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Warsaw Holidays, Hotels & Travel Guide


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Warsaw Holidays & Travel Guide

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A guide to holidays in Warsaw - As the capital of Poland, Warsaw was one of the most beautiful and sophisticated cities in Central Europe until its almost total destruction during the Nazi occupation of World War II. The end of the war saw most of the city reduced to rubble and ruins, and the majority of the population had either been killed or interred in Nazi concentration camps.


The city underwent a major regeneration following the havoc of destruction, and the buildings in the heart of the old city were meticulously restored. Most of the historic Old Town was painstakingly rebuilt from a pile of debris, restoring it to its original 17th and 18th century appearance, with the charming old market square at its centre, now a major World Heritage Site attraction.


Warsaw is divided into two distinct halves by the Vistula River, with the Old Town, the modern city centre and most of the attractions on the western side. The eastern side of the river comprises of uninteresting residential suburbs and business districts. The post-war appearance of Warsaw is a modern urban landscape of high-rise buildings, and the years of communist rule have left an uninspiring architectural legacy of drab concrete structures and uniform prefab-style housing. Dominating the skyline is the city's eyesore, the massive shape of the Palace of Science and Culture, Stalin's bequest to its citizens.


Lying in determined contrast to the concrete greyness are traces of Poland's grand past, including castles and palaces, open parklands, impressive churches and the restored streets of the historic old centre. Signs of former political austerity have been replaced by modern progression, with dreary state shops turned into fashionable boutiques, and consumerism a growing trend.


Although many people give scant regard to Warsaw as an appealing tourist destination, it is still Poland's largest city and the political, economic, scientific and cultural hub of the country. It has many museums and historical monuments, galleries and historic attractions, a variety of restaurants and open-air cafes, and an energetic nightlife. With green open spaces and classical music concerts, this modern bustling city is a far cry from the severe Communist-era images of post-war Warsaw.


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Warsaw holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Old Town (Starego Miasta)

What is it? The busy Old Town provides the historic focal point of the city, having been rebuilt in the original 17th and 18th century style following the almost total destruction of the city during the war. The picturesque Old Market Square (Rynek) is at the centre, surrounded by restored buildings and colourful three-story merchant houses with Baroque and Renaissance facades, lively open-air restaurants, art stalls and the Historical Museum of Warsaw. Around the two old central water pumps, the atmosphere is a constant buzz of activity with buskers, painters and musicians providing entertainment for the milling crowds, while around the fringes the clattering of hooves signals the arrival of a another traditional horse-drawn carriage. Leading from the square is a network of cobbled streets and alleyways that contain beautiful Gothic churches and former palaces of the aristocracy. The impressive Royal Castle was once the home of the Polish Kings and is now a museum displaying tapestries, period furniture, portraits and other decorative collections. The narrow streets also lead to the ramparts and watchtowers of the medieval walls surrounding the old city. Hours of Operation: Phone:
2. Historical Museum of Warsaw
Rynek Starego Miasta (Old Town Square) 28-42
What is it? The History Museum is one of the best of Warsaw's museums. Its three-stories are crammed with fascinating exhibitions covering every aspect of Warsaw's history and life, from its beginnings to the present day, and there are old photographs, clippings and articles on display from everyday pre-war city life. The museum's special feature is a documentary film showing the destruction and reconstruction of the city, with footage shot by the Nazis during their calculated and systematic annihilation. The film is shown in English at 12pm Tuesday to Saturday. Hours of Operation: Tuesday and Thursday 11am to 6pm, Wednesday and Friday 10am to 3.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 10.30am to 4.30pm. Closed Mondays Phone:(0)22 635 1625
3. The Royal Way
Krakowski Prezedmie?cie becoming Nowy ?wiat
What is it? Known as the Royal Way, this two-and-a-half mile (4km) route stretches from the Royal Castle in the Old Town to the stately King's palace at Wilanów on the outskirts of the city. It is the most important thoroughfare bisecting the central city from north to south and is lined with galleries, museums and historical buildings, including St Anne's Church, where the Polish princes used to swear homage to the king. Along the way are the royal gardens of Park Lazienki, one of the city's beautiful open green spaces with its lakes, peacocks and the charming 18th-century Palace Upon the Water, the royal summer residence. There is a monument to the famous Polish composer, Chopin, and outdoor concerts of his classical music are held on the lawns in summer. The Royal Way ends at the splendid Wilanów Palace, the former residence of King Jan III Sobieski that was modelled on Versailles. It is now a museum containing a marvellous collection of old paintings and furniture. In the well-kept park behind the palace is the Orangery housing an art gallery, and the Poster Museum in the former royal stables has changing exhibitions of Poland's renowned poster art. Hours of Operation: Wilanów Palace: daily except Tuesdays 9am to 4pm. From 15 May to 18 September the palace is open until 6pm on Wednesdays and until 7pm on Sundays. The park is open daily 9am until dusk Phone:


Warsaw holidays - Top Events

1. Mozart Festival

From 2007-06-14

To 2007-07-25

What is it? Every summer, music lovers from around the world flock to Warsaw to attend the highlight of the city's music season, the Warsaw Chamber Opera's Mozart Festival. Presentations of the complete stage works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart include some of his most popular operas, including Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as symphonies and instrumental ensembles. Where is it? Warsaw Chamber Opera
2. JVC Jazz Jamboree

From 2007-10-27

To 2007-10-29

What is it? Since its inception 43 years ago, the international jazz festival has become a major annual event in the world of jazz and is the oldest and most prestigious festival of its kind in Poland. Besides attracting top international performers, the Polish music scene is well represented with past concerts by national greats such as Tomasz Stanko and Michal Urbaniak. Where is it? Sala Kongresowa (Palace of Culture and Science)
3. Piano Festival

From 2006-11-25

To 2006-11-29

What is it? For five days at three stunning venues in the Polish capital, the Ludwig van Beethoven Association present some of the finest young virtuosos and masters of the piano. The aim of the festival is to promote piano music in a wider sphere and gain attention for the talented performers as they perform masterpieces from the greats: Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Bach, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and of course Beethoven. Where is it? Warsaw Philharmonic Hall; Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Hall; Royal Castle ? Grand Hall


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Information on Warsaw Holidays, Warsaw Hotels, Holiday Packages in Warsaw (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Warsaw Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content from, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.