The City

A Travel Guide to Warsaw, Poland

From gothic cathedrals and neo-classical monuments to stark Soviet-era buildings and contemporary skyscrapers, a journey through Poland’s capital Warsaw illustrates the captivating and at times harrowing history that this city has experienced and endured. Rebuilding and reinventing itself since the wide scale destruction of World War II, Warsaw is known by many as the ‘Phoenix City’. Having quite literally risen from its ashes, today the city is an ideal holiday destination for those seeking a combination of fascinating history, intriguing architecture, lush green spaces and culinary delights. Our city guide to Warsaw takes you to the best places to stay, eat and see to ensure that you make the very most of your time in this sprawling capital.

Sleeping

Where to Stay in Warsaw: Le Bristol Hotel

First opened in 1901 Le Bristol Hotel in Warsaw is known as one of, if not the city’s best hotel and for good reason. From its ideal location (a short walk from some of the city’s most significant historical attractions such as the Old Town and the Presidential Palace) to its spectacular neo-classical architecture and design, everything about the hotel is steeped in the city’s extraordinary past. Boasting refined and retro rooms and impeccable service, the five-star hotel epitomises old-school style and glamour, and has been frequented by notable guests such as Sophia Loren, Ray Charles, Marlene Dietrich and the Dalai Lama to name a few. Even if you choose not to stay here during your visit to Warsaw, we must recommend an afternoon at the legendary Café Bristol in the hotel’s lobby where you can enjoy traditional coffee and cake while people watching along the famed Royal Route.

Best Hotels in Warsaw

Vienna House: A modern industrial-chic hotel located in the burgeoning business district.

Raffles: A historical hotel housed in a grand neo-classical palace in the heart of Warsaw.

Eating

Where to Eat in Warsaw: Zorza

Poland may not often be found at the top of foodies' lists, but Warsaw offers a huge variety of eateries ranging from swanky traditional restaurants to trendy street-food stalls and cafés. One destination that is really making its mark as a favourite for both visitors and locals is Zorza located on the the popular Żurawia Street. Combining a laid-back approach with slick brass-accented interiors, the restaurant focuses on using seasonal ingredients sourced from local Polish suppliers to create its exciting international menu. Here you can expect to enjoy exciting and flavourful dishes such as the spicy Malaysian chicken laksa, black pudding in tempura and creamy pearl barley risotto. This city has definitely evolved far beyond the meat, potatoes and cabbage diet of its past, although rich traditional recipes are still plentiful.

Best Restaurants in Warsaw

Hala Koszyki: A former marketplace now transformed into a shopping and eatery complex housing 18 unique concept restaurants.

U Fukiera: One of the oldest and most famous restaurants in the city serving traditional Polish dishes in a romantic candle-lit setting.

Tsarina: Founded by the owners of U Fukiera, this fine dining restaurant is set across several ambient cellar rooms and takes you back to the city's aristocratic days.

Seeing

What to do in Warsaw: Praga District

One of the few regions in Warsaw that was relatively untouched by the destruction of World War II, the Praga district is considered to be the ‘artistic’ neighbourhood and one of the most ‘authentic’. An edgy area of the city, until recently this district was considered to be off limits to tourists due to its grittiness but today, the region enjoys a newfound appreciation for its avant-garde and artistic flair. While Praga is best known for the Museum of Warsaw and historical temples, the real gems here are the spaces that showcase the area’s vibrant counter-culture history such as the Soho Factory, a cultural venue housing food stalls, design boutiques and of course, the Neon Museum which exhibits a large collection of neon signs from the communist era.

Best Things To Do in Warsaw

Museum Wodki: A small and engaging museum tracing the history of vodka in the country. Of course, vodka tastings are also on offer!

Copernicus Science Centre: Fantastic for anyone travelling with children, this is the largest science museum in Poland and showcases several educational and interactive exhibitions.