Warsaw is a really awesome city to spend time in, but can be hard to navigate for first-time visitors.
The city is big, spread out and lacks a really ‘cool’ center.
So we got tips from some Warsaw locals and created a handy must-see guide for you.
We want to make sure you don’t end up in a club bouncing with corpo-types and crap DJs playing Eurotrash music and there are so many more things to see than just the Disneyland-like Old Town.
Just in time for New Neighborhoods in Warsaw on September 10th, we present:
5 Reasons to Visit Warsaw This Year
Bibenda is definitely a go-to restaurant in Warsaw
Wether you are looking for a Sunday afternoon lazy brunch or Friday night dinner with endless wine and every occasion in between, Bibenda is the place to go.
The menu is based on locally grown ingredients and old Polish recipes but with a Texan twist, thanks to the founding chef’s childhood in Austin.
You will love the awesome service, the house dog named Buba who happens to be on the house red and white wine labels (very drinkable, highly recommended) and the menu made to share.
2. Bars on the Vistula River
Warsaw was recently ranked among the top cities for vivacious river life in Europe and that’s starting to really ring true.
While the river has, up until about 4 years ago, been a bit of a dead zone dividing the two banks of the capital, the city has put quite a bit of money into revitalizing it.
Now, you will find bars, concert venues and barges to eat tasty treats and dance until sunrise between the Old Town down to Łazienkowski Bridge. Just get off the metro at the Copernicu Center and start wandering.
Particularly worth a stop is Munchies for pulled pork deliciousness, Barka for techno, Hocki Klocki (in the image above) for hip hop and rock concerts and Cud Nad Wisłą for a wide variety of gigs, from DJ sets by Mike Skinner to crooning Polish singer-songwriter Kortez.
3. Museum of the History of Polish Jews
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews took years to build for many obvious political reasons.
But, it now stands in the heart of the former Warsaw ghetto and provides both an intense wealth of information about the very long history of Jews in Poland and it is also a rather inspiring space architecturally.
Designed by Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki, it is meant to recall Moses’ parting of the Red Sea.
Plan to spend a few hours here as there is a lot to take in.
Wrap up with a walk through the neighborhood to get a full impression of a moving, tragic part of Warsaw’s history – the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in 1943.
4. Plac Defilad
Plac Defilad is an initiative sponsored by the city of Warsaw to animate the square in front of the iconic Palace of Culture, connect the clubs and theaters and other cultural institutions there and revive some public space in the very center of the city.
The project is administered by barStudio, so keep an eye on their Facebook for regular events, but you can pretty much be sure that around 13:00 each Sunday in the summer, you can eat delicious brunch and listen to live classical music.
We can highly recommend New Neighborhoods Festival at barStudio on September 10th.
It’s an absolute pleasure for your hungover belly and ears.
There is also a few cool festivals run on the square, outdoor cinema, theater, concerts and much much more.
5. Plac Zbawiciela
This square – actually a roundabout just south of the city center – is home to a giant white church (Jesus the Savior Church) and is the absolute see-and-be-seen place in all of Warsaw.
You can literally plop yourself down for breakfast at Charlotte (the Croque Madame is ace), meander over to Karma for a coffee meeting (they roast their own), grab Thai street food at Tuk Tuk and then drink ’til the wee hours any night of the week at Plan B (THE cult dive bar in town) – all in one place.
You will run into friends, make new ones, get work done, while lazy hours away… it is definitely a go-to spot for Warsaw’s young crowds.