Through the centuries, Warsaw's right-bank – the area called Praga – was an independent town, and it became formally attached to Warsaw only in the late 18th century. For years it was a secondary part of the city that survived the devastation of war, with three different religions (Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Judaism) peacefully co-existing. Today it is a fascinating district, overflowing with artistic studios, galleries, alternative theaters and underground clubs. Thanks to this infusion of cool culture, many of the surviving post-industrial buildings have been turned into cultural centres, cinemas, galleries and pubs. But it is also in Praga that we can find many streets which were undamaged during World War II, and so there are some beautiful pre-war lamp-posts, sidewalks and apartment blocks.
ul. Ratuszowa 1/3, tel. +48 22 619 40 41
Opened in 1928, in the northern part of Praski Park. During World War II it was completely destroyed and re-opened in 1948. Today it is inhabited by over 3,500 animals representing nearly 500 species, but its real attraction are the brown bears, whose paddock is located outside the garden and zoo walls. More information
The area is also home to the Frenzied Star Villa (willa „Pod Zwariowaną Gwiazdą”) – a modernistic house where Jan Żabiński, director of the Zoo at the time, and his wife sheltered Jews during World War Two. The interior has been restored to reclaim the atmosphere and touch of the 1930s, family memorabilia having survived.
A key entertainment venue east of the Vistula River. Also home to the popular “teddies” – brown bear enclosure opened in 1952 and to the giraffe sculpture founded in 1981 by the Warsaw Zoo as a gift to young Varsavians.
Church of Our Lady of Loreto (Kościół Matki Bożej Loretańskiej)
ul. Ratuszowa 5a
This is the oldest temple in Praga, built in the first half of the 17th century. Its designer was the royal architect Konstanty Tencalla. Inside there is the so-called house of Loreto (a copy of The House of Our Lady in the Italian town of Loretto), in which the 15th-century statue of the Virgin Mary Kamionkowska is placed.
The Vistula beaches
Worth a visit in the summer season with their day- and nighttime throb of life and music.
ul. Wybrzeże Helskie 1/5
The beach is several hundreds of meters long, and open only during summer; it sees loads of visitors due to numerous attractions: lawn chairs, wicker baskets, volleyball and badminton fields, and in the evening, concerts and DJ's. There is also the undeniable added charm of being able to get an unparalleled view of the Old Town, in all its splendor. Accessible from Vistula’s western bank by free ferry from the Podzamcze area.
ul. Wybrzeże Szczecińskie
Sports attractions and barbecue area. Fashionable club life just a minute away.
Saska Kępa Beach
ul. Wał Miedzeszyński
Green and peaceful, with a large playground for children and ferry access from the Czerniakowski promontory.
PGE National Stadium
ul/ Ks. J. Poniatowskiego 1
Super-modern, largest stadium in Poland built for purposes of the UEFA EURO 2012™ Championships. Football matches and major events are held here: world-class stars’ concerts, international conferences, fairs and exhibitions, and sports events. Come winter, the Stadium morphs into Poland’s biggest “Wintertown”, complete with three skating rinks, ice hill, a curling track, and the largest indoor Skatepark in Warsaw.