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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Located in Fort IX of the Warsaw Fortress; the museum is managed by the Polish Army Museum. The miitary museum has a lot of items that has been used in wars on display which includes artillery jets and Reentry Capsule. The museum aims in showcasing the history and evolution of Polish military.
Wedged between the Baltic Sea to the south and the Carpathian Mountains to the north, Warsaw, Poland's capital city has successfully sprung forth from a series of historical setbacks, and emerged as a beautifully diverse reincarnation. After it was left reeling from the ravages it suffered during World War II, Warsaw resiliently set about restoring its landscape to its former glory. Today, it is home to some of the most striking examples of architecture that spans Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, postmodern and neomodern periods. It also celebrates its rich afterlife with a set of contemporary landmarks that throng its wide streets, from the Warsaw Spire and the neomodern Q22 complex, to the futuristic design of the Spektrum Tower. In an attempt to achieve a tender balance of history, modernity and nature, Warsaw has long strived to maintain a beautiful natural environment within its jumble of buildings, with as many as 82 parks carpeting the city. Through its persevering spirit, culturally driven ethos, and a forward-moving tenor, Warsaw tells a compelling story of survival.
PKO BP Rotunda is one of the many architectural landmarks in Warsaw. This round building was constructed in 1969 and boasted of designs by the famed architect Jerzy Jakubowicz. Unfortunately, the original structure was a victim of the 1979 Gas Explosion in Warsaw and was rebuilt later. During the restructuring, this building retained its initial design and was given a distinctive glass facade. Though the building houses the PKO BP bank, this area is a popular hangout spot amongst locals and is dotted with several restaurants and cafes.
Patelnia is located right at the center of Warsaw, at the intersection of four roads. This vibrant square is a hub for cultural and entertainment events in the city. The expansive, pedestrian-only square is surrounded by several city landmarks and features a wall depicting murals painted by citizens. It is most famous as the site of flash mobs, rallies, demonstrations, promotional events, art and dance shows. Musicians often play their instruments here, while vendors sell flowers and local wares. Patelnia is located right outside the main Centrum Station and can get quite crowded during peak hours.
Situated right in the heart of the city, Atlantic is a miniplex (4 screen cinema) which was renovated from what was once Warsaw's most elegant pre-WWII cinema. The cinema offers a Dolby surround system and comfortable seats, perfect to recline and enjoy your favorite movie. There's a small bar in the foyer or if you prefer, just visit one of the many cafés nearby. The place is fit for evening sessions and time spent with family, as this cinema is one of the best for kids.
Fotoplastikon is a three dimensional photo exhibit. It is created by using a special camera that takes two almost identical photos (at the same time), but from slightly different angles. What is the most interesting about this exhibit though, apart from its unique nature, are the photos of old Warsaw (before the Second World War). This is definitely a worthwhile place to stop in for a peep.