10 Greatest attractions of the capital of Poland
As the largest city in Poland, Warsaw is a true richness of monuments, museums, green parks and cultural events. Although the capital of our country is still a bit away from the greatest European capitals, it definitely has a one of a kind atmosphere and has many fantastic places to offer. What should you see in Warsaw? Here are some suggestions.
The long and eventful history of Warsaw made the city surprisingly incoherent: romantic corners are located in close proximity to glass skyscrapers, and modern apartment blocks are towering right next to grey housing estates. Even though many people consider the capital of Poland to be too large, too crowdy and too haughty, it does have its genuine fans. Its is definitely understandable, because this city can be proud of its numerous, beautiful places, which are impossible to be found in any other places in Poland. Let’s discover the greatest tourist attractions of Warsaw.
1.The Royal Łazienki Park
This is one of the most gorgeous garden complexes, not only in Poland, but also in Europe. People of Warsaw can thank for this magical place to Stanisław August, who got the downtown zoo in the 17th century from Stanisław Lubomirski, and later transformed it into a summer residence. Currently at the area of the Royal Łazienki Park (at a total surface of 80 hectares) there are several attractions, including: the Myślewicki Palace, the amphitheater, the Old Orangery and the Island Palace, which is located at the very centre of the park.
The Royal Łazienki Park creates kilometers of alleys, stretching beween green trees and bushes. This is the perfect place to escape from the city crowds and relax in the surroundings of nature. The park is most eagerly visited on the weekends, especially in the summer – that’s when we can encounter crowds of walkers.
2.The Old Town of Warsaw
The Old Town of Warsaw, almost entirely destroyed in 1944, was recreated „from debris” only 5 years later. Anything that’s available to see in the Old Town – the colorful stonehouses, slender church towers and the impressive Royal Castle – is the effort of rebuilding and reconstructing the capital after World War II. Most tourists begin exploring the Old Town from the Castle Square, at the centre of which the column of Zygmunt III Waza is towering. At the eastern side the monumental castle draws attention.
You also shouldn’t forget the Old Town’s Market Square, with the already famous Mermaind Statue. The charming, carefully restored stonehosues located around the Market Square might remind you of a miniature town, which has grown in the centre of a modern metropolis. The old part of the town is said to end near the Barbican – the mighty building built in the 16th century as the strengthening of the New Town Gate. The Old Town shows the more romantic side of Warsaw compared to the modern centre by Marszałkoska street. Since 1980 the Old Town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
3.The Palace of Culture and Science
This is actually the icon of Warsaw and the highest building in Poland (it is 237 meters high). The Palace of Culture and Science is the work of social realism. Created between 1952 and 1955, this building a so-called gift from the Soviet Union to Poland.
On the building’s 38 floors there are more than 3000 halls, cabinets and rooms, used by numerous institutions and companies – including cinemas, theatres, museums and colleges. At the 30th floor (at the height of 114 meters) there is an observation terrace, from which we can admire the panorama of the entire capital city.
4.The Warsaw Uprising Museum
The Warsaw Uprising Museum is one of the most frequently visited attractions of Warsaw. This place was open for business in 2004 – during the 60th anniversary of the Uprising – and since then it won numerous awards. The museum documents a very important part of our country’s history with the help of innovative audio-video technologies, which used more than 1000 artefacts and 1500 archival photographies and films. This place has a unique way to affect the visitors with pictures, light and sound and helps to understand a story that might be tough for modern people.
5.The Wilanów Palace
The Museum of King Jan III’s Palace in Wilanów, as the full name of this place sounds, is the former summer residence king Jan III Sobieski. This palace-garden complex, unique on a scale of the entire country, is one of the greates attractions of Warsaw. The building, along with the park surrounding it, was built in thev 17th century – despite the wars and partitions of Poland, this place has preserved its incredible, orignal form.
In the autumn-winter seaso, the garden by the palace is illuminated with thousands of colorful lights, creating the so-called Royal Garden of Light in Wilanów. This is undoubtedly one of the most magical attractions in the capital of Poland.
6.The Copernicus Science Centre.
The Copernicus Science Centre is an incredible place on the map of Warsaw’s tourists attractions. This museum, opened in 2010, combines the qualities of a traditional exhibit and a science lab. Visitors can enjoy 6 interactive permanent exhibits, time-limited exhibits, educational laboratories and an incxredible observatory called „Niebo Kopernika”, where, apart from stars, you can watch educational and popular science movies. This is a perfect place for grown-ups and children. Visitors can get familiar with the laws of science by running experiences by themselves and also taking part in workshops and science shows.
7.The Royal Castle
This famous tourist attraction in Warsaw is part of the UNESCO Monument List. The Royal Castle was built as an early-baroque residence of king Zygmunt III Waza between 1598 and 1619. Today it fulfills a museum and representational function – it apperas on many postcards from the capital of Poland.
In the Royal Castle you can see, among others, richly ornamented royal rooms created for for king Stanisław August Poniatowski and the diet rooms. The most beautiful rooms is the throne room, covered in golden decorations.
8.Library rooftop gardens
This green garden at the rooftop of the University Library in Warsaw is one of the most beautiful ones in Europe. It was created on the surface of 5000 square kilometers – the whole area was organized in a way to create a labyrinth of paths and pergolas. The effort is really impressive.
In the highest parts of the garden there is an observation terrace with a transparent floor, from where you can admire te part of Warsaw that is located by the Vistula river. You can also look through the glass roof to the inside of the library. This placee is quite eagerly visited by students and young people, especially in the warmer months. The garden is open in specific hours. (admission free)
9.The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Saxon Garden
This historically important place is located at the Piłsudski Square, to the west from the Kraków Suburb. The Tomb ofv the Unknown Soldier is a symbolic monument of everyone who sacrificed their lives during the fight for the freedom of Poland, created in 1925. In front of the monument stnads the honorable guard – during the national celebrations you can watch the ceremonial change of the guard. At the background of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the Saxon Garden with a gigantic fountain, sculptures and a pond. This is the first public park in Warsaw, opened in the first half of the 18th century.
10.The Fountain Park in Warsaw
The fountain park is created by four fountains located in Podzamcze (they were first turned on in 2011). Between May and September, during the multimedia shows, they are lightened by colorful illuminations. The incedible spectacles of water, light and sound usually begin afer 9:00 p.m. (depending on the month) and last about half an hour. In order to strengthen the effect, laser and LED reflectors are often used. Each season on the water screen of the Fountain Park a new show is presented in a form of an animated story.