Warsaw Feature

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Contemporary Art

Warsaw has a good range of modern art galleries, with Galeria Zachęta and Zamek Ujazdowski Center for Contemporary Art at the lead. Many small private galleries are in the flourishing Praga district on the right bank of the Vistula. Among these are "Koneser" Cultural Center and Fabryka Trzciny, which is also a performance space.

Modern Architecture

Don't miss Warsaw's landmark of Stalinist architecture, the Palace of Culture and Science. From the top, you can pick out other contemporary buildings to visit later. These should certainly include Daniel Libeskind's skyscraper (still under construction at this writing, but nearly finished), Sir Norman Foster's Metropolitan Building in Plac Piłsudskiego, and Marek Budzyński & Zbigniew Badowski's Warsaw University Library.

Fryderyk Chopin

Chopin's birthplace is at Żelazowa Wola, a charming country manor just outside of Warsaw. You will find many traces of the great Polish composer within Poland's capital as well, notably at the Pałac Ostrogskich, which houses the Chopin Museum; the Pałac Czapskich on Krakowskie Przedmieście, where Chopin once played regular concerts; and—on the same street—the Church of the Holy Cross, where the composer's heart is buried inside a pillar on the left side of the main aisle of the sanctuary. Every five years, Warsaw hosts the International Chopin Piano Competition (the 17th contest will be held in October 2015).

Fine Dining

Warsaw has some great restaurants. By the time of this writing, Butchery&Wine, a new addition to Warsaw’s eateries, has won the reputation of the town’s best as confirmed by Michelin’s Bib Gourmand. In Warsaw, food often goes side-by-side with art. The Zamek Ujazdowski Center for Contemporary Art houses Qchnia Artystyczna, which serves Polish and Mediterranean cuisine. And Fabryka Trzciny in Praga will serve you not only art and music but also "art-industrial" food.

Classy Hotels

Warsaw has two lovely boutique hotels, the smooth Rialto with its consistent art deco style, and the serene Le Regina, an oasis at the top of the Old Town. Old-world charm can be found at the glamorous Bristol and the resurrected Polonia Palace. International chains also offer top standards; look for the popular and upscale Westin, InterContinental, or Marriott.

Industrial Heritage

Warsaw's Praga District has some interesting industrial heritage. The redbrick complex of the Koneser vodka distillery is worth a visit; it now houses, among other establishments, the Cultural Centre. Also in Praga, Fabryka Trzciny is a former factory turned art center. The whole city of Łódź is a real gold mine of industrial heritage, along with fashionable clubs, art galleries, and shopping centers.

Updated: 2014-01-28

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