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Warsaw

The Paris of the North
Warsaw has always successfully combined old and new and in spite of its troubled history is today a lively and charming city. 
 
 
This splendid capital in past centuries was known as the “Paris of the north”, because of its wide tree-line avenues and sumptuous Neoclassical palaces as well as the artistic and cultural fervour that permeated the streets. Thanks to this lively atmosphere, Warsaw is not just the administrative centre of Poland, but rather the beating heart of its art and history. 
 
The historic centre
The historic center
The city of Warsaw was the stage for great historical events. Unfortunately it was heavily bombed during World War II and many of its buildings were destroyed. However, with the passion of its inhabitants, the historic centre of the Old Town was faithfully restored. To reconstruct the capital, the people used several paintings attributed to Canaletto (and in reality painted by the Venetian Bellotto), a series of landscapes that depicted the buildings of Warsawwith exquisite detail, which would serve as models for the reconstruction. The rebuilding work was so perfect that the Old Town of Warsaw is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
 
The Royal Route
The best way to begin your visit to Warsaw is to follow the “Royal Route”: the old main street along which you’ll find most of the historic buildings of the capital.
 
It begins in the Old Townwith the Royal Castle, and ends at the park of Łazienki Królewskie (Royal Baths) and the Belvedere Palace.
 
The entrance to the Old Town is the majestic Barbican which divide the town walls in half.  
The Market Square (Rynek Starego Miasta), a symbol of Warsaw, sits in the centre of the Old Town. Here you can find various art galleries, restaurants and coffee houses that were once the meeting places of painters and portraitists.
Nearby, in the square of the same name, stands the Royal Castle, and further ahead the tall column of Zygmunt III Waza, the king who in 1596 transferred the capital of Poland from Krakow to Warsaw.
 
The most beautiful street in Warsaw is most certainly Ujazdowski Avenue, with its splendid buildingshousing many of the foreign embassies, the Botanical Garden and the Park of Łazienki Królewskie. This park is definitely worth a stroll around. From Spring to late Autumn the music of Chopin is played beneath the monument of the great composer by pianists, some of which are very well known.
 
Palace on the Water
Among the many enchanting historic buildings found inside the park, those of particular interest are the Palace on the Water, whose white colour is reflected in the waters of the small lake, the summer amphitheatre and the Myśliewicki Palace. The Royal Route ends at the Belvedere Palace, which until 1994 was the residence of the head of the Polish State.
 
The Jewish Cemetery and the Powazki Cemetery (Cmentarz Powązkowski) are also of great historic value, as is the place where the old Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw was found, which today features buildings in socialist realism style. One of the most majestic example of this style is the Palace of Culture of Science, which is situated in the heart of the modern area of Warsaw.
 
 
At 234 metres high, it dominates the city. A wonderful view of the city crossed by the sinuous course of the River Vistula can be enjoyed by the thirtieth floor of the building. The Prague district is located overlooking the right bank of the Vistula, which was once the place of coronations of kings and now an area loved by artists where night life is concentrated. 
 
Where to sleep in Warsaw 
 
Warsaw  is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.

 

Text by Lea Tocchi
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Video: www.warsawtour.pl
Published on Avion N50 - Updated June 2018
 
 
Tourism Board
 
Tourism Offices
Palazzo della Cultura e della Scienza  
pl. Defilad 1
 
WHERE TO GO
Monuments
ROYAL CASTLE (ZAMEK KRÓLEWSKI)
pl. Zamkowy 4
It was the former residence of Polish kings; destroyed during World War II by the Nazis, the palace has been restored thanks to the efforts of the entire nation.  The interior decoration features salvaged works of art from the old Castle. Worth seeing are the Great and the Royal Suite with the Canaletto Halls (22 original paintings) and two Rembrandt's paintings.
www.zamel-krolewski.pl
CITTA' VECCHIA
Sito Patrimonio Mondiale dell'UNESCO, il centro storico di Varsavia è caratterizzato da case colorate a schiera, strade strette e la Piazza del Mercato. Da non perdere: il Barbican, la campana di Kanonia Street e le mura della città vecchia.
 
Museums
NATIONAL MUSEUM (MUZEUM NARODOWE)
Al. Jerozolimskie 3
One of the oldest, richest in exhibits and most innovative art museums in Poland.
www.mnw.art.pl
ŁAZIENKI KRÓLEWSKIE MUSEUM
ul. Agrykoli 1
Łazienki Królewskie Museum is a Palace-Garden complex which includes a park (76 hectares) and numerous historical objects. The park was created using the formerly wildly growing forest, allowing the animals to be 'detained' under natural conditions.
www.lazienki-krolewskie.pl
 
HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF WARSAW (MUZEUM HISTORYCZNE M.ST. WARSZAWY)
Rynek Starego Miasta 28/42
The museum is housed in 11 tenements,  all in the Old Town, eight on the Old Town Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) and the last three on Nowomiejska Street. Its collection includes archaeological exhibits, paintings, graphics, iconography, sculpture, decorative arts, numismatics, plans and drawings. Some of them show the history of the city since its founding to modern times.
www.mhw.pl
FRYDERYK CHOPIN MUSEUM (MUZEUM FRYDERYKA CHOPINA)
ul. Okólnik 1
The museum’s exhibits the world’s richest and most varied collection of memorabilia related to both Chopin as an individual, and his work. The collection includes manuscripts and printed copies of Chopin’s works, his correspondence, autographs, notes, works of art, personal items belonging to the composer and his piano.  
www.chopin.museum.pl
 
CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART UJAZDOWSKI CASTLE
(CENTRUM SZTUKI WSPÓŁCZESNEJ ZAMEK UJAZDOWSKI)
ul. Jazdów 2
The Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle is a place for the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary art in all of its manifestations.  
www.csw.art.pl
COPERNICUS SCIENCE CENTRE (CENTRUM NAUKI KOPERNIK)
ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20
Dedicated to the famous polish astronomer, in the centre you can experiment complicated natural phenomena. The experiments are so exciting that several hours should be planned for them. There is no prescribed visiting route, the visitors themselves decide, what they want to see and when.
www.kopernik.org.pl
Excursions
TORUN
KAZIMIERZ DOLNY
 
Flights
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For a long-range holiday, on this issue of the magazine, we recommend you Shanghai. In Europe, the fascinating cities of Istanbul in Turkey and Lviv in Ukraine will surprise you. Let yourself be enchanted by the renowned Moscow or the magical St. Petersburg. Discover the destinations on the website or read the magazine in pdf format.
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