Warsaw

It is very difficult to pinpoint where the Warsaw city center is. Varsovians differ in its definition. Some would say it is the area around the Palace of Culture and Science (and the Central Railway Station), which bustles with fashionable shops and hotels. Others would argue that plac Trzech Krzyży is the center—or plac Zbawici
It is very difficult to pinpoint where the Warsaw city center is. Varsovians differ in its definition. Some would say it is the area around the Palace of Culture and Science (and the Central Railway Station), which bustles with fashionable shops and hotels. Others would
It is very difficult to pinpoint where the Warsaw city center is. Varsovians differ in its definition. Some would say it

It is very difficult to pinpoint where the Warsaw city center is. Varsovians differ in its definition. Some would say it is the area around the Palace of Culture and Science (and the Central Railway Station), which bustles with fashionable shops and hotels. Others would argue that plac Trzech Krzyży is the center—or plac Zbawiciela. For many, it would be the area around the Royal Castle and the Old Town square; after all, it was at this location that a fishing hamlet was founded and eventually grew into Warsaw town.

For the visitor, the question is, happily, not so important because all these places are not at all far from one another, and Warsaw is an easy city to navigate. The Palace of Culture and Science will certainly provide you with a useful orientation point: to its north lies the Old Town, which encompasses most of the Royal Route; to its south, the Diplomatic Quarter and the Łazienki Park. West of the Old Town lie Muranów, Mirów, and Wola, neighborhoods in the former Jewish district. All these sights are on the left bank of the Vistula River.

On the right bank is the Praga District, a poorer quarter of workers and artisans that emerged from the war fairly intact. Today, Praga is becoming increasingly fashionable, and many visitors find its galleries, bars, and unique "provincial" flavor well worth the trip across the Vistula.

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  • 1. Biblioteka Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego

    Powisle | Garden/Arboretum

    A 10-minute walk toward the river from the main campus of Warsaw University is the relatively new (1999) Warsaw University Library, a sight...Read More

  • 2. Muzeum Chopina

    Centrum | Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The Chopin Museum occupies the 17th-century Pałac Ostrogskich, which towers above Tamka. The best approach is via the steps from Tamka. In the...Read More

  • 3. Park Łazienkowski

    Lazienki | Garden/Arboretum

    The 180 acres of this park, commissioned during the late 18th century by King Słanisław August Poniatowski, run along the Vistula escarpment...Read More

  • 4. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

    Muranów | Museum/Gallery

    The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is housed in a building—by Finnish architekt Rainer Mahlamäki—charged with symbolism, drawing attention...Read More

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  • 5. Archikatedra św. Jana

    Stare Miasto | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Ulica Świętojańska, leading from the Rynek Starego Miasta to the Zamek Królewski, takes its name from this cathedral, which was built at the...Read More

  • 6. Barbakan

    Stare Miasto | Museum/Gallery

    The pinnacled Barbakan, the mid-16th-century stronghold in the old city wall on the intersection of ulica Freta and ulica Nowomiejska, now marks...Read More

  • 7. Blikle

    Centrum | Restaurant–Sight

    Warsaw's oldest cake shop has a black-and-white-tile café that serves savory snacks as well as Blikle's famous doughnuts. ...Read More

  • 8. Botanical Gardens

    Lazienki | Garden/Arboretum

    These gardens, covering an area of roughly 3 acres, were laid out in 1818, so they will celebrate their two-hundredth anniversary in 2018. At...Read More

  • 9. Centrum Nauki Kopernik

    Powisle | Museum/Gallery

    A recent addition to Warsaw's attractions, the Center is something between a museum, an amusement park, and an educational institution. It made...Read More

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  • 10. Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski

    Lazienki | Castle/Palace/Chateau

    If you are interested in modern art, you will find it in the somewhat unlikely setting of the 18th-century Zamek Ujazdowski, reconstructed in...Read More

  • 11. Former headquarters of the Polish Communist Party

    Centrum | Financial Institution

    Anti-Communists love the irony of this once-despised symbol of oppression; for a decade after the Communist fall, until 2001, it was the seat...Read More

  • 12. Fragment of ghetto wall

    Memorial/Monument/Tomb

    In the courtyard of this building on Sienna Street, through the archway on the left, and just a little farther east, on Złota Street, are the...Read More

  • 13. Galeria Klimy Bocheńskiej

    Praga | Museum/Gallery

    In a 19th-century liquor factory in the right-bank Praga district, the gallery exhibits, promotes, and even sells works by well-known contemporary...Read More

  • 14. Galeria Zachęta

    Stare Miasto | Museum/Gallery

    Built at the end of the 19th century by the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts, this gallery has no permanent collection but organizes...Read More

  • 15. Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza

    Stare Miasto | Garden/Arboretum

    Built as a memorial after World War I, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains the body of a Polish soldier brought from the eastern battlefields...Read More

  • 16. Jewish Cemetery

    Cemetery

    Behind a high brick wall on ulica Okopowa you will find Warsaw's Jewish Cemetery, an island of continuity amid so much destruction of the city...Read More

  • 17. Jewish Historical Institute

    Muranów | Educational Institution

    You'll find the institute behind a glittering new office block on the southeast corner of plac Bankowy—the site of what had been the largest...Read More

  • 18. Kościół Jezuitów

    Stare Miasto | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    On the left-hand side of the entrance to the Cathedral of St. John you'll find the early 17th-century Jesuit Church, founded by King Jan III...Read More

  • 19. Kościół Nawiedzenia Najświętszej Marii Panny

    Stare Miasto | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    A picturesqure redbrick Gothic church—the oldest in the New Town—St. Mary's was built as a parish church by the princes of Mazovia in the early...Read More

  • 20. Kościół Sakramentek

    Stare Miasto | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Built as a thanksgiving offering by King Jan III Sobieski's queen, Marysieńka, after his victory against the Turks at Vienna in 1683, this cool...Read More

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