condensed milk. Cookies and cakes can also be found lurking around the counter, though in summer cool down by ordering a mini pot of ice cream produced by Jednorożec. ADDED BONUS! Despite the copious potential for things to go wrong given the amount of delicate trinkets and little baubles (crash, bang, wallop!), dogs are welcome – a point underlined by an entrance way adorned with photos of fur babies looking for adoption. Set just across the road from Skaryszewski Park, dog owners are naturally high in number and they’ll invariably find their mutts being lavished with attention, cuddles, pats and treats. The staff here go well beyond the call of duty when it comes to making all visitors (with four legs or otherwise) feel well and truly valued. warsawinsider.pl

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Review

WHAT A RASCAL!

Having first carved a name as importers, the Rascal team have returned with what has reportedly become the biggest natural wine bar in the whole of Europe…

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THE PLACE Set in the heart of Warsaw’s theater quarter (though ‘quarter’ might be an ambitious term), this striking two-tone piece of modernist architecture unfolds to reveal a gorgeously appointed space that is a tribute to Buck’s design ethos. Looking stripped down to maximize the original accents, what was once reputedly a canteen for ballet dancers today features a mix and match

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA

WHO’S THE RASCAL? Actually, there’s two! Created by Dominika Buck and Radek Drabik, this duo carry considerable weight in Poland’s creative circles – her, as a designer and architect, and him as a film producer. Sharing a love for natural wine, together they created Natural Rascal – beginning as an importer, last year saw another step taken with the opening of a teeny, tiny bottle shop on Emili Plater. Now though, their success has led them to take the biggest leap of all: a flagship bar on prestigious Moliera.


Rascal Bar ul. Moliera 6

of tables, plenty of exposed concrete and a tall entrance curtain through which to swish. Sprinkled with small, custom-made trinkets, there’s enough going on to ensure that the sparsity is never too heavy. Crowned with a veneered, marble-topped bar, it’s a beauty to behold – a point not lost on the Vogue staffers and fashionista that have made this their domain. IN SUMMER… The interior is pleasingly cool and works especially well at the height of Warsaw’s steamy summers – but to enjoy the Rascal to the max, head to the backyard. A collection of potted shrubs lend this gravelly space plenty of color, and these are juxtaposed against the spectacular concrete form of the apartment block it faces – it feels like you’re looking at a game of Tetris. THE WINES No-one has done more in Poland to popularize natural wines than the co-owners of Rascal. With a motherlode of bottles in their collection, these have been

picked out with something of an obsessive passion. Bringing niche and alternative producers to the fore, the choice is a celebration of the alternative with Buck and Drabek only working with wineries that follow ‘dry-farming’ methods. Lacking in enhancers, artificial nasties and synthetic additives, these unconventional wines are as natural as is possible – which means not only do they taste intriguing, but they’re also

hangover free! Often adorned with highly graphic and unusual labels, these pair well against a team of staff not short on captivating tattoos. THE FOOD Not only do they do food, they do it very well. Kept to little plates of this and that, this includes boczniak with parmesan on toast as well as a to-die-for rhubarb dessert with whipped cream and strawberry dust. warsawinsider.pl

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Review

Legends of the craft scene, Kufle I Kapsle take craft beer to the masses with their latest location…

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ufle i Kapsle did not start Poland’s brew-olution, but they most certainly played a prominent role. Opening in 2013, their outpost on Nowogrodzka was on the frontline, part of the first wave of bars offering something totally different to what had come before. Still going strong a decade later, their original venture remains representative

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of all that is good about the country’s beer scene. So too, actually, does their operation up in Żoliborz – a place of character, it’s bars like that which make the world better. And then – rest in peace – we must remember their Powiśle branch. Our favorite out of the whole bunch, the last to launch proved the first to fall once the Bat Virus started killing off pubs. So with such

a rich pedigree, you’d expect Kufle’s latest experiment to be a roaring success… but is it? THE VIBE If ever you wondered what happened to all of the retro gear piled up in their Powiśle joint, then wonder no more – it’s here. Plus more. Like stepping into a 70s living room, the new KiK feels by far the best designed. Dark and atmospheric, find it packed with vintage seats, veneered wall panels and tables strewn higgledy-piggledy over the checkered floors. Forming the pièce de resistance, feast your eyes on a mid-century wall unit garnished with dog-eared books, ugly lamps and droopy

PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA

DIAL M FOR MAINSTREAM


Kufle i Kapsle Nowy Świat ul. Nowy Świat 27, kufleikapsle.pl

plants. Something of a time capsule, your enjoyment is only stifled by the lack of air-conditioning – most likely you’ll find yourself squeezing onto their thin strip of pavement terracing, fending off vagrants and slurring panhandlers. THE DRINKS From a craft perspective, this is by far the least ambitious of Kufle’s projects. Playing it safer than their other bars, the choice is slightly prosaic and seemingly purposefully adjusted for the mainstream nature of their location. Aside from twelve taps and two fridges, there’s also a wine list and a brief selection of cocktails. Where the latter is concerned, these include ‘beer cocktails’ such as Michelada, Campari IPA and cranberry prosecco. Alas, on all fronts it seems to fall short – by attempting so much, Kufle do nothing at all. THE VERDICT For craft novices and passing tourists, this could yet prove a bit of a find. However, more demanding customers might find themselves a little underwhelmed. Having accomplished so much in their other locations, Kufle i Kapsle’s Nowy Świat address seems to lack focus and direction. As engaging as it looks, it feels way too blurry in its offer. Who knows, maybe this broad-minded approach is what’s needed in a recession, but we’d bet our spare pants that we’re not the only ones who feel a little uninspired. Lacking the X Factor of Warsaw’s other major craft pubs, this feels like a rare mis-step from this legendary team.

Like stepping into a 70s living room, the new KiK feels by far the best designed

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Round-up

The Ice Age Warsaw’s mania for ice cream hits fever pitch come August – but where will you find the coolest of them all?

To…

Double Up With A Coffee Tłusty Kotek Set within an old dairy plant, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find The Fat Cat appearing on every rundown of local ice cream faves. The choice here is narrower than most, but the quality is A-Class. Squeezed inside a pair of cookies, the ice cream sandwich is an essential order. More than just ice cream, head here to also fill up on some of the city’s best coffee.

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PHOTOGRAPHS THIS SPREAD BY KEVIN DEMARIA

ul. Hoża 51


Pick…

Up A Sandwich Frank Warszawa ul. Polna 18/20

Mixing, so they say, French philosophy with New York creativity and Polish heart, a visit to Frank is like happening upon a little, local secret. The pastries are a standout, but you know what, so too is the ice cream. Pastry or ice cream? Spoil yourself: have both. Straying down unusual paths, they’re specifically known for their ice cream sandwiches – icy treats tucked inside cookies, shortbread and cinnamon biscuits.

For…

Wild Tastes Ice Pot

Hala Gwardii & Soczi 6B

Ice Pot has long been one of the Insider’s favorite scoops and they keep getting better with age. Produced by a true enthusiast, the seasonal flavors and occasionally wacky experiments (mulled wine, apple pie, etc.) never score less than a perfect ten. Of their more recent successes, the pear with honey specifically stands tall. And if the tastes are a different level, then the service is as well.

For…

Italian Magic Dal Dalla Gelato ul. Leszczyńska 4

The brainchild of Luca Dalla Costa, this newbie has already made ripples across Warsaw

Join…

The Queue Na Końcu Tęczy

Al. Wyzwolenia 15 & Elektrownia (ul. Dobra 42)

Named in honor of the rainbow that once stood in the center of Pl. Zbawiciela, this vibrant spot occasionally likes to push the envelope when it comes to flavors, but it’s the fruity flavors that seem to work the best: the kiwi mascarpone is another level, as is the apple sorbet. Lines can stretch on the weekend, but you can take that as reassurance as to the quality that awaits.

for their commitment to excellence. Softer gelato you will not find, and we’ve got a sneaking little feeling that this might well grow to become the summer’s biggest star. Even making their own savoiardi biscuits for their tiramisu ice cream, weaknesses are non-existent. For something special, check the croccante di noto, a teasing pleasure of almond, orange peel and salted caramel.

To…

Enjoy A Warsaw Legend Jednorożec ul. Narbutta 38 What is it with Mokotów and ice cream? Amid a hugely competitive field, the wide flavor choice, quality ingredients and loving hand of Jednorożec mark them warsawinsider.pl

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Ice Cream Round-up

For…

The Insider’s Favorite! Budka z Lodami / Sosenka ul. Francuska 30

a notch above their immediate competitors. With around 30 flavors to try, find your ice cream served with a miniature cone perched at a jaunty angle on top of your scoop.

To…

Impress Lourse

ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13 (Raffles Europejski Warsaw)

Ever since its inception in the 19th century, the Europejski Hotel has been known for its elegant patisserie – the Lourse. Revived by Raffles,

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there’s no better indulgence after promenading up the Royal Route on a bright, sunny day. Also available from a vintage cart stood outside, we can vouch for their deliciously luxurious apricot flavor.

For…

A Hint Of Tradition Pallone

ul. Brzeska 29/31 / Francuska 31 / Polna 30A

Made to Italian recipes reputed to be 160-years old (with some personal magic thrown in to boot), Pallone pride them-

selves on quality ingredients: chocolate from Belgian and Colombia, citrus fruits from Sicily, and the finest cream and milk you’ll find in Poland. There’s nothing too wacky about the flavor choice but the tastes will punch you out. Wow!!!

For…

Out Of Towners Quattro Si

ul. Jasna 4B (Pruszków)

This Pruszków-based gelateria raised eyebrows last year after it was ranked 42nd

PHOTOGRAPHS THIS PAGE FACEBOOK, OPPOSITE PAGE BY KEVIN DEMARIA

On any given August weekend you’ll find Saska’s longest queues steadily building up outside this simple, street-side cabin. Everyone (including the Insider’s dog) agrees they’re worth the time, not least for their lashings of frozen yogurt drizzled with freshly chopped fruits. And when it comes to ice cream, watch out for exotica such as guava or watermelon. There’s too much to enjoy here, and if you really want to show your love for them then check out their bricks and mortar operation: Cukiernia Saska (ul. Saska 105).


in the Gelato Festival World Rankings. Owned by Peter Bertoti, the parlor is no stranger to accolades having previously scooped domestic awards for its plum and blueberry flavors. The plaudits have been well deserved, and their raspberry with mint can count as one of their finer moments. Be warned though, such is the reputation, people actually travel in from Warsaw to enjoy what they offer – queues are par the course.

Few leave with anything but rave reviews, and their cause is furthered by an equally impressive choice of cakes and tarts. It’s a Żoliborz legend – and rightfully so.

A…

Local Hero Kuncer

ul. Wyszogrodzka 1 / ul. Mick-

iewicza 27 / ul. Lazurowa 89

Founded by Joanna Kuncer, a sociologist by profession, her eponymous chain has grown to become one of Warsaw’s loudest forces on the city’s ice cream map – try their passion fruit for a one-way ticket to heaven. For special occasions, take note that Joanna’s team can also turn their hand to ‘ice cream cakes’ with flavors including vanilla with raspberry.

For…

The Heat Seeker Roszki

ul. Andersa 37

Cheerfully pink on the inside, Roszki have come a long way since opening four-years back. Celebrated by some for their waffles, pancakes and Oreo coffee, even more know them for their ice cream. Staunch favorites number the creamy mango lassi, though it’s their chocolate-based temptations that are something of a strong suit. In this regard, consider their chocolate habanero as their unique selling point – coming with a fiery twist, it’s got a fan club that extends beyond Muranów’s geographic borders.

For…

Northern Spirits Ulica Baśniowa

Al. Wojska Polskiego 41

The choice isn’t just vast, it’s sugar-free thanks to their commitment to using natural stevia instead of synthesized horrors.

For…

Something Wacky Nitro Lody

ul. Zwycięzców 11

Frozen with liquid nitrogen, just watching the production process is enough to make customers feel like they’re viewing some NASA sponsored experiment: kids and dogs aren’t the only ones that love looking at the smoke billowing from the hatchway. Smoother than midnight velvet, choices include mango & mint and raspberry & white chocolate. Should you wish, jazz these up further with sprinkles of Gummi Bears, fresh fruit or M&Ms.

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Summer feelin'

Hot For Summer… Having hunted down Warsaw’s best summer bars last issue, this time join us for an exploration of some of our favorite seasonal cafes that dare to do something different…

For…

A Cool Summer Breeze Havana

It’s likely you’ll know Havana best for its nocturnal vibe and it’s true, when the clock strikes dusk something special here happens. But outside of darkness, this Żoliborz classic has much to recommend. Set on the first floor of a PRL era tower, the super cool interior offers up a coherent display of retro posters, luscious plants and light wood trimmings, but the key pull is the L-shaped terrace. Half-covered should you want to escape the sun’s unrelenting heat, it’s to this outdoor section that most naturally head. Though the views are far from inspiring (remember, you’re in Żoliborz not the Serengeti), it doesn’t half catch the breeze making it a super cool spot in more ways than one. Perched among hip freelancers and theater types learning their lines, sip away on trendy bio wines, adventurous lemonades or specialty coffee sourced from local heroes such as Java.

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Słowackiego 16/18


For…

Ogling & People Watching Charlotte

Wyzwolenia 18 / Nowy Świat 6/12 / Próżna 7

Charlotte didn’t invent people watching, but she sure helped take it a step further. There’s three locations to choose from, but while all are held together by this brand’s French philosophy, each has its own unique selling point in terms of customer experience. At Nowy Świat, for instance, find yourself perched atop of the steps leading to what was once Poland’s communist HQ. On Próżna, meanwhile, sit on a terrace that stares out onto a cobbled pre-war street now lovingly restored; rich in Jewish heritage, it presents a compelling visual contrast between then and now. And finally, there’s the original itself. By far the most popular, queues for seats can sometimes stretch around the corner and that’s particularly true on a bright Saturday morning. Our advice: get there early to snag a seat under the shaded colonnades that curl around the building.

For…

Something Unexpected Tłusty Kotek Hoża 51

Operating as a cheese factory until 2010, the shabby set of buildings at Hoża 51 have now been infilled with creative agencies and hip little businesses. Among them all sits the Fat Cat, a place that refuses to be classified as a traditional café. Serving your coffee through a boarded hatchway, the place can best be surmised as being a hollow wooden box slapped onto the building’s side. More seating, however, exists right outside and it’s here you can suck up the post-industrial vibe of this redbrick sprawl – squint a little, and you could fool yourself that you were in Berlin. Especially famed for their nitro coffee, high marks also go to their succinct choice of ice creams.

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Summer feelin' For…

Its Inner City Vibe Cophi

Hoża 58/60

As a microcosm of Warsaw, few streets do a better job of capturing the essence of the city in the same way as Hoża – here the clashes and contrasts of the capital are at their most acute; for all the gentrification that’s in evidence there’s something raw and real about it all. Sitting outside Cophi, in the shade of one of the trees that looms above, you get to enjoy all that this entails – a joy for the senses, sip back on an A-class nitro whilst whistling delivery drivers unload their vans or strawberry sellers set up shop from the back of battered cars. As they do so, find immaculately groomed gents rushing to work and style mavens clip clopping in their heels to the restaurants and bars found around the corner – all life, it seems, passes you by. Despite that, there’s nothing frenetic about this street, but just by being here you feel yourself absorbed into the city’s daily fabric. This aside, visit for a magnificent drinks offer – softs from Fentimans and Efferve and a summer drinks menu that takes some beating: overlooking the aforementioned nitro (not that you should – it’s ace), that means such stars as rose matcha tonic and Aperol espresso.

For…

Garden Greenery Schroegera 80

Founded by a pair of photographers long before there was anywhere else in the area to get a decent cup of Joe, Roślina have grown to become something of a saber-rattling legend of Bielany – a place whose acknowledgment of the natural world is pushed home not just via their generous collection of droopy succulents that hang from the pipework, but also a plant-based menu of beyond burgers and homemade cakes. Oh, and then there’s the garden. Occupying a triangular wedge of land, this magical little enclave is a beauty in the truest, purest sense. Lit by strings of overhead bulbs, it’s a dreamy place in which time slows to a crawl. With gently rustling leaves for company, chill down with your coffee and let the day slip away – alternatively, take a seat on the street outside. Feeling comfortingly suburban in its vibe, this pavement terrace sees little action other than the occasional tinkle of a passing bike: bliss!

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PHOTOGRAPHS THIS PAGE FACEBOOK, OPPOSITE PAGE BY KEVIN DEMARIA

Roślina


For…

Your Social Media Followers Francuska 30 Francuska 30

If ever you needed to give your Insta a boost, then it’s to Francuska you should head. Long-known for its overhead canopy of dangling umbrellas, this photogenic terrace feels all the more current following their decision to replace their old brollies with yellow-and-blue ones to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine. Featuring also a pretty greenhouse to hide in on rainy days, and a cabin dispensing Aperol Spritz and other seasonal cocktails, this vibrant corner of Saska Kępa is impossible to dislike. With no table service, head indoors to order a crêpe and fair trade coffee before returning outside to soak up the sun. And when you’re all done and dusted, hit up the neighboring ice cream booth for our favorite scoop in town.

For…

An Insider Secret Hałas Vinyl + Coffee Elsterska 10

Hałas is that brilliant hidden gem that every neighborhood deserves: a trendy little café squirreled down a quiet residential street you’d otherwise probably never visit. Set down a brief flight of steps, the inside can be decoded into two parts – furthest back, a lounge-like room that feels retro-Scandi in aesthetics. Then, in the front, find a lovingly curated smattering of vinyl covering a variety of genres: Sonic Youth, John Coltrane, Bjork, Nirvana, Bowie, etc. That’s all very well we hear you say, but why visit in summer? The reasons are twofold – first up, for a coffee offer that includes arguably our favorite cold brew found anywhere for miles. Then, there’s the (very) small matter of their garden up front. Big enough for two benches and a couple of chairs flung onto a tiny strip of roadside lawn, the sensation is of popping round a friend’s for coffee rather than visiting a bona fide café – and there’s a lot to be said for that.

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Best Of… Poland

To find the essence of Poland, visit any one of these restaurants – ranging from elegant to shabby, discover these for a 360 view of Polish cuisine…

Filled with a wide cast of characters, nowhere does a better job of expressing the district’s soul than this ramshackle eatery.

SYRENA IRENA

ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 4/6

The retro-minded interior is awash with ceramic mosaics, spherical sconces, funky neon, terrazzo tabletops and bold blue colors. A witty homage to the classic eateries of old, it’s fun just to look at. But the food is equally enjoyable with the principal draw being pierogi featuring such fillings as sweet cheese and orange peel. Lovingly made by hand inside a white-tiled kitchen which you can peer right into, the food goes well beyond the mediocre standards that this tourist strip is famed for.

THE FARM

ul. Mokotowska 8

ul. Smolna 4

A sanctuary of elegant fancy, it’s a place of long, dark shadows and discreet decorative touches: from the outset, you’re made to feel that good things will happen, and this they do. Certified by Poland’s fledgling slow food movement, the daily tinkered menu that opens your eyes to the real tastes of Poland.

BEZ GWIAZDEK ul. Wiślana 8

Focusing each month on a different region of the country, Robert Trzópek’s tasting menu takes diners to the very heart of the Polish soul and does so via tastes that betray his fine dining background: delicate and precise, it’s the polar opposite of the mundane Polski feast. For many, it’s the best restaurant in the city!

POLANA SMAKÓW ul. E. Plater 14

Compact and woodsy, Polana Smaków has lost none of its copious charm since trading a no-man’s land location for city center Warsaw. Few

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chefs do a better job than Andrzej Polan when it comes to making herring sexy, with his interpretation arriving with a homemade bagel and blobs of orange pumpkin. It’s sophisticated yet reassuringly simple.

PYZY FLAKI GORĄCE ul. Brzeska 29/31

The specialty here are pyzy, homemade dumplings that are squished into jars and lathered with various toppings. Budget-minded in both cost and appearance, it’s become one of Praga’s worst kept secrets with several of Poland’s top food writers praising it to the hilt.

ŹRÓDŁO

ul. Targowa 81

Hardwood floors, exposed pipes and a flurry of plants equip an open area decorated with blasts of contemporary art, recycled furnishings, and other Boho bits and bobs – it’s casual, quirky and full of personality. Being here is a buzz. The seasonal menu is likewise a pleasure, and on our trip in December included pierogi with rich mushroom stock and smoked cottage cheese and a thick slab of herring served on a brioche with smoked plum jam. With mains around the mid-30s, it’s outstanding value as well.

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Zielony Niedźwiedź

Preaching a message of farm-tofork, this ambitious eatery takes its produce seriously – to the extent they have their own farm in the lake district to the north. Adjusted with the seasons, the menu on our visited included a roe deer stewed in Ukiel beer and served in a pan under a light puff pastry. Using chunky woods, copper light fittings and black and white floor tiles, the interior finishing leaves no doubt you’re somewhere upmarket.


The Vegan Scene

Reflecting Warsaw’s dynamic, modern spirit, the city is officially regarded as one of the most vegan friendly cities on the planet – we need a telephone book to list all the worthwhile restaurants, so instead make do with a slimmed down selection of Insider stars…

LOKAL VEGAN BISTRO ul. Krucza 23/31

Aside from a small menu consisting of standard vegan offers, this stalwart keeps Homer Simpson characters in mind with regular guest slots for ‘junk food’ that’s given a full vegan makeover. Offhand, that’s meant vegan kebabs, cheesesteaks, burgers and zapiekanka, all of which have been pretty darn fabulous.

PEACHES GASTRO GIRLS ul. Mokotowska 58

Not only is their kitchen all female, they’ve now sourced some international talent from Peru and India. Ignoring proteins like tempeh, soy or seitan, instead these kitchen heroes conjure magic from seasonal veggies whilst whipping out some Beyond Meat to give oomph to their wontons. The menu changes with the seasons, but for certain we’re hoping their tacos stay for good – substituting meat with oyster mushrooms, their carnitas taste as authentic as they come.

UKI GREEN

Vegan Ramen Shop

ul. Koszykowa 49A

Finlandzka 12

We’ve heard some describe Vegan Ramen Shop as serving “the best noodles in the world!” They’re definitely memorable, and the spicy miso ramen will for sure convert those suspicious of this claim. Eat them in a mega cool room divided up by stacks of ‘levitating shelves’ adorned with Japanese nick-nacks. Also in Muranów (Jana Pawła II 52/54) and Mokotów (Kazimierzowska 43), though for us nothing beats the original!

BOCA BOCA - VEGAN GUILTY PLEASURE ul. Kopernika 25

The chef worked the stove at Tel Aviv for many years, so you’re in good hands that know the meaning of versatility – they’re also behind the creation of the Not Dog, a vegan hot dog forged from marinated carrots, onions and red cabbage. As for dessert, check the brownie – topped with whipped cream and caramelized popcorn, it’s arguably the best

vegan dessert we’ve ever held in our mouths. The big star, however, is the chimichanga.

LEONARDO VERDE ul. Poznańska 13

Geometric patterns, plant arrangements and the large format illustrative artwork of Dominique A. Faryno decorate Leonardo Verde, an upmarket – but inexpensive – Italian joint. Pizza is the forte, and you’ll see why after ordering the ‘hot romantic’.

Brought to you by Taira Matsuki, the owner of the outrageously successful Uki Uki, the menu includes alternatives such as kimchi-cheese gyoza dumplings, spiced soy meat and ‘vegan eel’. The real plaudits, however, are reserved for the ramen. Tag yourself up in an interior that’s big on Japanese wood joints and concrete finishes.

YOUMIKO VEGAN SUSHI ul. Hoża 62

Exceptional in every respect, Youmiko’s tasting menu is one of the undisputed highlights of what’s become known as the vegan square mile. “Our aim,” declares their manifesto, “is to mix traditional Japanese approaches with Polish creativity and surprise you with new textures and flavors.” Mission accomplished.

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Bars & Nightlife

From the mainstream to the maverick, we present some of our solutions for your big weekend out…

dissolving into a wild, happy whirl of international voices.

CYBERMACHINA WARSZAWA ul. Nowy Świat 54/56

This gaming bar is strange in every respect: among other decorations discover glass cabinets filled with helmets and rubber masks and a toilet evoking Game of Thrones. Best of all is a side room that’s been designed to mimic a 90s-style Polish living room. Featuring wood paneled walls and parquet flooring, the highlight is a wall unit whose shelves house treasures such as a vintage boombox, a groovy KK-628 calculator watch, the works of Terry Pratchett, a Pegasus gaming machine and vases of plastic flowers. It’s a living museum!

FOTON

ul. Wilcza 9A

Miejsce Chwila ul. Żurawia 47

Surviving the move from their former digs is the giant mural of a weather-worn babcia, and it’s under her watery gaze that drinkers congregate to make the most of a decent fridge generously stocked with specialty beers from Poland’s more leftfield producers. Also successfully enduring the challenges of their cross-city move is the underlying spirit that made them so famous. Defiantly arty in its character, the creative mood that prevails manifests itself in a quirky design that involves retro accents, refurbed armchairs, a neon of Lennon and the compelling illustrations of Izabela Wójtowicz.

You know it’s been an epic weekend when you wake up on Monday knowing that Foton was involved. Conversation with strangers is natural after a few of Foton’s cocktails, but it makes this list for a super cool design that’s involves plenty of raw materials and a vast green fleet of tumbling plants – keeping them alive is a quite brilliant irrigational contraption set around the steel frames that support it all. It sure is a quite a sight and one that gets more pronounced the later it gets.

NOWY ŚWIAT ‘PAVILIONS’ BEIRUT & KRAKEN

Seemingly based upon the kind of Tijuana dive bar you’d have happened upon during the Miami Vice era, Pacyfik is all candy floss pink and shades of teal: a raw-looking den that looks purposefully imperfect. Keeping the hip international crowd on the wrong side of drunk are kick-ass drinks such as their Clamado Michelada or Kimchi Bloody Mary – three sips and you think you’re Superman.

Somewhere, amid all the junk relating to the Lebanese conflict (grenades, sandbags, ammo boxes, a rocket…), you’ll find the spirit of Poznańska contained within this long, skinny bar. As fashionable now as it was when it opened, forget not to finish the evening in their connecting venture, the Pirates of the Caribbean-style Kraken Rum Bar. Everybody else does at some stage or other, with evenings often

ul. Hoża 61

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ul. Poznańska 12

Find them through the passageway at Nowy Świat 26.

For the highest condensation of bars in the capital head to ‘the pavilions’, a collection of ramshackle drinking cabins, shot bars and sheesha lairs inside a tight grid of shadowy back alleys. Adding to the gentle sense of confusion comes the realization that so many bars look the same – accessed through clattery, barred doors, visitors walk into what can only be described as murk and chaos.

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BAR PACYFIK


PARDON TO TU

SYRENI ŚPIEW KONESER

W OPARACH ABSURDU

Despite the upgrade in surrounds, they’ve retained the leftfield spirit of their old haunt thanks to flexi hours, a commitment to obscure sounds, and a well-spaced interior that references their former venue through its decadent color scheme and wall of favored musicians. The air of friendly, unforced cool is unmatched in the city!

This the multi-floor set up is a big, sexy mash of steel stairs, velvet sofas and industrial add-ons. As for the weekend parties, these are an exercise in excess with all kinds of lunacy breaking out: trapeze artists, sword swallowers, burlesque dancers and more. Leaving, it’s with the senses spinning in a swirl of disbelief. The very definition of debauched decadence, the brilliance is underlined by flawless cocktails and the best-looking crowd in the country.

Somewhere, buried deep beneath the creaking antiques and moth-eaten Persian rugs, you might be lucky to find a wood-carved bar. With craft beer balanced in one hand, and six vodkas on a saucer in the other, you then need all the luck in the world to bulldoze through the scrum that has gathered to listen to Balkan rockers, Afro-Latin bands and the spectacularly named Bum Bum Orchestra.

Al. Armii Ludowej 14

PIANO BAR

ul. Żelazna 51/53 (Norblin Factory)

Crowned with a show-stealing 12-foot chandelier that dangles from the ceiling of this dual-level structure, it’s a venue that oozes with affluence and sophistication. Touting chessboard tiled floors and tie-wearing staff, the feeling is of entering Jay Gatsby’s ballroom. And for all the classy sense of maturity, there is much fun to be had, and in part that’s down to a busy program of concerts that are well-tuned to the space: funk and blues jams are a forte.

Pl. Konesera 4

ul. Ząbkowska 6

PLAN B

ul. Wyzwolenia 18 (Pl. Zbawiciela)

Plan B is the quintessence of dive Warsaw. Weekends pass by in a raucous blur, with the party spilling out under the colonnades outside – it helps to look like a DJ, but in truth everyone is welcome to this hive of debauchery.

RITUAL

ul. Mazowiecka 12

Looking dark and sensual, this two-level space unwraps before you like some elaborate adventure. Candles flicker, atmosphere crackles – moving towards the bar, slinky, sultry club creatures of unfathomable beauty prowl past with drinks poised in hand. Heating up gradually as the night progresses, Ritual moves organically from being a voluptuous bar to a spicy club as the night ebbs towards its heady conclusion.

SUMMER STAR WOZOWNIA

Pl. Trzech Krzyży 16

Festooned with herby plants, it’s a luscious backdrop to drink, one that’s lent a gritty urban contrast by the shabby walls of the tenements that frame the courtyard. As for drinks, there’s some classic summer cocktails which you’ll need to order from the bar inside the 200-yearold carriage house at the end. Warning: cards only!

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Best Of… Europe Broad as Europe is, we’ve cherry-picked some of our favorite specific tastes to be relished in Warsaw…

brussels sprouts and fried peanuts. In summer, the courtyard is a must.

BROWAR WARSZAWSKI ul. Haberbuscha i Schielego 2

Breeze blocks, exposed metal girders, hovering steel lights and concrete surfaces inject a strong industrial aesthetic into the visuals, but these are softened by a proliferation of warming touches such as lavishly upholstered seats, leather banquettes and tiny antique details. This place is beautiful. But while most visit for the beer, the food is a winner as well. Of the highlights, find a range of steaks that include thwunking big Tomahawks to Wagyu beef, not to mention the best fish’n’chips we’ve had outside of England.

BUTCHERY & WINE ul. Żurawia 22

When Butchery opened in 2011 it completely transformed the way Poland viewed its steak. The first ‘new wave’ meat joint in the country, it’s launch lit the fuse for a steak revolution. Now an institution in its own right, this cosmopolitan spot remains one of the most sought out bookings in the capital.

DZIURKA OD KLUCZA

Frank

ul. Grzybowska 43A

Decorated with gleaming golds and rich, dark shades of forest green, Frank has a quite sense of luxury. But having adjusted to the shine and gloss, one sees it for what it is: a place of good mood and food. For the latter, thank Aleksander Baron, a chef that’s reimagined German cuisine in an almost tapas-like form. Hits include Bavarian cheese Spätzle, superb sausages and Flammkuchen (a.k.a. German pizza).

BIBENDA

ul. Nowogrodzka 10

Preserving the prewar heritage of the building, the warm, busy interiors of Bibenda feel ripe for a date or a special night out with

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friends. Catching the ambience perfectly, the menu is an interesting work that specializes in spotting unlikely combinations that actually work: for instance, ‘cilantro funky pork sausages’ with pickled carrots,

Having upped sticks from their spiritual home in Powiśle, the DoK team magically teleported themselves to Fort 8 where they’ve carried on much as before: that is, knocking out beautiful homemade pasta and other Italian staples to appreciative audience that’s followed them for years. And it looks pretty fine as well – immerse yourself in an intimate and engaging interior decked out with door frames and hanging plants.

KONESER GRILL

ul. Ząbkowska 29 (Centrum Praskie Koneser)

Brought to you from the same stable as Rozbrat 20 and Butchery & Wine, the Ferment Group’s latest

PHOTOGRAPHS THIS PAGE BY KEVIN DEMARIA

Fort Służew 1B


opening ticks just about every box going. Amid smooth lighting, blond woods, metal fixtures and outbreaks of rich teal colors, visit for a menu based around the concept of ‘fire’. Yes, that means meat. But beyond that, do also anticipate unexpected glories such as quail Scotch eggs and grilled Fine de Claire oysters. It’s all stonkingly brilliant.

LE BRACI

ul. Górnośląska 24

You enter to be greeted by an installation featuring a tower of assorted ceramic waste before turning into a long, narrow room decorated in soothing forest shades. Evoking images of starry nights, the lighting casts a pleasing glow on a dining area whose statement piece is a beautifully backlit bar. You’ll love the interior, but the food even more. Last year, that meant small starter plates that introduced nibbly bits of modern Italy followed by a creamy, thick porcini risotto with chestnuts and a beef fillet with raisins, pine nuts and shallots.

KLONN

ul. Jazdów 1B

Attractively located in a lush expanse of leafy parkland, Klonn finds itself planted inside a low-level building just a whisper from Ujazdowski Castle. Dark and slick on the inside, the reverse is true of an exterior dedicated to expressions of street art. Yet while a big deal has been made of the visual creativity, it’s the food that leaves the real impact. A harmony of flavors, the hybrid cuisine includes luxury pizzas, hearty beef fillets and sophisticated desserts: it’s all a fantasy of skill.

MIĘSNY

ul. Walecznych 64

To some, it’s the best butcher for miles. To others, one of the best informal restaurants that Warsaw’s ever had. The truth is, Mięsny is actually both: where the latter is concerned, their steaks have no

peer. A primal joy, do your feasting inside a white-tiled interior or on the terrace that sprawls out in front.

MR. GREEK SOUVLAKI Londyńska 16

Festooned with potted shrubs, the outdoor wooden deck is one of Saska’s finest outdoor check-ins. If that’s packed – and it often is – head inside where an atmosphere of gentle chaos reigns in the noisy open kitchen. Eschewing warmth and authenticity, the atmosphere fits the Greek food well. Feasting down on skewers of meat and pillowy pittas you start to feel like part of the owner’s extended family.

MUNJA

ul. Grzybowska 43 & Grzybowska 60 (Browary Warszawskie)

Positioned in the heart of Warsaw’s flourishing new business quarter, both locations have been styled accordingly to slot into their swank surroundings: floor-to-ceiling windows lead into slick interiors that feel high on gloss and polish. But there is warmth as well with light woods and tan leather the dominant colors. Proclaiming themselves to be Poland’s first Adriatic restaurant (their words not ours), Munja’s menu is a joyful assembly of meat and fish cooked over flames – for our chosen highlight, order the lamb cevapi or Dinarko mussels.

WELCOME TO GREECE! For authentic Greek food & hospitality, look no further than Mr. Greek Souvlaki! ul. Londyńska 16 (Saska Kępa)

RUSIKO

Al. Ujazdowskie 22

To the uninitiated, Georgian food is representative of the heart, spirit and passion of its people; it’s a cuisine that values the concept of the feast: wine, laughter and song find themselves elevated to roles of primary importance. A food of life, spice and whole-hearted tastes, consider Rusiko as the best ambassador there is for this surprisingly diverse kitchen, and award-winning chef Davit Turkestanishvili the string-pulling master. There’s nowhere else in Poland that does Georgian better.

BEST of WA R S AW 2020

Insider Approved: Best of Warsaw WINNER 2020!

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Special Night Out When second best just won’t do, hit up these big guns for a meal to remember…

The atmosphere is lifted by faultless cooking that combines a little bit of Polish with a little bit of eclectic: it’s a combination that works and often magnificently well.

EPOKA

ul. Ossolińskich 3

Preserved 19th century cornices and baroque-style drapes lend an enveloping sense of luxury inside this A-Class space. Epoka’s menu is based on Polish cookbooks from different epochs (hence the name, dummy!), with the dishes reconstructed in a way that’s innovative, unexpected and a roller coaster of thrills. Oh gosh moments include jellied apple compote; a sweet and boozy pumpkin pottage; razor thin chestnut with marinated celeriac; and bigos like no other. You want to pause the evening for at least forever.

EUROPEJSKI GRILL

ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 13

Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel Warszawa)

Found on the sixth floor of a 1930s tower that was, for a time, ranked Europe’s second tallest building, Szóstka’s fan base is all thanks to Dariusz Barański, a highly skilled chef fond of presenting such dishes as crab meat toast with lime and mango. And there’s the setting, as well: seen as a long, slick space decorated with steel tubing, bursts of greenery and a coved glass ceiling, dining here has been one of the Insider’s great summer pleasures.

ALE WINO

ul. Rozbrat 44A

Regularly adjusted to utilize the best items the season has to offer, the menu is a triumph of expertly balanced tastes and is admired for some of the most interesting cooking in the city – think elegant with a localized twist. Rounding out the experience is an intimate, labyrin-

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thine design that’s ideal for when it’s cold and grim, and a shaded courtyard terrace that’s perfect for when it’s not. ul. Mokotowska 48 Dyletanci The epitome of the neo-bistro style, find an attractive space that’s been seamlessly designed to feature a wine store, kitchen and dining room(s) that somehow feel organically joined.

HUB.PRAGA

ul. Jagiellońska 22

Heading the kitchen is Witek Iwański, a chef whose past accolades include our very own ‘One To Watch’ title at the Insider’s 2016 Best of Warsaw awards. And wow, this newbie is also one to watch and not just due to a stunning design: think tan, beige and white colors embellished with moonshaped mirrors, gleaming lights and statement art. Priced between PLN 22 and 41, diners are encouraged to fill up on four to five a’la carte courses that appear like miniaturized works of art – think of each course

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Szóstka

Decked out in tan and vanilla shades, hexagonal lighting installations, glinting mirrors and bold, blue ceramics, there’s a character that bridges the classic with the contemporary to magnificent effect. Basque chef Beñat Alonso gives regional suppliers an all-star role, and though the menu has been significantly simplified since the lockdowns, it remains an artistic undertaking never short on surprises.


as a micro bomb of sophisticated goodness. The veal was our highlight when we visited in May, just shading the icy strawberry-themed dessert.

MUZEALNA

Al. Jerozolimskie 3

Design figures highly. Minimalistic at first sight, this sun-kissed chamber in the nether regions of the National Museum is sprinkled generously with works attributed to some of Poland’s top design pioneers. On the food front, Przemysław Suska, a rising star with the world at his feet, has modernized Polish classics whilst giving international dishes a Polonized spin: step forward the beetroot wellington.

Warszawa) Humongous in size, the vast spaces and lack of natural light never feel an issue. Loaded with slick finishes and polished raw materials, find this subterranean venue unraveling amid the giant original foundations that support this pre-war skyscraper. Divided into ‘snacks’, ‘plates’, ‘sides’ and ‘desserts’, big shouts go to a golden schnitzel the size of a tricycle wheel as well as the spicy pork dumplings served in a vibrant essence of paprika. It’s exceptional.

ROZBRAT 20 ul. Rozbrat 20

This busy neo-bistro fuses upmarket, casual styling with an exciting wine list, interactive service and the kind of atmosphere you can’t get enough of. Under chef Bartosz Szymczak’s leadership, Rozbrat’s grown to become one of the blogospheres favorite write-ups. Never the same, if there’s a consistent thread to visits then it’s the playful inventiveness that has come to define Szymczak’s cooking.

NOBU

ul. Wilcza 73

Famously founded by Meir Teper, Nobu Matsuhisa and some aspiring actor by the name of Robert De Niro, it’s a space that promises simplicity, elegance and minimalism, not to mention a harmonious sense of modern, zen-like luxury. On the menu, meanwhile, expect their signature squid ‘pasta’; new-style sashimi; and black cod miso as well as killer cocktails such as lychee & elderflower martini.

NOLITA

ul. Wilcza 46 For many diners, there is no bigger

night out than one that begins and ends in this enclave of class. Dashing in its monochrome colors and muted gunmetal shades, Nolita is where Warsaw heads to live the life of the 1%. Lacking the magic tricks of some, the ‘show factor’ might be subdued but the tastes definitely aren’t. Who to credit? Two words: Jacek Grochowina. Cooking with poise and focus, his menu is a marriage of the classic and creative, with core ingredients given unexpected lifts with cunning turns and inspired little twists.

RESTAURACJA WARSZAWSKA

Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 9 (Hotel

CULINARY MASTERCLASS NUTA

Pl. Trzech Krzyży 10/14

Extraordinary in every respect, Nuta is a place where the impossible happens – no surprise given that Andrea Camastra is cooking. Rated among Le Liste’s Top 100 chefs in the world, his cooking is a world class experience that involves dizzying takes on Polish classics as well as a couple of favorites from his previous restaurant, the Michelin starred Senses. Highlights are too numerous to mention, suffice to say this is the best restaurant in Warsaw – and most likely Poland. Enjoy it in an interior that feels sophisticated but never ceremonial. Bookings mandatory.

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Wine & Cocktails Where lie our favorite wine bars and cocktail lounges? Look no further…

Deeply relaxing in its own quietly fashionable manner, the setting pairs well with a crowd that’s professional, sophisticated and impeccably turned-out. With the name referring to the colors of the German flag, you’d be right to expect a wine list that offers a deep dive into German wines. The menu, too, isn’t to be sniffed out – the wafer thin Flammkuchen are fab.

EL KOKTEL

ul. Wojciecha Górskiego 9

The pert and pretty are here, so too the well-groomed modern man, but there’s a balance to the crowd that prevents any whiff of snob. As a bar it feels open-minded, engaging and intelligent, and those are traits that rub off on those present. Drinks are insanely good, and served in a small, highceilinged interior busy with framed vintage posters, cyan-colored wallpaper, baffling photos of Lynch-esque scenes and gleaming strainers and shakers.

ETHER

Café Podrygi Al. Jerzolimskie 3

Past an open pair of wrought iron gates, and up a neatly pebbled path, visitors find themselves sauntering into the neatly clipped gardens of the National Museum – the pristine immensity of what lies ahead is striking, and even more so when the modernist architecture is illuminated at night. Such is the power of the backdrop, Podrygi don’t need to do much with their outdoor decorations, and as such keep it simple with black decking and a couple of hammocks bookending the seats. The cocktails and wine choice are as sophisticated as the setting.

CHARLIE & CHARLIE KINOTEKA

ul. Mokotowska 39 & Pl. Defilad 1

Occupying the first floor of a pre-war tenement, there’s a magic here that summons the age of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Karim Bibars, the man behind it all, is one Poland’s best-known cocktail kings, and his drinks are the personification of liquid elegance. Opened in Feb,

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now find Charlie’s little sister inside the Palace of Culture: espousing an air of cinematic cool, it sets itself up for silver screen comparisons – with its bow-tied bartenders and heavy sense of drama, some will draw parallels to The Gold Room in the Overlook Hotel.

CZARNE CZERWONE ZŁOTE ul. Koszykowa 49A

Floor 19 is the destination, and once there you’ll find yourself right up next to the Varso Tower – a skyscraper that likes to pretend it’s the tallest in the EU (and it is, if you count the transmitter). Downers include the lack of table service (at least on our visit) and, even worse, the absence of a bathroom – get caught short and you’ll be taking the lift back to Floor No. 1. What’s to like? The cocktails justify the prices (you’re looking at a starting point of PLN 45) and the views are a killer. Positioned so you catch the best of the sunset falling over the CBD, watching the night slide in is a beautiful experience.

LANE’S GIN BAR

ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44

Featuring no shortage of brass, glass, stone and satin, the floaty, peachy-pink ambience is lent

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Chmielna 71 (NYX Hotel)


further oomph by what we reckon to be the best lux cocktails in the city. Perfectly proportioned, Lane’s is intimate enough to feel like a private members club, and that sense of personalization peaks when you discreetly enquire about their little black book. Within this secret tome lie recipes scrawled down by the regulars.

MIELŻYŃSKI WINE BAR Tan-

gled in vines and creeping ivy, this brick warehouse comes into its element each summer when drinkers pile outside to drink amid rustling trees and pristine lawns. Set within a former factory compound, the area has been revived with the legendary Mielżyński Wine Bar at its core. A flagbearer when it comes to consistency and quality, this post-industrial space remains a default favorite of the Warsaw public. ul. Burakowska 5/7 (also on

such as Power Spells and Star Dust. Dazzly and mysterious, lap these up in an interior that joins the retro with the avant garde.

VHS BAR

Poznańska 7

An 80s-themed cocktail bar snuck inside a pocket-sized brick cellar lit with fun, garish neon and pics of the era’s defining legends. Supremely fun, order cocktails named after figures like Cyndi Lauper, Billy Idol and, of course, The Hoff. As for the toilet, find plastic flamingos and pictures of Mr. T!

WARSZAWA POWIŚLE ul. Kruczkowskiego 3B

Remember the word ‘hipster’? It was pretty much coined at Warszawa Powiśle. Maturing since the times when this former ticket hall was all chipboard and cracks, nowadays this saucer-shaped building has been reenergized as a high-end cocktail den. One constant remains: everyone still prefers to drink outdoors. Should you do so, rush-hour brings a torrent of humanity to observe whilst sipping on something long and fizzy.

Czerska 12)

PALOMA INN ul. Poznańska 21

Inspired by The Jetsons, the moon landings and the atom, the Paloma Inn is a childlike joy of lunar lines, pea green colors and furnishings and fittings that are retro-futuristic. Adorned with plants and a curvaceously bizarre ceiling light, your eyes dart all over the place before settling onto a sweepy bar that’s as snaky as the letter ‘s’. Complementing it all, find groovy muzak, fondue sets, weird cocktails and a toilet that stops you in your tracks with its bold mandarin colors.

REGINABAR

ul. Koszykowa 1

Hip and happening, the concept at Reginabar is a wacky amalgam that mixes elements of New York’s Little Italy with China Town next door. The menu rocks, but find it augmented by a dynamic cocktail list that reflects the crazy things happening in Warsaw’s world of drinks: that means, the regular sips aside, ‘magic cocktails’ with names

BOTTOMS UP! RAUSZ NA WILCZEJ ul. Wilcza 27

“In general,” says co-owner Izabela, “we want to present wines we drink ourselves from regions that are interesting and well worth knowing.” In addition to their Spanish, Italian and French collections, find excellent wines from less familiar destinations: Slovenia, Czech, Austria and Georgia.

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Feeling Crafty!

Over 40 craft beer bars thrive in Warsaw, and you’ll find them all listed on the ontap.pl app – below find a few of the best…

CUDA NA KIJU

ul. Nowy Świat 6/12

Warsaw’s first multitap craft bar can no longer claim to be the city’s most adventurous (nor has it been able to for a long time), but it’s most popular: hell yes! Offering an understandable choice – plus a few mad mavericks – the craft tipples are complemented by on-tap cider and Prosecco. At the weekend, hundreds of people gather to sit on the deckchairs out in front to enjoy the sun set over General de Gaulle’s statue. But go beyond, and into the courtyard, and you’ll find an army of millennials spilling into the fountain and jiggling to tunes blasting from nearby bar-clubs like Newonce.

CZEŚĆI

ul. Grzybowska 2

Same Krafty ul. Nowomiejska 10

Squashed into two narrow, rugged rooms decorated with benches and rough plaster walls, Same Krafty have rescued Old Town from big beer brands peddling piss. Offering artisan alternatives, this intimate bar lures daring tourists looking to explore the more subversive side of Polish brewing. Too busy? Head five meters opposite to Same Krafty Vis-à-vis. And for summer, forget not to check their two taps in the middle of the Rynek.

BROWAR WARSZAWSKI ul. Haberbuscha i Schielego 2

When it comes to beer, Browar Warszawski favor tradition over craziness – there’s 18 house beers on tap, and they do a grand job of broadly introducing Poland’s crafty direction. Feeling Feeling reassuringly cosmopolitan, this swanky

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multi-floor emporium targets itself at a higher-end clientele than others, a point reflected by both its prices and design. There’s a strong industrial aesthetic, but this softened by a proliferation of warming touches such as lavishly upholstered seats and tiny antique details. It’s a beauty!

DRUGIE DNO

ul Nowogrodzka 4

To plug into the pounding heart of Warsaw’s craft beer scene, look no further than Nowogrodzka. Evoking the look of a disused power station, the Double D. sports rugged brickwork and a scuffed style with the industrialized look amped up through the use of steel girders, vintage voltage meters and toilets disguised as elevator shafts.

JABEERWOCKY

ul. Nowogrodzka 12

Drowned in boisterous babble and general pub racket, the affable Jabbers is home to what most rate as the most adventurous choice

PHOTOGRAPHS THIS PAGE BY ED WIGHT, OPPOSITE PAGE BY KEVIN DEMARIA

t’s hard to believe now, but Cześć started life as a café. What happened to that? Well, the locals preferred their beer. Now looking comfortably rugged and worn-in after nearly nine years of service, this box of a room was arguably the first ‘quali-tap’ in Warsaw. Quali-tap? Yeah, by that we mean small, little places with six or seven beers on the go. The rotation of new finds is balanced well with traditional faves.


of craft beer in the city: pioneering international breweries are well represented, but don’t overlook the sensational drinks from home (inc. their own namesake brewery).

Taste The Exotic

For tastes that go beyond the norm, look to the following to brighten your day…

KUFLE I KAPSLE ul. Nowogrodzka 25

Found somewhere round the top of Warsaw’s hierarchy of craft beer bars, Kufle welcomes all, from entry level novices taking their first steps in the beery world to note-taking nerds conducting research for their blogs. Interiors are respectful of the building’s pre-war heritage and are thick with noise, clamor and the reassuring smell of spillage. The beer selection can be brilliantly radical.

PINTA

ul. Chmielna 7/9

Find a pared down Scandi design set across two glass-fronted floors round the back of Chmielna. Featuring plenty of concrete and bits of shipping containers, the sparsity of the design keeps your attention on the beer – and it’s brilliant. Pinta, if you don’t know, can be considered the founding fathers of Poland’s craft beer scene, and this bar gives their portfolio the attention it deserves.

Viet Street Food Bistro

SYTY CHMIEL

ul. Królowej Aldony 5/2

Though undeniably large, intimacy isn’t short in supply, and that’s down to the comfortable armchairs, framed pictures, atmospheric lo-lighting and some personal trinkets to reflect the passions of the owners (skateboards, for instance). Despite its copiously large footprint, Syty Chmiel has a warmth to it that causes visitors to settle in for a long night ahead – and settle you will. There’s twelve taps in total, and these offer a rotation of craft goodness that ranges from wacky to understandable. It’s not just about drink, either. Co-owner and chef Pan Tasak has created a menu that’s a celebration of Poland’s rural greatness.

What started as a mere food truck has evolved into a proper sit down space – and a lovely one at that; the grassy back garden is a true summer pleasure. Recognized as the source of the best Vietnamese chow this country has ever seen, find huge bowls of pho and banh mi baguettes as well as our standard order: fried beef with pineapple and oyster sauce.

Marszałkowska 10/16

BLUE CACTUS

ul. Zajęcza 2B (Eletrownia Powiśle) & Fabryka Norblin

Shut after a 20-year run in 2017, for many the closure of the Cactus felt like the end of an era. But they say legends never die, and so it’s proved with the return of this institution. Taking shape inside a corner unit of Elektrownia, the new look venture touts glass walls, a tiled bar and lively open kitchen. Though looking

contemporary in its styling, nods to the past are plentiful and include such elements as the original chairs. But if it vibes well, it eats even better – the tacos and burritos are already vying for the title of Warsaw’s best, and their cause is helped by some banging salsas. We love it and you will as well.

BOLLYWOOD LOUNGE ul. Nowy Świat 58

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Known for their raucous dusk-tilldawn parties, there is another less hedonistic roll filled by Bollywood: that of a restaurant. The menu is an uncomplicated, classic affair that’s an ideal primer for the party ahead.

CEVICHE BAR ul. Twarda 4

With Argentine chef Martin Gimenez Castro injecting his passion and personality into the venue, this is an address that punches through the greyness of everyday Warsaw. Ceviche is the default order with the Atun one of the best sellers: chunks of tuna given a rich zing with the addition of chili, lime and roasted coriander. The Japanese influence on South America’s dining habits isn’t forgotten either, with must-haves including the salmon tiraditos. Served with teriyaki and sweet potato mash, it’s a joy of satisfying sensations: sweet, dreamy, spicy, creamy.

CURRY HOUSE

ul. Żeromskiego 81 & ul. Hoża 54

LA SIRENA

Omakase refers to the Japanese tradition of putting your life in the hands of the chef in front. Given carte blanche by the punter, it falls to head chef Dawid Uszyński to create magic based on intuition and product availability – this he does inside a vibey interior featuring a magenta neon, terrazzo floors and an intricate cat’s cradle of bold red shelving. This place lives in ‘the now’!

Inspired by the ultra-violent films of Danny Trejo, the small but hardcore interior heaves with machetes, holy shrines, skulls and wire mesh. But if La Sirena looks fab, it tastes even better. Introducing a more finessed approach to Mexican cuisine, the flavors and ingredients here speak of a kitchen keen to show a more nuanced side to this magical culture. And we just love the cocktails as well.

ul. Grzybowska 56

PAŃSKA 85

Joel Sharing Concept seeks to channel the atmosphere and tastes typically found in the food markets and bazaars of contemporary Tel Aviv. As such, find yourself ordering from a small galaxy of bites that range from pittas stuffed with beef and lamb kofta to mezze dishes such as baked beetroot served with stewed tomatoes, cranberries and cumin.

Despite the over-the-top luxury trimmings Pańska looks good without ever losing its dignity. With their kitchen staff headhunted from across China, the food sets a standard that has yet to be seen in any Chinese restaurant in Warsaw: there’s delicate salmon rolls wrapped in mango; dim sum that are pouches of pure goodness; and Sichuan-style pork that’s a blaze of sizzle and spice. The Beijing Duck, carved and served table-side, is the highlight.

ul. Koszykowa 1

LE CEDRE

GURU

ul. Oleandrów 8

The menu is a union of local, seasonal ingredients (organic this, farmyard that) and imported spices, coming together to blast the Indian competition out of the water. From the openers, the chili chicken fry stands out as a dish that’s all snap and crackle, while of the mains the tikka masala is exceptional in taste. And when you want to take the nuclear option, sign the disclaimer before being flattened by the phaal – it’s Poland’s hottest curry!

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ul. Piękna 54

JOEL SHARING CONCEPT

Ask for something extra hot in Curry House and by Suresh that’s what you’ll get. Yet at Curry House there is more to sing about than just Poland’s highest voltage vindaloo. The curries are rich and sumptuous and consistently cited as among the best in the city. If in doubt, the chicken tikka masala is a fail-safe request. Many locations, inc. ul. Widok 8

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JAPONKA

Al. Solidarności 61 & 84

With the decadent dazzle of a bedouin tent, nights in Le Cedre are best celebrated with blasts on a sheesha and their Friday night belly dancer. Otherwise, just settle for the best Lebanese food in CEE; of particular note, the charcoal-grilled lamb chops.

MOD

Devised by Trisno Hamid, a Singaporean chef with a classic French background, glories include ramen noodles in a steamy yuzu broth and Angus beef rump steak served with tahini mashed potatoes and a big thump of chili and fig relish. Adding to the sense of being somewhere current, find a seriously cool vibe inside an interior featuring a retro mirrored wall, upside down plants and busy tables filled with the kind of people that you’d mistake for rising fashion photographers.

ul. Pańska 85

THE COOL CAT ul. Solec 38

(also on Marszałkowska 8) Refusing to take themselves too seriously, the angle is fun and forward-thinking, something that’s evidenced by way of an occasionally wacky menu of Americanized Asian food (the matcha ice cream donut is insane in both idea and taste!). The cocktails are equally eccentric yet also reveal some devastating talent.

UKI UKI

ul. Krucza 23/31

How much do locals appreciate Warsaw’s original udon bar? Enough to queue outside the door? That’s right. Dining is a close quarters experience here, but is done so without complaint: that electric pasta maker turns out udon noodles of such chewy goodness that everyone leaves beaming.


PHOTOGRAPHS BY KEVIN DEMARIA

A CULTURAL OASIS

Running until August 18th, the latest chapter of the Otwarty Jazdów festival has again proved the value of this inner city treasure…

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Otwarty Jazdów For more info, see: jazdow.pl

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uly saw the inauguration of the latest chapter of the Otwarty Jazdów festival, a six-week cultural and educational extravaganza jointly held by the NGOs found inside the Osiedle Jazdów estate. Sub-divided into different themes, the coming weeks will see Mondays set aside for English- and Polish-language walking tours, Tuesdays for literary workshops and Wednesdays for artistic happenings, performances and exhibitions. Thursdays will see the spotlight handed to outdoor cinema screenings whilst Fridays will see the onus shift to live music from both international bands and groups hailing from Poland’s provinces. Lined-up for Saturdays, meanwhile, are family and kid-friendly events involving art and craft workshops. Finally, Sundays will celebrate the environment – specifically, the creatures found within the city: bees, hedgehogs, etc. But what, you might ask, exactly is the Osiedle Jazdów estate? A picture of pastoral bliss, find this picturesque micro community nestled in the center of the city bounded by Trasa Łazienkowska directly east, and Park Ujazdowski to the south. Tangled in the story of the post-war rebirth of Warsaw, this enchanting nook began life with the decision to rebuild the town that the Nazis had left as a smoking sea of rubble. It was a brave move. With total destruction approaching 84%, there were many that argued that the capital should simply be shunted elsewhere. Of the immediate problems was finding the architects and engi-

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neers involved in this process somewhere to live: the answer was Osiedle Jazdów. Making full use of easy-to-assemble cabins confiscated from Finland by Stalin as reparations, 95 of these were built in the area of Jazdów. In July, 1945, the first 30 tenants moved in, and on August 1st, the development was officially opened – simultaneously coinciding with the only time the Communist authorities formally allowed anniversary commemorations for the Warsaw Uprising to be held, the launch of Osiedle Jazdów was seen as an optimistic sign of good times ahead. Defined by their quaint wooden style and black tar roofs, these 54 sq/m units quickly became home to a thriving self-contained world and contained, among other things, an artesian well, a shrine, kindergarten, grocery store and kiosk. In winter, an ice rink and toboggan run added to the sense of a tranquil idyll of utopian joy. All the time, though, these ‘Finnish Houses’ were meant just as a stop-gap solution for a city on the mend.

Though surviving their initial 1955 expiry date, many nonetheless found themselves dismantled as the years rolled forward: the construction of Trasa Łazienkowska and, later, the French Embassy, saw dozens torn down. More recently, their fate was only secured a few years back after those cabins that remained were threatened with outright demolition. Whilst a handful of cabins remain in private hands, over a dozen are now occupied by NGOs and other such ventures – for example, an Embassy for Traditional Music, a food sharing point, a bee-keeping foundation, a co-working space and a Solatorium specializing in light therapy. In this regard, Jazdów has become more than just a pretty face and evolved into a pioneering venture at the forefront of several social, eco and cultural initiatives – now firmly ensconced in Warsaw’s consciousness, consider this festival the district’s calling card.


PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF POLONIA PALACE

WARSAW’S MEETING POINT

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ocated in the heart of Warsaw, the Polonia Palace opened on July 14th, 1913 – at a time when Warsaw fell under Tsarist rule, its name alone struck pride in the hearts of Poles, reminding them that their country still existed within their hearts and minds. Nowadays, the hotel offers 206 elegant rooms and ten conference and banquet halls. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, the hotel’s Lobby Bar has also proved a popular meeting point for foreigners and locals alike thanks to its live sports and supreme cocktails. Stylish throughout, the hotel’s meeting facilities can be adapted for a wide range of uses, including social events, press conferences and business meetings. All are equipped with slide projectors,

televisions, air-conditioning and control panels that allow guests to adjust the light and temperature to their needs. Among the most popular rooms, the Ludwikowska Ballroom has been renovated to feature the adjoining Ludwikowska Lounge, an ideal space for weddings, family gatherings and cocktail parties. Capable of holding 120 people, the Ludwikowska experience is rendered complete by the Polonia Palace’s exquisite catering options. BROUGHT TO YOU BY

Polonia Palace

Al. Jerozolimskie 45, poloniapalace.com

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WARSAW RISING MUSEUM

There is never a bad time to visit the Rising Museum, but certainly August is the most relevant given the anniversary of the insurgency’s outbreak…

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THE MUSEUM Spread across a floorspace of over 3,000 sq/m, it’s easy to lose your bearings a little so it is worth your while to pay attention to the plotted route so as not to miss any exhibits. Sub-divided into core sections, these focus in on different historical periods such as the occupation, the destruction of Warsaw and the Soviet influence. In the main though

PHOTOGRAPHS BY M.SZLAGA/WARSAWRISING MUSEUM

CHEAT SHEET:

TICKETS & ARRIVAL Priced at PLN 25 for adults (PLN 20 for children, students, etc.), tickets are available either at the ticket office or online at bilety.1944.pl. Given the popularity of this place, taking the latter option is highly recommended. For cheapskates, each Monday all admission charges are waived. For those wishing to cycle here, bicycle racks can be found inside the courtyards. If you’re lugging a bag with you for whatever reason, then these can be stored in left-luggage lockers.


LOOK FOR… Adding to your knowledge, look for the printed leaflets that provide further in-depth accounts and round-ups of events. Though it is unrealistic to expect people to digest these whilst standing / walking, they make for interesting reading on leaving and give further detailed insight as you seek to digest everything you’ve seen. HIGHLIGHTS The biggies naturally get the most attention: for instance, the lifesize replica of a Liberator plane used to drop supplies; two replicas of sewer tunnels, the like of which were commonly used by insurgents; and various dioramas, including that of a covert printing press. And then, shown on the cinema screen towards the end, there’s a stunning fly-by film that takes visitors over the ruins of Warsaw. For all that, it’s the little things that make this place so special – easy to miss on your first visit (and even on your second, third and so forth), these number an Omega watch that stopped at the exact time a shell hit an apartment building (it’s owner later died); a pair of wedding rings forged from bullets; a Hershey chocolate bar airdropped by the Allies; and numerous other mementoes that each come with their own special story. OUTSIDE Whatever the weather, it is worth exploring the exterior as well – here, find a wall inscribed with the names of the fallen, a replica of an armored car, the shattered remains of the Poniatowski statue, art exhibitions and even a bunker retrieved from Pl. Zbawiciela. REVIVE Onsite, inside the museum building, sits a charming 1940s-style café that provides a pleasant break from the heavy subject matter. However, your best option in summer is outside at Pokój na lato. Run as a pet project by the museum, find this network of wood-beamed outdoor rooms adorned with plants and little corners. Concerts, workshops, culinary classes, author meets and yoga sessions add texture to this venue. IN AUGUST For want of a better description, August is ‘Uprising month’, coinciding as it does with the anniversary of the battle. As such, a slew of memorial events take place with many falling directly under the patronage of the Rising Museum. Of these,

one of the undisputed highlights is the performance of songs that were banned during the war – traditionally taking place on the evening of August 1st at Pl. Piłsudskiego, this tender event attracts thousands of participants. In the museum itself, visit after August 5th for a new exhibition that will explore the Wola Massacre, a particularly dark event that saw up to 50,000 civilians executed in the space of a few days. This exhibition will explore the role played by Grupenführer SS Heinz Reinefarth and the collapse of his post-war trial.

THE WARSAW UPRISING Transformed, in the words of historian Norman Davies, into a “lawless laboratory of Nazi racial ideology,” wartime Poland was a dark place to be – but Warsaw darker still. Viewed as a melting pot of decadence, a hotbed of dissent, a cradle of European Jewry and a symbol of Polish independence, no other city aroused as much disdain from the Nazis. Denied the most basic rights, the Poles responded by forming Europe’s largest underground movement. Commonly believed to number around 400,000 members, the Home Army (Armii Krajowej) was the largest of these illicit organizations. Taking part in numerous acts of sabotage, this clandestine military movement hit global headlines when, on August 1st, 1944, they launched their biggest operation to date: the Warsaw Uprising. Aiming to liberate the town in time for the imminent Soviet arrival, their cause was boosted by promises of Allied aid as well as the knowledge that German units had already began withdrawing from the city. Incensed by this act of Polish insolence, the Nazis reacted with savage fury and what the Poles had hoped would be a swift campaign descended into a 63-day bloodbath that claimed 250,000 lives. Seemingly abandoned by their allies, and with all hope exhausted, Warsaw’s eventual capitulation was met with orders for the population to be exiled and the city leveled. By the time the Red Army rolled in on January 17, 1945, the city lay under 20 million cubic meters of rubble with total destruction measured at 84%.

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At Królikarnia a compelling exhibition captures the intrigues of the circus… By Krystyna Spark

C

lowns, tightrope walkers, lion tamers and gymnasts – ever since its very conception, the circus has brought together the extraordinary, the unseen, the marvelous and the unconventional. Offering a form of entertainment that stands in stark contrast to the refined rule-regulated stage spectacles of the theater, the circus was a place where raw emotions found refuge – where within the circular border of the round circus ring human limitations were put to the test.

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Fascinated by the freedom of this cultural phenomenon was not just its audience. Artists, searching for melting pots of extreme emotion, were keen to explore the duality of the circus, where amazement accompanied disbelief and admiration. CIRCUS, the exhibition at Królikarnia, portrays a variety of the resulting creative expressions. Leading the viewer through a hypothetical circus show, from entrée to intermezzo and backstage, visitors get a glimpse into the unbelievable – or rather, the unbearable.

PHOTOGRAPHS BARTOSZ BAJERSKI/ THE NATIONAL MUSEUM IN WARSAW

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT!


The exhibition, just like a circus show, begins with the aforementioned entrée – the opening act. Here, visitors are presented with the history of the modern circus. Though elements of circus performances could be found already in ancient Rome, the event, as we know it today, was born around the middle of the eighteenth century. Of course, central to the circus is the persona of the clown. Here too, he leads visitors from room to room with the most notable work being a series of clown portraits by Polish artist, Tymon Niesiołowski (1882 – 1965). Created in the late 1950s, the works feature the artist’s characteristic black outline, which in this case lends itself to the caricature-like quality of the depicted sitters. With facial expressions ranging from boredom to fatigue, Niesiołowski’s clowns depict the contradictory nature of this character – whose “deliberate clumsiness exists to counterpoint the elegant beauty of the trick rider or the athletic body of the acrobat,” notes the exhibition’s curator, Katarzyna Szydłowska-Schiller. In juxtaposition to the unrefined clown acts stood the perfectly executed movements of the trick riders who seamlessly performed challenging acrobatic poses while maintaining their balance horse riding. Though the choreographed movements of their act were the source of applause and admiration, such was not the case with their costume. Dressed in often revealing clothing, in order to facilitate movement, but also, to stand in contrast to the socially accepted vision of femininity – tight-laced, subordinate and relegated to the domestic sphere – the trick rider was a sight to behold. These two characters are the subject of one of the exhibition’s most prized works – Pablo Picassos’s “Trick Rider and Clowns”, a colored lithograph on paper painted between 1957 and 1961. Depicting three figures, two clowns and a trick rider, the image seems to portray an off-duty scene. As the three performers enjoy a casual conversation outside of the circus rink, a small dog in the right hand corner joins in on the agreeable moment. Picasso highlights the imperfection of the performers, strips them of their entertainment-ready façade and, both literally and figuratively, let’s them enjoy the sunshine outside. “The clown does anything and everything to amuse the audience but deep down he is sad, lonely and melancholy. That melancholy has a way of appealing to visual artists, many of whom

The clown does anything and everything to amuse the audience but deep down he is sad, lonely and melancholy... identify with the clown, who upon removing his makeup must, like them, face a life so different to that in the limelight,” writes Szydłowska-Schiller. This quote by the exhibition’s curator, Katarzyna Szydłowska-Schiller, encapsulates the essence of what drew many towards the circus experience. For sculptor Alexander Calder, however, it was the rudimentary nature of the event that ignited his interest. An early professional assignment, which required him sketching the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, formed the basis of his Cirque Calder (Calder’s Circus) – a miniature circus troupe comprised of meticulously crafted animals, clowns, acrobats and accessories. CIRCUS at Królikarnia ends with a fragment of a 1955 Jean Painleve film featuring Calder perform his famous miniature circus sets. Screened on a large projector in the central rotunda of the late eighteenth-century palace, it has been adapted to the likeness of a circus with the interior of the rotunda draped in folds of deep red fabric – resembling a quintessential circus tent. The installation is the work of set designer Karolina Fandrejewska, who is also responsible for the layout of the exhibition, and required the help of mountain climbers to put up! Created to appeal to a wide audience, from children to adults, lovers of art and less so, the exhibition – much like the circus – can be appreciated on many levels of intellectual involvement. With a rich series of complimentary talks, workshops and concerts, there is something for everybody – an egalitarian offer fitting of a circus show.

CIRCUS at Królikarnia Ongoing until October 2nd ul. Puławska 113A, Krolikarnia.mnw.art.pl

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CINEMA SHORTS

Kino news from around Warsaw and beyond… All Things Great & Small

Waraw’s smallest cinema, the Amondo, has been rescued from bankruptcy after a crowdfunding campaign raised over PLN 30,000. Seating just 45 people in two screening rooms, Amondo (Żurawia 20) has long been hailed as one of the city’s best-loved secrets – something aided by its arthouse repertoire, quirky café and VHS videos. In Żoliborz, film fan are celebrating the return of Kino (Suzina 6), a historic cinema set in a 1920s boiler house. Home to the Andrzej Wajda Film Center, whilst work on the latter continues, the courtyard was opened in July and has already staged open-air screenings of some of the director’s cult films.

Taste Of The Classics

Available on 35mm.online, nearly 4,000 films, documentaries and TV programs have been made available as part of a project funded by the EU and Poland’s Ministry of Culture. Subtitled into English, all date from the era of the Polish People’s Republic and include numerous classics from the canon of Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieślowski.

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PHOTOGRAPH THIS PAGE UNSPLASH

Over The Rainbow


learning preschools AMERICAN SCHOOL OF WARSAW

Students aged 3-5 are encouraged to try new things, ask questions, and take risks in a nurturing environment in which they learn life skills alongside academics. Following the Primary Years Programme (PYP), our young students become caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. Contact

admissions@aswarsaw.org

WILANOW

BRITISH PRIMARY SCHOOL OF

A values-driven school offering a world-class education based on the best of British Education. BSW is the first school in Poland to be accredited as Compliant by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). Based in a purpose built premises in Wilanow BSW is accepting applications from Nursery to Year 9. Please email admissions@ bswilanow.org to organise a visit.

THE CANADIAN SCHOOL OF WARSAW PRESCHOOL

Welcoming students from the ages of 2.5 to 6 years old, currently 45% of their admissions are international students. The dedicated, IB-trained teachers deliver an innovative program (PYP) in English designed for modern world needs. The program offers a combination of Literacy, Maths, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, Art, Music & Rhythmics, French and Polish classes. ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 53,

tel. 697 979 100, canadian-school.pl

CASA DEI BAMBINI & TODDLER SCHOOL

(multiple locations) Casa dei Bambini and Toddler School have three green and harmonious locations in Mokotów and Izabelin. The school in Izabelin is set in the quiet of the Kampinos Forest just outside the city. Teachers are fully trained in early-childhood education in English according to the Montessori philosophy. Registration open to children 12 months to 6 years of age.

ul. Badowska 19, ul. Tatrzańska 5a (Mokotów), ul. Szkolna 16, (Izabelin), tel. 692 099 134, wmf.edu.pl

warsaw montessori family

Warsaw Montessori Schools

Accepting applications for our programs and locations: Infant & Toddler Tatrzańska 5a Badowska 19

Casa dei Bambini Badowska 19 Szkolna 16, Hornówek

Elementary Szwoleżerów 4

„Erdkinder” Middle School THE BRITISH SCHOOL WARSAW – EARLY YEARS CENTRE

Our Early Years Foundation Stage provides a play-based learning curriculum full of curiosity, wonder and discovery – the perfect springboard into Primary education. ul. Dąbrowskiego 84, tel. 22

646 77 77, thebritishschool.pl

THE INTERNATIONAL TRILINGUAL SCHOOL OF WARSAW

Tatrzańska 5a

Established in 1994, The Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary, and pre-school education with an international curriculum for children aged from one to 15. The full immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English,

Montessori High School

Pytlasińskiego 13a Contact Office: 692 099 134 office@warsawmontessori.edu.pl

www.wmf.edu.pl

reklama montessori 1/3_46x206.indd 1

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Polish, Spanish or Chinese, French or Japanese. Teachers are highly-qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain, China and Japan. ul. Nobla 16 (tel. 501 036 637), ul. Karowa 14/16 (tel. 503 072 119), ul. Krolowej Aldony (tel. 533 321 084), office@3languages.pl, itsw.edu.pl

THE ENGLISH PLAYHOUSE

The English Playhouse functions in two green and quiet residential districts of Mokotów and Wilanów. The pre-school follows the English National Curriculum and accepts children from 12 months up till six-years-old. For more info or to arrange a tour call Justyna Nowak on tel. 784 037 808 or email:

jnowak@theenglishplayhouse.com

ul. Pływiańska 14a, tel. 22 843 9370, tep.edu.pl

MAPLE TREE MONTESSORI

Maple Tree Montessori is a family-run, international preschool that offers an authentic Montessori curriculum supported by a Music & Art program, with a natural playground and a strong focus on an ecological & healthy lifestyle. They have two classes: a toddler group (15 to 30 months) and a casa class (2.5 to 6 years). ul. Piechoty Łanowej 46A

(entrance from Rotmistrzowska/ Petyhorska), tel. 531 599 444, mapletreemontessori.pl

ADMISSIONS OPEN EARLY YEARS, PRIMARY, SECONDARY & IB admissions@thebritishschool.pl (0048) 22 842 32 81 ext. 125

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MONTESSORI STEPPING STONES

An intimate, international, English-speaking preschool located in Powsin that follows the Montessori philosophy which emphasizes the individuality of each child. Children from the ages of 1.5-years-old to 6-years-old are welcome, with the school’s goals aimed at facilitating the individual development of the child, both physical and mental, through a system that is focused on the spontaneous use of the human intellect. ul. Przyczółkowa 140, tel.

728 939 582, montessoristeppingstones.pl


schools

AKADEMEIA HIGH SCHOOL

Akademeia High School is an academically selective international school in Warsaw, offering iGCSEs and A Levels whilst preparing students for the best universities in the world. The staff body consists of alumni of the world’s best universities, whilst facilities at what has become Poland’s most prestigious school include an art studio, auditorium, sports hall and roof garden. ul.

Ledóchowskiej 2, akademeia.edu.pl

AMERICAN SCHOOL OF WARSAW

With over 50 nationalities, ASW has been welcoming students from around the world since 1953. As an IB Continuum school, our students follow the PYP, MYP and DP throughout their learner journey. These programmes develop

inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. They are inspired by our highly qualified and international teaching staff. Students graduate with either the IB diploma or an American high school diploma. All programs are conducted in English, with integrated EAL support for non-native speakers. Contact:

admissions@aswarsaw.org or 22 702 85 00, ul. Warszawska 202 (Konstancin-Jeziorna), aswarsaw.org

WILANOW

BRITISH PRIMARY SCHOOL OF

A values-driven school offering a world-class education based on the best of British Education. BSW is the first school in Poland to be accredited as Compliant by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). Based in a purpose built premises in Wilanow BSW is accepting applications from Nursery to Year 9. Please email admissions@ bswilanow.org to organise a visit

THE BRITISH SCHOOL WARSAW

Delivering an inclusive, rigorous and high-quality British education in a diverse and caring environment, mission of TBS is to balance academic success with character building and well-being. Students at The British School Warsaw learn an internationally respected curriculum, based on the best of British academics. They take pride in their excellent results at both International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and IGCSE level, which are well above the global average. ul. Limanowskiego 15, tel. 22 842 3281, thebritishschool.pl

THE ENGLISH PRIMARY

The English Primary is designed specifically for children in the primary education ages, just as children experience in England but

New Year - New Chapter

The English speaking preschool for children from the international community Register now for 2022/2023 school year in Mokotów and wilanów

tep.edu.pl mobile: 696 904 687

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in an international community. Pupils are taken through the key learning stages so that they can achieve to the best of their ability through a fun learning experience. The Core Curriculum subjects include English, Phonics, Science, Mathematics, French, PE and Swimming, Music, Personal, Social and Health Education. ul. Rzodkiewki 18, tel. 784

037 808, tep.edu.pl

THE CANADIAN SCHOOL OF WARSAW INTERNATIONAL ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL

Located on two campuses in the Mokotów this is the only authorized IB School with PYP programs taught in English and Polish. French is taught as a third language. Offers a wide range of extra activities, a summer school, and employs a full time psychologist. Provision is made for additional Polish and English support. International staff, cultural events and challenging student initiatives create the perfect learning environment. ul. Bełska 7, tel. 692

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411 573 / 885 420 044, secretary@ canadian-school.pl or secretary. olimpijska@canadian-school.pl

THE INTERNATIONAL TRILINGUAL SCHOOL OF WARSAW

Established in 1994, The Trilingual School of Warsaw offers nursery, primary, and pre-school education with an international curriculum for children aged from one to 15. The full immersion trilingual setting allows for the choice between English, Polish, Spanish or Chinese, French or Japanese. Teachers are highly-qualified native speakers from the US, France, Spain, China and Japan. ul. Nobla 16 (tel. 501 036 637),

ul. Karowa 14/16 (tel. 503 072 119), ul. Krolowej Aldony (tel. 533 321 084), office@3languages.pl, itsw.edu.pl

JOY PRIMARY SCHOOL

Treating pupils with mutual respect but not at

the expense of being demanding, the methods used are hard on the problem but soft on the person. Taking into account what students think, feel, learn and want for themselves and their world, Joy Primary teaches important life skills as well as respect, care for others, problem solving and co-operation. Here, children are challenged to discover their abilities and competences, while encouraged to explore personal strength and autonomy. ul. Syta 131A, tel. 722

305 333, sekretariat@joyprimaryschool.pl

MONNET INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Located in Mokotów, the Monnett is the only school in Poland that implements the International Baccalaureate Program from kindergarten level all the way through to secondary school. The fully-qualified staff are committed to delivering only the highest standards of education. ul. Stępińska 13, tel. 22 852 06 08, maturamiedzynarodowa.pl


WARSAW MONTESSORI SCHOOL

A leader in the field of Montessori education, well-trained teachers guide students to independent and successful learning with both English and bilingual classroom provided. Located just steps from Łazienki Park the school resides in vibrant surroundings near to museums, embassies and natural settings which provide students with learning outside the classroom. ul. Szwoleżerów 4 (grades 0-4), tel. 608 488 420, wmf.edu.pl

WARSAW MONTESSORI MIDDLE SCHOOL

Guided by trained specialists, students are responsible for managing their household, operating small businesses, caring for local flora and fauna as well

as domesticated animals, taking charge of the younger children and much more. “Adolescence Program” activities, integrated with academic studies, help students discover their inner strength to meet real life challenges. ul. Tatrzańska 5A

shopping experiences ARKADIA

(grades 5-8), tel. 604 137 826, wmf.edu.pl

Not many Polish malls do it better. Stores inc. Mango, Lacoste, Guess, Hilfiger and Peek & Cloppenburg.

WARSAW MONTESSORI HIGH SCHOOL

GALERIA MOKOTÓW

Warsaw Montessori High School aims to teach students the values which Maria Montessori outlined in her educational philosophy such as: responsibility for one’s own development, care for others, honesty, empathy, and service. The school continues to meet the principles of Maria Montessori through implementing the IB Diploma Program principles and practices. Warsaw Montessori High School is an authorized IB World School for the Diploma Programme – code 061201. ul.

Pytlasińskiego 13A, tel. 787 095 835, wmf.edu.pl

Al. Jana Pawła II 82, arkadia.com.pl

Stores inc. Calvin Klein, Hollister, Hugo Boss, New Balance, Royal Collection and Timberland. ul.

Wołoska 12, galeriamokotow.com.pl

KLIF HOUSE OF FASHION

Warsaw’s original luxury shopping center has a line-up of top boutiques that include Max Mara, Paul & Shark and Pinko. ul. Okopowa 58/72, klif.pl

ZŁOTE TARASY

Over 200 stores, restaurants and cafes, plus the Multikino cinema and the Pure Jatomi Health and Fitness Club. ul. Złota 59,

zlotetarasy.pl

Accepting applications for Nursery to Year 9 bsw.com.pl +48 221 110 062 ul. Hlonda 12, Warsaw admissions@bswilanow.org

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN!

Warsaw’s rich history and cultural significance has left it with no shortage of museums to visit. Offering a well-rounded view of the city’s past and present, these are the seven you just shouldn’t miss… FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM

The 18th century Ostrogski Palace is the perfect foil for the ultra-modern content of this multi-sensory space. The personal items are captivating (his death mask, gifts from his muse, etc.), but the big victory here is the museum’s ability to suck visitors right back into the times of Chopin through the use of interactive sights and sounds. ul. Okólnik 1, chopin.

museum

MUSEUM OF LIFE UNDER COMMUNISM

A deeply personal insight into the former system by allowing visitors to view what Communism meant to the everyday person. Here, rifle and

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rummage through a room mockedup to resemble a typical household apartment, watch propaganda films, peer inside a phone box, paw at vintage keep-fit gear or covet the ladies fashions of the time. Detailed in its captions, witty in its presentation and comprehensive in its content, it is a place where normal items such as aftershave bottles, postcards, clothing and crude household appliances are allowed to shine on a totem and tell their own story. A haven of trinkets and collectibles, its small size belies its utter magic. ul.

Piękna 28/34, mzprl.pl

MUSEUM OF WARSAW

Reprised as a maze-like treasure filled trove glimmering with

curiosities, thousands of objects have been gathered here to detail the story of Warsaw in a non-linear style that can at times feel overwhelming. Peculiar souvenirs, scale models, old postcards and recovered works of art all combine with a mass of trivia to leave visitors boggled with knowledge. The vertiginous views of the Rynek below are worth the admission alone. Rynek Starego Miasta 28-42,

muzeumwarszawy.pl

NATIONAL MUSEUM

Famed for its collection of Dutch and Flemish masters, it’s also the final word in Polish art, with all the greats represented – inc. Matejko, Witkiewicz and other such stars.


That’s reason enough for many, but for others the museum’s ace card was revealed at the end of 2017 with the opening of the Gallery of Polish Design. Offering a full 360 view of Polish 20th century applied arts, it’s an aesthetic joy featuring everything from iconic PRL era wall units and tulip chairs to kitschy toys and gizmos. Frankly, it’s a stunning museum that just keeps getting better – though delayed by covid, the start of the year saw the world class Gallery of Ancient Art added to the mix. Featuring 1,800 ancient relics, papyrus scrolls, Iranian golden masks and even an Egyptian mummy! Al. Jerozolimskie 3, mnw.art.pl

NEON MUSEUM

Playing a key role in the government’s attempts to fuse socialist ideology with consumerism, the campaign to ‘neon-ize’ Poland saw gloomy cities still bearing the scars of war boldly gleam once more under lights designed and produced by many of the leading

artisans of the time. Salvaged from the scrapheap (in many instances, literally), this museum was created by Ilona Karwinska and David Hill who inadvertently kickstarted a nationwide trend and reignited the country’s appetite for neon. Housing several dozen neons that once lit up Poland, these renovated signs make for Warsaw’s coolest attraction: Instagram them now! ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), neonmuzeum.org

POLIN

Composed of eight galleries, this architectural marvel covers different stages of local Jewish history, from the middle ages to the present day. Highlights of this museum include a staggeringly beautiful replica of the ceiling of Gwoździec synagogue, and a ‘remake’ of a typical inter-war Jewish Warsaw street. That it was named the European Museum of the Year in 2016 such much for its ambitions to focus on more than the Holocaust alone. ul.

Anielewicza 6, polin.pl

THE WARSAW RISING MUSEUM

If the throngs and sheer informational overload can often be daunting, it remains the most important museum in the capital, and quite arguably the country. Points of interest are rife and include a life-size replica of a B-24 Liberator plane as well as a claustrophobic ‘sewage tunnel’ through which visitors squeeze to get an idea of the kind of conditions combatants once faced. But it’s not the A-list sights that make the biggest impact, rather the smaller, highly personal curios: a pair of wedding bands forged from bullets; an Omega watch, it’s hands frozen at the same moment a bomb killed its owner; and a lucky cuddly mascot made from a German overcoat. Of course, the aftermath is also covered in heartrending detail and concludes with a 3D film that takes viewers swooping over the smoldering ruins of the capital. ul. Grzybowska

79, 1944.pl

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4 9 km

Praga Zoo

10

6 ki aw

Powązki Cemetery

Andersa

St

7 Jewish Cemetery

6 Old Town

5

2

ska kow

szał Mar

Nati Stad

a zysk

ska bow

tokr Swie

Grzy

2

4

ta

Pros

skie

olim eroz

Palace of Culture & Science

Al. J

9

11

8

3 1

Łazienki Park

1 19 km

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3 4 km

7


ional dium

MAP 5

shopping exeriences 1

Designer Outlet Warszawa ul. Puławska 42E, designeroutletwarszawa.pl 2

Elektrownia Powiśle ul. Dobra 42, elektrowniapowisle.com 3

Galeria Mokotów ul. Wołoska 12, galeriamokotow.com.pl 4

Galeria Północna ul. Światowida 17, galeriapolnocna.pl 5

Klif House of Fashion ul. Okopowa 58/72, klif.pl 6

Koneser Pl. Konesera, koneser.eu 7

Plac Unii ul. Puławska 2, placunii.pl

8

Mysia 3 ul. Mysia 3, mysia3.pl 9

Vitkac ul. Bracka 9, likusconceptstore.pl 10

Westfield Arkadia Al. Jana Pawła II 82, pl.westfield.com/arkadia 11

Złote Tarasy ul. Złota 59, zlotetarasy.pl

museums 1

4

Fryderyk Chopin Museum ul. Okólnik 1, chopin. museum 5

Neon Museum ul. Mińska 25 (Soho Factory), neonmuzeum.org 6

Museum of Warsaw Rynek Starego Miasta 2842, muzeumwarszawy.pl 7

POLIN ul. Anielewicza 6, polin.pl

sport

National Museum Al. Jerozolimskie 3, mnw.art.pl.pl 2

The Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79, 1944.pl 3

1

Legia Stadium Łazienkowska 3, https://legia.com/

Museum of Life Under Communism ul. Piękna 28/34, mzprl.pl

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TAKE WARSAW HOME

LIQUID GOLD

For a gift to remember, look no further than the artisanal spirits of Probiernia Urbanowicz…

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T

he brainchild of Marcin Parzyszek and Sebastien Jedrej, and more reminiscent of a fancy jewelry showroom, in its short life span Probiernia Urbanowicz has carved a reputation as the most intriguing alcohol store within Poland’s borders. Awarded the same reverence as a Faberge egg, bottles here gleam down from shelves expertly arranged to maximize their visual impact –

looking at the display, you want to buy everything. Pushed to make a single pick, however, let your gaze settle on the Mandarin Ginger by Jan Urbanowicz (whose great-grandson, Przemysław, happens to be a partner of the store). Produced using a prewar recipe over a century old, this dessert liquor blends high quality Polish grain spirit with natural mandarin juice and a lightly balanced twist of ginger. Also featuring subtle notes of fruit cake, raisins, vanilla and lemon, this extraordinary liquor looks every bit as good as it sips. Presented inside a square bottle, find the glass decorated with a vintage-style label created by the Wrocław poster artist Barbara Lewandowska-Szarata (a.k.a. BALSI). Inspired by archival labels and historical information discovered by Bartosz Paluszkiewicz (editor of the FB page “Pre-war restaurants, bars and cafes), this spectacular drink is available for PLN 148 in an elegant gift box containing two bottles (0.5 and 0.1 of a liter). Probiernia Urbanowicz Pl. Konesera 9, probierniaurbanowicz.pl


MOYA MATCHA JAPANESE GREEN TEA

ul. Oleandrów 6, moyamatcha.com / fb.com/moyamatchaoleandrow