to-do-warsaw-culturePhoto: Francesca Petryszak

TO DO

Warsaw University Library

En route to the Vistula Boulevards it’s worth stopping by at the city’s university library, which is a few minutes’ walk away. The main draw is the sprawling roof gardens that stretch over the glass domes and slanted panels of the library, providing an oasis of trellised calm with stellar views across the city skyline.

Vistula Boulevards

A popular bathing and meeting spot in the 1920s, the banks of the Vistula had long been neglected until a recent regeneration project brought them back to life. As well as the Museum of Modern Art and the Copernicus Science Centre, the riverside is dotted with urban beaches, fountains and bars, such as the floating platform Przystań Nowa Fala.

  • Vistula River

Neon Museum

The history of neon in Warsaw is closely bound up with that of the Communist regime, which employed top designers and artists to flood the city with neon light in order to project a prosperous, optimistic front to the world (regardless of the reality). This ever-growing collection of fluoro fonts and symbols will appeal to typographers and selfie-seekers alike.

Praga Koneser Center

Located on the site of a former vodka factory, these former warehouses have now been converted into a thoroughly modern, Silicon Valley-esque nodule of start-up offices, event spaces, 24/7 bars and interesting interior design and clothing shops, as well as the Polish Vodka Museum. Stop off at 3⁄4 bar afterwards for a Polish vodka-based cocktail.

Chopin Vodka Tasting

Let’s set the record straight: Poland, not Russia, invented vodka, so what better place to experience a vodka tasting? I know what you’re thinking: it all tastes the same. But I guarantee that Chopin Vodka’s Masterclass will change your perception of Poland’s national drink. During the tasting you will sip 6 – 8 clear vodkas made of various ingredients such as potato, rye and wheat and distilled between one and four times. The differences are sure to surprise you.

Contact: [email protected]

Eat Polska Food Tour

When most foreigners think of Polish cuisine, only one thing comes to mind: pierogi (dumplings). But Polish food has so much more to it than that, and one of the best ways to learn about it is through a culinary tour with Eat Warsaw. The company was founded by Michał, a man passionate about telling the story of Poland through food and drink. Join one of their daily food tours and you will sample over a dozen dishes at four different establishments.

Łazienki Park

The former summer residence of the last king of Poland, this sprawling, soothing expanse of greenery is dotted with neoclassical buildings that reflect in the glassy lakes beneath. Nab a deckchair alongside dozing residents, sip an old-school iced coffee on the peach tablecloths at the café and on Sundays Zen out to classical recitals of music by Chopin.

Warsaw Rising Museum

Varsovians take a great deal of pride in the fact that their city was one of the few to organise a mass resistance effort against the Nazis, albeit one that came at a terrible cost. Interactive displays and testimonies pack an emotional punch and help to underscore the culture of resilience that underlies the contemporary city.

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