Warsaw is a city that is not only marked by its turbulent history, but also by its passion for art and culture.
Take time to visit some of the stunning art galleries and museums, and appreciate the city’s architecture on a stroll around its well-known landmarks.
WARSAW RISING MUSEUM
The Warsaw Rising Museum is one of the most visited destinations in Warsaw and understandably so.
Located in a former power station, the 32,000-square-foot exhibition is a true representation of Warsaw’s struggle against foreign occupation by the Nazis and Red Army. Through thousands of documentaries, eyewitness accounts, photographs and many replicas – including a Liberator B-24J bomber, the museum gives visitors a rare insight into the suffering and challenges faced by Varsovians. Private guided tours are available.
CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
The Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), housed in the reconstructed 17th century Ujazdowski Castle, is the only contemporary art collection in Warsaw to provide a clear insight into the intricacies of Polish modern art.
It hosts various exhibitions, concerts, visual theater, experimental films, and shows by international artists, as well as creative workshops. The Centre is also home to a café, video library and bookshop.
NATIONAL MUSEUM IN WARSAW
The National Museum in Warsaw was originally known as the Museum of Fine Arts before it was established under its present name in 1916.
With seven permanent galleries, the visitor can enjoy Polish and foreign paintings in addition to medieval and ancient art, including paintings, furniture, coins, and many other artifacts.
Professor Jack Lohman
+48 22 621 1031
Al. Jerozolimskie 3, Warsaw 00-495
ROYAL LAZIENKI PARK AND PALACE
A former summer residence of the Polish Royal family, Lazienki Park and Palace is a picturesque destination to take a stroll, and enjoy its numerous historic sculptures and exotic scenery.
The beautiful palace, which now stands in the middle of a lake, was converted into the marvel it is today from Stanislaw Lubomirski’s 17th-century baths. Its name Lazienki means ‘baths’ but it is frequently referred to as the ‘Palace on the Water‘. Private guided tours through the palace (including its interior) and garden are available in foreign languages if booked at least three days prior to your visit. Chopin concerts take place on Sundays during the summer near the Art Nouveau-inspiredChopin monument.
+48 22 506 0101
ul. Agrykoli 1, Warsaw 00-460
ERYK LIPINSKI MUSEUM OF CARICATURE
The Eryk Lipinski Museum of Caricature, or the Museum of Cartoon Art and Caricature as it is otherwise known, was established in 1978 and one of the first of its kind in the world.
As a keen caricaturist himself – now internationally famous – Lipinski began collecting caricatures and satirical drawings back in the early 1960’s. However, this new genre of art was mocked, rather than appreciated, so it took almost two decades to create his dream of establishing a museum dedicated to the style.
PALACE OF CULTURE AND SCIENCE
The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw is the tallest building in Poland and wouldn’t look out of place in New York.
It currently serves as an exhibition center and office complex containing cinemas, theaters, museums, offices, bookshops, a large conference hall with a capacity for 3,000 people and an accredited university, Collegium Civitas. Besides being the tallest, the building is also the most controversial in Poland. As a gift from Stalin in the 1950s, it is, for many Varsovians, a reminder of Soviet occupation. For others, it is a symbol of grandeur that has survived and stood tall just like many of the city’s citizens.
WILANOW PALACE MUSEUM
The Wilanow Palace Museum – a grand baroque edifice combining Italian and French architectural influences – is one of Poland’s greatest attractions.
In addition to its aristocratic exterior and rich history (Wilanow was initially built for King Jan III Sobieski and was later inhabited by many influential families) the palace is also home to a priceless art collection. The interior of the palace as well as its beautiful garden is an indication of its early inhabitants’ love of art and material splendor.
+48 22 842 8101
ul. Stanislawa Kostki Potockiego 10/16, Warsaw 02-958
WEDEL CHOCOLATE CAFÉ
A holiday is never really complete until you savor some scrumptious local chocolate.
Practicing the art of chocolate making for 160 years, Wedel’s café is truly a chocoholic’s paradise. Choices range from the standard chocolate dessert options (which are anything but ‘standard’) to the gourmet Wedelbranded recipes such as chili and ginger chocolate. If you just can’t make up your mind, try the café’s signature rich hot chocolate – a famous treat that has kept customers returning year after year.
+48 22 670 7700
ul. Zamoyskiego 28/30, Warsaw 03-801
Leaving Warsaw without a few traditional, handcrafted souvenirs in your luggage is like leaving an expensive restaurant feeling hungry.
Nationwide chain Cepelia, which is part of the Cepelia Polish Art and Handycraft Foundation, is the best place to purchase unique Polish products such as lacework, carvings, pottery, jewelry and carpets.