Warsaw

Warsaw

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About Warsaw

City with a passion for everything new

Standing tall on an enviable history of innovation and culture, the Polish capital city of Warsaw has a passion for everything new. Here you will find the perfect combination of old-Europe charm and cosmopolitan cool that easily rivals the heavy-weight tourist capitals of Europe. Amongst the glittering five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury is never far away. But don't mistake Warsaw for just another luxury destination, as it is also the thriving music and arts capital of Poland, with an exciting selection of festivals, art exhibitions and good old-fashioned parties.

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Warsaw’s modern skyscrapers house a number of exclusive five-star hotels, with the InterContinental Warszawa (Emilii Plater 49) offering some of the best city vistas to go along with a 44th-floor spa and glass walls. Geared toward business, the Warsaw Marriott (Aleje Jerozolimskie 65-79) provides stiff competition when it comes to the views, while the nearby Polonia Palace Hotel (Aleje Jerozolimskie 45) is a mid-range luxe option. Meanwhile the H15 Boutique Apartments (Poznanska 15) deceives from the outside with a historic exterior thanks to its superbly wacky pop art-style décor. For the budget traveller the Ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto (Muranowska 2) offers decent rooms in a central location.

There are over 20 shopping malls in Warsaw itself, from the vast Arkadia (Aleja Jana Pawla II 82) to the smaller yet more exclusive Klif (Okopowa 58-72). The city cannot yet be considered a fashion capital, although the glitzy dom handlowy VITKAC (Bracka 9) is well-equipped with designer names and W. Kruk (Aleje Jerozolimskie 11/19) offers breathtaking jewellery made from local amber. Visit Warsaw’s oldest bazar for more local goods, at Bazar Rozyckiego (Ulica Targowa 54), or head to the Sunday market Bazar Na Kole (Ulica Obozowa 99) for an interesting array of antiques stalls. Vintage bookstore Antykwariat Lamus (Sandomierska 23) is something of a hidden gem for book lovers out there.

Warsaw has moved well away from the bloated impression of its stodgy and bland cuisine, and can now boast a blossoming and innovative food scene. For something inherently theatrical head to the burgeoning U Kucharzy (Ossolinskich 7), which is found in a studio theatre and has its food prepared by actors-cum-chefs while the restaurants guests spectate. The menu is organic and affordable, although if you’d rather splash out then try the New Orangery of the Warsaw Royal Bath Gardens, which is home to the upmarket Belvedere (Agrykola 1). Similarly the haute cuisine at Michel Moran’s Bistro de Paris (Pilsudski Square 9) is worthy of a special occasion, and located at the edge of the Old Town.

Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival

March/April

A series of concerts, operas and exhibitions celebrate the works of Beethoven each year in a grand event that takes place across several venues. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment, as the festival is hugely popular.

Orange Warsaw Festival

May

An international crowd gathers to enjoy what is billed as Poland’s biggest annual music event each year in May. The likes of Beyonce, The Offspring, Fatboy Slim and Cypress Hill have all performed in the past.

Nowa Tradycja Festival

May

Polish regional and folk music take centre stage at this festival that celebrates folk and world music from around the globe. Running since 1998, the festival holds a competition for up-and-coming musicians and provides opportunities for local bands.

Noc Swietojanska

21 June

Thousands of people gather on the banks of the Vistula River to celebrate one of Poland’s largest midsummer events, as young women throw their ceremonial wreaths into the water and fireworks, live music and entertainment fill the air.

Jazz in the Old Town

July-August

A diverse array of jazz acts take over the Old Town over two summer months each year, as Warsaw attracts well-known names such as David Murray, Archie Sheep, Richard Galliano, Chico Freeman and Dino Saluzzi.

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Key facts

Language:Polish
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:2 hours 20 mins
Airport code:WAW, WMI
Holiday type:City Break / Sightseeing

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