The capital of Poland and the birth place of Joanna Pierogi Lady.
The general saying goes that while Kraków is more relaxed and slow paced, Warszawa (Warsaw in English) is more international, fast and the place for career oriented people. I won’t lie to you and shame on me, but I don’t really know Warszawa very well.To be honest, I have been there only 4 times maybe in my whole life.However now, that my business partner is Warszawa local, hopefully she will show me around whenever we visit Poland at the same time.
In this post, let’s have a look at 5 places that Joanna described to me as her top favorite in Warszawa and would recommend to anyone visiting her hometown.
Before that, some key info about Warszawa!
1. According to the folk etymology (yes, Poles love their legends!), the city’s name – Warszawa- is a combination of Wars – a fisherman , and Sawa – his mermaid wife he found in the Vistula River!
2.The first historical reference to Warszawa dates back to 1313, at a time when Krakow still served as the capital of Poland.However, due to its central location between the Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth’s capitals – Krakow and Vilnus – Warszawa became the capital of the Commonwealth and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The main reason behind it was because king Sigismund III Vasa moved his court from Krakow to Warszawa in 1956.
3. In World War II Warszawa suffered extensive damage and almost 85 % of its buildings were razed to the ground.
4. Warszawa gained the title of ‘Phoenix City‘ as it survived many wars, conflicts and invasions throughout its long history, but it was it was almost completely rebuilt.
5.In 2012 The Economist ranked Warszawa as the 32nd most liveable city in the world and one of the most liveable cities in Central Europe.
6.Today Warszawa is considered an ‘Alpha’ global city , a major international tourist destination and a significant cultural, political and economic hub.
7.The Warsaw Stock Exchange is one of the largest and most important in Central and Eastern Europe.
8. Warszawa, together with Frankfurt, Paris, and Barcelona is one of the cities with the hihghest number of skyscrapers in European Union.
9. Warszawa has been called ‘Eastern Europe’s chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants.
Now, let’s finally get to Joanna’s top 5 spots in Warszawa that you can’t miss!
1. CHARLOTTE CHLEB I WINO AT PLAC ZBAWICIELA ( SAVIOR SQUARE)
Plac Zbawiciela is a circular square in Central Warsaw, designed originally by 18 th century royal gardener Johann Christian Schuch as part of the royal gardens.
The square is named after the Church of the Holiest Savior, which was built between 1901 and 1927.
In 2012 the Christian nature of the square was bothered by an artistic installation Tęcza ( Rainbow) that has been the subject of controversy and as Joanna says – has been set on fire more than once.That’s why, at some point, it ceased to exist.
Now,all the foodies out there – remember this.The main reason to visit Plac Zbawiciela is Charlotte. Chleb I Wino (Charlotte Bread and Wine) facing the square. Joanna says it is a hipster place – French bakery – where you can have really good breakfast, lunch and champagne in the evening! (check out more on their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/bistrocharlotte/ )
2.LAKE PARK WILANÓW
When you need a break from the city, Joanna recommends heading to Lake Park Wilanów, that can be described in one sentence as ‘Wakeboarding, food and atmosphere’.It is allegedly ‘the most beautiful beach in Warszawa that besides wakeboarding and sports activities is a venue for various concerts and DJ gigs. Check out more on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lakeparkwilanow/ or website wakepark.pl ( it is in Polish but when you click ‘kontakt’ you will be able to call the staff that speaks English for sure!)
3.SOHO FACTORY – BARS AND ART DISTRICT
If you want to combine food,art and fashion as well as meet Polish celebrities, Joanna advises visiting Soho – art district described as ‘an avangard space for business and culture’. This unique space utilizes old postindustrial buildings surrounded by ample green land to house various events: fashion shows, exhibitions, photo studios and many more!
4.TARG ŚNIADANIOWY ( BREAKFAST BAZAAR)
Foodies heaven. It is breakfast/brunch pop up bazaar that takes place every Saturday and Sunday during summertime in 4 districts called Żoliborz,Gocław, Mokotów and Ursynów.Just like at most of the pop ups in Shanghai, you can try a big variety of homemade cooking and not only Polish!
5.TEMAT RZEKA NAD WISŁĄ
According to one Polish blogger from Warszawa ‘Riverside has become pretty big thing in Warsaw recently and Temat Rzeka put all the best activities in one place. It’s the best place to hang out in the summer time, makes you feel like you’re on holidays without actually leaving Warsaw ‘
For more check out her website https://www.likealocalguide.com/warsaw/temat-rzeka or the Facebook page of the venue https://www.facebook.com/trzeka/?rf=294066897403591
If you are thinking where to stay in Warszawa, Joanna suggests these areas:
We are looking forward to your feedback after visiting the capital city of our country!