The Royal Castle, located in the very heart of Warsaw, is the last seat of Polish monarchs. Its history goes as far as the 14th century, when the Great Tower was built. The majority of work dates back to the late 16 and 17 centuries. Despite of numerous adversities, including the partitions of Poland and almost complete destruction during World War II, the Royal Castle is still open to the public. Various exhibitions and works of art can be seen either individually or with a guide, with plenty of language options to choose from.
The Wilanów Palace, together with its garden, is one of the most beautiful objects of its type in Poland. Baroque palace and the meticulously designed surrounding gardens, situated at the end of the Royal Road and built for the king John III Sobieski, are filled with Polish as well as European culture. Wilanów hosts many exhibitions and concerts, including the International Summer Early Music Academy. The Wilanów Palace also houses one Poland’s first ever museums, established in 1805.
Royal Baths or Łazienki Królewskie is the largest park in the centre of Warsaw. Łazienki are situated halfway down the Royal Route, between Royal Castle and Wilanów. On the area of 76 hectares one may find over 40 points of interest and numerous historic buildings, designed by the king Stanisław August Poniatowski’s in-court architects. Palace on the Isle, Roman Theatre, Myśliwiecki Palace or Chopin Monument are just a small selection. Łazienki Królewskie host various cultural and entertainment events, displays and exhibitions, including Royal Collections of portraits, coins, paintings and sculptures.
Warsaw Rising Museum is located just 3 kilometres from the Royal Castle. The museum was opened in 2004 and is situated at 79 Grzybowska Street. The main aim of the museum is to provide documentation and present history of Warsaw uprising during the Second World War and activities of Polish Underground State. The exhibition shows everyday life and fights during Nazi occupation and the fate of the insurgents during communist regime in People’s Republic of Poland (PRL). The museum has gathered 30 000 exhibits. The exhibition is very modern and uses the newest audio-visual technologies to successfully reach nowadays audience. It is located at 3 stories and it has more than 3000 m2. Warsaw Rising Museum is said to be one of the most interesting museums in Poland, which is why, you shouldn’t omit it during your Polish travels.
Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a new, ultramodern cultural museum on the map of Warsaw. It is situated at 6 Mordechaja Danielewicza Street in the place which was former Jewish district and also later on Warsaw Ghetto. The museum is a place dedicated to all those who are interested in heritage of Polish Jews and it is a symbol of breakthrough in Polish-Jewish relations during 1000 years history from Medieval times up till now. It is a place of meetings of people who want to know the past and current Jewish culture. The interactive exhibition was opened in October 2014. The exhibition has 8 galleries of 4 200 m2 common area. The galleries include 73 multimedia stands, 120 multimedia passive stands, 170 historic exhibits and 200 copies and models. The museum can be visited by 800 guests at a time. POLIN is an impressive modern museum which you really must see during your visit in Warsaw.
Palace of Culture and Science (Polish: Pałac Kultury i Nauki) in Warsaw is just a 30-minute walk from the Royal Castle. The Palace was built in 3 years by 3,500 Russian workers as a gift from Joseph Stalin. Since it was finished in 1955 is has been the tallest building in Poland, its spire reaches 237 metres and the viewing terrace on the 30 floor (114m.) allows you to admire Warsaw from above. The Palace of Culture and Science has 3288 rooms, including Congress Hall which seats 3,000 people, a museum of technology, a museum of evolution and a swimming pool. In year 2000 a second-largest tower clock in Europe was added to the building. Each of its 4 faces has 6 metres in diameter.
Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw is a place striving to popularise science. It is one of the youngest museums in the capital as it was opened only in 2010. It is also one of the most modern museums in Warsaw and definitely one of the most popular. It is situated at 20 Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie Street. The main aim of the center is to popularize science and visitors learn via play and performing experiments on their own. The entire exhibition is very modern and interactive. The museum has 6 thematic exhibitions in which we can see 400 exhibits. The museum building covers 15 thousand square meters area. A visit in Copernicus Science Center takes about 3-5 hours. It is also possible to take part in special workshops and laboratories. Copernicus Science Center is undoubtedly one of the most interesting modern museums in the country.
It is situated at 1 Józefa Poniatowskiego Street and is visible from various viewing point in the capital. It was erected in 2008-2011 for UEFA football championships Euro 2012 at old site of Decade Stadium which before the new stadium construction had been known as Europe Fair. Officially the stadium was opened in January 2012. It offers seats for 58 500 supporters, including 4600 higher standard seats and 69 private boxes for 800 viewers. Currently apart from various sport and artistic events tourists can enjoy 5 sightseeing trails: exclusive, famous and unknown, footballer’s, historic and kindergartener’s. During sightseeing with a guide visitors can feel special supporter atmosphere, visit locker rooms which hosted Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. You can also visit a viewing point at the top stand of the stadium. For families we also recommend visiting 3D Prehistoric Oceanarium. National Stadium in Warsaw is a place which all football supporters should visit.
The Polish Vodka Museum is located in the historic building of the rectification plant within the premises of the Koneser Praga Centre, at Konesera Square 1. Visitors will learn there over 500 years of history of the most famous Polish alcohol, the evolution of its production technology, as well as traditions and customs associated with it. A guided tour takes approximately one hour. It will start in a cinema room, where a few minutes long film about the history of Polish vodkas, their production and export is shown. After visiting the cinema, five thematic galleries await visitors. The tour ends with a tasting of vodka. The ticket to the Polish Vodka Museum includes the care of a guide and tasting of 3 types of vodka.
Frédéric Chopin Museum is located at Ostrogskich Palace. The founder of the museum, Frédéric Chopin Institute, began collecting exhibits as early as 1943. Today, the museum has over 5,000 of them and is one of the most modern museum in the capital. The Chopin museum itself was opened in 1955. Among museum collections there are numerous manuscripts, printouts, iconographic sets and other Frédéric Chopin memorabilia.
The National Museum is situated at 3 Aleje Jerozolimskie Street in a Modernist building, erected in 1927-1938 (the east wing of the building is a headquarters of the Polish Army Museum). It is one of the biggest art museums in Poland and the biggest one in Warsaw. The exhibits of the museum include over 830 000 pieces of Polish and international art. Visitors will find here ancient pieces of art (Egyptian, Greek, Roman), Polish paintings from the 13th century up till current times, international paintings (Russian, German, Dutch, French, Italian), arts and crafts exhibits and numismatic collections. The National Museum is a must see site in Warsaw to experience original, extraordinary pieces of art that we know only from textbooks.
The Old Town in Warsaw was meticulously rebuilt after the calamity of WWII. Thanks to this fact it has been enlisted at prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. Tourists usually visit here the Barbican, the Old Market Square with the famous Mermaid Fountain symbol of the city, Royal Castle and St. John’s Archcathedral.
The Church of All Saints is located at 3/5 Grzybowski Square in Grzybowo in the Śródmieście district. It is the largest church in Warsaw. The temple consists of a lower church, 6 meters high, for 3,000 people, and an upper church, 22 meters, for 5,000 people. The height of the church to the towers is 54 meters. High stairs lead to the main entrance. In front of the entrance to the church there is a statue of John Paul II made in 1993 by Giorgio Galletti. There are also many commemorative plaques. Church of All Saints is an example of Neo-Renaissance religious architecture.
The Temple of Divine Providence is a Roman Catholic church in Wilanów, which is the seat of the parish of Divine Providence. It is a cultural institution established by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz - Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw. One of the activities undertaken by the Center is the organization of the Thanksgiving Day. Cardinal Nycz made the first Sunday of June a Thanksgiving holiday. The exterior of the Temple of Divine Providence is shaped like a cube with a dome. The chapels and stations are situated in such a way as to enable visitors to the Temple to chronologically trace the next most important events in the history of Poland. The stations create a historical route that will allow us to look at the history of Poland from the perspective of God's providence. The Museum of John Paul II and Primate Wyszyński is located above the aisle, which surrounds the main nave. Under the floor, in the lower church, the so-called Great Poles Pantheon - a place of burial and commemoration of the most distinguished Polish patriots as well as people of culture and science.
Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist is located in the Old Town of Warsaw at 8 Świętojańska street. It is one of the oldest temples in Warsaw. It was here that the coronation of King Stanisław August Poniatowski in 1764 took place, as well as the swearing in of the first European Constitution of May 3 in 1791. In the crypts of the basilica there are the tombs of Mazovian dukes, Warsaw archbishops, the last king of Poland Stanisław August Poniatowski, the first Polish president Gabriel Narutowicz, writer and Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz, and musician and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski. In 1980, Basilica was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.
Summing up, Warsaw is proud Polish capital and really worth visiting. ITS Poland travel agent will be very happy to prepare a trip for your group to see all main Warsaw highlights. To check our standard tours click here.
Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska