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Top Rated Attractions in Warsaw

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Stare Miasto (Old Town)

Medieval towers, Renaissance style castles, and panoramic cobbled streets characterize Warsaw's Old Town. After the Second World War left this 13th Century town in ruins, massive efforts were taken to put together every brick of ancient buildings. The present-day Stare Miasto still harbors the old charm and is dappled with quaint cafes, restaurants, and shops. The Marketplace, the nerve point of the town, is a long-standing testament to the Polish culture and the grandeur of Polish Mannerism architectural styles. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the spectacular reconstruction that spans over seven centuries, the Old Town is the heart of Warsaw.

Poster Museum

The Poster Museum (which is located on the grounds of the Wilanow Palace) is well worth a visit. It has two exhibition spaces and rotates its collection of over 50,000 Polish and foreign posters including many by Tomaszewski, Urbaniec and Trepkowski. The collection is continually being enlarged by students of these Polish masters. Polish poster art has now become famous around the world, and many of these posters are collectors' items. Occasionally, both the displays in the exhibition halls are changed at the same time, so it's best to phone ahead to check the schedule of events.

Monument to the Ghetto Heroes

This monument dedicated to the courage of the Jewish resistance stands in a square which was once at the heart of the Warsaw ghetto. It marks the site of the first armed clash between the Jewish inhabitants of Warsaw and German troops. The sculpture movingly captures the resolution and helplessness of the insurgents. The structure is made of Swedish granite, which ironically was ordered by Hitler and originally intended to be used for a monument to celebrate the glory of the Third Reich. It was erected in 1948, at a time when much of Warsaw was still in ruins.

Łazienki Palace

Before it was the 'Palace on the Water' at the heart of Lazienki Park, this scenic spot hosted a bathhouse built by 18th-century aristocrat Stanislas Lubomirski. The neoclassical structure seen standing today dates back to 1766 when King Stanislaw Poniatowski commissioned it as a summer residence. Architectural details like Corinthian columns and artwork-heavy interiors contribute to the beauty that Łazienki Palace has to offer, not to mention the select decorative pieces from the original bathhouse that remain. Highlights of the palace and museum include the ballroom and rotunda, which contains statues of four Polish kings known for creating prosperity, designed by Jan Kamsetzer and Merlini respectively.

Chopin Statue, Warsaw

The Chopin monument can be found by a small pond in the rose garden of Lazienki Park. It was finally unveiled in 1926 after 50 long years of negotiations between various committees and associations. However, when Chopin's music became illegal after the outbreak of World War II, the statue was torn down and had to be reconstructed after the war. During the summer, free open-air concerts are held here every Sunday at noon which attract quite a crowd. Be sure and get there early to avoid a scrum for the benches. You can visit this place from 8a daily.

Belweder

"Belvedere" means a residence or palace with a beautiful or extensive view and this is certainly true of this 18th-century royal residence. Situated at the top of a high Vistula scarp, it has a wonderful view of the surrounding park. Redesigned in the 1920s for the Governor of Warsaw it has since belonged to the state. Its most recent famous occupant was Lech Walêsa, who stayed here from 1989 to 1994 as Poland's first freely elected president in 50 years. Now it is a museum dedicated to Józej Pilsudski, the much-respected political leader during the inter-war years.

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