Let’s Warsaw Together!
Warsaw is situated at the heart of Europe, and is proving to be a hit with international tourists, who are only just beginning to discover how much it has to offer. During recent years the number of tourists visiting the city has risen significantly (Poland was visited by 15 mln tourists last year). This is proof that Warsaw has as much to offer as other European capital cities. If you haven’t visited the capital od Poland yet, now is the time.
Since 1596, Warsaw has been the capital of Poland. Today it is the country’s largest city, and is home to many industries and international corporations, as well as to Poland’s governing institutions. For most businessmen it is Warsaw’s central location which makes it an important economic centre. For tourists, it is the unique atmosphere, interesting districts, and wide range of cultural events.
Major facts about Warsaw
Warsaw is located on two banks of the Vistula River. The City Center and Old Town are on the left side of Vistula, and the right side is called Praga. The city is home for many museums, theatres, a philharmonic orchestra, The National Theater and Opera and higher education institutions. Many international companies locate their headquarters in Warsaw, which makes it an important business center.
Warsaw is a place, where you will definitely not get bored. Everyone can find something for themselves, no matter what their interests are. If you believe that a good way to get to know a place is by eating its food and regional dishes, then you cannot make a better choice than eating out in Warsaw. It has many restaurants, and beside delicious Polish cuisine, you will also find numerous places serving international food.
If you are looking for a more spiritual experience, then you will not be disappointed. In Warsaw, there are many museums, art galleries, theatres and cinemas waiting for you. You can also spend time in one of the city’s shopping malls, though we doubt that you will have time to visit all of them.With so much exploring to do, inevitably you will feel tired. Why not take a break, and go for a stroll in one of Warsaw’s well maintained parks. One of the best ways to get to know a city is to break away from the main tourist trail. If you’d like to find some of Warsaw’s hidden gems, we can recommend a few very interesting places.
In 2012 Warsaw will host the UEFA Euro championship.
Must sees of Warsaw
When US General Dwight Eisenhower visited Warsaw immediately after the war he was moved to comment, „I have seen many towns destroyed, but nowhere have I been faced with such destruction.” Rebuilt from scratch following total devastation in 1944, the meticulous reconstruction of the historic centre was only completed as late as 1962. The Old Town’s inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1980 speaks volumes for the painstaking effort involved.
The burgher houses that line the Old Town Square are particularly striking, with many boasting intricate details on the façades. A 15th century town hall that occupied the centre of the square was pulled down in 1817 and has never been replaced. The network of cobbled streets that lie east of the square are probably the most intriguing. A set of defensive walls mark the boundary of Old Town, with the crowning piece being the Barbakan – a fearsome structure built in 1548 using the designs of a Venetian architect. A walk around the streets of Old Town is a must, and a visit to the Historical Museum of Warsaw in the Old Town Square will give you a good outline of the history of the city.
Warsaw’s defining landmark is the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN) right in the city centre and you’ll find the best views in the city on the top floor panorama level. The building was built in 1955 as a present from Stalin to the citizens of Warsaw. Now it’s the highest tower clock in the world and tourists can visit the viewing platform on the 30th floor.
Possibly no other city was effected more by WWII than Poland’s capital. The Warsaw Uprising Museum – one of the best museums in the country – is an essential stop for those looking to learn about the most tragic episode in the history of the city. A visit to the Gestapo-run Pawiak Prison proves equally powerful, while those looking for traces of the cities Jewish past should visit the vast and overgrown graveyard on ul. Okopowa. Art lovers should make a beeline to Warsaw’s Zachęta Gallery, one of the leading contemporary galleries in the country, and frequently the site of top notch exhibitions.
Last but not least, Łazienki Park and Palace afford a glimpse of Imperial Poland, and a walk around the grounds makes for a pleasant afternoon.
The first Jewish settlers appeared in Mazovia at around the start of the 14th century. Although pogroms were not unknown, Poland was seen by many Jews as a relative safe haven in comparison to the discrimination of the west. By the late 18th century over 9 percent of the capital’s inhabitants were Jewish. By 1939 Warsaw was home to over 350,000 Jews. The horror of WWII and the subsequent prejudice of the anti-Semite government decimated Poland’s Jewish population. Today only around 2,000 Jews live in Warsaw. To track the Jewish heritage, you should visit the Jewish Cemetery, Nozyki Synagogue and Umschlagplatz and remains of the Ghetto.
Well – known Warsaw residents
Among people connected with Warsaw, there are a lot of well-known personalities, to name just a few:
Frederic Chopin (1810 – 1849), Polish composer
Maria Skłodowska-Curie (1867 – 1934), radioactivity researcher, two-time Nobel Prize winner
Agnieszka Holland (b. 1948), internationally acclaimed film director
Ryszard Kapuściński (1932 – 2007), writer and journalist (The Soccer War, Imperium, Shah of Shahs)
Krzysztof Kieślowski (1941 – 1996), internationally acclaimed film director
Ryszard Kukliński (1930 – 2004), a CIA spy during the Cold War
Władysław Szpilman (1911 – 2000), composer and author of “The Pianist”
Location: east – central Poland
Air accessibility: 60 regular airline connections, many low costs flying to different European destinationsAirport: Warsaw Chopin Airport is located 8 km from the city centre
Warsaw has rather well developed network of bus and tram lines and one underground line, connecting south and north part of the city.
Warsaw offers 5000 brand new hotel rooms in 4 and 5 star hotels.
Recommended websites of Warsaw
www.e-warsaw.pl – the official website of the City of Warsaw
www.gowarsaw.eu – information and contacts you may need for your business trip to Warsaw.
www.destinationwarsaw.com – everything about meetings in Warsaw.
www.gpw.pl – Warsaw Stock Exchange official website
www.paiz.gov.pl – Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency official website
www.wbj.pl – Warsaw Business Journal official website
www.warsawtour.pl – Official Tourist Portal of Warsaw
www.lotnisko-chopina.pl – Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport official website Culture
www.singersfestival.pl – Festival of Jewish Culture
www.wff.pl – Warsaw Film Festival
www.jazznastarowce.pl – International Jazz at the Old Town Square Festival
www.warszawska-jesien.art.pl – International Festival of Contemporary Music
Warsaw Autumn official website
www.teatrwielki.pl – Polish National Opera
www.estrada.com.pl/koncertychopinowskie/index.php?id=118 – Warsaw Open
Air Chopin Concerts
www.zacheta.art.pl – Zacheta National Gallery of Art
www.csw.art.pl – Centre of Contemporary Art in Warsaw
www.1944.pl – Warsaw Rising Museum
www.uw.edu.pl/en – University of Warsaw
www.warsawmarathon.com – most famous Polish marathon
notesfromwarsaw.blogspot.com – blog about Warsaw
Warsaw Destination Alliance