Laura DiBiase is a guest blogger for SeatBoost. She is a Marketing Specialist for Perfect Gym Software and a native born Angeleno. Laura recently relocated to Warsaw, Poland and loves it! She spends most of her time at the gym, on an airplane, or online shopping. She loves checking out new countries and we love following her adventures! Check out her guest blog below and follow her Instagram @deeeebss for a first-hand account of her travel adventures and epic photos!
Yes, You Should Visit Warsaw, Poland
Paris, London, Rome…Warsaw? When most people think about their dream European vacation, Poland usually doesn’t make that list or even come close to cracking the top 10. If tourists do come to Poland, they tend to skip over Warsaw to favor its little sister city, Krakow, because it is considered more beautiful. Okay, it is more beautiful, but only because Krakow made it out of World War II untouched while Warsaw had to be completely rebuilt. Although it’s true that Warsaw may not carry the same reputation and allure for tourism the way other famous European capitals do, this city does offer a dynamic atmosphere and energy that you cannot find anywhere else.
Here are a few awesome reasons why Warsaw should make it on your travel to-do list.
The Perfect Mix of New And Old
Warsaw truly is one of those cities where you can feel the history. Battlescars from World War II and Communism can still be seen and even felt while walking through neighborhoods. The “Old Town” is unbelievably beautiful, but was completely reconstructed within the last fifty years, so you do not get the same exact classical feel you get in many other European cities. The history you feel almost hits you a little bit harder while exploring Warsaw because of how recent many of this beautiful city’s struggles were.
However, Warsaw has in many ways redefined itself. The relatively “new” culture and sprawling industry has made it one of the commercial centers of Eastern Europe. Warsaw boasts one of the most impressive modern skylines throughout Europe, which is continually growing.
In fact, Warsaw has recently established itself as one of the leading commercial spheres of the region. It became a huge hub for big name startups, including Shoplo, Packhelp, and Perfect Gym Club Management Software, which has brought in an army of young international professionals to the city. This young burst of energy has a tangible impact on the city, the culture, and social scene.
Warsaw City Center
The heart of Warsaw is a unique blend of dated and contemporary. New modern buildings rub shoulders with classic architecture throughout the city, and somehow, it works. Many buildings from Communist times have been repurposed, most famously Cuda Na Kiju, one of the most popular bars, which used to be the Soviet held KGB office.
The most famous street at the center, Nowy Swiat, paves the way from the “new center” directly into the heart of old town. Along the way you will find shops, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars that have somehow managed to resist conforming into tourist attractions.
Away from the main drag, Warsaw has a ton of cool unique neighborhoods to explore, like Zoliborz, Mokotów, and Praga, the redefined artsy district on the other side of the Vistula River.
City Meets Nature
In case you didn’t know that Chopin or Copernicus were Polish, Warsaw will remind you as much as it possibly can. These infamous figures are celebrated through statues, museums, or most beautifully, through parks.
Warsaw takes the expression “stroll through the park” to the next level with these stunning grounds that sprawl into rose gardens, palaces, and picturesque lakes. The most famous parks, Łazienki Park, Saxon Garden, and Park Ujazdowski, are stunning during every season, but especially with the turning of the leaves in fall and as nature breathes back to life in Spring.
Palace of Culture
Although originally built as a tribute to Stalin in the 1950’s as a “gift” from the Soviet Union to Poland, this iconic building now hosts a number of activities, ranging from museums, to movie theaters, to exhibition halls to a university. At night, its spectacular illumination can be seen from most parts of the city.
Although reconstructed after the war, the original National Theater was built in 1765. This theater was the first in all of Poland to offer a permanent place to perform traditional works by native playwrights, musicians, and authors. Today, the National Theater hosts a wide variety of shows, including the national ballet, seasonal plays, and operas.
This museum goes into vivid detail recounting the heroic history of Poland’s insurgency against the German troops during World War II and the resulting military history into the Cold War. The style of this museum guides visitors room by room by telling the story through a series of artifacts, actual footage, replicated war zones, and interactive exhibits. The museum concludes chronologically after categorizing important incidents with the Soviet Union during the Cold War and modern day exploits of the Polish Military.
Although Warsaw does not exactly fit the stereotypical European destination, this city offers so much more depth and beauty behind its initial appearance. The city, the culture, and especially the people, make this city truly stand out as one-of-a-kind destination.