Winter in Warsaw
The days are becoming increasingly shorter and the weather is far from encouraging – so it’s time to recharge the batteries and face the winter with energy. Come to Warsaw, even a short break here will get you out of your routine and the Polish capital in winter will surprise you.
Although Christmas falls at the end of December, people in Warsaw start preparing for Christmas a few weeks earlier. The aromas of traditional dishes, the sounds of beautiful Polish Christmas carols and colourful nativity scenes in churches create a unique atmosphere.
In winter, the city has plenty of attractions to offer for every budget – Christmas fairs, ice rinks and beautifully illuminated streets and squares. It’s much more enjoyable now to visit museums and galleries and much easier to find a free table in a good restaurant or a free hotel room.
In December, the streets and squares of Warsaw take on a special charm. Decorated with colourful decorations and fairy-tale figures, in the evenings they shine with thousands of lights. The people of Warsaw – big and small alike – wait impatiently each year for the moment the lights are switched on.
See how beautiful the city looks; take a walk along the Royal Route, see the 30-metre high Christmas tree on Castle Square and the light decorations above the streets of the Old Town. A cup of hot chocolate at Wedel is the perfect way to end the evening.
Royal Garden of Light
Visit the Royal Residence in Wilanów after dark and see one of the most beautiful gardens in Poland, which at this time of year blooms with thousands of lights. An illuminated tunnel leads to the palace courtyard, from which you can easily get to the King’s Winter Garden. Walk among the shimmering orange trees and take a picture in an illuminated frame against the background of Wilanów Palace. Stop on the palace terrace and look over the baroque garden. It is illuminated by thousands of lights, which during special shows dance to the rhythm of classical music. Carpets of light flowers, which seem to flourish in the Rose Garden, also make an amazing impression.
If you want to visit the court of King Jan III, come on Saturday, Sunday or a holiday. Thanks to the three-dimensional displays of light, video and sound beamed onto the façade of the palace, you will feel like you have been transported back in time to see history hundreds of years ago. A winter evening in Wilanów will definitely remain in your memory for a long time.
Christmas shopping is a real pleasure, if you don’t have to do it in a hurry. Christmas fairs are an ideal place to find original gifts – including handmade Christmas decorations, warm sweaters and hats, local gingerbread and chocolate specialities. Small wooden houses decorated with colourful lights are located in several places in Warsaw. The traditional Christmas Market stretches along the defensive walls of the Old Town.
This is a great way to beat the winter blues. Put your skates on and – more or less smoothly – start dancing on the ice. The first ice rinks in Warsaw open in November. In the winter you will find them at the Palace of Culture and Science, on the Old Town Square and in every district. You can rent skates at almost every rink.
Winter attractions at the PGE Narodowy Stadium
If you love sport, this is the place for you. From November to March, there are lots of things to do: several ice rinks, a curling track, bumper cars and an iceberg to ride down in a dinghy. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the atmosphere heats up at the Ice-skating Disco, an ice‑skating party with energetic music and competitions. If you still want more, take a look at the underground skate park – the largest in the city. Try everything there is to do, and afterwards you won’t even feel the cold.
Cultural Route of the Old Town’s Cellars
The interiors, which are several hundred years old, tempt with the authenticity of age-old walls and a quiet atmosphere. Enter when the frost bites into your bones. In the basement of the Museum of Warsaw you’ll see pots, plates and antique coins dug up in Warsaw, as well as objects showing the intimate details of the lives of ladies living in Warsaw’s palaces. You will see for yourself what a ceramic pipe stand or an old-time board game look like. A large model of the Old and New Town will give you an insight into the architecture of Warsaw at the end of the 18th century. You will also be able to trace the history of the capital in figures on infographics. In the nearby Monument Interpretation Centre you will see an exhibition commemorating the destruction and reconstruction of the Old Town after World War II, as well as learn more about the entire Cultural Route of the Old Town Cellars.