Although this capital is not one of the oldest cities in Poland, it certainly has enough sights to spend a few days there. Not many old buildings can be found there, as the city was almost completely destroyed during World War II. Many of the old buildings have been rebuilt, making it look like an old city. The city is divided into an old and a new center. The old town is located around the Old Town Market (Rynek Starego Miasta) and the new part is located around the New Town Market (Rynek Nowego Miasta).
Top 10 sights of Warsaw
#1. Convent of the Sacrament (Kościól Sakramentek)
This convent proves that there are indeed old buildings in the ‘new’ center of Warsaw. The Church of St. Cazimier is located together with the monastery on the New Town Market (Rynek Nowego Miasta). The nuns in the monastery used to have the task of raising rich noble girls in a proper manner. Both the church and the monastery were founded around 1688. The monastery is open to the public. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the baroque church.
#2. John’s Cathedral (Katedra św. Jana)
One of the most important and oldest churches in the city is St. John’s Cathedral. This building was also rebuilt after 1945 when large parts of the city were destroyed. A number of tombs remained intact under the rubble, including those of the writer Henryk Sienkiewicz and the Polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski.
#3. Rynek Starego Miasta
According to BRIDGAT, the Main Market Square in the Old Town is the most central point of Warsaw. The square is characterized by the colored stately mansions. Special are the double roofs with windows in between. These would provide the stairwells with daylight. On this square you will also find the Warsaw History Museum. Here is told from the devastating history to the vibrant city it is today. In the middle of the market is the statue of the patroness and symbol of the city ‘Syrena Staromiejska’.
Although most of the palaces were rebuilt after the devastation of World War II, one was spared. This is the Wilanów Palace, which is located in the Warsaw district of the same name. In 1677, after the purchase of what was then the village of Wilanów, construction of a summer residence for King Jan Sobieski was started. Over the years, the palace has been sold and modified several times to eventually become what it is today. The palace has a regal and imposing appearance. Very special are the more than sixty rooms that are largely in their original condition and furnishings.
#5. Krakowskie Przedmieście
This very famous and prestigious street of Warsaw is part of the Royal Route. The Royal Route takes you past the most special sights of the city. It starts at the square with the Royal Palace and then goes south along this chic street to finally reach the Wilanów district with its majestic palace. This street has been known as a trade route since early in history. And there is still trading here. The most beautiful buildings adorn this arterial street and every side street offers more possibilities.
#6. Palace of Culture and Science
Some consider it a monstrous building and others praise it for its imposing appearance. Anyway, this strikingly tall building is a great landmark of the city. From every angle, the pointed tower rises above everything. The 42-storey building was a gift from the Soviet Union. The building contains office space, cinemas, theaters and some museums such as those about communism.
#7. Palace Square (Plac Zamkowy)
On this square is the Royal Palace (Zamek Królewski) originally from the 17th century. Once again, this building has been recreated as accurately as possible. Today, the palace serves as a museum and regularly hosts exhibitions. The square and its surroundings offer many cozy restaurants and other catering establishments.
#8. National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe)
This museum started in 1862 as a museum of fine arts. Due to the addition of a number of special collections, it was later renamed the National Museum in 1916. Today it is one of the largest museums in Poland. Art in the broadest sense of the word is exhibited here in the National Museum.
Park This largest park in Warsaw belongs to the Łazienski Palace, which is located on an island in the park. Every Sunday, many residents of the city head out to this relaxing city park. Another attraction of this park is the statue of the famous Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. Every five years a tribute is held for this master of music. People from all corners and holes come to this park to be together during this International Chopin Competition.
#10. Museum of the Jewish Institute (Żydowski Instytut Historyczny)
Those who want to delve more into the history of the Jews during World War II should definitely visit the Museum of the Jewish Historical Institute. Here it is made clear what combat and torture the Jewish people had to endure. It also tells about the ‘Warsaw Ghetto’ between 1940 and 1943. You will find this museum in the building of the Jewish Library at ul. Tlomackie 3/5.