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What to do in Warsaw?

Warsaw, Poland's capital city, is a hub of business, shopping and tourists with a scenic old town fully re-built after the Second World War and a fully cosmopolitan Polish city break destination.

Apart from the many glass office buildings and skyscrapers, Warsaw is great for a weekend of wandering around the old town, the beautiful Royal Park, shopping or popping out on day trips to nearby Zelazowa Wola and Wilanow.

Top 10 things to see & do in Warsaw:

1. Stroll around Warsaw Old Town & Castle

Warsaw's Old Town and the Catle have been completely re-built after the war and the main square has a great many cafes, restaurants and tourist shops to keep you busy. Don't forget the mermaid statue, the emblem of Warsaw, standing proundly in the centre of the old town square.

Walk along the medieval ramparts for great views of the city (and lots of painters selling their art) or pop into the Castle museum for a great lesson in the rich Polish history.

For traditional Polish food, try the specialist dumpling restaurants ('pierogarnia') with fillings that'll make your mouth water, and not forgetting the sweets of the likes of WZ (traditional Warsaw cream cake), apple pie, donuts or cheesecake.

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2. Walks & Chopin in the Royal Park Lazienki

In the summer, take the bus to the Royal Park Lazienki to wander the avenues, see the Royal Palace on water, go for a row on the boating lake, ride on the little tram or if you're lucky, you'll catch an open-air Chopin concert, a must on a summer evening.

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3. Visit the birthplace and a museum of Maria Sklodowska - Curie

The most famous woman scientist, who has twice received the Nobel price (in physics and chemistry), was born in Warsaw in 1867.  Take some time to visit the small biographical museum, located in the house at Freta Street where Maria Sklodowska-Curie was born, showing her life in photographs with some of her authentic personal items.

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4. Go shopping in the Golden Terraces Centre (Zlote Tarasy)

Built in the last few years, right by the Warsaw central station and the Palace of Culture, this huge & modern shopping centre is full of polish shops, as well as European names such as Carrefour, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Zara, Swarovski, Topshop and lots of cafes and restaurants and even a cinema.

If you're coming in or going out by train, it's a good place to get some shopping in. There's also the main mobile providers and a good place to to buy sim cards and mobile internet.

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5. Visit Wilanow

The beautiful baroque palace and gardens complex (dating from the 13th century) was the residence of King Jan III Sobieski in 1676, and well worth a visit for a day trip.

6. Sample delicious cakes

Donuts are a must, among all the other delicious cakes, in the famous Blikle café located at the elegant Nowy Swiat Street.

The cafe is celebrating its 142 anniversary and has had many famous people among its customers.

7. Chopin's Zelazowa Wola

Located 46km west of Warsaw, the Zelazowa Wola village is surrounded by picturesque landscape and contains the home where Chopin was born in 1810. There's also a museum and a park surrounding the house as well as a statue to the pianist and composer in the grounds.

Listen to Chopin music played live in his house every Summer, performed by musicians from all over the world.

8. Go on a trip to the Kampinos National Park

On the north west outskirts of Warsaw, this national park was created in 1959, covering 407 square kilometres and is a UNESCO site since 2000. Situated by Zelazowa Wola, it's a good place to combine with the visit to Chopin's birthplace - and get some walking and cycling done while you're there on the numerous tourist trails.

Look out for various wildlife, including moose, beaver and lynx - among the 83 types of endangered animals there.

9. Visit the monument to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
10. Take in the views from Palace of Culture (Palac Kultury)

Visit the tallest building in Poland (and 8th tallest building in European Union) at 231 metre height and 42 floors. Built in 1952, you'll find a cinema, theatre, museum, conference hall, offices and a university inside. It's also where Rolling Stones played a concert in 1967. Take the elevator up to the 30th floor for great views of Warsaw.

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Our favourite Warsaw restaurants

Warsaw, being a capital city, has a lot of great cuisine options on offer - from traditional polish restaurants to great international cuisine eateries. Here's a few recommendations:

El Greco - a great greek cuisine restaurant, only 10mins walk from Warsaw Central Station hotels and round the corner from the Westin, Intercontinental and Radisson Blu hotels. Adverage halloumi/salad dish costs £5 and the portions are great for lunch. There's a nice outside area for al fresco eating and many tables inside for bigger parties. Check out the aquarium on the way to the toilets too.

Bonsai - a nice Japanese restaurant, also 10mins walk from the Central Station and a visible favourite with the local business people. Nice noodle and sushi menu and at a reasonable price with fresh ingredients. Outdoor seating again.

How to get there - fly to Warsaw

Warsaw is easy to get to from the UK as direct flights to Warsaw are available from London and other UK airports.

 

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