Warsaw Travel Guide

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Warsaw Travel Guide

Warsaw Local History

Warsaw was founded in 1374. In 1596, Warsaw becomes Poland's capital when King Zygmunt III Waza (Vasa) makes the city his permanent residence. Warsaw is destroyed during the war with Sweden in 1655. In 1791 the Sejm passes the democratic constitution. In 1795 Poland ceases to exist until 1918, for this duration, Warsaw is under Prussian rule. In 1807 Duchy of Warsaw is established under Napoleon and Warsaw is its capital. The Congress Kingdom of Poland is established in 1815 and is ruled by the Russian tsar, which later between 1830 and 1863 leads to an armed uprising against the Russian rule by the poles. Poland regains its independence in 1918, and Warsaw becomes the capital of the Second Republic.

Nazi Germany occupies Poland from 1939 to 1945 where Jews are forced to live in a walled-in ghetto and are then sent to concentration camps. With the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in 1943, the remaining 300 000 Polish Jews are sent to their deaths at Treblinka concentration camp. In 1944, an uprising lasted for 63 days and 200 000 people were killed. The entire population of Warsaw is deported and the city is destroyed. In 1945, the allied forces liberated Poland and with this Warsaw became the capital again.

Stalin builds the Palace of Culture for the people of Poland in 1955, and in 1981 the solidarity movement began and martial law was imposed. Free elections marked the end of the communist regime in 1989. The Polish people are free of communism and lead productive lives. Looking at Poland today, you would never say that the city was basically destroyed, the people of this remarkable city have rebuilt everything to it former splendour.

Warsaw Attractions

Warsaw Shopping

Desa Located at ul. Marszalkowska 34. Desa's has fine antique furniture, art and china. It is great to go and stroll around the store. You must remember that most antiques cannot be exported, so you need to find out what you can take home with you.

The Cepelia store This is the best spot to buy souvenirs. They sell beautiful Polish handicrafts such as lace, dolls, amber and silver jewellery as well as leather goods.

Europe's largest flea market Located in the Praga district next to the Poniatowskiego Bridge. At the flea market there is a variety of goods to choose from ranging from air guns and fur coats to CD's, leather goods and trinkets from the former Soviet Union. Petty crime is a problem here, so take care with your possessions.

Warsaw Activities

Spartanska Located at ul, Spartanska 1. This pool is open all year round, and attracts a large group from the immediate area. There are some serious swimmers who come here to train in the winter, but generally it is a great place to splash around and relax.

Tor Stegny Located at ul, Inspektowa 1. There is usually at least one 90-minute session a day for public skating; sometimes there are even two sessions a day. The atmosphere is fun and exciting with people zipping around during the free skate times.

WOW Wisla Located at ul, Inflancka 8. This is a great place to come for family fun. There is an indoor pool, a sauna and a solarium and a tennis court. There is everything here to keep you entertained.

CSN Szczesliwice Located at Ul, Drawska 22. CSN Szczesliwice is for skiing and snowboarding addicts. The CSN Szczesliwice has the only ski-lift in Warsaw and the slope is covered with a special material, which makes it possible to ski all day long even in the middle of July when it is much warmer.

Warsaw Parks & Gardens

Lazienki Park and Palace This Park features landscaped gardens, the Chopin monument, the palace on the water and a classicist amphitheatre. Half the citizens of Warsaw spend their Sunday's at the gardens. Warsaw's last monarch, Stansiaw August Poniatowski resided on the 74-hectare site.

Pole Mokotowskie The Pole Mokotowskie is also known as the Warsaw Central Park. There are large green areas covered with grass, trees and bushes, a small pond with a number of water channels, which are always full of joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. There is always a hustle and bustle around the park, and is interesting if you just want to people watch.

Warsaw Restaurants and Bars

The Main ingredient in Polish meals is potato in large quantities. Poles cannot have their dinner without this vegetable. Zubrowka is vodka, which is recommended to foreigners because of its unique greenish colour, aroma and blades of grass floating in the bottle. The grass is a herb, which grows in the Bialowieza National Park, which is extinct all over Europe except for Poland.

Warsaw Restaurants

Bazyliszek Located at Rynek Starego Miasta 3/9. This restaurant can be found on the second floor of a 17th century merchant's house on the Old Town Square. Here you will dine under high ceilings of carved wood and in the Knight's Room, suits of armor and crossed swords decorate the walls. Traditional Polish dishes are served with an emphasis on game dishes.

Belvedere Located at Lazienki Park, ul Agrykola 1. This elegant restaurant has the most romantic setting for lunch or for dinner. The lamp-lit park spreads out beyond the windows and the candles glitter below high ceilings. The speciality is Polish cuisine and many dishes are prepared with fresh mushrooms. A Jacket and tie is a must.

Fukier Located at Rynek Starego Miasta 27. Fukier is a wine bar with a fascinating network of elaborately decorated dining rooms. A talking parrot in a cage can be found as well as candles adorn all available shelf space. The cuisine is Polish, mostly steaks followed by rich cream gateaux.

Kamienne Schodki Located at Rynek Starego Miasta 26. This restaurant is found in a 16th century house with vaulted ceilings, and is famous for its roast duck served with apples. At one stage it was the only dish that this restaurant served.

Organza Located at Ul. Sienkiewicza 4. This is a restaurant, bar and night club all rolled into one. It's a great place to go for a night out, you can start off with dinner and stay for dancing. There is guaranteed to be entertainment every night. The staff is friendly and helpful and will tell you all you need to know about the menu. The speciality for this restaurant is seafood.

Warsaw Bars & Clubs

Champions Located at Lim Center, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79. This is a great sports bar where all the latest score and games can be seen. There is a great atmosphere especially when there is a game on, the crowd really gets down and supports their teams.

Harenda Located at Krakowskie Przedmiescie 4/6. Harenda is a great bar with an outdoor terrace that gets crowded in the summer. This bar is never short of entertainment, which hosts good jazz bands.

John Bull Pub Located at ul. Zielna 37. The John Bull Pub serves English draft beers and is open until midnight. It's a great place to come just to relax.

Morgan's Located at ul. Okolnik 1. Morgan's is an Irish pub, which is full of charm and character just like the locals who frequent the bar.

Warsaw children's activities

Spartanska Located at ul, Spartanska 1. This pool is open all year round, and attracts a large group from the immediate area. There are some serious swimmers who come here to train in the winter, but generally it is a great place to splash around and relax.

Tor Stegny Located at ul, Inspektowa 1. There is usually at least one 90-minute session a day for public skating; sometimes there are even two sessions a day. The atmosphere is fun and exciting with people zipping around during the free skate times.

WOW Wisla Located at ul, Inflancka 8. This is a great place to come for family fun. There is an indoor pool, a sauna and a solarium and a tennis court. There is everything here to keep you entertained.

CSN Szczesliwice Located at Ul, Drawska 22. CSN Szczesliwice is for skiing and snowboarding addicts. The CSN Szczesliwice has the only ski-lift in Warsaw and the slope is covered with a special material, which makes it possible to ski all day long even in the middle of July when it is much warmer.

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