This off-the-beaten-path neighborhood is a local favorite.
When tourists visit Warsaw, they usually visit the Old Town, the former ghetto, and maybe, Praga–the up-and-coming neighborhood located on the Vistula river. Local Varsavians, however, love Mokotów, a district south of the city center. And no wonder: it wasn’t badly destroyed in World War II and it managed to maintain much of its genuine atmosphere. It’s also green and much more peaceful than the rest of the city, and it’s full of hip restaurants, bars, and shops.
Mokotów is not on the regular tourist path. Despite being the city’s most densely populated district, it’s less crowded with tourists, and you’ll get to see a greener, more peaceful side of Warsaw. One that includes traditional gas lamps, pre-war villas, and sometimes, even chickens running around.
Mokotów is full of parks and green spaces. Park Morskie Oko is a popular place for picnics and family outings. The highlights of the park include the Szuster Palace and the statue of Polish painter Jan Matejko. Park Arkadia feels like a nature reserve, and is perfect for those in need of peace and quiet. Park Dreszera is a smaller park with a romantic garden restaurant. Czerniakowskie Lake is a nature reserve where visitors can watch rare species of birds flit from tree to tree. Mokotów offers a sense of the countryside in the middle of the city, which is particularly refreshing if you want to catch a breather after spending the whole day running from one attraction to another.
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It Has a Rich History
In addition to The Museum of Polish Military Technology, Mokotów is also home to a small monument commemorating The Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The monument base is made from the houses destroyed during World War II, topped with the “Kotwica,” a symbol of the Uprising. The old villas will give visitors a taste of pre-war Warsaw, making this neighborhood the perfect place for a history lesson.
INSIDER TIPThe prison on Rakowiecka street was built in the early 1900s to hold political prisoners.
It’s Full of Surprising Restaurants
Mokotów is jam-packed with great cafes and restaurants, featuring cuisines from all over the world. Have a taste of old Warsaw at typical Polish bar mleczny, or milk bar, a form of cafeteria that serves homemade, traditional food for affordable prices. The neighborhood is also home to contemporary and international restaurants too, like Ciao e Tutti, which serves authentic Italian food. With restaurants cooking everything from French to Tex-Mex, Mokotów is quickly becoming a paradise for foodies.
It’s the Perfect Place to Buy Souvenirs
Two big shopping centers, Arkadia—which is one of the biggest shopping centers in Poland—and Galeria Mokotów are both in the neighborhood, with international fashion giants alongside local brands like Wólczanka. Galeria Mokotów is a great place to discover Polish designers like Lidia Kalita, Bohoboco, or La Mania. You can also consider the many smaller and more specialized shops in the neighborhood, like Ale Dobre Piwo, a store devoted entirely to beer and beer paraphernalia. And for fun souvenirs and gadgets like a scratch map of Poland, try God Toys.
It’s a Place to Discover Polish Culture
Kino Iluzjon is an old cinema that shows classic, retro movies. Mokotów is also where Slużewski Dom Kultury (Służew House of Culture) is located, where you’ll find concerts, movies, and theater performances, as well as cultural activities for both kids and adults. The Królikarnia palace houses the Museum of Sculpture, named after Polish artist Xawery Dunikowski.
It Has an International Vibe
Warsaw is increasingly gaining the interest of visitors, businesses, and investors from abroad, and Mokotów is where it’s all happening. Full of embassies, start-ups, creative industries, and small businesses, it has become a lively hub for international travelers. And it’s no wonder that SGH (Warsaw School of Economics), one of the city’s most prestigious schools, is based here.
It's Easy to Get to
While it’s a relatively off-the-beaten-path destination, Mokotów is easy to visit using Warsaw’s public transport. While many Varsavians drive, tourists can get to Mokotów using the Metro, buses, or trams. The public transport system in Warsaw is run by ZTM (the Public Transport Authority), and their website will allow visitors to plan their sightseeing in the most efficient way.
INSIDER TIPThis part of the city will be even better connected once construction of Most Południowy bridge has finished.
It Will Satiate Your Sweet Tooth
In addition to creative restaurants, Mokotów is also home to fabulous coffee and ice cream. Varsavians feel very strongly about their ice cream, and the best ice cream parlors can be found in Mokotów. The Malinova and Jednorozec ice cream parlors have been popular with the city’s inhabitants for a long time. Don’t miss Miau Café–a cat café where you can snuggle with a furry friend while you sip your coffee.