Warsaw in Summer: What to Do
Visiting Warsaw is very interesting: the city was completely destroyed towards the end of WWII (as a result of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising) – so the city feels and looks very different than what you expect of a European city. Instead of tiny, winding streets, ancient and colourful facades, it’s more likely to see big boulevards, greying buildings with communist-style architecture, or modern buildings (and huge malls called “Galerie”). Despite its hard to crack/penetrate exterior; Warsaw is full of life – with outdoor concerts and festivals, lush parks and gardens, and bustling neighbourhoods and boulevards.
Warsaw is a unique city that deserves time – I took a few days to warm up to the city, and once I started to explore it a little more, poking around and appreciating its history, I was able to appreciate the city for exactly what it is today.
Photo via Royal Łazienki Gardens
Royal Łazienki Gardens
Łazienki is a grand public garden – and during the summer, the park plays host to free Chopin Concerts every Sunday at 12 pm and 4 pm (until the month of September). Arrive a little early at the Chopin monument and grab a seat at a bench, or a spot on the grass, and enjoy the one hour show. Also at the park this summer (2016), you can check out The Dutch Flower Garden at the Orangerie (also for free!).
The Saxon Garden is actually the oldest public park in the city of Warsaw – and one of the first in the world, too. The Garden is inviting, lined with flowering trees and singing birds, leading towards a grand fountain.
Another great park to spend some time in is Park Skaryszewski im. Ignacego Jana Paderewskiego – with its huge lake, and inviting pathways.
The Soho Factory is a really cool, alternative space in the Praga Południe district of the city. The Soho Factory is a cultural hub, almost like a really cool neighbourhood – with different buildings and locations throughout the “factory” including museums (Neon Museum), coffee shops (Kofi), boutiques and restaurants with outdoor seating – perfect for a different afternoon in Warsaw.
One of the oldest streets in Warsaw, Zabkowska is a cobble-stoned street with boutiques, restaurants, and a marketplace. It’s a lovely street to stroll along and if you get hungry, grab a bite at vegan restaurant Bal Bar, – delicious (and cheap!) daily specials.
No visit to Warsaw would be complete without visiting the Old Town. Unfortunately, Warsaw was completely destroyed during WWII and what is now known as the Old Town (or historical centre) was destroyed along with the rest of the city – so today; the “old town” isn’t very old at all. The historic centre has been completely rebuilt to look as it would have right before the war. With a mix of new and old materials (recycled from the rubble), the Old Town really looks like an “old town”. The Old Town is lovely to stroll, explore small shops (like the typical handmade candy shops, book shops) and to learn a little more history and info on the reconstruction of Warsaw’s Old Town, check out the Museum of Warsaw.
What do you love about Warsaw in Summer?
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