8 reasons to visit Warsaw in 2020
Do you dream of a summer holiday on the banks of one of the last wild rivers in Europe? Or maybe you want to try unique dishes, see international music stars live or listen to an outdoor Chopin concert? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Warsaw is for you. Come by yourself, or with friends, or family… In Warsaw, you will always find places and events that you will remember forever.
1. Star concerts
This year, once again global music stars will perform in Warsaw’s clubs and stadiums. In May, guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani will play. In the same month, 80s pop stars the Pet Shop Boys will perform. June and July will be months of rock, as the PGE National Stadium will host Guns’ n Roses headed by Axl, Slash and Duff. July will also be a month of heavy metal classics, with Iron Maiden and Rammstein appearing, as well as another world-class star – Sting. August will see a large dose of opera music, with Andrea Bocelli performing at Torwar. At the end of the year, in November, Simply Red will come to Warsaw. The list of bands and artists is much longer and as you can see, there is something for everyone. More…
2. Relaxing at the Vistula
Vistula – the last big, wild river in Europe.
If you want to admire nature in Warsaw, then head down to the Vistula! On the right-bank of the river in Praga, you will find beautiful natural and sandy beaches that are no longer found in any major European city. It is a place for summer sunbathing, sport and fun in numerous beach clubs. Where the beaches end, beautiful, natural, wild, coastal forests begin, where among the lush greenery you can observe birds or capture the beautiful panorama of the Old Town with your camera. Meanwhile, the left bank of the Vistula is a place to meet and spend time with friends. Here on the picturesque Vistula Boulevards you can relax in a cafe, ride a bike or go on a river cruise.
3. City of Chopin
Warsaw is where one of the greatest ever composers, Fryderyk Chopin, spent many years of his life.
Walking around Warsaw you will see many reminders of the brilliant Polish pianist: the house where he lived, a museum dedicated to his work, the resting place of his heart, and a monument in Łazienki Park, which is one of the symbols of our city… You will also come across one of the 15 Chopin benches, which can be found on the main tourist routes. Stop next to them to listen to fragments of his wonderful compositions.
Every Sunday from May to September in Łazienki Park next to the Chopin monument you can listen to free Chopin recitals. These events are very popular among Varsovians and tourists.
2020 will be a special year for Chopin’s music, because October will see the 18th Chopin Competition. This event, which takes place every 5 years, selects the world’s best pianists interpreting the works of the great artist. Winning an award in this competition opens the door to an international career.
Learn more about Warsaw’s Chopin attractions!
4. Warsaw’s Praga district
Visit Praga, the district where the unique atmosphere of old Warsaw still exists.
Targowa, Ząbkowska, Brzeska, Mińska, Inżynierska, Stalowa and 11 Listopada – these are the streets in Praga where you will feel the pre-war atmosphere of the city that was not destroyed during World War II. Take a walk along the cobbled streets and pop into one of the pubs or restaurants where local Warsaw delicacies such as tripe and dumplings are served. Also, take a look inside the gates and courtyards of tenements to see the unique chapels that are carefully looked after by locals. On Kawęczyńska or Środkowa street you will find the last wooden houses in the district. Visit the historic Koneser vodka factory on Ząbkowska, which is home to the Polish Vodka Museum.
Is that enough, or do you want more? Go even further and on Mińska street go into Soho Factory, home to the unusual Neon Museum, which presents illuminated neon advertisements from the 1960s and 1970s.
Prague is not only streets and tenements, but also urban folklore that is still alive among locals. If you want to listen to the tunes that people danced to before the war, visit the Ząbkowska Summer Festival. There is no doubt that Praga is a city within a city! On every corner you will discover something of interest, and if you like taking photos, you’ll find thousands of objects and views to capture. More…
5. Tastes of Warsaw
Try Warsaw cuisine, which is as diverse as the city itself.
For many who visit Warsaw, pierogi is the first dish that comes to their mind when they think about what to eat. It’s a very good choice! Many types of fillings and ways of serving make it impossible to get bored with them.
Pierogi is not the only thing that Warsaw cuisine has to offer. If you want a quick, cheap, tasty and traditional meal, visit a milk bar, where you can still feel the atmosphere of People’s Poland. However, if you are looking for something a bit more modern, go to Hala Koszyki, where you can try dishes from throughout the world and relax over a drink listening to music.
Warsaw also offers breakfast markets – outdoors in the summer and in halls at other times. At weekends in a family, picnic atmosphere you can try dishes prepared by real enthusiasts.
It is no accident that Warsaw is mentioned at the top of the list of European vegan-friendly cities, as there are many meatless restaurants in the city where you can try amazing dishes.
Whatever you like, whatever you fancy, enjoy your meal! More…
6. Multimedia museums
Modern museums are among Warsaw’s flagship attractions. Uncover fascinating stories using the latest technology.
A trip to a multimedia museum is a unique adventure. See for yourself in Warsaw! Be sure to visit the Warsaw Rising Museum to learn about one of the most important events in Polish history. Feel what it meant to be an insurgent by walking through a sewer, see an original-sized bomber and listen to authentic sounds from the Uprising. Simply touch history!
Another multimedia museum worth visiting is the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Moving from room to room, you will learn about the history of the thousand years of the Jewish presence in Poland. You will hear authentic street sounds, see what a Jewish town looked like and learn about everyday life. One of the most important exhibitions at the POLIN museum is the richly decorated reconstruction of the vault and bimah of a no longer existing synagogue from the former Eastern Borderlands.
Also visit the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, in which, thanks to multimedia displays, you will learn about his music and learn about the next stages of the life and work of this outstanding Pole. There are no boring exhibits in Warsaw’s museums!
7. Royal residences
Do you know that there are three residences in Warsaw where the most important Polish kings lived?
Each of them comes from a different era, so it’s worth visiting all of them to see how architecture and art have changed over the centuries. The residences are located on the Royal Route – a historic road connecting all the royal residences. Start your sightseeing from the oldest (and at the same time the youngest) residence – the Royal Castle, which dates back to the fourteenth century. Destroyed during World War II, it was not rebuilt until 1974. The interiors of the castle contain exhibitions of art and period paintings.
Next, visit the Palace on the Isle in Royal Łazienki. The summer residence of the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, is beautifully located on an artificial island built in the middle of a lake. Here the king met with scholars, writers and… his lovers.
The last residence on your list is the baroque Palace in Wilanów – the seat of the gallant king Jan III Sobieski. Beautifully decorated and surrounded by flowering gardens, it is a court worthy of the great ruler, who rested here after his battles.
You can visit all three residences for free as part of Free November at the Royal Residences!
8. Illuminations in Warsaw
Discover Poland’s capital in winter.
In winter, the sun sets very early in Warsaw, as early as 16.00. When the last rays have hidden behind the horizon, the city turns into a fairy-tale land lit by thousands of Christmas lights.
Fancy decorations and glowing sculptures are a great backdrop for young and old to have fun together and take photos. During long walks, admire the illuminations on the Royal Route and in the Old Town. See the most important illumination, the 30-metre Christmas tree on Castle Square. Warsaw’s illuminations are among the most magnificent in Europe. See for yourself!
If you want to delve deeper into the world of winter dreams, go to the Royal Garden of Light in Wilanów, where shining sculptures and magic lights blend in perfectly with the baroque palace of King Jan III Sobieski and the palace gardens.
Ice skating on the ice rink in the Old Town Square is another great attraction. Among thousands of lights, you will feel the festive atmosphere skating around the Mermaid monument!