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Poland - 5zł (w tym 8% VAT)
UK - £5
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ISSN 1641-5264
Hotels Restaurants Cafés Nightlife Sightseeing Events Maps
February - March 2013
Easter in Poland
A sacred holiday
Winter in
Great reasons
to get outside
“In Your Pocket: A cheeky, well-
written series of guidebooks.”
The New York Times
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Arrival & Transport 12
The Basics 17
Culture & Events 20
Where to stay 26
Dining 32
Cafés 56
Nightlife 58
History 70
What to see 73
Palace of Culture and Science 85
Old Town 86
Praga 88
Warsaw Uprising 92
Jewish Warsaw 96
Treblinka 99
Łazienki 100
Wilanów 102
Chopin 105
Copernicus Science Centre 108
Leisure 110
Łódź 112
Shopping 114
Directory 120
Maps & Index
City centre map 123
City map 124
Country map 126
Street index 128
Listings Index 129
Feature Index 130
Easter in Poland is an event, and covers several important
days of religious observance like Palm Sunday and Good
Friday. Being a highly Catholic country Poland takes Easter
very seriously and considers it the most sacred holiday
of the year. Which is exactly why they need a fun day like
Easter Monday (Śmingus Dyngus in Polish) to help them
recover from it. Read all about this traditional experience
on page 27. Photo: Silar/Wikipedia/CC BY_SA 3.0
Winter is Warsaw’s most loathed season, but that’s only
if you don’t take advantage of what the locals know – yes,
that means getting outside. Embrace the temperature,
toss on your puffiest coat and see why nothing keeps
these people indoors in feature on page 8. Photo:
Zorro2212/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
Warsaw In Your Pocket
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Just in case you haven’t noticed: it’s winter in Warsaw!
Fewer places is winter more vivid than here, with plunging
temperatures and sparse sunshine making any time spent
outside feel more like punishment than pleasure. But it
doesn’t have to be that way! Our feature tackles the topic
of how to enjoy a Warsaw winter just like the locals do
(yes, we promise, for all their grumbling they do enjoy it)
with plenty of activities to keep you warm inside and out.
Of course the weather is a justifiable excuse to explore all
of Warsaw’s warmer indoor wonders, beginning with one
of our favorites: The Warsaw Uprising Museum. It’s easily
the best museum in the city and on our list of can’t-miss
attractions with a mix of interactive displays, original
photographs, video footage and the stunning City of Ruins
film to give you an idea of what post-war Warsaw was like.
The Uprising is one of the proudest moments in Polish
history, and this museum thoroughly captures the story,
chronologically, from start to finish.
If you’re visiting the city towards the end of this edition of
the guide you’ll get to experience one of the surest signs
of impending spring: a Polish Easter. The day itself is on
March 31, but seeing as this is highly Catholic Poland
you can bet that the holiday isn’t just restricted to one
Sunday. There’s Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and even the
kooky Easter Monday (in Polish it’s the delightfully named
Śmingus Dyngus) which involves public water fights to help
recover from the somberness of Easter itself. Watch your
Of course this is also the time of year where it’s
acceptable to pick a pub, pull up a seat, and drink and eat
your way through popular Polish dishes since everyone can
use an extra layer of fat. Our restaurants section is divided
up by cuisine, so if you’re in search of pierogis flip to the
Polish section and find your nearest purveyor of these
savory dough pockets.
As always we sincerely hope you enjoy your time in
Warsaw and the guide we have put together. Be sure to
like us on Facebook (
and follow us on Twitter ( for all the
latest on what’s happening in the city, and you can leave
comments about all the venues listed here (and more) on
our website at And
of course we welcome your direct feedback at editor_
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free meals, sexual favours, first-born chil dren or other
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to say whatever the hell they damn well feel like about the
venues listed in this guide, regardless of disagreement from
advertisers, establishment owners or the general public.
The editor has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of
the information in this guide at the time of going to press
and assumes no responsibility for unforeseen changes,
errors, poor service, disappointing food or terrible hangovers.
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an i nvi t at i on f r om
Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.
~Japanese Proverb
As we went to print Warsaw had already welcomed its old
friend ‘The Frosty Monster’. The white stuff is falling steadily
and estimates around -25 degrees are predicted for the
coming months. No matter how long one has lived here,
you’re never quite prepared for this time of year, and you
never seem to remember what the previous winter was really
like - that’s when it hits you like a Pershing popsicle, literally
catching you with your pants down. Keep in mind that this is
not the United Kingdom - so in general, planes, trains and
automobiles function normally and people go about their
everyday business as usual. A hardy and resilient lot the
Poles; always have been, always will be.
We reckon that it’s pretty safe to assume that by the time
this publication hits the streets in February, Warsaw will not
be in the grip of some Mediterranean-style heat wave. If we
get that horribly wrong, simply tear out this page and deposit
it in one of the many rubbish bins situated around the city.
Assuming that we are correct, it’s time to slip on your winter
woollies and let’s take a look at what you can get up to.
Winter Wanders
Depending on which Warsaw you’re intent on visiting, winter
can have a very contrasting effect. First port of call for most
visitors is obviously the Old Town (p.88), as well it should be
if you’re looking for Warsaw’s winter wonderland. Empty of
tourists and draped in snow, the Old Town’s castle towers,
church spires and cobbled streets take on a fairy-tale
majesty creating quite a mismatch with the rest of the city’s
scenery. Leave the meticulously reconstructed Old Town and
the cinematic atmosphere quickly shifts from Disney magic
to retro Cold War spy thriller, with one half expecting Orson
Welles to appear from the shadows of a pre-war courtyard -
hat pulled down, trench coat collar popped, unfiltered ciggie
frozen to his lip - and shuffle across one of the bridges over
to Praga (p.90). Indeed it’s the right bank of the river, with
its crumbling bullet-riddled brick buildings, deserted pre-
war factories and unwelcoming courtyards that make the
capital an ideal backdrop for an espionage noir flick, and
a shroud of snow only serves to heighten the atmosphere.
No matter how cold it gets, it’s a great time to investigate
Warsaw’s chilly beauty and we give our favourite places to
find it on display below.

Łazienki Park (G-4)
A stroll around the famous Łazienki Park at this time of year
is a must. It’s much quieter and contemplative than in the
summer months when it’s absolutely overrun with people. In
the midst of this 76 hectare haven of tranquillity is the iconic
Chopin monument - a ‘must have’ tourist snap in the snow.
Head back into town via the area around ul. Johna Lennona
(yes, that’s John Lennon Street, G-4), a beautiful part of town
made up of old wooden chalets and gardens, reminiscent of
a small country village, just minutes from the bustling city
centre. For more on all there is to do in Łazienki this time of
year, turn to p.100.
Las Kabacki
If you really want to get away from it all and see a bit of the
great wintery outdoors, hop on the metro and head out to
Las Kabacki, a large forest/nature preserve just south of
the city. The best idea is to follow one of the signposted
walks (4-10km). The forest is home to a great variety of
birds and animals, including Poland’s native menace - the
wild boar; if encountered, try to steer clear as they can be
pretty aggressive. Kabacki Forest has witnessed its share of
human tragedy. Throughout German occupation it was used
as a site for Nazi executions. Monuments commemorate the
110 citizens whose bodies were discovered in group graves
during the exhumations of 1946. Evidence exists to suggest
that around 650 other victims may still be buried deep within
the forest. Other sites pay tribute to the AK (home army)
groups which were active in the area. The “Wicher” group,
the men responsible for first cracking the German Enigma
code in 1932, also had their headquarters here. In more
recent times, Las Kabacki was the site of Poland’s worst
air disaster. In 1987 the LOT “Tadeusz Kościuszko” flight
from Warsaw to New York crashed in the forest killing all 183
people on board. The crash site is marked by a simple, yet
poignant, monument and a large cross. Getting there is easy:
just jump on the metro heading south and get off at ‘Kabaty.’
The journey only takes about 20mins at a cost of 4.60zł.
Arctic Fuel
No matter how cold it gets, one has to line the gut. A
quick scan of our restaurant section (p.36) will soon make
i t clear that Warsaw is home to almost every culinary
experience the world has to offer. The ever increasing
opportunity to dine on a variety of colourful dishes in the, user: Alexander Baranov/CC BY 2.0
Patryk Korzeniecki/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
Warsaw In Your Pocket
style of sunnier climates is wonderful and a valued addition
to helping make Warsaw a modern and cosmopoli tan
city, but the fact is that in these conditions Polish grub
is the perfect winter warm-up. Start with a hearty soup
before moving on to a stodgy entree: almost anything with
four legs, wings or fins that roams countryside or swims
the lakes and ri vers of PL is fair game. Add potatoes
prepared under a number of guises and vast side orders
of cabbage, cucumbers and gherkins and you’ve got a
hot meal that’ll have you ready to hibernate until spring
as soon as you’ve finished.
Dom Polski (ul. Francuska 11, H-3)
The great thing about the national cuisine is that you can
actually eat well at all price levels. At the top end of the market
is Dom Polski, a beautiful villa in the Saska Kępa area that
has hosted numerous famous guests, including Yoko Ono,
Roman Polanski, Patrick Swayze and…eh…Mick Hucknall.
Everything here will be perfect; service, quality, presentation
and surroundings. For this pleasure all they ask in return is to
kick a rather large hole in your wallet, but chances are you’ll
be happy to do so. [Open 12:00 - 23:00.]
Milk Bars
At the other end of the scale is a visit to any milk bar, or
‘bar mleczny’. These Soviet-era cafeterias serve onl y
Polish dishes and are a great way to dispose of the loose
change lurking at the bottom of your pocket. They make
for an entertaining cultural experience and, particularly in
this weather, make it easy to believe that you have been
transported back to Stalinist-era winter misery. One of our
favourites is Bar Mleczny pod Barbakanem (ul. Mostowa
27/29, B-1, open 08:00 - 15:30; Sat, Sun 09:00 - 16:00),
which, as the name suggests, you’ll find it just to the right
of the Barbakan in the Old Town. The genuine old-school
Milk Bars, such as this one, are rapidly disappearing or
being upgraded to fit in with the modern world. Ordering
can be a bit of a dilemma for first timers, but the ‘system’
runs like this: 1) Select what you want from the board at
the till. 2) Tell the grumpy old lady dressed like a cleaner,
and pay. 2) She scrawls something on a piece of paper.
3) Take this paper to the kitchen window and hand it to
another grumpy old lady. 4) She unceremoniously dollops
your order on a plate and pushes it towards you. 5) Pick
up your cutlery, sit down and eat. 6) Deposit plates and
cutl ery at the ‘ washi ng-up’ wi ndow. I f you are utterl y
sick to the back teeth of potatoes with everything, try
replacing them with the popular and very healthy kasza
gryczana (buckwheat). While Warsaw is overrun by faux-
retro eateries which pay homage to the PRL era, Milk Bars
are the real deal. We urge you to try one, it may well be
your last chance.
Slipping the Light Fantastic
If you’ve managed to avoid spending your time on the icy
streets like Captain Haddock in a Tintin book - flying head over
heels and blurting out a string of innovative obscenities, then
you may feel confident enough to try your hand at ice-skating
or cross country skiing. Poles are fanatical about winter
sports and most seem to have been born with either a pair
of skis or skates attached to their feet. Polish stars of the
slopes, like the now retired ski jumper Adam Małysz or the
cross country skier Justyna Kowalczyk are held in the highest
esteem by the adoring public, a loyalty and support akin
to that bestowed on soccer superstars in other countries.
“Arena” Ice Rink (Pl. Defilad 1, A-3)
Slap-bang in the centre of the city, this rink may seem small in
comparison to the Palace of Culture and Science that towers
over it, but it’s great for just messing around or showing off to
the numerous passers-by and observers. Being a temporary
outdoor rink, it can be affected by changes in the weather,
but we are told that it should be fully functional until at least
March 6th. There’s also no need to worry about not having
your own skates, you can hire them on site (7zł for first hour,
5zł each hour after that) and the ice time is free. Some of
the kitschy dance music blaring out of the sound system
is pretty diabolical, but the opportunity to go skating in the
shadows of the majestic PKiN is pretty damn cool. [Open
08:00 - 20:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 21:00.]

Bachleda Sports (ul. Filtrowa 68, E-4)
Cross country skiers will find that you don’t need to travel
very far from the ci ty in order to partake in this more
adventurous activity, and you can rent a full kit from this
centrally located shop (20zl per day + 100zl deposit). The
helpful and knowledgeable staff can advise on paths, as
well as the “do’s and don’ts” of the sport, for those with less
experience. Nice routes to follow are the paths along the right
bank of the frozen Wisła River - impossible to get seriously
lost and easy to get back to the centre! [Open 11:00 - 19:00,
Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.]
Another charming
winter curiosity are
the huge coal-filled
cast-iron brazi ers
that appear dot-
ted around the city
centre when temps
get really frighten-
ing. You know you
live in a harsh cli-
mate when your city
starts lighting open
fires around town to
keep its population
from freezing. Look-
ing like something
from a medi eval
tor ture chamber,
these outdoor coal-fed fireplaces become focal points
for people waiting for buses, friends or just the type of
folks who spend all day loitering around the streets. In
typical Polish style, people get chatting, share cigarettes,
ask for spare change and start arguing about things like
which one of them has seen the hardest winter. All pretty
surreal, highly entertaining and only in Poland.
Brassy Weather Braziers
Ana Paula Hirama/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0
Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Warszawa Centralna Train Station A/B-4, Al. Je-
rozolimskie 54, tel. (+48) 22 39 19 757 (from foreign
mobile phones). Warsaw Central Station (Warszawa
Centralna) is exactly what it says on the tin: central. And
thanks to recent renovations we’re happy to say it’s now
easy to navigate as well. Centralna is looking better than
it ever has with new storefronts and modern upgrades
that will impress those who’ve been away for a while.
From alighting the train you should take one of the two
facing escalators (if they’re working) in the centre of the
platform, which will lead you up into one of the underground
passages that flank the main hall. Whichever side you
come up on you will be one level below ground level and
the ticket hall. Kantors can be found in the underground
passageway between Centralna and the Marriott. Signs
for ATMs (bankomats) are everywhere, and though once
sparse the machines can be spotted at almost every turn.
Tourist info can be found across the street at the Palace of
Culture - just look for the ‘i’ sign (Open 08:00-18:00). They
can provide you with maps, etc. Tickets for the public trans-
port system can be bought from most of the newspaper
kiosks. Left luggage is located in the underground corridor
that runs below the main hall. Look for Przechowalnia
Bagażu, where stewards will look after your bag, or opt
for one of the plentiful lockers. Payphones can be found
in the underground tunnels with cards available from all
the kiosks. Connect to a Polish network via mobile by get-
ting SIM and pre-paid cards from the same newsagents.
Both entrances of the main hall are covered by taxi
ranks, and by passing via tunnels under the main road
you’ll find bus and tram stops though once you enter the
signs are more of a hinderance than a help and you may
never be seen or heard of again. Officially sanctioned ELE
taxis can be found at the rank on Aleje Jerozolimskie and
SAWA taxis can be found rank on the Złote Tarasy side.
On the ground level there is a travel office run by Polish
rail. Find it on the Złote Tarasy side of the building to the
right of the stairs heading down to the platforms under
the Centrum Obslugi Klienta sign (info line 197 57, www. Open from 09:00 - 20:00, the multi-lingual
staff (they can even assist the deaf) can search for the
cheapest/easiest connection, sell you international and
domestic tickets, and can help plan your trip for you.
The selection of outlets selling food and drink at Centralna
has improved dramatically with the renovations. Head to
Green Coffee, Starbucks or Coffee Heaven for a range of
good coffee or hot and cold snacks which are available to
takeaway while McDonalds can also be found by following
one of the many signs. If you have time to kill, Champi-
ons in the Marriott can be reached via the underground
passageway and offers a far better place to sit and wait
than the station itself, as does the nearby Złote Tarasy
shopping centre. Don’t be alarmed to find Warszawa
Centralna used as a drop-in centre by Warsaw’s homeless
population - while most are harmless some like to pass
their time being drunk and abusive. Bizarrely, while the
Polish rail staff manning the ticket booths are mono-lingual
(try booths number 14 and 16, which now claim English-
speaking staff), the tramps in Centralna seem adept at
begging in a multitude of tongues. Q Open 24hrs. Note
that due to system maintenance seat reservations cannot
be made between 00:00 - 01:00.
Warszawa Centralna
The Polish rail network is generally in decent shape
even if the rolling stock is by and large something you
may have travelled on in Italy some years ago. Certainly
better than Britain‘s railways; you‘ll find most trains run
on time, are cheap, and don‘t crash. Travelling times
are generally pretty slow even on Intercity trains with
limited high-speed sections of track throughout the
country. That is being remedied but in turn this is causing
increased travelling times on many lines. Tickets are by
western standards very cheap with a first -class ticket
to Kraków from Warsaw for instance setting you back
about 150zł (about €40).
The state-owned Polish rail network PKP run several
types of train. Express InterCity (EIC) trains are the fast-
est, newest and most expensive of the lot, with first and
second class compartments holding up to six people
and seat reservations required. New rolling stock is
appearing with open carriages and 230v AV sockets.
The Express (EX) train is less modern than the EIC
but still considered expensive, and also requires seat
reservations. The EuroCity (EC) trains offer international
connections and seat reservations as well. Cheapskates
looking to cut costs should opt for the markedly cheaper
Twoje Linie Kolejowe (TLK) which has second class seats
that often require no seat reservation and first class
seats that do; the InterREGIO (IR) trains, which are the
cheapest, have only second class seats and require no
reservation; and the REGIOekspres (RE) which has seat
reservations available online. With the budget options
you will pay buttons for the privilege, but your journey is
guaranteed to try your good humour.
More information on train times and prices check the very
useful which has an English option.
There is the functionality to book tickets online once you
have registered (
This option allows you to book a ticket and seat in one
without the hassle of queuing at the station.
If you find yourself faced with long queues in the train
station then you‘ll be pleased to hear you can hop on the
desired train and buy a ticket direct from the conductor.
You‘ll pay a small surcharge for this (approx 15zł), and
credit cards are now accepted. Travellers are expected
to greet others in their compartment with a curt ‘dzień
dobry‘, and it is taken as given that a male passengers
will help females or the elderly with any heavy baggage.
Travelling by train should hold no fear, though you may
have the misfortune of sharing a compartment with a
woman who has no qualms with silencing errant chil-
dren with a thump to the head. Or even worse, sharing
a compartment with perky army discharges. Upgrading
to first class for a cursory fee is usually enough to avoid
these pitfalls.
Finally most stations throughout the country are ap-
pallingly lacking in signs denoting the station name and
it‘s surprisingly easy to miss your stop. Communicating
with your fellow passengers can save a lot of time and
Arrivals Przyjazdy
Departures Odjazdy
Platform Peron
Train Smarts By Train
Warsaw’s main train station, Centralna, is a hulking metal
giant that sits conveniently in the city’s center and is the main
hub for trains arriving in the capital. Additionally passengers
may disembark at the smaller Warszawa Wschodnia on the
eastern side of the Vistula river between Praga Polnoc and
Praga Południe districts, and Warszawa Zachodnia on the
border of Ochota and Wola districts to the west of the city.
Warszawa Wschodnia Train Station H-1, ul.
Kijowska 8, tel. (+48) 22 39 19 757 (from foreign
mobile phones). Q Open 24hrs. Note that due to system
maintenance seat reservations cannot be made between
00:00 - 01:00.
Warszawa Zachodnia Train Station D- 4, ul.
Tunelowa 1, tel. (+48) 22 39 19 757 (from foreign
mobile phones). Q Ticket office open 24 hours. Note that
due to system maintenance seat reservations cannot be
made between 00:00 - 01:00.
By Car
Warsaw is located in the heart of the country and has ex-
tensive road links with other major Polish cities. Having said
that the competition on the road’s front isn’t fierce. Roads
leading into Warsaw tend to be of decent dual carriageway
standard, though once you enter the city limits Warsaw traf-
fic can become a serious problem - particularly during the
week. Most major hotels are located in the central area and
you should be heading in most cases for the Central Train
Station (Dworzec Warszawa Centralna) and its neighbour,
the Palace of Culture (PKiN). Parking in the central area
is generally available on-street where there are standard
parking charges payable at roadside machines. Most major
hotels will offer some form of off-road guarded parking. Be
warned that Polish roads and Polish drivers are not the best
especially if you have driven in western Europe.
Indeed, Poland is one of Europe’s leading nations in road
fatalities, a statistic that will surprise few who have had the
pleasure of using the roads here. A lethal combination of poor
road surfaces, networks unsuited to the volume of different
traffic and, most of all, drivers who have no consideration
for anybody else result in the common sight of mangled car
wrecks around the country. Police seem unwilling to control
irresponsible driving, and don’t be surprised to see cars
shooting through red lights, cutting each other up and staking
a claim for the Formula 1 championship.
The speed limit is 50km/hr in cities (60km/hr between
23:00 and 05:00), 90km/hr outside urban areas, 120km/
hr on dual carriageways and 140km/hr on motorways. Seat
belts must be worn at all times and it is illegal for drivers to
use hand-held mobile phones. Following the letter of the
law all cars should be equipped with a first aid kit, warning
triangle, fire extinguisher, rear mud flaps and right and left
hand outside mirrors. Flouting the rules will cost you 200zł
(for using a mobile), 100zł (not wearing a seat belt) and up to
500zł for speeding. The legal limit for drink driving is 0.2‰
blood/alcohol level. Put simply, if you’re driving, don’t drink.
EU citizens may use their home driving licenses as long as
they are valid, however citizens of countries that didn’t ratify
the Vienna Convention (tsk, tsk Australia and America) will
find their licenses invalid (though that hasn’t stopped anyone
we know from driving their girlfriend’s car). Carry your license
and passport at all times when driving.
Since April 2007 it has been compulsory for headlights to be
switched on at all times.
Guarded Parking B-3, ul. Królewska 11 (Sofitel War-
saw Victoria Hotel).
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Car rental
Budget ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650
40 62, QOpen 07:00 - 22:00.
Dollar Thrifty Rent a Car ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Air-
port), tel. (+48) 668 66 33 00, www.dollar-rentacar. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00.
Hertz ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650
28 96, Also at (F-3) ul. Nowogrodzka
27 (Open 09:00 - 15:00, Mon, Fri 08:00 - 16:00. Closed Sat,
Sun.) QOpen 07:00 - 22:00.
Local Rent A Car B-3, ul. Marszałkowska 140, tel.
(+48) 501 21 61 93, QOpen 09:00 -
18:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 14:00.
Avis ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1
(Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650 48
72, Avis provide
short-term and long-term rentals,
chauffeur drive service as well as cargo van rentals. There’s
over 1,000 models available, equipped with air-conditioning,
air bags and ABS for your guaranteed comfort and safety.
Also possible to exchange and swap cars. Also at Al. Jero-
zolimskie 65/79 (B-4, Marriott Hotel) and ul. Łopuszańska
12a (Włochy). QOpen 07:00 - 23:30, Sat, Sun 07:00 - 23:00.
Europcar ul. Żwirki
i Wigury 1 (Airport),
tel. (+48) 22 650 25
64, One of the worlds biggest car
rental companies offers rental solutions tailor made for
travellers (both short and long term) that will suit all needs
(15 different categories of cars are available; Europcar is
present at all Polish airports and many other convenient
locations). Europcar creates flexible driving solutions to
meet your individual mobility needs. Note that the Radisson
Blue Sobieski is a meeting point (cars can be picked up and
dropped off here). There’s also an office at the new Modlin
Airport. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00.
Joka D-2, ul. Oko-
powa 47, tel. (+48)
609 18 10 20,
A wide range of cars from the baby Fiat Panda to the
spacious Mercedes E200 CDi station wagon. All cars
are equipped with power assisted steering. Satellite
navigation systems are also available. Special rates
offered to those who order through the Joka website,
and go online to find the latest seasonal promotions. Q
Open 09:00-17:00, Sat 09:00-12:00. Outside of these
hours open on request.
Sixt ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1
(Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650
20 31, One of
the world’s largest and oldest
car rental companies offers a choice of solutions from
short and long rental periods to holiday cars. There’s
even a fleet of limousines if you’re interested. Vehicles
range from Seats to luxury Mercedes. Bonuses include
GPS and Sixt cards. Also at ul. Emilii Plater 49 (A-4,
InterContinental Hotel). QOpen 07:00 - 22:00.
AB (which is currently under major renovation and therefore
closed). Collectively they are called Terminal A, and the spa-
cious CDE now handles all incoming and outgoing traffic.
The hallway connecting the zones houses ATMs, exchange
offices, tourist info, coffee shops and snack marts.
The taxi rank outside exits 1 and 2 offers three certified
companies: Super Taxi, Sawa Taxi and Ele Taxi. The 15-30
minute ride to the centre costs around 25-40 złoty, though
be on guard for unlicensed sharks - they’ll charge three or
four times that.
Cheapskates can catch the brand new train into the city or
get bus number 175.
The train station can be found underground by turning right
outside of whichever arrivals area you leave from and go-
ing all the way to the end of the covered section where you
will find escalators taking you down to ticket booths. The
SKM trains run three times per hour and are red and white
in color. Line S2 takes you to Śródmieście station in the
city center, while line S3 takes you to Warszawa Centralna
station. To take one of these trains you need a normal
public transport ticket (exactly the same as what you’d use
for the bus) that are available from the ticket booths and
cost 4.40zł. The KM trains run once per hour, are green
and white, and will take you to Centralna or Śródmieście
depending on the train (so pay attention). They have their
own ticket office at the station with no fixed price, but you
can use an SKM ticket here as long as you have the train
driver validate it. Got that? The train ride should take around
20 minutes. Bus stops can be found in front of arrivals at
Zone AB and Zone CDE. Tickets for the bus are also 3.60zł
(which will also increase to 4.40zł in January, and be sure
to validate). Buses run frequently between 05:05 and 23:05
with journey time taking approximately 25 minutes. At night
when the 175 stops running travelers can take the N32 night
bus, which runs every 30 minutes.
Warsaw Shuttle, tel. (+48) 506 17 54 95, www. The company offers private airport
transfer services at competitive prices from 79PLN per run.
Highest quality for the best possible price. Call in advance
to book.
Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina Train Station ul.
Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport). The new rail way station
connecting the airport and the city centre can be found by
exiting the arrivals hall in either terminal and turning right.
The underground station can be accessed by escalators
found just after the covered area outside the terminals.
See ‘By Plane’ for information on train destinations, ticket
prices and frequency.
By Plane
Getting in and out of Warsaw by plane had improved drasti-
cally in recent times. The capital’s main air hub - Chopin
Airport - got a modern overhaul, while budget carriers like
Wizzair and Ryanair had gotten settled in at the Modlin
Airport, just northwest of the city. That was until winter
came and the runway cracked apart (bravo). As a result,
Modlin Airport is currently closed. No reopening date
has yet been announced, but we’ve confirmed that
the airport will be closed at least until April. In ther
meantime, Wizzair and Ryanair are both landing at
Fryderyk Chopin Airport.
Warsaw Chopin Airport (Lotnisko Chopina w
Warszawie) ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1, tel. (+48) 22 650
42 20, Warsaw Chopin Airport
has recently seen the opening of Zone CDE, a glass and
steel giant that sits rather awkwardly next to the older Zone
The days when cash
bells would ring when-
ever a cab driver would
hear a foreign accent
might have passed, but
it’s still always better
to ri ng ahead rather
than just hailing a taxi
in the street. In particular avoid drivers who hawk their
services in the arrivals hall at the airport; we’ve heard
plenty of horror stories.
All the companies we list will usually have someone on
their switchboard who can speak English. MPT, the state-
run firm, can boast the most reliable reputation. But you
won’t find many cheaper than Super Taxi. Find ELE taxis
on the Marriott tower side of the central station; it’s the
second row of cars. Tipping is not expected, but if your
driver gets you from A to B without a detour through the
countryside then by all means, feel free.
Ele Taxi, tel. (+48) 22 811 11 11,
Halo Taxi O’K, tel. (+48) 22 196 23,
Merc Taxi, tel. (+48) 22 677 77 77,
MPT, tel. (+48) 22 191 91,
Sawa Taxi, tel. (+48) 22 644 44 44,
Super Taxi, tel. (+48) 22 196 22,
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Public Transport Warsaw has an extensive bus and tram
system criss-crossing the city as well as a good, but very
limited, metro system running from north to south. Over
1,200 buses operate in and around the city, and most run
from between 05:00 and 23:00. After that night buses run
on most routes twice every hour. All night buses display the
letter N, followed by a two digit number. ‘Fast buses’ (marked
with red digits) skip the smaller stops.
Tickets (all valid for use on metro, bus and tram) can be
bought from some kiosks bearing the green and yellow RUCH
logo, or anywhere with a sign reading Bilety. There are now
also a series of ticket machines with instructions in English
dotted around the city, and English translations are printed on
tickets.To save yourself the hassle of working out which ticket
you need or trying to buy to explain it to the lady in the kiosk.
A standard public transport single ticket costs 4.40zł.
If you’re travelling to the further reaches of Warsaw you’ll be
needing a ticket that covers both zones 1 and 2 - these are
priced at 7zł. Note that the airport is in Zone 1. Still with us?
Good. Tickets are also available for specific time periods and
come valid for 20, 40 and 60 minutes. These are priced at
3.40zł, 4.60zł and 6.40zł. Tickets valid for 24 hrs are priced
at 15 or 24zł i f travelling through both zones. Three day
tickets cost 30zł or 48zł for both zones. Children up to the
age of 7 years travel for free (have proof of age ID handy).
Everyone else pays full fare unless in possession of an ISIC
card. This entitles you to buy a reduced ticket (ulgowy) which
costs approximately 50% of the full fare.
You can buy single tickets from the driver, though you must
have exact change. Once you’ve got a ticket you will need to
validate it in one of the box-style kasowniks, thus activating
the magnetic strip on the back. On the metro this must be
done before you get on board. It is no longer necessary to buy
an extra ticket for animals or large pieces of luggage. Plain
clothes ticket inspectors regularly stalk the lines, dishing
out 220zł for those without valid tickets. They often don’t
look very official and you are within your rights to request
identification, or even do as the locals do, and attempt to
bargain them down.
markets where vendors cannot provide the necessary docu-
ments; if there is any doubt about the value or age of your
purchase, we suggest you visit an ‘Antykwariat’ (antiques
dealer - see shopping) for advice.
Electricity in Poland is 230V, 50Hz AC. Plug sockets are round
with two round-pin sockets. Therefore if you are coming from
the UK or Ireland you are definitely going to need a plug
convertor. The best place to pick these up is at home as our
residents Brits will testify although if you do arrive without
a covertor you can try your hotel concierge or reception. If
they don’t have one the best place to pick one up is at one
of the big electrical outlets often situated on the edge of
town. Our advice is save yourself the hassle and get one in
the airport as you leave.
Health & Emergency
In case of an emergency those dialling from a land line or
public phone should use the following numbers: 999 for an
ambulance, 998 for the fire brigade and 997 for the police.
Mobile phone users should call 112 to be forwarded to the
relevant department. English speaking assistance is not
necessarily guaranteed, and rests on the linguistic capabili-
ties of the operator.
Between June 1st and September 30th English, German and
Russian speakers have the option of using a separate line
specifically designed for foreigners in distress: dial 800 200
300 from a land-line or 608 599 999 from a mobile phone
for troubles during high-tourist season.
If you’ve woken up to find you’ve got a raging headache, a
swollen foot you can’t put weight on and vague memories of
some kind of calamity we suggest you sort it out by calling
a private clinic, thus avoiding the hassle of the notoriously
long queues in Polish hospitals; a list of private clinics can
be found in the Directory in the back of this guide. Further
help can be provided by embassies and consulates, a list
of which can also be found in the Directory. If it’s a financial
emergency your hopes will rest on a Western Union money
transfer. Most banks and many exchange bureaus (kantors)
can now carry out such transactions, just keep an eye out
for the Western Union logo.
For a list of clinics and hospitals check the directory section
at the back of this guide.
Poland covers an area of 312,685 square kilometers
and is the ninth biggest country in Europe. It borders
the Baltic Sea and seven countries, namely the Baltic
Sea (528km), Belarus (416km), Czech Republic (790km),
Germany (467km), Li thuania (103km), the Russian
exclave of Kaliningrad (210km),Slovakia (539km) and,
Ukraine (529km).
Longest River
Warsaw is split by the river Vistula (Wisła). At 1,047km it
is Poland’s longest river and flows into the Bay of Gdańsk
(Zatoka Gdańska).
Highest Point
The highest peak in Poland is Rysy (2,499 metres) found
in the Tatra mountains in the south of Poland.
Population (2011)
Poland: 38,538,447
Warsaw: 1,708,491
Kraków: 759,137
Łódź: 728,892
Wrocław: 631,235
Poznań: 554,696
Gdańsk: 460,517
Katowice: 310,764
Local time
Poland is in the Central European (CET) time zone
(GMT+1hr). When it’s 12:00 in Warsaw it’s 11:00 in
London, 12:00 in Paris and Berlin and 19:00 in Tokyo.
Polish summer time (GMT+2hrs) starts and ends on the
last Sundays of March and October.
Facts & Figures
Institute of Meteorology and Water Management,
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
ll (m
Poland has a temperate climate with hot summers and
cold winters. Seasons tend to be more pronounced than
in the west and temperatures can get down as low as -20
C in winter and as high as +30 C in summer. The coldest
weather tends to hit around February although the long
winter of 2009/10 saw a record low temperature in Po-
land of -32 degrees. Below is a graphic showing average
temperatures and rainfall.
If you are travelling within the EU those over 18 can now take
10 litres of spirits, 90 litres of wine and 110 litres of beer.
Most countries will not allow more than 800 cigarettes from
Poland. If purchasing art or books, you need to consider their
age and value. In order to leave the country, art must be both
less than 50 years old and under a certain value (varies
depending by type; photos ‹6,000zł, other art ‹14,000zł, for
example); if these conditions are met, the gallery curator can
then provide you with a ‘zaświadczenie’ (permission docu-
ment) describing the artwork’s price and when and where it
was created. If the work exceeds the permitted age or value,
you must get permission from the ‘Wojewódzki Konserwator
Zabytków’ (Regional Curator’s Office) to take it out of Poland;
bear in mind that this process will likely take 2-3 months.
Books must be less than 100 years old and under 6,000zł in
value in order to leave the country; if neither applies, permis-
sion must be obtained from the National Library. Obviously,
problems arise when purchases are made at bazaars or flea
By Bus
If you come to Warsaw by bus, odds are you’ll be landing
at the main bus station on Al. Jerozolimskie, while budget
options like PolskiBus drop passengers off at Dworzec
Autobusowy Metro Wilanowska, a short distance from the
Metro Wilanowska stop.
Main Bus Station (Dworzec Autobusowy Warszawa
Zachodnia) D-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 144, tel. (+48) 703 40
33 30, Coaches arrive and depart - unless
otherwise stated - from the Warsaw West Bus Station (Dworzec
Autobusowy Warszawa Zachodnia). Find a currency exchange and
two ATM (bankomat) machines located in the main hall. There
is no Tourist Info point, for the closest you’ll have to make the
journey into the Palace of Culture, Pl. Defilad 1 (entrance from ul.
Emill Plater). There’s a legitimate left-luggage operation, as well
as five payphones located in one of the side corridors (though
you’ll need to buy phone cards to use them). You can do that by
visiting one of the Relay kiosks in the main hall. You’ll also be
able to buy SIM cards, prepaid cards and transport cards from
here. HALO taxis stand outside the entrance and will charge you
about 20zł to the centre. Refuse a lift from any of the smiling
unlicensed operators who offer you a lift. The bus running to the
centre is found right across a busy highway and getting there is
an adventure in itself seeing there are no signposts in the subway
leading there. Basically from the main hall duck down under the
sign saying Dworzec PKP, head down the stairs, turn right, follow
the corridor to its conclusion, turn right again - you’ll see two
stairwells leading to the surface. Take the left one and presto,
there’s your bus stop. Confused? Not half as much as we were.
Good work Warsaw. To get to Central Station take bus number
127, 130, 158 or 517. At night you’ll be needing and N35 or N85.
The journey takes approximately 15 minutes so buy a 3,40zł
ticket valid for 20 minutes. Remember to validate your ticket on
boarding. Q Ticket office open 05:30 - 22:00.
PolskiBus ul. Puławska 145 (Dworzec Autobusowy
Metro Wilanowska, s.14), Note
that the Warsaw-Gdańsk route leaves from Metro Młociny.
Ever y si ngl e st reet
i n Warsaw i s cl earl y
marked by a number
of well-positioned and
hi ghl y vi si bl e street
signs. It is almost impossible to go more than 100
metres in Warsaw without knowing what street you are
on. What’s more, the signs are almost always colour
coded: each area of the capital has its own colour. As
a visitor you are most likely to see blue signs (for the
south and south-central part of the city) and brown
(for the northern part of the city centre, and Old Town).
But there’s far more hel pful i nformati on on those
street signs than the mere street name, however. I f
you look closely, the vast majority of also include the
numbers of the building in the block to which they are
attached. What’s more, there will often be an arrow
showing whi ch way the numbers climb. As anyone
looking for ul. Marszalkowska 135 (or such like) will
know, Warsaw’s central boulevards are incredibly long,
and knowing which way to go makes li fe much, much
easier. Whoever it was who decided to invest in the
street signs (and they have been up for some time
now, certainly for more than a decade) we hope that
they became rich and famous.
Street Signs
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
the dollar has nearly halved while you will be getting 25-
40% less złoty for your euros and sterling than a couple of
years back. Having said that prices for food, drink, cultural
venues and transport still remain comparatively cheap
in contrast to Western Europe. A ticket to the theatre or
cinema will rarely cost more than 20zł while admission to
most museums costs around 5-10zł.
Central Post Office (UP Warszawa 1) A-3, ul.
Świętokrzyska 31/33, tel. (+48) 22 505 33 20, www. Q Open 24hrs.
Post Office (UP Warszawa 15) C-4, Pl. Trzech Krzyży
13, tel. (+48) 22 629 72 69,
QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
For over one thousand years Poland has been a bulwark of
Catholicism, fighting against the horrors of pagan invasions
and looking to Catholicism for a sense of social and national
unity. When Poland was partitioned in the 19th century, many
turned to the church for solace and during the communist
era, underground resistance meetings were surreptitiously
held in churches.
The deceased Polish-born Pope John Paul II remains a genu-
ine source of pride for all Poles, and is beloved in a way more
profound than cynics in the West can understand. Many Poles
genuinely believe that John Paul II single-handedly started
the overthrow of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
Small wonder then, that your average Pole takes Catholicism
very seriously. Those used to the more easy-going habits of
the West may find the Polish enthusiasm a bit unnerving at
first, particularly the solemn and opulent processions that
occur from time to time and the droves that flock to mass.
Generally speaking toilets in Poland come marked with a
circle for women, and a triangle for men. Although the habit
is gradually dying some restaurants and bars still charge
a nominal fee for use of their facilities - no matter how
much cash you’ve already spent in the establishment. This
is a practice also used in train stations and most public
2theloo A/B-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 54 (Warszawa Cen-
tralna Train Station),
Toilet C-4, ul. Krucza 51.
Toilet B-1, ul. Krzywe Koło 22/24.
Many Poles, particularly young people, have a healthy
command of the English language. Many are also
adept at other European languages with German being
the most commonly spoken. Older Poles will fiercely
contest that they have ’forgotten’ the Russian taught
to them at school but most will still have a reasonable
Mastering the Polish tongue can be a terrifying ordeal,
often resulting in personal degradation as shop
assistants laugh at your flustered attempts. That aside,
learning a few key phrases will smooth your time in
Kraków and may even win you friends and admirers.
On the downside, Polish is one of the most difficult
languages for native English speakers to learn. On the
upside, unlike in English, words in Polish are spelled
the way they are pronounced. This is a great help once
you know how to pronounce each letter/combination of
letters. While many letters represent the same sounds
as they do in English, below we have listed those
particular to Polish, followed by some basic words and
phrases. Powodzenia (good luck)!
Basic pronunciation:
’ą’ sounds like ’on’ in the French ’bon’
’ę’ sounds like ’en’ as in the French ’bien’
’ó’ is an open ’o’ sound like ’oo’ in ’boot’
’c’ like the ’ts’ in ’bits’’
’j’ like the ’y’ in ’yeah’
’w’ is pronounced like the English ’v’
’ł’ like the ’w’ in ’win’
’ń’ like the ’ny’ in ’canyon’
’cz’ and ’ć’ like the ’ch’ in ’beach’
’dz’ like the ’ds’ in ’beds’
’rz’ and ’ż’ like the ’su’ in ’treasure’
’sz’ and ’ś’ like the ’sh’ in ’ship’
’drz’ like the ’g’ in ’George’
’r’ is always rolled
Yes Tak (Tahk)
No Nie (Nyeh)
Hi/Bye (informal) Cześć (Cheshch)
Hello/Good day
Dzień dobry (Jen doh-bri)
Good evening
Dobry wieczór (Doh-bri vyeh-choor)
Good-bye Do widzenia (Doh veet-zen-ya)
Good Night Dobranoc (Doh-brah-noats)
Please Proszę (Prosheh)
Thank you Dziękuję (Jen-koo-yeh)
Excuse me/Sorry Przepraszam (Psheh-prasham)

My name is... Mam na imię... (Mam nah ee-myeh…)
I’m from England. Jestem z Anglii (Yehstem zanglee)
Do you speak
Czy mówisz po
(Che moo-veesh po
I don’t speak
Nie mówię po
(Nyeh moo-vyeh po
I don’t understand. Nie rozumiem. (Nyeh row-zoo-me-ehm.)
Two beers, please. Dwa piwa proszę. (Dvah peevah prosheh.)
Cheers! Na zdrowie! (Nah zdrovyeh!)
Where are the
Gdzie są toalety? (Gdjeh sawn toe-letih)
You are beauti ful. Jesteś piękna. (Yes-tesh pee-enk-nah.)
I love you. Kocham cię. (Ko-hahm chuh.)
Please take me
Proszę zabierz mnie
do domu.
(Prosheh za-byesh
mnyeh doh doh-moo.)
Call me! Zadzwoń do mnie! (Zads-dvoan doh
Airport Lotnisko (Lot-nees-ko)
Train station Dworzec PKP (Dvoar-jets Peh Kah Peh)
Bus station Dworzec PKS (Dvoar-jets Peh Kah
One ticket to… Jeden bilet do… (Yeh-den bee-let doh…)
Language Smarts
who do may well be treated to a trip to Warsaw’s premier
drunk tank (ul. Kolska 2/4), a chastening experience which
will set you back 250zł for an up to 24 hour stay. In return
for your cash expect a strip search, a set of blue pyjamas
and the company of a dozen mumbling vagrants. Those
resisting arrest may well find themselves strapped down
to a bed, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest-style. Refresh-
ment comes in the form of limitless coffee, though the mug
sometimes comes with a smell of urine for a reason. Credit
cards not accepted.
The other well-known ways tourists can cross cops is by
jaywalking. If you are from a country which has no (or doesn’t
respect) jaywalking laws, you’ll be surprised to see a crowd
of people standing obediently at a crossing waiting for the
lights to change. This peculiarity has extra effect if you are
aware of how little Poles respect the rules of the road in a
vehicle, where it often feels like a survival of the fittest. The
reason for the obedience of this particular rule is the fact
that the local city police (Straż Miejska) will quite freely give
you a 50-100zł fine for crossing a road at a place where no
crossing is marked or a 100zł fine when the ‘walk’ light is
red. And don’t think you are exempt by being a foreign visitor.
You are subject to the law too and your non-residency means
you will need to pay the fine on the spot.
Thinking of paying for your tram ticket with one of the
100zł notes in your pocket? Think again. Small shops,
newsagents, public toilets, even the occasional fast food
franchise and bar, will refuse to break a large note for you.
As annoying as coins can be, do carry small change for such
moments. Notes come in denominations of 200, 100, 50,
20 and 10 złotys, and there are 1, 2 and 5 złoty coins. One
złoty equals 100 groszy which come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and
50 groszy coins.
Currency can be exchanged at airports, hotels, banks and
anywhere with a sign proclaiming it to be a Kantor and you
will also be able to withdraw currency at a bankomat using
your ATM card. A Kantor will often provide better value than
the banks in your home country or the ATM although for
obvious reasons be very wary of Kantors in the airports,
bus stations and close to tourist sights. Shopping around
will reward you with the best rate. The Polish currency has
been exceedingly strong in recent years and the value of
Pri ces i n Poland are still fai rl y competi ti ve despi te
increases over the last couple of years particularly in
the prices of cigarettes. Here are some typical everyday
products and prices.
Market values as of January 24, 2013
based on €1 = 4.13zł
Product Price (zł) Price (€)
McDonald's Big Mac 9.20 zł € 2.23
Snickers 1.59 zł € 0.38
0.5ltr vodka (shop) 22.99 zł € 5.57
0.5ltr beer (shop) 2.59 zł € 0.63
0.5ltr beer (bar) 9.00 zł € 2.18
Loaf of white bread 2.79 zł € 0.68
20 Marlboros 12.60 zł € 3.05
1 ltr of unleaded petrol (98) 5.74 zł € 1.39
Local transport ticket (1 journey) 4.40 zł € 1.07
Market values
March 31, 2013 Easter Sunday
April 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 3 Constitution Day (May 3, 1791)
May 19, 2013 Pentecost Sunday
May 30, 2013 Corpus Christi
August 15 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also
Polish Army Day
November 1 All Saints’ Day
November 11 Independence Day (Nov 11, 1918)
December 25 First Day of Christmas
December 26 Second Day of Christmas
January 1, 2014 New Year’s Day
January 6, 2014 Three Kings
National Holidays
PLN US$ Euro Pound
3.10zł = $1 4.13zł = €1 4.91zł = £1
1 zł $0.32 € 0.24 £0.20
2 zł $0.65 € 0.48 £0.41
3 zł $0.97 € 0.73 £0.61
4 zł $1.29 € 0.97 £0.81
5 zł $1.61 € 1.21 £1.02
6 zł $1.94 € 1.45 £1.22
7 zł $2.26 € 1.69 £1.43
8 zł $2.58 € 1.94 £1.63
9 zł $2.90 € 2.18 £1.83
10 zł $3.23 € 2.42 £2.04
20 zł $6.45 € 4.84 £4.07
50 zł $16.13 € 12.11 £10.18
100 zł $32.26 € 24.21 £20.37
150 zł $48.39 € 36.32 £30.55
200 zł $64.52 € 48.43 £40.73
250 zł $80.65 € 60.53 £50.92
1 000 zł $322.58 € 242.13 £203.67
Quick Currency Convertor
Internet access is typically free and widely available in Poland,
with practically every café and restaurant offering wi-fi to
customers with laptops and smartphones. Getting on the
network often requires nothing more than a password, which
you can request of your favorite bartender or barista with a
simple, “Poproszę o hasło do internetu” If you don’t have
your own gadgets we offer a few Internet cafe options below.
Arena B-4, Pl. Defilad 1 (Metro Station Center), tel.
(+48) 22 620 80 32. Also at (F-4) Pl. Konstytucji 5. QOpen
07:00 - 24:00, Sun 09:00 - 24:00. 6zł/hour, 10zł/2 hours,
18zł/4 hours.
Cyber Cafe ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (in Courtyard by Marri-
ott), tel. (+48) 22 650 01 72, www.courtyardwarsawair- Poland’s best internet cafe. Seating sixty people
the Courtyard Cyber Cafe offers high-speed wireless access,
as well as a menu that puts most Warsaw cafes to shame.
20zł per hour. QOpen 08:00 - 23:00.
Law & Order
In general Warsaw is far safer than most Western cities, and
visitors are unlikely to face any problems. Petty crime does
exist, and travellers should be on guard against pickpockets
working tram and bus routes by the train station. If you’re
in a bar or a restaurant keep your wallet inside your trouser
pocket, not inside a jacket casually left lying around. Those
travelling by car are advised to use a guarded car park.
Avoid being ripped off by opportunistic taxi gits by using
clearly marked cabs, something to bear in mind around
the train station and airport. The officially sanctioned state
company MPT (tel. 22 19191) is possibly the best bet, and
their switchboard features English speaking operators. The
vagrants and pondlife who gather around the train station are
by in large harmless and easily ignored. Warsaw’s right bank
has traditionally enjoyed something of a no-go reputation,
though is now fast becoming ever more trendy.
Staying on the right side of the law is significantly easier for
tourists who accept that Polish beer and vodka are rocket fuel
and drink accordingly. If you’re determined to make an idiot of
yourself then make sure it’s not in front of the law. In recent
years visitors ranging from folks in Chewbacca costumes to
complete fools who’ve thought it’s perfectly acceptable to
drop trousers and urinate in a city centre fountain have tested
the patience of the local law enforcement. Their tolerance
threshold is now decidedly low so don’t push your luck. Those
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
15.03 Friday
Swan Lake
B- 4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1. Experience Pyotr
Tchaikovsky’s classic “Swan Lake” ballet performed by the
St. Petersburg’s Ballet along with the Ukrainian National
Symphonic Orchestra. Q Event starts at 19:30. Tickets
110-200zł. Available at
16.03 Saturday
B-4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1. In addition to performing
Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” the St. Petersburg’s Ballet
accompanied by the Ukrainian National Symphonic Orchestra
will also take on the popular holiday tale of the Nutcracker
during their visit to Warsaw. Q Event starts at 19:30. Tickets
110-200zł. Available at
05.02 Tuesday
A Spectacular Night of Queen
B- 4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1, Celebrating one of the most successful
rock bands in history, this show aspires to reproduce the
atmosphere of Queen’s original concerts while taking the
audience of a musical journey through their career. Performed
by The Bohemians (founded in London in 1996) accompanied
by a symphonic orchestra, this mega-concert is your chance
to hear all of Queen’s biggest hits performed bigger than ever.
It will ‘rock you’, or something. Q Concert starts at 20:00.
Tickets 60-170zł. Available at
10.02 Sunday
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10,
The mystical Irish group bring their ambient/folky take on misty
peat bogs and desolate wind swept coastlines to Warsaw.
Vocalist Maire Brennan, or Máire Ní Bhraonáin as the Irish
like to call her, still manages to send a shiver down the spine
and make grown men’s top lips quiver. Q Concert starts at
19:30. Tickets 121zł. Available at and Empik,
(B-3) ul. Złota 59 (Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00).
16.02 Saturday
Kult Unplugged
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10, Expect
the unexpected with one of Poland’s most loved and eccentric
bands. Led by the enigmatic Kazik, they manage to blend a
number of musical styles in a quirky and fun manner. This will
be a rare chance to see an acoustic based set by the band in
the capital. The last time they played an unplugged show being
a year ago at the Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz. Q Concert starts
at 18:00. Tickets 100-120zł. Available at and
Empik, (B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
19.02 Tuesday
Pepsi Rocks - Sebastian Riedel & Cree
B-4, Hard Rock Cafe, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. (+48)
22 222 07 00, Fashions and trends are
not for these guys. Hard driven powerhouse blues with a defini-
tive 60’s-70’s sound. Quite frankly, they’re pretty damn good at
it. Sebastian is the son of another great Polish muso, the late
Ryszard Riedel, frontman of legendary band Dżem. Q Concert
starts at 21:00. Tickets 26-34zł. Available at and
Empik, ul. Złota 59, B-3 (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
Multikino Złote Tarasy A-4, ul. Złota 59, tel. (+48)
22 201 16 10, Also on Al. Ken 60
(Ursynów), Wola Park, ul. Górczewska 124 (Wola), Centrum
Targówek, ul. Głębocka 15 (Targówek). Q Box office open
from 15 minutes before the first showtime to 15 minutes
after last showtime. Tickets 19-34zł.
Cultural Centres
History Meeting House (Dom Spotkań z Historią)
C-2, ul. Karowa 20, tel. (+48) 22 255 05 05, www.dsh. 10:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 20:00.
Closed Mon. Admission free.
Mazovia Region Centre of Culture and Arts
(Mazowieckie Centrum Kultury i Sztuki) A-3, ul.
Elektoralna 12, tel. (+48) 22 586 42 00, www.mckis. 08:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 16:00. Price
depending on event.
Ujazdowski Castle (Museum Of Modern Art/
CSW) (Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek
Ujazdowski) G-4, ul. Jazdów 2, tel. (+48) 22 628 64
08, 12:00 - 19:00, Fri 12:00 -
21:00. Closed Mon. Admission 12/6zł, Thu free.
Opera Stages
Great Theatre - National Opera (Teatr Wielki -
Opera Narodowa) B-2, Pl. Teatralny 1, tel. (+48) 22
826 50 19, office open 09:00
- 19:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 19:00. Tickets 25-145zł.
National Philharmonic (Filharmonia Narodowa)
B-3, ul. Sienkiewicza 10, tel. (+48) 22 551 71 28, office open 10:00 - 14:00,
15:00 - 19:00, Sun depending on the repertoire. Tickets
Theatre Stages
6th Floor B-4, PKiN, Pl. Defilad 1, tel. (+48) 22 656 72
22, office open 10:00 - 19:30,
Sat 12:00 - 19:30, Sun 13:00 - 19:30 and 1 hour before the
spectacle. Tickets 70-180zł.
National Theatre (Teatr Narodowy) B-2, Pl. Teat-
ralny 3, tel. (+48) 22 692 06 04,
Box office open 11:00 - 14:30, 15:00 - 19:00, Sun depending
on repertoire. Closed Mon. Tickets 40-90zł.
Och-Theatre ul. Grójecka 65 (Ochota), tel. (+48) 22
589 52 00, Q Box office open
from 12:00 until the start of the performance. Tickets
Sabat Theatre (Teatr Sabat) B-4, ul. Foksal 16, tel.
(+48) 22 826 23 55 ext. 20, Q
Box office open 10:00 - 18:00, Thu, Fri 10:00 - 20:00, Sat
12:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun. Tickets 90-240zł.
Square Theatre (Teatr Kwadrat) B- 3, ul .
Marszałkowska 138, tel. (+48) 22 826 23 89, www. office open 10:00 - 19:30, Mon
10:00 - 17:30, Sat, Sun 15:00 - 19:30. Tickets 30-95zł.
Stage On Wola (Scena na Woli im. Tadeusza
Łomnickiego) ul. Kasprzaka 22 (Wola), tel. (+48) 22
632 24 78, office open
12:00 - 19:00, or until show time. Tickets 20-70zł.
The Music Theatre ROMA (Teatr Muzyczny
ROMA) A- 4, ul. Nowogrodzka 49, tel. (+48) 22 628
89 98, office open 10:00 -
19:00, Sun 13:00 - 18:00, or until show time. Tickets
Art galleries
Klima Bocheńska’s Gallery (Galeria Klimy
Bocheńskiej) H-1, ul. Ząbkowska 27/31, tel. (+48)
601 51 17 13,
12:00 - 18:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00. Cl osed Mon, Sun.
Admission free.
Kordegarda B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 15/17,
tel. (+48) 22 421 01 25,
11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon.
Stairs Gallery (Galeria Schody) C-3, ul. Nowy Świat
39, tel. (+48) 22 828 89 43, www.galeriaschody.
pl.QOpen 13:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Admission free.
The Place of the Zachęta Project C- 3, ul.
Gałczyńskiego 3, tel. (+48) 22 826 01 36, www.zache- 12:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon. Admission free.
Zachęta National Gallery of Art (Zachęta Nar-
odowa Galeria Sztuki) B-3, Pl. Małachowskiego 3,
tel. (+48) 22 556 96 00,
12:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon. Admission 15/10zł, Thu free.
Femina A-2, Al. Solidarności 115, tel. (+48) 22 654
45 45, office open 09:30 - 21:15.
Tickets 16-27zł, Tue, Thu 15zł.
IMAX ul. Powsińska 31 (Sadyba), tel. (+48) 22 550
33 33, Q Box office open from 30
minutes before the first showtime to 15 minutes after last
showtime. Tickets 25-34zł.
Kino.Lab G- 4, Ujazdowski Castle (Centrum Sztuki
Współczesnej), ul. Jazdów 2, tel. (+48) 22 628 12 71
ext. 135, 7-14zł. Box office
open from 12:00 to 15 minutes after last show. Mon open
30 minutes before the showtime.
Warsaw Chamber Opera
(Warszawska Opera Kam-
eralna) A-1, Al. Solidarności
76b, tel. (+48) 22 831 22 40,
The Warsaw Chamber Opera
was founded in 1961 by Stefan
Sutkowski, who has served
as its Managing and Artistic
Director ever since. The com-
pany’s inaugural production,
performed on the 4th Septem-
ber 1961, was Pergolesi’s La
Serva Padrona. Since October
1986 the Opera has performed at its own theatre, a
listed building dating from 1775 whose audience con-
tributes to the acoustic sound created.
The repertoire of the Warsaw Chamber Opera spans a
wide variety of musical styles and genres: from medieval
mystery plays to the operas of the Baroque and Clas-
sical periods, 18th century pantomimes, the operas by
Rossini and Donizetti, as well as works by contemporary
The Warsaw Chamber Opera ensembles also give regular
concerts featuring chamber, oratorio and symphonic
music of various epochs. In 1984 the Warsaw Chamber
Opera established the Research and Documentation
Centre of Early Polish Music. It deals with the research,
publ i cati on, per formance and recordi ng of newl y-
discovered works by Polish composers.
The music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has long occu-
pied a prominent place in the company’s repertoire. The
Warsaw Chamber Opera is the only company in the world
to have Mozart’s entire operatic output in its permanent
repertoire and this unprecedented achievement has won
the Warsaw company-wide international recognition. In
addition to this the Warsaw Chamber Opera has also
organized the 4th Claudio Monteverdi Festival, The Cel-
ebrations to mark 400 Years of Opera as a Genre and An
Ode to Europe Festival. Q Box office open 09:00 - 19:00,
Sat, Sun depending on repertoire. Tickets 20-130zł.
09.02 Saturday - 10.02 Sunday
Weekend with Bach
B-2, Royal Castle, Pl. Zamkowy 4, tel. (+48) 22 831
22 40, Spend your weekend
with J.S. Bach as the Warsaw Chamber Orchestra orga-
nizes a series of performances around his compositions.
The orchestra will be conducted by Władysław Kłosiewicz
throughout the weekend. Q Concerts starts at 19:00.
Tickets 40-50zł. Available at Warsaw Chamber Opera
box office (Open 09:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun depending
on repertoire).
27.02 Wednesday
Master’s Recital: Władysław Kłosiewicz
B-1, Dominicans’ Monastery, ul. Freta 10, tel. (+48)
22 831 22 40, The Warsaw
Chamber Orchestra continues its Wednesdays with Do-
minicans series by hosting a solo recital with Władysław
Kłosiewicz today. Q Concert starts at 20:00. Ticket
prices were undecided at the moment.
Warsaw Chamber Opera
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
28.02 Thursday
Progresja Club, ul. Kaliskiego 15a, www.progresja.
com. I t’s been two years si nce Bri ti sh gl am rockers
Sweet vi si ted Pol and, so i t’s onl y fai r that they are
returni ng for two shows to make up for thei r absence.
Founded i n 1968, the band boasts popul ar hi ts l i ke
“Bal l room Bl i tz,” “Teenage Rampage” and “Fox on the
Run.” There’s been some personnel changes, but you’re
guaranteed a ni ght of seri ous rocki ng and nostal gi c
gl am spread across two eveni ngs. Q Concert starts at
20:00. Ti ckets 120-140zł. Avail abl e at www.ti cketpro.
pl and Empi k, (B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00,
Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
01.03 Friday
A- 4, Palladium Club, ul. Złota 9, www.palladium. Her career rocketed after wi nni ng the Pol i sh
versi on of the TV show I dol way back i n 2004. We sus-
pect that no matter where i n the worl d you are from,
you’l l have a fai r i dea of what to expect. Hugel y popul ar
wi th a stri ng of awards to her name, her l ast al bum,
Granda, went doubl e pl ati num before you coul d even
say “dzi eń dobry”. Q Concert starts at 19:00. Ti ckets
48-55zł. Avai l abl e at www.eventi, Empi k (B-3) ul.
Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00) and
before the concert.
04.03 Monday
B- 4, Congress Hall, Pl. Def ilad 1, www.makro- Come and enj oy al l -ti me musi cal
favouri tes i n a Gregori an st yl e. Establ i shed i n the
90s i n the UK, the i dea i s to combi ne choral musi c
wi th pop and rock. They have been copi ed, but never
bet tered - expect the concer t to sel l out, so get a
move on to the ti cket agenci es. Q Concer t star ts at
19: 00. Ti ckets 90-270zł. Avai l abl e at www. eventi m.
pl and Empi k, (B-3) ul . Zł ota 59, (Open 10: 00 - 22: 00,
Sun 10: 00 - 20: 00).
08.03 Friday
Acid Drinkers
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10, tel. (+48) 22 825
60 31, One of Poland’s top thrash
metal groups. They’ve been steadil y drinking their aci d
since 1986. Over this period they’ve managed to record
15 al bums and win a mul ti tude of awards, including a
presti gious ‘Frederyk’, is that a good thing for a bunch
of fi endishl y naughty boys? One way to find out, go see
‘em. Currently on tour to promote their latest slice of Hell;
La Part Du Diabl e. Q Concert starts at 18:30. Ti ckets
45-52zł. Availabl e at www.ti, Empik, ul. Złota
59, B-3 (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00) and
before the concert.
14.03 Thursday
A- 4, Pal l adi um Cl ub, ul . Zł ota 9. Pol i sh t hrash
metal band who are regul ars on the nati onal tour and
festi val ci rcui ts; i ncl udi ng the l egendar y Przystanek
Woodstock festi val . Future pl ans i ncl ude rel easi ng
an Unpl ugged al bum. I s that actual l y possi bl e wi th
thrash metal ? Q Concer t star ts at 20: 00. Ti ckets
42-47zł. Avai l abl e at www. eventi m. pl , Empi k, (B-3) ul .
Zł ota 59, (Open 10: 00 - 22: 00, Sun 10: 00 - 20: 00)
and before the concer t.
Despite its 5 century tradi-
ti on, Val enti ne’s Day onl y
really appeared in Poland in
the 90s. There was resis-
tance in some unromanti c
traditionalist corners against
what was seen as Western
commerci al i sm, but over
time it has gained popularity
and restaurants, hotels and
clubs have a wide range of
offers for the day. Here are a
select few for you to do some
wooing with.
10.02 Sunday
Bogusław Kaczyński presents: Carnival &
Valentine’s Day Gala
B-4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1,
This two-act spectable of operetta begins with well-known
songs such as The Csardas Princess, Countess Mariza,
The Bird Seller, and Merry Widow or The Gipsy Baron.
The second act will tackle hits from popular musicals of
more recent times such as Evita and My Fair Lady as
well as hits by Frank Sinatra and Jan Kiepura. Q Concert
starts at 17:00. Tickets 90-170zł. Available at Congress Hall
box office (Open 11:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 15:00).
14.02 Thursday
Cafe Bolero Night with Magda Navarrete
Syrena Theatre, ul. Litewska 3, www.teatrsyrena.
pl. Enjoy a Valentine’s Day populated with boleros and
flamenco music as you take a veritable journey to South
America and Spain. Latin rhythms will transport you to
pre-revolution Havana as Magda Navarrete presents
songs from her solo album IMAN. Q Concert starts at
19:00. Tickets 55zł. Available at and
theatre box office (Open 10:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 12:00
- 18:00 and 1 hour before event).
14.02 Thursday
Lady Pank
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10, www.stodola.
pl. Veterans of the Polish music scene play a special
Valentine’s Day concert in Stodoła, just around the corner
from where their played their first gig over 30 years ago.
A band which has mastered the fine art of writing Polish
rock anthems, every Warsaw pub band has at least a few
Lady Pank songs in their repertoire. Q Concert starts
at 19:00. Tickets 45-52zł. Available at www.ticketpro.
pl, Empik (B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun
10:00 - 20:00) and before concert.
14.02 Thursday
The Bootleg Beatles - “And I Love Her”
B- 4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1, www.stx-jam- The original show The Bootleg Beatles
from the UK arrives just in time for a night out with your
sweetheart. This tribute band is the oldest to perform the
Beatles repertoire and has played at Royal Albert Hall,
Wembley Arena and at the Glastonbury Festival and can
now add the Palace of Culture to their ever-growing list of
venues. Q Concert starts at 20:00. Tickets 60-250zł.
Available at and Empik, (B-3) ul. Złota
59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
Valentine's Day
02.10 Tuesday - 17.03 Sunday
Everything plays!
G-2, Copernicus Science
Cent r e, ul . Wybr z eż e
Kościuszkowskie 20, tel.
(+48) 22 596 41 00, www. This is the
first temporary interactive ex-
hibition in the Copernicus sci-
ence centre. Presenting 19 atypical musical instruments
on which various experiments can be made, come and
play with the sound microscope on which you hear objects
which normally don’t make sounds, like an ice-cream lolly
stick!? You can also try to create music by balancing your
body and, thanks to even more special electronical gizmos,
you can hear how would you sound as a robot. Sounds
great. Q Open 09:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 19:00.
Closed Mon. Last entrance 1 hour before closing. Admis-
sion 22/13-16zł, family ticket 57zł. (2adults+2children).
Use of the labs costs an additional 18/14zł.
16.11 Friday - 24.02 Sunday
Maurizio Cattelan - AMEN
G-4, Ujazdowski Castle, ul. Jazdów 2, www.csw. After one year of silence away from the art-world,
Maurizio Cattelan and his works are once again arous-
ing questions regarding life and death. This is the first
museum exhibition after his well-known and successful
Guggenheim retrospective. On display at the Centre
for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, is a selec-
tion of the artist’s most important works in which he
investigates the deepest areas of human life. Q Open
12:00 - 19:00, Fri 12:00 - 21:00. Closed Mon. Admission
12/6zł, Thu free.
23.02 Saturday - 12.05 Sunday
From Aida to The Bat
Poster Museum, ul. S. K. Potockiego 10/16
(Wilanów), tel. (+48) 22 842 48 48, www.postermu- This exhibition covers opera posters from the
years 1945-2012 and is the first to be comprised solely
of opera posters. With nearly 200 Polish and foreign
posters to pore over diehard opera fans will be in their
element. Q Open 10:00 - 16:00, Mon 12:00 - 16:00,
Wed 10:00 - 18:00. Last entrance 30 minutes before
closing. Admission 10/7zł, Mon free.
23.02 Saturday - 12.05 Sunday
The Great Theatre of the World
Poster Museum, ul. S. K. Potockiego 10/16
(Wilanów), tel. (+48) 22 842 48 48, www.poster- Theatre posters from 1945-2012 will be on
display that span the globe, with only a few being pulled
from Poland. The rest of the 250 posters are from around
the world and will intrigue those with an international
bent. Q Open 10:00 - 16:00, Mon 12:00 - 16:00, Wed
10:00 - 18:00. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing.
Admission 10/7zł, Mon free.
16.03 Saturday
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10,
Perfect for a miserable Polish Winter’s night! Michael Gira’s
depressing post-industrial experimental sextet trudge
over to Poland to play shows in Warsaw and Kraków. See
i f you can still get your greedy mitts on a copy of their last
album, ‘We Rose from Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head’,
limited to 1000 copies with hand printed covers and signed
by Mr. Gira himsel f. Q Concert starts at 19:00. Tickets
100-110zł. Available at, Empik (B-3) ul.
Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00) and
before concert.
16.03 Saturday
The Darkness
A- 4, Palladium Club, ul. Złota 9, www.go- ahead.
pl. Do you Bel i eve i n a Thi ng Cal l ed Love, or maybe
j ust l ove the song? Bri ti sh gl am rockers The Dark-
ness burst onto the scene i n 2003 wi th thei r al bum
Permission to Land and l ead si nger Justi n Hawki ns
gl ammed the pants of f pretty much ever yone wi th hi s
‘70s and ‘80s-era styl e. They’ ve now got three al bums
under thei r bel t, wi th toni ght’s show i n suppor t of the
l atest, Let Them Eat Cake. Q Concer t star ts at
20: 00. Ti ckets 105-120zł. Avai l abl e at www.ti cketpro.
pl and Empi k (B-3) ul . Złota 59, (Open 10: 00 - 22: 00,
Sun 10: 00 - 20: 00).
17.03 Sunday
An Evening with Chris Botti
B- 4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1,
Perhaps the world’s most popular smooth jazz trumpeter,
Chris Botti has been nominated for numerous Grammy
awards and had three albums hit number 1 on the Billboard
jazz albums chart. Throughout his career he’s collaborated
with Sting, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Diana Krall, Rod
Stewart and countless others, while Andrea Bocelli, Mark
Knopfler and Vince Gill are all featured on his solo album
Impressions released earlier this year. Other accolades
include being named one of People magazine’s ‘50 Most
Beauti ful People in the World’ back in 2004, when appar-
ently smooth jazz was considered sexy. Nice job, Chris. Q
Concert starts at 20:00. Tickets 150-250zł. Available at and Empik, (B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00
- 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
21.03 Thursday
Kazik Na Żywo
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10,
Formed in Warsaw in 1991, this well-known Polish ‘rapcore’
and rock band is back to ramp up the crowds of Stodoła
Club. Q Concert starts at 19:00. Tickets 55zł. Available at and Empik, (B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00
- 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
22.03 Friday
F- 5, Stodoł a Cl ub, ul . Bator ego 10, www. go- Exampl e, the char t stormi ng London based
pop, rap, dance wi zard (and par t-ti me stand-up come-
di an) pays hi s fi rst vi si t to the ci ty. Currentl y touti ng hi s
new al bum, The Evol uti on of Man, so expect to have
tracks l i ke ‘Cl ose Enemi es’ and ‘Say Nothi ng’ pumped
di rectl y i nto your l ughol es LI VE! Q Concer t star ts at
21: 00. Ti ckets 69-79zł. Avai l abl e at www.ti cketpro.
pl and Empi k, (B-3) ul . Złota 59 (Open 09: 00 - 22: 00,
Sun 09: 00 - 21: 00).
Warsaw In Your Pocket
25.03 Monday
Vaya Con Dios
B-4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1,
pl. Belgian band Vaya Con Dios is losing their lead singer, Dani
Klein, who is ending her career following this concert tour.
Polish fans have a chance to say goodbye and enjoy one last
performance of popular songs like “What’s a Woman,” “Puerto
Rico,” and “Nah Neh Nah.” If you caught them in 1996 at the
Sopot Festival consider tonight’s show the perfect bookend
performance to that experience. Q Concerts starts at 20:00.
Tickets 110-270zł. Available at and Empik,
(B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
26.03 Tuesday
Hydrozagadka Club, ul. 11 Listopada 22 (Praga), www. Hardcore Norwegian punk/metal band bring their
songs based on Norse and Viking mythology to the fabulously
downtrodden Hydrozagadka club in the Praga district of the city.
Their track ‘Mjød’ featured in the cult Norwegian horror/fantasy
flick, The Troll Hunter. Q Concert starts at 20:00. Tickets 55-
65zł. Available at, Empik, (B-3) ul. Złota 59,
(Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00) and before concert.
26.03 Tuesday
Mick Hucknall sings American Soul
B-4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1,
Hucknall finally hung up his floppy flat cap and said goodbye
to Simply Red in December 2010, I can still remember the
fireworks in our back garden, boom boom! Well, now he’s
back with his solo tour presenting material from his solo
album “American Soul”, splendid. Q Concert starts at 18:00.
Tickets 209-275zł. Available at and Empik,
ul. Złota 59, B-3 (Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00).
27.03 Wednesday
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10. Thirty years of bone
crushing racket and German noisemeisters Helloween are still
drilling holes into people’s heads. This gig is part of the aptly
named ‘Hellish Rock: Part II’ tour. Support comes from power
metal band Gammaray, fronted by former Helloween guitar-
ist and songwriter Kai Hansen. Q Concert starts at 20:00.
Tickets 130-150zł. Available at and Empik,
(B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00).
16.04 Tuesday
Marina and the Diamonds
F-5, Stodoła, ul. Batorego 10, If the
name rings a bell, it’s because this outfit have already been
busy this year supporting Coldplay. Now they are back to play
songs from their two albums “The Family Jewels” and “Electra
Heart”. The music is described as a mix of indie pop, new
wave, synthpop and electronic. Q Concert starts at 18:00.
Tickets 60zł. Available at and Empik, ul.
Złota 59, B-3 (Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00).
16.02 Saturday
Rocket Festival
H-4, Torwar, ul. Łazienkowska 6a,
The Rocket Festival, a rock music festival in its first year
of operation, will include performances by Coma, Hey, Lux-
torpeda, Happysad, Łąki Łan, Chemia and Rust. Q Event
starts at 15:00. Tickets 75-89zł. Available at www.ticketpro.
pl and Empik, (B-3) ul. Złota 59, (Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun
10:00 - 20:00).
For the Kids
05.02 Tuesday - 06.02 Wednesday
Disney on Ice
Torwar, ul. Łazienkowsa 6A. The latest spectacle with Dis-
ney characters performing on ice has the theme of Christmas
from various parts of the world, presented by 50 modern and
classical Disney characters. their previous show Princesses
and Heroes was a huge success in Poland, get your tickets
quick! Q Tickets 60-150zł. Available at and
Empik, ul. Złota 59 (Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00).
Misc. Events
11.02 Monday
33rd International Bill Haley’s Rock’n’Roll
F-5, Stodoła Club, ul. Batorego 10,
Rock and roll legend Bill Haley, writer of songs like “Rock
Around the Clock” and “Shake, Rattle and Roll” died on
February 9, 1981 in the United States, and just 15 days
after his death, on February 24, 1981, members of Stodoła
Club decided to organize the first rock and roll contest in his
name. Since then the contest has taken place every year and
has become a Stodoła Club tradition. The contest includes
60 minutes of dancing, and only one couple will be crowned
the winner of Bill Haley’s Cup. Elimination starts at 15:00, so
dust off your dancing shoes and head over. Q Event starts
at 19:00. Tickets 33-38zł. Available at
07.03 Thursday
The Gypsy Baron
B-4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1. This famous operetta by Jo-
hann Strauss which was originally performed in Vienna in 1885
arrives in Warsaw and will be interpreted by the Silesian Opera
directed by Krzysztof Dziewięcki. As one of the most popular
works by Strauss the operetta features extravagant costumes,
beautiful scenery, a charming array of music and dramatic bal-
let scenes to create a cornucopia of artistic energy. Q Event
starts at 19:00. Tickets 30-120zł. Available at
07.02 Thursday
Our Class
Theatre On Wola, ul. Kasprzaka 22 (Wola), tel. (+48)
22 632 24 78, Highly thought of all
over Europe, “Our Class” by Tadeusz Słobodzianek is the first
Polish drama to win the “ Nike” literary award. Dealing with
the growing pains of a group of classmates who dream of
becoming a pilot, a doctor or a film star. Come and see how
their lives are affected by the events of the 20th century.
This performance is in Polish with English supertitles. Q
Events start at 19:00. Tickets 50/70zł. Available at Theatre
On Wola’s box office (12:00 - 19:00) and before the event.
26.02 Tuesday
Musical Starnights
B-4, Congress Hall, Pl. Defilad 1. For the first time in PL and for
one evening only, the great musicians of London’s West End will
perform the greatest and most popular hits from the city’s stage
musicals, as arranged by Peter Moss - the well-known director
and composer currently in the employ of BBC. The repertoire
will include well-known songs from Cats, Phantom of the Opera,
West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret,
Hairspray, Mamma Mia, My Fair Lady and many more. Q Concert
starts at 20:00. Tickets 60-170zł. Available at
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Cream of the crop
Hotel Bri stol War saw C- 2, ul . Krakowski e
Przedmieście 42/44, tel. (+48) 22 551 10 00, www. Breathe in history by booking a
night in Warsaw’s most famous hotel. The plaque in the
marble clad lobby lists dozens of stars and royalty who have
chosen to lodge here, and to countdown the facilities on offer
would require an hour of your time. The rooms are dressed
in an understated neutral palette while the public areas
are still heaped with elegance and plenty of chandeliers.
But for all the five star perks and trimmings our favourite
touch is the courtyard garden; an oasis of luxury perfect for
evening drinks. The hotel’s floor by floor renovations have
finally been completed, so you’ll be staying in fully refreshed
digs that now include a wine bar to boot. Q206 rooms (168
singles, 168 doubles, 37 apartments, 1 Paderewski Suite).
Hyatt Regency Warsaw G-5, ul. Belwederska 23,
tel. (+48) 22 558 12 34,
com. Situated right on the doorstep of Łazienki Park, the
Hyatt not only has all the five star trimmings, but the big-
gest hotel swimming pool in Warsaw. By hotel standards
the rooms are enormous, and come with easy-on-the-eye
cream colours and huge showerheads designed for that
mock rain experi ence. Q250 rooms (90 si ngl es, 132
doubles, 10 suites, 2 Diplomatic Suites, 1 Presidential Suite).
InterContinental A-4, ul. Emili Plater 49, tel. (+48) 22
328 88 88, A beau-
tiful three-legged structure, the Warsaw InterContinental is
nothing short of an architectural marvel. Accommodation
fits the setting, with spacious rooms using pleasant colour
combinations and including every facility one would expect.
Setting it apart from the competition is a fitness centre
and swimming pool on the 43rd floor, and huge residential
suites for long-term guests. Q414 rooms (336 singles, 336
doubles, 78 apartments, 1 Presidential Suite). PTHA
Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw B-1, ul.
Kościelna 12, tel. (+48) 22 531 60 00, www.mamaison.
com/leregina. Rated by many as the most stylish hotel in
Warsaw, the Regina is the bottom line in elegance and comes
set behind a row of pastel coloured colonnades in Warsaw’s
New Town area. No expense has been spared in creating this
luxury retreat, with bleached oak and marble mocha used for
flooring, and restored frescoes featuring in many of the rooms.
A monastic quiet prevails throughout this courtyard centred
hotel, with interiors featuring a soothing combo of whites,
creams and caramel colours. Q61 rooms (58 singles, 58
doubles, 1 Penthouse, 1 Le Regina Suite, 1 Presidential Suite).
Marriott B- 4, Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel. (+48)
22 630 63 06, A hotel with
real pedigree, the Warsaw Marriott has everything from
Warsaw’s classiest doorman outside to award winning
restaurants inside. The accommodation has been home to
a long line of visiting nabobs, including President Obama. An
extensive program of renovation has recently seen all the
rooms upgraded and the beds are so comfortable you may
not wish to leave them. Little details include lemon shampoo
in the bathrooms, mini-bars complete with pipes of Pringles
and views that stretch right across the city. Q518 rooms
(423 singles, 423 doubles, 31 suites, 60 apartments, 2
Vice Presidential Suite , 1 Presidential Suite). PTHA
Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel A-3, ul. Grzybowska
24, tel. (+48) 22 321 88 88,
hotel-warsaw. An excellent hotel with top-drawer facilities
and rooms themed on Italian, Scandinavian and maritime
styles. All come with dataports, free Wi-fi, three telephone
lines, safes and pay-TV, and there’s also state-of-the-art
conference, dining and fi tness facili ti es. Q311 rooms
(284 singles, 284 doubles, 26 apartments, 1 Presidential
Apar tment). PTHAR6UFGKDCwW
Rialto F- 4, ul. Wilcza 73, tel. (+48) 22 584 87 00, Relive the days of Lempicka and Lindbergh
inside Poland’s original boutique hotel, a stunning venue
decorated exclusively in art deco style. Period furnishings
have been plucked from the auction houses and antique
stores of Europe, and all the individually designed rooms
come with Italian linen, DVD players and a host of luxurious
extras. I f it’s available then book into lucky number 13, a
colonial pearl which Hercule Poirot would have loved. He
would have thought highly of the excellent in-house restau-
rant, too, which has a special menu that offers the cuisine
of pre-war Warsaw for added authenticity. Q44 rooms (6
singles, 27 doubles, 11 apartments). PTHARUF
GKDW hhhhh
Sheraton Warsaw Hotel C- 4, ul. Prusa 2, tel. (+48)
22 450 61 00, It’s all a bit Dynasty
in the Warsaw Sheraton, with lots of marble and gold plate
extras, as well as a selection of some of Warsaw’s best
eateries on the ground floor. Rooms are of generous size,
though to really feel like king consider upgrading to execu-
tive, where perks include access to a great lounge featur-
ing complimentary snacks and beverages. Q350 rooms
(326 singles, 326 doubles, 18 suites, 5 apartments, 1
Presidential Suite). PTHAR6UFLGKDW
Sofitel Warsaw Victoria B-3, ul. Królewska 11, tel.
(+48) 22 657 80 11,
For years the Sofitel was in very real danger of stagnation.
Now this revamped concrete block finds itself at the heart
of the action with revitalised Krakowskie Przedmieście on
one side, and Saski Park on the other. And, right in front,
Sir Norman Foster’s Metropolitan building, complete with
its glass cased offices and designer boutiques. So what of
the Sofitel itself? Rooms are dapper enough, fully equipped
to deal with the steep demands of the five star traveller.
Ask for a business class room if you require an additional
study with fax and copy facilities. Q343 rooms (160 singles,
170 doubles, 52 apartments, 1 Presidential Suite). PO
The Westin Warsaw Hotel A-3, Al. Jana Pawła II
21, tel. (+48) 22 450 80 00, A
top bracket sanctuary situated amid the skyscrapers of
Warsaw’s business district. The lobby buzzes at all hours
and a glass lift whisks guests to rooms decorated in warms
tones and ultra-modern fittings. Each comes replete with
dressing gowns and slippers, in-room movies and mini-bars
that will take a considerable effort to clear. Splash out on the
executive floor for access to a top floor lounge that features
gourmet finger snacks and champagne on ice. Q361 rooms
(345 singles, 345 doubles, 15 suites, 1 Presidential Suite).
Warsaw i s a busi -
ness ci ty fi rst and
foremost, and oc-
cupancy rates reflect
that. Prices dip the
moment the cl ock
hits Friday, 5pm, and
you’ll find some great
discounts available
i f you hunt around
online. A good place
to start is at poland.
i nyourpocket. com
where our Hotel Calculator scours booking engines for
the best rates based on your criteria (you can thank us
later). The Warsaw hotel market reflects the city’s im-
age as the corporate briefcase of Eastern Europe and
comes well equipped with five star offerings as well as
a new breed of options for thri fty travellers. Warsaw
now has a group of Golden Keys concierges and their
tips for the coming months can be found in our Ask the
Concierge box.
Here is a list of recommendations depending on what
you are looking for.
Be King of the Castle by booking into Castle Inn, where
rooms custom designed by local artists offer a uniquely
modern angle to the Old Town setting. For something
more upmarket check into the Polonia Palace, a re-
stored art nouveau building bang in the centre. Or why
not see what it’s like to be a (wealthy) local, and rent out
an apartment - we vouch for Residence St Andrews,
class apartments in an A1 location.
Camera Hostel is ideal if you’re looking to meet up with
random travelers from around the globe, while newcomer
Moon Hostel is a little more upscale (flatscreens in the
rooms) and a little less backpackeresque. If you prefer to
party with the student set Fest Hostel is located right
in the core of the University district.
I f you’re touring in numbers then go for a name brand,
all of which tend to drop their rates at weekends. I f
you want to be central and close to the action then try
The Golden Tulip, Radisson Blu and Campanile. I f
quick access to the airport is an essential requirement
then the new Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport
has you covered.
MaMaison Le Regina is the perfect honeymoon ex-
perience, and right in the middle of romantic new town.
Alternatively, request the rose room at the Sleepwell
Apartments and find floor-to-ceiling flowers accenting
your bed.
The city has seen a number of new hotels in recent
years and while we can vouch for all the major hotels,
it might be worth taking a look at the price comparison
service hotelcalculator on the hotel pages of poland.
Lodgings at a glance
Palm Sunday (24/03/2013) marks the official begin-
ning of Poland’s Easter festivities – perhaps the country’s
most sacred holiday. Leading up to the season you’ll see
decorative handmade palms for sale all over Kraków’s
market square. These traditional decorations made
from a variety of dried flowers and plants are crafted in
villages all over Poland. Palms are taken to church on
Sunday to be blessed before decorating homes for the
duration of the season.
As a deepl y Catholi c country, Poland takes i ts Eas-
ter cel ebrati ons seri ousl y; throughout the peri od,
the vi si ti ng forei gner can expect most shops and
many bars and restaurants to be ei ther empty or
cl osed beginning on Good Friday (29/03/2013).
A tradi tional day of abstinence, duti full y observing
Catholi cs visi t church to attend stations of the cross
– a seri es of prayers foll owing Jesus Christ’s route
to his cruci fi xion.
On Easter Satur day
(30/03/2013) Pol es,
typi cal l y chi l dren, bri ng
bri ghtl y decorated bas-
kets of food to church
to have them bl essed.
These baskets tradition-
al l y contai n a pi ece of
sausage, bread, egg, mazurek cake (a traditional Easter
cake), some salt, some horseradish and a symbolic ram
made from dough. In addition ‘pisanki’ are included -
painted boiled eggs which have been prepared in the
lead-up to Easter by the whole family. Each of these
components of the basket has a symbolic meaning.
The eggs and meat symbolise new li fe, fertility and
health, the salt protects against bad spirits and helps
you foll ow the ri ght path, the bread symbolise the
body of Christ and by this future prosperity in terms of
always having food to feed yoursel f, the horseradish
represents strength and physical health and the cake
represents skills and talents needed for the coming
year. Rezurekcja (Resurrection), a traditional mass with
procession, is held Saturday night or Easter morning
depending on parish tradition.
On Easter Sunday (31/03/2013), families gather
together to celebrate with an Easter breakfast of żurek
(Polish rye soup), bread, eggs, sausage, horseradish and
poppy seed cakes. Each person places a small piece
of the blessed food on their plate before exchanging
wishes with other members of the family. The symbolic
dough ram is placed on the table to symbolise the resur-
rection of Christ.
Things take a more light-hearted twist on Easter Mon-
day (01/04/2013). Known as Śmingus Dyngus the
day is dominated by public water fights and everyone
is given carte blanche to drench anyone they see with
water. You, as a foreigner, are not exempt from this
practise, so move fast i f you see someone armed with
a water pistol or bucket and a grin. Although it’s never
pleasant to have a jug of water thrown over your head,
this is an improvement from the past when young
peopl e were beaten wi th sticks from Palm Sunday
trees – explained away as bringing luck and strength
for the year ahead.
A Polish Easter
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
BEST WESTERN Hotel Felix ul. Omulewska 24
(Praga Południe), tel. (+48) 22 210 70 00, www. Located over on the east side of the river 6km
from the city centre, the Best Western falls comfortably
into the Polish business/conference class of hotels. Having
received a complete makeover and refurb, what you now
have is effectively a very comfortable, brand new hotel at
extremely competitive prices. Handy if you’re planning on
spending your time in the fashionable adjacent Praga district.
Q227 rooms (96 singles, 120 doubles, 5 triples, 3 suites).
Boutique Bed & Breakfast C-4, ul. Smolna 14/6,
tel. (+48) 22 829 48 01, Quiet
and cobbled, Smolna is not a typical city centre street, and
neither is this your typical set of apartments. Apartments
suit all budgets, though the Queen - with a large living space
- is well worth the extra outlay. Accommodation has been
designed to evoke a real atmosphere of home-away-from-
home and features lots of flowers, natural wood and personal
touches courtesy of Jarek, your host. Q21 rooms (3 singles,
16 doubles, 2 apartments). TAGW
Campanile E-3, ul. Towarowa 2, tel. (+48) 22 582 72
00, Decorated with chequered
patterns and green and yellow colour schemes the Campa-
nile accommodation includes satellite TV and pristine bath-
rooms. High standards and a central location. Q194 rooms
(194 singles, 194 doubles). PTHA6UGKW hh
Castle Inn B-2, ul. Świętojańska 2 (entrance from Pl.
Zamkowy), tel. (+48) 22 425 01 00, www.castleinn.
pl. When students grow up, grow rich and can no longer
stand hostels, they stay in places like this. A dream of a
hotel at the centre of Old Town you can expect big rooms,
all with individual decor - some classy, some kitsch, all good
fun - and - wait for it - velvet doors. Best of all though are
the rooms which have the massive (and we mean massive)
bathrooms. We dare you to find bigger bathrooms than those
on offer here in any other hotel in Warsaw. Much like their
clientele the owners of this place have also graduated up
from hostels (they run the Oki-Doki). If this is what becomes of
hostels when they grow up, bring it on. Q22 rooms (3 singles,
10 doubles, 1 triple, 8 apartments). TYHA6GW
Golden Tulip Warsaw Centre E-3, ul. Towarowa 2,
tel. (+48) 22 582 75 00, www.goldentulipwarsawcen- A very favourable price to quality trade-off here,
with plenty of room, heavenly beds and a warm welcome all
part of the deal. However, our favourite detail is the breakfast,
clearly one of the best in the city. What a spread! A hotel with
big ideas that is rightfully putting its sights on getting a fourth
star very soon. Q144 rooms (144 singles, 144 doubles).
Ibis Stare Miasto A-1, ul. Muranowska 2, tel. (+48)
22 310 10 00, More of the same
from Ibis: international standards at competitive prices. Best
of all, its location ten minutes from the Old Town means
that your immediate choice is no longer limited to spending
suitcases of cash in the Bristol. Q333 rooms (333 singles,
333 doubles). PTHA6UGKW hh
Ibis Warszawa Centrum D-2, Al. Solidarności 165,
tel. (+48) 22 520 30 00, Reliable
international standards, sensibly priced. Rooms come armed
with all expected mod-cons. Q189 rooms (189 singles, 189
doubles). PTHA6UGKW hh
Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre E-3,
ul. Grzybowska 63, tel. (+48) 22 356 55 55, www. Although only open since 2007 the Hilton
already feels like an established big shot on Warsaw’s four
star circuit. And it can’t be denied, there’s a hefty dose of
wow factor to swallow - from a breathtaking glass lobby to
the best (and biggest) conference facilities in the city. But it’s
not just about business. The hotel touts a gorgeous 25 metre
pool, while the top floor executive lounge provides diversions
by way of DVDs, snacks, computer games and private check
in. As for the rooms, they’re just what you’d expect from
a brand like Hilton. Accommodation comes with a stylish
modern look, walk-in showers and flat screen televisions.
Particularly impressive are the corner suites, complete with
floor-to-ceiling views of downtown Warsaw. Q314 rooms (303
singles, 303 doubles, 10 apartments, 1 Presidential Suite).
Mercure Warszawa Centrum A-4, ul. Złota 48/54,
tel. (+48) 22 697 39 99, This
newly-christened Mercure Warszawa Centrum is in a prime
location hemmed in by the Palace of Culture and Złote Tarasy
shopping centre. Find immaculate facilities throughout, and
renovations taking place during the early part of the year that
may take some floors out of service for a time. The place
might look small and squat compared to its neighbours but
this hotel is deceptively large, with a quick tour revealing
designer boutiques, fitness facilities, restaurant Symfonia
and a beauty parlour. Q338 rooms (54 singles, 274 doubles,
10 suites). PTHA6UFLGKDW hhhh
Novotel Warszawa Centrum B-4, ul. Marszałkowska
94/98, tel. (+48) 22 596 00 00, www.accorhotels.
com. A sleek silver skyscraper with grandstand views of the
Warsaw skyline one of the big pluses. Subject of a thorough
overhaul the Novotel Centrum gets points for both location
and size, meaning it’s not rare to find it overrun with tour
groups and conferences. Upstairs find revamped rooms
offering all the four star extras, including “Executive” rooms
(with iPod docking stations) and even studio and apartment
options. Q733 rooms (50 singles, 661 doubles, 12 suites, 10
apartments). PTHA6UFLGKDW hhhh
Polonia Palace Hotel B-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 45, tel.
(+48) 22 318 28 00, Originally
built in 1913 the Polonia Palace has seen it all, from a victory
banquet hosted by Eisenhower to the Miss World girls back in
2006. The exterior has benefited from a full facelift, and now
dazzles amid its soot-clad neighbours. Slidey doors open onto
a grand marble lobby, while upstairs amply portioned rooms
reveal modern fittings among ‘made-to-look-old’ furniture. New
32” and 40” LED TVs and hotel-wide Wi-Fi extend the mod-
ern upgrades. Pride of place goes to the apartment, whose
defining feature is a raised lounge area with an oval-shaped
window. Q206 rooms (198 singles, 198 doubles, 7 suites, 1
apartment). PTHAR6UFGKDwW hhhh
Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel E- 3, Pl. Zawiszy
1, tel. (+48) 22 579 10 00,
sobieski-warsaw. The façade has a garish rainbow-colored
paint job, but fortunately this newest addition to the Radis-
son Blu chain has a much more subtle interior featuring a
marble lobby, big rooms and fitness facilities. Rooms were
recently refurbished and are now sparklingly modern. And
we applaud any changes that mean this hotel isn’t going to
charge guests for Internet use anymore. Q435 rooms (60
singles, 328 doubles, 40 apartments, 1 Presidential Suite).
Stayi ng i n Warsaw duri ng the wi nter
doesn’t mean that you’ll have nothing to
do. Did you know that you can even go
skiing at Szczeslewice Park? There is a great hill with
ski-lift where you can practice your skiing with all your
family and you can also rent equipment.
Your kids will be happy if you take them on 5th, 6th or
7th of February to TORWAR for the Disney On Ice show.
You can also go together for a pleasant walk to the Royal
Lazienki Gardens to feed the squirrels – there are dozens
of them there waiting for peanuts.
Fans of musi c will also find something interesting
– on 10th February l egendary CLANNAD wi l l pl ay
at Stodola cl ub, on 14th February GBH – l egends
of Bri tish punk will play at Remont club and on 17th
March CHRIS BOTTI i nvi tes you for an eveni ng at
Sala Kongresowa.
If you love ballet you cannot miss the shows by the Saint
Petersburg Ballet – on 15th March they will perform
“Swan Lake” and on 16th March “Nutcracker” at the
Sala Kongresowa.
On 14th February, St Valentine’s day, take the per-
son you l ove for a romanti c per formance of THE
BOOTLEG BEATLES “And I Love Her” at the Sal a
Kongresowa. Then after the show have a glass of
wine at ADVINTURE WINE BAR – the new winery at
the newly renovated HOTEL BRISTOL, WARSAW – a
Luxury Collection Hotel. Please come, have a glass
of vine and feel the luxury.
Do you want to dance? Do you like to dance? If so try
why not enter the XXXIII World Bill Halley Rock and Roll
competition at Stodola Club on 11th February. It’s only
1 hour of dance and you can become the owner of a
great prize.
Of course there`s much more to see and experience in
Warsaw and you will find your hotel Concierge delighted
to help you to make the most of this remarkable city.
Ensuring you enjoy the spirit of Warsaw and plan to come
back is precisely what we hope for.
Pawel Bialas
Head Concierge
Hotel Bristol, Warsaw. A Luxury Collection Hotel
Ask your Concierge
in Warsaw
Close to
the Galeria Mokotów and
Galeria Ursynów shopping
malls, Sïuĝewiec horse
racing track and Mokotów
Business Park
tel.: + 48 22 207 90 00
Hostel with

ood rates
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Maria D-1, Al. Jana Pawła II 71, tel. (+48) 22 838 40
62, A small, family run hotel offering
moderate prices and prim rooms featuring random floral
designs. Q24 rooms (21 singles, 16 doubles, 3 apartments).
MDM F-4, Pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. (+48) 22 339 16 00, Occupying a spot at the top of
Marszałkowska most rooms in the MDM feature grandstand
views of Warsaw’s finest piece of socialist realism: pl. Kon-
stytucji. Accommodation comes with plum coloured carpets
and predictable three star comfort. Q134 rooms (21 singles,
108 doubles, 5 suites). THA6UGKW hhh
Metropol F-3, ul. Marszałkowska 99a, tel. (+48)
22 325 31 00, For many
years this hotel acted as a reminder of what Warsaw Cold
War hotels used to look like, the difference to modern day
standards made all the starker by the re-construction and
re-modelling of neighbouring hotels including the Metropol’s
sister hotel Polonia Palace. Those days are now past and the
hotel has been scrubbed and rooms bought up to a decent
standard. For price/location this is now one of the city’s bet-
ter options for those on a budget. Q191 rooms (180 singles,
180 doubles, 11 suites). PTAR6UGKW hhh
Sleepwell Apartments C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 62, tel.
(+48) 600 30 07 49, Sitting
above Nowy Świat, Warsaw’s swankiest tourist stroll, Sleepwell
has one of the best locations in the city; in one direction are the
clubs of Foksal street, and in the other the stunning Old Town.
Inside the nine rooms all have home theatres, mini-fridges and
giant LCD televisions, but each one is decorated in a unique and
sometimes jarring style. One room features a murderous manga
assassin painted on the wall, one room has a glittery carpet, and
another has large fake roses romantically climbing the ceiling.
Reception is in a separate building so guests must call ahead
for initial access, and no common space means breakfast is
not included (though a discount is available at Café Vincent
downstairs). Q9 rooms (9 singles, 9 doubles). A6GW
Ibis Budget Warszawa Centrum H-3, ul. Zagórna 1,
tel. (+48) 22 745 36 60, A super
addition to Warsaw’s budget bracket, this hotel is in the midst
of a brand shift so you may find yourself checking into an Etap
or, if the transition is complete, an Ibis hotel. Either way it’s a
winning formula here: bright, modern rooms inside a sparkling
white building in the quiet Powiśle district. The rooms come
with a simple design but your cash gets you all the facilities
the modern traveller requires: wireless net access, en-suite
bathrooms and cable television. Q176 rooms (176 singles,
176 doubles, 14 triples). PA6UGW h
Noclegi Okęcie Al. Krakowska 236 (Włochy), tel. (+48)
696 07 00 40, Magnolia, one of
Noclegi Okęcie’s three accommodations coupled near the airport
(the neighbouring two buildings, Pod Lipami and U Jakuba are set
up hostel-style) has newly remodelled single and double en-suite
modern rooms that will delight budget travelers: free Wi-fi, an
outdoor space for lounging, immaculate cleanliness and enough
distance from the road to make sleeping a breeze. Breakfast isn’t
included, but the hotel’s nearby restaurant U Jakuba (Al. Kra-
kowska 236) has reasonably priced Polish fare. Q46 rooms (25
singles, 26 doubles, 8 triples, 7 quads). PHARGKW
Premiere Classe E-3, ul. Towarowa 2 (entrance from
ul. Platynowa), tel. (+48) 22 624 08 00, www.premi- One of the best budget options in the city,
and as such often fully booked. Basic, modern rooms come
equipped with private bathrooms and television, and the
location is just a tram stop from the train station. Q126
rooms (126 singles, 126 doubles). PTA6UGW h
Start Hotel Atos H-7, ul. Mangalia 1, tel. (+48) 22 207
70 00, Another hotel where spending
the extra on a premium ‘komfort’ room is wholly encouraged.
Doing so gains you digs in clean, renovated rooms with func-
tional furniture and wifi and tv. Cutting costs gets you some-
thing altogether more basic. Q231 rooms (231 singles, 106
doubles, 109 triples). TYHAR6ULGK hh
H15 Boutique Apartments B-4, ul. Poznańska 15,
tel. (+48) 22 553 87 00, www.h15boutiqueapartments.
com. Riding high in the charts for trendiest places to stay in
Warsaw, H15 apartments are located in what has always been
one of our favourite buildings in the city. Originally built in 1892
in the secessionist style it went on to become the home of the
Soviet embassy in 1924, was taken over by the Nazis during
the war, hence saving it from destruction, although they did
chisel out the hammer & sickle from the beautiful bas-relief
above the entrance. Nowadays it has undergone yet another
metamorphosis and has been stunningly renovated, a head
spinning conversion which sympathetically blends the old
and the new. Twenty eight ‘cool as a cucumber’ apartments
of varying size are on offer, all of which are designed to per-
fection. Their website is keen to point out that this is truly “a
home away from home”. Hmmm, obviously they haven’t seen
our flat! Q28 rooms (28 apartments). PTA6GKW
InterContinental A-4, ul. Emili Plater 49, tel. (+48)
22 328 88 88,
Luxury apartments aimed at the long-stay corporate traveller.
Guests are awarded all the privileges granted to those stay-
ing in the hotel, including 24hr room service and use of the
fitness centre. Q78 rooms (78 apartments). PTHA
P&O Apartments B-2, ul. Miodowa 12 lok.22, tel.
(+48) 508 13 59 95,
Good looking, modern furnished apartments in locations
across Warsaw - both centre and out. All sizes, and all
budgets, though with a distinct slant towards the higher end
of the market. Q60 rooms (60 apartments). A6GW
Residence St. Andrew’s Palace B-4, ul. Chmielna
30, tel. (+48) 22 826 46 40, www.residencestandrews.
pl. Fantastic apartments in a wonderful, fully renovated build-
ing in the most central location possible: ul. Chmielna. Not a
penny was spared in the decoration and kitting out of these
places, and the nice little touches that are found all over -
from the marble in the bathrooms to the fully fitted kitchens
with washing machines and dishwashers - will convince you
that this was money well spent. Free wifi and daily cleaning
included. If this were a hotel, it would be in the Cream of the
Crop section, these apartments are that nice. Q24 rooms
(24 apartments). PTARGW
Hostel Służewiec ul. Bokserska 36 (Mokotów), tel.
(+48) 22 207 90 00. A hostel in name alone, this is actually
more of a budget hotel than anything else. Rooms are clean,
bare and tidy, and while the prices are kind the chances of
meeting any fellow backpackers are virtually non-existent.
Q144 rooms (83 singles, 58 doubles). AR6GK
Moon C-3, ul. Foksal 16, tel. (+48) 22 468 00 66, I f it’s all about location then Moon
Hostel’s new Warsaw location is one of the best, with a
prime building in the heart of bustling Foksal. The 26 rooms
range from one to eight beds, some with ensuite bathrooms,
and in-room flatscreen tvs. The combined kitchen/lounge
area is naturally sparklingly new, with cushy leather sofas
and a foosball table ready for action. Ideal for visitors who
want their hostel to feel like a hotel. Q26 rooms (2 singles,
14 doubles, 5 triples, 3 quads, 1 Five-person room , 1
Six-person room , 1 Seven-person room , 1 Eight-person
room). TA6GW
Oki Doki B-3, Pl. Dąbrowskiego 3, tel. (+48) 22 828
01 22, A charismatic hostel stuffed with
abstract art, bits and pieces from thrift stores and wacky
colour schemes. Rooms (and the reception area) are cur-
rently getting a small refurb though they still don’t have
numbers, just themes, and have been designed by a team
of local artists. Take a look at ‘The Realm of Narnia’, like
something straight out of C.S. Lewis, or ‘The Communist
Dorm’, filled with commie iconography and scenes from So-
cialist Paradise. Kitchen and internet also available for guests
(iffy in rooms, always in common spaces), as well as what
the owners promise is ‘the cheapest beer in Warsaw’. For
something more upmarket check into the decidely boutique
Castle Inn, a second pet venture from the same team behind
the Oki Doki. Q37 rooms (1 single, 21 doubles, 5 triples, 60
Dorm beds). TYA6G
Team Hostel D-7, ul. Lechicka 23 B, tel. (+48) 22 868
09 68, Get recruited for Team
Hostel, a newcomer that makes the hostelling experience
rather plush with air conditioned rooms, free wi-fi and a
location that splits the difference between the airport and
the city centre. With easy access to public transit you’ll be
in bunk bed heaven here, where guests can choose from the
private two-bed option or the more communal 8-bed shared
room. Be sure to test the staff’s insider tips to the city, which
are nothing short of comprehensive. Q16 rooms (2 singles,
2 doubles, 110 Dorm beds). TA6GW
Courtyard by Marriott Warsaw Airport ul.
Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 650 01 00, In many senses
this place, almost directly opposite the airline check-in
desks, is an extension of Warsaw Airport. People use the
superb lobby bar as a departure lounge, and for those
with an early morning start the big, comfortable rooms
here are as good a place as any to wait for a flight. Fear
not the noise of the planes: we slept like a baby (as did
our baby) even though our room had a direct view of
the runway. Q236 rooms (113 singles, 121 doubles, 2
apartments). PTHARUFGKW hhhh
Holiday Inn Express Warsaw Airport ul. Polec-
zki 31 (Ursynów), tel. (+48) 22 373 37 00, www.
hoteldetail. Those wanting easy access to the airport
just short of sleeping on the runway will find the brand
new Holiday Inn Express to fit the bill perfectly. Just
three minutes away and accessible via a convenient
hotel shuttle, the Holiday Inn promises amenities that
are miss-your-flight worthy: wifi and flatscreens in every
room, a complimentary breakfast buffet and a business
corner for last-minute work needs. Q124 rooms (124
singles, 124 doubles). PTHA6UGW hhh
Airport Hotels
Are you tired of staying in standard hotels?
Feel at home in P&O Apartments in Warsaw.
P&O Apartments offers you accommodation for rent
in the center of the City for overnight stays or for lon-
ger visits and helps you to feel at home in Warsaw.
We offer professional service, quality and excellent
locations as well as competitive pricing.
land line +48 22 636 86 99,
mobile +48 508 135 995
For sun lovers we offer properties for
Sale & Rental on the Costa Del Sol in Spain.
Visit our new and modern office
in Marbella on Costa del Sol or call us
+34 663 652 145; +34951245424
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
La MaMa A-2, ul. Andersa 23, tel. (+48) 22 226 35
05, It helps to have an adventurous
appetite at Warsaw’s newest contribution to African dining,
where no one bats an eye if you order the baked goat head
or a pile of fried gizzards. Stick to safer fare like the African
risotto with beef and fried plantain and your stomach will
thank you - and be sure to add a Nigerian beer like Star or
Gulder. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. (20-40zł).
Hard Rock Cafe B- 4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy),
tel. (+48) 22 222 07 00, Is
there anything more Ameri can than sinking your teeth
into a 10oz burger stacked wi th cheddar and bacon while
staring at the jacket worn by Jimi Hendri x on the cover of
Are You Experi enced? The Hard Rock Cafe has based a
business around the concept of unri vall ed burgers and
i mpressi ve memorabilia, and Warsaw’s chapter is no
di f ferent. The two-story venue features a wall made of
675 gui tars and menu i tems like hefty nachos and bar-
becue ri bs. The dark basement bar churns out heaping
drinks that l ook like they require two straws. Even the
bathrooms are pai nfull y cool, labell ed “Guns” for hi m
and “Roses” for her. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00. (33-115zł).
Sioux B-4, ul. Chmielna 35, tel. (+48) 22 827 82 55, Sioux interprets the American Wild
West as only a chain of themed restaurants can: cheesely.
Grab a Conestoga wagon booth or a table under a framed
photo of Chief Sitting Bull and peruse a menu that tries to
recreate li fe around the campfire with unimpressive ribs,
cold fries and a random selection of Mexican offerings like
fajitas and burritos. You’ll find a Sioux serving up cheap,
completely average food in almost every city of size in Po-
land, and unless you’re a diehard wagon wheel fanatic, trot
your spurs on to a more interesting (and flavourful) option.
QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 23:00. (20-99zł).
SomePl ace El se C- 4, ul . Prusa 2 (Sheraton
Warsaw Hotel), tel. (+48) 22 450 67 10, www.
warszawa.someplace- SPE has been serving
up some of the best burgers in Warsaw for as l ong as
we can remember, and a recent visi t shows li ttl e has
changed: the Orient Express burger is a marriage of lamb
and roast beef doused in hallumi cheese and Medi ter-
ranean veggi es - epi c and creati ve. The large, open bar
is capabl e of mi xing up anything you can think of, includ-
ing a spi cy bl oody Mary to accompany the Sheraton’s
brunch, whi ch is served here on Sunday. Recommended
particularly i f you are sleeping upstairs so you won’t have
far to haul your happil y fed sel f. QOpen 12:00 - 00:30,
Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:30, Sun 12:00 - 23:30. (38-110zł).
T.G.I. Friday’s E-2, Al. Jana Pawła II 29, tel. (+48) 22
653 83 60, The Friday’s experience as
replicated the world over, so no surprises to find Americana
aplenty and staff fitted out with bells, whistles and other
moronic markings. The Warsaw op features decent burgers
and, i f you catch them on the right day, some smashing
steaks. By day a family fave, at night it’s a bit more grown up
with expats and locals, usually in office attire, drinking shots
and braying for cocktails. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun
12:00 - 22:00. (33-75zł). PTAUGSW
Warsaw’s come a long
way and fast, and no-
where is the urban vi-
brancy more apparent
than i n the ci ty’s pro-
gressive culinary scene.
The i mmedi ate post-
communist obsession
wi th I tal i an has si nce
given way to fusion, sushi and - most recently - burgers,
and dining out is now a truly international experience.
Disappointments do still exist, however, with gruff,
ditzy or plainly incompetent service being a common
lament. You’d think the opening hours we list are sel f-
explanatory. Not so. Venues will more often than not
close their doors i f business is slow. Other ‘restobars’
often employ di fferent sets of hours for bar and kitchen
- the times we list in such cases are for the kitchen,
and the prices we list in brackets denote the cost of
the cheapest and most expensive main course on the
menu. In regards to tipping, either round the bill up or
leave 10% - but only i f you think the service warrants
it. Here is a selection of recommendations depending
what you are looking for.
Restauracja Różana is an experienced local offering
that will impress the client and give you room to talk shop,
while Butchery and Wine recently won accolades as
the city’s top restaurant. For a more casual atmosphere
we’ve spotted many briefcases and ties at Socjal’s
communal table.
The many Bar Mleczny canteens (Milk Bars) are a
legacy to the communist past, and while they’re cheap
you may wish to skip them unless you really are bone
broke and starving.
Solec 44 has a solid menu and a massive array of
board games at which you can challenge (and beat) your
sweetheart while Halka has elegant date night interiors
and a menu to match.
Hard Rock Cafe is always going to be a favourite and
they do know how to make your special ones feel special.
And Kosmos Kosmos has an entire epic playroom for
kids, and a menu designed for their parents.
The Warsaw Tortilla Factory is the place to prove
your worth to the team by guzzling lager from private
taps while noshing on the city’s best burritos. If you like
meatier fare we’ve got plenty of burger recommendations
like Barn Burger and Burger Bar to share while steak
lovers should head directly to 99 Restaurant and Bar.
Eat Commie style in Oberża Pod Czerwonym Wiepr-
zem, or for a more upscale take on Polish cuisine try
Dom Polski. Celebrity chef Magda Gessler makes Polish
goulash stylish (and isn’t it the perfect season for it?) at
Masz Gulasz.
Eating at a glance
Not everyone has the pleasure of waking to a five star
breakfast, so it’s good news that there are early bird
eating options that go beyond foraging in bins. First
off, take a look at Żurawia - Café 6/12 is a legend,
and their breakfasts cover all the bases from bagels
to pancakes to something that isn’t too dissimilar to a
British breakfast. Down the road and You & Me also
attempt Brit brekkie as well as numerous continental
options. Not bad, unlike your pl. Trzech Krżyży options.
There’s always a crowd in Szpilka but go beyond a
croissant and you’ll be wishing you hadn’t got out of
bed. Subway have a bunch of locations around the city
and you could do a lot worse for something on the run.
Speaking of fast food, the ubiquitous McBreakfast
is on sale from very early at the easiest location to
get to, that being the one in the underground part of
Warszawa Centralna railway station. Irish breakfast is
available from in Bradley’s though for a true power
breakfast head to 99.
99 Restaurant & Bar A-3, Al. Jana Pawła II 23,
tel. (+48) 22 620 19 99,
Four types of breakfast on offer served from Monday
to Friday - from simple French (pancakes, croissants
and cakes, 17zł) to a Polish option (26zl) that includes
scrambled eggs with extras, cottage cheese and a sau-
sage and cheese platter. Q Breakfast served Mon - Fri,
08:00 - 11:00. PTAUGSW
Café 6/12 C- 4, ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. (+48)
22 622 53 33, Around 40 breakfast
opti ons, i ncl udi ng pancakes, bagel s, sandwi ches
and ciabattas as well as a not bad attempt at English
breakfast (eggs, home-made sausages, cocktai l
tomatoes, bread). Found cl ose to the centre, the
outdoor terrace on Warsaw’s mai n media agency
street, is a great place to sit in warmer months. Q
Breakfast served 08:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 -
23:00. TA6GSW
Hard Rock Cafe B-4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy),
tel. (+48) 22 222 07 00,
Special breakfast menu featuring omelettes, pancakes,
eggs, juices, coffee etc. Prices starts from 9zł. Q Break-
fast served 09:00 - 12:00. PTA6UGSW
McDonald’s A-4, Al. Jerozolimskie/ Jana Pawła II,
pawilon 64, WPP (Warszawa Centralna), tel. (+48)
694 49 60 18, When only the Egg
McMuffin will do or it’s really early in the morning. Find
it in the tunnels under Warsaw Central Train Station. Q
Breakfast served 05:30 - 10:30, Sat, Sun 05:30 - 11:00.
Subway C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 24, tel. (+48) 22 828
40 25, A fast breakfast option (think
handy egg sandwiches) when only on-the-go will do. Q
Breakfast served 07:00 - 11:00, Sat, Sun 10:00-11:00.
You & Me C-4, ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. (+48) 22 379
03 79, A range of breakfast
priced at 21zł featuring traditional French and English
selections or lighter fare like muesli and yoghurt, all with
free coffee. Q Breakfast served 08:30 - 11:30, Sat, Sun
12:00 - 16:00. PTAXSW
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Banja Luka B-3, ul. Szkolna 2/4, tel. (+48) 22 828 10
60, Reliable Banja Luka has moved!
You’ll now find them much closer to the city center, which is
where you should head for monstrous portions of the best
Balkan food in town. The more central spot means the city’s
officebots have discovered a great new lunch special, with
19,90zł filling you with a new daily menu that sounds like
what a small wrestling team might take down: large lumps
of roast pork, pancakes with spinach, spicy fish soup and
even baklava for dessert. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00
- 22:00. (38-49zł). PTAEGSW
Browar de Brasil B- 4, ul. Marszałkowska 76/80,
tel. (+48) 534 60 09 90, The
large copper tanks are your first clue that this new two-story
churrascaria is serious about brewing their own high-quality
beer. The attire worn by the waitresses might throw you off for
a minute - yes, they are dressed in tacky, revealing faux football
uniforms - but the four in-house beers are worthy, and carni-
vores will swoon at the ten different types of meat that arrive
on a giant sword in all-you-can-eat style for 64zł. Sure to be as
popular as the flagship Łódź location. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00,
Fri, Sat 10:00 - 01:00. (16-60zł). PTA6EGSW
Legends British Bar & Restaurant B-4, ul. Emilii
Plater 25, tel. (+48) 22 622 46 40, www.legendsbar.
pl. Legends is settling gently into its rhythm as the thinking
(and eating) man’s football watching venue of choice. Basi-
cally has two things going for it: good British grub (a steak and
kidney to relish is served), British ales and Sky Sports (if the
waitress can work out which channel is showing what). What
it needs now are a few pints spilt on the floor and a few rowdy
evenings to knock off the ‘new’ look. Find it a stone’s throw
south of the Marriott hotel. QOpen 11:00 - 21:00, Sat, Sun
12:00 - 21:00. (25-50zł). PTA6XSW
Cesarski Pałac B-2, ul. Senatorska 27, tel. (+48) 22
827 97 07, The lunch deal
is one of the best value in the city, so expect a bit of a free-
for-all once the clock hits one. The food is a mix of Chinese
flavours, with more Szechuan than Beijing, though it’s this
lack of focus that eventually hamstrings this locale: there’s
just too much on offer. If they stuck to what they knew best
it could easily become one of the better Asian eateries in
Warsaw. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Sat 12:30 - 23:00, Sun
12:30 - 22:00. (29-136zł). PTA6UGSW
China Garden ul. Kazachska 1 (Wilanów), tel. (+48) 22
241 10 10, Excellent food served
in an elegant but relaxed atmosphere down in the moneyed
Wilanów district of Warsaw. Unlike many Chinese restaurants
the decoration is tastefully done with tiled floors, lanterns
and lots of reds and blacks with an aquarium and fountain
centrepieces. The food is authentic with a particular focus
on the cuisine of the Jiangsu region and the menu offers a
comprehensive choice of dishes including a beautifully pre-
sented Nanjing duck. Of note if you are visiting the palace at
Wilanów, you’ll find it a 10 minute walk along Klimczaka, the
start of which is the left of the two streets directly across
the road from the palace entrance. It’s definitely worth the
walk and arguably even the cab fare from the centre. QOpen
12:00 - 22:00. (22-59zł). PTAUGSW
U Szwejka F-4, Pl. Konstytucji 1, tel. (+48) 22 339 17
10, This aging establishment, equipped
with Czech street signs and images of simpleton Szwejk, is a bit
of a Warsaw classic, and while it looks brash and basic the food
is fine and the portions are scary. The steak is inconsistent, so
best stick to ordering standards like sausages and schnitzel,
and visit in summer when a terrace opens onto Pl. Konstytucji.
Patience is a good tactic to use with the staff, but there’s cer-
tainly no criticism of the Pilsner on draught - cut the dismal wait-
ing times by ordering in steins. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00, Sat 10:00
- 24:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. (18-40zł). PTAEXSW
Charlotte. Chleb i Wino F-4, Al. Wyzwolenia 18 (en-
trance from Pl. Zbawiciela), tel. (+48) 662 20 45 55, Sinking your teeth into Charlotte’s
pain au chocolate you expect to hear La Seine bubbling past,
but instead it’s your waitress bringing giant jars of jams, honey
and chocolate spread to dig into - this doesn’t look like typical
French portion control. This new French bakery/bistro is already a
popular breakfast spot, and a communal table in the center of the
restaurant is a genius solution for the many solo diners ducking in
for a pastry and a latte. The service at this start-up is still spotty,
but considering the crowds it’s also understandable. Charlotte
is the ideal place to sip a Perrier and nibble a tart without feeling
like le snob. QOpen 07:00 - 23:45, Fri 07:00 - 00:45, Sat 09:00
- 00:45, Sun 09:00 - 21:45. (8-18zł). TA6UGSW
La Rotisserie B-1, ul. Kościelna 12 (Mamaison Hotel
Le Regina Warsaw), tel. (+48) 22 531 60 70, www.rotis- Tucked inside the elegant Mamaison Hotel Le
Regina Warsaw, this high impact treasure presided over by
chef Paweł Oszczyk will leave you bowled over. Decorated with
calming vanilla and caramel colours, Rotisserie is a worthy
indulgence if you’re looking to impress and have the bank to
do it. The chef’s tasting menu is the place to splurge, with six
courses of Polish/French cuisine that emphasises seasonal
foods, while the three-course lunch menu lets budget con-
scious foodies get their hands on the likes of roasted loin of
venison, risotto and a rich chocolate chestnut mousse with
cognac ice cream. Recommended. QOpen 06:30 - 23:00,
Sat, Sun 07:00 - 23:00. (82-124zł). PTAUEGSW
Fusion A-3, Al. Jana Pawła II 21 (The Westin Hotel), tel.
(+48) 22 450 86 31, Beautifully
presented food in the modern, if regularly quiet, interiors of the
Westin hotel. The food here is very good, if a tad pricey compared
to city restaurants, but you get what you pay for, with everything
being of a superior quality. Regular seasonal specials based
around particular ingredients keep happy local foodies coming
back for more. Q Open 06:30 - 10:30, 12:00 - 22:30, Sat, Sun
07:00 - 10:30, 12:30 - 22:30. (45-150zł). PTAUGSW
Theatro C-3, ul. Foksal 18, tel. (+48) 22 828 09 32, Newcomer Theatro is easily the
most grown-up place on Warsaw’s busy Foksal Street. The
interiors instantly wow - and make you reflexively smooth your
attire - and show an impressive attention to detail in everything
from the stone walls to the immaculately set tables. Where
Theatro loses steam is its enormous menu; our waiter had to
be sent away twice as we pawed through pages of just drink
choices. “Fusion” seems to mean “everything but the kitchen
sink,” and the well-priced entrees can be hit (mix vegetable
salad) and miss (a gluey papardelle pasta). QOpen 12:00 -
23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00. (30-54zł). PTAGSW
Tap beer half price
Two gurmańskia pljeskavica
for the price of one
Rakija‘s day
Fresh mussels
Big butcher‘s swine
Cooking school for kids
ul. Szkolna 2/4, Warszawa
tel. +48 (22) 828 10 60
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
pairing deliciously with piping hot naan. The crunchy onion
bhaji are also a good pre-meal option, especially since the
speedy staff brings them out ahead of the main course. An
additional Asian menu of dishes like pad Thai, fried rice and
various Vietnamese dishes is now also available, but we’re
partial to the Indian staples. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (20-80zł).
Sheesha Lounge B-3, ul. Sienkiewicza 3, tel. (+48)
22 828 25 25, Already established
as one of Warsaw’s most exotic nightspots Sheesha also
does a solid trade in luring the pre-drinks crowd in with a
tantalising menu of eastern delights. Almost every table
appears to order in bulk and share the piles of tikka masala
or riyesh, then caps the meal off with a fruity sheesha pipe
passed around the table for dessert. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00,
Fri 10:00 - 02:00, Sat 16:00 - 02:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00.
(20-52zł). PTAEXSW
12 Stolików F-3, ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. (+48) 22 578
23 88. If the idea of a restaurant not having a menu sounds
pretentious, well, we thought the same thing. Fortunately the
concept turns out to be charming at 12 Stolików, a small
restaurant that writes the ever-changing offerings on a
chalkboard facing diners. Waitresses are happy to interpret,
and though the transient system means you might not get
the delicious tomato soup with pesto or handmade ravioli
that we did, their quality indicates you can’t go wrong. The
high ceilings and stacks of wine crates are all that pass for
décor, but we couldn’t take our eyes off the chef tempering
chocolate on the centre island - call it dinner and show.
And we’re not the only ones who think so: 12 Stolików was
named one of the top five restaurants in Warsaw in 2011
by Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. QOpen 08:30 - 22:00, Fri
08:30 - 22:30, Sat 09:00 - 22:30, Sun 09:00 - 22:00. (18-
65zł). PA6UGSW
Bierhalle C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 64, tel. (+48) 609 67 77
65, Bierhalle have 2 locations in the city
of which this is the more central. Located on the equivalent
of Warsaw’s main street, you’ll find bench seating, generous
portions of good food and a tasty range of in-house brewed
beers. Match a stein of fresh pils with something from their
picture menu which features local favourites like pierogi, pork
knuckle and kaszanka (a kind of black pudding) as well as
dishes more often associated with Poland’s beer drinking
neighbours; German Wurst, Austrian Schnitzel and Hungar-
ian Goulash. Simple, accessible and with regular promotions
make this a popular spot. Also at Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (D-1,
Arkadia). QOpen 12:00 - 22:45, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 23:45, Sun
12:00 - 21:45. (18-50zł). PTAGSW
Bordo C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 54/56 (entrance from ul.
Gałczyńskiego), tel. (+48) 22 622 00 68, www.bordo. Neatly tucked off Nowy Świat, this highly likeable,
popular pre-party gem just wants to make you happy, and
satisfaction is assured by a vast menu that covers all the
food groups from soup, salad and sandwiches to pasta, pizza
and grilled meats, shakes, cakes and ice cream. The drinks
list is just as thorough, the breakfasts are a standout and
prices are delightfully sub-Varsovian across the board. A
modern interior full of comfortable, creme-coloured booths
and a spacious downstairs means there’s plenty of room for
every young couple on a cheap date, and every gaggle of gals
getting ready to go out. If you don’t like Bordo, be advised:
life is harder when you’re hard to please. Also at ul. Chmielna
34 (B-4). QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun
12:00 - 22:00. (11-34zł). PiTA6GSW
C.K. Oberża B-4, ul. Chmielna 28, tel. (+48) 22 828
45 85, Budget priced dinners, pints of
lager and a bubbly atmosphere come presented inside a
basic room decked out in dark woods. The menu is all pork
chops, potato pancakes and plates of animals, and hap-
pily consumed by crowds who recognize a serious bargain.
QOpen 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 -
24:00. (25-35zł). AXS
Adler C-4, ul. Mokotowska 69, tel. (+48) 22 628 73
84, It’s been years since Adler
was touted as a top restaurant, but those who do visit will
find just that. Still popular with an over-40 business crowd
this circular haunt comes laden with peasant contraptions,
and serves up classic German recipes presented by girls
dressed as Heidi. QOpen 10:00 - 23:30, Sat, Sun 13:00 -
23:30. (39-65zł). PTA6UGS
Buddha Indian Restaurant C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 23,
tel. (+48) 22 826 35 01, Buddha
really impressed when they opened up a couple of years
back giving us very good Indian food right in the heart of the
city. The decor is lush and extravagant, and the curries fol-
low a similar suit with a spicy slap that puts them at the top
of our list. The rest of the menu is monstrous, but helpfully
benchmarked with symbols for hot, vegetarian and even kid-
friendly dishes. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00.
(30-130zł). PTAVGSW
Namaste India C-4, ul. Nowogrodzka 15, tel. (+48)
22 357 09 39, What began as a
modest Indian-owned grocery store soon expanded into a
full-on ethnic restaurant and proved so popular that a second
location was needed to meet the demand for delicious Indian
cuisine. For office workers around town, this - the original
Namaste - remains the best, and we’ll agree that it simply
doesn’t get much better for Indian food in the capital. Better
still, the prices are set so low you can’t help but ask what’s
the catch. There isn’t one; we’ve tried pretty much everything
on the menu, and have yet to find a weak link. Consider ringing
ahead for takeaway because waiting times can be torture.
Also at ul. Piwna 12/14 (B-2). QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Sun
12:00 - 22:00. (30-40zł). PUGSW
Namaste India Clay Oven B-2, ul. Piwna 12/14,
tel. (+48) 22 635 77 66, When
Namaste first opened it proved such a success story a new
venue was needed to cope with the overflow custom. And if
you thought the previous effort was pretty good, then bow
down and worship at what is up there with the great Indian
restaurants of Central Eastern Europe. There’s no such thing
as a bad meal here, but to really hit the high notes order the
butter chicken - incomparable to any other curry in town.
Also at ul. Nowogrodzka 15 (C-4). QOpen 12:00 - 23:00.
(22-40zł). PTAVGS
Saffron Spices F-4, Pl. Konstytucji 3, tel. (+48) 22
622 94 10, Open less than a
year and Saffron Spices has already made big changes,
shifting the restaurant from a drab, undecorated space on
Plac Konstytucji to a two-story mammoth (with the second
story just for big groups) with views of the street and more
atmosphere. Fortunately the food remains consistently good:
the restaurant’s signature lentil dish is an instant favourite,
Authentic Indian and Thai cuisine
prepared by chefs from India and Thailand.
Wide range of alcoholic beverages.
Special indian and thai lunch menu from 12 pm to 4 pm
at very attractive prices.
Ample space for organising private parties
and corporate dinners.
For reservations please call
TEL. 22 622 94 10, MOB. 797 597 100
info@saffronspices. pl, www. saffronspices. pl
restauracja indyjska i tajska
ink India ... Think Namaste India
Mon-Sat 11.00 - 22.00, Sun 12.00 - 22.00 |
ul. Piwna 12/14 (Old Town)
+48 22 635 77 66
ul. Nowogrodzka 15
+48 22 357 09 39
Warsaw’s restaurant trends come in tsunami-like waves
that sweep over the city and change the dining landscape
seemingly overnight. The latest culinary fad to dominate
the city will please carnivorous folks: the two-handed
burger is top of the heap, and there’s no shortage of
great establishments slinging the city’s best patties.
Barn Burger B-3, ul. Złota 9, tel. (+48) 512 15 75
67, A success as soon as the doors
opened, and so much so that they’ve already relocated
to a larger space in the same neighbourhood, perhaps to
make room for the expanding waistlines of their faithful
clients. Decorated like a college common room with cult
movie posters and some random Americana, Barn Burger
has convinced plenty of coeds to ditch their diets and dive
into juicy cheeseburgers or even the aptly-named ‘Heart
Attack’ burger (mmm, bacon!). Every sandwich is partnered
with chubby fries and a cup of coleslaw, and you’re a
champ if you can finish the entire wooden tray’s worth of
food before you. If you’ve latched onto Warsaw’s current
burger obsession, Barn Burger is the perfect place to play
patty cake. QOpen 12:00 - 21:30, Sat 13:00 - 21:30, Sun
13:00 - 20:30. (19-39zł). A6UGS
Burger Bar G-6, ul. Puławska 74/80. The space
is small and the lines are long, but Burger Bar’s simple
list of classic burgers makes up for what the location
lacks (namely sides and much of a beverage selection).
Choose from the chalkboard menu - we’ve had the juicy
cheeseburger more than once - and tell the chef your
selection. If the only other employee is on the phone he’ll
ask you to pay later rather than handle your money, so
grab a seat at one of the four odd tables and buckle up:
this is a contender for Warsaw’s best burger, and you’re
going to need both hands and plenty of napkins. QOpen
12:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon. AB
Prosta Historia H-3, ul. Francuska 24, tel. (+48)
22 870 13 25, Prosta
Historia is almost superhero-like in its ability to hide its
true identity. The swank Saska Kępa location and bistro
décor - butcher block tables, carnations in mason jars,
French music tinkling from the speakers - make you think
a menu of salads and soups await. But crack the menu
and you’ll see a selection of creative burgers you’d expect
to find at a greasy spoon. The Bollywood burger arrives
with curry and chutney, while the more traditional Royal
burger (which has the more typical cheddar, ketchup,
onion and pickles) is a revelation. Throw in the fact that
Prosta makes their own buns and French fries and it’s
safe to say Warsaw has a new king of the beef patty.
QOpen 12:00 - 22:30, Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun
12:00 - 22:00. (18-58zł). PTAGSW
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Flow C-3, ul. Chmielna 2, tel. (+48) 519 30 00 68, A light, bright cafe bar on the corner of
Chmielna and Nowy Świat, day time sees coffee and a decent
choice of lunch options served in a modern setting with large
windows offering plenty of people watching opportunities.
As day turns to night, this turns into a decent pre-club op-
tion with guest DJs coming in to entertain the young and
fashionable crowd. One of the few central places with an
indoor smoking area incidentally. QOpen 10:00 - 01:00.
(19-40zł). PAEXSW
Galeria Freta B-1, ul. Freta 39, tel. (+48) 22 831 02
35, Bar? Restaurant? Café? A mix of
all to be honest, and a highly impressive addition to an area
more known for its tourist traps. Landmarks here include a
glass topped atrium filled with plants and posters, as well
as a more formal chamber consisting of antiques and gilt.
This place is huge, and well worth poking around, and while
the design suggests dollar signs it actually transpires to be
a very good deal. Salads are a particular forte, though more
voracious appetites should look to the king prawns. QOpen
10:00 - 22:00. (15-75zł). PTA6EXSW
Grand Kredens A-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 111, tel. (+48)
22 629 80 08, Few places in
Warsaw match this for a fine, dare we say splendid dining
experience. The decor is tremendously, enjoyably eclectic,
and the menu - with a terrific variety of fish (amongst much
else) to savour - well up to the challenge of its rivals. It is not
by any means the cheapest place in town, but we would be
fairly certain that however big the bill, you will leave feeling
well satisfied. This has been around Warsaw longer than
we have and it’s a treat. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun
10:00 - 24:00. (30-100zł). PTA6UIEGSW
Brasserie Warszawska G- 3, ul. Górnośląska 24,
tel. (+48) 22 628 94 23, www.brasseriewarszaws- From the fine folks behind the peerless Butchery &
Wine comes Brasserie Warszawska - a culinary capstone
that will surely court the attention of the folks at Michelin.
Praise is well -deserved here wi th exquisi tel y prepared
and presented cuisine matched by expert servi ce in an
interior that feels both modern and classi c at the same
ti me. Di shes l i ke ‘ baked monkfi sh wi th whi te beans,
sun-dri ed tomatoes and chorizo’ are worth every grosz,
but Brasseri e isn’ t above of feri ng their take on more
pedestrian fare like the fish and chips special on Fridays.
Elegant and upscale without overdoing it, i f you’re looking
to do some fine dining in the capi tal, you’ll be glad you
did i t here. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. Cl osed Sun. (35-75zł).
BrowArmia B- 3, ul. Królewska 1, tel. (+48) 22
826 54 55, Warsaw’s other mi -
crobrewery tends to mysteriousl y li ve in the shadow of
the more famous Bi erhall e, and though i t fails to share
the li vel y atmosphere of i ts ri val, BrowArmia is by no
means second best. The interior has a dark beer hall vibe
wi th all the requisi te pipes, dials and tanks on display,
as well as a good menu that trounces the competi tion
- the sti cky wings pair per fectl y wi th a BrowArmia pils.
More i mportantl y the beer i s top standard and best
imbi bed on the seasonal terrace l ooking onto bustling
Krakowski e Przedmi eści e. QOpen 12:00 - 23:30. (27-
66zł). PTAEXSW
Concept C-3, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 16/18,
tel. (+48) 22 492 74 09,
It’s hard to do justice to Concept restaurant, one of the
most impressive dining experiences to be found in War-
saw. Found inside a former pre-war bathhouse this place
is accessed down a gloomy looking courtyard, flanked on
each side by kebab stands and student dives. Don’t turn
back. Instead duck through the entrance to find yoursel f
in a whole di fferent world. Decorated with glazed floor
tiles, shimmery fabrics and a skylight this place looks
every inch a masterpiece. Keeping up with the surrounds
is the food, with a newly launched menu that includes a
near perfect steak. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun.
(29-99zł). PTAEXSW
DeCoteria H-1, ul. Ząbkowska 16, tel. (+48) 603 60
22 52, A small restaurant with a
pleasant orange interior, DeCoteria is one of the few clutter-
free locations in Praga for a meal. Thanks to that role it has
a crowd that mixes young Praga hipsters with moms toting
strollers, all tucking into a menu that seems to offer dishes
from around the globe (Hungarian-style pancakes with stew,
for a start). We stuck to the Polish fare and found the potato
pancakes to be a winner. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (14-45zł).
Five A-3, ul. Grzybowska 5, tel. (+48) 793 53 53
53, www.f Guaranteed a steady
flow of customers by its designer looks and top location
amongst Warsaw’s biggest and best hotels, this place
doesn’t have to be all that good, but is. In fact, recent
visits have made us love the place all over again, as the
menu of simple Italian classics always delivers a decent
meal at a fair price. Look out for the changing specials,
which on our last trip included some terri fic grilled salmon
with leek sauce. And note to parents with tots: there’s a
children’s playground available for your wee ones every
Sunday. QOpen 11:00 - 23:30, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:30.
(19-49zł). PTAVGSW
GR Bistro & Restaurant B-3, ul. Szpitalna 8 (entrance
from ul. Górskiego), tel. (+48) 22 828 42 85, www. A two-level bistro set on a quiet street just away
from the hustle and bustle in the centre of the city. A small
downstairs area connects to an intimate upstairs with black
and white prints on walls tastefully decorated with striped
wallpaper set above wooden picture rails. The menu is con-
cise featuring an international selection of well-prepared and
presented dishes including soups, salads, pastas and meat
dishes. Good as a lunch stop, where the daily specials are
well-worth the few euro prices, it is a particularly recommend-
able as a place for an intimate meal away from the crowds of
Chmielna with the food matched by a good selection of wines
and cocktails. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Sat 11:00 - 24:00, Sun
11:00 - 23:00. (25-54zł). TA6GSW
Meat Love B-4, ul. Hoża 62, tel. (+48) 500 14 92 10, The audacious name would suggest a
barbarian bone-sucking, finger-licking orgy of dripping meat
juice (to us, anyway), but the reality is a woodsy, intimate,
eco-minded sandwich shop that effectively reclaims hipster-
dom from the vegans. Meat Love’s specialty is fresh rolls
and baguettes stuffed with tender, organic, hormone-free
carnivorous delicacies, and there’s a good selection of teas,
coffee and other drinks to accompany them. One also can’t
help but admire the simple genius of their Belgian waffle
topped with pulled pork and maple syrup. The staff have
all the hallmarks a hip urbanite should: tattoos and studs,
scraggly beards and suave haircuts, but the atmosphere is
family-friendly and completely sincere. A great addition to
the neighbourhood, in fact it’s places like this that create
the illusion pocket neighbourhoods even exist in the capital.
QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 -
21:00. (13-20zł). A6GSW
Bar Salad Story B-4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy),
tel. (+48) 883 64 44 45, Fast
food gets the health treatment in Salad Story, a chain of
outlets serving salads, sandwiches and soups. Also at
(C-4) ul. Krucza 41/43, (C-4) ul. Nowy Świat 18/20 and
(F-4) ul. Polna 46. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 -
21:00. (10-23zł). PTAGS
Burger King A-4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel.
(+48) 713 86 15 88, Also
at Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (D-1, Arkadia). QOpen 09:00 -
22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00. (14-19zł). PAUGSW
Groole C-3, ul. Śniadeckich 8, tel. (+48) 795 63
36 26, Groole is back!! After shuttering
their operation on Nowy Świat the masters of jacket po-
tatoes have moved to a more appropriate location near
Politechnika Warszawska, giving students access to Pol-
ish fast food at its finest. Groole makes straightforward
baked potatoes and heaps them with the toppings of your
choosing. The new space is infinitely larger (meaning you
won’t feel the stifling heat of the potato roaster on your
face) and has plenty of seating. The staff will helpfully
guide you through your topping choices in English, and
we recommend the Bryndza, a potato smothered with
tangy Polish sheep’s milk cheese, yogurt and chives.
QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sun 13:00 - 20:00. (8-14zł).
KFC C-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 11/19, tel. (+48) 713
86 16 90, Also at (B-4) ul. Widok 26,
(A-4, Złote Tarasy) ul. Złota 59, (F-4) ul. Piękna 28/34
and (A-2) Al. Solidarności 68 A. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00,
Fri, Sat 08:00 - 02:00, Sun 09:00 - 23:00. (10-21zł).
McDonald’s B-3, ul. Marszałkowska 126-134, tel.
(+48) 694 49 60 15, Various
locations including ul. Złota 59 (A-4, Złote Tarasy), Al.
Jerozolimskie/ Jana Pawła II, pawilon 64, WPP (Warszawa
Centralna; A-4) and Al. Solidarności 117 (A-2). Breakfast
served in selected branches till 10:30 during the week
and 11:00 at weekends. QOpen 07:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat
07:00 - 05:00. (15-17zł). PTAGSW
MG Eat Magda Gessler C- 3, ul. Chmielna
32, tel. (+48) 22 827 47 13,
Pol i sh cel ebri t y chef Magda Gessl er bri ngs her
upscal e dishes to the masses wi th this “fast” food
establishment that pushes salads constructed wi th
exacting precision that woul d make Gessl er proud
but can take ages i f you’re i n a rush. The shop’s
hal f-sandwi ches are cri mi nal l y smal l though evil l y
delicious. And the brightly-colored modern restaurant
also boasts heaps of desserts, most interestingl y
frozen yogurt - something we’ve seen nowhere else
in i ce cream-l oving Poland. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00.
(18-22zł). PTAUGSW
Pizza Hut B- 4, ul. Widok 26 (entrance from ul.
Chmielna), tel. (+48) 519 19 19 73, www.pizzahut.
pl. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00. (10-
43zł). PTAUGSW
Room Service, tel. (+48) 22 651 90 03, www.
Fast Food & Delivery
24 GornoǴlnjska, Str. - 00-484 warszawa
tel. +48 22 628 94 23
THL PLSTAUPANT ls lnsplred by the tradltlons of warsawand the modernlty of
Lurope. Our menu was created uslng a mlxture of slmpllclty and elegant taste. Our
stanare passlonate and guarantee to look after thelr guests wlth genulne hospltallty.
AUN|QUL 8AP wlth zlnc surfaces, orlglnal bar stools and an unbeatable atmosphere.
Open every day froml2 noon. we serve classlc cocktalls and champagne.
|n addltlon a perfectly deslgned PP|vATL POOMhas lts own orlglnal character.
|t's ldeal for groups of up to l2 people. |t can be [olned together wlth a dlnerent
roomto provlde space for 24 people.
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Nolita ul. Wilcza 46, tel. (+48) 22 292 04 24, www. You know you’ve hit on haute cuisine when the first
thing you see on the menu is ‘scallops with celeriac and squid
ink.’ Nolita is as upscale as they get, and yet the large, open,
modern dining area could just as easily come off as casual
if it weren’t for the excellent service from black-tie wait staff
and the superior quality and presentation of the food. Ease
back with your partner (be they for business or pleasure)
and enjoy almost 100zł entrees with wine before ordering
from their homemade ice cream and sorbet selection. Then
practise your poker face when the check arrives. Q Open
12:00 - 15:30, 18:00 - 22:30, Sat 13:00 - 23:00. Closed
Sun. (25-109zł). PTAGW
Piękna Bistro F/G- 4, ul. Piękna 20, tel. (+48) 22
627 41 51, Piękna Bistro went through
a major overhaul and reopened this classier spot in the fall.
The look is sleek, modern and simple now, but what hasn’t
changed is their very reliable mix of pastas, salads, grilled
meat and fish dishes, whose preparation and presenta-
tion will delight hungry diners. A recommended venue i f
you like your meal served to the backdrop of live jazz.
QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. (29-69zł).
Podwale - Kompania Piwna B-1, ul. Podwale 25,
tel. (+48) 22 635 63 14, Enter
via a mock Bavarian courtyard to discover a huge hall
fill ed wi th the sound of beery anti cs and oompah musi c.
The word here is size, wi th Warsaw’s bi ggest portions
comi ng wi thi n a whi sker of sendi ng tabl es keel i ng.
This is basi call y meat, cabbage and potatoes served
on huge wooden boards by wai tresses obviousl y l ess
fragil e than they l ook. Certai nl y the best val ue i n Ol d
Town, wi th beer usuall y playing a bi g part in the evening.
QOpen 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 01:00. (20-50zł).
Restauracja Concept 13 C-4, ul. Bracka 9, tel. (+48)
22 310 73 73, Tucked
inside the high-end VITKAC shopping center, Restauracja
Concept 13 lives up to its luxurious location with soaring fifth
floor views of the city and stylish design. The modern urban
eatery offers its best deals at lunch, where 50zł gets you
multiple courses of their creative cuisine - trust us, its a deal.
If the weather allows then there’s no place better than the
terrace, even if its just for a cocktail. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00.
(45-100zł). PTA6UXSW
Restaur acj a Kul tur a B- 2, ul . Kr akowski e
Przedmieście 21/23, tel. (+48) 784 04 40 51, www. On the ground floor of the Kino
Kultura, and therefore commanding one of the greatest
locations on all Krakowskie, the Kultura makes good use
of the space by serving food that lives up to its surround-
ings. Smart waitresses wearing freshly starched aprons
will bring a hot bowl of żurek soup to your table before
presenting you with a bill that should, given quality, be far
higher. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. (32-59zł).
Restauracja Wilanów ul. S. K. Potockiego 27
(Wilanów), tel. (+48) 22 842 18 52, www.restaurac- An extraordinary excursion back to the days
of a planned Polish economy, this much talked about classy
restaurant serves a range of international and Polish food in
a blast to the past atmosphere. Despite what they say about
the place there’s no ignoring the service. Breathtakingly
snobby, expect to be treated like something the cat dragged
in if you’re not dressed for the opera. QOpen 12:00 - 21:00.
(32-58zł). PTA6GS
Restaurant @Ferdy’s A-3, ul. Grzybowska 24 (Radis-
son Blu Centrum Hotel), tel. (+48) 22 321 88 22, www. A class act found on the ground floor of the Radis-
son. Veneered woods, potted plants and huge shutters lend
an atmosphere not dissimilar to the first class deck of a cross
Atlantic liner, while the steaks are reputed to be some of the
best in the city. Not a cheap indulgence, but a worthwhile one.
QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (36-164zł). PTA6UGS
Restro A-4, ul. Pańska 57, tel. (+48) 22 620 22 66, www. As you may have noticed some central Warsaw streets
have a habit of ending abruptly before re-appearing again some-
times hundreds of metres away on the other side of a busy road.
Bear this in mind when you hunt down Restro, a cafe restaurant
that is a favoured lunch spot of ours, which can be found to the
south-east of the UN roundabout (Rondo ONZ). The changing
menu features offers a choice of excellently priced set menus
and dishes with a distinct Mediterranean feel. The tagliatelle with
scampi and coriander is a steal at around 6 euros although we
often have a dilemma between that and one of the salads, the
beef and spinach being another winner. Recommended but mind
the opening hours. QOpen 11:00 - 20:00, Sat 12:00 - 20:00, Sun
13:00 - 18:00. (19-39zł). PTAUVGS
SAM Restaurant & Bakery C-2, ul. Lipowa 7a, tel.
(+48) 600 80 60 84, Fresh baked bread,
plentiful salads, a shop with organic herbs and superfoods like’s safe to say that SAM has arrived in Warsaw with some
strong credentials, and after our visit we can declare it the Char-
lotte of the student set. You’ll find the same lackadaisical service
and hipster clientele as the popular Pl. Zbawiciela hotspot, and
if you can overlook these flaws you’ll be delighted with healthy
dishes that ensure you’ll forever be able to squeeze into those
skinny jeans. QOpen 08:30 - 22:30, Tue 10:00 - 22:30, Sat,
Sun 09:30 - 22:30. (15-40zł). TA6UGSW
Skwer - filia Centrum Artystycznego Fabryka
Trzciny B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 60a, tel.
(+48) 508 36 58 49, If location
is everything then Skwer is the place to be. Commanding
a prime spot on Krakowskie Przedmieście a stone’s throw
from the presidential place it looks like an architect’s show-
home yet manages to create a decent atmosphere thanks
to the students who flock here for coffee after lectures. By
night the crowd gets trendier as local arty-types turn up to
be seen eating the well-priced food through the glass walls.
QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. (18-45zł). PTAUEGSW
Socjal C-3, ul. Foksal 18. Socjal comes with excellent pedi-
gree - it’s the creation of the folks behind 12 Stolikow, which
was named one of the top 5 restaurants in the city last year.
Socjal is another win for this crew, boasting a rotating menu of
Italian entrees and salads (prosciutto and melon for the win)
that diners order via the restaurant’s chalkboard. The communal
tables force diners to be “socjal” with their neighbours, an asset
when you see a delicious plate and want to casually ask, “What’s
that?” QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Wed, Thu 10:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat
10:00 - 04:00. (18-65zł). PAGBSW
Solec 44 ul. Solec 44, tel. (+48) 798 36 39 96, www. Solec 44 marries two of the best things around
at one location: delicious food and the joy of beating the crap out
of your friends at board games. Come for the grub - which is a
delectable menu of fresh, local and seasonal options plus hearty
sandwiches - but stay for the chance to crack into Settlers of
Catan or Scrabble with a beer in hand. The space itself (which can
be tough to find and is tucked behind a kebab shop) is sprawling
and ideal for long evenings of dice rolling, especially when the sun
cruelly sets at 16:00. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Mon 16:00 - 23:00,
Fri, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. (25-70zł). PTA6XSW
Bistro Piękna
ul. Piękna 20
00-549 Warszawa
Tel. +48 22 627 41 51
The new place on the map of Warsaw
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Sowa & Przyjaciele G-5, ul. Gagarina 2 (entrance
from ul. Czerniakowska), tel. (+48) 22 840 70 71, The pet proj ect of wel l -
known Polish master chef Robert Sowa, this outstanding
restaurant raises the bar not only with its extensive range
of tantalising dishes that sound so good you’ll want to
eat the menu, but also with the level of hospitality. The
ostensibly casual, modern interior is elevated to elite by
elegant table settings and excellent service, and includes
not one, but two VIP rooms, plus a plush cigar room that’s
also stocked with Scottish single-malt whiskies. To give
you a sense of the calibre of the cuisine here, our “Guinea
hen with caramelised carrot and lavender puree, served
with glazed vegetables and vanilla sauce” was worthy of
an award and set us back 64zl. So delicious it’s almost
embarrassing to eat in public, we worry what might happen
when we try the venison. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (45-75zł).
STO900 H- 3, ul. Solec 18/20, tel. (+48) 787 69
62 41, Any time a chef will hol d
up what he’s maki ng - i n thi s case wi ggl i ng a kl uski
kładzione, a type of doughy Polish dumpling wi thout fill -
ing, in the air - to explain what you’re ordering then you
can feel good about where you’re dining. STO900 has the
appearance of a student clubhouse with mismatched fur-
ni ture, a glass rack made of hangers and a bumping Bob
Marl ey soundtrack, but the menu is surprisingl y grown
up. Options are limi ted to the few dishes the aforemen-
tioned chef is making that day (our choi ce was ri bs, the
dumplings or a carrot-l emon soup) but he cl earl y thri ves
when not di vi ding his focus. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Fri
09:00 - 24:00, Sat 10:00 - 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 22:00.
(15-50zł). TA6GSW
Winiarnia Restauracja Superiore F-4, ul. Piękna
28/34, tel. (+48) 506 40 40 59, www.superiorewine- Yet another business venture which has decided to
make the move from the increasingly sad looking Miasteczko
Wilanów posh estate and into the centre of the city. Its new
home finds itself a few doors down from Krystyna Janda’s
( just nod and pretend you know that she’s a very famous
Polish actress) Teatr Polonia, making it an excellent choice
for a few pre-performance aperitifs and a bite to eat. The
interior is slick rustic with the shelves of wine bottles making
up much of the décor. Italian wines take priority here, but you’ll
also find a good selection of Spanish and Austrian wines. The
heavenly cooking smell upon entering the wine bar drags you,
trance-like, towards the menu. Entre nous, the lamb shank
with veggie fries is already being talked about in hushed,
reverent tones by those in the know. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00.
(22-50zł). A6VGSW
Żurawina Rest & Wine B- 4, ul. Żurawia 32, tel.
(+48) 22 521 06 66, Stylish and
spacious, this upscale resto wine bar looks like it should be
attached to a modern art museum and is about as fashion-
able as they come, while still maintaining a level of casual
comfort that won’t put off those of us who don’t spend hal f
our paychecks on our hair. Post-modernist paintings and
slick plastic seating are off-set by elegant place settings,
fresh flowers and gorgeously presented dishes. Choose
from a large selection of bruschetta, sexy drinks and des-
serts, or dive into to-die-for dishes like ‘rib-eye steak with
apple pastry, roasted potatoes and truffle butter’ (56zł).
The place of choice for well-bred Varsovians on rich dates,
business meetings and mixers, in the evening it’s a great
cocktail and wine bar. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 -
18:00. (30-56zł). PTA6GSW
AiOLI Cantine B- 3, ul. Świętokrzyska 18, tel.
(+48) 22 290 10 20, Turning
communist-era commercial space into an appealing dining
destination is no easy illusion, but Aioli’s urban canteen
aesthetic turns the trick with aplomb. Dominated by two
large circular bars - one around the kitchen hung with colan-
ders and racks of prosciutto, the other an actual drink bar
ringed with wine glasses - wooden furnishings dressed with
fresh herbs do much to dispel the brick and concrete, while
excellent service further elevates the atmosphere. The
short menu of salads, sandwiches (mango turkey burger,
perhaps?), pasta and pizza, plus some great breakfasts,
makes the most of each option by including tantalising
ingredients (many of which you can take home with you in
jars) and the prices are very reasonable. High quality all
around, and therefore high marks from us. QOpen 09:00
- 02:00. (20-40zł). PTAGSW
Festa Italiana Ristorante B- 4, ul. Hoża 27a,
tel. (+48) 516 61 61 06,
We know we shoul dn’ t fall for i t, but Festa I taliana had
us at “wai tress wearing an I talian flag skirt.” Throw in
a gl ossy menu that features three languages (Polish,
English and I talian) and there’s no excuse for not having
a large doll op of marinara somewhere on your cl othes
before the ni ght is through. The pizzas taste wood-fired
(though there’s no such oven in si ght) and have a crisp
Roman-style crust that makes i t easy to eat an entire pie
yoursel f. The creamy carbonara, highl y recommended by
our flag-draped wai tress, proved to be j ust as worthy as
the pizza. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:00.
(22-60zł). AGS
Nu Jazz Zone C-4, ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. (+48) 22 621 89
89, Slick, modern interiors with soaring pillars
and cavernous ceilings lend this place fantastic acoustics, some-
thing you’ll notice the moment a live act appears. Long established
on what could be considered Warsaw’s media street, the menu
has been given a completely new look with Italian replacing the
international mix of old. And once again the food hits the mark with
our Gnocchi with pork both tasty and a good value. QOpen 11:00
- 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. (40-65zł). PTAEGSW
Roma G-5, ul. Belwederska 17 / ul. Grottgera 2, tel. (+48)
22 841 01 33, Attention to detail is
apparent at Roma, and every aspect of this secretive restaurant
hints at the neighbourhood locales you’d find in the side alleys of
Italy. The interior is intimate, with silverware resting on cinnamon
sticks and piles of crispy breadsticks on every table. The menu
itself is encyclopaedic - - we’re talking three pages of pastas - -
enabling Roma to build a loyal fan base across the years. We’re
fans of the Neapolitan soup, especially on rainy days, and if you
like strings of mozzarella dangling from your lips we’re fairly cer-
tain you will too. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Sat 13:00 - 23:00, Sun
14:00 - 21:00. (25-63zł). PTAUGBSW
Roma Bukieteria C-4, ul. Mokotowska 49a, tel. (+48)
22 621 03 11, Pasta might be
the kind of thing you’re used to gorging on, but not here. Roma
Bukieteria is all romantic atmosphere - - think candles, ter-
racotta and heavy wood tables - - so bring your best manners
and your latest date. The only place with a larger selection of
pasta has to be Rome itself, so take your time when sorting
through the massive menu. It may look like a small trattoria,
but the wine list suggests seasoned pros who will ensure a
charming date. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Sat 13:00 - 23:00,
Sun 14:00 - 21:00. (25-63zł). PTAGSW
After holding out to be one of the few remaining EU coun-
tries with no prohibitions on smoking, a new law put into
effect on November 15th, 2010 finally limited smoking
in public places. Smoking is now completely banned in
Poland on public transport, transport stops and stations,
schools and universities, workplaces, sports arenas and
other places where the public gather. Owners are obliged
to place a clear and visible ‘No Smoking’ sign and anyone
caught smoking by either the police or local city guards
(Straż Miejska) is supposedly subject to a 500zł fine.
However, in the case of bars, clubs, restaurants and
other public places, the law states that there can be
a separate room for smokers as long as it is properly
ventilated and closed off from the other public areas. In
response to the controversial legislation, many owners
have exercised their right to create a small smoking
room, however others have made the majority of their
establishment smoker-friendly with only a small area set
aside for non-smokers. Due to a lack of enforcement,
some establishments openly flout the law by allowing
smoking wherever they want. As such, while smoking
in public places in Poland has been greatly reduced, it
still continues in many places. To help you find or avoid
places which continue to allow smoking on the premises
we have used the following symbols throughout the guide:
G This place has a complete smoking ban on the
X This place has a smoking section on the premises
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Trattoria Rucola B-2, ul. Miodowa 1, tel. (+48) 888
57 54 57, Trattoria Rucola has
taught us a simple truth: we’d surely eat more salads i f
they all came with smoky bacon. The smell of garlic waft-
ing onto Krakowskie Przedmieście will undoubtedly lure
you in, the strange leafy décor will encourage you to grab
a table and the hefty menu of Italian staples will mean a
certain belt-loosening. Thirty pizzas dominate the menu,
but we were intrigued by the rare sighting of doughy cal-
zones. The aforementioned salads are soaked in a lush
balsamic dressing that no one should be ashamed to lick
from their fingers (we did). Also at H-3, ul. Francuska 6 and
C-4, ul. Krucza 6/14. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. (20-55zł).
We could quite easily have a guide with only sushi restaurants
such has been the explosion of them in recent years. This
is a selection of the places we feel you ought to know about
but you are likely to find somewhere serving sushi in every
major mall these days.
77 Sushi A- 4, ul. Sienna 83, tel. (+48) 22 890 18
11, The number 77 might well refer
to the number of sushi stops in town - in fact, it says a lot
about the city that it’s now easier to find sushi than it is a
cabbage. You’re guaranteed the real deal in Sushi 77, where
imaginative sets - try the California rolls, or even the hot
sushi - come chopped and sliced inside an attractive inte-
rior. Some outlets offer local delivery. Also at (F-4), ul. Polna
48A, Al. KEN 49 (Ursynów) and ul. Sławoja-Składkowskiego
4 (Ursus, CH Skorosze). QOpen 11:00 - 22:30. (29-49zł).
Besuto C- 3, ul. Nowy Świat 27, tel. (+48) 22 828
00 20, Besuto has moved from among
the prefab cabins and ramshackl e pavilions inside Nowy
Świat 22 to a more visi bl e l ocation j ust down the street
at 27. The good news is the sushi, whi ch has histori call y
been very decent hot and col d cuts prepared in front of
your eyes, is still reliably delicious, and the new storefront
is si gni fi cantl y l ess likel y to make your date questi on
your commi tment - - the i nteri or al so gets marks for
being bri ght and modern. The bad news is that a bet-
ter l ocation means hi gher pri ces than Besuto l oyalists
mi ght be used to, but i t’s worth i t to di g a li ttl e deeper.
QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. (33-59zł).
Inaba B-4, ul. Nowogrodzka 84/86, tel. (+48) 22 622
59 55, Here’s a restaurant that was around
years before sushi became a fashion statement. Japanese
owned and run everything about Inaba strives for authentic-
ity, and this is one of only three places in town that can claim
a Japanese master chef calling the shots in the kitchen. A
pleasantly panelled interior creates a great atmosphere and
those who want more than just raw fish should take a look
at the grill dishes (be sure to try the duck). QOpen 11:30 -
22:00. (25-58zł). PTAGSW
Kiku Japanese Dining Gallery B-2, ul. Senatorska
17/19, tel. (+48) 22 892 09 01, Our advice
when coming to this typically Japan-in-a-packet decorated
place is simple: forget the sushi and just ask for the noodle
menu. Never before in this city have we eaten such fresh,
spicy and downright tasty noodles as we have at Kiku. At
around 25zł a bowl, a portion of noodles here - and the
seafood ones are best - represents terrific value. QOpen
12:00 - 23:00. (25-120zł). PTAUVXSW
Kintaro Sushi B-4, ul. Nowogrodzka 38, tel. (+48) 22
881 78 51. This location on Nowogrodzka is like a black
hole for restaurants, with previous tenants including French
and Asian ventures. Now it has moved on to a Korean/sushi
amalgamation that leaves us less than optimistic that the
space won’t once again be changing hands. The Korean
grill option, while unique, requires an advanced order - so
don’t roll up with a craving - and the sushi is average even by
Warsaw standards. Daily lunch specials from 12:00-15:00
are a more-than-reasonable 18zl. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00.
(22-50zł). PAUGSW
OTO!SUSHI F-3, ul. Nowy Świat 46, tel. (+48) 22 828
00 88, One of our favorite sushi spots in
Warsaw. Sure, the location helps - who can argue with sitting
outside on swanky Nowy Świat? - but the helpful staff, great
tea options and fair prices put it squarely on top. A vegetarian
sushi set for two with 22 pieces ranging from kappa maki to
inari was tops, and the tempura is crispy rather the soggy we
often encounter. Ducking in for a lunch special will get you
heaps of fresh sushi along with miso soup, a salad and green
tea for a reasonable price. The small storefront means you
may have to fight for a seat, though. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00,
Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. (20-60zł). PAVGSW
Soto Sushi C-4, ul. Wilcza 26, tel. (+48) 22 629 84
85, Warsaw’s Sushi glitterati have
always rated the original Soto Sushi on Al. KEN very highly
indeed, with many devotees regularly making the pilgrimage
to deepest, darkest Ursynów in order to visit their favourite
shrine. Well, now they don’t need to bother, Soto have opened
another branch in the centre of the city! The crisp white and
minimal interior highlighted with pale green neon wall lighting
ĺurawia 32 5treet
ßeservaticns: +48 22 521 06 66
makes for a rather sterile look which made me think of those
ultra-violet fly zappers in butcher’s shops, probably just my
overactive imagination though. On the other hand, the overall
look of this sushi bar presents a feeling of cleanliness and
order which is reflected in the beauti fully presented and
carefully prepared sushi. The salmon tartare gunkanmaki is
yummy and a special mention has to be made for the killer
lemon pepper shrimp soup. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat
12:00 - 23:00. (35-65zł). PTAVGSW
Tomo Sushi C-4, ul. Krucza 16/22, tel. (+48) 22 434
23 44, Many claim you won’t find better sushi
in Warsaw, and who are we to argue with the masses. Tomo’s
reputation is well earned, and as such don’t be surprised to
be knocking elbows with sushi snobs showing off deft chop-
stick moves. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00,
Sun 12:00 - 22:00. (45-95zł). PTA6UGSW
Rambam Kosher Cafe & Restaurant A-3, ul. Grzy-
bowska 4, tel. (+48) 22 243 26 93, www.rambamres- Make no mistake about it, Rambam is certified
kosher; in fact, they post their Glatt Kasher - Kasher Mehadrin
min HaMehadrin certificate (courtesy of Rabbi Yossef Karasik)
right on the door. Inside you’ll find a menu that skews Middle
Eastern, with flavourful dishes like grilled eggplant and tahini
offered as a starter and mains like duck marinated in rosemary
and charlock. The only drawback to Rambam, which has some
of the most attentive waiters we’ve encountered, is that your
tasty plates can’t be accompanied by alcoholic beverages as
they have yet to land a liquor license. Note that Rambam opens
on Saturdays after sunset. QOpen 15:00 - 23:00. Closed Fri,
Sat. (39-79zł). PTAUGSW
Those wanting to take a quick foxtrot through the world
of the Polish kitchen should consider putting the follow-
ing to the test:
Smalec: Fried lard, often served complimentary before
a meal with hunks of homemade bread. It sounds evil,
but it works like a miracle any day, especiall y an arctic
one. Ideally partnered with a mug of local beer. Any Polish
restaurant worth its sal t should give you lashings of this
prior to your meal. You onl y need ask.
Soup: Keep your eyes peeled for Poland’s two signature
soups; żurek (sour rye soup with sausages and potatoes
floating in it) and barszcz (beetroot, occasionally with dump-
lings thrown in). Table manners go out of the window when
eating these two, so feel free to dunk bread rolls in them.
Bigos: You’ll either love it or vomit. Bigos, a.k.a hunters
stew, is made using meat, cabbage, onion and sauerkraut
before being left to simmer for a few days. If you have
second helpings then consider yourself a Pole by defaul t.
Gołąbki: Boiled cabbage leaves stuffed with beef, onion
and rice before being baked in a tomato sauce. Urban
myth claims Poland’s King Kazimierz fed his army gołąbki
before his victory outside Malbork in a battle against the
Teutonic Order. The unlikel y victory was attributed to the
hearty meal his troops had enjoyed before hand.
Kiełbasa: Sausages, and in Poland you’ll find several variet-
ies made primarily with pork, but sometimes using turkey,
horse, lamb and even bison. Few varieties to watch for includ-
ing Krakowska, a Kraków specialty which uses pepper and
garlic, kabanosy which is a thin, dry sausage flavoured with
carraway seed and wiejska; a monster-looking u-shaped
sausage. Kiełbasa was also the nickname of one of Poland’s
most notorious gangland figures of the 90s.
Pierogi: Pockets of dough traditionall y filled with meat,
cabbage or cheese, though you will also occasionall y
find maverick fillings such as chocolate or strawberries.
Placki: Nothing more than potato pancakes, often paired
wi th lashings of sour cream. Again, all your tradi tional
folksy Polish restaurants will have these on the menu, if
not you have every right to raise a few questions in the
direction of the kitchen.
Zapiekanki: Also known as Polish pizza. Take a stale
baguette, pour mel ted cheese on it and then cover it
wi th mushrooms and ketchup from a squeezy bottle.
Best eaten when absolutel y plastered. Where to buy it:
various fast food cabins dotted around the city centre.
Dessert: Few things in life get a Pole more animated than
a good dessert. Sernik (a kind of cheesecake) being a
must if you want to even attempt to convince a Pole you
have visited their country.
Kaszanka: This is the Polish variation of blood sausage,
in this case pig’s blood mixed with groats, and is generally
served fried with onions. Unlike in other countries it is not
served in the form of a sausage. A variation on the blood dish
is Czernina, a soup made of duck’s blood mixed with poultry
broth. An interesting tale is attached to this dish as it was the
dish served by the parents of young women to her suitors
as a sign that their proposal of marriage was not accepted.
Polish Food
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Le Cedre 84 A-3, Al. Solidarności 84, tel. (+48) 22
618 89 99, This popular Middle Eastern
staple hops across the river to a more accessible location
at the intersection of Jana Pawła and al. Solidarności and
thankfully brings all their reliably exotic flavours along too.
The interior is a magenta masterpiece and sets the scene
for you and your Scheherazade to explore the hefty menu.
Our recommendation: though we’re fans of the entrees like
shawarma your best bet is to mix and match hot and cold
starters, of which there’s a dazzling array (stuffed grape
leaves and grilled halloumi top our list). QOpen 11:00 -
23:00. (32-59zł). PTAVGSW
Olive Garden A-3, ul. Pereca 2, tel. (+48) 22 624
01 91, No need to
squirm, this isn’t the bland Olive Garden chain you’re familiar
with. Rather, this Olive Garden brings a decidedly exotic
brand of dishes to Warsaw in the form of Mediterranean
and Middle Eastern cuisine like homemade pita bread and
sweet kunafeh. For 12-20zl you can nab a lunch special of
an appetiser (we suggest the house-made hummus), entree
and dessert, all delivered in lightning speed to the hungry
be-suited crowds. The available summer garden and sheesha
pipes means Olive Garden is also a promising post-work spot
to unwind. Q Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sat 10:00 - 23:00, Sun
12:00 - 21:00. (20-50zł). PTAXSW
Paros B-3, ul. Jasna 14/16a, tel. (+48) 22 828 10 67, Paros is the first and last place
in Warsaw where a waiter pulled out our chair and helped
us with our coat - - colour us charmed by the gallantry. That
attention carried over to the meal, with Greek staples like
hefty salads and bite-sized spanakopitas as well as hybrid
Greek burgers for the carnivores, all imparting the taste of
the Mediterranean. The restaurant itself is so large it can be
half filled with customers and still seem spacious, even with
a packed white wraparound bar in the middle of the room.
QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 -
21:00. (28-56zł). PTAUEGSW
Middle Eastern
Siriana ul. Smolna 14, tel. (+48) 690 12 62 62. This
promising new Middle-Eastern establishment boasts a chef
straight from Damascus and serves up authentic Syrian
cuisine prepared according to traditional techniques. You’ll
spot plenty of tagines on the menu as well as a wide selection
of hummus, dry tartare, lamb dishes and unique desserts
like the honey-coated baklava. The small setting and central
fireplace makes for a cosy spot to share a kebab-free (for
once!) meal with friends. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun
12:00 - 23:00. Closed Mon. (25-55zł). AEGSW
Cesarski Pałac (Tsinghis Chan) B-2, ul. Senatorska
27, tel. (+48) 22 827 97 07,
pl. A basement grill where diners line up at food stations, pile
ingredients into a bowl before handing it over for a Mongolian
chef to cook - either in a wok or on a Hibachi grill. There’s
plenty to choose from, and in the best traditions of East Asian
cooking the cuts of meat are lean, mean with not a slither of
fat to be seen. Perhaps that’s why it’s rare to spot a Polish
diner. Fifty five zloty gets you all you can eat, which sounds
a pretty fair deal to us. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sat 12:30 -
22:00, Sun 12:30 - 21:00. (55-65zł). PTAGBSW
There are basically three ways you can experience the Polish
dining experience. The cheapest is at one of the surprisingly
large number of surviving communist era Milk Bars, which
you can read about elsewhere. Then there are the chains of
‘country cottage’ style places which turn out Polish staples
of rye soup, stuffed dumplings and heaps of meat and veg
in gut-busting portions. The third form is still a relatively new
one and involves a growing number of young, world-class
chefs using their talents to bring Polish cuisine into the 21st
century. We can happily recommend all three forms depend-
ing on the occasion. Take a look at the places listed here to
give you an idea of which is which.
99 Restaurant & Bar A-3, Al. Jana Pawła II 23, tel.
(+48) 22 620 19 99, A fixture
on the Warsaw dining scene for over ten years and still going
strong in the local corporate lunch trade. An updated design
which is space age white and rather dashing compliments
a highly-recommended, global menu which includes what’s
possibly the best steak in Warsaw. Located within a stone’s
throw of some of the city’s finest hotels, this is one of the
most reliable places in town from breakfast through to supper
whether you’re socialising, doing business or a bit of both.
QOpen 08:00 - 23:00, Fri 08:00 - 24:00, Sat 15:00 - 24:00,
Sun 15:00 - 22:00. (49-99zł). PTAUGSW
Atelier Amaro G- 4, ul. Agrykola 1, tel. (+48) 22 628
57 47, It’s not hyperbole to call
Atelier Amaro one of Poland’s most modern restaurants,
with famed chef Woj ciech Modest Amaro describing the
cuisine as “where nature meets science.” That ‘science’
is molecular gastronomy, which means almost nothing is
as it seems: an amuse-bouche arrives on the table with
a flourish of dry ice fog, revealing caviar atop a surpris-
ingl y citrusy foam. Meals can be 3, 5 or 8 “moments”
(what us regular folks call courses) and employ traditional
Polish plants like nettl es and beetroot in unexpected,
hi ghl y creati ve dishes - like j uniper ice cream hugging
a miniature chocolate cake with chestnuts (with dishes
changing al most dail y, your menu will undoubtedl y be
di f ferent). Count us as impressed that Amaro himsel f
can be seen serving many of the dishes in this intimate
restaurant just inside Łazienki Park. An absolute must for
diehard foodies. Q Open 12:00 - 14:30, 18:00 - 22:30,
Sat 15:00 - 22:30, Mon 18:00 - 22:30. Closed Sun. (145-
280zł). PTAUGW
Bistro Warszawa B-2, ul. Jezuicka 1/3, tel. (+48) 22
635 37 69, Proof that not every
restaurant on the Old Town square has to be a kitschy Polish
throwback comes in the form of stylish Bistro Warszawa,
where soothing whites and greys - - and not a knick-knack
in site - - offer a modern oasis in the heart of the city. The
menu is similarly forward-thinking, with “pre-war Polish
cuisine” with marinated herring in truffle oil and a crisp pear
and walnut salad. And while the atmosphere (and the regular
jazz performances) suggest an upscale experience, don’t
be afraid to order the more pedestrian Bistro burger, which
comes complete with a paper cone of french fries. QOpen
11:00 - 23:00. (27-45zł). PTAEGSW
Don’t expect a gastronomic experience. Do expect a rare
insight into Eastern-Bloc Poland. Subsidised by the state,
this was food for the masses back in the day. With the fall of
communism many bar mleczny found themselves forced out
of business although a few of these canteens have survived
and, aside from offering an interesting diversion for amateur
anthropologists, they make it possible to eat lots in return for
a handful of coins. A Polish friend will know which are the best
and it is still interesting to see many younger Poles still making
regular visits to their favourite one. Value is value wherever
you are. Queue up at the counter, peruse the choice of soups,
meat and veg on offer before placing your order, then watch
in awe as matronly ladies serve up everything from budget
excellence to bowls of slime. We’ve seen both ends of the scale
being reached in the same place. One tip is to go earlier as the
choice and quality in some tends to fall as the day progresses.
In Warsaw keep an eye out for ones we list here.
Bar Mleczny Familijny C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 39,
tel. (+48) 22 826 45 79. QOpen 07:00 - 20:00, Sat,
Sun 09:00 - 17:00. (3-14zł). PUGS
Leniwa Gospodyni F-4, ul. Nowowiejska 12/18,
tel. (+48) 22 825 44 23,
QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
(10-20zł). AGS
Mleczarnia Jerozolimska C-4, Al. Jerozolimskie
32, tel. (+48) 602 38 17 34.QOpen 09:00 - 20:00,
Sat, Sun 11:00 - 19:00. (6-12zł). PUGS
Wiking C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 28, tel. (+48) 22 828 06
44, 07:30 - 21:00, Sat
09:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:30. (11-34zł). PTAGS
Milk bars
Become a fan of Warsaw In Your
Pocket on
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Chłopskie Jadło F- 4, Pl. Konstytucji 1 (entrance
from ul. Waryńskiego), tel. (+48) 22 339 17 17, www. If you’ve been dying to try Poland’s tra-
ditional lard spread called smalec then this is your place. A
nationwide chain devoted to serving rustic Polish food from
the countryside, Chłopskie Jadło dishes up heaping portions
of meat and pierogis on wooden slabs, with a dish of smalec
and wedges of bread complimentary. The décor is country
farm kitsch, with strings of hams and ancient machinery
dangling from the walls. Slide onto a wooden bench (avoiding
the decorative rusty saw) and start with local soups served
inside a loaf of bread before loosening the belt and working
through homemade dumplings and shanks of meat served
by staff that appears as if they’ve just finished milking cows.
A winning intro to Polish food. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Sun
12:00 - 22:00. (18-65zł). PTA6UGS
Delicja Polska F-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście
45, tel. (+48) 22 826 47 70,
One of the top eats around, set to a swish country manor
background of chintz, flowers and candles. Enjoy duck with
apple pancakes while aproned staff cater to your whim and
fancy in what is set to be one of the premier dining experi-
ences on the royal route. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (28-79zł).
Dom Polski H-3, ul. Francuska 11, tel. (+48) 22 616
24 32, Much ink has
been spilt over the virtues of Dom Polski, some of it in these
pages, but there is no getting away from the fact that this
is a good restaurant. Found in a discreet villa on Warsaw’s
millionaires’ row you can expect Rolls Royce service from
the minute you walk in. The food is equally good, chosen
from a menu which is mercifully short, with just a couple of
starters and several main courses to choose from; how it
should be, in other words. We went for the żurek followed by
the potato pancakes with smoked salmon and red caviar,
and couldn’t fault a thing. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (35-118zł).
Florian A-3, ul. Chłodna 3, tel. (+48) 22 620 93 98, Transport yourself back to the 19th century, if
you ignore the flat screen TV, and gorge yourself on traditional
Polish fare. The pastel coloured rooms are bedecked with
antiques, paintings, all forms of dried flora and various bits
and bobs. Luckily, Florian manages to stay just the right side
of being overly stuffed with such decorative items, making it
an ideal place to savour some old style Polish dishes in a relax-
ing atmosphere. Perhaps not the most exciting item on the
menu, but the pierogi are exquisite! A hunting lodge style bar,
designed around a 300 year old fireplace, is located in the attic
room. The building itself is rather interesting, originally built by
General Wilhelm Mier as a barracks for the Szwolezerow guard
way back in the early 18th century. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sat,
Sun 11:00 - 22:00. (18-55zł). PTAIXSW
Folk Gospoda E-2, ul. Waliców 13, tel. (+48) 22
890 16 05, Far from promising
on the outside, Folk Gospoda unravels on entry as a glori-
ous slice of traditional Poland. It’s inside a rugged interior
of stout furnishings and ceramic pots you’ll find boys and
girls in peasant attire rushing around carrying plates of
forti fying Polish food (think heaps of duck). Indeed, the
Polish highlands meet the city inside Gospoda, and that’s
never more so than when the band strikes up to hoot and
holler over the sound of busy diners. Be sure to check out
the wild Polish trout, an eco-friendly dish that will have your
shirt buttons pinging off in no time. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00.
(22-66zł). PTAUIGSW
Halka restauracja po polsku E-3, ul. Pańska 85, tel.
(+48) 22 652 81 02, Named
after one of Poland’s best loved operas Halka takes its name
seriously; interiors here have been painstakingly designed to
mimic a 19th century country manor, a clear nod to Stanisław
Moniuszko’s popular script. Dripping with elegance and lordly
touches this is upmarket Polish food at its best. And despite
what the well-done interior might suggest, they even have
a children’s corner. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 -
22:00. (21-59zł). PTAGSW
Literatka B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 87/89
(second entrance - ul. Senatorska 3), tel. (+48) 22 827
30 54, Located in the shadow of
Zygmunt’s column on the Warsaw’s poshest street, Literatka
is a traditional Polish restaurant with a cosy feel and an
impressive range of Polski and international dishes. Pierogi,
pork and duck all make an appearance as well as a more
than acceptable sirloin steak before finishing with what the
menu describes as apples in a bathrobe with strawberry
mousse. It’s not bad at all and a suitable way to finish a day
ploughing the tourist trail in the adjacent old town. QOpen
10:00 - 24:00. (30-70zł). PTA6IXSW
LOKAL.BISTRO B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 64,
tel. (+48) 506 82 39 03. The former Grand Old Dame of
Warsaw’s ‘designer’ burger bars, this bistro of high ceilings,
chalky walls, blonde wood and lots of varnished chipboard
has apparently grown disenchanted with Warsaw’s lat-
est food fad and is jumping off the burger bandwagon in
mid-February when they expand their menu. Fear not, the
burgers are staying on, but now you’ve got other grilled
specialties to choose from, plus regularly changing Polish
and International dishes. There’s a heavy emphasis on local
and Polish-sourced ecological ingredients, and drinks-wise
there’s not a Coke or Pepsi in sight; rather such oddities as
beetroot juice, Chleb Kwasowy (a traditional yeast fermented
drink that may well get your bowels going) and beer from the
staggeringly brilliant Browar Konstancin. QOpen 12:00 -
23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 01:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. (25-60zł).
Oberża Pod Czerwonym Wieprzem (Under the
Red Hog) E-2, ul. Żelazna 68, tel. (+48) 22 850 31
44, The story here’s a good ‘un.
In 2006 workers uncovered a secret underground eatery
frequented by all the communist bad boys you’d ever think of;
Mao, Lenin, Castro and Brezhnev to name a few. Unearthed
were a stack of medals, manuscripts, menus and uniforms.
This being capitalist Poland a plan was hatched to make a
mint from resurrecting the restaurant and opening it to all.
That’s the story anyhow. It’s actually claptrap, designed to
fool tourists and the occasional half-witted magazine. Still,
this place forms an intrinsic part of any commie inspired tour
you may be doing of Warsaw, and a jolly good place to dine
on Tito Boar, pig’s trotters in aspic and Polish-style duck. In
the background lots of sashes, portraits and pretty young
girls dressed for a May Day parade. Saturday and Sunday
find child minders available to entertain your tots. QOpen
12:00 - 23:30. (26-58zł). PTAUGSW
Pierrogeria B-1, ul. Krzywe Koło 30, tel. (+48) 604 17
90 02, If too many more top notch,
great value places like this open in Old Town, the area is in
serious danger of losing its tourist trap moniker. This divine
little pierogi stop keeps it simple, keeps it cheap and does
so in a gorgeous setting. The tables all get individual lamps,
and if you can bag one by the window at lunchtime then you
should settle in for a very long afternoon. QOpen 11:00 -
22:00. (20-26zł). TAGSW
Polish tipping eti quette can be a bi t confusing for
foreigners. While in other civilized countries it’s normal
to say ‘ thanks’ when a wai ter coll ects the money,
you’ll be horri fied to learn that in Poland uttering the
word ‘dzi ękuj e’ (thank you), or even ‘ thank you’ i n
English, is an indication that you won’t be wanting
any change back. This cultural slip-up can get very
embarrassing and expensive as the waiter/waitress
then typically does their best to play the fool and make
you feel ashamed for asking for your money back, or
conveniently disappears having pocketed all of your
change, no matter what the cost of the meal and size
of the note it was paid with. We suggest that you only
say ‘ thank you’ i f you are happy for the waitstaff to
keep all of the change. Otherwise we advise you to
only use the word ‘proszę’ when handing back the bill
and the payment.
Despi te the fact that the average wai tress in PL onl y
makes a pal try 10-15zł/hr, a customary tip is still
onl y around 10% of the meal’s total (though being
a forei gner may make staf f expectant of a bi t more
generosi ty). As such, we encourage you to reward
good servi ce when you feel i t’s deserved. Fi nal l y,
i t is not common to add the tip to your credi t card
payment because wai tstaf f are forced to then pay
tax on the gratui ty; most likel y you will not even be
abl e to l eave a tip on your card. Have some change
handy so you can still l eave a cash tip, or ask your
server for change.
Tipping Tribulations
ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 87/89, Warsaw
Tel. +48 22 497 57 72
Tel./fax. +48 22 827 30 54
Restaurant Literatka
is pleased to invite you for delicious
dishes of traditional Polish and
international cuisine.
There’s a number of ways to survive winter in Poland,
and we’ve tried them all; from dressing up like Eskimos
to eating loads of fat and staying home. Of all the
methods none however rewards as much as heading
down the pub. It’s in these noble establishments you’ll
find the answer to the ice age, namely a pint of grzane
piwo – that’s hot beer to you and me. Now it might
sound rancid but give it a try. You’ll get a frothing beer
served piping hot with a choice of various flavourings
– cloves, cinnamon, honey, ginger and an array of fruit
juices. Grzane wino – mulled wine – is equally popular
at this time of year and is particularly decent when
using a dry red.
Couple of things a veteran will keep their eye out for;
firstly, the distant ping of a microwave is usually a give-
away that they don’t know what they’re doing behind the
scenes. You most certainly don’t want your drink fried.
Secondly, ask for a mug, not a glass. Drinks lose their
temperature fast so it’s always best to have a mug,
preferably a sturdy clay chap. Thirdly, and a gentle prod
to any simpletons, remember your drink is going to be
scorching hot when it arrives. Gulping it down in one is
going to seriously hurt. And remember, if you’re trying
this at home, never let the drink hit boiling point. That’s
disaster. If you’re too scared to get creative yoursel f
then you’ll find ready-to-heat mulled wine on sale in off
licenses - look for Grzaniec Galicyjski. During the colder
months you will find most restaurants and bars offering
some form of hot alcohol and we can’t recommend
them enough.
Hot Beer
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Polka, Magda Gessler po prostu B-2, ul. Świętojańska
2, tel. (+48) 22 635 35 35, No
other restaurateur dominates the Warsaw scene like Magda
Gessler, and Polka is one of her Polish offerings to Warsaw’s
growing band of gastronauts. Like her other ventures Polka has
a fairytale design that makes use of floral prints and country
clutter, and the interiors here are a fancy muddle of frou frou
chambers. But it’s with good food that the name Gessler is
most commonly associated with, and here there’s plenty of
that to choose from. Find your usual assortment of Polish
delicacies, made using the finest locally sourced produce. In
added boon the prices are kind on the eye as well. QOpen
12:00 - 23:00. (24-68zł). PTAGS
Radio Café B-4, ul. Nowogrodzka 56, tel. (+48) 22 625 27
84, Penetrate the curtains to enter a legend,
a venue with shady connections to the underground broadcasts
of Radio Free Europe. Attesting to this past are photos, cuttings
and sketches, as well as an ageing clientele all too familiar with
the bad old days. You wouldn’t define this venue as progressive,
yet it’s an immensely enjoyable way to glimpse pre-sushi Warsaw
and enjoy lively chat in an almost historic atmosphere. The food
is good as well, with central European standards that do far more
than just keep the cold at bay. QOpen 07:30 - 23:00, Sat, Sun
10:00 - 23:00. (20-48zł). TAGS
Restauracja Różana G-5, ul. Chocimska 7, tel. (+48)
22 848 12 25, A two
floor pre-war villa full of chichi touches, flowers and crockery.
Very pretty, but you’ll soon learn they attract return custom
on account of the cooking, not the interiors. The setting
might look high end but the prices are certainly not, and you’ll
find Różana recognized across the city as one of the best
dinner deals around. The veal liver with onions and cherry
sauce is divine. Plenty claim to open till the last customer
but only these guys are the real deal - if there’s people dining
then the kitchen will stay open, and that doesn’t matter if
it’s midnight or daybreak. Give a quick call ahead to check.
QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (30-70zł). PTAIEXSW
Słony G-4, ul. Piękna 11 (entrance from ul. Krucza),
tel. (+48) 22 629 03 64, Magda Gessler
strikes again, but not with the usual overdecorated sit-down
restaurant we’ve come to expect; this time the celebrity
restaurateur has created a grown-up snack bar that’s a com-
plete knockout. A glass case in the middle of the restaurant
houses a variety of canapés to choose from - wouldn’t the
French die to see smalec and pickles on a canapé? - and
the menu is populated with small meaty dishes primarily in
the 4-12zł range (can we call it Polish tapas?). The simple
homemade white sausage with onion jam is on our city-wide
best-of list, and with one entire wall utilised for wine storage
you can sip and snack your way to pure bliss. QOpen 09:00
- 23:00, Fri 09:00 - 01:00, Sat 10:00 - 01:00, Sun 10:00 -
23:00. (12-39zł). PA6GSW
Strauss Restaurant B-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 45 (Po-
lonia Palace Hotel), tel. (+48) 22 318 28 34, www. A classy restaurant serving Polish/International
cuisine inside the elegant confines of the Polonia Palace.
Check their Friday night deal where 105zł buys a Polish buffet
accompanied by live music. Q Open 06:30 - 10:00, 11:00 -
16:00, 18:00 - 22:30, Sat, Sun 06:30 - 10:30, 18:00 - 22:30.
(36-120zł). PTAUGW
U Barssa B-1, Rynek Starego Miasta 14, tel. (+48)
22 635 24 76, Old Town is packed with
standard places to eat, but has traditionally been something
of a desert when it comes to great places to eat. Times are
a-changing. As you walk into the elegant dining room you
will discover a world of luxury, craft and privilege (oh yes,
best save up before coming). Veal escalopes with dill sauce
and the signature duck a la Barssa (baked with apples and
served with cranberries and plum sauce and accompanied
by baked potatoes and beet konfiture) are just a few of the
treats you can expect, and we have yet to mention the wine
list. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. (25-70zł). TAEGSW
U Fukiera B-2, Rynek Starego Miasta 27, tel. (+48) 22
831 10 13, The most famous restau-
rant in town with a guestbook that speaks for itself; Naomi
Campbell, Henry Kissinger and Sarah Ferguson are a few of
the names who’ve taken a seat here. The interior is a work
of art, crowded with paintings and antiques, it’s hard not to
feel a part of history when dining here. The food is the perfect
indulgence with perfectly presented game dishes. Your bill is
a different matter, and may present a double Dutch situation.
QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (41-105zł). PTJAGSW
U Kucharzy B-2, ul. Ossolińskich 7, tel. (+48) 22 826
79 36, Cooking becomes theatre inside U
Kucharzy, a restaurant where chefs toil next to diners inside
what once served as the kitchen of the Europejski Hotel.
Black and white tiles, hams hanging from ceilings and florid-
faced chefs cursing over the din; eating here is like being
on the set of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. The food is no
nightmare, however, rather a collection of top priced game
dishes and other posh alternatives. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00.
(39-79zł). TAEGS
Zapiecek C-4, ul. Nowy Świat 64, tel. (+48) 22 692
41 35, Packed through all hours this
pierogi kitchen assumes the ‘Grandmother’s country cottage’
look, with pots and pans hanging from every shelf, and lots
of hard timber touches. Much talked about, their deliciously
1 Frcia Si. · Tcl. 22 831 61 90
13 ģwičiojaęsla Si. · Tcl. 22 635 61 09
18 Frcia Si. · Tcl. 22 635 79 59
1 Podwalc Si. · Tcl. 663 564 293
64 Nowy ģwiai Si. · Tcl. 22 692 41 35
Al. Jerozolimskie 101, Warszawa
Tel. (+48) 22 370 25 52
restaurant in Warsaw
light dough pockets come with all the fillings you can imagine.
If you don’t fancy a sit down then check their street-level take
away window for lunch-on-the-run. Also at Al. Jerozolimskie
28 (C-4). QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. (19-
36zł). PTAGS
Central Grill A-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 101, tel. (+48) 22
370 25 52. Situated, ever so slightly, on the wrong side of the
Central railway station the location isn’t great, but it’s on the
main drag and easy to find. The restaurant façade doesn’t look
great, what with the Kebab shop style menu in the window - a
large garish board with photos of meat and chips and a fine pic
of a bleary-eyed fish poking its head out of a sea of fries and
some salad. Inside it’s a different story, warm colours, profes-
sionally set tables, the ubiquitous open kitchen and some
quaint pictures made up of traditional Portuguese tiles from the
owner’s former home of Madeira. The Portuguese and Brazilian
staff excel in their passion for grilling meat, plus a selection of
Northern Atlantic aquatic friends are also on the menu. A tad
pricey, but wait until you see the size of the portions and the side
dishes. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (30-70zł). PAUGSW
Babooshka C-3, ul. Oboźna 9 lok. 102, tel. (+48) 22
406 33 66, A smart little place, if
you’re a peasant, otherwise be prepared for benches, beer
and borscht. Russian cuisine isn’t for the faint hearted, and
the Babooshka chain excels at serving large portions of vein
clotting meats and veg to the masses. Also at ul. Krucza
41/43 (C-4) and ul. Grójecka 18/20 (E-4). QOpen 10:00 -
21:30. (30-40zł). TA6UGSW
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Osteria F-3, ul. Koszykowa 54 (entrance from ul.
Poznańska), tel. (+48) 22 621 16 46,
Some of the best seafood in Warsaw, with a menu featur-
ing fresh oysters, langoustines, parrotfish (yes, really) and
some very good octopus. The modern interior includes
hardwood and porthole finishes, as well as aquariums from
which African fish look on in alarm as their colleagues meet
a sticky end in the open kitchen. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Sun
14:00 - 21:00. (56-122zł). PTAGSW
Casa Pablo A-3, ul. Grzybowska 5a, tel. (+48) 22 324
57 81, Spanish restaurants are few
and far between in Warsaw, so it’s not hard to stand out if
that’s the menu you’re slinging. Yet Casa Pablo doesn’t rest
on those laurels and ups the ante with creative Spanish-
influenced cuisine that meant we’d heard about their duck
breast burger and creamy cauliflower soup before crossing
their threshold (another notable entree that seafood lovers
will appreciate is the scallops). That doesn’t even touch on
the desserts, or the specials we’ve seen...not that you’ll
need any extra enticements once you’ve explored this unique
menu. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. Closed
Sun. (50-85zł). PTAUBXW
Ole Tapas Steak Restaurant C-4, ul. Bracka 2, tel.
(+48) 519 87 57 67, The steak
trend in Warsaw shows no sign of losing steam as Ole adds
to the stiff competition amongst flesh slingers, but with a
Spanish twist. That theme is clear as soon as you step
inside the small, modern restaurant which uses images of
Flamenco dancers to line the mezzanine staircase. We’ve
seen diners swoon while consuming the fresh tuna, and
the Spanish tortilla packed with zucchini makes an ideal
light lunch when you don’t want a slab of beef weighing you
down. Oh, but when you do, Ole spoils diners for choice with
Basque, Kobe, Galician and even Sirloin with foie gras. Ask
your server what he recommends, as ours was liberal with
solid recommendations. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (35-100zł).
Sol y Sombra A-3, ul. Grzybowska 2 lok.16, tel. (+48)
22 404 70 11, Formerly Cuatro
Caminos Tapas Bar, Sol y Sambra seems to have kept the
former’s kitschy décor as well as their consistently deli-
cious cuisine (new owner, new chef), which is authentically
Spanish to the core. The lunch special lands you soup and
a main, and we can’t say enough for the gazpacho when
it’s in season. The paella requires a bit of a wait, so get
yoursel f some grilled asparagus with Serrano ham to make
the time pass more enjoyably. As the third tapas bar to
call this address home we’re thinking this one is a keeper.
QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Mon, Sun 11:00 - 21:00. (29-49zł).
Frida C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 34, tel. (+48) 22 826 42
18, Mexican ballads, sombrero shaped
ashtrays and splashy pictures of Frida Kahlo; this place
has the lot. Service is great, flirty even, while the menu
gets gongs for featuring all the right Mexican suspects.
There’s a distinct lack of dynamite to the salsa, but all in all
this is a decent addition to Warsaw’s Mex offerings, and a
definite alternative to your more tried Nowy Świat venues.
QOpen 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 02:00. (22-89zł).
If ever there was a sign of how far Poland has come then
Plac Trzech Krzyży is it - lined up like diamond ducks are
top bracket boutiques, a five star hotel, and a phalanx
of Jeeps parked outside designer bars. This corner of
Warsaw has it all, and standing at the top of it is Dom
Dochodowy (the Incomes House), a glittering example
of when old meets new. Essentially a triangular faced
townhouse, the original Dom Dochodowy is thought to
have been constructed back in the 18th century, before
being improved on by Antoni Luciński - the supervisor of
King Poniatowski’s private cellar. Essentially comprised
of three separate houses (one facing Ujazdowskie,
another Mokotowska, and the final one staring down
Trzech Krzyży), the properties served countless uses
over the years, including that of distillery, playing card
factory and private laboratory for one budding Harry
Potter. The building survived the Warsaw Uprising, but
not in particularly good shape, and for the following
decades was allowed to rot slowly away. Finally, at
the start of this century, work was undertaken by the
Platan Group to restore the structure. The results are
fantastic - decorative plaster mouldings, polychromes
and historic decorations all saw the master touch, while
other details to look for include a floor mosaic making
use of four types of wood, iron balustrades and period-
style lampposts. Check the finer details for yoursel f by
spending in the Zegna and Burberry boutique inside,
the Ale Gloria restaurant in the cellar, or the stretch of
cafes/bars/restaurants to the side. Look for it on pl.
Trzech Krzyży 3.
The Incomes House
The best steaks in town
The Mexican B-3/4, ul. Zgoda 6, tel. (+48) 22 826 00
09, Unclog your system and get your guts
gargling by attending The Mexican, a venue with shocking
burritos that come served under a slurry of cabbage and florid
sauce. A lot of effort has been put into the venue itself, and
many a passerby will be wooed by the scantily clad flamenco-
inspired attire of the waitresses; If only they focused half as
much attention on the food. QOpen 11:00 - 23:30, Fri, Sat
12:00 - 01:30, Sun 12:00 - 23:30. (27-54zł). TAGSW
Warsaw Tortilla Factory F-3, ul. Wilcza 46, tel. (+48)
22 621 86 22, In a country
that considers ketchup spicy we’re always trepidacious when
restaurants boast of any sort of heat factor. Fortunately,
the Warsaw Tortilla Factory isn’t kidding when they call their
habanero mango salsa “explosive.” The rest of the Tex-Mex
menu also lives up to expectations, with outsized burritos few
adults can finish and a cheesy Philly taco that’s so wrong it’s
right. And don’t forget chicken wings for 1zł on Tuesdays. Heck
we’d probably lick the guacamole off the floor and wash it down
with a Corona. We doubt anyone at the WTF would blink if we
did since the mixed crowd of locals and ex-pats is equally as
focused on their salsa-laden plates. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00,
Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. (18-60zł). PTA6EXSW
Fusion Perfect B-4, ul. Wspólna 35, tel. (+48) 22 628 18
25, Add the word Fusion to a restaurant
name these days and it may well conjure up scary flashbacks to
the gastronomic world of 10 years ago. At the time Warsaw also
had its fair share of well meaning, yet generally disappointing Fu-
sion eateries. In this case there is no need to panic, please note
they have added the word PERFECT to the name! A beautifully
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
stylish, simple and natural interior serving up some very fine takes
on Chinese, Indian and Thai cuisine. The menu is about as long
as the Palace of Culture is tall, making it pretty difficult to decide
on what to order. Thankfully, jolly staff are on hand to discuss the
food on offer and gently prod you in the right direction. If you are
planning on having a few drinkies try to avoid facing one of the
walls with the Asian style op-art wallpaper. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00.
(22-49zł). PTAUVEGSW
Little Thai Gallery B-3, Pl. Dąbrowskiego 2/4, tel. (+48)
22 827 44 10, Often having a good
Thai meal in Warsaw means trading atmosphere for authentic-
ity. Thankfully you’ll have to make no such compromises at Little
Thai Gallery, where the food is every bit as good as the lush
surroundings. The 24zl lunch special is a steal, with soup (we
liked the soy noodle with pork) tea and an entree like fresh veggie
spring rolls leaving you happily stuffed. Practically any dish has
the option of being ramped up to spicy hot, and the interiors
will leave you as breathless as the peppers; the giant painting
of a praying monk that dominates the south wall is almost as
big as the restaurant itself. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sat 13:00 -
22:00, Sun 13:00 - 21:00. (30-60zł). PTA6UVGS
Natara A-2, Al. Solidarności 129/131, tel. (+48) 666
10 15 00, Natara has one of the strangest
dining spaces we’ve encountered: five tables are squeezed
into a cramped, low-ceilinged second floor that’s so stuffy
we saw a diner apply deodorant mid-meal. But you know
what you’re going to do? Put up with it, because the food is
excellent. The pad Thai is the best we’ve had in Poland, and
the stir-fried rice with cocktail shrimps, pork and pineapple
is a steaming pile of excellence. The menu comes in two
giant tomes and has plenty of curries, vegetarian dishes
and noodles to hold you over until your next trip to Thailand.
QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. (20-48zł). PTAGS
Papaya C-3, ul. Foksal 16, tel. (+48) 22 826 11 99, www. We’ll never tire of recommending Papaya, an
ice white venue rated as one of the best restaurants in the city.
Oysters come plucked from the aquarium, while an open kitchen
allows the pleasure of watching the chefs at work; these guys
don’t miss a beat, and show off every trick in the book as they cre-
ate standout dishes like steamed bass in banana leaf and class
pad Thai. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (32-265zł). PTAXSW
Kamanda Lwowska C-3, ul. Foksal 10, tel. (+48) 22 828
10 31, Here’s a restaurant that
gets back to basics, offering up a cavalcade of dishes that have
been otherwise deleted from modern Warsaw. Featuring peas-
ant pictures and brick ceilings this isn’t the experiment in vanity
you expect of ul. Foksal, choosing instead to hark to the times
when Ukrainian Lviv was actually Polish Lwów. The emphasis
is firmly on the good old days - before moustached dictators
started dictating Poland’s borders - and the design is a pleas-
ing jumble of craftwork and clutter. The menu, too, has been
painstakingly perfected, and includes such masterstrokes as
cheesecake cooked to a secret grandparent’s recipe . QOpen
12:00 - 24:00. (38-55zł). PTAEGSW
Biosfeera F-6, Al. Niepoległości 80, tel. (+48) 22 898
01 55, An ultra-funky interior full of
hanging canvas lamps, orange dashes and shining wood fin-
ishes generates the hip atmosphere normally lacking in Polish
vegetarian haunts. The Koza Italiana is a fantastic way to prime
yourself for the meatless main courses that come with names
like Szpinakolada and Tortilla Kama Sutra. Freshly squeezed
juices and fruit cocktails come as refreshment, and expect
the thousand-yard stare if you ask for a beer and an ashtray.
QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. (29-39zł). TA6UGSW
Green Bar B-3, ul. Szpitalna 6, tel. (+48) 22 625 00 55, An oasis of veggie goodness in the meaty
heart of this carnivorous city, Green Bar keeps it simple - soup,
quiches, light meals and the like - but does so very well indeed, and
keeps prices low, ensuring it a steady stream of customers - at
lunchtime especially. Just about your only veggie option this close
to the city centre, we say get here while you can. QOpen 10:00 -
21:00, Sun 11:00 - 21:00. (12-15zł). PAUGS
smaczneGO! B-4, ul. Wspólna 54a, tel. (+48) 603 95
35 25. SmaczneGO is disarmingly simple: lots of food for little
money, all of it easily packed to go. Takeout orders outnumber
the sit-down diners and the employees earn their wages hustling
between the kitchen and the front counter with containers of soup
and piles of goulash. There’s more vegetarian options than your
ul. Wspólna 35 | tel. +48 22 628 18 25 | |
Experience the tastes of Thailand, India and China
average Warsaw restaurant, though our veggie burrito stretched
the boundaries of what even the most liberal Mexican would con-
sider legit (we’re pretty sure the same tomato sauce used for the
lasagne is doused on top of the burrito). QOpen 09:30 - 20:00,
Sat, Sun 12:00 - 19:00. (9-16zł). PTA6GS
Nam Sajgon C-4, ul. Bracka 18, tel. (+48) 880 63 39
85, This Vietnamese gem has
upgraded from its origins as a stall in the National Stadium
to a two-level spot on Bracka, but the lines haven’t changed.
That’s because you can’t beat the fresh spring rolls or the
large vermicelli salads, which will easily provide tomorrow’s
lunch too. The steaming bowls of Pho are one of the most
popular options thanks to the delicious meaty broth, and the
list of teas and Vietnamese coffee are equally impressive.
QOpen 10:00 - 21:30, Sun 10:00 - 20:30. (10-19zł). GS
Butchery & Wine B-4, ul. Żurawia 22, tel. (+48) 22
502 31 18, A wonderful addi-
tion to the Warsaw dining scene winning points for originality
and simplicity. Try to put the image of mass slaughter over a
glass of Cabernet Sauvignon out of your mind and instead
visit to be met by a polite and well-drilled staff in pin-striped
butchers’ aprons inside a bright, modern, relaxed venue with
an open kitchen and enough wine on display to float a battle-
ship. The menu features a range of real steaks prepared
exactly to order and served on wooden boards with additional
sauce and side options. While it doesn’t have to be steak (the
rest of menu looked mouth-watering) we can’t imagine ever
daring to order anything but such was the enjoyment we took
from eating one. Recommended. Q Open 12:00 - 22:00.
Closed Sun. (29-120zł). PTAGW
Downtown Restaurant & Steakhouse A-4, ul.
Emilii Plater 49 (InterContinental Hotel), tel. (+48) 22
328 87 45, Considering these
are the same folks who bust out one of Warsaw’s most lavish
Sunday buffet each week, it’s no surprise that the Intercon-
tinental’s Downtown restaurant holds nothing back on their
extravagant steak menu. The meaty choices are global, with
selections ranging from a cut of U.S. Longhorn from Iowa to a
tender hunk of Charolais beef from France’s Burgundy region.
Steaks can be paired with one of five sauces and seven sides,
and all you need to provide is the post-meal belt-loosening.
Q Open 06:30 - 10:30, 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 23:00, Sat
06:30 - 10:30, 12:00 - 16:00, Sun 06:30 - 10:30, 12:30 -
16:00. (39-185zł). PTAUEGW
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Blikle Café C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 33, tel. (+48) 22 826
64 50, A part of Warsaw folklore. This is
where Charles De Gaulle used to come for his donuts back
in his Warsaw days, and Blikle still sell a chocolate and mar-
zipan cake honouring their famous guest. A classy, august
venue, with a menu available until midnight that includes
a range of breakfasts, lunches, ice creams and a dessert
selection that will have you in heaven. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00.
Bubbleology B-3, ul. Chmielna 26, www.bubbleol- Few things have gotten us more excited than the
arrival (finally!) of bubble tea in Poland. Bubbleology is a
UK chain that offers milk and fruit teas that can be mixed
in any number of combinations - - just ask one of the lab
coat-wearing “bubbleologists” behind the counter for their
most creative recommendations; passionfruit and vanilla?
Taro and kumquat? It’s just tea and tables here, but that’s
all you need to enjoy this tall, cold refreshment. QOpen
11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:30 - 23:00, Sun 10:30 - 22:00.
Cafe Baguette B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 69,
tel. (+48) 22 828 76 10. Confronted with Cafe Baguette’s
impressive wall of loaves and pastries it’s fair to question
whether you took a wrong turn on K-P and somehow ended
up in a cosy Parisian boulangerie. In a city where good bread
can be harder to find than happy stories Cafe Baguette is
a welcome (and already popular) addition. Salads, quiches
and thick sandwiches fill up their display case, while baskets
of croissants and desserty goodness surround the register.
The outdoor seats provide a great spot for people watching
while diving into sticky pastries. Q Open 06:00 - 24:00, Fri,
Sat, Sun 06:00 - 01:00. AGSW
Cafe Próżna B-3, ul. Próżna 12, tel. (+48) 22 620
32 57, Making a stir with Warsaw’s
intellectuals is Cafe Próżna, a cracking cafe set inside a
shattered building that looks ready to keel over. You’ll be
lucky to find a seat inside this narrow venue, even more so
if there’s a lecture or reading going on. Decorated with pre-
war photographs, Próżna comes with a pile of well-thumbed
history books in the entrance, tiny tea candles and a base-
ment level to soak up any overflow of customers. The only
disappointment here are the smoothies; nowhere near as
good as the venue deserves. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Mon,
Sun 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00. 6GSW
Café Vincent C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 64, tel. (+48) 22
828 01 15. This place is a great French bakery and coffee
shop doing a huge range of authentic pastries and bread.
This is rather unfortunate as the large queue and tiny shop
space move quickly while you dither, and you also risk being
smacked by a baguette if you turn around too quickly, but
it’s worth it as a coffee and croissant will set you back less
than 20zl. Also at ul. Jana Pawła II 82 (D-1, Arkadia). QOpen
06:30 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 06:30 - 01:00. PA6GSW
Chłodna 25 E-2, ul. Żelazna 75a (entrance from ul.
Chłodna), tel. (+48) 22 620 24 13, www.klubkome- The unofficial home of Warsaw counter-culture,
and something of a community centre for wacky art types;
they’re all here, from ex-pat hacks typing up tomorrow’s copy,
to drama queers committing theatre scripts to memory. Dis-
tracting them from the duty at hand are jazzy tunes, poetry
slams and the occasional comedy show, plus plenty of wine
and beer. Chairs of varying style and condition, board games
and batty artwork all add to the atmosphere, making C25
every bit as appealing as it is curious. QOpen 08:00 - 23:00,
Sat, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. A6GSW
Coffee Karma F-4, Mokotowska 17, tel. (+48) 22 875
87 09, Earnest looking intellectuals
read Hesse while taking languid sips of hand-roasted coffee.
Huge windows afford views of Pl. Zbawiciela, and the staff
are also adept at fixing exotic smoothies. Ten out of ten.
QOpen 07:30 - 23:00, Sat 09:00 - 23:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00.
Costa by Cof fee Heaven C- 3, ul. Krakowskie
Przedmieście 8, tel. (+48) 22 828 28 58, www. Costa recently upgraded their digs from
a less-than-inspiring (and often faintly bathroom-spelling)
location on Nowy Świat to this new, airy and arty space on
Krakowskie Przedmieście. The transition hasn’t affected the
standard corporate menu of reliable coffees and pre-made
sandwiches, but the atmosphere is a major upgrade and the
clientele now skews decidedly younger thank to its proximity
to the University. One of the best renewals of a tired brand
that we’ve seen in a while. QOpen 07:00 - 21:00, Sat, Sun
08:00 - 21:00. PTAGSW
Green Caffe Nero G-5, ul. Tadeusza Boja-Żeleńskiego
2, tel. (+48) 22 118 25 20, It’s
the perfect caffeinated marriage: Poland’s popular Green
Coffee joins forces with the UK-based Caffe Nero to create
this first-of-its-kind joint venture. In this case everyone wins
- - Caffe Nero provides their Italian blends while Green Coffee
offers house-made sandwiches to the hungry PC-users that
swarm the fluffy couches and wood slab tables. The cafe
itself is on Pl. Unii Lubelskiej, one stop down on the tram from
the too-cool-for-school Pl. Zbawiciela, which means you won’t
be fighting underfed hipsters for a seat. There’s still some
growing pains to work out (the music’s too loud, the bathroom
has windows that allow you to wave at neighbours from the
seat) but overall it’s a match made in espresso heaven.
QOpen 07:00 - 23:00. PA6GSW
Lody na Patyku C-2, ul. Lipowa 7a, tel. (+48) 602
13 46 34. Poles love their ice cream, and Lody na Patyku
(roughly “Ice Cream on a Stick”) takes that love affair to a
more sophisticated level with a large variety of ice cream
flavours and coatings that are slapped on sticks, reshaped
(hearts, giant paws) and sprinkled with toppings (coconut,
pistachios) that make deciding on the perfect stick a lengthy
process. The first floor offers seating and the option for
legitimate meals like soups and sandwiches, but embrace
your inner eight year old and go with an ice cream or two.
QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 23:00.
Loft B-3, ul. Złota 11, tel. (+48) 608 60 84 88, www. Mixed in amongst fast food choices like KFC
and Sphinx comes Loft, a welcome respite for those who
don’t necessarily want a meal in the city centre that requires
eating with your fingers. The space itself is fun, with bubbly
lights and bright furniture mixing with wacky S&M cartoonish
artwork and tableside aquariums. Lunch is your best bet, with
sandwiches flying out of the kitchen for just 15zł and large
salads setting you back 25zl. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Sat,
Sun 11:00 - 23:00. PTA6UEXSW
Ministerstwo Kawy F-4, ul. Marszałkowska 27/35,
tel. (+48) 503 08 09 06,
Another café at Plac Zbawiciela? Just when we thought it
had reached critical mass (Charlotte, Coffee Karma and
Kawiarnia Funky are all mere steps away) Ministerstwo
Kawy throws open its doors and proves that all you truly
need for a successful coffee shop is an espresso machine,
a few chairs and reliable Wi-Fi. Oh, and bathrooms. Students
have claimed this place as their own, and the tables are
consistently filled with backpacks and half-eaten bowls of
soup. Our favourite spot for pulling long laptop sessions
with no hassle or hipsters. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun
10:00 - 22:00. PA6UGSW
Moments Tasty Life C-4, ul. Nowy Świat 6/12, tel.
(+48) 512 38 23 62, Yes, it sounds
like a three-year-old named the place. Overlook it. Moments
occupies a prime spot at the intersection of Nowy Świat
and Jerozolimskie inside the former stock exchange build-
ing, which means great people watching while you nibble
that carrot cake (or shovel it down like us). There’s plenty
of outdoor seating when the weather is right, and inside
it’s sparse, modern and populated by some impressively
well-made coffee drinks. QOpen 07:30 - 22:00, Sat, Sun
10:00 - 22:00. PTA6UGSW
Petit Appetit C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 27, tel. (+48) 22
826 44 61, The sprawling street
of Nowy Świat/Krakowskie Przedmieście is now bookended
with boulangeries: on the northern end there’s Cafe Baguette,
and on the southern Petit Appetit. This French newcomer
already impresses by offering fantastic homemade crepes
and fluffy omelettes along with authentic crusty bread that
patrons can watch being baked via a large glass window on
the kitchen. The usual pain au chocolates and creme brulees
line the bakery case along with a mind-boggling array of
loaves that beg to be taken on the go (in your bicycle basket
no less). Our only complaint? The coffee cups lack useable
handles! Yet its a price we’re willing to pay for a little taste of
Paris. QOpen 06:30 - 23:00. PA6UGSW
Piękna Bistro - Espresso F-4, ul. Piękna 20, tel. (+48)
22 627 41 51, Open early and aimed at
those who rush to work with computer bags hoisted over their
shoulders. Coffee on the run with in-house baked croissants
and baguettes inside the sleek interiors one associates with
what is now called the Jazz Zone chain. Renovations were re-
cently completed, so you can now experience a refreshed Piek-
na Espresso . QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. PTAUXSW
Słodki Słony G-4, ul. Mokotowska 45, tel. (+48) 22
622 49 34, Exceedingl y ornate
interiors announce the arrival of one more Magda Gessler
venture, this one with a heavy emphasis on cakes, pastries
and chocolate. There’s guilty pleasures aplenty in this place,
and all packaged inside a design that’s half Martha Stewart
and half English country house. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Mon
11:00 - 24:00. PA6GSW
Starbucks Coffee C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 62, tel. (+48) 22
829 40 21, Anti-globalists weep. After
years of threatening so the agents of Satan, Starbucks, have
opened shop in Warsaw, and in the most obvious location of
all - bang on Nowy Świat. And it’s everything you’d expect - big,
comfortable, popular, and with very good coffee combos to
keep the people coming over and over again. Also at (A-2) Al.
Solidarności 68a, (A-2) ul. Emilii Plater 53, (C-4) Pl. Trzech Krzyży
16 and (B-4) Al. Jerozolimskie 63. QOpen 07:30 - 21:30, Fri,
Sat 07:30 - 23:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:30. PAUGSW
To Lubię B-1, ul. Freta 10, tel. (+48) 22 635 90 23, Divine. Coffee, cakes, pies, breakfast, cof-
fee and apple or plum crumble at 12zł a slice (not necessarily
in that order). Opposite the church on a street that is best
known as being tourist-trap central, this is the kind of place
you can get all twee and generally Krakow for a moment.
Old/New Town should be full of places like is. ‘I like this’ is
what the name means and we do. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00..
I f there’s one uni versal truth about Pol es i t’s that
they l ove their dessert. What mi ght be consi dered
a special treat or i ndul gence i n your country i s a
standard part of the meal, a stapl e not to be l eft out.
A lap past any i ce cream parl our or bakery typi call y
reveals l ong lines and hefty purchases (yet still the
Pol es stay impressi vel y skinny. Unfair). Evi dence of
this sugary fanati cism can be found in the l ong tradi -
tion of ‘chocolate l ounges,’ cafes that are devoted
to the cocoa-dri ven nectar in a way you thought onl y
Hansel and Gretel coul d imagine.
Karmello B- 3, ul. Chmielna 11, www.karmello.
pl. Taki ng i ts ti me i n comi ng to the capi tal , thi s
general newcomer to PL’s confecti onery tradi ti on
has already established i tsel f as one of the coun-
tr y’s fi nest chocol ati ers wi th ten shops i n seven
other Polish ci ti es. Packed full of stunning display
cases that practi call y sparkl e wi th over 50 vari et-
i es of exclusi vel y-crafted chocolates - plus truf fl es,
chocolate bars, candi ed chocolate-dipped frui t and
other speci al ti es - the hot chocol ate and cof fee
concoctions are per fect on a col d day and there’s a
l ovel y terrace in the warm months. I deal for pi cking
up a ni ce gi ft in a pinch, or plan ahead and get some
sweets personal i sed i n advance. QOpen 07:00 -
23:00. PTAUGSW
Pijalnie Czekolady Wedel B-3, ul. Szpitalna 8,
tel. (+48) 22 827 29 16,
The reason everyone at Czekolady Wedel looks like
they’re in a daze is because this is the mothership of
chocolate cafes, ground zero for all things dark, milk
and achingly sweet. Wedel is the country’s longest
established chocolate manufacturer and one of the
best known brands i n Pol and. Thi s cl assy venue,
featuring comfortable seating in room after room of
tables, is located in what was once the factory and
cafe of the Wedel business. You’ll still be able to taste
the original chocolate creations of its founders which
were so popular that Karol Wedel had to introduce
a factory seal carrying his signature to combat the
number of forged ‘Wedel’ products that were filling
the market in the 1860s. The menu here is impressive
in both its size and scope, covering every variety of
chocolate drink, dessert, truffle and ice cream dish
imaginable. Chocolate comas are inevitable. QOpen
08:00 - 22:00, Sat 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00.
Wawel B-3, ul. Królewska 2, tel. (+48) 22 828
14 99, Yes it sounds awfully
similar to Wedel, and their histories are equally alike.
Confectioner Adam Piasecki founded the company in
1898 in Krakow and, making it through World War II,
Wawel became a recognisable Polish brand for sweets.
Their Warsaw chocolate lounge is located on swank
Krakowskie Przedmieście, and though it is nowhere near
as vast as the Wedel lounge nor as daunting in menu
choices, chocoholics can still indulge in a ridiculous
array of truffles and treats. The hot chocolate’s impres-
sively diverse for the adventurous, with Cherry Crush
and Cinnamon Islands recommended for those who
like to compliment their chocolate with additional fla-
vours. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:30 - 21:00.
Chocolate Lounges
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Bars & Pubs
Warsaw has a thriving bar scene, and hitting up one of
the many venues listed here offers the chance to sample
Poland’s national beverage - vodka - long with plenty of local
beers. You’ll be offered beer either in 0.3 or 0.5 litre sizes,
and prices depend greatly on how swank your establish-
ment; expect to pay 7-10zl for a large beer for the most part.
Beirut Hummus & Music Bar B- 4, ul. Poznańska
12. Our favorite new addition to Warsaw’s bar scene, Beirut
is pure atmosphere - the bar itsel f is made with sandbags,
after all - and offers traditional Lebanese snacks like olive
oil -soaked hummus and falafel to pair wi th your beer.
While the weather is nice the front is open to the street,
letting passersby marvel at the sound system and the
unique hairstyles of the hip staff. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00.
Bierhalle C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 64, tel. (+48) 609 67
77 65, Warsaw’s best beer served in
a bi-level space filled with chunky woods, bare bricks and
industrial flourishes. The menu, presented by girls dressed
in countryside apparel, features big photographs of what
you can expect, including li fe-size pics of the beer - order
a big one here and you’ll be left getting to grips with clunky
two pint steins that are ideal for showing off your bicep
flexes. Also at Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (D-1, Arkadia). QOpen
12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00.
British Bulldog Pub C- 4, ul. Krucza 51, tel. (+48)
22 827 00 20, One of the biggest anti-
climaxes of 2012. Found in the venue that for many years
housed the uninviting London Steak House, the British
Bull dog pub saw the place compl etel y rebuil t, a great
year round terrace added (where you can smoke) and the
introduction of British and Irish beers. A good looking menu
and satellite television promised some sort of choice for
the English speaking expat zloty. And then the British front
man leaves shortly after the re-launch and the place loses
traction. Far be it for us to declare this place as lost so
early as it still looks impressive and the beer is wet and
the satellite connected, but it’s got a lot to do particularly
in the kitchen and on the service front to get a thumbs up
from us. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. PAXW
Bufet Centralny B-4, ul. Żurawia 32/34, tel. (+48)
532 74 91 60, Houndstooth and
concrete don’t sound like the recipe for Warsaw’s hippest
bar, and when you throw in the view from the large patio - a
hulking parking garage - it sounds even more grim. But Bufet
Centralny is painfully cool, with its stark space populated by
drinkers that sport at minimum 3 tattoos apiece. We can’t
put our finger on exactly why they’ve become the ‘it’ bar (its
definitely not the service) but weekends this place is tighter
than a hipster’s jeans. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 12:00
- 05:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. PAG
Cafe Kulturalna (Culture Café) B-4, Pl. Defilad 1
(PKiN), tel. (+48) 22 656 62 81,
Cafe, bar and club, Cafe Kulturalna is an amazing space,
and unmissable if you appreciate a venue with character.
Decorated with vinyl armchairs, artwork and tasteless
50s chandeliers this is a magnet for the student intel-
ligentsia. DJs, film screenings, readings and assorted artsy
tosh regularly held. Find it in the Palace of Culture on the
Marszałkowska side of the building next to the theatre in the
south-east corner. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 -
04:00. A6UEGW
A thriving capital city it might
be, but Warsaw still lags be-
hind other European hotspots
when i t comes to hedonis-
tic capers. There is no area
trul y set aside for nightli fe,
and hailing taxis to get from
Bar A to Club B is a tediously
frequent occurrence. The area
around pl. Pilsudskiego and
pl. Teatralny has become a
firm favourite with a dressy crowd of new money Poles,
somewhat replacing the more established territories of
Nowy Swiat, pl. Trzech Krzyzy and ul. Sienkiewicza. If
dressing to the nines is firmly out of the question then
consider heading across the river to the artsy bars crop-
ping up in the Praga district. In a worrying development
many clubs have now assumed the thinking that the
clothes maketh the man, and you’ll find most places
now operating a velvet rope door policy to ensure only
those kitted in their Saturday finery make it as far as the
dance floor. Open hours listed should only be treated as
rough approximation; in practice many bars and clubs
will open way beyond the call of duty if the need arises,
but by the same benchmark will happily bolt the doors
if business is slow.
Here are a few recommendations depending on what
you are looking for.
Bierhalle is a large microbrewery on Nowy Swiat that
churns out respectable vats of beer in a central location.
Newcomer Srodmiejska has live music, a legit food
menu and a relaxed Warsaw hipster vibe.
It has to be The Secret Garden, a ramshackle collection
of dive bars in the courtyard behind Nowy Swiat that of-
fers Warsaw drinking in its rawest form. And if you don’t
mind herring and 5zl vodka shots explore the 24 hour
zakaskas bars like Warszawska and Pijalnia Wódki i
Piwa to drink like a local.
For Sky Sports and grub then take your pick from The
British Bulldog, Warsaw Tortilla Factory, Legends
and Someplace Else. If you’ve cleaned up and are ready
to impress hit up Foksal street for clubs like Sketch and
Foksal XVIII, which boast A-list clientele. But if your
requirements are a little more carnal read up on our
adult section and then proceed wisely.
If you like to swill custom cocktails try newcomer Pies
Czy Suka, but if you prefer your drinks in one of two
colours - white or red - then try Vinoteka 13. However
i f your true love is obscure beers then Konstytucja
Klubokawiarnia will melt your heart.
Paparazzi’s cocktails are worth the dip into your wallet,
as are the drinks at the Marriott’s Panorama bar, which
offers views from the 40th floor that will cost you. If you’re
dressed to impress hit up Capitol for the chance to drink
like a champagne-loving oligarch.
Night at a glance
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant B- 4, Al.
Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Hotel), tel. (+48)
22 630 51 19, A classic sports
bar filled with glittering trophies, signed shirts and other
sporting detritus. Some 30 screens and projectors beam
out action from across the world, while those wishing to
exercise more than their eyes can choose from pool tables,
playstations and dart machines that beep and whir dur-
ing moments of particular drama. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00.
Hard Rock Cafe B- 4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel.
(+48) 22 222 07 00, Sure you
don’t need to see Freddie Mercury’s red leather pants to
enjoy a night out, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. The Hard Rock
Cafe’s large downstairs bar area is jumping at night even
when live rock shows aren’t on the agenda. The endless
bar mixes up a long list of colourful cocktails for a heavily
ex-pat crowd taking in paraphernalia like a well-worn Bee
Gees guitar and a black leather outfit that formerly clung
to Madonna’s early 90s frame. When music is on tap the
crowd becomes more varied (and youthful) but just as
devoted to the strum of a Fender. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00.
Hydrozagadka ul. 11 Listopada 22 (Praga), tel. (+48)
502 07 09 16, You will not
find a more unkempt bar than Hydrozagadka; this place
looks like it’s been ransacked by students, and it’s almost
advisable to check yoursel f for fleas when leaving. Decora-
tions aren’t so much limited as virtually non-existent, and
you won’t find much more than brick walls and a collection
of seats that appear to have been rescued from the rubbish.
But while it looks scruffy this has emerged as one of the
best places in town, with off-beat performances enjoyed
by a crowd that doesn’t get out of bed till way after noon.
Q Open Fri, Sat only 19:00 - 05:00 and during events.
JP’s Bar A-3, Al. Jana Pawła II 21 (The Westin Hotel),
tel. (+48) 22 450 86 30, An airy
hotel bar whose name is actually a reference to the bar’s
designer, not the wildly popular Pope John Paul II. Light
coloured furnishings come interspersed by a smattering
of house plants which look on as a well-dressed yet casual
crowd enjoys expertly poured premium drinks in the finest
of settings. QOpen 08:00 - 01:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 01:00.
Kafefajka C-3, ul. Oboźna 9 lok. 101, www.kafefajka.
com. Duck inside Kafefajka and you’ll be rewarded with a bar
that simulates a Turkish tent complete with jangly music and
sweeping fabric hanging from the ceiling (and if you’re lucky,
a belly dancer or two). The draw here is water pipes with un-
usual flavours; we’re partial to the melon, but apple-mint and
banana sound intriguing. The large space and open booths
are ideal for groups that like to pass the pipe and indulge
in Carlsberg or Okocim for less than 10zł. Also at (C-4), ul.
Nowy Świat 26/28 pav. 20. QOpen 12:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat
12:00 - 04:00, Sun 15:00 - 03:00. PAXW
Klaps C- 4, ul. Nowy Świat 22/28 (Pavilion 12a).
Peculiarities abound in the drinking maze known as The
Secret Garden, but none come close to matching Klaps in
the weirdness stakes. There’s dildos for beer taps and a wall
of plastic boobs, and like everywhere in this area, you won’t
find beer costing more than 9zł. Finding it is a challenge in
itself - it’s close to the passage that connects the courtyard
to Smolna. QOpen 15:00 - 02:00, Mon 15:00 - 01:00, Fri,
Sat 17:00 - 04:00, Sun 17:00 - 01:00. PAX
Konstytucja Klubokawiarnia F-4, Pl. Konstytucji 4,
tel. (+48) 22 465 86 28, Kon-
stytucja Klub wants badly to be located at hip Pl. Zbawicela,
and to be a legitimate destination for your next meal. It’s
neither, but don’t strike it from your list just yet. The beer list
alone is why we’ll be returning, with more than 30 local beers
(Lwówek, Czarnków, Cormorant) and even interlopers from
Ukraine and the Czech Republic to choose from. The menu
card describes each in detail and even offers pictures to boot,
so your choices - regardless of your blood alcohol level - will
always be informed. Live music on the weekend means you
won’t be drinking alone, either. QOpen 09:00 - 01:00, Sat,
Sun 10:00 - 01:00. AUEGW
Kwadrat F-4, ul. Poznańska 7 (entrance from ul. Wil-
cza), tel. (+48) 608 64 99 41,
One of our favourite finds this year, Kwadrat is a tiny little
place that’s not unlike popping round a mate’s house - pro-
vided your mate had seven tables and a fridge full of beer. And
wow, what a fridge it is. Hiding inside it find some of the great
beers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine, including
Ciechan and Obolon: superb brews that do a lot to redress the
damage caused by the megabrand beers. There’s not much
more to this place, just a friendly welcome, cheap prices,
chilled out tracks and a hip 20s crowd usually engrossed in
some board game or other. Highly recommended, even more
so if you just want a good night with select friends. QOpen
16:00 - 22:00, Fri 16:00 - 24:00, Sat 18:00 - 24:00. Closed
Legends British Bar & Restaurant B-4, ul. Emilii
Plater 25, tel. (+48) 22 622 46 40,
British owned and run, not 150 metres from the Marriott, this
is a resto-pub with a bright, clean look, four flatscreen tvs on
Centuries of hardcore Catholicism matched with provin-
cial attitudes have conspired to create an atmosphere
where homosexuality is still regarded as morally incor-
rect by much of the population. Warsaw does however
offer far more tolerance and understanding; 2010 saw
several thousand people march in Warsaw in the first
EuroPride event to be held in Central or Eastern Europe.
That said, the local government received a petition with
over 50,000 signatures demanding the parade itsel f
be cancelled.
In the past both the former prime minister, Jarosław
Kaczyński, and his late twin, President Lech Kaczynski,
stirred discontent; the latter by proclaiming homo-
sexuali ty as ‘unnatural’ and the former for stating
homosexuals should be banned from teaching posts.
Harsh sentiments, but not nearly as malignant as the
ones voi ced by LPR poli ti cian Woj ci ech Wi erzej ski,
whose memorable rants reasoned ‘gays should be
bludgeoned… they are all paedophiles and members
of the mafia’.
Yet i nroads i nto bi gotry are bei ng made. I n 2004
Poland had i ts first gay wedding (not of fi ciall y rec-
ogni zed), and the fol l owi ng year Warsaw’s publ i c
transport body became the first company to officiall y
acknowl edge homosexual rel ati onshi ps by gi vi ng
gay empl oyees and their partners the ri ght to free
transport. Al though Warsaw, as yet, offers no natural
centre for the gay communi ty this can’ t be taken as
a si gn of something more sinister - even the strai ght
scene struggl es to boast any area that can be re-
garded as a true ni ghtli fe hub such as Barcel ona’s
Las Ramblas.
Whi l e publ i c demonstrati ons of af fecti on are at
best tol erated, at worst dangerous, the ci ty of fers
numerous gay fri endl y venues; whether they be the
trendy Mi ędzy Nami café (C-4, ul . Bracka 20), the
expat Tex-Mex favouri te the Warsaw Tor ti l l a Fac-
tor y (B-4, ul . Wi l cza 46) or ful l on techno hangouts
l i ke Luztro (C-4, Al . Jerozol i mski e 6). For gays i n
Pol and the road ahead remai ns a l ong one, but for
a countr y that sti l l l i sted homosexual i ty as a di s-
ease up unti l 1991 the nati on has al ready star ted
cauti ousl y edgi ng for ward. For fur ther i nfo on gay
l i fe i n Pol and cl i ck to the Engl i sh-l anguage websi te
www. gaygui de. net.
Fantom C- 4, ul. Bracka 20b, tel. (+48) 22
828 54 09, www. f antomwar saw. com. The
ol dest exi sti ng gay venue i n Warsaw can be found
down a dark cour t yard on Bracka occupyi ng the
basement of a pre-war pal ace. Ri ng the buzzer on
the ri ght hand entrance and descend the stai rs
to access thei r sauna. On entr y you’l l be handed
a pai r of nast y fl i p- fl ops and a threadbare towel .
I nsi de fi nd a bar area, and a l ong corri dor that
l eads to a scummy l ooki ng j acuzzi , dark room
and sauna. I t mi ght be murky, but thi s i s defi ni tel y
t he choi ce of sauna for many of t he capi t al ’ s
queers. The l ef t hand entrance l eads to a more
ful l y- cl othed area wi th a popul ar bar, a coupl e of
ci nema screens and a l abyri nth. QOpen 14: 00 -
03: 00, Fri 14: 00 - 05: 00, Sat 16: 00 - 05: 00, Sun
16: 00 - 02: 00. PA6DXW
Gay Warsaw
which you can watch SKY and Canal +, real dart boards and
a cracking menu of British-style grub to soak up the Polish
beer, British ales and rarely-seen spirits like Captain Morgan
dark rum. This is also one of the places that has built a new
indoor smoking room. To add that extra sports feel walls
come decorated with pictures depicting all the games the
British have invented for the rest of the world to beat them at.
QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sat 12:00 - 02:00,
Sun 12:00 - 22:00. PAXW
Panorama Bar & Lounge B- 4, Al. Jerozolimskie
65/79 (Marriott Hotel), tel. (+48) 22 630 74 34, Warsaw’s highest bar - and indeed
Poland’s - sits on the 40th floor of the Marriott with prices to
match the top tier location. The views of Warsaw glimmering
below are outstanding, and they’re no longer the only reason
to visit. Gone is the JR Ewing glitz and chrome, replaced in-
stead by a tasteful interior consisting of flock print wallpaper,
violet seating and clever lighting. There’s no better place for
Sleepless In Seattle seduction, or a corporate chinwag.
QOpen 18:00 - 02:00. PAUXW
Paparazzi B-3, ul. Mazowiecka 12, tel. (+48) 22
828 42 19, Not everyone’s cup
of tea perhaps, but every time we come here we always
think to ourselves ‘ they get little wrong and a lot right.’
Serves good food - and the kitchen is open nearly as late
as the bar most nights (until 01:00) - good cocktails and
a decent pint. And, whisper it, but you can smoke here:
in fact, it is business as usual on the smoking front, as
the whole place is a smoking zone, apart from two small
tables at the entrance. That’s why it’s full when all around
is empty. Top marks. QOpen 18:00 - 03:00. Closed Sun.
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
of Praga. Do not come here i f your idea of a good time is
talking gol f tournaments and embassy junkets. I f, however,
you’re the sort of person with hangover stubble and a
second hand wardrobe then you’ll fit right in. Especially i f
you have a hat. Nights in this wacky venue are symbolic of
Praga’s arthouse renaissance, and last long into the night
once DJs enter and attempt to mix unmixable genres. Q
Open 19:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 19:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon,
Tue. From March open 19:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 19:00 - 04:00.
Closed Mon. PAUEX
Sheesha Lounge B-3, ul. Sienkiewicza 3, tel. (+48)
22 828 25 25, Not your average War-
saw hangout, Sheesha forgoes the mainstream dance hits
favoured by the competition to bring a slice of the orient to
your doorstep. The DJs play jangly rhythms as an occasional
belly dancer floats past tables filled with sheesha-smoking
Varsovians. The crowd, which seems to span all age groups,
is reliably fun and relaxed. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Fri 10:00 -
04:00, Sat 16:00 - 04:00, Sun 13:00 - 02:00. PAEXW
Sketch C-3, ul. Foksal 19, tel. (+48) 602 76 27 64, Sketch is something of a Warsaw classic.
Set in a sterile white hall the bar’s major lure is the beer, namely
the best selection you’ll find in the city. There are about 160 to
pick from, and these range from gourmet Belgian to banana
stuff from Ghana. The heavy import duty has been directly
handed down to the customer, with some bottles selling for a
wincing 25zł, though you’ll find these prices offset by calming
lounge sounds and soothing lights that glow from vertical
columns. A smashing night, and one which doesn’t end until
you’re exactly that. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. PAXW
Skwer - filia Centrum Artystycznego Fabryka
Trzciny B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 60a, tel.
(+48) 508 36 58 49, An offshoot
of Fabryka Trzciny, though a darn sight easier to get to than its
daddy bar/club. Situated inside a weird concrete bungle this
construction looks more like a car park than bar, but don’t let
that stop you from further investigations. Concerts are fre-
quent, and frequently excellent, as are the book signings and
vernissages. The location splat in the middle of Krakowskie
Przedmieście means there’s no shortage of lookers to train
your eyes on. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. PAUEGW
SomePlace Else C-4, ul. Prusa 2 (Sheraton Warsaw
Hotel), tel. (+48) 22 450 67 10, www.warszawa. Someplace Else is an expat legend,
and the comfortable open-plan space and industrial bar are
a great setting for the mix of live sports and music that can
be found here almost every night of the week. Still boasting
one of the best bar menus in the city - we’re fans of the Orient
Express burger - it’s easy to come for dinner and stay into the
night to sample from the long list of extravagant cocktails
(flaming Lamborghini, anyone?). QOpen 12:00 - 01:00, Fri,
Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. PAUEGW
Warsaw Tortilla Factory F-3, ul. Wilcza 46, tel. (+48)
22 621 86 22, This
long-established Tex-Mex bar is one of the go-to hangouts
for ex-pats, thanks in part to the Irish owner Niall, though
discerning the various accents becomes harder with every
margarita and Corona that goes missing. Once you’re inside
there’s something for everyone: Sky Sports on the TV, live
music on weekends, a decent pint of Murphys and 10zl
tacos if you’re lucky enough to show up on a Thursday. The
global crowd is easy to mix with and accepting of outsiders,
especially when they buy the tequila shots. Added bonus: the
separate smoking room will save you a trip outside. QOpen
12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00. PAEXW
Pardon, To Tu A-3, Pl. Grzybowski 12/14/16, tel.
(+48) 513 19 16 41, There are
places that try to be cool, and then there are places that just
are. Pardon To Tu falls comfortably into the latter. A music
club for people who actually know and love music (not loud
bass and lasers), PTT essentially looks like someone rolled
the racks out of an indie record store, replaced them with
cheap tables and chairs and invited all their friends over.
Disinterested (re:cool) DJs play whatever they want for the
low-key crowd of hipsters and their dogs hanging out beneath
vinyl records that you can buy off the walls. They’ve got good,
cheap Italian food to curb the munchies and in summer the
space out front becomes a sprawling beer garden. Host to
frequent concerts and film screenings, this is a veritable cul-
tural centre and a great place to make new friends. QOpen
10:00 - 02:00. TA6UEGSW
Pies Czy Suka/Pure Bar B-3, ul. Szpitalna 8A, tel.
(+48) 22 881 83 73, Pies Czy
Suka (“Dog or Bitch”) is a high-end design boutique that
opened a craft cocktail bar with stunning results. The space
itself is what you’d expect when design folk are in charge:
touchscreen menus and lots and lots of white. Yet the
imaginative drinks are they main focus, and though they don’t
arrive quickly, but they do come with a free show; creating
molecular foam and juicing figs takes some elbow grease,
and conversations are punctuated by the loud, rhythmic
thwack of ice against the cocktail shaker. The recipes require
the kind of precision normally reserved for brain surgery, and
unexpected ingredients like dry ice and cranberry caviar can
often mean your “drink” requires a spoon. Expensive, but
worth every zloty - try the Gin Basil Smash or Tequila Rucola
Smash. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00, Sun
17:00 - 23:00. AGW
Plan B F-4, Al. Wyzwolenia 18, tel. (+48) 503 11 61 54, Walk up a curving stairwell to enter Plan
B, a venue where the ceilings are high and the windows are
low - so low you’ll have to crouch for views of pl. Zbawiciela.
Plan B has seen minimal investment, with a design that must
have set the owner back the price of a packet of sausages;
decor is limited to little more than tatty posters, white tiles
and sofas with springs practically sticking out of them. But
this place has become astonishingly popular, especially with
students and other sorts who look like they’ve just finished
band practice. Don’t be surprised to find the party spilling
outside, with gangs of drinkers chucking frisbees and shar-
ing sneaky puffs on Moroccan cigarettes. Drunkenness
is rife and encouraged, and it’s only fair to note this place
has become a bit of a magnet for expat lads looking to tap
up impressionable Polish girls. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00, Sun
13:00 - 02:00. AEXW
Po Drugiej Stronie Lustra H-1, ul. Jagiellońska 22,
tel. (+48) 501 04 84 71,
This unique Praga bar used to be much like the district itself:
artsy, mysterious and a little bit junky. But after recently mov-
ing locations, the bar has left behind the thick layers of grime
and history at their former Ząbkowska location and simply
brought their strongest suit - an endless collection of craft
beers - along with them to ul. Jagiellońska. Sure, it feels a little
weird to not stick to the tables and to use a toilet that has
an actual seat attached, but we’re happy to exchange that
“charm” for a more grown up (and cleaner!) headquarters.
QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. AEXW
Saturator ul. 11 listopada 22 (Praga), tel. (+48)
692 56 54 82, See your social
standing rocket by confessing knowledge of Saturator, a
scruffy triple floored artsy hangout in the battered buildings
Vinoteka 13 & WINE BAR C-3, ul. Krakowskie
Przedmieście 16/18, tel. (+48) 22 492 74 07, www. A beautiful wine bar tucked in
the basement of the Concept Restaurant. Distinctly high
class, the Vinoteka cellar houses wines from all corners
of the globe, with drinking conducted on low leather seats
scattered amid crates and casks. QOpen 12:00 - 21:00.
Closed Sun. PAGW
Winiarnia Restauracja Superiore F-4, ul. Piękna
28/34, tel. (+48) 506 40 40 59, www.superiorewine- Yet another business venture which has decided
to make the move from the increasingly sad looking
Miasteczko Wilanów posh estate and into the centre of
the city. Its new home finds itself a few doors down from
Krystyna Janda’s ( just nod and pretend you know that
she’s a very famous Polish actress) Teatr Polonia, making
it an excellent choice for a few pre-performance aperitifs
and a bite to eat. The interior is slick rustic with the shelves
of wine bottles making up much of the décor. Italian wines
take priority here, but you’ll also find a good selection of
Spanish and Austrian wines. The heavenly cooking smell
upon entering the wine bar drags you, trance-like, towards
the menu. Entre nous, the lamb shank with veggie fries
is already being talked about in hushed, reverent tones
by those in the know. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. AGW
Żurawina Rest & Wine B-4, ul. Żurawia 32, tel.
(+48) 22 521 06 66, One of War-
saw‘s most attractive new destinations, entering Żurawina
isn‘t unlike attending an exclusive vernissage, except
instead of staring at esoteric art you can train your eyes
on the good looks of the glitterati all around you. Nibble on
the variety of bruschettas that complement their large wine
list and position yourself to be seen through the wall-length
street view windows. There‘s more filling fare as well of
course, and this is an ideal venue for impressing a date - the
swings hanging in the middle of the space are guaranteed
to make the two of you look absolutely adorable together.
QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00. PAGW
Bierhalle D-1, Al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Arkadia), tel.
(+48) 601 67 79 62, An industrial
motif prevails in Bierhalle, with giant tailor-made brewing
vats, brickwork and pipes springing from every corner.
The beer is brewed on-site, and presented in frothy
steins by wenches squeezed into peasant bodices. Our
favourite is the pils, and it tastes even better when you
ask for a dash of caramel to be added to your brew.
Domestic sad cases rejoice, bottles, barrels even, of
beer are available for takeaway. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00,
Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. PAUGW
BrowArmia B-3, ul. Królewska 1, tel. (+48) 22
826 54 55, Warsaw’s other
microbrewery tends to live in the shadow of the more
famous Bierhalle, and though it fails to share the lively
atmosphere of its rival Browarmia is by no means second
best. There’s a decent design here, with all the requisite
pipes, dials and tanks on display, as well as a good
menu that trounces the competition. More importantly
the beer is top standard and all, and best imbibed on a
seasonal terrace looking onto the revamped Krakowskie
Przedmiescie. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. PAEXW
Metro Jazz Bar & Bistro F-3, ul. Marszałkowska
99a (Metropol Hotel), tel. (+48) 22 325 31 06, Bathed in a soothing for-
est green glow this is a classic jazz bar where aesthetic
shortcomings are brushed over with a pot of atmosphere.
Take to one of the swivelly barside stools to knock back
the barman’s creations while taking in nightly jazz perfor-
mances that fluctuate hugely in both style and volume.
QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. PAUEGW
Nu Jazz Zone C-4, ul. Żurawia 6/12, tel. (+48)
22 621 89 89, A cavernous bar
decorated sparingly with slick furnishings and attractive
staff. Good cocktails, served by proficient bartenders,
and a strong fusion menu. The occasional jazz perfor-
mances can be excellent, and the basement bar features
comfortable seating and a big screen for sports action.
Neither loud nor lively, expect the tables to be occupied
by couples with single roses in front of them. QOpen
11:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. PAEGW
Piękna Bistro F/G-4, ul. Piękna 20, tel. (+48) 22
627 41 51, Bright, modern, airy. Piękna
Bistro is everything you don’t expect of a jazz bar, with a
smart-casual set of customers picking at food inside an
attractive interior that could have come from a catalogue.
Recent renovations have created a modern and inviting
space to see live performances which are consistently
excellent, and better still, never loud enough to completely
sink conversation. Smokers will be happy to note they can
slip into the Espresso space to have a puff. QOpen 09:00
- 24:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. PAUIEGW
Simply the best food
»-¹ g·-»| «.--ဘ
Succulent lamb shank, juicy tenderloin,
perfectly cooked duck breast and
·-»·.-»||, ¸·..-¹ «.--·န
ul. Piękna 28/34, Warszawa
Tel. (+48) 506 40 40 59,
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Warszawa Powiśle G-2, ul. Kruczkowskiego 3b, tel.
(+48) 22 474 40 84, Set in
a former ticket hall this PRL-era concrete rotunda proved one
of the hits of last summer, and a bit of a gathering ground for
those enjoying post-Luztro fix-me-ups. Interiors here are all
cheap and chipboard - tables included - and while it looks tatty
and torn it’s become a HQ of sorts for hardcore clubbers hiding
their horror behind reflective specs (which explains why the
neighbours want it shut down). How to find it? Walk down the
platform on Powiśle Station, then hang a right down the stairs.
An extra incentive to visit: they are now serving burgers too.
QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 01:00. PAUGW
W Oparach Absurdu (In The Mists of Absurdity)
H-1, ul. Ząbkowska 6, tel. (+48) 660 78 03 19, www. This bar could have a weird-off with fellow
Praga bar Po Drugiej Stronie Lustra that would easily end in
a draw. Both favour twinkle lights, flea market knick-knacks
and crap furniture, though Absurdu has embraced colour,
and bright murals, to set it apart. Absurdu is spread over
numerous rickety levels and populated by local bohemians
who crave live music and strong drinks. A small menu of
snacks and Polish staples (yep, pierogis) are available to line
your stomach. QOpen 12:00 - 03:00. PAUEXW
Znajomi Znajomych C-4, ul. Wilcza 58a, tel. (+48)
22 628 20 61, With two
levels and a strange arrangement of rooms newcomer Zna Zna
can feel as if you’re wandering through an M.C. Escher drawing.
Here’s a primer: the first floor features a large smoking room
and several adjacent rooms with seating, and the main floor has
a bar with DJ/dance floor - we saw a keytar being played - and
more labyrinthine seating areas. The pile of taxis outside should
tell you this is currently one of Warsaw’s favourite places, with
huddles of hipsters and interpretive dancers sharing space
and spilling drinks together. There’s even a respectable menu
of pasta and pizza that’s available into the weekend wee hours
(weekdays 1 a.m., Sat 3 a.m., Sun 12 a.m.) to soak up the booze.
Recommended. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00, Fri 12:00 - 04:00, Sat
16:00 - 04:00, Sun 16:00 - 24:00. PAUEXW
Clubs in Warsaw range from sedate to sinful, and we cover
the full gamut here. A night spent clubbing means you’ll most
likely greet the dawn because, unlike the closing times you
might be used to, Polish clubs stay open until the sun comes
up. Expect a cover charge at most venues that can range
from 5-20zl depending on events, and note that toilet paper is
often a luxury that seem to universally run out around 10 p.m.
For the specifics of what’s on daily visit warsaw.inyourpocket.
com and check out our Events Calendar, which givies you a
breakdown of all the evening’s club nights with one click.
1500m2 do wynajęcia H-3, ul. Solec 18/20, tel.
(+48) 22 628 84 12, Enormous,
as in 1,500 square metres enormous, though strictly speak-
ing still very much the whispered meeting point of those In
The Know. There’s plenty of abandoned industrial space in
Warsaw, and places like this are finally utilizing it. It’s hard
to define 1500m2, and depending on the event you’ll find
it functioning as either a bar, club, concert venue or gallery
- sometimes all four. The interiors have seen it all, from a Val-
entine’s Fetish Ball to the Prodigy Afterparty; this warehouse
style ‘thing’ has hosted some of the edgiest nights in town,
so no wonder then some scene people are touting it as the
hippest haunt in the city. A newly added restaurant called
Bistro sto900 offers a place to refuel as well. Q Open Fri,
Sat only 22:00 - 06:00 and during events. Check Facebook
for details. AEXW
Bank Club B-3, ul. Mazowiecka 14, tel. (+48) 22 468
85 10, Oh yes. A hit from day one this is
Warsaw’s latest bar and club of choice. We are no experts in
running a club (if we were we would own a chain of them) but we
know that whatever that certain something is which clubs have
to posses to be good, then Bank has it in abundance. Smooth
sounds, tastefully elegant decor and refreshingly little kitsch. It
is also a lovely building. With a well-aired smoking section and
drinks at a reasonable price it’s not only for bankers, either.
Q Open Thu, Fri, Sat only 22:00 - 04:00. PAUEXW
Bollywood Lounge B-3, ul. Przeskok 2, tel. (+48) 22 827
02 83, A weird and horrid loca-
tion, you’ll find Bollywood sitting inside a nasty pre-fab building
overlooking kebab shops and potholed roads but don’t be put
off because while it promises little it delivers plenty. Growing
in popularity as the night moves on, it’s all sequinned eastern
drapes, scented water pipes and low-slung armchairs. The staff
with a few exceptions are Indian, friendly and clearly know how
to throw a party and the mix of crowd sees Sikhs partying away
alongside Polish blondies to the sounds of Bhangra and disco.
Poland is often perceived to be not particularly cosmopolitan
and rather conservative. Bollywood kicks that perception right
out of the park. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Thu 12:00 - 01:00, Fri
12:00 - 04:00, Sat 14:00 - 04:00. PAXW
Club Capitol B-2, ul. Marszałkowska 115, tel. (+48)
608 08 96 71, Global recession
you say? Nobody told the chaps at Capitol, a jaw dropper
of a venue whose opening confirms north Warsaw’s status
as the official party part of the city. Filled with post-socialist
bling this venue is immense, and has seen the contents of
an oligarch’s deposit box thrown into impressive interiors.
A pneumatic set of breasts should be enough to guarantee
female entry, while boys should consider adding an arrogant
Bar Warszawa de Luxe B- 2, Krakowski e
Przedmieście 79, tel. (+48) 510 40 08 64, www. Bar Warszawa’s popularity has been so
explosive they’ve created a satellite location, Bar Warszawa
de Luxe, to handle the late-night overflow. While the original
of this recipe at ul. Miodowa 2 - which combines ridiculously
cheap Polish food and booze with nerdily dressed employ-
ees - only services customers until 04:00, the Deluxe
version is open 24 hours slinging 9zł snacks like herring
and 5zł vodka shots. There is truly no better hangover
cure than their steaming flaczki and an unpasteurized
local beer, whatever the hour. Newly added live music can
be seen Wednesdays and Thursdays, while DJs take over
the dancefloor on the weekends. Q Open 24hrs. UEG
Meta na Foksal C-3, ul. Foksal 21, tel. (+48) 22 826
45 13, Decorated with old vinyl,
newspaper clippings and propaganda posters this eat-on-
the-run venue unites Capitalist Warsaw with the PRL pig of
the past. Put simply this place is Przekąski Zakąski taken to
the next level, a very high one at that. Snacks weigh in at nine
złoty, and a shot of voddie at five. Also at ul. Mazowiecka
11 (B-3). QOpen 11:00 - 06:00. PAG
Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa C-4, ul. Nowy Świat 19, tel.
(+48) 796 11 00 00. When the vaunted New York
Times came to Warsaw to do a story on the growing trend
of old-school zakaskas bars - watering holes with cheap
4zl vodka and beer and piles of pork jelly - they headed
straight for the experts at Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa, the current
kings of the 24 hour Soviet-era drinking dens that have
seen a resurgence lately. Whether you’re pregaming or
trying to prevent a hangover Pijalnia should be a necessary
stop on your night out; herring in oil, pigs feet and a mug of
beer will always be a good idea. Q Open 24hrs. PUG
Przekąski Zakąski B-2, ul. Ossolińskich 7
(entrance from ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście), tel.
(+48) 22 826 79 36, Located on the
ground floor of what was once the Europejski Hotel the
impossibly named Przekąski Zakąski offers round-the-
clock bites to a loud line of boys and girls making their
way home from the pubs and clubs. Food is consumed
promptly and standing up, and traditionally topped off
with a shot of vodka. Q Open 24hrs. G
Warszawska F-4, Pl. Zbawiciela 5, tel. (+48) 694
89 40 37. If zakaskas bars are all the rage, then Warsza-
wska is currently top of the heap for the see-and-be-seen
set. Its location at the hipster epicenter of Pl. Zbawiciela
guarantees large late night crowds; a recent Friday night
saw numbers in the hundreds pouring out of the tiny bar,
sipping cheap beers while lazing on the torn up tram
tracks on ul. Marszałkowska. Q Open 24hrs. AGW
Late Night Eats
lope to their step and some designer horses to their clothes.
And the promoters haven’t been slouches either, having so
far secured the appearance of several club circuit legends.
There’s no set opening hours, though it’s safe enough to
assume that if it’s a weekend it’s open. Q Open Fri, Sat
only 22:00 - 05:00. PAXW
Club Mirage B-4, Pl. Defilad 1 (entrance from ul. Emilii
Plater), tel. (+48) 22 620 14 54,
A totally unique experience, this is a club like no other in
Warsaw. Not because it’s anything particularly special, but
because it is set in the bowels of the monstrous Palace of
Culture. Descend the stairs through the entrance facing the
central railway station into a mass of writhing young bodies
getting down around the centrepiece fountain. Once you’re
done there, retreat to the long bar and lounge area to relax
before heading back out into the surprisingly unpretentious
party crowd. The coat check looked after by moustachioed
men in their 50s gives a small hint of the days when this
place must have been frequented by the great and not so
good of communist Poland. QOpen 21:00 - 05:00, Wed, Thu
21:00 - 03:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. PAEX
Dekada E-4, ul. Grójecka 19/25, tel. (+48) 22 823 55
58, Adventures and amorous encounters
come guaranteed in this slice of Warsaw folklore, a direct
result of the people found inside. Here it’s all 007 Barbie
bombshells soaking up attention off expats twice their age,
an interesting mix that combines for colourful nights. Watch
the pantomime while sitting inside a 1950s tram, or else take
your chances on a dance floor that packs out most nights -
the musical menu changes daily, with weekends tending to
err towards disco and chart sounds. QOpen 21:00 - 03:00,
Fri, Sat 21:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. May be open on
select Tuesdays if concerts booked. PAEX
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
de lite club C-4, ul. Marii Konopnickiej 6, www.delite- Hot-pink newcomer De Lite already has a crush of
visitors wedging themselves on the dance floor and around
the backlit bar. A giant screen projects images on the wall
of the dance floor as DJs spin, while the elite can retreat to
a plush VIP area filled with couches and pillows for winding
down away from the masses. And yes, that’s an umbrella in
your cocktail. The quintessential club experience in Warsaw.
QOpen Sat, Sun only 22:00 - 05:00. PAXW
Fabryka Trzciny ul. Otwocka 14 (Praga Północ),
tel. (+48) 22 619 05 13,
Housed in a battered factory buil ding this spot has the
scummy charisma of mi d-90s Berlin. Bri ck walls, dials
and pipes have been left exposed, with leather sofas and
red emergency lamps sprinkled at random intervals. Edgy
artwork and experimental sounds compl ete the concoc-
tion. Not open dail y, but you’ll usuall y find special events
going of f each weekend and this has emerged as one
of the most popular haunts for pri vate fuctions, catwalk
shows and launch parti es. Q Open during events onl y.
Foksal XVIII C- 3, ul. Foksal 18, tel. (+48) 508 82
75 97. The star-studded summer opening was our first
clue that Foksal XVIII aims to take the Warsaw club scene
by storm. The interi or mi xes swank (chandeli ers) wi th
urban (exposed bri ck) wi th the inexpli cabl e (cardboard
ani mal mounts! ) i n thi s l arge basement space. DJs
keep the dance fl oor - accented wi th a massi ve disco
ball - packed for a crowd that is both classi er and better
dressed than your typi cal booty-shaki ng sl opfest. So
visi tors shoul d take note: To mingl e wi th the A-list you’ll
need to bring your A game. Q Open Wed, Fri, Sat onl y
22:00 - 04:00. PAX
Nova Maska C-3, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 4/6,
tel. (+48) 22 828 08 52, Take the
already popular Maska club, give it a rather elegant shake-
up and rename it ‘New’ Maska, simple solutions for a fast
moving city. Considering the expensive looking redesign,
they still seem to be able to keep the restaurant, with a
mainly Mediterraneo style menu, and drinks prices pretty
damn reasonabl e for the standard on of fer. Weekend
club nights have fairly uninspiring titles, Gangsters Ball,
Hollywood Ball and the likes, but hey, they’re only names
and don’ t stop the punters fl oodi ng i n. House, dance
and 80’s - 90’s tunes, sonically fiddled with by some of
Poland’s top DJ’s, rule the night. Great location, just off
the main drag as you head towards the Old Town, vis-à-vis
the Copernicus monument. Wonder i f he would make it
past the door selection? Q Open Fri, Sat 21:00 - 05:00
only. PAXW
Opera B-2, Pl. Teatralny 1, tel. (+48) 22 828 70
75, A no-expense spared desi gn
masterpiece found in the basement of the National Opera.
Descend the curving stairwell and all you’ll see is boys
with attitude, dressed in popped collared polo shirts, and
a heart-stopping spread of gazelle-like girls. I f you were
wondering where the good lookers went, you’ve found the
answer. Tread down wood boards and through vaulted tun-
nels to reach the main arena, checking out the numerous
side rooms on the way; this place was formerly known as
Bedroom, and that’s because of the alcoves found shooting
off in every direction. Each comes decorated with poufs,
loungers and Persian drapes, and serve as a great spot to
enjoy illicit activities. Q Open Fri, Sat 22:00 - 06:00 only.
Organza B-3, ul. Mazowiecka 12, tel. (+48) 513 13
77 44, After a 10 year streak on the
Warsaw scene Organza had to close down and move, but
that short hiatus has not caused it to lose its footing. The
new black-and-orange bi-level space is regularly packed, and
apparently no one here thinks disco is dead as the regular
Wednesday “disco fever” dance parties attest. If hen par-
ties and students don’t make you cringe then neither will
Organza. QOpen 22:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed,
Platinium Club B-2, ul. Fredry 6, tel. (+48) 22 596 46
66, Status is everything in Warsaw,
and you’ll be awarded plenty of it if you can wheedle past
the gatekeepers at Platinium. Door policy is stringent here,
mercilessly culling the beasts from the beautiful, thus ensur-
ing everyone inside is either rich or beautiful - sometimes
both. Regarded as Warsaw’s finest club this place, set inside
a historic former bank, has seen plenty of money spent,
with a design that includes marble columns, chandeliers
and glowing floors. This is champagne living Warsaw-style,
meaning hot sounds from the DJ decks and a riotous party
that goes way, way late. Q Open Thu, Fri, Sat only 21:00 -
06:00. PAUEX
Room 13 Club & Lounge B-3, ul. Mazowiecka 13, tel.
(+48) 22 827 60 44, Warsaw has had
the benefit of a club explosion (clubsplosion?) lately, and after
visiting venue upon venue Room 13 is the one that stands
out. The interior has a striking fallen angel theme, with pillowy
clouds painted across the ceilings in the multiple rooms,
and giant images of what Victoria’s Secret has taught us
an ‘angel’ looks like. And if your idea of heaven is two bars,
VIP space, a wide array of music and lots of high heels, then
consider this your HQ. Q Open Thu, Fri, Sat 22:13 - 05:00
only. PAGW
The Eve Music Club B- 3, Pl. Piłsudskiego 9, tel.
(+48) 604 14 54 62, Run by the
same team behi nd Plati ni um, so expect a stri ct door
cull to separate the peasants from the players. Aimed
at the ri ch and mi ghty this desi gn masterstroke scores
points for a vari ed musi c poli cy, and l ooks like flavour
of the month among a pl ayboy set convi nced they’re
destined for cel ebri ty - the VI P room is like a scene from
Cali gula, wi th gl eeful expats shooting champagne over
each other. Q Open Thu, Fri, Sat onl y 21:00 - 06:00.
Utopia B- 3, ul. Kredytowa 9, tel. (+48) 22 826 58
35, Utopia has been revi ved after
cl osi ng i ts ol d spot on Jasna, and thi s ti me i ts more
i ncl usi ve than ever: hen parti es mi x wi th the rai nbow
Mazowiecka 13
+48 22 827 60 44
WED-SAT: 22.13
fl ag set, al l i n the name of hi p-poppi ng, l ocki ng and
twerki ng. A popular l ocal favouri te, Utopia has added
a fall cinema that will be open Wednesday to Sunday
at dusk for twili ght film screenings, a rare but wel come
foray into sober fun for this crowd. Q Open Fri, Sat onl y
23:00 - 06:00. PAUXW
Watch Me B- 3, ul. Mazowiecka 6/8, tel. (+48) 22
828 34 04, I f we knew the
exact reci pe for what makes one cl ub door busti ng and
the next a dead zone we’d sel l i t by the bucket ful . And
our fi rst cl i ent woul d l i kel y be Watch Me, a newcomer
that hasn’ t qui te found i ts l egs (or i ts cl i entel e) yet.
The mul ti -l evel space i sn’ t necessari l y doi ng anythi ng
wrong - there’s a l arge dance space, capabl e barmen,
al l the neon l i ghts you coul d ask for - but so far i t j ust
hasn’ t caught on. Q Open Fri, Sat onl y 20:00 - 05:00.
Nova Maska Club & Restaurant
setting a new standard
in Warsaw’s clubbing market!
10% discount
on food and drinks with this guide
Nova Maska PianoArt. Club &Restaurant
4/6 Krakowskie Przedmieście Sreet,00-333 Warsaw,,
Legends British Bar & Restaurant B-4, ul. Emilii
Plater 25, tel. (+48) 22 622 46 40, www.legends- Found 150 metres from the Marriott is a British
bar, run by a Brit and with Sky and Canal+ available. Add
in a British food and ale menu and you should be sorted.
QOpen 11:00 - 22:00, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sat 12:00 -
02:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. PAXW
SomePlace Else C- 4, ul. Prusa 2 (Sheraton
Warsaw Hotel), tel. (+48) 22 450 67 10, www. Located in the Shera-
ton, SPE has flat screens stationed around an upmarket
industrial space - even during the Sunday brunch televi-
sions did double duty showing ski races and tennis. A
great menu of American classics like burgers and steaks
along with an extravagant selection of drinks. QOpen
12:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00.
Warsaw Tortilla Factory F-3, ul. Wilcza 46, tel.
(+48) 22 621 86 22,
With Dubliner Niall in charge WTF have a set of screens
located around the bar, beer taps on tables, a killer
Tex-Mex menu and a separate smoking room. QOpen
12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00. PAEXW
Sport on TV
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Coyote Bar & Night Club B- 3, ul. Mazowiecka
6/8, tel. (+48) 505 46 90 56, On
the new Street of Sin that is ul. Mazowiecka, Coyote Club
is an adult entertainment establishment of the ‘girls in
their underwear which leaves little to the imagination will
dance for you’ variety. Drinks (the beers at least) are not
as outrageously priced as in other similar places and we
have to say that the girls we bumped into when we popped
in for a quick one were sirens. QOpen 20:00 - 05:00, Sun
20:00 - 03:00. PAUXW
Kokomo B- 4, Al . Jerozol i mski e 53 (entrance
from ul.Pankiewicza 4), tel. (+48) 22 356 20 16, One of the most central stri p
bars i n Warsaw, though don’ t l et that stop you taki ng
advantage of the Kokomo l i mo servi ce. From there on
i n i t’s your eyes that wi l l be doi ng al l the work as they
pi nbal l around thei r sockets focusi ng on the troupe of
pi n-up bunni es. Two rooms to choose from, as wel l as
a wel l -stocked dri nk bar ser vi ng al l the concocti ons
necessary to compl ete your previ ew of heaven. QOpen
21:00 - 04:00. PAG
Libido Gentleman’s Club B-3, ul. Kredytowa 9, tel.
(+48) 22 828 23 07, Newcomer Li-
bido was designed with the customer in mind: the large onyx
bar doubles as a runway for strippers, who sashay past
gaping customers (watch your drinks!) on their way to one
of three mid-bar poles. Head to the basement i f you prefer
your dances more intimate, where closed-off booths let
the dancers get up close and personal for 50zl. Everything
from the coat check to the bathrooms is above board, a nice
change for those who like their entertainment without the
usual seedy undertones. Q Open 21:00 - 05:00. Closed
Sun. PAX
New Orleans Gentlemen’s Club B-3, ul. Zgoda
11, tel. (+48) 22 826 48 31,
From Monday to Thursday you’ll find the girls kitted out in
evening dress, with a higher-class of punter choosing the
girl of his dreams before sitting down to a good, intelligent
natter. Of course, this being a strip club, the removal of
the aforementioned evening dress is also an available op-
tion. At weekends you’ll find New Orleans reverting to the
more standard formula, with girls tottering around in next
to nothing, and offering the usual hip-grinding action. Now
added, a ‘night restaurant’ with an ‘erotic’ menu featuring
oysters, lobster and Argie steak. QOpen 21:00 - 04:00.
Sofia F-4, ul. Polna 13, tel. (+48) 22 224 25 24, www. A legend in nineties and noughties Warsaw,
there was a time no self-respecting male could leave Warsaw
without having first visited Sofia. Those days may have gone
and so it seemed had Sofia. But it appears not with the open-
ing of this place, three years after the original closed, just
down from Pl. Zbawiciela which boasts a modern spacious
club area and a host of minimally dressed women. In the wild
days of nineties Warsaw this was known in local parlance as
The Bulgarian Embassy. It’ll be interesting to see if it lives
up to the reputation it built then. Q Open 20:00 - 05:00.
Closed Sun. PAUX
What’s going on in Poland?
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Those who visited Warsaw in the nineties and around
the turn of the century may have lingering memories of a
seriously mucky city. With an estimated 1,500 brothels
in operation the city established a reputation as a des-
tination for hairy palmed perverts. Then along came the
late Lech Kaczynski as Mayor of Warsaw who became a
one man anti-sleaze machine driven by a zealous desire
to restore Warsaw’s lost innocence. While he never fully
succeeded in cleansing Warsaw of the brothels and the
flyers, Kaczynski’s crusade had a striking impact.
One of the results of this campaign is that Warsaw now
offers a collection of seemingly legitimate and, on the
whole, fairly presentable ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs. Brothels
still exist but not in the huge numbers that they once
did. Although there is no specific red light district you’ll
find a small concentration of brothels around al. Jerozo-
limskie, ul. Wilcza and ul. Nowogrodzka. They’re simple
enough to find, just look for the flyers pinned to car
windscreens or clogging up the gutters. Don’t expect
English to be spoken, and don’t reckon on being greeted
by the sirens pictured on the aforementioned flyers.
Now, in the old days we’d use this space to fire some
recommendations your way. Legal factors now make
that a foolhardy path to pursue, so instead we advise
prospective punters to visit the Polish forums on www., where the message boards
are alive with the latest despatches from the frontline, as
well as pics and maps from the more committed post-
ers. For independent girls check websites such as www. and, where you’ll find a choice
of literally hundreds upon hundreds of feisty Polish girls
promising a lively time. Your third choice is to simply put
your faith in a taxi driver. More often than not this will in-
volve being driven to the suburbs and to whichever brothel
is giving the cabbie a kickback. Prices in these ‘high end’
establishments will tend to start at 200zl, though don’t
be tricked into buying champers for the lady unless you’re
sure you can afford it. Similarly, greenhorns should watch
their wallet in strip clubs - bills easily spiral, even more so
when the drinks start being poured.
Scumbag, fly-by-night brothels still exist; STDs are a
fact of the trade, and don’t think for one jiffy you’re
beyond reproach. Do not assume either that the Barbie
of your choice is in on the game because she enjoys roll-
ing around with aging baldies. Poland has an appalling
record where human trafficking is concerned, and it’s
safe to assume a fair few ladies staffing such venues
have been coerced into their ‘career’. Finally, the venues
listed here are generally central and established but
please be warned that in recent months we’ve had a
report of 8,000zl being spent willingly in one club listed
here and another of 8,000 sterling being spent unwill-
ingly in one which is not listed here. In the second case
half of the money was retrieved from the bank because
of ‘payment irregularities’ but be on your guard.
Vice advice
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Earl y forti fi ed settl ements are
believed to have existed in what is
now the district of Brodńo as far
back as the 9
century, and while
historians struggle to conclusively
agree as to exactly when Warsaw
was founded most appear to accept
that the first recorded mention of
the city can be traced to 1313.
Things started looking up for the
city in 1413, when the ruling Dukes
deci ded to shi ft the capi tal of
Mazovia from Czersk to Warsaw. Over the next century it
gathered importance as a trading point, and was incorporated
into the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. The town was expanding
in both status and stature, though nothing was to prepare it
for the bombshell that arrived in 1569. The Union of Lublin
amalgamated Poland with Lithuania, and as such the decision
was taken to centralize parliament and move it from Kraków
to Warsaw. Twenty seven years later, in 1596, King Zygmunt
III Vasa decided to follow suit and shifted his Royal Court north
as well, thereby making Warsaw capital of this newly-formed
commonwealth. Of course, Warsaw then was a di fferent
creature to the Warsaw of now. The old town area, secured by
its walls, consisted of 169 houses, while another 204 homes
stood just outside this protective boundary. In total just 14,000
people lived in the newborn capital.
Testing times lay ahead. Between 1665 and 1668 Warsaw was
ransacked three times, and if it the natives thought that was bad
you should have seen their faces in 1700; the Great Northern War
kicked off when an anti-Swedish alliance comprising of Russia,
Poland and Denmark launched the opening attack. The Swedes
weren’t having any of it, and by 1702 their counter-attack had
landed them at the gates of Warsaw. Over the next few years
Warsaw was passed back and forth like a bag of sweets, sustaining
heavy economic and physical damage in the process. The war,
a right epic scrap if ever there was, drew to a close in 1721 and
Warsaw was finally left to pick up the pieces and move forward.
The Collegium Nobilium, a posh boarding school for the
landed classes, was opened in 1740, and this was promptly
followed by Poland’s first library seven years later. This age
of enlightenment promised much for Poland, a fact not lost
on her three neighbours: Prussia, Russia and Austria. Little
Poland was clearly getting too big for her boots, so the three
acted swiftly by imposing the First Petition of Poland in 1772,
a move which essentially robbed the country of a third of
its territory and population. Nonetheless, her three bullying
neighbours clearly hadn’t counted on Stanisław August
Poniatowski, the country’s last king, and arguably her finest.
It was under his leadership the Constitution of May 3
ratified in 1791. This landmark code was the first of its kind
in Europe (and only second in the world after the USA), with
reforms focused on handing more power and freedom to
the general populace. Poniatowski was hailed as almost
visionary in his outlook, however his ideas once more stirred
his neighbours into action. This time round both Prussia and
Russia moved to weaken Poland in The Second Partition of
Poland (1793), snatching away 308,000 sq/km of territory,
and reducing her to just 223,000 sq/m.
Provoked by this latest aggression the Poles fought back
launching ‘The Peasant Uprising’ of 1794. Led by Tadeusz
Kościuszko the insurgents scored a notable victory at Racławicka,
but eventually superior numbers told and the rebellion ended in
surrender. The following year Russia, Prussia and Austria joined
together to carve what remained of Poland between them.
Napoleon offered the capital brief respite, and when his
armies marched eastwards in 1807 he created a semi-
independent Duchy of Warsaw. His failings on the battlefields
of Russia led to defeat, and within eight years Russian forces
had pushed the Frenchman back and regained Warsaw as
their own; Poland had effectively been wiped off the map.
Discontent with Russian rule was to come to a boil twice in the
following decades: first in the form of the November Insurrection
of 1831, and then again with the January Uprising of 1863. Both
rebellions were brutally crushed, and saw more patriots packed
off to serve penance in Siberia. Strangely, however, it was these
dark years that saw Warsaw blossom. Under the auspice of
Russian-born Mayor Sokrates Starynkiewicz the city developed
at lightning pace, and by the time of his death in 1902 the town
had acquired a modern sewage system, street-lighting, paved
streets and over 2,500 newly planted trees.
Still, resentment over foreign rule continued to linger, and it
was only the outbreak of World War One that promised hope.
The collapse of the Eastern Front saw the last Russian troops
leave in 1915, though these were immediately replaced
with German uni forms. Only when Germany signed the
armistice in 1918 was Poland finally freed from the shackles
of occupation. Arriving overnight in a sealed wagon, Jósef
Piłsudski, a patriot who had been imprisoned in Magdeburg,
reached Warsaw on November 11 to assume leadership of
the nation. By the time of his death in 1935 this national
hero witnessed the introduction of the złoty, a failed coup
and the assassination of President Narutowicz. Even allowing
for these, nothing came close to the defeat of the Red Army
during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921, a triumph which
not just guaranteed Poland’s short-term future, but Europe’s.
The twenti es and thirti es saw Warsaw fl ourish i nto a
confident, successful city, alas, we all know what was to come.
September 1 saw Nazi Germany start WWII with their attack
on the Westerplatte Peninsula in north Poland. By morning
Luftwaffe squadrons were firebombing Warsaw, and in spite
of dogged resistance the capital finally fell on September 30
The fate of the Jewish population, and the Warsaw Uprising, is
documented in detail elsewhere in the guide, so fast forward
instead to January 17, 1945. Liberation of sorts had arrived,
unfortunately for the Poles it meant spending much of the
following five decades under Soviet hegemony. In the wave
of Stalinist terror that followed businesses found themselves
nationalized, and political and religious leaders imprisoned.
Stalin died in 1953, but his legacy didn’t. The Warsaw Pact, a
military treaty between eight communist states, was signed
in 1955 the same year Stalin’s parting gift to the city the
Palace of Culture was completed. A year on Pozńan exploded
like a powder keg in what turned out to be the first street
demonstrations against communism. The communists
reacted in time honoured fashion, with their fists, and the
final score stood at 76 dead (unofficial estimates suggest
far, far more) and a city defeated.
In a bid to appease the people several hardliners were
dismissed and Władysław Gomułka was appointed as Poland’s
premier. Limited social reforms and a small-scale lifting of
press censorship followed, and a political thaw set in. This
veneer of social happiness was shattered in 1970 when new
protests broke out, this time in Gdańsk. Forty four died when
the army suppressed the demonstrations, and for a while
things appeared to settle down. Edward Gierek came in to
replace Gomułka as First Secretary, and he set about turning
the country round. Living standards increased, and for a time
Gierek carried the tag of miracle worker. He wasn’t. Gierek had
built a house of cards, propping up the Polish economy with
half-mad policies based on acquiring mountains of foreign
debt. The oil crisis of 1973 saw the creditors come calling and
by 1976 price increases were in the pipeline. A fresh batch of
riots broke out across the nation, and military might was once
more relied upon to bring the people to heel.
The public was starting to get restless, but their protests
needed focus and direction. That came in 1978 when Karol
Wojtyła, born in Wadowice close to Kraków, was appointed
Pope in 1978. Wojtyła, who had adopted the name John Paul
II, returned to Poland the following year, and his whirlwind tour
of the country is seen by many as the pivotal moment when
the nation gathered courage to defy the system. ‘Do not be
afraid’, spoke the pontiff to the masses, ‘change the image
of the land… this land’. It was a veiled message, but a clear
one, and from there on the fuse was lit.
In the form of Pope John Paul II the Poles had found a spiritual
direction, what was lacking was a physical one. That came
in the surprising shape of Lech Wałęsa, an unemployed
electrician with an extravagant moustache and a podgy look.
Within the space of a second he went from no-one to someone
and bulldozed Polish politics into the 21
century. The year
was 1980 and workers in the Lenin Shipyards in Gdańsk were
fuming at the dismissal of a female crane operator. Talk and
promise of strike was rife, and the atmosphere heated. On the
spur of the moment Wałęsa climbed a gate and addressed
those below. Inadvertently he had made himself the public
face of Solidarność (Solidarity), a trade union that would
prove the slingshot that felled communism. This time round
the protestors had learned from their bloody mistakes and
rather than confronting the tanks simply locked themselves
in the shipyards. Leaders representing workers from across
the country joined, and hammered out a list of 21 demands
including the legalisation of trade unions. Days of tension
followed, with tanks and militia standing menacingly outside,
and for a moment Poland stood on a precipice.
Amazingly it was the government that backed down, on
August 31 it signed an agreement meeting the workers
demands. The first peaceful victory over communism had
been won.
This wasn’t to last – Solidarity continued to press for further
reform, and with the Soviet Union looking likely to invade the
Polish President General Jaruzelski declared Martial Law
on December 13, 1981. Though Solidarity was officially
dissolved, and its leaders imprisoned, it continued to operate
underground. When Father Jerzy Popieluszko, Solidarity’s
chaplain, was abducted and murdered by the secret police
over a million people attended his funeral.
Renewed labour strikes and a faltering economy forced
Jaruzelski into initiating talks with opposition figures in 1988,
and the following year Solidarity was once again granted
legal status. Soviet leader Gorbachev had made it clear he
wouldn’t intervene in Polish politics, and when Jaruzelski was
pressured into holding partly free elections Solidarity swept
the board with Wałęsa leading from the front. The regime
collapsed and in 1990 Wałęsa was elected the first president
of post-communist Poland. Shock capitalist tactics were used
to rotate Poland into a free market economy, and while this
left several losers the nation emerged stronger than before.
Acceptance into the European Union in 2004 was proof of
this, and Poland’s rise illustrated by the decision to award it
co-responsibility for the Euro 2012 Football Championships.
Today Poland, with Warsaw as its figurehead, stands as
an exemplary member of the EU, and notably was the one
European nation to avoid recession in the recent global crisis.
1313: First written mention of Warsaw
1413: The regional capital of Mazovia is moved from
Czersk to Warsaw
1596: King Zygmunt III Vasa moves the Royal Court from
Kraków to Warsaw
1665-1668: The old town comes repeatedly under
siege, only just about surviving
1700: The Swedes invade Poland, capturing Warsaw
two years later and installing Stanisław Leszczyński as
a puppet king in 1704.
1764: Stanisław August Poniatowski is crowned King
1772: Poland is partitioned for the first time
1791: The historic May 3 Constitution is signed, in-
advertently prompting the second partition of Poland
two years later
1795: Third Partition of Poland
1807: A semi-independent Duchy of Warsaw is created
by Napoleon. It’s dissolved eight years later following
France’s military disasters and Warsaw falls once more
under Russian control.
1830: The November Uprising breaks out
1863: One more anti-Russian rising breaks out, this one
know as the January Uprising
1915: The Russians leave Warsaw in disarray but are
immediately replaced with Germans. Independence
takes another three years
1920: The Red Army is defeated at the gates of Warsaw,
saving post-war Europe from communism
1939: Nazi Germany invades Poland.
1943: Jews remaining in the Ghetto rise against the
Nazis. Their insurgency is crushed
1944: The people of Warsaw launch the Warsaw
Uprising, but are defeated following 63 days of resistance
1945: The Red Army liberates Warsaw but Poland is
forced to kowtow to Moscow for the next few decades
1989: The communist regime crumbles
2004: Poland enters the European Union
2010: Poland is plunged into national mourning after a
plane carrying President Lech Kaczyński and all on board
crashed while on its way to a memorial service in Katyń.
2012: Poland successfully co-hosts the Euro 2012
football tournament with neighbouring Ukraine (though
the Polish team didn’t make it out of the group stage).
Warsaw’s Historical Timeline
72 73
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Sightseeing and Warsaw
don’t usually go together,
and the blame for that falls
on her citizens. While some
cities may have been happy
to wait out Nazi occupa-
tion, the Warsaw locals
were having none of that.
The ensuing uprising which
took place in 1944 would
become both the most glo-
rious and tragic episode in
the city’s history. Doomed
from the outset the Warsaw
Uprising enraged Hitler, and
his retribution proved swift
and brutal. Warsaw was to
be wiped from the face of the map, and his cronies set about
their orders with a zealous fury. While Red Army tanks stood
stoically stationed across the river the Nazis set about blasting
western Warsaw from the map. Anything deemed of cultural
importance was dynamited, and whole districts were set on
fire. By the time ‘liberation’ arrived, over 90% of the city lay in
total ruin. ‘I have seen many towns destroyed, but nowhere
have I been faced with such destruction,’ commented a visibly
moved Eisenhower on a later visit to the city. That the city still
stands at all is tribute enough to the indefatigable spirit of the
Polish capital.
Nowhere bore the brunt of the Nazi malice more than the Old
Town, and it’s here that most tourists will choose to start
their tour of Warsaw. Using paintings and photographs as an
architectural blueprint the Old Town was painstakingly rebuilt,
the reconstruction of the historic centre only completed as late
as 1962. The areas inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage
List speaks volumes for the effort involved, and nothing is more
striking than the colourful, wonky-looking burgher houses that
frame the Old Town Square (B1/2, Rynek Starego Miasto).
The historic centre is also home to numerous churches, in-
cluding the striking St John’s Cathedral (B-2, ul. Świetojańska
8) whose details number the gothic artworks of Wit Stwosz
as well as the tombs of knights, regents and eminent citizens.
Marking the edge of old town is the Royal Castle (B-2, pl.
Zamkowy 4), reconstructed from a pile of rubble at incred-
ible cost between 1971 and 1984. The prescribed tour will
take you through the Kings’ apartments and chambers,
heavily adorned with paintings of famous Polish moments.
Although you’ll find plenty of photographic opportunities in
and amongst the tight cobbled alleyways save a few shots for
the viewing platform at the top of St Anne’s Church (B-2, ul.
Krakowskie Przedmieśćie), and don’t leave the area without
first exploring the lesser known delights of the New Town.
There is far more to Warsaw than i ts ol d town however,
and one museum that demands to be vi si ted i s the
Warsaw Uprising Museum (D-3, ul. Przyokopowa 28). I t’s
here, inside Poland’s best museum, that you’ll learn about
the ci ty’s doomed rebellion against the Nazis in 1944.
Packed wi th i nteracti ve di spl ays, photographs, vi deo
footage and miscellaneous exhibi ts this is guaranteed to
l eave a deep mark on all visi tors, and will go a l ong way
in explaining why Warsaw is far from the archi tectural
pearl i t once was.
Al though the Nazis flat-
tened the Jewish Ghetto
af ter a heroi c upri si ng
i n 1943 there are sti l l
traces of Warsaw’s Jewish
past, including a remain-
ing piece of the Ghetto
wall (E-3, ul. Sienna 55),
a memori al where the
loading ramp to Treblinka
once stood ( E-1, Um-
schl agpl atz) as wel l as
one of the largest Jewish
cemeteries in Europe (D-1,
ul. Okopowa 49/51). Most
recently, a trail marking the Ghetto boundaries has been
unveiled, it’s course interspersed with 21 dual-language
plaques at sights of specific interest.
The city’s defining landmark however has to be the fearsome
Palace of Culture and Science (B-4, pl. Defilad 1). Looking
like something you’d see in Ghostbusters the building tow-
ers at just over 231 metres in height - making it the tallest
and largest structure in Poland. Commissioned by Stalin as
a ‘gift from the Soviet people’, it was completed in 1955,
and built using an estimated 40 million bricks the crowning
glory is the viewing platform on the 30th floor. While it’s
the most obvious, it’s not the only example of the Socialist
Realist style, and visitors have plenty to marvel at from the
everyman residential units of Muranow and pl. Konsytucji,
to the stern looking block that once housed Communist HQ
(ul. Nowy Swiat 6).
Across the river the Praga suburb is undergoing a long due
revival, and its growing reputation as an artistic haven is
evident in the cafes that have sprung up along the pre-war
Zabkowska street. But while the Praga area is breathing
once more, it still looks shabby. For a glimpse of Warsaw’s
Imperial beauty head instead to her palaces, in particular
Łazienki Park and Palace (G-4, ul. Agrykola 1) and Wilanów
Palace - dubbed ‘The Polish Versailles’ - (ul. Stanisława
Kostki-Potockiego 10/16). Joanna Kortas
Paul Kowalow
Many Poles still see a direct connection between the church
and patriotism, explained much by the fact that during cen-
turies of oppression by neighbouring powers, the church
helped the nation of Poland to survive by giving Poles an
identity. Although on the wane in post-communist Poland,
the church still plays an important role in many people’s
lives and churches reflect the importance of religion in the
history of the Polish nation.
Holy Cross Church (Kościół Św. Krzyża) C-3, ul.
Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, tel. (+48) 22 826 89 10, No Chopinologist can leave Warsaw with-
out first visiting the final resting place of his heart. Added to
the church in 1882 his heart was sealed in an urn and then
placed behind a tablet bearing his likeness specially carved
by Leonardo Marconi.
Al though this serves as the church’s key draw there’s
several other features of note to tempt the visitor inside
this astonishing Baroque creation. The church’s history
originally dates from the 15th century when a small wooden
chapel stood on the site. Destroyed during the Swedish
Deluge of the 1650s, the church was rebuilt in 1682, with
the cornerstone being ceremoniously laid by Prince Jakub,
son of King Jan III Sobieski. Designed by the royal architect,
Jakub Bellotti, it was completed in 1696 though over time
would see numerous additions to its shape. The most
notable of these would come in the following century when
Józef Fontana added two Baroque crowns to the square-cut
twin towers. His son Jakub would later extensively refurbish
the façade with Jan Jerzy Plersch adding elaborate decora-
tive touches to the interior.
Throughout history the church has played its role in Warsaw’s
glories and calamities. It was here that the last Polish King
forged the Order of the Knights of St Stanislaus, and it was
directly outside in 1861 that Russian troops brutally sup-
pressed a patriotic protest. It was this bloodbath that lit the
touchpaper for the January Uprising of that year. Devastated
during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 the church was painstak-
ingly rebuilt at the end of the war and is today a feast for the
heart, eyes and soul. The organ (built in Salzburg in 1925) is
the largest in Warsaw, and other points of note include an
urn with the remains of Nobel Prize winning author Władysław
Reymont, and tablets honouring various Polish icons includ-
ing poet Juliusz Słowacki and WWII hero Władysław Sikorski.
QOpen 10:00 - 16:00, Sun 14:00 - 16:00. No visiting during
mass please.
Jesui t Church (Kości ół Jezui tów) B- 2, ul .
Świętojańska 10, tel. (+48) 22 831 16 75, www. Built at the behest of King Zygmunt III Waza’s
confessor, Pi otr Skarga, this l ovel y li ttl e Renaissance
church was constructed between 1609 and 1626 for
the city’s Jesuit community. Having had something of a
varied and colourful history to say the least, it suffered
at the hands of the Swedes in the latter hal f of the 17th
century, who looted it of its entire contents, and it even
spent time as a storehouse during the Partitions. Also
known as the Holy Mother of Grace Church after the city’s
patron saint, the church was returned to the Jesuits at the
end of WWI only to be destroyed by the Germans in 1944.
Rebuilt between 1948 and 1957, the church has a few
remaining original interior parts - of particular interest is
the 17th-century picture of the Holy Mother hersel f. The
crypt, not open to visitors, contains the remains of Prince
Karol Ferdynand Waza and Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski
(1595-1640), the Jesuit priest, poet and court preacher
to King Władysław IV. QOpen 09:30 - 19:00. No visiting
during mass please.
Adventure Warsaw ul . Mi ńska 25 (Praga
Południe), tel. (+48) 606 22 55 25, www.adventure- Tours of Warsaw including the popular
“off the beaten path” tour which delves into Socialism,
communism and of course vodka, all while cruising in
a vintage Nysa 522. Group, private and walking tours
also available from this crew of young, enthusiastic
local guides, who will even take you out your stag party
or host a pub crawl.
City Sightseeing Warsaw, tel. (+48) 793 97
33 56, If Warsaw needed
proof that it has finally arrived as a tourist destination
surely the launch of City Sightseeing is it. Tours by way
of a familiar red, double-decker bus let you take in sights
such as the Palace of Culture, the Royal Castle, Łazienki
Park and the Wybrzeże Gdańskie. Buy one ticket and
hop on and off the bus as you please. The bus departs
in February only on weekends between 10:00-17:00
from the Palace of Culture on the Emilii Plater side. In
March it runs every day between 11:00-17:00 (last tour
leaves at 17:00). Commentary available in a multitude of
languages including English, Polish and Japanese. See
their website for tour details, routes and timetables. Q
Tickets 24hr 60zł, 48hr 80zł.
Eastern Station Warsaw, tel. (+48) 513 60 55
18, Warsaw’s first bike tour
company gets it right with six di fferent 3 hour unique
routes that take visitors to places that promise great
photo opportunities and streets that stray from the
usual Old Town tourist traps. The Wild Vistula trip gets
you up close to the river that splits the city while the
Cold War HQ trip will have you climbing through a three
story underground Atomic Command Headquarters.
Trips are by request only. Those who prefer a walking
tour can meet at King Sigismund’s Column daily at
11:00 for a 2-hour wander through Old Town (free, but
be sure to tip).
The Connoisseur Tour, tel. (+48) 600 97 26
28, If you consider Warsaw
synonymous with vodka, this is the tour for you. Meet
at Sigismund’s Column for a chance to learn about
where this nectar comes from and how its made. The
tour includes sightseeing in Old Town, Praga and at the
former Koneser vodka factory as well as samples of
Polish vodka and appetisers. The tour lasts around 3.5
hours and can be organised in German, Italian, Russian
or English at a cost of 140zl per person. Adults only.
Warsaw City-Tour, tel. (+48) 500 03 34 14, www. Bus tours of Warsaw on a yellow
double-decker bus. The tours start from the bus stop
on ul. Królewska and run at 09:50 and 11:50. The route
takes about 1.5 hours to cover and covers all the major
sites in the city including Old Town, Jewish Warsaw,
WWII, Palace of Culture and Lazienki Park. Be sure to
note this special promotion: one-day tickets are valid for
two days and two-day tickets are valid for three days! Q
Single journey ticket 40/34zł. One day ticket 60/54 zł.
Two day ticket 80/72zł. Family tickets (2 adults and 2
children) 205zl/day, 274zl/2days; 130zl single journey;
(2 adults and 3 children 254zl/day, 340zl 2 days; 160zl
single journey). One and two day tickets offer hop on/
hop off option.
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Military Cathedral (Katedra Polowa Wojska
Polskiego) B-2, ul. Długa 13/15, tel. (+48) 22 687
77 02, Comprised of both the St.
Francis of Assisi Church and monastery and built between
1662 and 1663 by the Piarist friars, the extraordinary
Military Cathedral, also known as the Church of Our Lady
Queen of the Polish Crown, is the capital’s main garrison
church. Having spent time as an Orthodox Church, prison,
orphanage and a depot for German soldiers during WWI the
church was reconstructed based on original 17th-century
drawings after independence in 1918 and became the seat
of the field bishop of the Polish Army. Again rebuilt after its
destruction during WWII, the church is now decorated with
a peculiar mix of religious and military artefacts, including a
number of large oil paintings depicting the most well known
of Poland’s battles and uprisings. Q No visiting during
mass please. Open by prior arrangement and for groups
only. Alternatively view the interior through the bars or get
in before the mass at 18:00.
St. Anne’s Church (Kościół Św. Anny) B-2, ul.
Krakowskie Przedmieście 68, tel. (+48) 22 826 89
91, St Anne’s survived the war
with a few token scratches and a collapsed roof, but what
the Nazis failed to destroy was very nearly demolished by a
team of incompetent builders - by 1949 the whole church
threatened to come crashing to the ground. The thought-
less construction of the nearby Trasa W-Z tunnel had led to
several landslides, resulting in huge cracks appearing in the
floor of the church. It took a team of 400 people two weeks
of tireless work to stabilise the undersoil and shore up the
foundations. Intriguingly, this wasn’t the first time St Anne’s
had survived vicious conflict to find disaster around the
corner. It escaped destruction during the war with Sweden
(1650-1655) only to be gutted by fire two years later, appar-
ently the victim of an arson attack. The classicist façade
dates from 1788 and is the design of the royal architect Piotr
Aigner. The interior holds even more classicist and rococo
details. The viewing tower is one of the best in Warsaw and
worth the 147-step climb.
One other point of interest concerns a simple wooden cross
you will see there. These two planks of wood became the
focus of a battle that threatened to divide the country in
the summer of 2010. To read the story behind that see our
piece on the presidential cross. Q Open 07:00 - 19:00, Sun
08:00 - 22:00. No visiting during mass.
St. Benno’s Church (Kościół Św. Benona) B-1,
ul. Piesza 1, tel. (+48) 22 578 70 10, www.swbenon. Benno’s has a wacky history. King Sigis-
mund III was a devotee of St. Benno and invited peer priests
from Bavaria to Warsaw in the 17th century. Their main aim
was to support Germans living outside their home country.
Ironically, in 1944, the chapel was blown to smithereens by
you-know-who. Rebuilt by the Poles in 1958, it now has an
interesting interior dating from 1977. Q Open during mass
and by prior arrangement.
St. Casimir’s Church (Kościół Benedyktynek
- Sakramentek) B-1, Rynek Nowego Miasta 2, tel.
(+48) 22 831 49 62,
Founded by Mary Sobieski, wife of King Jan III Sobieski, to
commemorate her husband’s victory over the Turkish army
at the Gates of Vienna. The baroque-style church was de-
signed by Tylman van Gameren and was completed in 1692.
In 1944 it served as a Polish field hospital, and received
a direct hit from a German bomb, killing more than 1,000
civilians, priests, nuns and soldiers who were inside. Today
it has been fully restored and has a charred wooden cross
as tribute to those who died. Q Open by prior arrangement.
St. Francis Seraph Church (Kościół stygmatów
Św. Franciszka Serafickiego) B-1, ul. Zakroczymska
1, tel. (+48) 22 831 20 31, www.warszawa.francisz- Completed in 1733 this baroque masterpiece holds
the remains of St Vitalis; see the glass coffin for yourself by
visiting the chapel to your left. Many of the religious relics
found scattered around were donated by Pope Benedict XIV
in 1754, and this church is also entered in the history books as
holding the first free mass in Warsaw following the flight of the
Nazis. Q Open 06:00 - 20:00. No visiting during mass please.
St. John the Baptist Cathedral (Bazylika Archikat-
edralna Św. Jana Chrzciciela) B-2, ul. Świetojańska 8,
tel. (+48) 22 831 02 89, Originally built
in the 14th century, St. John’s is steeped in history. The last king of
Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, was crowned and eventu-
ally buried here, and in 1791 he also declared the Constitution of
May 3 inside the building. The crypt holds the bodies of Henryk
Sienkiewicz (writer), Gabriel Narutowicz (Poland’s first president)
and various Mazovian knights, but its currently off-limits due to
renovations. Other interesting details to look for include the covered
walkway that links the Cathedral with the Royal Castle. It was added
in 1620 as a security measure following a failed assassination
attempt on King Sigismund III. As with most major landmarks, it
was the scene of heavy fighting during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising
and was subsequently left in a heap of ruins before being rebuilt
in pseudo-gothic style. On the external wall by the main entrance
are fragments of a Goliath - a remote-controlled tank used by the
German army. A 17th century bell made by artisan Daniel Tym (who
also made the statue of King Sigismund III atop the famed column)
can now be found in the centre of ul. Kanonia (B-2). The bell itself
never rang at the cathedral, but it has developed its own legend:
touch the top of the bell and walk its circumference and your wish
will come true. Q Open 09:00 - 17:30, Sun 15:00 - 17:30. No
visiting during mass please.
St. Mary’s Church (Kościół Nawiedzenia NMP) B-1,
ul. Przyrynek 2, tel. (+48) 22 831 24 73, www.przyrynek.
pl. Scan the horizon of the New Town and chances are you’ll
find your eyes settling on the Gothic shape of the Church of the
Visitation of St Mary. Built in the 15th century on the whim of a
Mazovian princess this brick beauty allegedly stands on the site
of an ancient pagan place of worship. Extensively remodelled
over the centuries it was rebuilt true to its original form after
WWII. Q Open half an hour before and during mass only.
Adam Mickiewicz Monument (Pomnik Adama
Mickiewicza) B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 5.
Patriot, poet and the man who inspired Romanticism in Poland,
Mickiewicz stands out as Poland’s greatest literary figure - as
well as a figure of hope during a bleak age of Russian oppres-
sion. His involvement in politics saw him exiled east in 1824 by
the ruling Russians, before finally heading to western Europe in
1829. A bid to return to his homeland in 1830 was thwarted at
the border, and he never saw his native Poland again.
Much mystery surrounds his life; his role as a national cultural
icon meaning that much of the seamier side of his life has been
covered up, including his involvement in strange cults and al-
leged womanising. To this day, even his birthplace remains a hot
source of argument. Some say Nowogródek (Lithuania), others
say the nearby Zaosie. A champion of freedom, he died during
a cholera outbreak in Turkey, 1855, while recruiting a Polish
legion to fight the Russians in the Crimea. Originally buried in
Paris, Mickiewicz’s body now lies in Wawel Cathedral, Kraków.
His defining masterpiece, Pan Tadeusz, is a beautifully written
epic portraying Polish society in the 19th century. His statue
dominates ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście, and traces of bullet
holes dating from WWII are still visible on the monument.
Visits to Poland’s most prestigious street, Krakowskie
Przedmieście, start by the Royal Castle, next to the
sabre rattling statue of King Sigismund. A popular
meeti ng poi nt wi th l overs and buskers al i ke we’d
suggest you start your tour by taking the Socialist
Realist era escalator. From there head to St Anne’s a
neo-classical effort that survived the war but came
wi thi n a whisker of coll apse when work began on
the W-Z tunnel running beneath it. The 1949 tunnel
project caused several landslides and it took a team
of 400 workers two weeks to shore the foundations
and stabilise the soil. But the real hero of the hour
was Romauld Cebertowicz, a professor who invented
a way of solidi fying the soil by way of directing elec-
tric currents into it. The interiors of St Anne’s house
numerous intricate details, but the real reason for
visiting is the ‘ taras widokowy’, a viewing platform on
top of the next door tower.
Next, make a beeline for the Mickiewicz monument
that honours Poland’s best loved bard. This statue was
erected in 1898, the centenary of his birth. Unveiled
at a ti me of I mperial Russian repressi on the very
creation of his likeness was regarded as something of
a bombshell, and over 12,000 patriotic Poles turned
up to cheer the ribbon cutting. Standing just behind
is one of the Warsaw’s biggest mysteries. Everyone
knows the pi nk buil di ng wi th that great bi g chunk
missing from its facade, but what the devil is it? Built
in 1784 to serve as a traveller’s inn this mysterious
structure is actually student digs, as well as home
to a branch of the WBK bank and a music shop. The
17th century Camelite Church next door is one of the
original examples of the classicist style to be found
in Poland, and comes topped off with a sea green orb
representing the world.
Next up it’s the Presidential Palace, that fenced-off
building guarded by stone lions and stern soldiers.
Construction on it started in 1643 at the behest of
Stanislaw Koniecpolski, though was only completed
after his death. It passed into the hands various aris-
tocratic families and in the 18th century became the
famed venue for lavish society banquets. None were
more celebrated than the party held to celebrate the
coronation of Stanislaw II August Poniatowski in 1789;
over two million zloty was spent on entertaining 4,000
guests, a sum which must have been unheard of in
those days. But it was money well spent; Poniatowski
would prove to be one of Poland’s finest monarchs, and
the constitution of May 3, 1791, signed on these very
grounds, is recognized as Europe’s first.
When Pol and regai ned i ndependence i n 1918 the
reconstructed building was commandeered to serve
as home to the Pri me Mi nister and his Council of
Ministers. When Herman Goering visited in 1937 he
spent so much time pottering around admiring the
architectural details he was late for his meeting with
the Polish Foreign Minister. It saw more momentous
events in 1955, this time when the Warsaw pact – the
Soviet Union’s answer to NATO – was rati fied within
its walls. In 1989 round table talks between the com-
munists and opposition were held here, paving the way
for political freedom, and in 1994 it was appointed as
the official home of the Polish president.
Krakowskie Przedmieście...
Next door it’s the Le Meridien Bristol Hotel, long re-
garded as one of Warsaw’s most exclusive hotels. Tread
through the marble lobby and you’ll learn why; etched
in brass by reception you’ll find the names of dozens
of celebrities who’ve stayed here, including Picasso,
Nixon and Dietrich. An even more interesting story
can be found opposite, namely inside ul. Krakowskie
Przedmieście 13. A superb bygone creation the Hotel
Europejski closed its doors in 2006 following nearly 130
years of service. Built on the site of a guesthouse called
the Gerlach the Europejski was funded by publisher
Aleksander Przezdziecki, and inspired by the designs he
had seen on his world travels. Touched up by architects
like Henryk Marconi it came to be known as Warsaw’s
first modern hotel. The hotel, which once greeted The
Rolling Stones, Robert Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich and
Indira Ghandi might have closed, but its current owners
have big plans. The lower floors are already occupied by
trendy spots like U Kucharzy, and there’s plans afoot to
develop the upper floors into luxury apartments, offices
and a prestigious hotel. Heading back on yoursel f don’t
miss a quick look in at ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście
15. Now home to the Ministry of Culture and Art this is
where Napoleon met his paramour Marie Walewska at
a ball held in his honour.
One thing that won’t have escaped your notice at this
stage is the preponderance of young people, some of
them carrying books, others staggering out of bars. Yep,
you’ve guessed it, the university is here, its main campus
lying behind the grand gateway at number 26/28. Dating
from the 17th century the main building, known as Villa
Regia, was remodelled and renovated several times,
before finally being earmarked as the home of Warsaw’s
new university. Established in 1819 and opened for class
a couple of years later the uni had a tough time under
Russian rule. Closed in retaliation for the 1830 - 31 Up-
rising the university continued to operate underground,
though by 1859 the Tsar had been placated enough to
the extent he rubber stamped the creation of a School
of Medicine. Today, with some 57,000 students on the
roll call the university stands out as the largest in Poland,
as well as one of the best - a title hotly contested with
Kraków’s Jagiellonian Uni. Notable alumni include former
Israeli premier Yitzhak Shamir, writer Witold Gombrowicz,
award-winning hack Ryszard Kapusciński, the late presi-
dent Lech Kaczyński and poet Julian Tuwim.
Having failed in your attempt to get a few phone numbers
from the student body cross the street making a line for
the Church of the Holy Cross. Much has been written
about this place, so we won’t add anything other than
make sure you put it on your list of unmissables. Finally,
at the end of KP, it’s Copernicus himself and his statue
has also played its part in Warsaw’s recent history.
...Krakowskie Przedmieście
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Charles de Gaulle Monu-
ment (Pomnik Charlesa
de Gaulle’a) C-4, Rondo de
Gaullea. Charles de Gaulle is
the subject of one of Warsaw’s
newer monuments. Stri ding
away from what was once the
Commie party HQ, the monu-
ment is a gift from the French
government and can be found
on (C-4) Rondo de Gaull e’a.
A resident of Warsaw in the
1920s, de Gaulle is a bit of a
hero in these parts for the role
he played in The Battle of Warsaw in 1920. With Europe in
turmoil following the aftermath of WWI the Red Army launched
a huge military strike, aimed at enslaving the rest of Europe.
The Bolsheviks expected an easy march to Paris, but the
Poles has other ideas. With the Red Army just 23km from
Warsaw Marshal Piłsudski launched a deft action to split the
Bolshevik forces in two and encircle them. The battle raged
from August 13-August 25, 1920, with the Poles claiming a
historic victory in what Woodrow Wilson went on to describe
as the ‘seventh most important battle in history’. The Bol-
shevik forces were decimated, and Europe saved. De Gaulle
fought with distinction and was awarded the highest military
honour in the country, the Virtuti Militari.
Cr oss- monument Pl .
Piłsudskiego. Nine metres
high and made of white gran-
i te June 6, 2009 saw the
unveiling of giant cross on pl.
Piłsudskiego. It was here that
Pope John Paul II returned to
Warsaw for the first time after
being made pope, and it was
also on this spot a candlelit vigil
was held when news first broke
of his death. The inscription
is taken from his sermon and
reads: ‘Let your spirit come down and renew the face of earth,
this earth’. Unveiled by Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz
Waltz and Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz, the towering monu-
ment was designed by Jerzy Mierzwiaka, Marek Kuciński
and Natalia Wilczak.
Ignacy Paderewski G- 4,
Park Ujazdowski. Born i n
Kuryłówka in 1860 Paderewski
is fondly remembered as a politi-
can, patriot and musician. Having
entered the Warsaw Conservato-
rium at the age of 12 he worked
as a piano tutor after graduation.
The death of his wife, just a year
after they married, spurred him
to commit his life to music and in
1887 he made his public debut
in Vienna. His talent was obvious
and his growing popularity saw
him storm both Europe and the
States, not just as a pianist, but
a masterful composer as well. He was based in Paris during WWI
and it was during this time he became actively involved in politics,
becoming spokesman for the Polish National Committee. With
the end of the war he sought a return to his homeland where,
having played a key role in the Wielkopolska Uprising (which saw
Poznań merged into the newly reformed Polish state), he was
elected Poland’s third ever prime minister. It was he who signed
for Poland’s part in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, though his fall
from grace was just around the corner. Many thought he had
sold Poland short and in the face of growing public discontent he
resigned from office in December 1919. A short stint as Poland’s
representative in the League of Nations followed before he opted
to resume his musical career. Aside from being a skilled musician,
the mop haired Paderewski was also a popular public speaker,
known for his devastating wit. One anecdote recalls him being
introduced to a polo player with the words: ‘You are both leaders
in your spheres, though the spheres are very different’. Not one to
miss a beat Paderewski deadpanned ‘Not so very different, you
are a dear soul who plays polo, and I am a poor Pole who plays
solo’. During WWII he became an eminent figure in the London
based exiled Polish Parliament, though died in 1941 with the
country of his birth still under occupation.
Jan Kiliński Monument (Pomnik Jana Kilińskiego)
B-2, ul. Podwale. A huge monument honouring Jan Kiliński,
a Warsaw cobbler who became the unlikely hero of the 1794
Kościuszko Uprising. Despite being wounded twice, Kiliński and
his troop of peasants captured the Russian Ambassador’s War-
saw residence; an action that ultimately led to his imprisonment
in St. Petersburg. Said to embody the Polish virtues of bravery
and patriotism, his statue was erected in 1936 and originally
located on pl. Krasińskich. In reprisal for an attack on the Co-
pernicus Monument, Nazi troops hid Kiliński inside the vaults
of the National Museum. Within days, boy scouts had daubed
the museum with the graffiti ‘People of Warsaw! I am here, Jan
Kiliński.’ After the war the cobbler was returned to his rightful
place, before being finally relocated to ul. Podwale in 1959.
Józef Pi ł sudski Monu-
ment (Pomni k Józef a
Pi ł sudski ego) F- 2, Pl .
Piłsudskiego. Casting a steely
gaze over the square named in
his honour is a gloomy looking
Field Marshal Piłsudski, a man
many Poles hold responsible
for winning the country its in-
dependence in 1918. Regarded
as a political and military hero
this man did more than most to
free Poland from the shackles
of Russian control; his earl y
years saw him imprisoned in Siberia after being wrongfully
convicted of plotting to assassinate the Tsar, though his
finest hour undoubtedly came in 1920 when he beat off
the Bolshevik hordes at the gates of Warsaw, inadvertently
saving a battered post-war Europe from being flooded by the
rampant Soviets. Unveiled in 1995 this particular monumen
is the work of Tadeusz Łodziany, and Piłsudski fans can view
another such monument to the man on ul. Belweder.
King Sigismund’s Col-
umn (Kolumna Króla
Zygmunta) B-2, Pl. Zam-
kowy. Built in honour of the
man who made Warsaw
the capi tal of Poland, the
column was erected back
in 1664 and stands twenty
two metres high. During the
war the column collapsed
under bombardment and
the original now lies close
to the Royal Castle (and is
considered lucky to touch).
The fi gure of Si gi smund
survived and the new column was proudly re-erected in 1949.
While the name sounds like that of a soap opera charac-
ter or possibly a romance novel heroine, Poland’s Rosa
Luxemburg was not a fictional figure – though her story as
a noted revolutionary socialist is just as dramatic. Born in
the southern city of Zamość (which was then controlled
by Russia) in 1871, Luxemburg was the fifth child born to a
Polish Jewish family that eventually moved to the capital of
Warsaw. There Luxemburg attended school and got her first
taste of political activity by becoming involved in the left-wing
Proletariat party, a short-lived socialist political party that
was essentially dissolved after most of its members were
executed or imprisoned around 1886. Luxemburg fled to
Switzerland in 1889 to escape persecution for her beliefs and
enrolled in Zurich University, where she met Leo Jogiches – a
fellow student and the man who would be her romantic and
political partner for the rest of her life.
Together the duo founded the Social Democratic Party of
the Kingdom of Poland and created a newspaper, Sprawa
Robotnicza (The Worker’s Cause) to oppose the policies
of the Polish Socialist Party. Luxemburg maintained the
position that an independent Poland would only come about
through socialist revolution, a position she held from across
the border in Germany (by 1898 Luxemburg had married
Gustav Lubeck in order to gain German citizenship and
settled in Berlin). In Germany Luxemburg was an active
participant in the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
and accurately foresaw the upcoming war, condemning
Germany’s militarization and writing analyses about Euro-
pean socio-economic issues as well as speaking publicly
to workers about solidarity in the event of war.
Despite Luxemburg’s efforts to unite workers into a strike
against war, when the Balkans erupted in 1914 there was
no such strike, and the SPD itself voted to support financing
the war and refraining from strikes throughout its duration.
Not one to take things lying down, Luxemburg promptly
organised anti-war demonstrations and earned herself
a year in prison for “inciting to disobedience against the
authorities’ law and order.” Shortly thereafter Luxemburg
and likeminded friends, including Karl Liebknecht, founded
the Spartacus League which generated anti-war leaflets
and continued to encourage workers to strike against the
war. Those efforts landed Luxemburg back in prison once
again, this time for a 2.5 year stretch beginning in 1916.
Upon her release in November 1918 Luxemburg and
Liebknecht immediately regrouped the Spartacus League
and created the Red Flag newspaper to continue press-
ing their ideas – which now included amnesty for political
prisoners and an end to capital punishment. The following
month saw the duo found the Communist Party of Ger-
many amidst the country’s post-war revolution, though
the revolution’s second wave would prove deadly for both
Luxemburg and Liebknecht. While Luxemburg herself op-
posed the revolution’s violent grab at power, the Red Flag
backed the rebels and both Luxemburg and Liebknecht
were seized, questioned and summarily executed as a
result. Luxemburg’s corpse was thrown into the Landwehr
Canal, where it went undiscovered for four months.
Despite her untimely death Luxemburg left a vast legacy
of ideas and writings, with the term “Luxemburgism” even
used to describe a specific revolutionary theory within
Marxism that is based on her work. And while there are
currently no monuments or memorials to the revolution-
ary in Poland, Berlin sports a U-Bahn station named in
her honour (Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz) and a memorial in
the city’s Tiergarten marking the spot where her body
was tossed in the canal.
Rosa Luxemburg
Augsburg Lutheran Cemetery (Cmentarz
ewangelicko-augsburski) D-2, ul. Młynarska
54/56/58. Designed by Szymon Bogumił Zug in 1792
this treasure contains the elaborate tombs of countless
movers and shakers. Those interred include Samuel
Bogumił Linde - author of Poland’s first dictionary - and
Poland’s version of the Willie Wonka family: the Wedel’s.
Highlights include a cast iron chapel dating from 1821.
Calvinist Reformed Cemetery (Cmentarz
ewangelicko-reformowany) D-2, ul. Żytnia 42,
tel. (+48) 22 632 03 30. As well as containing the
remains of writer Stefan Żeromski, this cemetery is also
the resting place of the youngest victim of Pawiak Prison
and the then Gestapo regime, Kaj Silversjold aged six
months. Be sure to check out the Teutonic style inscrip-
tions on some of the graves. Looming over it all is the
Kronenburg mausoleum, a striking necropolis built for
one of Warsaw’s most famed industrialists. Q Open from
08:00 till dusk; Sat, Sun from 09:00 till dusk.
Italian Military Cemetery (Cmentarz Żołnierzy
Włoskich) ul. Marymoncka (Bielany). Originally es-
tablished in 1926 the Italian cemetery holds the bodies of
868 soldiers killed on Polish territory during WWI, and a
further 1,415 killed during the course of WWII. Maintained
by the Italian Embassy the cemetery features an entry
gate complete with legionnaire shields, and a central
avenue leading to a grandiose monument.
Northern Cemetery (Cmentarz Komunalny
Północny) ul. Wóycickiego 14 (Bielany), tel. (+48)
22 834 48 08. One of Europe’s largest cemeteries, and
a relatively new addition to the city. Created in 1973 this
vast graveyard contains over 135,000 graves, including
those of poet Edward Stachura, German WWII casual-
ties, and the bodies of those killed in Poland’s biggest
air disaster - the 1980 LOT plane crash just outside the
city limits. Q Open from 08:00 till dusk.
Powązki Catholic Cemetery (Cmentarz
Powązki) D-1, ul. Powązkowska 14, tel. (+48) 22
838 55 25. Warsaw’s biggest, oldest and most beauti-
ful cemetery. Famous corpses include the poet Leopold
Staff, aviators Żwirko and Wigura, and Nobel prize
winner Władysław Reymont. It also contains the ‘grave’
of Stefan Starzyński, the mayor of Warsaw at the time
of the German invasion. His body was never recovered
after he was detained by the Gestapo. Vast areas of
the cemetery are taken up by Home Army soldiers killed
during the Uprising. QOpen 07:00 - 16:00.
Soviet War Cemetery (Cmentarz Mauzoleum
Żołnierzy Radzieckich) E-6, Al. Żwirki i Wigury
10. Dominated by a huge needle-like monument this
is one of the first Warsaw landmarks seen on the way
from the airport. The towering monument features some
interesting socialist reliefs depicting Red Army troops
liberating Polish civilians, and the inscription reads ‘To
the memory of the soldiers lost in the liberation of Poland
1944-1945’. Mass graves containing the remains of
20,000 soldiers flank each side of the memorial.
Warsaw Upri si ng Cemetery (Cmentarz
Powstańców Warszawy) ul. Wolska 174/176
(Wola). Approximately 40,000 participants in the ‘44
Uprising are buried here, their resting places marked with
wood graves and red and white sashes.
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Ni col aus Coper ni cus
Monument (Pomni k
Mikołaja Kopernika) C-3,
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście.
The founder of modern as-
tronomy. A sheltered academic,
he made his observations a
century before the invention
of the telescope and without
help or guidance. His book De
Revolutionibus (1543) posited
that the earth rotated on its axis
once a day, travelled around the
sun once a year, and that man’s
place in the cosmos was peripheral. This may seem obvious
today, but it was an utterly radical idea at the time.
Although astronomers who propagated his ideas were burnt at
the stake and the Catholic church placed De Revolutionibus
on its list of banned books (as late as 1835), there was no turn-
ing back progress. The modern cosmological view - that our
galaxy is one of billions in a vast universe - is this man’s legacy.
The statue itsel f was built in 1830 and has seen its fair
share of adventure. During WWII the Nazi’s placed a bronze
plaque insinuating that the great man was in fact - gasp - a
German. In 1942, a boy scout called Alek Dawidowski ducked
the guards and removed the plaque. Boiling with fury, the
Nazis removed the statue, hid it in Silesia and dynamited a
few other surrounding monuments for good measure. The
statue was recovered in the years following the war, while
Dawidowski has entered Polish folklore as a result of his
bravery. The plaque at the centre of the storm is currently
held in Warsaw’s History Museum.
Nike B-2, near Pl. Zamkowy (Trasa W-Z scarp). Just before
hitting the WZ tunnel that rumbles below the old town visitors
can’t fail but see a giant cast iron statue of Nike: as in the Greek
Goddess of Victory, not the shoe. Standing with sword raised
aloft this noble structure is actually officially named ‘Monument
to the Heroes of Warsaw 1939-1945’, and remembers the
thousands of locals who fought against - and died under - Nazi
rule. The statue made its debut in 1964, originally standing on
pl. Teatralny. This was before there was any official memorial
to the Warsaw Uprising, and as such Nike became the favoured
assembly point for Polish veterans, as well as student agitators
in later years. In 1999 Pl. Teatralny underwent a well-deserved
facelift and the fearsome Nike found herself forklifted over to
her current spot where she stands with a watchful eye over the
cars and buses that gasp to-and-fro.
Syrena. The mermaid is the
symbol of Warsaw, and as
such you’ll find her likeness on
everything from buses to beer
cans. The legend dates to the
time of Prince Kazimierz, who
allegedly got lost while on a
hunting expedition in the area
that is now Warsaw. Behold, a
mermaid transpired from the
marshland, and gui ded the
hapless prince to safety by
firing burning arrows. Firmly
established as an icon of Warsaw you’ll find three mermaid
statues in Warsaw, specifically on (C-1), Old Town Square,
(D-2), Świętokrzyski Bridge and on (C-2/3), ul. Karowa. The
original mermaid - or syrena in local parlance - stands in
the Historical Museum, and was crafted from bronze by the
expert hand of Ludwika Nitschowa. Modelling for her was
actress Krystyna Krahelska, who was mortally injured on
the first day of the Uprising while working as a field nurse.
Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier (Grób Niezna-
nego Żołnierza) B-3, Pl.
Piłsudskiego. The only surviv-
ing part of the destroyed Saxon
Palace. The palace was con-
structed during the 17th century
though the tomb was not added
to the complex until 1925. Eerily,
the tomb was the only part of
the structure to survive being
dynamited by the Nazis. The
ashes of unknown soldiers from WWII have been fittingly added.
To those deported and murdered in the East (Pom-
nik Poległym i Pomordowanym na Wschodzie)
E-1, intersection of Bonifraterska, Andersa and Mura-
nowska. Dating from 1995, and designed by Maksymilian
Biskupski, this monument remembers the victims of Soviet
aggression and all those deported to the wastes of Siberia.
Warsaw now has an ever more impressive selection of
museums dotted around and even older ones are getting
facelifts to bring the visitor experience into the 21st century.
There are still instances of poor or no English language ex-
planations but these are becoming less common. Without
doubt the big three places on your list should be the Uprising
Museum which charts the defining period in the history of
modern Warsaw; the Copernicus Science Centre which is the
city’s most interactive and visitor friendly museum and the
Chopin Museum which is both interesting and Warsaw’s best
example of a modern museum experience. Most museums
listed present a cycle of temporary exhibitions, details of
which can be found in our culture and events section.
Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature (Muze-
um Literatury im. Adama Mickiewicza) B-1, Rynek
Starego Miasta 20, tel. (+48) 22 831 76 91, www. Find out about the smart Alec who
inspired Romanticism in Poland. As well as aving a number
of manuscripts and historical artefacts connected with
Mickiewicz, the museum also has exhibits connected with
other leading Polish writers. If Polish writers are your bag be
sure to check out the three other related sites that are part
of the city’s Museum of Literature and celebrate historic
authors: the Władysław Broniewski Museum of Literature
at ul. J. Dąbrowskiego 51 (F-6), the Andrzej Strug Museum
of Literature at Al. Niepodległości 210/10a (F-4) and the
Maria Dąbrowska Museum of Literature at ul. Polna 40/31
(F-4). Q Open 10:00 - 16:00, Wed, Thu 11:00 - 18:00, Sun
11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat and every last Sun of the month.
Admission 6/5zł, Sun free for permanent exhibit only. Y
Gallery of Paintings, Sculpture and the Decora-
tive Arts (Galeria Malarstwa, Rzeźby i Sztuki
Zdobniczej) B-2, Pl. Zamkowy 4 (Royal Castle), tel.
(+48) 22 355 51 70, The east
wing of the Royal Castle’s main floor is now home to a per-
manent exhibition of various works of art that had formerly
been spread throughout the property, including two works
by Rembrandt: The Girl in a Picture Frame and The Scholar
at the Lectern. Both paintings were part of a major donation
of 37 works of art given by Countess Karolina Lanckoronska,
a Polish resistance fighter and concentration camp survivor
who, upon Poland’s return to independence in 1989, be-
queathed her family’s art collection to the nation. The Castle
has done an impressive job of staging the artworks, with
muted walls and focused lighting keeping all the attention
Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument A/B-3, Pl. Za
Żelazną Bramą. History produces few men like Tadeusz
Kościuszko (1746-1817). Kościuszko’s highest ideal was
freedom, and he used his own to try and secure it for all
those less fortunate. In one country - Poland - he failed and
is remembered as the greatest hero who ever walked the
land. In another country - America - he succeeded, and yet
has been almost completely forgotten. A monument to the
man was unveiled in November 2010 in the presence of
the Polish President and the US Ambassador. The monu-
ment is an exact copy of one in Washington by sculptor
Antoni Popiel given to Americans on behalf of the Polish
nation. At its unveiling outside of the White House in 1910
the promise was made to erect a copy in Poland if ever
the country regained its independence.
The man himself was educated in Warsaw and Paris dur-
ing which time Poland was partitioned for the first time in
1772. Kościuszko found himself attracted to the American
fight for independence and arrived in Philadelphia aged 30.
Upon arrival he read the Declaration of Independence and
found himself so inspired and in concert with its ideology
that he determined to meet the man who wrote it, Thomas
Jefferson. The two men later began a lifelong friendship
which became so binding that Kościuszko made Jefferson
the executor of his will. Jefferson was to call Kościuszko
“the purest son of liberty among you all that I have ever
known, and of that liberty which is to go to all, not to the
few or the rich alone.”
It was as a colonel in the engineering corps that Kościuszko
distinguished himself and it was his choice of Bemis Heights
as the place to engage the British that was to become the
decisive turning point of the northern campaign - the Battle
of Saratoga in October 1777. The victory at Saratoga won
the northern campaign and the alliance of the French as
Louis XVI officially recognised America as an independent
country. Kosciuszko was then charged with forti fying
West Point, New York, where he built an impenetrable
fortress that would later become America’s premier military
academy. Rewarded with citizenship, the rank of Brigadier
General and land near Columbus, Ohio, at the end of
hostilities, Kościuszko found himself instead drawn back
to Poland whose aggressive neighbours continued to
threaten its sovereignty.
Having first freed the serfs on his own estate back in
Poland, Kościuszko once again returned to the military.
On May 3, 1791 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
created the first constitution in modern Europe (second
in the world after America), which enacted widespread
reforms and four days later the Russian army crossed
the border triggering the Polish-Russian War of 1792.
Kościuszko again distinguished himsel f in battle and
became regarded as Poland’s leading military strategist
having never been defeated. However the neighbouring
powers further reduced the power and size of Poland
through the Second Partition of Poland (January 21,
1793) leaving Kościuszko to resolve that the Poles were
going to have to drive their oppressors out and to regain
their independence.
What followed came to be known as the Kościuszko Up-
rising. Kościuszko, using his experience of the American
war of Independence, led his ill-equipped peasant army
to victory over the Russian army at Racławice. The
ultimate defeat of Poland resulted in the Third Partition
of Poland (October 24th, 1795) and Poland disappeared
from the map of Europe for the next 123 years. Read
more about the man in our feature online.
Kościuszko Monument
The wonder full y named
Stanisław II August Pon-
i atowski ( bor n Count
Stanisław Antoni Poni -
atowski ) was the l ast
Ki ng and Grand Duke
of t he Pol i sh- Li t hua-
ni an Commonweal t h
(1764-95). Hi s of fi ci al
ti tl e was, memorabl y,
Stanisław August, by
the grace of God and
the will of the people
King of Poland, Grand
Duke of Lithuania and
Duke of Rutheni a,
Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Kiev, Volhynia,
Podolia, Podlasie, Livonia, Smolensk, Severia
and Chernihiv.
Born in Wolcyn (which today is in Belarus) in 1732,
Poniatowski first rose to prominence as an orator in the
nascent Polish parliament, the Sejm. Appointed ambas-
sador of Saxony to the court of Catherine the Great in
St. Petersburg in 1755, the tall, dashing Poniatowski
quickly became a regular lover of the insatiable Russian
Empress. When the Polish King August II died in 1763, it
was with Russian support that Poniatowski was elected
king, at the age of 32.
Opposed from the start by large numbers of the Pol-
ish nobility, on first appearances Poniatowski’s three
decades on the throne do not look all that impressive.
He was powerless to prevent the first partition of the
Commonwealth in 1772 and relied heavily for much of
his reign on Russian patronage.
Yet he is remembered most for his championing of the
1791 Polish-Lithuanian Constitution: Europe’s first and
the world’s second (the United States had enacted the
first, in 1788) codified constitution. It greatly reduced the
power of the nobility, and introduced the idea of equality
amongst all citizens of the Commonwealth: noblemen,
townsfolk and peasants. Alas, the Commonwealth was
about to crumble, and the constitution came far too
late to save it.
Appall ed, the Polish nobili ty, under the flag of the
Targowi ca Federation and allied wi th Russian nobl es
keen to prevent similar i deas of equali ty infil trating
into Russia, launched a full scal e war (known, some-
what incorrectly, as the Polish-Russian War of 1791-2)
on Poniatowski. Betrayed by Prussia (whi ch had until
then been a keen all y), Poniatowski was defeated in
1792 and the consti tution expunged from the statue
book. The status quo ante-bellum was restored, and
Poniatowski managed to cling on as King until 1795
when the final parti tion of the Commonweal th forced
hi m to abdi cate. He fl ed to St. Petersburg, where
he li ved at the grace of Catheri ne until he di ed i n
1798. He was first buri ed at the Catholi c Church of
St. Catherine in St. Petersburg, his remains being
transferred to a church at Wołczyn in 1938. In 1995,
in belated recogni tion of his rol e in creating the 1791
consti tution, he was formall y reburi ed at St. John’s
Cathedral in Warsaw.
Stanislaw Poniatowski
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
on the various portraits of 16th and 17th century royalty like
Marie Antoinette and still life paintings of flower-filled boun-
ties. There’s also a room devoted to porcelain, tapestries
and glassware from the era. The Castle’s free admission on
Sundays have seen the new gallery overrun with visitors, so
serious art lovers will want to pay for the chance to wander
at a less harried pace. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00, Sun 11:00
- 16:00. Closed Mon. Last entrance 1 hour before closing.
Admission 20/15zł, family ticket 10zł per person. Sun free.
Historical Museum of Warsaw (Muzeum History-
czne Miasta Warszawy) B-1, Rynek Starego Miasta
28-42, tel. (+48) 22 635 16 25, One of
our favourite museums, The Historical Museum of Warsaw
has been offline for several issues now but is easing into a
return after months of renovations, which will continue to
take place over the next several years. What can you see so
far? Not very much as the main floor is closed for overhaul.
One aspect not to be missed, however, is the film “Warsaw
Will Remember” in the museum’s cinema, which will be
available again starting February 12th. The film addresses
the war years from 1939-1945 and the rebuilding of the
city. The film is shown Tue at 11:00 and 12:00, Wed-Fri at
10:00 and 12:00, and Sat and Sun at 12:00 and 14:00 and
lasts 20 minutes (in French, Italian German and Spanish by
request). Tickets are 10/5zł, and the entrance for the film is
from Rynek Starego Miasta 40. QOpen 09:00 - 16:00, Tue
11:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon.
Mus eum of I ndep endence ( Muz eum
Niepodległości) B-2, Al. Solidarności 62, tel. (+48)
22 826 90 91,
Rather ironically, the museum that charts Poland’s struggle
for freedom was home to the Lenin Museum during communist
rule. Celebrating Polish patriotism, the museum covers all the
key dates of Polish history, including the 1794 Kościuszko
Uprising, the 19th century insurrections, Piłsudski’s return
to Poland, WWII and the rise of Solidarity (though this last
exhibit is currently unavailable). Among the 48,000 exhibits are
objects recovered from WWII concentration camps, and some
wonderful displays of Socialist Realist artwork. QOpen 09:30 -
17:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Last entrance
30 minutes before closing. Admission 6/4zł. Thu free. Y
Museum of John Paul II Collection (Muzeum Kole-
kcji im. Jana Pawła II) A-2, Pl. Bankowy 1, tel. (+48)
22 620 27 25, This is exactly
the kind of overlooked museum that houses gems tourists
will consider themselves lucky to stumble upon. In 1986
Janina and Zbigniew Carroll-Porczynski gifted the country
with 400 paintings and sculptures acquired through years
of dabbling in Western European art. The Carroll-Porczynskis
themselves are an interesting duo - she was sent to Sibera
in 1940, then matriculated to Rhodesia and England where
she obtained several degrees while he was part of the Home
Army and sent to Pawiak Prison, Auschwitz and Buchenwald
before going to England and getting a PhD. Their collection
is now housed in the historical Bank of Poland building and
includes a unicorn sculpture by Salvador Dali, a painting of
Renoir’s son Pierre, an idyllic farm scene by Van Gogh, the
head of John the Baptist by Rodin…the mind boggles at the
list of noted artists housed here. The Bank’s soaring rotunda
is home to over 80 self-portraits, and the first floor houses
works of a more religious nature. One of the most stunning is
Wojciech Gerson’s Baptism of Lithuania, a massive painting
that represents Lithuania’s baptism into Christianity. A lack
of surly museum maids and a well-marked route make the
JPII museum even more enjoyable. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00.
Closed Mon. Admission 13/8zł. Every first Sunday admis-
sion is free. Y
Museum of Polish People’s Movement (Muze-
um Historii Polskiego Ruchu Ludowego) Al.
Wilanowska 204 (Mokotów), tel. (+48) 22 843 38 76, Set in a neo-Renaissance villa designed by
Italian-born Mary Lanci the Museum of the Polish People’s
Movement is an absolute must for museum diehards - just
try to find any other English-speaker who’s been here (though
recently the museum has added some English brochures to
help non-Polish visitors). As the title suggests, everything
here is focused on Polish people/peasants, with the oldest
exhibit being a 17th century manuscript approved by King
Jan III Sobieski granting serfs a tax reduction. Most of these
scrolls, documents and papers will be lost on the foreign
visitor; making more sense are the printed materials, which
include election posters from the interwar years, as well as
decrees, ration cards and purchase vouchers supplied by the
occupying Nazis during WWII. Times under communism are
particularly well represented, and visitors will see a number
of stirring Soviet chic posters encouraging hard work and
high production. Very Socialist Paradise indeed.
Patriotism plays a large part in understanding this oddity,
and art fans will be pleased to find a series of paintings
depicting peasants in full battle, including of course Tadeusz
Kościuszko doing his bit against the Russkies. Stamps,
flags, medals and caricatures, they’re all here, as well as a
great little war-themed section which presents bayonets,
armbands worn by peasant fighters during WWII, first aid
kits and a typewriter and printing contraption used in the
creation of subversive press. Q Open 08:30 - 15:30, Sat,
Sun by prior arrangement. Admission 2/1zł. Thu free. Y
Museum of Priest Jerzy Popiełuszko (Muzeum
Błogosławionego Ks. Jerzego Popiełuszki) ul.
Kardynała Stanisława Hozjusza 2 (Żoliborz), tel. (+48) 22
561 00 56, You’d probably think a
museum honouring a priest doesn’t sound like much fun, and
indeed this place really isn’t. However, it is a very decent detour if
you happen to be in the Żoliborz area, and that’s because Father
Jerzy was no ordinary priest. Popiełuszko came to national at-
tention in the early1980s for his fierce anti-communist rhetoric,
and with close ties to Radio Free Europe and Solidarity it wasn’t
long till he ran afoul of the internal security services. In 1984, with
Poland in political chaos, they decided to get rid of him altogether.
A car accident was set up for this purpose, though Popiełuszko
somehow survived unscathed. Six days later he was abducted,
beaten and murdered, his corpse dumped in a reservoir. His
funeral drew a crowd of 250,000 mourners and made headlines
the world over. Today the basement of his former parish church
has been turned into a museum to remember not just his life, but
the whole struggle for post-war freedom. Newssheets printed by
the underground, banners from the Solidarity strikes and pictures
of the funeral are among the many items on display, as are the
clothes he was wearing when he was kidnapped. Particularly
poignant is a curved wall, it’s bricks inscribed with the names of
martyrs ‘dealt with’ by security services between 1981 and 1989.
QOpen 10:00 - 16:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue.
Admission free. Donations welcome.
Museum of Sports and Tourism (Muzeum Sportu i
Turystyki) ul. Wybrzeże Gdyńskie 4 (Żoliborz), tel. (+48)
22 560 37 80, Not long back
museums in Poland were largely dusty affairs with stupid hours
and hawk-like curators ensuring fingers and noses were kept
well away from the glass. Well here’s the new face of sightsee-
ing, a spanking new glass building that could well have been
sent down from space. Cynics might say a seven floor Olympic
Centre is largely wasted on the Poles, a nation which hasn’t
exactly dominated the planet in the field of sport. This place is
here to prove the naysayers wrong, with over 47,000 exhibits
testifying to Poland’s contribution to recreation.
Presi denti al Pal ace C- 2, ul . Krakowski e
Przedmieście 46/48. If pre-war Warsaw was considered
the Paris of the East then Krakowskie Przedmieśćie would
have been its Champs Elysees, its importance recognized
by the number of palaces, institutions, monuments and
churches that line it. Of those none are more important than
the Presidential Palace at number 46/48, that mysterious
fenced-off building guarded by stone lions and stern looking
soldiers. Construction on it started in 1643 at the behest of
Stanisław Koniecpolski, though was only completed after
his death. It passed into the hands of various aristocratic
families and in the 18th century became famed for its ban-
quets - the most extravagant being held to commemorate
the coronation of Stanisław II August Poniatowski in 1789;
over two million złoty was spent entertaining the 4,000
guests. Poniatowski was to prove one of the nation’s finest
monarchs and the Constitution of May 3, 1791, signed on
these very grounds, is recognized as Europe’s first - and
only the second in the world. A statue of Poniatowski’s
brother, himself a military hero, was added to in 1965. Of its
residents none were more eccentric than General Zajączek,
a one legged Duke who was carried around in his armchair
by a team of simpering servants. His wife, an ageless look-
ing maiden, attributed her eternal youth to a strict diet that
banned any hot meals, and a rigorous set of guidelines that
included having pots of ice placed under her bed and freezing
cold baths. After 1818 it became the seat of the Viceroy of
the Polish Kingdom, and its halls entertained many a visiting
Tsar. In 1852 calamity struck and the palace was burned to
the ground. Reconstructed by Alfons Kropiwnicki the rebuilt
structure served as a home to the Agricultural Society, and
in 1879 Jan Matejko’s epic painting The Battle of Grunwald
was put on display to an appreciative Warsaw public. Exten-
sively remodelled throughout the course of history one of its
biggest revamps came at the beginning of the 20th century
when one wing was demolished to make way for the Hotel
Bristol. When Poland regained its independence in 1918 it
was commandeered to serve as home of the Prime Minister
and his Council of Ministers. When Herman Goering visited
in 1937 he spent so much time pottering around admiring
the architectural details he was late for his appointment with
the Polish Foreign Minister. Amazingly it survived both the
1939 Siege of Warsaw and the Warsaw Uprising five years
later, though that did little to stop the authorities employing
Antoni Brusche and Antoni Jawornicki to give it a further
facelift. It saw more momentous events in 1955, this time
when the Warsaw Pact - the Soviet Union’s answer to NATO
- was ratified within its walls. Since 1994 it has served as
the official home of the Polish president, which is exactly
why you’ll find streams of limos heading in and out, and
square jawed soldiers pointing their weapons at anyone who
strays too close. Interestingly enough, however, is the fact
that current president Bronisław Komorowski does not live
there; instead he has chosen to reside at Belweder Palace
next to Łazienki Park.
Presidential Palace
Gestapo HQ (Mauzoleum Walki i Męczeństwa)
G-4, Al. Szucha 25, tel. (+48) 22 629 49 19, www. Every bit as disturbing
as Pawiak is the former Gestapo HQ, found on Al. Szucha
25. Built between 1927 and 1930, the building’s original
purpose was to serve as a centre for religious beliefs. In
1939 it came under control of the Nazi regime, and for the
next five years became one of the most feared addresses
in Poland operating, among other capacities, as a brutal
interrogation centre. The imposing building, currently hous-
ing the Ministry of Education, was left untouched by the
carnage of war and now also holds a small but sobering
museum within its bowels. Cells, where prisoners were
held prior to interrogation, have been left largely as they
were. Known as ‘trams,’ Poles would be sat on wooden
benches facing the wall as they awaited their fate. Forbid-
den to eat or sleep, they were compelled to sit motionless
in darkness, sometimes for days on end. Failure to do
so would lead to almost certain death. The bullet marks
scarring the walls tell their own harrowing story. Although
the torture cells have long since been blocked off, the
English language tape that the curator plays paints a vivid
and repulsive picture. Prisoners were subjected to savage
beatings, attacked with dogs and electrocuted. Those
who didn’t co-operate would, in some cases, be forced to
watch their own families being tortured. The office where
prisoners would have been ‘checked in’ also remains,
complete with a faded portrait of Hitler and battered is-
sues of Wehrmacht magazine lying around. Manacles,
bullwhips and other sinister instruments can also be
seen stacked on the bookshelf. QOpen 09:30 - 17:00,
Sat, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Last entrance
30 minutes before closing. Admission 6/4zł, Thu free,
ticket also admits you to Pawiak Prison (ul. Dzielna 24/26).
Gestapo HQ
The Citadel (Cytadela) F-1, ul. Skazańców 25
(entrance from ul. Wybrzeże Gdyńskie), tel. (+48)
22 839 12 68,
xpawilon. First off a tip. The entrance to the Citadel is on
Wybrzeże Gdyńskie and is not that easy to find. Once you
get there you discover a complex built in the wake of the
1830 November Insurrection, and commissioned by Tsar
Nicholas I to serve as a fortress for the occupying Russian
garrison - and as a political prison and execution ground.
Housing as many as 16,000 troops, the main purpose of
the citadel was to deter and quash any patriotic movement
within the city. Of the 40,000 prisoners who have passed
through its gates, familiar names include national hero Józef
Piłsudski, communist agitator ‘Red’ Rosa Luxembourg and
Feliks Dzierżyński - the monster who would progress to be-
come head of the Russian secret police. As well as being a
supreme example of 19th century fortress architecture, the
36 hectare site has several points of interest. The labyrinth
of tunnels and prison cells have been well preserved and
contain numerous exhibits, including paintings, prison relics
and firearms. Outside find a Nazi bunker dating from 1940,
a symbolic cemetery, and The Gate of Execution. It’s here
on the nearby southern hillsides of the Citadel that Polish
heroes like Traugutt were executed in front of a crowd of
30,000 in 1864. QOpen 09:30 - 16:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 -
16:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Last entrance 30 minutes before
closing. Admission 6/4zł, Thu free.
The Citadel
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
The exhibition starts off with a passing glance at Ancient
Greece, with Greco busts and murals celebrating the early
pioneers of games, before moving off in a more patriotic
direction and leaning towards the more Polski side of things.
Included are old penny farthing bicycles as well as trophies
and memorabilia from the Warsaw Rowing Association, ap-
parently the oldest sports organization in town.
Split into various zones (inter-war years, 70s glory years,
Salt Lake City etc), this is more than just a thorough look
at Polish sport, it’s the final word. Film reels and sound
effects complement often hilarious pictures (mustachioed
supermen from bygone times triumphantly li fting dumb-
bells). However this is no circus sideshow, and it soon
becomes clear that the Poles have a proud and distin-
guished history across all fields, something apparent in
the Olympic Hall of Fame which features scores of medals.
Heroes such as ex Man City legend Kazimierz Deyna and
ski champ Adam Małysz are all celebrated, and the vast
collection even has room for a kayak once used by Pope
John Paul II to row around the Mazurian Lakes. QOpen
09:15 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Last
entrance 30 minutes before closing. Admission 10/6zł.
Sat free.
National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe) C- 4, Al.
Jerozolimskie 3, tel. (+48) 22 621 10 31, www.mnw. Located inside a huge and decidedly bizarre inter-
war building, Warsaw’s National Museum has thankfully
just reopened after a long renovation that has seen many
changes including the renovation of the museum’s main
courtyard, a major rearrangement of the permanent gal-
leries and an impressive upcoming schedule of temporary
exhibits. Considering the new overhaul this museum is a
must for anyone visiting the city. Dating from 1862 and
operating under its current name since 1916, there’s a
huge array of permanent exhibitions and antiquities. Visi-
tors will find a wealth of delightful 15th-century Dutch and
Flemish paintings in the Gallery of Old European Paintings
and several galleries of Polish art from the 16th century
onwards, including some of the best work by the country’s
leading names in art - Chełmoński and Matejko to name a
few. A new gallery dedicated to works from the 20th and
Tourist Information (Stołeczne Biuro Turysty-
ki) B-4, Palace of Culture, Pl. Defilad 1 (entrance
from ul. Emilii Plater), tel. (+48) 22 194 31, www. This central tourist information office
is inside the Palace of Culture (if you exit central station
on the Złote Tarasy shopping complex side and cross
over the road you’ll see it). Inside you can choose from
a series of guides as well as buy some souvenir books
and gifts. QOpen 08:00 - 18:00.
Tourist Information (Stołeczne Biuro Turysty-
ki) ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48) 22 194
31, Located in the arrivals hall of
the new part of the airport, the point is small but has all
the necessary guides and maps you might need including
In Your Pockets. QOpen 08:00 - 18:00.
Tourist Information (Stołeczne Biuro Tu-
rystyki) B-2, Rynek Starego Miasta 19/21/21a,
tel. (+48) 22 194 31, Find
this point on the Market Square of Old Town where you
can pick up maps, guides, book tours and buy gifts and
souvenirs. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00.
Tourist information
Palmiry - The National Memorial Museum
(Muzeum - Miejsce Pamięci Palmiry) Palmiry,
tel. (+48) 22 720 81 14, This
brand new and highly recommended museum in the forest
outside Warsaw significantly ups the standard for how a
small exhibit can pack a huge punch (note that it is closed
until March 13, but well worth a visit when it opens). A little
history: during World War II the forests of Palmiry and
Kampinos became a refuge for those fleeing the destruc-
tion in Warsaw (many Home Army soldiers regrouped in
the woods). It also became the site for 21 separate mass
executions performed by German soldiers against 1,700
Poles and Jews, many of whom were academic and cultural
figures. Inside this well-organized modern block visitors will
see how the Poles used the forest for training and hiding
weapons, and how the Germans turned their refuge into
a killing field. Information boards clearly explain what hap-
pened in the forest (these are some of the best English
translations we’ve seen) and displays include exhumed
items like documents and photos, even sections of trees
with ammunition still buried in their bark. A video re-enacts
how German soldiers systematically marched civilians to
their deaths, and the tour ends with an endless audio loop
that reads the names of the victims. Outside visitors will
see a giant cemetery of marked and unmarked crosses
(the museum also describes the exhumation process that
took place in the forest) dedicated to the victims. While the
museum is mainly dedicated to what happened in the for-
ests during World War II it also makes note of the fact that
Poles have taken to these woods during the Kosciuszko
Uprising in 1794, the November Uprising in 1831 and the
January Uprising in 1863. Getting to the museum from
Warsaw involves a subway trip that connects to a slightly
stomach-churning 45-minute bus ride on the 800 bus,
which unfortunately only runs during holidays. During the
week catch the PKS bus from Warszawa Zachodnia Bus
Station Mon-Sat at 11:00 (direction: Mława), and Sun at
12:15 (direction: Żuromin). QOpen 10:00 - 15:00. Closed
Mon. Admission free. Guided tours in English are 100zl,
please book in advance.
21st centuries opened in January and is well worth a look
for fans of more recent pieces. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00,
Thu 10:00 - 21:00. Closed Mon. Ticket prices: permanent
exhibitions 15/10zł, entire museum 20/15zł. Family ticket:
40zł permanent exhibits, 50zł entire museum. Tue free for
permanent exhibition. Last tickets sold 45 minutes before
closing. Y
Polish Army Museum (Muzeum Wojska Pol-
skiego) C- 4, Al. Jerozolimskie 3, tel. (+48) 22 629
52 71, The chronological history
of the Polish army is presented in a series of gl oomy
rooms. Sui ts of armour, crossbows, muskets, medals
and paintings pack this museum, though the scarcity of
English-language explanations mean you’ll need to hire an
English-speaking guide to get the most out of the place.
The room at the end is dedicated to Poland’s role in WWII,
with speci fic emphasis on the Warsaw Uprising. Curiously,
the best part of the museum is actually free of charge:
the outdoor collection of 20th century weaponry includes
an array of tanks, missiles, aircraft and rocket launchers.
Note that visitors can see the Transport Aircraft AN26
(or similar machines) for a 2zł fee. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00,
Wed 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Last entrance 30
minutes before closing. Admission 10/5zł, Sun free. Tours
with audioguide 17/10zł.
Ujazdowski Castle (Museum Of Modern Art/
CSW) (Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek
Ujazdowski) G- 4, ul. Jazdów 2, tel. (+48) 22 628
64 08, Completed in a baroque style in
1730, Ujazdowski was gutted by fire during WWII. Though
the original walls and foundations remained structurally
sound the communist authorities decided to tear down the
shell of the building with the intention of building a military
theatre on the site. Common sense prevailed and the 1970s
saw Ujazdowski rebuilt following its original style. Used as
a military hospital in the years leading up to the war, it now
has three large exhibition halls dedicated to showcasing
the very best of contemporary art; find a wild mix of the
good, the bad and the ugly, featuring the work of Poland’s
leading contemporary artists. Worthy and undoubtedly
necessary, the gallery also houses a very good bookshop
and a café. QOpen 12:00 - 19:00, Fri 12:00 - 21:00. Closed
Mon. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing. Admission
12/6zł, Thu free.
Saski Park (Ogród Saski) B-2/3, between ul.
Marszałkowska and ul. Królewska. Opened to the public
in 1727 Saski Park ranks as one of the oldest public parks
in the world, and was originally designed in a ‘French style’,
before being changed to follow English aesthetics in the
19th century. Originally part of the Saski Palace complex
the park’s highlights include a sundial dating from 1863 and
the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (the only surviving part of
the Palace). Although wrecked by Nazi miscreants in 1944
many of trees in the park survived, and it’s possible to find
ones dating from a quarter of a millennium ago. An empire
style fountain designed by Marconi in 1855 stands close to
the bottom corner of the park, and other points of interest
include a memorial honouring Warsaw residents killed during
WWII, and a statue of Stefan Starzyński, the city’s mayor
at the outbreak of WWII who was later to become another
statistic of Dachau concentration camp.
Ujazdowski Park G- 4. Not as grand as the nearby
Łazienki, it’s still a pleasant place to walk the dog and get
up to other typical Sunday pastimes. It stands under the
imposing shadow of Ujazdowski Castle which was rebuilt
in the 1970s.
Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski) B-2, Pl.
Zamkowy 4, tel. (+48) 22 355 51 70, www.zamek- More a palace than a castle, this building
is the pride of Warsaw, reconstructed from a pile of rubble
at incredible cost between 1971 and 1984. Much of the
furniture was donated by now deceased commie buddies
such as the GDR and USSR, and much of the money for
rebuilding came from generous donations from exiled
Poles. Dating back to the 14th century, the castle has
been the residence of Polish kings, then of the president
and then the seat of parliament. The prescribed tour will
take you through the Kings’ apartments and chambers,
heavily adorned with paintings of famous Polish mo-
ments. Maps on the wall reflect Poland’s greatest days,
when it stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The
apartments of Józef Poniatowski have recently been
opened to the public, though unfortunately none of the
accompany descriptions are in English. The rooms are
still a worthwhile part of the tour, if for no other reason
than to see the Prince’s surprisingly cerulean bedroom
and grand collection of paintings. Some of the halls
are reputed to be intermittently haunted by a ‘white
lady.’ According to l egend her appearance si gnals
imminent disaster. The nearby chapel boasts an urn
containing the heart of Polish hero and freedom fighter
Tadeusz Koścuiszko. Next on the tour, the Houses of
Parliament. Last but not least, the opulent Great As-
sembly Hall has so much gold stuck to the walls it’s
hard to resist the temptation to scratch some off - just
a bit, they wouldn’t notice. Behave or get accosted by
vigilant wardens and enjoy the views across the river to
the Praga district instead. For those interested in the
Castle’s reconstruction the basement exhibition “From
Destruction to Reconstruction” details the building’s
resurrection after World War II rendered the place a pile
of rubble. Note that this exhibition is free, so those not
willing to spring for a ticket for the entire tour can still
visit this section of the Castle. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00,
Sun 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon. Last entrance 1 hour
before closing. Admission 22/15zł, family ticket 14zł per
person. Sun free. Poniatowski apartments 14/7zl, family
ticket 6zl per person. Sun free. Guides in English 110zł,
audioguides 17/12zł. Y
Royal Castle
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN) (Pałac
Kultury i Nauki) B-4, Pl. Defilad 1, tel. (+48) 22 656
76 00, Don’t let the name fool you - this is not
the cultural hub of Warsaw. That said, however long you’re in
the city for this is a must-see to experience Soviet Warsaw.
For all the aggressive westernisation that has overcome
Warsaw, the four decades of communism have yet to be
completely erased from the face of Warsaw.. You couldn’t
miss this hulking giant of a landmark if you tried. Soaring 231
metres into the sky the building remains the tallest in Poland,
in spite of recent competition from its highrise neighbours.
Originally commissioned by Stalin as a ‘gift from the Soviet
people’ the structure actually takes its inspiration from the
capitalist world, namely the Empire State Building, but, be-
lieve it or not, was specifically designed to include influences
from all of Poland’s architectural styles. Stalin had sent a
secret delegation to New York to learn both about the building
and American construction methods, though the outbreak
of WWII meant that it wasn’t until 1952 that his architects
were able to commence putting their knowledge into prac-
tice. Lev Rudynev, the brains behind the equally monstrous
Lomonosov University in Moscow, was put in charge of the
design and set about making the building into one of the most
notorious examples of Socialist Realist architecture in the
world. Over 5,000 workers were ferried in from the Soviet
states and housed in a purpose-built village in Jelonki, west
Warsaw, where they were effectively cut off from the outside
world. Working around the clock, it took them just three years
to complete the Palace. In all 16 died during the construction,
though despite the Olympian efforts of the labourers Stalin
never lived to see his pet project completed.
Built using an estimated 40 million bricks and housing 3,288
rooms the Palace’s purpose was to serve as not just party
headquarters but also ‘the people’s castle’, with invitations
to the annual New Year’s Eve Ball issued to the best workers
in socialist Poland. Regardless of this the building became an
object of hatred and a stain on the skyline; like the imperialist
Nevsky Cathedral that once stood on pl. Piłsudskiego, the
palace was seen as no more than a symbol of Russian hege-
mony. Viewed from a distance - apparently it can be spotted
from 30km away - the palace appears a faceless monolith.
Viewed closely several intricate details appear in focus.
Under Stalin’s orders architects travelled around Poland’s
key cultural sights, from Wawel to Zamość, observing Polish
architectural traditions, hence the numerous crenulations,
courtyards and motifs.
Once inside the ground floor becomes a maze of halls and cor-
ridors, with chambers named after Eastern icons - Yuri Gagarin,
Marie Skłodowska-Curie (a famous communist sympathiser),
etc. Brass chandeliers hang over clacking parquet flooring,
secret lifts lie hidden around and allegorical socialist reliefs take
inspiration from ancient mythology - it’s easy to imagine Bond
snooping around planting listening devices. Several conference
rooms still hold original translator booths, complete with huge
dials and buttons. The crowning glory of the ground floor is the
Sala Kongresowa, a decadent red theatre space apparently
inspired by La Scala. Holding 2,880 its original use was to host
party conferences, though through the years it became better
known as a concert venue - hosting acts as diverse as the Roll-
ing Stones in 1967 and the Chippendales in 2006.
Given that the building boasts over 3,300 rooms there is
not a lot to see, unless you’re into conference facilities, so
visitors are best directed to the terrace on the 30th floor. To
get there you’ll need to buy a ticket for 15zł, after which you’ll
be shepherded into an old-style lift complete with a lovely
lift attendant who has probably been doing the job since
the building opened. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Admission for
the viewing level is 15/10zł. Group ticket for more than 10
people 8zł per person.
Museum of Technology (Muzeum Techniki)
B- 4, Pl. Defilad 1 (PKiN), tel. (+48) 22 656 67 47, A vast collection
dedicated to the history of everything technological inside
the equally enormous Palace of Culture & Science, this
museum is only missing a map. Truly huge, and clearly
laid out by somebody with a sadistic sense of humour,
the scores of rooms are scattered willy nilly and organ-
ised with what appears to be a contemptuous disregard
for reason and logic. Highlights include a cavalcade of
impossible-looking motorbikes and aeroplanes, a room
packed with 19th century musical boxes, historical cars
li ke a 1936 Lux-Sport li mousi ne chassis and a small
exhibi tion cel ebrating space expl oration that coul d do
with some serious updating. Decorated with lace curtains
and staffed by an army of sinister-looking old ladies, this
museum guarantees that you won’t learn a thing no matter
how hard you try, but it’s a strangely rewarding experience
that really has to be seen to be believed. Q Open 08:30
- 16:30, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission
14/8zł. Family ticket (up to 5 people) 30zł. Guided tours
in English - additional 50zł per group.
Invisible Exhibition (Niewidzialna Wystawa)
A- 4, Al. Jerozolimskie 123a, tel. (+48) 504 32 44
44, Would you pay good money
for an exhibition you can’t see? That’s the idea behind
Niedwidzialna Wystawa (“The Invisible Exhibition”), which
takes visitors into the world of the sightless. The roughly
hour-long tours (which we recommend you book in ad-
vance to avoid waiting) are helmed by guides who know
of what they speak: all are partially or completely blind
themselves. Tours begin with several stations that help get
you acclimated to the challenges blind people face daily.
You’ll get to tap on a Braille typewriter, test out gadgets
that help the sightless do tasks in the kitchen, and try
to solve simple puzzles while wearing a blindfold. Once
you’re sufficiently awed by your inability to do even minor
tasks the guide leads the group into the main portion of
the exhibition: a pitch-black series of rooms that force you
to rely on your other senses to get by (we’re not kidding
about the darkness level; be prepared). You’ll visit an art
gallery, a bar and take a walk ‘outside’ while the guides
ask questions about what you’re encountering - you’ll be
listening for the swoosh of cars before crossing the street,
or feeling a sculpture to discern what kind of art it is. I f you
bring along change the guide will even serve you a drink
in the completely dark bar. An eye-opening experience
that will have you thinking heavily about what you take for
granted. QOpen 12:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 20:00.
Last entrance 60 minutes before closing. Admission 21-
25/16-22zł, family ticket 57-66zł.
The Eastern Wall. Reeling from near total annihila-
tion the post-war years saw Warsaw emerge as Europe’s
bi ggest bri ckyard as i t struggl ed to rebuil d i tsel f from
the ashes. I ni tiall y the buzzword for archi tects i n the
region was Socialist Realism, a severe styl e foll owing
stri ct gui delines from a Sovi et masterplan. The death of
Stalin in 1953 changed all that and archi tects l ooked to
the west for inspiration, a disastrous move that saw all
manner of brutalist monstrosi ti es rise from the ruins.
The competi tion in Warsaw is fi erce, but probabl y nasti -
est of the l ot is the devel opment dubbed ‘ the Eastern
Wall’ (Ściana Wschodnia), a coll ection of buil dings and
tower bl ock running from Rondo Dmowski ego (B-4) to ul.
Świ ętokrzyska (B-3). Archi tect Zbi gni ew Karpiński - the
guy who also desi gned the bunker-like US Embassy on
ul. Pi ękna - won the competi tion to rebuil d the area and
set about remodelli ng the centre of Warsaw wi th the
zeal ous gl ee of a compl ete nutter. Construction ki cked
of f in 1962 and was compl eted seven years later, the
resul t being four department stores, the Rotunda bank
buil ding, a bl ockish of fi ce buil ding behind i t, a cinema,
and even a ni ghtcl ub. Toweri ng over i t all were three
residential blocks situated on Świętokrzyska (85 metres),
Zgoda (87 metres) and Chmi elna (81 metres). Ori ginall y
hail ed a work of genius the Eastern Wall soon became a
bi t of a rusty el ephant, crippl ed and blackened wi th age
and negl ect. The collapse of communism breathed new
li fe i nto the compl ex - Pol and’s fi rst McDonal d’s was
opened at the Świ ętokrzyska end of the compl ex, whil e
the of fi ce bl ock behind the Rotunda temporaril y hel d the
ti tl e for having the largest bill board in the worl d. More
recentl y steps have been taken to polish up the area
wi th shining glass frontages added to the department
stores, and grani te fl oored pedestrian wal kways and
modern tubular li ghting added to the section behind the
Jerozolimski e end. But snoop behind the area around
McD’s and you’ll find a gl orious blast to the past, wi th
smashed pavements, useless bare-lit supermarkets and
a coupl e of cafes selling ersatz cof fee to hunched ol d
men smoking ci garettes by the fistful.
Places of interest
Fotoplastikon F-3, Al. Jerozolimskie 51, tel. (+48) 22
629 60 78, Now, you
may hear some people claiming this to be the only fotoplastikon
in Europe. This is clearly a lie - there’s one across the road in
the Palace of Culture, for a start. Nonetheless, don’t let that
stop your visit. Hidden away in a darkened pre-war tenement
a visit here really is a trip back in time. So what the devil is a
fotoplastikon? Invented in Germany in the second half of the
19th century they’re basically a 3D peep show (no, not the saucy
kind) set inside a great big drum-like contraption. Presenting
vivid images from across the world these groovy machines
became an absolute sensation and at any onetime there were
an estimated 250 in Europe. Warsaw apparently got its first in
1901, and the one on show here is thought to be from 1905.
Although fotoplastikons were made obsolete by improved
camera and film technology this one continued to open for
the public, and during the war apparently served as a contact
point for the Polish underground. Its role as a meeting point for
academics and intellectuals continued well into communism,
and today this family run operation allows visitors to glimpse
Warsaw and other global landmarks in their pre-war glory.
The show lasts 20 minutes and comes highly recommended.
QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission 4/2zł. Sun free.
Ronald Reagan Monu-
ment (Pomnik Ron-
alda Reagana) C- 4,
Al. Ujazdowskie. A large
bronze statue of U.S. Presi-
dent Ronald Reagan now
calls Warsaw home after
an unveiling in November
2011 that included former
Polish President and Soli-
darity leader Lech Wałęsa.
The large 3.5-metre monu-
ment portrays Reagan, who
was the 40th president of
the United States and held
of fi ce from 1981-1989,
when he stood at a podium
at Berlin’s Brandenburg gate and declared, “Mr. Gor-
bachev, tear down this wall,” back in 1987.
So why are the Poles using their valuable bronze on the
Gipper? In Poland Reagan is considered one of the 20th
century’s most important leaders thanks to his long-
standing opposition to communism. During Reagan’s
Christmas address in 1981 he cited the persecution of
the Solidarity trade union by the country’s communist
government as evidence that the regime was waging
“war against i ts own people.” That holiday season
candles were put in the windows of the White House to
show Reagan’s support of the Solidarity movement and
the Polish people.
Reagan’s continued poli cy of vi gorousl y promoting
democracy and condemning communism is credited
as hastening the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and
along with Pope John Paul II he was a strong supporter
of Wałęsa’s campaign for presidency in 1990. During the
unveiling ceremony Wałęsa noted his belief that without
Reagan Poland wouldn’t be a free nation today. The
statue, which was created by Polish sculptor Władysław
Dudek, can be found across the street from the United
States embassy.
Ronald Reagan Monument
Courtesy of U.S. Embassy
in Warsaw
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Old Town (Stare Miasto) B-1/2. The Old Town is a
labyrinth of winding streets and squares full of olde worlde
charm. While it was entirely rebuilt after the Warsaw upris-
ing of 1944, it is well worth a visit to get lost amongst the
cobbles and tastefully recreated facades. Souvenirs ranging
from the tasteless - baseball hats and fridge magnets, paint-
ings of coquettish horses - to the tasteful - amber, lace and
ceramics - are best found here, though at premium tourist
prices. The best thing about the Old Town, however, is the
tangible sense of Polish pride in their city and if nothing else,
it’s a great place to relax with a beer and indulge in an hour
or two of nun spotting.
When US General Dwi ght Ei senhower vi si ted Warsaw
immediately after the war he was moved to comment, “I
have seen many towns destroyed, but nowhere have
I been faced with such destruction.” Buri ed under
twenty million cubic metres of rubble the city resembled
a shattered shell; over hal f the population had been killed,
and 85% of the city razed to the ground. The Old Town had
been hit with particular Nazi efficiency, and by the time
the Red Army rolled across the river it was little more than
a smouldering heap of bricks. To their credit the Capital
Reconstruction Bureau chose to rebuild the historic centre,
a painstaking process that would last until 1962. Using
pre-war sketches, paintings and photographs the Ol d
Town was carefully rebuilt, though only at the considerable
expense of Poland’s ‘recovered territories’. Szczecin, for
instance, was coerced into demolishing many of its historic
buildings in order to ‘donate’ an estimated 27 million bricks
to the Warsaw rebuilding program. So too Wrocław, which
at one stage was sending a staggering one million bricks
to Warsaw per day; ‘He who loves Wrocław, loves Warsaw
as well’ pined a propaganda tune of the era. But forget the
other cities, look at the results in front of you. Although
it’s barely hal f a century old Warsaw’s historic quarter is
an architectural miracle, and a breathing tribute to a city
that refused to die.
Most visits to the Old Town begin on plac Zamkowy (B-2),
and i f you’re Polish then right under the statue of Zygmunt.
There isn’t a more popular meeting spot in the city, and
there’s not a minute of the day when the steps to the
statue aren’t besieged by dating couples or banjo playing
irritants. Erected in 1644 by Zygmunt III’s son, Władysław
IV, the twenty two metre column was originally designed by
Italian architects Augustyn Locci and Constantino Tencalla,
and the figure of Zygmunt ranks as Poland’s second oldest
monument - beaten into runners up spot by the Neptun
Fountain in Gdańsk. Local legend asserts that Zygmunt
rattles his sabre whenever Warsaw is in trouble, an occur-
rence that was first reported during the 1794 Kościuszko
Uprising and again during WWII. One fact that can’t be
disputed is his good fortune. With the Warsaw Uprising in
full swing the column took a direct hit from a tank shell and
came crashing down. Amazingly Zygmunt survived, losing
only his sword, and he was returned to a new perch in 1949.
The column he fell off is still knocking around as well, and
you can find it lying on its side within spitting distance of
the Royal Castle.
Moving forward head down Świętojańska to run a gaunt-
let of buskers, ice cream queues and shoe shine boys.
Somewhere amid the melee you’ll spot the Cathedral (see
Churches), well worth popping into, not least to check out
the Baruczkowski Crucifix - a 16th century cross renowned
for its mysterious powers. Famed in particular for its crypt
this neo-Gothic masterpiece also contains stunning works
of art, as well as tank tracks on the exterior wall recovered
from a remote-controlled German tank used to attack the
cathedral in 1944. The overall effect is quite something, so
it’s no surprise many people bypass the Jesuit Church right
next door, a super renaissance building described in detail
in our Churches section.
It’s hard to believe that by the end of 1944 all before you
was just a skeletal set of ruins, but that’s exactly what it
was. Evidence of this can be viewed on ul. Zapiecka where
some black and white photographs show aerial views of the
war time devastation. The Old Town’s subsequent inclusion
on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980 is remembered
in the form of some cobbled stones set into the ground. As
tempting as it is to make a beeline for the main square, the
Rynek, save yourself for now. Head instead down ul. Piwna,
or Beer Street as it translates. Although there’s no evidence
of the 15th century breweries that once thrived here you will
find a couple of half decent hostelries, though the real reason
many visit this street is for a glimpse of St. Martin’s Church
on ul. Piwna 9/11. This place was utterly annihilated during
the war, and the only fragment to survive was a half-burned
figure of Jesus. Since its inception the church has always
been linked with theological and political dissent, and this
was never more true than in the period of Martial Law, when
Solidarity supporters would convene here for both worship
and secret meetings. As with the rest of Old Town, the real
beauty of Piwna lies in the details - check out the elaborate
paintings and gargoyles that peer from the facades, and
don’t miss the portal at number 6. Known locally as Pod
Gołębiami (under the pigeons) and housing a restaurant
called Karmnik, this place acquired its name after the war
when a batty old woman settled in the ruins and made it her
calling to look after the flocks of pigeons that stalked around
the post-war debris.
Back outside take stock of one of Poland’s finest town
squares. In the 15th century this was occupied by a town
hall, though this was pulled down in 1817 and never re-
placed. Instead, today you’ll find a couple of water pumps
dating from the 19th century, as well as Warsaw’s best
loved monument - Syrenka. Cast in 1855 this mermaid’s
form graces every bus, tram and coat of arms you’ll find in
the capital. You’re also liable to run into a platoon of street
artists. Most famous of the lot is Piotr Bol, a weird, cloaked
little man who plays one of Europe’s last music boxes with
a parrot alongside him. But for real comedy gold check out
the mime artists who stand in frozen posture - a few years
back one such chap, dressed as a monk, collapsed after
a marathon booze binge leaving his giant genitals exposed
to the world.
Leaving the square head down ul. Kamienne Schodki.
Not only is this the longest stairwell in Old Town, it’s also
where Napoleon stood in 1806, pensively staring east-
ward on the eve of his campaign on the plains of Russia.
From here walk south down ul. Brzozowa until you reach
the grassy bank that offers sweeping views of the River
Wisła. Known as Gnojna Góra (Compost Hill), this small
knoll once served as the town rubbish dump, and at one
stage was also renowned for its healing properties - this is
where the stupid rich would come to be buried up to their
necks in rubbish in a supposed cure for syphilis. Doesn’t
work, we’ve tried.
Head back towards the Old Town by walking towards ul.
Dawna, whose trademark blue archway is one of the most
picturesque sights in the city. Finally, conclude your epic
walking tour by swerving onto ul. Kanonia. Once a grave-
yard, this small little square features a cracked cathedral
bell (that promises good luck i f you touch the top and
circle it) as well as what is touted as the world’s narrowest
house at number 20/22 (though a new narrow home being
constructed in the crack between 22 Chłodna St. and 74
Żelazna St. that measures just 72 cm at its smallest point
may just top it). Close by note the covered walkway linking
the cathedral to the castle. This was built after a failed
assassination attempt on Zygmunt III. The King escaped
unmolested, but the hapless hitman, Michal Piekarski,
found himsel f skinned alive, stretched by four horses and
then chopped into pieces with an axe. And on that happy
note, consider your tour at an end.
Stay on the left flank of the Old Town to check out the area
around ul. Piekarska and ul. Rycerska. This area was for-
merly home to a small square used primarily for executions.
Nicknamed Piekarka this is where witches and other ne’er do
wells would be burned at the stake, hung or have their heads
lopped off. Marking the end of Piekarska, just outside the old
city walls, check out the sword waving figure of Jan Kiliński
(see Monuments), a legendary Polish patriot and a hero of the
1794 Kościuszko Uprising. The man who gave his name to
that Uprising, Tadeusz Kościuszko (the same lad who would
fight with distinction in the American War of Independence,
and would later have Australia’s highest peak named after
him), lived at Szeroki Dunaj 5. This wide street was formerly
home to Warsaw’s fish market, while the street running at a
90 degree angle, Wąski Dunaj, was the town’s original Jewish
Quarter back in medieval times. Directly behind the wall, and
onto Podwale, you’ll find one of Warsaw’s most photographed
landmarks; The Monument to the Little Insurgent. Depicting
a boy weighed down by a machine gun and outsized helmet
the monument honours the memory of the child soldiers who
fought and died in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, and it’s not
rare to find the bronze statue surrounded by school groups
on their day out to the capital.
Foll ow Podwal e as i t curves northwards, and i f you’re
feeling peckish at this stage search the radar for signs
of Podwale Kompania Piwna at number 25 (see Where to
Eat). Resembling a typical European beer hall this place
is an absolute legend, with servings of meat and cabbage
practically forklifted onto tables. At this stage it’s fair to say
you’ll probably be feeling like a python who swallowed a pig,
so waddle with great care and attention to the Barbakan
building, making sure to avoid those annoying street dudes
who’ll try and lead you to their executioners block to have
your pic snapped. Crowning the set of defensive walls which
once protected the city is the Barbakan, a fearsome rotund
structure that dates from 1548 and was apparently the work
of a Venetian architect. Today it serves as a bridge between
Old and New Town, and is also the hangout of choice for
teenagers drinking super-strength lager. In summer tours of
the interior are available, and well worth the look if you don’t
have an aversion to confined spaces. Interestingly, the moat
that pins the Old Town in is another relatively recent addition
to Warsaw. The original ditch was filled in back in the 18th
century when the defences became obsolete, and the walls
were incorporated into the dense tangle of townhouses
that mushroomed up around. Fragments of these forgotten
defences were unearthed in 1937, and a decade later, with
Warsaw in ruins, architects took the decision to restore and
expose these ancient walls.
It’s at this point you’ll find your nose pointing straight down
ul. Nowomiejska, a street revered for Warsaw’s best ice
cream. Continue forward to reach the Old Town Square
(Rynek). No matter how often you see it, it can’t fail to leave
you breathless. The burgher houses that line the square
are particularly striking, with many boasting intricate details
on the facades. Measuring 90 metres by 73 this square is
Warsaw’s defining highlight, and presents unlimited ways
to squander your money - tourist junk stores and crappy
restaurants populated with stuffed animals come to mind.
One place that is worth popping into, even if it’s just to steal
the cutlery, is U Fukiera at number 27. The culinary tradition
here dates from 1810 when the Fukier family turned this
place into Warsaw’s top winery. Today the restaurant is
in the hands of the Gesslers, and their guest list reads as
something of a Who’s Who of stage and screen. Close by is
the Historical Museum of Warsaw, which has been closed
for renovations but reopens in May – be one of the first to
see this excellent museum’s overhaul.
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Gritty. Bo-ho. Up-and-coming. There are a lot of terms be-
ing tossed around to describe Praga, the eastern district of
Warsaw that hugs the Vistula River, and they’re all fairly apt.
Praga has long been regarded as off-limits to Western visitors
thanks to its criminal underclass and imposing tower blocks,
but a revival of sorts now makes this section of town worthy
of emphasising - especially if you prefer to see the city’s
artsy underbelly and get away from the well-trodden tourist
path in Old Town. The area is still at least five years away
from being hipster-soaked Brooklyn or boho Montmartre, but
that’s exactly why now is the time to go: a visit will mean you
can say you saw the evolution in progress.
In practice and geographically Praga has always been set
apart from Warsaw proper. Until 1791 the district was its own
separate town and the inability to build a permanent bridge
between Praga and Warsaw until the mid-18th century surely
proved a factor in the separatism (ferries in the summer
and a stroll across the iced-over Vistula in the winter were
the main option for transit in the pre-bridge days). Finally
in 1791 King Stanislaw August Poniatowski attached the
district officially to Warsaw, dissolving it of its independence
(at least on paper).
Praga wasn’t given much time to enjoy its new status as
part of Warsaw thanks to the The Battle of Praga in 1794,
which saw an aggressive invasion by the Russian army. Fol-
lowing the quick but devastating battle the Russians burned
the entire district and massacred the 20,000 Poles living
there. During World War II Praga wasn’t quite as devastated
as Warsaw proper (which isn’t really saying much if you’ve
seen the condition Warsaw was left in). The Russians, again,
arrived in Praga in July 1944 and stopped at the Vistula,
famously leaving the Polish Home Army dangling during the
Warsaw Uprising.
Today working-class Praga is the standard-bearer for cool,
especially among those who find the tourist-heavy Old Town
too Disneyfied and the sterile clubs of Warsaw proper as
distasteful. Folks here prefer their bars dark and their fun
improvised, and visitors can easily spend a day checking
out the sights and an evening enjoying the often impressive
beer selection.
Agnieszka Osiecka Monument (Pomnik Ag-
nieszki Osieckiej) H-2, ul. Francuska (corner of ul.
Obrońców). Agnieszka Osiecka (1936 - 1997) was a Polish
poet and journalist, and the author of over 2,000 songs,
many of which were turned into pop hits. She’s also known
for a particularly grisly connection to the Swinging Sixties;
her first marriage ended in tragedy when her husband,
Wojciech Frykowski, became one of those slain by Charles
Manson’s family of weirdos in what would turn out to be
one of the crimes of the century. The statue is located in
Praga Południe, a more modern section of Praga (note the
surrounding embassies) than Stara Praga. To round out your
visit check out Osiecka’s favourite café, Maska, which stands
around the corner from her monument.
Bears C-1, Praski Park (from al. Solidarności), tel.
(+48) 22 619 40 41. Strangely enough, bears have been
living on the concrete island in Praski Park since 1949; over
400 have been reared here before being packed off to zoos,
safari parks and circuses around the globe. Although the
bears look rather sleepy they can still pack a punch. Several
years ago a drunken idiot was savaged after jumping into
the enclosure. The two current well-rested residents are
called Tatra and Turnia.
Buildings. Although in a sorry state of disrepair, much of
Praga survived the war. Nowadays, to walk around the bullet-
scarred tenement houses found by the riverside is to immerse
yourself in pre-war Praga. The oldest surviving residential
building in the district can be found on (H-1) ul. Targowa 50/52.
Built in 1819, it once housed a Jewish elementary school and
bears a Hebrew inscription dating from 1934. The Praska
Informacja Turystyczna (Praga Tourist Information) offers a
brochure about the building’s history that is unfortunately only
in Polish, however the staff is happy to interpret.
Kapela Podwórkowa Monument G-1, corner of ul.
Floriańska and ul. Kłopotowskiego. The tradition of cloth-
capped buskers goes back a long way in Warsaw, and the
best loved of the lot have been commemorated in the heart
of Praga. The pre-war Kapela Podwórkowa (The Courtyard
Band) are a bit of a local legend in these parts, and now the
five piece band have been honoured with a noisy monument
sculpted by Andrzej Renes. Send a text (SMS) message to tel.
7141 with the text KAPELA, then pick a number between 1
and 100 (the list of 100 songs to choose from is on the side
of the brass drum); that’s the signal for hidden speakers to
burst forth with pre-war and patriotic classics made famous
by these local heroes. However, recent visits to the statue
have shown the buskers to be temperamental, and texts did
not always result in a song being played.
Kości us z kowców Monument (Pomni k
Kościuszkowców) G-1, ul. Wybrzeże Szczecińskie,
Near Port Praski. A formidable monument erected in 1985
to act as a memorial for those who fought in the First Polish
Infantry Division. Formed in Russia, the division attempted
to cross the Wisła river several times without success, in a
bid to support the 1944 Uprising.
Orthodox Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Cerkiew
Św. Marii Magdaleny) G-1, Al. Solidarności 52, tel.
(+48) 22 619 84 67. Constructed between 1867 and 1869
to a design by Mikołaj Syczew, St. Mary Magdalene’s was
originally built for the large congregation of Russians living
around Jagiellońska as well as people arriving from the
East at the nearby Wileńska train station. Now belonging to
the independent Polish Autocephaly Orthodox Church, this
stunning, five-domed building features a breathtaking golden
interior and some unusually cheerful abstract designs.
One of only two Orthodox churches to survive a demolition
campaign in the 1920s, it’s easily the best-smelling church
in Praga thanks to the heavy burning of rich incense. QOpen
11:00 - 16:00, Sun 13:00 - 16:00.
Różycki Bazaar (Bazar Różyckiego) H-1, ul.
Targowa 54, tel. (+48) 22 619 44 06, www.bazarro- Once regarded as Warsaw’s premier bazaar,
the rambling Bazar Różyckiego has seen its popularity wane
since 1989. Black market trade once thrived under Nazi
and communist governments, but nowadays the historic
102-year-old market is a ghostly image of its former self.
Once considered the place for cardigans, firearms and
spurious goods, it’s now a mildly depressing look into work-
ing class Warsaw life. Visitors could easily outfit an entire
polyester wedding thanks to the heaps of vendors selling
cheap wedding dresses, tacky kiddie tuxes and chintzy
mother-of-the-bride gowns. QOpen 06:00 - 17:00, Sat
06:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
Soviet War Memorial (Pomnik Braterstwa Broni)
G-1, Pl. Wileński. Dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who died
during the ‘liberation’ of Warsaw, this monument has been
removed due to the construction of a new Metro station and
will spend some time being restored before relocating 80
metres down the road on Pl. Wileński (towards ul. Cyryla i
Metodego). Erected in the immediate aftermath of WWII, the
rusting edifice is the city’s least loved memorial and is often
littered with graffiti (though the clean-up should temporarily
take care of this). Its Praga location is quite apt - this was where
the Red Army halted their advance in 1944, while Nazi troops
put down the Warsaw Uprising and then demolished the city.
Sts. Michael & Florian
Cathedral (Katedra Św.
Michała Archanioła i
Św. Floriana) G- 1, ul.
Floriańska 3, tel. (+48) 22
619 09 60, www.katedra- This
giant gothic cathedral view-
able from across the Vistula
in Warsaw proper was built
in reaction to the building of
an Orthodox Church and a
number of other structures on
the Tsar’s orders in the latter
hal f of the 19th century. A
certain Pole by the name of Father Ignacy Dutkiewicz decided
to hit back with the construction of a huge new Catholic
church, which was consecrated in 1901. Unsurprisingly this
vast Gothic beast was blown to pieces by the Germans in
September 1944 and is now almost exclusively the work of
ongoing reconstruction between 1947 and 1970. Featuring
a pair of steel-tipped 75-metre steeples, the church, which
includes a photograph of what remained of it after the Nazis
dynamited it on the left wall as you enter, has a rather plain
interior though the vaulted ceilings are well worth a look at if
you’re in the area. Q Open by prior arrangement.
Ząbkowska. Nowhere is Praga’s revival better illustrated
than ulica Ząbkowska, the natural gravitational point for all
the Boho and artistic types who have recently materialized
to upgrade the district. Originally lined with timber frame
houses, Ząbkowska experienced a fierce blaze in 1868 that
led to wooden lodgings being replaced with tall tenements, all
but one surviving WWII. Post-war neglect hit the street hard,
with Ząbkowska allowed to fall into such disrepair that plans
for wholesale demolition were seriously considered. However
it survived, and today restoration work has seen many of
buildings returned to their former glory, streets repaved and
galleries opened. For some the very name Ząbkowska is syn-
onymous with lively bars filled with student revolutionaries.
Zoo C-1, ul. Ratuszowa 1/3, tel. (+48) 22 619 40 41, If the bears piqued your interest in animals
then head to the nearby Warsaw Zoo, which was opened in 1928
and covers an area of 40 hectares. More than 5,000 species
call it home and that includes all the biggies you’d expect: lions,
gorillas, giraffes and elephants to name a few. As with every
major Warsaw landmark, the zoo has plenty of war stories. It
was bombed at the beginning of the conflict and by 1945 all the
animals had either been killed, deported to the Third Reich, eaten
by locals or escaped into the wild. Zoo director, Jan Żabiński,
became something of a hero; wounded during the 1944 Upris-
ing, Żabiński helped save countless lives by sheltering Jewish
orphans inside the grounds of the zoo. The zoo officially re-opened
in 1949. Q Open 09:00 - 16:00. Last entrance 1 hour before
closing. Admission 18/13zł. Children under 3 years free. Note
that opening hours are subject to change in March.
Where to drink
Hydrozagadka ul. 11 Listopada 22. See Nightlife.
Po Drugiej Stronie Lustra H-1, ul. Jagiellońska 22.
See Nightlife.
Saturator ul. 11 listopada 22. See Nightlife.
W Oparach Absurdu H-1, ul. Ząbkowska 6. See
Where to eat
DeCoteria H-1, ul. Ząbkowska 16. See Restaurants.
By Public Transport:
From Centralna the 160 bus will take you across the
river and drop you at the Park Praski stop, a great place
to begin your tour of Praga (you can nod at the bears
as you disembark). If you’re in the Old Town simply walk
down the steps near the Royal Castle to Al. Solidarnosci
and the Stare Miasto tram stop and every tram heading
over the river (23, 26) stops at Park Praski as well. These
same trams will return you to the Stare Miasto as well.
By taxi:
You can also take a taxi which should cost around
20-30zł and should take you from the centre area to
Ząbkowska in less than 20 minutes. Please remember
that the price and time depends on the traffic, so your
journey may be longer during rush hours.
Getting there
Praga Tourist Information (Praska Informacja
Turystyczna) H-1, ul. Ząbkowska 27/31, tel. (+48)
22 670 01 56, Info on the local
area and guided tours in English and Polish, as well as
an application for smartphones that offers a tour of
Praga in English. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Tourist information
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
the theatre crowd gather to discuss opening night, and it’s
not rare to find stars of Polish screen and stage hunched
over beers while shaggy dogs sit in their midst. Don’t be
surprised to walk in on impromptu poetry slams, or a
performance by experimental bands answering to names
like ‘The Crazy Pierogi’.
Etgar Keret’s House E- 2, ul. Chł odna 22/ul.
Żelazna 74, Across
the street from Chłodna 25 you’ll find the l ocation for
what is one of the thinnest homes in the world (we’re not
kidding: opening the refrigerator door would necessitate
standing in another room). Designed by architect Jakub
Szczęsny, the steel-framed construction will be finished
with Styrofoam and plywood with its widest point being
133cm and its narrowest just 71cm. The Israeli writer
Etgar Keret, for whom this has been built, will use it as a
home in Warsaw and when he is out of town, the installa-
tion (it has been listed a piece of art as it has no building
licence) will act as a studio for visiting artists. Keret is an
interesting character in himsel f. The son of a Polish Jew
who spent 3 years of the war hiding from the Germans in
a compartment under the floor of a Warsaw house, Keret
sees this project as an ‘external eye’ on Warsaw and its
cultural landscape. He wants to show that Warsaw is a
lively and multicultural city totally at odds with the image
created by the Ministry of Education in Israel who he feels
indoctrinate Israeli youth in a ‘pilgrimage of hatred’. The
location is also signi ficant. Found on what was the border
between the large and small ghettos of WWII Warsaw, the
building can be found perched between a Communist era
block and a pre-war tenement which is meant as a com-
ment on the neighbourhood’s divided past ‘The buildings
were not touching each other which is symbolic of the
ignorance during the Communist period’ says Szczęsny.
I f a symbol was needed for the district this surely should
be it in our opinion.
A Footbridge of Memory D-2, Intersection of ul.
Chłodna and ul. Żelazna. Standing on the corner of Żelazna
and Chłodna is the “Footbridge of Memory” memorial, two
giant metal poles connected across Chłodna by wires. This
is the location of one of the most recognisable images of
the Warsaw ghetto: the footbridge that connected the small
and large ghettos. At night the wires light up and create a
virtual bridge in the exact location of the former ghetto bridge.
The poles also have viewing windows where visitors can flip
through images of life in the Warsaw ghetto. By now you’ve
also probably noticed the pavement outline that symbolizes
the ghetto’s borders, which can be found on the sidewalk as
you tromp down Chłodna.
Oberża Pod Czer wonym Wieprzem E- 2, ul .
Żelazna 68. More of Chłodna’s Jewish connections later,
next up is a visit to Oberża Pod Czerwonym Wieprzem
(Under the Red Hog Inn). The story’s a good one: in 2006
workers uncovered the remains of a secret underground
eatery frequented over the decades by all the communist
baddi es you’d ever thi nk of - Mao, Leni n, Castro and
Brezhnev to name but a few. Unearthed were a stack
of medals, uni forms, manuscripts and menus, so this
being capi talist Poland a plan was hatched to restore
the restaurant to its former glory and make a mint from
touting it as the all-singing commie experience. Of course,
the story itsel f is a load of poppycock, and nothing more
than a cheeky PR stunt pulled by the management. But it
was enough to fool the journalists and a legend was born.
Now it’s an intrinsic part on any tour of Socialist Poland,
as well as jolly good place to dine on Tito Boar, aspic and
pig’s trotters. Yum!
The major sights in Warsaw need little introduction to the
visitor who has already chalked up a few days sightseeing
in the city. But there’s more to the city than cobbled squares
and palaces on lakes as a little detour just to the north west
of the central station will reveal. We’ve decided to give the
lesser known and quite frankly in places, pig ugly, streets
of Chłodna and Elektoralna a look to discover some sights
rarely highlighted by guided tours but which are fascinating
none the less. The following sights have been presented in
an order to allow you to visit each in order as you pass from
west to east.
This walking tour starts at the western end of ul. Chłodna
and brings you back towards the centre. Trams stop at the
nearby junction with ul. Towarowa (D-2) and one suggestion
might be to walk back to the centre via this route after having
visited the nearby Warsaw Uprising Museum.
Warsaw Trade Tower D-2, ul. Chłodna 51. The first
point of call on your tour is at one of Warsaw’s unavoidable
landmarks - the Warsaw Trade Tower. Completed in 1999
this 208-metre skyscraper stands out as a masterpiece in
a city not short of latter-day architectural marvels. Tower-
ing over all its immediate neighbours the Trade Tower was
originally christened the Daewoo Centre, before financial
disaster saw it sold off to the highest bidder (US$100 mil-
lion) in what was then the biggest purchase transaction in
Polish real estate history. Characterized by its cylindrical
shape and odd angles it’s a breathtaking piece of work,
and equally impressive from the inside. The interior design
was apparently inspired by art deco Chicago, while hi-tech
gadgetry includes some of the quickest elevators in Europe
- 35 seconds to the 41st floor.
Meridian E-2, ul. Chłodna 48. Onwards down the street
and you’ll be quick to note that the tower stands out like a
shark in a paddling pool. Surrounding it is practically noth-
ing, just a stretch of grubby looking car service centres. It’s
only as you reach the intersection with ul. Wronia that signs
of regeneration become apparent. Straddling the corner is
the Meridian apartment block, a flashy gated community,
located on the site of a former engineering factory. This is
planned to be the first of many aimed at regenerating this
quarter of town. Featuring a two-level underground car park,
Japanese garden and marble lobby you couldn’t wish for a
sharper contrast to what is found opposite.
Chłodna 25 E-2, ul. Żelazna 75a (entrance from ul.
Chłodna). Facing the Meridian apartment block is Chłodna at
its worst - a darkened pre-war tenement flanked by low-level
prefabricated buildings selling hammers, spanners, mops
and tyres. Then, lined up like tin soldiers, there’s enough
bars to put your tour in seriously danger of being terminated
earlier than expected.
Things improve as you reach the junction with ul. Żelazna.
Just before i t you’ll find Chłodna 25, one of the finest
establishments of its kind. Opened in 2004 this is where
Jerzy Popiełuszko’s house A-3, ul. Chłodna 15. Back
onto Chłodna and you’ll find more signs of Poland’s communist
legacy in the shape of rows and rows of grim concrete tower
blocks. They all look the same, and make for a depressing
backdrop. However it’s not for this reason that Chłodna is best
known. Chłodna 15 is where Jerzy Popiełuszko, the Catholic
priest murdered by security services in 1984, once lived. A
fierce anti-communist Popiełuszko had strong links with the
Solidarity movement and had been identified as a threat to the
system. Having already survived one attempt on his life he was
followed after saying mass in Bydgoszcz on October 19th, 1984,
apprehended and murdered before his body was unceremoni-
ously dumped in a lake. Seen as a national hero and martyr his
funeral attracted over a quarter of a million mourners, and today
a stone tablet sits in the centre of Chłodna in tribute to his life.
Adam Czerniaków’s house A-3, ul. Chłodna 20. Stand-
ing on the other side you can’t miss Chłodna 20. Not only is this
a smashing piece of art nouveau Warsaw, but there’s also a bit
of history behind it all. Built in 1913 this is the former residence
of Adam Czerniaków. An engineer by profession Czerniaków
assumed fame as head of the Judenrat (the Jewish led organi-
zation responsible for implementing Nazi orders in the Ghetto).
Troubled by German orders to oversee deportations to Treblinka
Czerniaków chose death by cyanide rather than comply, and his
body is now interred in the Jewish cemetery on ul. Okopowa.
St. Carlo Borromeo Church (Kościół Św. Karola
Boromeusza) A-3, ul. Chłodna 9, tel. (+48) 22 620 37
47, The Socialist Realist build-
ings found next door are typical of rebuilt Warsaw, and fine
examples of this uniquely Stalinist style. Nice as it is, there’s
only one thing that dominates the vision as you look down
Chłodna - the splendid form of St. Carlo Borromeo Church.
Designed by Henryk Marconi, and built between 1841 and
1849, this glorious building was modelled on the Santa Maria
Maggiore Basilica in Rome. Miraculously it escaped WWII
virtually intact, with only the presbytery sustaining damage.
Subject to recent work to restore the figures of the apostles
that stand outside, this sits up there alongside Warsaw’s top
churches. Q Open during mass or by prior arrangement.
T.G.I. Friday’s E-2, Al. Jana Pawła II 29. From there
you’re practicall y on Al. Jana Pawła II, separated from
the clot of traffic only by TGI Friday’s. This spot is worth
mentioning because of its place in gangland folklore. Back
in 1999, when mafia gangs still ruled The Wild East, a
mobster named Kajtek was shot dead outside in a hit by
the Wołomin gang. An innocent bystander was also killed
in the shooting, and the incident sparked a vicious spiral
of violence; eleven days later five men with known associa-
tions with the Wołomin firm were murdered in reprisal in
another Warsaw restaurant.
Hala Mirowska A-3, Pl. Mirowski 1. Across the street
looms the giant Hala Mirowska, which consists of two nar-
row brick halls constructed between 1899 and 1901 on the
instruction of Russian mayor Nikolai Bibikov. It functioned as
Warsaw’s largest market up until the outbreak of the Warsaw
Uprising. Though ravaged by fire the walls refused to give
way and the buildings survived - check out the bullet scars
still all too visible. Serving as a bus depot in the immediate
post-war years the structure resumed its original purpose in
the 1950s, and today is notable for its flower stalls outside,
as well as lines of country folk selling jars of mushrooms out
of the backs of their vans.
Juliusz Słowacki Memorial A-3, ul. Elektoralna 20.
Continuing down Elektoralna street you might spy a rather
nasty looking pinkish stone that stands on the corner of
Elektoralna and Al. Jana Pawła II. That’s there to honour
Juliusz Słowacki, one of the ‘three bards of Poland,’ who
kept quarters at number 20.
Mazovia Region Centre of Culture and Arts A-3, ul.
Elektoralna 12. Continuing down Elektoralna you’ll be met
with the sight of the Mazovia Regional Centre of Culture and
Arts on Elektoralna 12 - find classical music concerts orga-
nized each summer. That’s a far cry from years before when,
as the plaque duti fully informs us, this neo-renaissance
building served as ‘Warsaw’s first hospital with standalone
pavilions’. Quite what that means is anyone’s guess, but it
sounds impressive enough to warrant a mention.
Grzegorz Przemyk Memorial A-3, ul. Elektoralna
5/7. As your walk slowly nears its conclusion you’ll find
yoursel f passing a rather gloomy looking school building
on Elektoralna 5/7. Of course, this being Warsaw, even this
place has a story. Outside you’ll notice a plaque dedicated
to the memory of a lad called Grzegorz Przemyk. He was
the son of a subversive poetess called Barbara Sadowska
who frequently fell afoul of the communist authorities for
her covert political and artistic gatherings. Fed up with
her anti-authoritarian stance the militia decided to scare
her by giving her son a damn good kicking. It went too far,
and Przemyk died of internal injuries on May 12, 1983.
The subsequent inquiry was seen as a whitewash and the
case has since pinballed around the Polish and European
law courts for over a decade without a definitive verdict as
to what happened.
Museum of John Paul II Collection A-2, Pl.
Bankowy 1. On the other side of street you’ll notice a
figure of the Pope John Paul II peering out from behind the
colonnades. Inside this building (formerly the Warsaw Stock
Exchange) you’ll find the Museum of John Paul II Collection,
which houses an excellent collection of art, from Dalis to
Van Goghs, named in honour of the late Pope. And there
you have it - Chłodna and Elektoralna, two unsung heroes
on the route less travelled. Full of history, a bit of grime and
plenty of quirky sights they help paint a fuller picture of the
remarkable cit of Warsaw.
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
against them, the Poles continued the fight on two fronts,
with segments of Chopin aired every 30 seconds by radio
to let the outside world know that Warsaw was still Polish.
However the human cost was starting to mount; the merci-
less bombardment had claimed the lives of over 50,000
Varsovians, the Royal Castle lay in ruins, and supplies of
food, power and water had reached critical levels. With Allied
aid not forthcoming, and a humanitarian disaster looming
large, the capital finally raised the white flag on September
28th. To bring the Polish heroics into perspective, Paris,
defended by the largest standing army in the world, took
just nine days to fall.
Hitler arrived in Warsaw for his one and only visit to the
Polish capital on October 5th, inspecting a victory parade
on (C-4) Al. Ujazdowskie before scuttling off for a reception
at the Belvedere Palace. If his pre-war rants hadn’t been
ominous enough, the Polish public were about to learn just
what a nutcase this man really was. “The Fuhrer’s verdict on
the Poles is damning,” wrote Goebbels shortly after Hitler’s
stopover. “More like animals than human beings, completely
primitive, stupid and amorphous.”
Hitler carved Poland into pieces - parts were annexed into
the Reich, other areas - Warsaw included - found themselves
under the General Government of Hans Frank, an expert chess
player and fanatical Nazi: “If I had to put up a poster for every
seven Poles I shot, the forests of Poland would not be sufficient
to manufacture the paper,” he is said to have bragged. His rule
was textbook despot, both brutal and bloody, and it was under
his suggestion that Ludwig Fischer was appointed governor of
Warsaw, a post he would hold right until 1945. Fischer was
more bureaucrat than butcher, yet nonetheless it was under
his authority that Warsaw became a city of blood.
The racial politics of the Reich were pursued with active
intent, with whole swathes of the city set aside for Ger-
mans only. The largest Ghetto the world has ever seen was
constructed to the north, and Warsaw was marginalized in
importance and earmarked as a town whose true purpose
would be to soak up refugees expelled from Aryan territories
to the west. Chopin disappeared from his plinth, Copernicus
and his statue were awarded German identity, and the Polish
community alienated from their own city. Daily rations were
set to 669 calories (184 for Jews), and it’s estimated that a
quarter of the population were only saved from starvation
by the appearance of emergency soup kitchens. But worse
was to follow; from 1943 the Gestapo were granted carte
blanche to shoot people on mere suspicion of wrongdoing,
and street roundups and public executions became a daily
occurrence. This wasn’t so much a city under occupation as
a city under tyranny.
August 1, 1944. Warsaw, subject to five years of fascist
hegemony, rose up in popular rebellion in what would go on
to be recorded as the largest ever uprising in the German
occupied territories. With German morale in ribbons, a retreat
from Warsaw in full swing, and the Red Army already on the
east bank of the Wisła, no time seemed better than the pres-
ent. Following close contact with the Polish government-in-
exile, and assurances of Allied aid, the Home Army (Poland’s
wartime military movement a.k.a the Armii Krajowy or AK)
launched a military strike with the aim of liberating Warsaw
and installing an independent government.
During the event the Red Army made no concerted attempt
to help the Poles, while promises of Allied support proved
largely empty. As for the Nazi hierarchy, they reacted with
blind rage to this stroke of Polish insolence, and what ensued
was an epic 63 day struggle during which the Home Army
faced the full wrath of Hitler. The most notorious chapter of
Warsaw’s history was about to be written.
Outbreak of War
At 4:45am on September 1, 1939, shots were fired from Ger-
man gun emplacements positioned inside the lighthouse
at Danzig Neufahrwasser, found in what was then known as
the Free City of Danzig (today Gdansk). The object of the
aggression was the military garrison stationed on the Polish
controlled Westerplatte Peninsula, and within minutes the
German battleship Schleswig Holstein joined the bombard-
ment, inadvertently kicking off a conflict that would last six
years and cost 55 million lives.
Approximately an hour after Westerplatte the capital itself
came under aerial bombardment; waves of Stuka dive bomb-
ers swooped on the capital in what can only be described
as one of the world’s first ever terror bombings - hospitals,
schools and market places were all deemed legitimate
targets, while columns of fleeing refugees were strafed from
the air. Within a week German land forces had reached the
city limits, though any thoughts of a swift lightning victory
were quickly rebuffed. An opening tank assault on Ochota
was fended off, with the German’s losing 80 tanks from an
attacking force of 220. Spurred on by the stirring broadcasts
of Warsaw Mayor Stefan Starzynski the defenders dug in for
siege, fighting street by street and inch for inch. A German
demand for surrender on September 14th was rejected,
and in spite of claims of triumph in the German press the
city fought on, civilians and military alike joining together in
a desperate attempt to ward off the invaders.
Warsaw’s fate, and indeed Poland’s, was sealed days
later on the 17th of September when the Soviets invaded
from the east thereby fulfilling their part in the Nazi/Soviet
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Even so, with the odds stacked
Insurgents charge into battle
Into captivity
The Uprising
With such a malignant machine in force it’s little surprise
Poland gave birth to Europe’s largest resistance move-
ment. Even still, with the war moving towards its closing
stages it was far from obvious that the resistance would
abandon its partisan tactics and launch a bona fide mili-
tary assault on the Nazis. By July 1944 the Red Army
led by Marshal Rokossovsky had reached the Wisla, and
on July 22 a panicked Fischer ordered the evacuation of
German civilians from Warsaw; sensitive papers were
torched and destroyed, trains screeched westwards to
Berlin and all the signs suggested liberation was but days
away. German intelligence was aware that an uprising
was possibl e, yet nothing seemed cl ear cut. Fischer’s
appeal s for 100,000 Pol es to present themsel ves to
work on anti-tank defences were ignored, as were broad-
casts reminding the Poles of their heroic battle against
Bolshevism in 1923. Tensions increased with Red Army
leaflet drops urging Varsovians to arms, and were further
exacerbated on July 30th with a Soviet radio announce-
ment declaring, “People of the capital! To arms! Strike at
the Germans! May your million strong population become
a million soldiers, who will drive out the German invaders
and win freedom.” Still, like boxers prowling the ring, each
side appeared locked in a waiting game, so much so that
German military despatches on the afternoon of August
1, 1944 concluded with, “Warschau ist kalm.” Warsaw
was anything but.
On orders from General Tadeusz ‘Bor’ Komorowski 5pm
si gnall ed W-Hour ( Wybuch standing for outbreak), the
precise time when some 40,000 members of the Home
Army would attack key German positions. Warsaw at the
time was held by a garrison of 15,000 Germans, though any
numerical supremacy the Poles could count on was offset
by a chronic lack of arms, and a complete dearth of heavy
armour. Nonetheless the element of surprise caught the
Germans off guard, and in spite of heavy losses the Poles
captured a string of strategic targets, including the old town,
Prudential Tower (then the tallest building in Poland), and
the post office. The first day had cost the lives of 2,000
Poles, yet for the first time since occupation the Polish flag
fluttered once more over the capital.
Yet in spite of these initial successes their remained sev-
eral concerns. Polish battle groups were spread across
the city, and many had failed to link up as planned. More
worryingly, several objectives had been met with disas-
ter - the police district around (G-4) Al. Szucha remained
firmly in German hands, even more importantly, so did the
airport. Hitler, meanwhile, was roused out of his torpor,
screaming for “No prisoners to be taken,” and “Every
inhabitant to be shot.”
Within days German reinforcements started pouring in,
and on August 5th and 6th Nazi troops rampaged through
the western Wola district, massacring over 40,000 men,
women and children in what would become one of the most
savage episodes of the Uprising. Indeed, it was to prove a
mixed first week for the Poles. In liberated areas, behind
the barricades, cultural life thrived - over 130 newspapers
sprang up, religious services were celebrated and a scout
run postal service introduced. Better still, the first allied air
drops hinted at the support of the west. As it turned out,
this was just papering over the cracks. The Germans, under
the command of the Erich von dem Bach, replied with heavy
artillery, aerial attacks, armoured trains and tanks. Even
worse, the practice of using Polish women as human shields
was quickly introduced.
The insurgents were a mixed bag, featuring over 4,000
women in their ranks, a unit of Slovaks, scores of Jews
liberated from a Warsaw concentration camp, a platoon
of deaf and dumb volunteers led by an officer called Yo
Yo, and an escaped English prisoner of war called John.
Fantastically ill-equipped, the one thing on their side was
an almost suicidal fanaticism and belief. Casualties were
almost 20 times as high as those inflicted on the Germans,
yet the Poles carried on the fight with stoic sel f-assurance.
Air drops were vital i f the uprising was to succeed, though
hopes were scuppered with Stalin’s refusal to allow Allied
planes landing rights in Soviet-held airports. Instead the
RAF set up a new route running from the Italian town of
Brindisi to Warsaw, though casualty rates proved high with
over 16% of aircraft lost, and the drops often inaccurate
- one such mission concluding with 960 canisters out of
a 1,000 falling into German hands. All hopes, it seemed,
rested on the Russians.
After six weeks of inaction Rokossovsky finally gave the go
ahead for a Polish force under General Berling to cross the
river and relieve the insurgents. The operation was a debacle,
and with heavy casualties and no headway made the assault
was called off. For the Russians, this single attempt at cross-
ing the Wisla was enough; Warsaw was on its own. Already
by this time the situation in Warsaw’s old town, defended by
8,000 Poles, had become untenable, and a daring escape
route was hatched through the sewers running under the
city. The Germans were now free to focus on wiping out
the remaining outposts of resistance, a task undertaken
with glee and armour. Six hundred millimetre shells were
landing on the centre every eight minutes, and casualties
were rising to alarming rates. Surrender negotiations were
initiated in early September, though it wasn’t till the end of
the month - by which time all hope had been exhausted - that
they took a concrete shape. Abandoned by her allies the
Poles were forced to capitulate once more, some 63 days
after they had taken on the Reich. “The battle is finished,”
wrote a eulogy in the final edition of the Information Bulletin.
“From the blood that has been shed, from the common toil
and misery, from the pains of our bodies and souls, a new
Poland will arise - free.”
Luftwaffe v Warsaw
94 95
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Having deposited their weaponry at pre-designated sites,
11,668 Polish soldiers marched into German captivity,
defeated but proud. The battle had cost up to 200,000
civilian lives, while military casualties between Germans
and Poles would add a further 40,000 to the figure. Hitler
was ecstatic; with the Uprising out of the way his plan to
raze Warsaw could finally be realized. Remaining inhabit-
ants were exiled (though around 2,000 are believed to
have seen the liberation by hiding in the ruins), and the
Germans set about obliterating what was left of the city.
“No stone can remain standing,” warned Himmler, and what
happened next can only be described as the methodical
and calculated murder of a city. Buildings were numbered
according to their importance to Polish culture before being
dynamited by teams of engineers, while less historic areas
were simply burned to the ground. Nothing was spared
the iconoclasm, not even trees. “I have seen many towns
destroyed,” exclaimed General Eisenhower after the war,
“But nowhere have I been faced with such destruction.”
Modern studi es esti mate the cost of damage at around
fi fty four bi l l i on dol l ars. I n human terms Pol and l ost
much more. Wi th the Upri si ng di ed a gol den generati on,
the very foundati on a new post-war Pol and coul d bui l d
on. Those veterans who sur vi ved were treated wi th
suspi ci on and disdai n by the newl y i nstall ed communist
government, others were persecuted for percei ved
wester n sympat hi es. Post- war Sovi et show t ri al s
convi cted 13 l eaders of the Upri si ng for anti -Sovi et
acti ons, and thereafter the Upri si ng was condemned
as a fol l y to serve the bourgeoi s ends of the Pol i sh
government-i n-exi l e. Today, fi nal l y, the event that has
come to defi ne the spi ri t of Warsaw, has been awarded
the recogni ti on i t deserves.
‘Freedom came out against slavery. The flame of the
Uprising remained in people’s hearts and souls. It was
passed on by the baton of the generations. The spirit
proved indestructible and immortal. Soldiers of the
Rising. You did not die in vain.’
Lech Walesa, 1994
Berling Statue H-3, Wał Miedzeszyński. Zygmunt
Berling is best remembered as the commander of the 1st
Polish Army during WWII, a role that saw him honoured with
his own statue in 1985. Designed by Kazimierz Danilewicz
his white marble monument frequentl y falls foul of the
vandals, and it’s not uncommon to see Berling’s hands
daubed with blood red paint. That’s on account of Berling’s
associations with the USSR; the 1st Polish Army was little
more than a puppet wing of Stalin’s forces, and Berling’s
perceived inaction during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising still
rankles a great many Poles.
Bielański Bank B-2, ul. Bielańska 10. Few remnants
of the Uprising are more conspicuous than the hulking
shell on ul. Bielańska. It’s got quite a history. The site was
originally home to a mint, but that found itsel f demolished
to make way for the Warsaw division of the Imperial Bank
of Russia. Designed by Leontij Nikołajewicz Benois, a rec-
tor of the Fine Arts Academy in St Petersburg, construction
began in 1907 and went on for a further four years. Within
another four years the Russian’s had left, the collapse
of the Empire seeing all Tsarist subjects head back east
with their tails between their legs. The Poles took over
the building, first employing it as the National Treasury,
then establishing it as the headquarters of Bank Polski in
1926. The structure became a key strategic target during
the Warsaw Uprising, and on capture served as a base for
Polish insurgents. Smashed to pieces by German bombs
the building was left to rot in the decades that followed.
Originally slated to house the Warsaw Uprising Museum,
the bank was subject to legal wrangles that saw that idea
bite the dust. Now Belgian property developer Ghelamco is
redeveloping the site as an office complex that will open
in mid-2012. According to plans the six-floor building will
expose parts of the walls of the ancient mint.
Execution Sites. The fal l of communi sm brought
wi th i t a huge desi re to commemorate the Upri si ng,
whi ch had hi ther to been l argel y erased from Pol i sh
hi stor y by anti -nati onal i st communi st censors. Now
memori al pl aques and tabl ets abound around Warsaw
and though they tend to be i n Pol i sh onl y, i t doesn’ t
take l ong to get the hang of them; on the whol e they’l l
di spl ay the date and number of peopl e executed by
the Nazi s.
Monument to the Warsaw Uprising (Pom-
ni k Powst ani a War szawski ego) B- 2, Pl .
Krasińskich. I t was onl y wi th the regi me cl ose to
col l apse that thi s unconventi onal, not to say contro-
versi al monument was unvei l ed. Compl eted i n 1989
and desi gned by Wi ncent Kucma, i t depi cts a group
of i nsurgents i n battl e, and another facti on retreati ng
i nto the sewers.
Warsaw Uprising Museum (Muzeum Powstan-
ia Warszawskiego) D-3, ul. Grzybowska 79, tel.
(+48) 22 539 79 33, Opened in 2004,
this remains one of Poland’s best museums. Packed with
interactive displays, photographs, video footage and
miscellaneous exhibits it’s a museum that’s guaranteed
to leave a mark on all visitors. Occupying a former tram
power station the 2,000m2 space is split over several
levels, leading visitors through the chronological story
of the Uprising (provided
they don’t make any wrong turns, alas, a common
Start off by learning about life under Nazi rule, your tour
accompanied by the background rattle of machine guns,
dive bombers and a thumping heartbeat. Different halls
focus on the many aspects of the Uprising; walk through
a replica radio station, or a covert printing press.
The mezzanine level features film detailing the first month
of battle, before which visitors get to clamber through a
mock sewer. The final sections are devoted to the cre-
ation of a Soviet puppet state, a hall of remembrance,
and a particularly poignant display about the destruction
of the city; take time to watch the black and white ‘before
and after’ shots of important Warsaw landmarks being
systematically obliterated by the Nazis as punishment.
Near the exit check out the film “City of Ruins,” a silence-
inducing 5 minute 3-D aerial ‘ film’ which took 2 years
to make and used old pictures and new technology to
recreate a picture of the desolation of ‘liberated’ Warsaw
in March 1945.
There is also an exact replica of a B24 Allied plane once
used to make supply drops over the besieged city. A view-
ing platform and ‘peace garden’ wrap up this high impact
experience Q Open 08:00 - 18:00, Thu 08:00 - 20:00,
Sat, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Tue. Admission 14/10zł
(children under 7 free). Mon free. Audio guides for 10zł
per person. Film costs 2zł per person. Y
Uprising Museum
Skaryszewski Park H-2. While the allied air lift to aid the
Uprising proved a disaster, the heroism of the Commonwealth
and Polish pilots who flew missions to relieve Warsaw cannot
be called into question. Standing in Skaryszewski Park on
Warsaw’s east bank is a memorial to commemorate these air-
men. It was here that a Liberator plane crash landed in 1944,
killing all but one of the seven crew on board. The sole survivor,
Henry Lloyd Lyne, unveiled the monument in 1988, and today
it is the sight of the British Embassy’s annual Remembrance
service. In 2000 Lloyd Lyne, a retired farmer, was presented
with a recovered piece of the plane by Queen Elizabeth II.
The Little Insurgent Monument (Pomnik Małego
Powstańca) B-2, ul. Podwale. The communist authori-
ties continually thwarted efforts to commemorate the Up-
rising, though by the early 80s cracks in their resolve were
beginning to show. On October 1, 1983, the most poignant
of all Uprising monuments was unveiled by the walls of the
Barbakan. Designed by Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz and funded by
collections undertaken by scouts, the bronze installation
shows the figure of a boy soldier clutching a Sten gun and
weighed down by an adult-sized helmet. Commemorating the
children who served as messengers and frontline troops, the
figure is inspired by the story of 13 year old corporal Antek,
himself killed in action close to the scene on August 8, 1944.
Wol a Massacre Statue (Pomni k Pami ęci
Ludności Woli Wymordowanej w Czasie Powsta-
nia 1944) D-2, Pl. Solidarności. No other event captures
the brutality of the Uprising better than the Wola Massacre.
Between August 5 and August 6 the Nazis embarked on a
savage bloodletting in an attempt to batter the Poles into
submission. Led by Heinz Reinfarth and Oskar Dirlewanger, a
despicable man with a history of sex crimes against minors,
German units executed approximately 40,000 civilians in
the Wola area of Warsaw. The massacre only came to a
halt when Hitler himself intervened and declared all civilians
be sent to concentration camps instead. While Dirlewanger
was beaten to death by Poles after the war, Reinfarth and
countless others evaded justice. The senseless slaughter
is commemorated by an impressive monument dating from
2006, designed by Ryszard Stryjecki and found practically
opposite the Ibis hotel on Solidarności.
Pasta B-3, ul. Zielna 37, A real
city landmark, and unmistakable thanks to the great big red
and white P attached to its roof. That P was a favoured sign
of the insurgents, and the buildings importance to the Rising
should not be underestimated. Built between 1904 and 1910
this weird tower like structure - ramparts et al - operated as a
telecommunications centre, a function it continued to serve
under the Nazis. Heavily defended by bunkers and guard
posts it was besieged for twenty two days by the Kilinski
battalion of the Home Army before finally surrendering on the
22nd. In 2000 Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek handed steward-
ship of the building to a combatants association, and today,
among numerous other functions, the ground floors are home
to the recommended ‘Na Zielnej’ restaurant.
Prudential Tower B-3, ul. Świętokrzyska. The first build-
ing in Warsaw to surpass fifteen floors. Built using 1,250,000
bricks Warsaw’s first true skyscraper became a major point
of attack on opening day of the Rising, the symbolic meaning
of a Polish flag on Poland’s tallest structure not lost on the
insurgents. The Nazis shelled it heavily, and though it was
gutted its prototype steel skeleton refused to topple. After the
war the tower was given a thinner look, and for decades oper-
ated as the Hotel Warszawa. Closed in 2003, and currently in
various stages of reconstruction courtesy of the Likus Group,
the tower is due to be given a refit and new lease on life as
both a hotel and top-class apartment block.
Ruins of the Rising. Between 1939 and 1944 over 84
percent of Warsaw was completely destroyed, with the city
centre bearing the brunt of the damage. In spite of the Herculean
rebuilding work that has since taken place, bullet scarred walls
on pre-war tenements can still be found in relative abundance
round the few parts of the centre that escaped total destruc-
tion. Perhaps most obvious of all is the building on ul. Waliców,
featuring shell-pocked facades and a wall half-tumbling down.
Sapper Monument (Pomnik Chwała Saperom)
H-3, Park Marszałka Edwarda Śmigłego-Rydza. De-
signed by Stanisław Kulon and unveiled on May 8th, 1975,
the monument to the sappers is a typically formidable
piece of 70s brutalism. Designed to evoke the explosive
blast of a landmine this seventeen metre high monstrosity
commemorates the sappers who died defusing mines and
booby traps in the years after the war. “Free Warsaw will
never forget those who, with their pain and blood, started
the work on her reconstruction” reads the accompanying
plaque. The names and units of the sappers who died are
listed on the pylons, as well as Polish-language descriptions
of the hazardous work they undertook.
Old Town Square, 1945
Warsaw Uprising: Aug 1 - October 3
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
At the time Hitler chose to expand Germany’s territories
under the odious excuse of providing ‘living space’ for the
German people, Warsaw’s Jewish population numbered
350,000 and growing. Neither pogroms nor the occasional
boycott of Jewish businesses deterred Jews from settling
in the Polish capital and only New York could boast a larger
Jewish community. Yet within six years Warsaw’s thriving
Jewish scene was all but wiped from the map, with over
90 percent perishing either in the Ghetto that or the gas
chambers of Treblinka.
Although anti-Semitism was by no means rare Poland was
seen as a relative safe haven, and it drew settlers forced
into flight by more discriminatory regimes elsewhere. By the
inter-war years the Jewish population had made significant
contributions to the social, political and cultural fabric of
Poland, a contribution that would eventually be extinguished
by the monstrous racial policies of the Nazis. When Warsaw
fell following a brief yet brutal siege the city’s ancient Jewish
population was damned to destruction. By 1940 Jews were
forcibly penned into an area that already housed most of
the Jewish population. On March 27, 1940, the Judenrat, a
Jewish council answerable to the Nazi’s whims, was ordered
to build a wall around the ghetto and a resettlement deadline
of October 15 was handed to the city’s Jews. Failure to move
into the assigned area was punishable by death. Spanning
18 kilometres and enclosing 73 of Warsaw’s 1,800 streets,
the area was carved into a ‘small’ and ‘large’ ghetto, the two
linked by a wooden bridge standing over ul. Chłodna (E-2).
Today an installation titled ‘Footbridge of Memory’ stands at
this spot, with optical fibers illuminating the former handrails
over the street at night.
From the beginning conditions in the city were harsh; recov-
ered Nazi files show that while ethnic Germans were granted
a food allowance totalling 2,613 calories per day, Jews and
other groups deemed ‘sub-human’ were expected to survive
on 184 calories. Unsurprisingly a black market supported by
a smuggling network ran rife, with some 80 percent of the
food in the ghetto supplied through illegal means. Still it was
not enough and as the noose tightened starvation became
the principal enemy. In 1941 over 100,000 died in this way,
their bodies often left to rot in the streets. Of the 800 ghettos
scattered around the Third Reich Warsaw was the largest
and also the deadliest. At its zenith approximately 380,000
residents found themselves squashed into the ghetto, with
an average of eight people to a room. Yet amid this sea of
suffering a remarkable social scene flourished, as proved
by the meticulous ghetto diaries kept by Emanuel Ringel-
blum. Although murdered by the Nazis in 1944 Ringelblum,
an intellectual and social activist, kept volumes of notes
documenting the day-to-day life of ghetto inhabitants. It is
from his painstaking notes we learn of the soup kitchens and
charities that existed, of the musical concerts and cabarets
and the fifty or so underground newspapers that circulated
amongst the masses.
The illusion of a self-contained cruel but surviving parallel
world was shattered in 1942 when the Wansee Conference
rubber-stamped plans for the ‘ final solution to the Jewish
question’ and the first deportations to death camps began
in July. Over the next few weeks around 265,000 Jews were
harried to a waiting area known as Umschlagplatz, from
which they were loaded into cattle wagons destined for the
Treblinka gas chambers. A year later a new action to thin
the ghetto was launched, and by April 1943 a final push
to completely liquidate the biggest ghetto began. For too
long the Jews had been limited to passive resistance, but
now with rumours circulating about death camps a band of
ill-equipped insurgents faced up to the full weight of the Nazi
military machine. Led by Mordechaj Anielewicz, the Jewish
Fighting Organization (ŻOB) launched the Ghetto Uprising on
April 19, 1943. Numbering a few hundred the Jewish fighters
continued their dogged resistance, but faced with heavy artil-
lery and even Stuka Dive Bombers it was a doomed struggle.
Vicious street-to-street, house-to-house battles ensued, with
insurgents often burnt out of their boltholes by flamethrowers
and gas. On May 8 German forces surrounded the principal
command post of the rebels on ul. Miła 18 and rather than
face capture Anielewicz and his cabal opted for mass suicide.
By May 16 the Uprising was over, with German commander
Jurgen Stroop announcing, “The former Jewish quarter of
Warsaw is no longer in existence.” With the fighting over the
rest of the ghetto was levelled, and its inmates either sent
to Treblinka or assigned to Gęsiówka (ul. Gęsia), a small
concentration camp. It is estimated that some 15,000 Jews
survived the war hiding out on the Aryan side, but with the
war over and the vitriolic anti-Zionist policies of the post-war
government the majority sought a new life in Israel. Today
Warsaw’s Jewish population is estimated to stand at 2,000
and efforts are underway to gradually reintroduce the city’s
hollowed out Jewish culture.
Heroes in Horror
Sometimes it takes tragedy to create heroes. This is never truer
than with the Holocaust, a black time where Nazi terror was an-
swered with dignity and courage. Anti-Semitism was common in
pre-war Poland (in fact so clear was this divide that the inter-war
years saw seated segregation in such grand institutions as the
local university) and under Nazi occupation collaboration was
commonplace - denouncing Jews and revealing hiding places
brought considerable financial reward. Worse still, there were
several instances of Poles actively taking part in pogroms
and ‘Jew hunts,’ the most notorious occurring in the town of
Jedwabne in 1941. It was here on the 10th of July that a mob of
Poles rounded up nearly 400 Jews and marching them to a barn
which was subsequently torched. It’s a shameful episode in Polish
history, and one immortalized in Jan Gross’s book Neighbours.
Nevertheless, such events should be offset by stories of those
who risked life and limb to help the persecuted. Poland was at the
forefront of Nazi terror, and the punishment for sheltering Jews
was death. The policy was unique in the occupied territories,
and ruthlessly enforced. Even so, it is estimated that over three
million Poles actively helped Jews to survive and Yad Vashem
has recognized over 6,000 Poles as being ‘Righteous Among
Nations’ - more than in any other country.
In Rozwadow Dr.Eugeniusz Lazowski, a graduate of Warsaw
University, is credited with saving approximately 8,000 Jews
after putting his medical knowledge to use. Having injected
the town’s Jews with a benign form of typhus he then informed
the Nazis that an epidemic was at large. Terri fied that it
would spread, the Nazis quarantined the town and left it to
its own devices. Known as ‘the Polish Schindler,’ Lazowski
saved 12 ghetto communities in this crafty manner. “I was
not able to fight with a gun or a sword,” Lazowski said. “But
I was able to find a way to scare the Germans.” In Krakow
a gentile pharmacist named Tadeusz Pankiewicz was given
special dispensation to remain in the ghetto and exploited
this to lend aid to the Jews. Medicine and vaccines were
distributed for free, and his pharmacy - now a museum - came
to double as a centre of underground activity. Regarded as
a hero, Pankiewicz’s role in the Holocaust is remembered in
Thomas Kenneally’s epic Schindler’s List.
Another doctor, Irena Sendler, is credited with rescuing over
2,500 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto. Born in 1910, Sendler had
a long history of sympathising with the plight of the Jews and
was suspended for three years from Warsaw University after
voicing her vociferous opposition to segregated benches and
was active in the underground the moment the war broke out.
Aided by her colleagues she forged over 3,000 documents to
help Jewish families, and later headed the children’s section of
Zegota - a secret organization that was a ‘Council to Aid Jews.’
Using the fierce-looking court building on Solidarnosci as her
bridge from the ghetto to freedom she smuggled countless
children inside parcels and boxes. The children were then sent
to live in convents and rectories, but not before she recorded
their identities in a glass jar she kept buried at home. Her actions
aroused the attention of the Gestapo, and in 1943 she was
arrested, tortured and sentenced to death. A bribe from Zegota
saved her life, but nonetheless she was left unconscious in a
forest, with both her arms and legs broken. She was officially
declared dead by the Germans, and spent the rest of the war in
hiding. But even peace brought no respite; she was persecuted
by the communist authorities on account of her wartime rela-
tions with the exiled government, and faced constant harass-
ment. In 2003 Pope John Paul II sent her a letter praising her
for courage, and later that year she was awarded the Order of
the White Eagle - Poland’s highest civilian decoration. She died
in 2008, though even now remains a target of hate for some; in
July 2010 her grave was vandalized with the words ‘Jews Out.’
Finally, Jan Karski is remembered in the history books as the man
who tried to stop the Holocaust. Born in Lodz in 1914, Karski’s
photographic memory and fluent command of foreign languages
caught the attention of the Polish diplomatic services, landing him
prestigious posts abroad. With Europe gearing up for war Karski
joined the horse artillery, with his unit captured by the Red Army.
Karski avoided death in the forests of Katyn when he escaped
from a train transporting him to a POW camp and headed to
Warsaw to join the Polish underground. Realizing the value of his
remarkable memory his superiors employed Karski as a courier, a
perilous position that involved crossing frontlines in order to swap
information with allies. One such foray saw him captured by the
Gestapo while crossing the Slovakian Tatra Mountains. He slit
his wrists following an intense bout of torture, and was locked in
a closely guarded hospital in Nowy Sacz. Determined not to lose
their star courier a crack team of Polish troops broke him out and
Karski resumed his duties. In 1942 he was chosen to undertake
a daring mission to meet Wladyslaw Sikorski - Prime Minister of
Poland’s government-in-exile - in London, the purpose being to
reveal the extent of German atrocities in occupied Poland. To
gather information he was smuggled into the Warsaw ghetto
and given a graphic tour of the hunger and horror manifesting
behind the walls. The experience proved so powerful that Karski
later found himself questioning his own memory and decided a
second visit was in order to convince him that what he had seen
was real. This time, disguised as a Ukrainian guard, he infiltrated
a transit camp in Izbica and witnessed random brutalities as well
as cattle wagon transports leading Jews to the gas chambers. He
successfully made it to England and was granted an audience with
foreign secretary Antony Eden as well as Sikorski and the leader
of the Jewish Bun. Maddeningly, his testimonies fell on deaf ears.
In the following decades his attempt to stop the Holocaust was
allowed to gather dust, and only came to public attention with
the release of the 1978 epic film Shoah. He died in 2000, eight
years after his Jewish/Polish wife, herself a Holocaust survivor,
committed suicide.
I can still see their faces (I ciągle widzę ich twar-
ze) B-3, ul. Próżna. The Holocaust and the subsequent
destruction of Warsaw in WWII erased virtually all remnants
of the bustling pre-war Jewish community’s presence in the
city, but there is one place where it is still possible to sense
this lost age. There are two rows of dilapidated tenement
houses dating from 1880-1900 on ul. Próżna (B-3) showing
what Warsaw must have looked like, and adding to this is a
series of giant posters hanging outside the buildings that
depict members of the disappeared Jewish community.
These photos are there thanks to a project called ‘I ciągle
widzę ich twarze’ (I can still see their faces) which was created
by Gołda Tencer, a Polish actress with Jewish origins who is
the founder and director of the Shalom Foundation. In 1994
she appealed to people to send in photographs of Polish
Jews so that an exhibition could be created commemorating
those who died. The incredible response netted over 9,000
photographs, some from survivors and their families, some
from Polish neighbours or friends of those killed. Then in
2008 the ‘I can still see their faces exhibition’ was mounted
in ul. Próżna as part of the commemorations of the 65th an-
niversary of the Ghetto Uprising. The effect is quite stunning,
particularly when you consider this street was once bustling
with life, full of traders, stores and Jewish families. Located
in the heart of a now modern city, this really is a place worth
a moment of your time, especially since the tenements are
set to be demolished soon as part of major renovations to the
street (one side of the building has already seen the photos
removed, but the other side remains intact).
I can still see their faces
Collection of Shalom Foundation by Gołda Tencer - Szurmiej
Collection of Shalom Foundation by Gołda Tencer -
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
What to See
A Footbridge of Memory D-2, Intersection of ul.
Chłodna and ul. Żelazna. One of the most recognisable
images of the Warsaw Ghetto is that of the footbridge
constructed over ul. Chłodna to connect the large and small
ghettos. To commemorate that spot is one of Warsaw’s
newest memorials: a pair of metal poles connected via
optical fibers which, after the sun sets, project the shape of
the footbridge over the road via light. Designed by Tomasz
Tusch-Lec and installed in September 2011, the memorial
also has viewing windows inside the poles where visitors can
flip through images of life in the Warsaw Ghetto.
Jewish Cemetery (Cmentarz Żydowski) D-1, ul.
Okopowa 49/51, tel. (+48) 22 838 26 22, www.beisol- A beautiful and poignant place to visit.
The cemetery was originally founded in 1806 and currently
houses around 250,000 tombs. Amongst those buried here
are Ludwik Zamenhof, inventor of the international language
Esperanto. Q Open from 10:00 till dusk, Fri 09:00 - 13:00,
Sun 09:00 - 16:00. Closed Sat. Admission 8zł.
Jewish Historical Institute (Żydowski Instytut
Historyczny im. Emanuela Ringelbluma) B-2, ul.
Tłomackie 3/5, tel. (+48) 22 827 92 21,
A chilling recollection of Polish Jewry and the only institution
in Poland focusing entirely on the study of the history and
culture of the Polish Jews. This amazing building houses
permanent and temporary exhibits relating to secular and
religious Jewish life in the country from its beginnings to the
annihilation during WWII and beyond. As well as an excellent
bookshop, the institute’s museum, opened in 1948, features
a large interactive display in the entrance hall that allows its
users to find out about Jewish life in any part of the country,
an extraordinary Warsaw Ghetto exhibition, religious trea-
sures, an archive and a small cinema. Particularly poignant
is the collection of photographs taken in the Warsaw Ghetto
by Heinz Jost, a German innkeeper who served in the German
army and whose photographs speak volumes about the era.
Essential visiting. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00.
Closed Sat. Last entrance 1 hour before closing. Admission
10/5zł. Y
Jewish Museum (Muzeum Historii Żydów Pol-
skich) C-3, ul. Anielewicza 6, tel. (+48) 22 471 03
00, This place promises
to be one of the city’s biggest and best museums when it
officially opens in December 2013 (temporary exhibits and
a cinema will open this April). Currently being built at vast
expense in what was the Jewish Ghetto during World War
II, the museum will tell the story of Jews in Poland, and will
also serve as a centre for geneology, making the tracing of
relatives easier than ever before. A recent donation of 20
million zlotys from Poland’s wealthiest citizen, oil mogul Jan
Kulczyk, is earmarked for the creation of the museum’s vast
permanent exhibition. For up-to-date information visit their
website and Facebook page.
Monument to the Ghetto Heroes (Pomnik Bohat-
erów Getta) A-1, ul. Zamenhofa. Designed by Natan
Rappaport, the monument pays tribute to the heroes of the
Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Found between (E-1) ul. Anielewicza,
Zamenhofa, Lewartowskiego and Karmelicka it is here that
the heaviest fighting took place. In an ironic quirk, the stone
cladding on the monument was originally ordered from
Sweden by Hitler for a victory arch.
Nożyk Synagogue (Synagoga Nożyków) E-3, ul.
Twarda 6, tel. (+48) 22 620 43 24, www.warszawa. Built between 1898 and 1902 in a neo-
Romanesque style, this was the only Warsaw synagogue to
survive the ravages of war. It was fully restored between 1977
and 1983. Now open for worship. Q Open 09:00 - 20:00, Fri
09:00 - 13:00, Sun 11:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat. No visiting
during services. Groups of more than ten should reserve in
advance. Admission 6zł.
Traces of the Ghetto. Following the Ghetto Uprising the
whole area was levelled so few traces remain. If you duck into
the courtyard at (E-3) ul. Sienna 55 you will see a remaining
part of the ghetto wall complete with a commemorative
plaque. Somewhat impressively, the local government have
decided to honour Warsaw’s Holocaust history by introducing
a ‘ghetto trail’. Developed with the help of the Jewish Histori-
cal Institute the route has seen the boundary of the former
Ghetto outlined on pavements, as well as the appearance
of 21 dual language information boards positioned in places
of particular interest. Maps of the ghetto are available from
the Jewish Historical Institute for 10zl.
Umschlagplatz E-1. Found on ul. Stawki (E-1), close to
the intersection with ul. Dzika, Umschlagplatz is a bleak,
slightly disappointing monument marking the spot where
around 300,000 Jews were loaded on cattle wagons bound
for Treblinka. The Nazi commandant in charge of the deporta-
tions lived directly opposite on ul. Stawki 5/7. Lying between
Umschlagplatz and the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes lies
the legendary monument labelled Miła 18 (note: this is not
the address where you can find the monument). Essentially
no more than a symbolic grassy knoll, it marks the spot from
where the Ghetto Uprising was directed.
Willy Brandt Statue A-2, Skwer Willy Brandta.
On December 7, 1970 images were flashed across the
worl d of German Chancellor Will y Brandt knel t in pensi ve
apol ogy in front of Warsaw’s Monument to the Ghetto
Heroes. Popularl y known as the ‘kni efall’ the spontane-
ous gesture was to become a symbol of reconciliation
between east and west, wi th Brandt later confessing,
“Under the wei ght of German history, and carrying the
burden of the millions who were murdered, I di d what
peopl e do when words fai l them.” A monument com-
memorati ng hi s l andmark act was unveil ed 30 years
later in the north east corner of the park that houses
the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. Made of bri ck, and
featuring a brass relief designed by Wiktoria Czechowska
Antoniewska, the monument was unveiled by a delegation
that included Brandt’s widow, Danzig-born author Gunter
Grass, Chancell or Gerhard Schroeder and Polish Prime
Minister Jerzy Buzek. The square in whi ch i t is l ocated
has also since been named in honour of Brandt.
For the overwhelming majority of Warsaw’s wartime Jews
their journey was destined to end in one place, a hitherto
unknown village called Treblinka. Set 100 kilometres north
east of Warsaw this small rural community would find itself
unwittingly thrust into the eye of the Holocaust, its name
forever etched in mankind’s roll of shame.
Getting There
Treblinka remains a backwater town, and as such travellers
are going struggle to reach it. Put simply, either hire a car
and fire up the GPS, or contact one of the Warsaw-based
tour companies listed in the Sightseeing section who will be
happy to tailor a visit for you. Alternatively, hire a six person
minibus for 250zł - call 604 89 63 97 for further details.
Split into two separate sections, Treblinka I and Treblinka II,
Treblinka I was originally established in the summer of 1941
and functioned as a Polish slave labour camp. Treblinka II,
the death camp, opened the following year, receiving its first
human cargo on July 22, 1942. It was designed for the sole
purpose of murder, a function it fulfilled well. Measuring 400
by 600 metres and surrounded with barbed wire fences and
watchtowers, the camp was carefully blended into the heavily
wooded landscape in an effort to mask its existence. Consist-
ing of a barracks, an armoury and storage areas, the camp
also had a fenced off living area housing 1,000 Jews employed
to clear bodies, hammer out teeth and shave hair. It was also
home to the reception area, where cattle wagons loaded with
Jews would screech to a halt. Built to resemble a legitimate
train station, it was decorated with clocks, timetables, post-
ers and even an infirmary replete with a Red Cross banner. In
actual fact the infirmary was no more than a sinister façade to
an execution pit, used to murder prisoners too weak to march
to the gas chambers.
Having been stripped naked, arrivals at Treblinka I were
then herded up the tube, a fenced off path leading to the
‘shower block’. It was here that prisoners were ushered into
gas chambers disguised as bathhouses. Carbon monoxide
would then be piped through showerheads, taking as long
as half an hour to asphyxiate those locked inside. At the
height of the killing process up to 20 railway carriages could
be processed within a period of one to two hours. At first
bodies were simply buried in mass graves but by 1943, in
an attempt to conceal all traces of genocide, corpses were
cremated on massive pyres.
Several escape attempts were launched by the permanent
staff of Jewish prisoners, with the biggest coming on August
2, 1943. Having obtained a key to the armoury, a core of
around 70 prisoners aimed to storm the Nazi barricades,
liberate the other prisoners and flee to the forests. The plan
was disrupted when an SS officer, Kurt Kuttner, noticed the
rebels raiding the munitions store. He was killed on the spot,
but the shots alerted the other guards who launched a swift
counter-action. In the brief but fierce gun battle that followed
many buildings were torched, but only a handful of prisoners
succeeded in escaping.
Following the uprising, and a similar one at Sobibor, Him-
mler took the decision to close down the Aktion Reinhard
death camps. By October 4, 1943 Treblinka was levelled,
reforested and a family of Ukrainian peasants re-settled
on the adjacent farmland. Al though i t is impossible to
place an accurate figure on the number of people slaugh-
tered, conservative estimates suggest that anything from
700,000 to 900,000 people were murdered during the
camp’s existence. Of the number of Jews who passed
through its gates it is thought that fewer than 100 lived to
see the end of the war.
Following the war several German and Ukrainian guards
were charged with crimes relating to their time at Treblinka.
Most escaped with light sentences ranging from three to
twelve years. The camp commander, Franz Stangl, fled to
Syria and from there to Brazil, until he was finally extradited
to face justice in 1970. He died in prison the following year,
apparently unrepentant.
What to See
What is there to see? Well, not much. The Nazis did a deft
job of erasing their crimes, and visitors will require a vivid
imagination so as to picture what was. Nevertheless, with
some prior knowledge your bumpy journey will be ultimately
rewarded; what Treblinka lacks in physical sites it makes up
for with sheer skin-prickling menace, and a trip out here is
sure to leave you pondering for some time.
Stock up on literature at the car park hut before making your
way to the small exhibition house. Set across two rooms
visitors will find a series of items recovered from the site -
torah scrolls, cutlery, coins and other keepsakes - as well
as a few period photographs illustrating li fe at the camp.
However, the real pull here is the scale model, an intricate
work which really brings the grounds to li fe - details here
include a zoo built for the enjoyment of the SS, a Disney-
styl e stone tower and the neatl y trimmed flower beds
past which Jews would have filed on their way to the gas
chambers. It’s a fascinating work, and one which provides
plenty of pause for thought.
Back outside, a trail of symbolic train tracks show the
route trains from Warsaw woul d have foll owed before
finall y terminating at Treblinka platform. For the Jews
crammed inside the cattle wagons this represented the
last stop in their persecution. Then, directly up ahead,
comes the climax of the camp - marking the execution
grounds lie hundreds of jagged memorial stones, each
one inscribed wi th the name of a l ost communi ty. I t’s
among these - to the left of your approach - you’ll find
the only stone dedicated to a person. That man is Janusz
Korczak, a pedagogue and author who famously turned
down safe passage from the ghetto in order to stay with
the orphaned chil dren entrusted in his care. His most
famous work is the children’s tale King Matt the First (Król
Maciuś Pierwszy), the adventure story of a young king.
As well as telling the story of how the young king deals
with the challenges of power in a bygone age, it is also a
thinly veiled representation of historical events in Poland
and describes a number of the social reforms the young
king introduces, many targeting children and many of which
Korczak himsel f introduced at his orphanage. While some
of the language might be considered politically incorrect
90 years on it is a fascinating book and one that children
today can still enjoy immensely.
Marking the site of the gas chamber stands an overpowering
monument designed by Franciszek Duszenki, a message in
front of it simply stating: “Never Again.” It’s an eerie experi-
ence, and the sense of evil palpable. However, there is also
more. Unknown to many, a second camp also functioned
at Treblinka, a labour camp primarily populated by Poles.
Continuing through the route cut through the forest, a stony
path leads past a concrete guard bunker before culminating
at the vast gravel pit where up to 2,000 Poles were forced into
back breaking work. In the field further on concrete flooring
and some foundations mark the outline of former prisoner
barracks, while a number of crosses denote what was once
the execution grounds. Ultimately haunting, Treblinka is a
must see for anyone with a passing interest in modern his-
tory - absent are the endless exhibits of Auschwitz, yet even
without these this place has a high impact factor which will
leave visitors silent.
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Anyone who still thinks that Warsaw is a city of concrete and
cement has clearly never been to the city’s lung, the incom-
parable Łazienki Park (G-4). Quite simply, this glorious, 17th
century park, spread over 74 hectares, is one of the jewels
in Poland’s crown, which might explain why half of Warsaw
chooses to spend its summer Sundays here. Fear not though,
for so big is Łazienki that it never gives the impression of be-
ing crowded, and even on the busiest of days you will always
be able to find a quiet, shady corner somewhere.
Belvedere Palace (Belweder) G-5, ul. Belwederska
56. Head next for the Belvedere Palace residence of the
Polish President from 1918 to 1995 (Presidents Aleksander
Kwaśni ewski and Lech Kaczyński opting to li ve in the
Presidential Palace on ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście) this is
once again the Warsaw residence of the Polish president
(now Bronisław Komorowski). Built in 1694 but thoroughly
remodelled in 1818, the building is predictably off limits. For
the best views of the palace and some outstanding photo
opportunities you should look at it from Al. Ujazdowskie: it is
a wonder of Neo-Classical design, complete with tympanium
and oversized Corinthian columns.
Chopin Monument & Temple of Sibyl (Pomnik
Chopina i Świątynia Diany) G-4. On entering the park
proper, make your first port of call the Chopin Monument,
sculpted by Witold Szymanowski and unveiled in 1926. It
depicts Chopin sitting right here in Łazienki, next to a willow
tree. The original sculpture was destroyed during WWII, and
the one we admire today went up in 1958. During the summer
impressive concerts take place around the statue almost
every Sunday. Almost hidden in the trees a few metres from
Chopin is the astonishing Temple of the Sibyl (closed to the
public), an 1820s replica Greek Temple built entirely of wood.
Look out too for a gaggle of other little buildings here such
as the Hermitage, the Egyptian Temple and the Water
Tower. None are currently open to the public.
Łazienki Park (Park Łazienkowski) G-4, ul. Agrykoli
1, tel. (+48) 22 506 01 01, www.lazienki-krolewskie.
pl. The name Łazienki means baths and is derived from the
park’s centrepiece and best-known attraction, the Palace on
the Island. The palace was originally built in the 17th century
as a private bathhouse for Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski,
owner of the adjacent Ujazdów Castle and much of the sur-
rounding land (and much of Poland, come to mention it). The
bathhouse was bought by the last king of Poland, Stanisław
August Poniatowski, in 1772 and converted into a private
residence (and taking the name Palace on the Island). It
was at this time that the grounds were formally laid out as
a private garden, most of the landscaping being carried out
to the designs of Karol Ludwig Agricola and Karol Schultz.
Today dotted with many palaces (big and small), summer
houses, pavilions, mansions, cafes, restaurants, lakes and
theatres, Łazienki offers much to see and to make the best
of it you should plan to spend a full day here.

One word of warning however before you pack a picnic and the
cricket set: Łazienki, for all its charms, is further evidence of the
fact that many Central Europeans have never quite grasped the
idea of what parks are actually for. With superbly kept grass at
every turn, perfect for picnics, pick up games of cricket, softball,
football or whatever else it is people get up to in parks in the
western world, Łazienki takes a very stern ‘look but don’t touch’
attitude when it comes to its lawns. If you don’t believe us, try
sitting on a Łazienki lawn and see what happens. That said, the
park has recently added two zones where you’re allowed to have
a picnic. Progress! Q Open from dawn till dusk.
Museum of Hunting and Horsemanship (Muzeum
Łowiectwa i Jeździectwa) H-4, ul. Szwoleżerów 9,
tel. (+48) 22 522 66 30,
North of the Palace on the Island, the Museum of Hunting &
Horsemanship is worth a quick visit. QOpen 10:00 - 15:00.
Closed Mon, Tue. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing.
Admission 3-8/2-5zł. Thu free. Y
Myślewicki Palace (Pałac Myślewicki) H-4, ul.
Agrykoli 1, tel. (+48) 22 506 01 01, www.lazienki- Make sure you have time too for a guided
tour of the magnificent, semi-circular and recently restored
Myślewicki Palace. The residence of the king’s nephew, Józef
Poniatowski, the palace is very much ‘as was’ complete with
original murals, furniture and art. Q Open 09:00 - 16:00,
Mon 11:00 - 16:00. Admission 6/4zł. Thu free. Guided tours
in English 70zł per group.
Palace on the Island (Pałac na Wyspie) G- 4, ul.
Agrykoli 1, tel. (+48) 22 506 01 01, www.lazienki- The Palace on the Island is Łazienki’s
raison d’etre. The palace - completed in 1683 to designs
by Tylman Gamerski - was originally a bathhouse, converted
into a residence in the late 1700s (after being bought by
Stanisław August Poniatowski). The palace is built on an
arti ficial island that divides the lake into two parts, and
is connected to the surrounding park by two colonnaded
bridges. The façades are uni fied by giant Corinthian pilas-
ters that link its two floors and are crowned by a balustrade
that bears statues of mythological figures. The northern
façade is relieved by a striking central portico, while the
southern façade’s deep central recess lies behind a screen
of Corinthian columns. Today a museum, almost all of the
palace can be visited, including the main reception room,
Sol omon’s Hall, decorated in the most extravagant of
Baroque styles with a series of paintings depicting the
History of Solomon. They were executed for King Stanisław
Augustus in 1791-93 by Marcello Bacciarelli and depicted
the monarch himsel f as the bibli cal king. Many of the
king’s personal rooms are also open to the public, set in
their original context. To get the best out of the palace we
recommend taking one of the excellent guided tours (call
ahead to book such a tour). Q Open 09:00 - 18:00, Mon
11:00 -18:00. Admission 15/10zł. Free on Thurs and daily
from 17:00-18:00. Guides 100zł per group up to 25 people.
To arrange guide call 22 50 60 028.
Theatre on the Island (Amfiteatr) G-4. Crossing the
tail of the serpentine lake, follow the path that leads along the
embankment until you hit the Amphitheatre, also known as
the Theatre on the Island. Built to resemble the amphitheatre
at Herculaneum, the theatre hosts productions throughout
the summer, though unless you fancy seeing Henry V in Pol-
ish these will hold little interest for foreign visitors. (There
are exceptions: ballet and contemporary dance sometimes
get put on here).
Ujazdowski Castle (Museum Of Modern Art/
CSW) (Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek
Ujazdowski) G- 4, ul. Jazdów 2, tel. (+48) 22 628
64 08, A castl e of some descri pti on
has been on found on thi s si te si nce the ti me of the
Masovi an Dukes (1300s), but the Uj azdowski Castl e
we see today was compl eted i n a baroque st yl e i n
1730 for Stani sław Herakl i usz Lubomi rski (i t was hi s
bathhouse that l ater became the Pal ace on the I sl and
and gave Łazi enki park i ts name). Uj azdowski survi ved
two centuri es before bei ng gutted by fi re duri ng WWI I,
and was i ndeed l ucky to escape total destructi on: the
retreati ng Nazi s actual l y tri ed to bl ow i t to pi eces, as
they di d a number of Łazi enki’s fi nest buil di ngs. But - as
i s so often the case - what the Nazi s coul dn’ t do the
communi sts coul d, and though the ori gi nal wal l s and
foundati ons remai ned structural l y sound i n the 1950s
Pol and’s communi st authori ti es deci ded to tear down
the shel l of the bui l di ng and pl ace a mi l i tary theatre on
the si te. Common sense prevai l ed however, and the
1970s saw Uj azdowski rebui l t to i ts ori gi nal pl ans. I t
today plays host to three large exhibi tion halls dedicated
to showcasing the very best of contemporary art insi de;
fi nd a wi l d mi x of the good, the bad and the ugl y, featur-
i ng the work of Pol and’s l eadi ng contemporary arti sts
here. Worthy and undoubtedl y necessary, the gal l ery
al so houses a very good bookshop and a café, whi ch
has a terrace whose vi ews over the park, Warsaw and
what appears to be hal f of Poland are j aw droppi ng. One
not to mi ss. QOpen 12:00 - 19:00, Fri 12:00 - 21:00.
Cl osed Mon. Last entrance 30 mi nutes before cl osi ng.
Admi ssi on 12/6zł, Thu free.
White House & Orangery (Biały Dom i Stara
Pomarańczarnia) G- 4, ul. Agrykoli 1, tel. (+48)
22 506 01 01, www.lazienki - Not
qui te as grand as the Bel vedere but equal l y i mpressi ve
i s the l i ttl e White House a gorgeous summer house
bui l t i n 1774 for the ki ng’s si sters whi ch di spl ays a fi ne
col l ecti on of peri od furni ture and decorati ons (wi l l i s
currentl y cl osed duri ng the wi nter season). A few steps
away i s the i mpressi ve Old Orangery, one of very few
survi vi ng court theatres i n the worl d. I t dates from 1774
and i s sti l l used today to host chamber concerts, as
wel l as bei ng a popul ar weddi ng venue for Warsaw’s
weal thy. Par t of the bui l di ng houses a museum of
scul pture. From here head back past the Whi te House,
resi st the temptati on to head strai ght for the Pal ace on
the I sl and and i nstead head south, towards the New
Orangery. Bui l t i n cast i ron and gl ass i t was desi gned
by Józef Orłowski and opened i n 1861. I t i s home to
the upmarket Belvedere restaurant, whi ch i s currentl y
cl osed for renovati ons. Q Open 09:00 - 16:00, Mon
11:00 - 16:00. Admissi on 10/5zł. Thu free. Gui ded tours
i n Engl i sh 70zł per group.
Any number of buses stop in front of the park’s three
main entrances, on Al. Ujazdowskie, including Nos.
116, 166, 180 and 195. From the city centre however
perhaps the easiest way of reaching Łazienki is to take
a tram from Centrum to Pl. Unii Lubelskiej, and walk 100
metres along Bagatela to the park’s southern entrance,
in front of the Belvedere Palace. Orientation around the
park is relatively easy given the prominent placement of
maps and signs - in Polish and English - in key locations.
There is also a very good Łazienki complex map (again,
in Polish and English) which can be picked up for free from
the Palace on the Water or any of the museums in the
park. If you enter the park via any of the entrances on
Al. Ujazdowskie, chances are you will end up, willingly or
not, via some surprisingly hilly paths set with tall trees,
at the vast artificial lake in the park’s centre, straddled
by the magni ficent Palace on the Island. In doing so
however, you risk missing out on a few treasures, so try
to circumnavigate the park instead.
While you can buy tickets for each Łazienki attraction
individually, you can also purchase a one-day ticket or
two-days combined ticket which offers single-access
to a chunk of the attractions (Ujazdowski Castle, The
Museum of Hunting and Horsemanship and the Botanical
Garden are not among them). A one-day ticket 20/10zł,
two-days tickets 25/15zł.
Getting there
© Muzeum Łazienki Królewskie w Warszawie
© Muzeum Łazienki Królewskie w Warszawie
© Muzeum Łazienki Królewskie w Warszawie
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
It is very easy to visit Warsaw and imagine its history
stretches no further back than the communist post-war
era and that of WWII when the city was effectively wiped
from the map of Europe. But that would be to only under-
stand a small part of this city’s and country’s history. The
nation’s capital has been in Warsaw since the late 16th
century and at one time was the centre of the burgeoning
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a union which lasted over
200 years and whose territory at once stretched from the
Baltic to the Black Sea (incorporating much of modern day
Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States). With so
much of pre-war Warsaw destroyed there are few places
to experience what this must have been like more than at
Wilanow’s palace and gardens.
The ‘Polish Versailles’ is just one of the many fitting monikers
applied to this splendid late 17th-century Palace which can
be found in the Warsaw district of Wilanów, 10 kilometres
south of the city centre. Essential visiting for all who come to
soak up the capital’s lavish culture and wish to understand
a little more about ancient Poland, Wilanów is more than
just a Palace - it represents an era from which much has
been lost. The palace, park and surrounding ensemble of
buildings represent the height of Polish Baroque and this is
one of Poland’s greatest national treasures.The sprawling
45-hectare setting is also full of things to do, from visiting
the superb Poster Museum next door to renting a rowing
boat on the Palace’s lake. If the weather’s good and you’ve
got time to spare, it’s easy to spend an entire and thoroughly
rewarding day here.
Wilanów gets its name from the Warsaw borough in which
Wilanów Palace is located. First mentioned in the 13th
century as Milanów, the then tiny village changed hands
several times before being bought in the 17th century by
the family of Stanisław Leszczyński. Leszczyński began
building a Palace here, but the project was halted by the
Deluge and the subsequent capture and plundering of the
region by the Swedes. In 1676 the abandoned Milanów was
bought by King Jan III Sobieski looking for a country retreat
away from Warsaw, and he ordered a new Palace to be built
on the site. Originally called Villa Nova (New Village), the
name was soon polonised to the one it’s known by today.
A brick manor house was built in 1680, expanding in two
stages into a palace during the years 1681-1696 under
the supervision of Agostino Locci to his own design. It is
within the central part of the palace where you will see the
living quarters of King Jan III Sobieski and his French queen
consort, Marie (or Marysieńka as she was affectionately
called by Sobieski and still is by Poles today) in what is the
original part of the palace.
After Jan III Sobieski’s death in 1696, his widow returned
to France and the palace through their sons became the
property of Elzbieta Sieniawska. She continued to develop
the palace most notably the two wings which were built in the
years 1720-1729. Sieniawska, like many of the subsequent
owners, honoured Sobieski by conserving much of the palace
in memory of the victorious king. It was to become a royal resi-
dence again in the early 1730s during the reign of August II the
Strong. Over the next two hundred years the palace became
the property of a succession of the most important Polish
families including the Czartoryskis, Lubomirskis, Potockis
and Branickis and each left their mark as they expanded and
developed the property. One of its most enlightened residents
was Stanislaw Kostka Potocki who in the early 19th century,
at a time when Poland as a country ceased to exist because
of the Russian/Prussian/Austrian partition, made his collec-
tion of art and access to the royal apartments of King Jan III
Sobieski available to the public. Keep an eye out for the words
‘Cunctis patet ingressus’ on the palace floor signifying that
the palace and its collection were ‘open to all’.
The palace avoided the fate of the city of Warsaw and sur-
vived the war virtually intact although its collections were
seriously looted. Confiscated by Poland’s post-war Com-
munist government, Wilanów became part of the National
Museum in Warsaw and was painstakingly renovated during
the 1950s and early 1960s, opening its doors to the public
again in 1962. Today it is the subject of a 32 million zloty
revitalisation program which is overseeing conservation
work in the royal apartments and archaeological research
of the area. The gardens have also recently been restored
to the splendour they enjoyed during Jan III Sobieski’s time.
© The Wilanów Palace Museum, author: Magdalena Kulpa
The Palace and Gardens at Wilanow can be reached best
of all by bus or taxi directly from the city centre. The city’s
metro system does run to a stop called Wilanowska but
this is about 5km from the palace and will involve taking
a bus from outside of the station.
By Bus
From Old Town:
From (B-2) Pl. Zamkowy take buses 116 or 180 Mon-Fri.
Journey takes about 30 minutes.
From Pl. Trzech Krzyży:
From (C-4) Pl. Trzech Krzyży take buses 116, 180 or E-2.
Journey takes about 25 minutes. The bus stops can be
found at the southern end of the square on Al. Ujazdowskie.
From the centre:
From (B-4) outside the Cepelia store on Marszałkowska
take bus 519.
From Warszawa Centralna train station:
Take bus 130 or 700 from the southbound stop on (A-4)
ul. Chałubińskiego. Journey takes about 30 minutes.
All buses stop directly outside the palace gates.
By Taxi
At around 50-55zł with a recommended company such
as Sawa Taxi (tel. 22 644 44 44), a taxi ride to Wilanów
is something of a false economy, taking more or less
the same time as the bus to get there. If you prefer the
comfort and privacy of your own car then also look for
ELE taxis parked around the city, including outside the
(A/B-4) main train station.
Getting there
The Wilanów Palace Museum (Pałac w
Wilanowie) ul. S.K. Potockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22
842 81 01, The first museum at
Wilanów was opened in 1805 by the palace’s owner at the
time, Stanisław Kostka Potocki. His aim was to help educate
society and protect national identity and knowledge at a
time when Poland had ceased to exist. This tradition was
maintained by his son August and over two hundred years
on these values are still key to the museum’s role.
The current museum, which takes up a substantial portion
of the Palace’s interior, comes in two parts. Having bought
your ticket in the ticket office near the gate, enter the wing
on the right and descend the stairs. There you will have to
deposit your coat and place shoe covers on your shoes. It
is recommended that you pick up an audio guide, which is
available in a number of languages as well as English, as
there is very little description throughout the museum -
particularly in the Polish portrait gallery. Heading through a
small room containing some old royal coaches, head up the
stairs into the first part of the museum - The Polish Portrait
Gallery - featuring portraits from the 16th to 19th century.
If portraits are your thing you will find this very interesting
although the lack of description and in some cases even
the name of the people portrayed is rather frustrating.
The tour leads you around the top of the house and then
downstairs once more where you will find yourself in the
residence of the palace. Featuring suits of armour, Etruscan
vases, a room featuring magnificent frescoes uncovered
during restoration work after the war, residential rooms,
an exceedingly rare 18th-century glass grandfather clock
and even a private chapel there is a lot to admire. There
are English language cards available in most rooms which
give you a basic description of what to look for. The central
part of the lower floor is the most impressive. It is here that
you will find the private apartments of King Jan III Sobieski
and his wife while the wings house the apartments of the
subsequent owners of the palace. There are some lavish
touches to be seen throughout the lower level and it may be
of interest that the leadership of communist Poland would
often use the palace to accommodate foreign dignitaries.
Jimmy Carter once stayed here, while one of the beds had
to be especially adapted to sleep the rather tall Charles de
Gaulle when he visited. It is quite easy to spend a couple of
hours wandering around the palace but be warned that it
tends to fill with schoolchildren during the week and tourists
at the weekends so there’s not really a best time to visit.
Note that the museum will be closed from March 11-April
23 to prepare for a new exhibit opening. QOpen 09:30 -
16:00, Sun 10:30 - 16:00. Closed Tue. Last entrance 1 hour
before closing. Admission 20/15zł, Sun free. Audioguide
(available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and
Spanish) 12zł.
The Wilanów Palace Museum
Lake & Island. There’s also a natural lake found behind the
Palace, where gondolas complete with gondoliers and rowing
boats can be hired for leisurely trips on the water beginning
in May (weather permitting). A trip here will reward you with
a glimpse of Enrico Marconi’s strange, Gothic-inspired pump
room, and an adventure to the Park’s island reveals a monu-
ment to the Polish soldier, Captain Ksawery Burski, who served
in the army of the Duchy of Warsaw and who gave his life at
Wilanów fighting the Austrians at the Battle of Raszyn in 1809.
Park & Gardens. The 45 hectares that make up Wilanów
Park grew over the centuries according to the particular
fancies of its owners. The Park’s present form dates from
the extensive and mostly faithful renovations made during
the 1950s, overseen by the architect and historian Profes-
sor Gerard Ciołek (1909-1966). Made up of a series of
individual gardens, the Park includes a two-level Baroque
garden, a Neo-Renaissance rose garden, a classical English
landscaped park and the so called English-Chinese land-
scape park. The nearby Orangery and its garden serves as
a splendid venue for outdoor classical music concerts during
the summer season. The park near the Orangery, East, North
and Rose gardens and their associated architecture were
recently the subject of a major revitalisation program and
during work on the Baroque garden a series of archaeological
digs discovered several artefacts, including ceramics dating
from the 12th century. Now the gardens have been restored
to their appearance during the time of King Jan III Sobieski.
Q Park open 09:00 - 20:00. Admission free.
Poster Museum (Muzeum Plakatu) ul. S. K. Po-
tockiego 10/16, tel. (+48) 22 842 48 48, www.pos- Housed inside the Palace’s former indoor
riding area, the Poster Museum features two large halls full
of wonderful posters from all over the world. At over 55,000
pieces, this is reportedly the largest poster collection to be
found anywhere. The museum focuses on the artistic merits
of the posters rather than their documentary value and
plays host to a cycle of temporary events and exhibitions.
© The Wilanów Palace Museum,
author: Zbigniew Reszka
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
As a contrast to the historic palace and collection of paintings
next door, this makes for interesting additional place to visit
while in Wilanów. You can also find many of the best examples
of the posters reproduced into postcards which can be bought
from the museum shop along with books and catalogues on
the various prints and exhibits. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00, Mon
12:00 - 16:00, Wed 10:00 - 18:00. Last entrance 30 minutes
before closing. Closed February 4 - 22. Last entrance 30
minutes before closing. Admission 10/7zł, Mon free.
Potocki Mausoleum (Mauzoleum Potockich)
Wilanów Park. A tomb dedicated to Stanisław Kostka Potocki
and his wife Aleksandra (nee Lubomirska) Potocka by their son
Aleksander. Designed in 1834 by Henryk Marconi and built
between 1834-1836 by Jakub Tatarkiewicz and Konstanty
Hegl, the mausoleum is made entirely of sandstone. It is
located in the park leading to Wilanów Palace and consists
of a Neo-Gothic canopy with lions holding shields bearing the
crests of the Potocki and Lubomirski families in each corner. On
the sarcophagus are the figures of the deceased and around
the sides symbols of their virtues and interests are displayed.
SD Gallery (Galeria SD) ul. S. K. Potockiego 22,
tel. (+48) 783 40 77 70, This small
collection of modern Polish art close to St. Anne’s Church
includes paintings and sculptures by many of the country’s
leading contemporary artists. Featuring some truly impres-
sive pieces of art, most of the work on display is available
for sale. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00. Admission free.
St. Anne’s Church (Kościół Św. Anny) ul. Kolegiacka
1, tel. (+48) 22 842 18 01, A
church on this site dates back to the 14th century when the
wooden church of St. Leonard was built here. This was replaced
by a Gothic wooden construction and graveyard in the 16th
century and it wasn’t replaced with a brick one until well after
the time of Jan III Sobieski in 1772. The new church was called
St. Anne’s and was founded by Prince August Adam Czartoryski
to a design by Jan Kotelnicki. Czartoryski’s grand-daughter,
Aleksandra Lubormirska Potocka, decorated the church with
art in the period 1799-1831, the most precious of which is
the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary in the main altar. Between
1857 and 1870, Aleksandra’s son August and his wife extend
the church to a design by Henri Marconi. The church gets a
Neo-Renaissance look and the marvellous dome is added. In
the gardens surrounding the church building you will find terra-
cotta shrines marking the fourteen Stations of the Cross while
within the church, in the crypt under the chapel, are the tombs
of the Potocki family. The church suffered damage during both
world wars and was even used as an internment camp by the
Nazis, who also looted and damaged it. The church bells dating
from 1723 and 1777 survived thanks to the bravery of the local
people who hid them and these are now housed in the newly built
Third Millenium Tower. The church is a particularly beautiful one
to visit nowadays thanks in no small part to the work of the par-
ish priest Bogusław Bijak and it is protected as part of a complex
of parks, buildings and original roads running into the centre of
the city as a national Historic Memorial. QOpen 08:00 - 17:00,
Sun 14:00 - 17:00. No visiting during mass please.
Where to eat
As well as a McDonald’s, the option of bringing your own
picnic or running the gauntlet of the kitchen in the café next
to the Palace, you may wish to sample one of the three of
the following restaurants.
China Garden ul. Kazachska 1. See Restaurants.
Restauracja Wilanów ul. S. K. Potockiego 27. See
Jan Sobieski was born in
Olesko near Lwow (now
Ukrainian Lvi v) in 1629.
His father was a Polish-
Lithuanian nobleman who
ensured young Jan and
his brother received a first
class education and they
both went onto study at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow
before Jan travelled abroad. He studied military history and
tactics including significantly as it would turn out in Turkey
(as an envoy of King Jan II Casimir) where he learned the
Tartar language in the 1650s. Sobieski also spoke French,
German and Italian and during this time met major European
political figures including Louis II deBourbon, William of
Orange and Charles II, where it is clear that he learnt the
value of diplomacy as well as military might.
Jan Sobieski would have a lifelong love of France thanks
in part to his French wife Marie (or Marysienka as he
fondly named her) whom he married in 1665 and fathered
14 children with (of whom 8 survived).
Having returned to Poland Sobieski went on to serve with
distinction in the Battle of Warsaw (1656), where he led a
Tartar cavalry regiment, and the Polish Swedish wars (1655-
1660) among others. In 1666 he sided with the king Michał
Korybut Wiśniowiecki during the Lubormirski rebellion and
added another major victory to his list by defeating the Turks
at the Battle of Chocim in 1673. It was this victory allied to
his reputation as a strong leader, astute military tactician
and a canny political knack that would result in him being
elected as Polish King the following year, in 1674.
Sobieski inherited a nation virtually penniless from 50
years of continuous war and set about stabilising the
country’s borders through treaties and strategic battles.
It is for this combination of wisdom and bravery that he
is well remembered today.
Sobieski’s greatest moment, however, was to come in
1683. Having marched through most of the Balkans a
vast Turkish army was massed on the outskirts of Vienna
threatening to overwhelm the Christian world. Led by
King Jan III Sobieski a joint Polish/German/Austrian army
scored a magnificent victory in a daylong battle on 12
September 1683 vanquishing the Turks. Sobieski led a
charge of Polish hussars breaking the opposition lines
and sending the Turks into disarray. Sobieski entered
the abandoned tent of the Turkish commander Kara
Mustapha in the early evening signifying victory and parts
of that tent are today on display within Wilanow Palace.
The Turks were to name Sobieski ‘The Lion of Lechistan’
(Lechistan being an ancient name of Poland) while
Danzig astronomer Johannes Hevelius would name a
newly discovered constellation Scutum Sobiescianum
(Sobieski’s Shield) after him, quite an accolade for a still
living, non-astronomer as was Sobieski.
The victory not only saved Christendom (Sobieski was
described as the saviour of European Christendom by
the Pope) but also made a lasting impact on European
food culture. According to urban legend pastries were cre-
ated baked in a shape designed to resemble Sobieski’s
stirrups (beugel in Austrian), which supposedly evolved
to become the bagels we enjoy today.
Jan III Sobieski
2010 saw the country toast Chopi n wi th champagne;
Poland’s greatest composer, and Warsaw’s favourite son,
a man whose lent his name to everything from vodka to
airports (and even an asteroid). For 2010 marked the 200th
anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin’s birth and saw the city
celebrate his life with amongst other things the opening of
a fabulous new museum.
Chopin - Life & Times
And what a life it was. Of course, in the spirit of all the greats
there’s a considerable element of mystery surrounding the
man. Say it very, very quietly, but there’s even dispute as
to his birthday and parentage. Most sources agree he was
born on February 22, 1810, yet some claim his family could
be found celebrating his birth on March 1. At the time of his
death only Jane Stirling, his Scottish benefactor, claimed to
know the truth, and this she wrote on a piece of paper before
burying it with him. Furthermore, while most accept he was
the son of a French expatriate some experts argue he was
the bastard child of an unnamed aristocrat. The truth has
been lost to time.
One thing we can be certain of, and that’s his birthplace -
the town of Żelazowa Wola fifty kilometres west of Warsaw.
However, he stayed there for just a year, with the family
moving to Warsaw in 1811 after his ‘ father’, a man who’d
fought the Russians in the Napoleonic Wars, found a job as
a French tutor.
By all accounts he was a prodigy from the offing. The
young Frederic started learning piano at the age of four,
and by the age of eight had already performed at what
is now the Presidential Palace. Yet in spite of his obvious
tal ents applications for a state grant were repeatedl y
refused. Nevertheless, his childhood was happy, and the
gingerbread eating Frederic received gushing reviews in
local columns and press.
A diligent student he was educated at home for the first
13 years, before attending Warsaw’s Lyceum, and then
the Warsaw Music Conservatory. He continued to blossom
under its director, the Polish composer Joseph Elsner, who
was wowed by Chopin’s musical mastery. He graduated from
the Conservatory in 1829, the same year he was to meet
Konstancha Gładkowska, and his unrequited love for her
inspired many of his early compositions.
Within three weeks of graduation he made a sparkling foreign
debut in Vienna, before returning to Poland to perform the
premier of his Piano Concerto in F minor. Already recognised
as an amazing talent, Chopin started showing the signs of
illness that would continue to blight the rest of his life. A
keen traveller (on record is a tour of Europe undertaken in
1826 during which he visited Dresden, Kraków, Prague and
numerous other places as a tourist), Chopin set off to play
in Vienna in November 1830, following a farewell party in
a Wola tavern.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, that was to be his last taste
of Warsaw. By the end of the month Poland had risen in re-
bellion against the ruling Russians. Dissuaded from joining
the uprising himself Chopin drew inspiration from events to
write his masterpiece, Revolution. Passages of his Stuttgart
diary record his torment: “Oh God, do you exist? Or are you
yoursel f a Muscovite!” Choosing to stay in exile Chopin
settled in playboy Paris where he was welcomed by Polish
émigrés, as well as upcoming composers and high society.
His friends numbered Berlioz, Bellini (who he is buried next
to) and Mendelssohn, as well as high profile Poles like the
uncrowned King, Prince Adam Czartoryski and bard Adam
Mickiewicz, while his dapper dress and natural charms at-
tracted a string of adoring females.
Drawing on his Polish upbringing the 1830s saw Chopin
enjoy an impressively productive spell, composing a series
of acclaimed polonaises and mazurkas. Ill health followed
him however, so much so that when he was taken ill on a
trip to meet his parents in 1835 some Polish scandal sheets
reported him dead.
He wasn’t, and the defining point of his life was to occur two
years later when he met the controversial author George
Sand (yes, that’s a woman). His first impression is recorded
as being surprisingly acid: ‘what an unpleasant woman’, he is
known to have commented. Already secretly engaged to a 17
year old Polish girl, how Chopin’s life would have evolved if he
had never seen Sand again is open to speculation. Instead he
embarked on a torrid nine year affair with this classic ‘scarlet
woman’, with one stage of their rocky relationship marked by
a stint in an abandoned monastery on the island of Mallorca.
Racked with chronic lung problems and a near permanent
cough, the faltering affair span out of control when Sand, a
loose-moraled man-killer, serialised the novel Lucretia Flo-
riani in a Paris newspaper in 1846. The boorish, asexual an-
tihero is commonly recognized as being a parody of Chopin.
Broke, ill and now broken-hearted, Chopin led an increasingly
miserable and secluded life. He finally passed away in his
Paris apartment aged just 39 - though just like his birth, his
death is equally contentious; some believe tuberculosis as
the cause of death, others a malady such as emphysema
or cystic fibrosis. If you believe the stories he carried a lock
of Sand’s hair till the day he died (though by the same token
he is also alleged to have carried an urn of Polish soil). Buried
in Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, on his insistence his
body was cut open (he was petrified of being buried alive)
and his heart later interned in a pillar of Warsaw’s Kościół
Świętego Krzyża. His funeral was as weird as his life, delayed
for two weeks while church authorities debated whether to
grant his wish and allow Mozart’s Requiem to be sung at his
funeral (the point of contention being the presence of female
singers). Regarded as the pinnacle of the Romantic style his
music and legend survive to this day.
106 107
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
What to See
The Chopin Family Drawing Room C-3, ul. Kra-
kowskie Przedmieście 5, tel. (+48) 22 320 02 75, The young Chopin hopped around
three separate residences in Warsaw, though only one
will be of use to visitors. Saski Palace - where his father
worked as a tutor - was in the process of being rebuilt (work
now halted and temporarily abandoned), while Kazimier-
zowski Palace is closed off to visitors as part of Warsaw
University - a plaque on the right wing commemorates his
fleeting presence. Instead pay a visit to Krasiński Palace
(formerly Czapski Palace) on Krakowskie Przedmieście,
a place Chopin himsel f described as his ‘refuge’. Recon-
structed in 1960 and opened to the public in 1969 none
of the original furnishings survived the war, though the
period furniture on display has been faithfully assembled
to recreate his drawing room as seen in an Antoni Kolberg
painting made in 1832. Chopin lived and entertained here
from 1827 until his last day in Poland, and today some of
the antiques on display include a writing desk owned by his
elder sister and a pianoforte dating from 1830, as well as
paintings of his mother, sister and tutor. Another pianoforte
on show was once allegedly used by Franz Liszt. That’s not
the only famous connection - poet Cyprian Norwid attended
school in this building. Q Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat,
Sun. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing. Admission
3/2zł, Wed free. Y
Holy Cross Church (Kościół Św. Krzyża) C- 3,
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, tel. (+48) 22 826
89 10, No Chopinol ogist can l eave
Warsaw wi thout first visi ting the final resting place of
his heart (the rest of him being in Paris’ famous Père
Lachaise cemetery). Added to the church in 1882 his
heart was seal ed in an urn and then placed behind a
tabl et bearing his likeness speciall y carved by Leonardo
Marconi. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00, Sun 14:00 - 16:00. No
visi ting during mass pl ease.
Łazienki Park. Our youthful cherry-cheeked hero fre-
quently gave concerts in the Belvedere Palace (G-5, ul.
Belwederska 52), then the stamping ground of the Russian
aristocracy. It was here he played for the Tsar’s brother, Great
Prince Konstanty, whose numerous duties included being the
commander-in-chief of the Polish Army. So taken was he by
Chopin’s skills that he persuaded him to pen a march to be
played during military parades.
Elsewhere in Łazienki don’t dare miss a visit to the art nou-
veau Chopin Monument (G-4) next to the Botanical Garden.
Set in the midst of a rose garden it was erected in 1926,
the work of acclaimed sculptor Wacław Szymankowski. As
part of the Nazi brutalization of Warsaw it was dynamited by
German busybodies on May 31, 1940. The following day an
unknown patriot had placed a placard on the smouldering
ruin declaring: ‘I don’t know who destroyed me, but I know
why; so I don’t play the funeral march for your leader’. A
plaster-cast of the original model allowed the statue to be
rebuilt and a faithful reconstruction was unveiled in 1958.
An identical replica can be found at Japan’s Hamamatsu
Academy of Music.
Augsburg Evangelical Church of the Holy Trin-
ity (Kościół Św. Trójcy) B- 3, Pl. Małachowskiego
1, tel. (+48) 22 556 46 60, I n
1825 Chopi n once more per formed for the Russi ans,
thi s ti me for the Tsar hi msel f who i n return presented
Chopi n wi th a di amond ri ng. Q Open by pri or arrange-
Fryderyk Chopin Museum (Muzeum Fryderyka
Chopina) C-3, ul. Okólnik 1, tel. (+48) 22 441 62
51, The most anti cipated
museum opening in Poland since the 2004 launch of
the Uprising Museum, the Fryderyk Chopin Museum is
a jaw-dropping venue if you’ve had previous experience
of Polish museums.
Touted as one of the most high tech in Europe the museum
officially opened in the spring of 2010 to help mark the
200th anniversary of one of Poland’s most famous sons.
Over 81 million zlotys were siphoned from council coffers
to see this project realized, and the result is an amazing
space designed by Grzegory and Partnerzy and fitted out
by Migliore&Servetto of Milan. Taking up four floors the
museum features an interactive style and shares in the life
of Chopin from start to finish leaving absolutely no detail
out. Among the 5,000 exhibits are a lock of hair, his school
exercise books, a sweet box, a gold watch presented to the
ten year old Frederic by an admiring Italian singer and the
passport he used to enter England. So comprehensive is
the collection it even features the last letter he wrote to
his family and dried flowers from his deathbed. Also, of
course, are several paintings and sculptures (including his
death mask), and a recreation of his Paris drawing room
and even an intriguing section on the women who made
the man. And while there’s one small room of the museum
aimed at children, the other 95 percent of this epic exhibition
will probably have them whining to leave (though weekend
workshops directed at kids may help a little bit).
However, what really revolutionizes this museum is the
way your route is conducted. Aside from an avalanche of
e-books, audio-visuals, music games and touchscreen
options, the museum allows visitors to ‘adapt their trip
to their particular circumstances’. Put simply those enter-
ing can choose exactly what they want to see, and how
much they want to know about it. Even better are the
micro-chipped tickets that can be swiped along different
interactive exhibits to allow the visitor to hear music,
stories or watch a film. One area that was particularly
popular is the musical Twister game, which had normally
stoic middle-aged tourists leaping from spot to spot as
music played. Mr Chopin, welcome to the 21st century.
As for the building, that’s worth getting to know as well.
Located in the Ostrogski Palace the structure housing the
museum is something of a Warsaw landmark, and was
originally designed by Tylman van Gameren. In the past
it’s been home to everything from a Napoleonic military
hospital to the riotous Morgan’s Pub, and its catacombs
are said to be home of the legendary Golden Duck; a
princess charmed by the devil before being transformed
into a beaked amphibian. QOpen 11:00 - 20:00. Closed
Mon. Last entrance 60 minutes before closing. Admis-
sion 22/13zł, family ticket 62zł, Tue free. Number of
visitors is restricted, so it is advisable to reserve tickets
in advance online.
Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Church of the Nuns of the Visitation C-3, ul. Kra-
kowskie Przedmieście 34, tel. (+48) 22 826 65 85, Visit the church that Chopin attended
in his youth by popping into this baroque beauty. Pride of
place goes to the original organ which our man himself played
during a part time stint as a school organist. A plaque out-
side confirms the Chopin connection: ‘In honour of Fryderyk
Chopin, who played on the organ in this church as a pupil
of the Warsaw Lyceum in the years 1825-1826’. Q Open
09:00 - 16:30, Mon 13:00 - 16:30, Sat 09:00 - 13:00, 14:00
- 16:30, Sun 13:15 - 16:30. No visiting during mass please.
Chopin Monument (Pomnik Chopina) G-4, Łazienki
Park. Don’t dare miss a visit to the art nouveau Chopin Monu-
ment (G-4) next to the Botanical Garden. Set in the midst of
a rose garden it was erected in 1926, the work of acclaimed
sculptor Wacław Szymankowski. As part of the Nazi brutalization
of Warsaw it was dynamited by German busybodies on May
31, 1940. The following day an unknown patriot had placed
a placard on the smoldering ruin declaring: ‘I don’t know who
destroyed me, but I know why; so I don’t play the funeral march
for your leader’. A plaster-cast of the original model allowed the
statue to be rebuilt and a reconstruction was unveiled in 1958.
Chopin Benches. The good city of Warsaw has devised
one more way to bring Chopin to the people, and that’s by way
of fifteen musical benches that have been placed at key sites
connected with his life. Made of cast iron and polished black
stone these benches, designed by Professor Jerzy Porebski,
feature a button which when pressed have been designed
to unleash a thirty second torrent of Chopin. They also come
equipped with a route map as well as brief explanations in Polish
and English as to the site’s relevance to Chopin. However, that’s
not all. These benches see Chopin go techno: each one comes
inscribed with a special code - take a pic on your phone, then
send it to the instructed number and you’ll be rewarded to free
access to Chopin melodies, facts, figures and photographs.
And the Rest
It didn’t have a Starbucks and it didn’t have Coffeeheaven,
but even back in those days Warsaw had a thriving café
culture. This wasn’t lost on Chopin who would frequent now
defunct venues such as Pod Kopciuszkiem and Dziurka on
ul. Miodowa. One venue that has survived is Honoratka,
named after it’s proprietor Honorata Zimerman, and a
particular favourite stomping ground of the composer. He
was also an avid reader, confessing to visiting the Brzezina
Bookstore (again, now gone) on Miodowa every day, as well
as stocking up on sheet music in Dal Trozza on Senatorska.
Elsewhere the building on the corner of ul. Kozia and Trębacka
formerly housed the Royal Post Office, and it’s here that Cho-
pin forwarded his luggage from before departing Poland for
what would prove to be his last time. Finally there’s Powązki
Cemetery, where his parents lie in plot 9-IV-1. Józef Elsner,
his mentor and teacher, can be found at plot 159-V-1.
Where to eat
Polka, Magda Gessler po prostu Żelazowa Wola 14,
tel. (+48) 46 863 21 68, Set
in a modern manor house across from Chopin’s birthplace
is this classy venture by one of the country’s best known
celebrity chefs - Magda Gessler. The setting is beautiful and
features a summer terrace and grill for those warmer months.
The food is Polish with some nice touches at prices that
might surprise those who have eaten in city centre Gessler
restaurants and makes for an excellent end to an interesting
day outside of busy Warsaw. QOpen 12:00 - 20:00, Sat,
Sun 12:00 - 21:00. (28-99zł). PTAUIEGSW
Żelazowa Wola - Birthplace Żelazowa Wola 15,
tel. (+48) 46 863 33 00, True
enthusiasts are going to want to make the pilgrimage to
his place of birth, and a worthwhile trip it most certainly is.
The Chopin clan left for Warsaw in the autumn of 1810, but
even so Żelazowa Wola clearly held fond memories for the
family. Close friends with the neighbouring Skarbek family
the Chopins found themselves returning frequently for their
holidays, and we know for fact the composer spent Christ-
mas here in 1825 and New Year in 1826. The ZW manor
house which saw the birth of Chopin is thought to have been
built at the tail end of the 18th century, and came into the
ownership of Countess Ludwika Skarbek in 1801. Adam
Towiański, who resided there between 1859 and 1878,
was the first to raise the idea of turning the manor into a
place of memory, and he set about restoring the complex
to its Chopin-era glory. A change of ownership saw the
project stall for a decade and it was only in 1891 that work
was resumed on building a Chopin museum. Thwarted by
a lack of funds these efforts didn’t get much further than
the unveiling of a Chopin monument, and for the next couple
of decades work didn’t so much stall as die.
Poland regained her independence in 1918, and the
related surge in national pride and patriotism saw new
efforts to commemorate Chopin’s legacy. The building
was granted historic status and in 1928 the property
was purchased by a Sochaczew-based Chopin society.
Restoration on the buildings was initiated in 1930, as
were plans to landscape the gardens, and buoyed by do-
nations the curators started amassing a stack of Chopin
memorabilia, among them a Pleyel piano. Disaster struck
in the familiar form of the German army: the outbreak
of war in 1939 saw a German unit billeted here, and the
building was looted and damaged.
By the time the Chopin Institute was awarded trust of
the house in the late 1940s the house found itself in a
sorry state of rot. Working round the clock to restore
it Żelazowa Wola was re-opened to the public on the
centenary of his death in 1949.
Today no original fixtures and fittings remain, and even the
original layout has been altered somewhat. Even so, the
house has been filled with period keepsakes, instruments
and paintings, and visitors all attest to the haunting spirit
of Chopin that hangs in the rooms. Displays on view include
an early 19th century produced by Leszczyński of Warsaw,
portraits of Chopin and 19th century furniture in the Bierder-
mier style. However, the bit that most will find themselves
drawn to is the ‘mother’s room’, the actual scene of Chopin’s
birth. Now a calm white room adorned with a decorative
bouquet this has become a real point of pilgrimage with a
reverential silence observed by all who visit.
Getting there:
Żelazowa Wola is 54km west of Warsaw and can be
reached by catching a mini-bus at ul. Marszałkowska
(next to Rossman) courtesy of Be
careful as some of these buses stop at Sochaczew and
not Żelazowa Wola. There is also this Plan B: take a train
to Sochaczew ( journey time 40 minutes, tickets 13.80zł
- 17zł depending on the kind of train you take) and from
there jump on bus number 6 which terminates at Mokas
after stopping at Żelazowa Wola. This little adventure
should take a further twenty minutes.Q Open 09:00 -
17:00. Museum closed Mon (park open). Last entrance
30 minutes before closing. Admission 7/4zł for the park,
23/14zł for park and museum. Tue free.
Żelazowa Wola
February - March 2013
(for young adults) on the ground floor, and Humans and the
Environment, LightZone and On the Move located upstairs.
Each area demonstrates a range of phenomenon by way of
experiments, button pressing, quizzes and in some cases
physical exertion with the aim of helping you to discover the
secrets of the world around us.
Not only will you learn an awful lot, but the place is great fun,
especially if you are (or are with) a child. There’s a genuine
flying carpet, you can pilot a spaceship, take a picture of your
own eye (and then try to recognise it among the others pho-
tographed that day), discover who or what is living next to us
in a major city, get involved in some crime solving or - and this
was our favourite - try to outdo animals at their own game by
out-hanging an Orangutan or beating a hippo in a race at the
arena. There’s plenty to do and you can easily spend a whole
morning or afternoon there trying everything, particularly if
you stumble on a day free of the ever-present school groups.
Additional hands-on activities geared especially towards
teens can be found in the Re: generation Zone, where visitors
over 14 can experiment with psychology, sociology, econom-
ics or biotechnology through 80 multimedia exhibits - we
swear we’ve never seen teens more effusive and excited
as they tried to identify a monkey’s emotions, or finish lyrics
to popular songs. There’s also four interactive labs dealing
with chemistry, biology, physics and robotics that offer
supervised experiments for kids over 13 (instructions are
in Polish however) and an outdoor Discovery Park filled with
installations lining the Wisła.
The attached Heavens of Copernicus planetarium adds
yet another option for visiting science buffs as it immerses
attendees in 20 million stars thanks to a giant spherical
screen that surrounds the 137 seats on all sides. The seven
different 40-minute films (which require heads ets for English)
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki
Kopernik) G-2, ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20,
tel. (+48) 22 596 41 00, Q
Open 09:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 19:00. Closed
Mon. Last entrance 1 hour before closing. Note that the
Planetarium has different opening hours. Open 09:30
- 19:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 09:30 - 20:00. Closed Mon. Admis-
sion 25/16zł, family ticket 66zł. (2adults+2children). Use
of the labs costs an additional 18/14zł. Note that you
must buy a separate ticket for the Planetarium. Admis-
sion 18-23zł/13-18zł, family ticket 49-64zł.
Getting in
Courtesy of Copernicus Science Centre
Courtesy of Copernicus Science Centre Courtesy of Copernicus Science Centre
While the world’s attention was drawn towards the highly-
visible, round-the-clock construction of Warsaw’s amazing
new stadium on the left bank of the Wisła, work was also
being carried out on the river’s right bank on a building
that might well outshine the stadium once the Euro 2012
hoopla has died down. Built on time and on budget (well,
just about), the Copernicus Science Centre (CSC) - - which
stands almost directly opposite the stadium along the
river - - looks set to become Warsaw’s top tourist at-
traction for years to come.
Getting there
The centre can be found in the shadow of the Świętokrzyski
Bridge on the banks of the Wisła River. A journey to the CSC
from the centre of Warsaw should take around 10 minutes.
Buses 105, 118 and 128 will drop you at the Biblioteka
Uniwersytecka stop, requiring a short walk around the
corner to the unmissable building. Buses 102, 162 and
185 will drop you at the Pomnik Syreny stop with the CSC
clearly in sight. Alternatively visit the ‘About us’ section of
the English language website, where
you can get directions by car, by bus, or by foot by typing
in your address.
A rare example of European Union funding being used in
a genuinely visionary way, the CSC is many things, not
least (in the words of Poland’s Education Minister shortly
before the opening) an attempt to restate the case for
science and research in what can still be an intensel y
and deeply religious country. In that sense, giving t he
centre the name of the man who did so much to end the
church’s monopoly of education in the first place is little
short of a masterstroke.
Not that Copernicus did it all his own way; in the aftermath of
the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in April
2010 the president’s political party, PiS (Law & Justice), lob-
bied heavily to have the CSC renamed for him. The request
was politely, respectfully, refused.
Given the stunning, futuristic sight - all glass and steel - - that
greets visitors at the €93 million (half of which came from the
EU, half of which came from the Polish taxpayer) CSC today,
it’s a little ironic that the building’s origins are slightly more
humble. The idea of creating the centre first took shape at
the informal Science Picnics - - outdoor science, culture
and art events aimed at the general public that have been
held in Warsaw’s Rynek Nowego Miasta since 1997. The
idea of the picnics (which were organised by Polskie Radio,
strangel y enough) was to bring popular science to the
masses through handson experiments. Each year, as the
numbers of scientists, universities, schools and members
of the general public taking part grew, it became clear that
there was an expanding interest in science in Warsaw, while
the large numbers of foreign visitors who came to the events
suggested that there was an untapped market in the region
for hands-on scientific learning. Construction of the CSC was
the natural next step, though it took a number of years to
secure the site and funding.
Given the ad hoc Science Picnic origins of the CSC, it is no
surprise that the museum (if we can call it that) was opened
in a slightly ad hoc, it-will-be-all-right-eventually fashion. The
opening show, Wielki Wybuch (The Big Bang), directed by
Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke, was a little under-
whelming (and at certain points quite bizarre), while visitors
to the centre in the first couple of weeks were greeted by an
annoyingly large number of ‘this exhibit is temporarily out of
order’ signs. Yet throughout 2011 as the CSC rolled out sec-
tions of the museum to the public it quickly became clear that
this is unquestionably the very best science centre in Europe,
and today visitors can enjoy a fully completed attraction.
Visiting Today
Arriving at the main doors at the north end of the building,
you will be met by the centre’s very own Robothespian. A fully
programmable humanoid robot, the Robothespian was de-
veloped in Britain by the Eden Project in Cornwall. He speaks,
interacts, mimics and performs, and visitors can prompt him
to make a number of sounds, speech and movements by the
adjacent control panel. This will keep the kids busy while you
queue at the central ticket desk where you will be given a set
of credit card-style entrance passes. You should keep hold
of these as not only do they allow you to enter and exit the
building throughout the day, but they will also become your
ID card as you move through the exhibitions, many of which
allow you to record your results (which are stored and then
emailed to you afterwards).
Passing through the barriers, the first display you come
to is a huge swinging ball. The ball swings backwards and
forwards, periodically knocking over mallets that strike a
bell as they fall. These bells are lined up around the swinging
ball in a circle and although the ball swings in a straight line
backwards and forwards, the knocking over of the mallets
proves that the earth is constantly, actually rotating.
Having admired this, the interactive exhibitions begin. First of
all, register your card with your name and email address at
one of the terminals so that you will be identified as you prog-
ress through the CSC. You currently have over 350 experi-
ments to visit, spread over two floors and six areas: Roots of
Civilisation, Bzzz! (for preschool children) and RE:generation
are geared towards different age ranges and interests - tots
will delight in the Sesame Street show “One World, One Sky”
while teens will prefer the more mysterious “Black Holes:
Journey into the Unknown.” Before each film is a 20-minute
live show (which is unfortunately only in Polish, though still
interesting due to the impressive venue) about the skies
over Warsaw that changes with the seasons.School groups
dominate the Planetarium’s seats during daytime hours,
and booking tickets in advance is highly recommended -
when we dropped in only one of the eight daily shows had
available space.
It’s easy to declare that the centre is well-worth a few hours of
your time and will impress you with its design and range of ex-
periments. Factor in the main floor cafeteria and the packed
Science Store (potentially the best spot for children’s gifts
in Warsaw) and it’s a one-stop day of fun. The staff is keen,
very helpful and English-speaking; we saw many interacting
happily with kids and helpfully controlling the chaos. If there
is one gripe we have it would concern the Robotics show,
which can be found inside the Roots of Civilisation section.
The 20-minute show we saw told an embarrassingly bad
story about a robot that wants to become human in order
to marry a princess, and used language that seemed slightly
out of reach for young children. The various accents can also
be baffling (one robot sounds like a drunken Sean Connery)
and the robots themselves are like stiff mannequins that
move back and forth on a small track. Completely skippable.
Considering the size and scope of this operation, one minor
flaw in an otherwise awe-inspiring complex is a feat unseen
in Warsaw. And if truth be told, it would have been very hard
to imagine such a potentially world-class visitor attraction
being built in this city just a few years ago. Yet here it is, which
ought to be worth an exhibit in and of itself about how the
impossible can become possible.
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Fitness & Gyms
Pure Health and Fitness A-4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote
Tarasy), tel. (+48) 22 379 77 77, www.purepoland.
com. Third floor of Złote Tarasy, with facilties including
gym, jacuzzi, sauna and solarium. QOpen 06:00 - 22:30,
Sat 08:00 - 22:30, Sun 08:00 - 21:00.
Ice Skating
“Arena” Ice rink A-3, Pl. Defilad 1 (in front of Palace
of Culture and Science), tel. (+48) 22 656 76 00, www. Skating is free of charge. Skate rental costs 7zł for
the first hour and 5zł for every subsequent hour. QOpen
08:00 - 20:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 21:00. Closed from
March 6. Admission free.
Torwar H-4, ul. Łazienkowska 6a, Q
Open Thu 20:00 - 21:30, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 12:30, 18:30
- 20:00. From March open Thu 20:00 - 21:30, Sat 18:30 -
20:00, Sun 11:00 - 12:30, 18:30 - 20:00. Admission 12/8zł.
Skate rental 7zł.
Outdoor Attractions & Parks
Zoo C-1, ul. Ratuszowa 1/3, tel. (+48) 22 619
40 41, Opened i n 1928, Warsaw
Zoo covers an area of 40 hectares and attracts some
500,000 visi tors each year. Four el ephants, a famil y of
seals and a lion cub were added to the current coll ection
of reptil es, birds and ti gers. Condi tions have improved
dramati call y in recent years, though a visi t here will do
li ttl e to change any opinions you have on locking animals
in cages. As wi th every maj or Warsaw landmark, the zoo
has plenty of war stories. It was bombed at the beginning
of the confli ct and by 1945 all the animals had ei ther
been kill ed, deported to the Third Rei ch, eaten by l ocals
or escaped i nto the wi l d. Zoo di rector, Jan Żabi ński,
became something of a hero; wounded during the 1944
Uprising, Żabiński helped save countless lives by shelter-
ing Jewish orphans insi de the grounds of the zoo. The
zoo of ficiall y re-opened in 1949. Q Open 09:00 - 16:00.
Last entrance 1 hour before cl osing. Admission 18/13zł.
Chil dren under 3 years free. Note that opening hours are
subj ect to change in March.
Racquet Sports
City Sports Club G- 6, ul. Merliniego 2, tel. (+48)
695 83 68 80, Located
on ul . Merl i ni ego, they of fer tenni s cour ts (55-100zł/
per hour), l essons wi th an Engl i sh-speaki ng i nstruc-
tor (140-180zł/per hour), equi pment rental (by pri or
arrangement) and soci al l essons for expats. QOpen
06: 00 - 24: 00.
Squash City Al. Jerozolimskie 179 (CH Blue City,
Ochota), tel. (+48) 22 499 64 66, www.squashcity.
pl. Nine air-conditioned courts. A second location at Mal-
borska 51-51 features six courts and the same prices for
admission. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 22:00.
Admission 45-65zł.
CSN Szczęśliwice ul. Drawska 22 (Ochota), tel.
(+48) 22 622 69 61, Skiing
and snowboarding on an area of 35,000 sq/m. QOpen
10:00 - 20:00. Last entrance 30 minutes before closing.
Admission 12-23zł per hour.
Bike Rental
Veturilo, Warsaw cements its big-city
credentials with the arrival of its first city-wide bike rental fleet
last year, and the numbers are impressive. With 57 stations
spread throughout Warsaw, Wilanow, Ursynow and Bielany
offering 1,120 bikes there’s no question you’ll be spotting
the silvery fleet flying through the city’s streets. And why not
try one yourself? The system is ridiculously easy: set up an
account online ( is the English-language
site) and pay the initial 10zł fee. Once you’re registered you
can visit any of the stations and select your ride, which has
an individualized code. Simply dial the enter your phone
number, your PIN and the bike’s code, and you’ll receive the
number to unlock the bicycle from the stand. Then you’re off!
The first 20 minutes are free, and from there you pay 1zł for
21-60 minutes, 3zł for the second hour, 5zł for the third, and
7zł for each hour after that up to 12 hours. There’s a 200zł
fee for exceeding 12 hours, and a whopping 2,000zł cost for
replacing a lost or damaged bike so behave yourself. When
you return the bike, which can be done at any of the stations,
you make another phone call confirming the return and you’re
finished. Bikes were in storage for the winter and should
return to the streets in March.
Wygodny Rower C-3, Al. Jerozolimskie 4, tel. (+48)
888 94 99 49, Choose from two
different styles of bicycles for cruising around the city. A full
day will cost 40zł, 24 hours is 50zł. Both require a returnable
deposit of 200zl. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00.
Bowling & Billiards
Arco Bowling Alley D-5, ul. Bitwy Warszawskiej
1920r. 19, tel. (+48) 22 668 75 91, www.arco-bowling.
pl. Two floors, 32 lanes, restaurant and club. 80-150zł per
lane per hour, shoes and instructor included. QOpen 16:00
- 23:00, Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00.
Klub ArenA A-4, ul. Pańska 61, tel. (+48) 22 620 47
08, Billiards fans can take advantage of
Klub ArenA’s multiple pool tables as well as access to foosball,
darts, a well-stocked bar and plenty of space for lounging. Q
Open 12:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 04:00, Sun 11:00-01:00
Entertainment centres
Hulakula Leisure Centre C-2, ul. Dobra 56/66 (Uni-
versity Library), tel. (+48) 22 552 74 00, www.hulakula. Includes a bowling alley, club, restaurant, pool hall,
climbing wall and indoor playground for children. QOpen
12:00 - 24:00, Wed 12:00 - 01:00, Thu 12:00 - 02:00, Fri
12:00 - 03:00, Sat 10:00 - 04:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00.
Spin City ul. Powstańców Śląskich 126A (Cinema
City, Bemowo), tel. (+48) 22 560 42 42, www.spincity.
pl. Admission for bowling is 40-99zł per hour. Features a
bowling alley, a bar with pool tables and darts and a video
games area. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 02:00.
Sleigh Rides
TKKF Ognisko “Podkowa” ul. Głogów 11, Podkowa
Leśna, tel. (+48) 22 758 94 26, www.tkkfpodkowa. Small group sleigh rides (max 5 people) for 120zł per
group. For additional fees bonfires and food can be added.
Wilczeniec Country Club (Klub Wiejski Wilcze-
niec) ul. Kościelna Droga 10, Łomianki, tel. (+48) 22
751 97 77, Sleigh rides available for
groups of 9 for 400zł/hour or the same price for two half-hour
trips for 18 people. Fee includes mulled wine for adults and
tea for kids. Sausages are 12zł per person. There is also the
possibility of other food and beverages for additional fees.
Spa & Beauty
Alchemy Day Spa G-5, ul. Klonowa 20/1, tel. (+48)
22 849 32 56, Pamper yourself at one of
Warsaw’s most established day spas. Alchemy offers a full
range of beauty treatments and relaxation therapies using
some of the finest natural products from around the globe.
If the sterile, hospital-like look of many modern spas isn’t
your thing then this is the perfect place for you. The location
itself, a 1920’s town house apartment with a great sense
of history, makes you feel relaxed and at home the moment
you set foot in the door. Forget all the madness going on
outside and just let the goodness wash over you! QOpen
10:00 - 22:00, Sat 10:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun.
Franck Provost C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 58a, tel. (+48)
22 826 81 01, French-trained
English-speaking stylists offering unisex hair treatment
and styling from 100zł to 350zł. Manicure and pedicure
also available as well as cosmetic products by L’Oreal
and Kerastase. Also at ul. Puławska 25a (G-5), which has
expanded spa servi ces like massage and mi croderm-
abrasion. QOpen 07:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 18:00, Sun
10:00 - 17:00.
Aquapark Wesolandia ul. Wspólna 4 (Wesoła), tel.
(+48) 22 773 91 91, Includes a
junior swimming pool, Jacuzzi, slide, fitness centre. Length
25m, depth 1.1-1.8m. Q Open 07:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 08:00
- 22:00. 12-17zł per hour. All day tickets 19-31zł.
Wodny Park ul. Merliniego 4 (Mokotów), tel. (+48)
22 854 01 30, Here’s the best
pool of the lot with facilities including saunas, steam rooms,
snow cabins, solariums as well as loads of slides and other
recreational facilities. Prices range from 20-26zł/12-20zł
per hour, with a reduced ticket to the spa available Mon-Fri
until 17:00 for 20zl. QOpen 06:30 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 08:00
- 22:00. (Spa open 11:00-22:00, Sat, Sun 10:00-22:00.
Admission 27-42/20zł)
Hulakula Bowling Al-
ley C-2, ul. Dobra 56/66
(University Library), tel.
(+48) 22 552 74 00,
www.hul akul .
QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Wed
12:00 - 01:00, Thu 12:00 - 02:00, Fri 12:00 - 03:00, Sat
10:00 - 04:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. 20-120zł per hour.
Shoes included.
Sungate Beauty & Spa B-3, Pl.
Powstańców Warszawy 2, tel. (+48)
517 01 28 80, www.spasungate.
pl. The menu of services available at
Sungate is staggering: from facials
and every imaginable type of massage
(shea butter to aromatherapy) to wax-
ing and nailcare they have you covered
from head to foot. Package for couples, women and
just regular folks who like to indulge are also available.
QOpen 10:00 - 24:00.
b e a u t y & s p a
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Łódź may l ook l i ke i t’s pro-
nounced Lodz, but it most cer-
tainly isn’t. Think of it as Woodge,
and three hundred years ago a
visit here would have produced
the sight of little more than one
man and his dog. In terms of
age Łódź is one of the young-
est cities in the country, and a
direct product of the Industrial
Revolution. And while Łódź can-
not boast the twee charisma of
Prague and Kraków a scratch
of the surface rewards the intrepid traveller with a city
stuffed with wacky stories, dark history and some of the
countries finest after-dark venues – you’ll find them all
inside our 13th issue of Łódź In Your Pocket; Poland’s
first comprehensive English-language guide to the city.
Łódź In Your Pocket
Getting there
Lodz lies 140km south west of Warsaw and is easily ac-
cessed by train. When modernization finishes Lodz will be
within an hour’s reach of Warsaw, but for the time being
journey time is around one hour and forty minutes, while they
continue to work on the new high speed link. If you’re travelling
from the capital you’ll need to book a ticket running to Łódź
Fabryczna train station. The city centre is directly across the
road from the main entrance: take the underpass and carry
on walking west and you’ll find yourself on the main street,
ulica Piotrkowska, within ten minutes. For longer journeys
taxis stand directly outside the main entrance, though travel-
lers should only use cabs that are clearly marked.
Some basics
Łódź first appeared in written records in 1332 under the
name of Łodzia and remained little more than a rural back-
water for the following centuries, with a population numbering
just 800 as late as the 16th century.
The birth of modern Łódź as we know it can be traced to 1820,
when statesman, philosopher and writer Stanisław Staszic be-
gan a campaign to turn the Russian-controlled city into a centre
of manufacturing. The first cotton mill was opened in 1825
and by 1839 the first steam-powered factory in Poland and
Russia was officially christened. A massive influx of workers
from as far afield as Portugal, England and France flooded the
city, though the mainstay of the town’s population remained
Poles, Germans and Jews. Within a matter of decades Łódź
had grown into the biggest textile production centre in the
Russian Empire, during which time vast fortunes were made
and lost by the major industrialist families.
By the outbreak of WWI the town stood out as one of the
most densely populated cities on the planet with a popula-
tion of approximately 13,000 people per square kilometre.
But hard times were around the corner; the inter-war years
signaled an end to the town’s Golden Age, and the loss of
Russian and German economic markets led to strikes and
civil unrest that were to become a feature of inter-war Łódź.
Things were about to get worse: the outbreak of WWII saw
the city annexed into The Third Reich.
The following six years of occupation left the population
decimated with 120,000 Poles killed, and an estimated
300,000 Jews perishing in what was to become known as
the Litzmannstadt ghetto. Following the war, and with much
of Warsaw in ruins, Łódź was used as Poland’s temporary
capital until 1948. The wholesale war-time destruction of
Warsaw also saw many of Poland’s eminent artists and
cultural institutes decamp to the nearest big city; that city
was Łódż, and today the town can boast a rich cultural
heritage, with Poland’s leading film school, one of the most
important modern art galleries in Europe, and an exciting
underground culture.
Today Łódź is a city slowly rediscovering itself, growing in
confidence and coming to terms with its patchy history.
Overlooked by many visitors to Poland, this is a city full of
hidden charms: from the awesome palaces that belonged to
the hyper-rich industrialists who made the city, to Europe’s
l ongest pedestrian street (Piotrkowksa) to the largest
municipal park in Europe. You’ll find everything you need to
know about the city in our print guide to Łódź, as well as our
full content online at
How many times have you heard a shopping centre call itself
‘More than a shopping centre?’ In the case of Manufaktura, for
once the hyperbole is entirely justified. For this is indeed more
than a shopping centre. In fact, we really shouldn’t be calling
it a shopping centre at all. Covering a space of 150,000m

Manufaktura does of course feature a mall with endless
shopping opportunities, but that would not tell the full story.
Manufaktura today i s the resul t of Pol and’s l argest
renovation project since the reconstruction of Warsaw’s
Old Town in the 1950s. Originally a series of factories that
were constructed in the latter part of the 19th century the
restoration of the old factories quite simply has to be seen to
be believed. Enter through the Poznański gate, where workers
used to file through everyday on their way to the mills, and
you’ll arrive at the projects ground zero: the 30,000m
(main square). Featuring Europe’s longest fountain the square
is the cultural hub, with restaurants, fitness club and IMAX
cinema crowded around it. A full program of events is planned
to keep things lively, including pop concerts, beer festival and
big screen showings of sports events.
Manufaktura is visited by close on 20 million visitors a year and
has become the new heart of the city. For the more languorous
character two electric tramlines have also been added to ferry
visitors from one end of the complex to the other. And in spite
all of this Manufaktura remains very much a work in progress
with new additions and changes happening all the time. The
complex can boast a state of the art 4-star Andels hotel, a
Museum of Art as well as the History of Lodz museum set in
the palace of the former mill owner Izrael Poznanski.
Hotels Restaurants Bars Sights Shops Events Maps
January - April 2013
N°21 - 5z| (w tym 8% VAT) ISSN 1896-1169
Jan Karski
The heroic tale of one of
Lodz’s own
The many wonders of
this shopping mecca
Celebrate the Polish way
Zbigniew Kotecki, courtesy of Łódź City Council
f A
f th
, re
- in
f th
f Ł
t c
t S

- E
15 6
16 10
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Of course you didn’t come to Poland just for the booze, but while
you’re here it’d be rude not to check out what the country has to
offer. Primarily that means vodka, with the two most highly regarded
clear Polish vodkas being Belvedere and Chopin. Find them in any
alcohol store. Others to watch for include Żubrówka - that’s the one
with the blade of bison grass inside - krupnik, a sweet honey vodka,
and wiśniówka, a sickly sweet cherry drink usually consumed after
meals. Finally, check Goldwasser, a unique elixir characterized by
the 22 karat gold flakes floating in it. Bottle shops are numerous
in Poland, as common as cabbage, though the ones we list come
guaranteed to have no tramps or underage teens.
Chopin Luxury A-4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel.
(+48) 22 222 01 03, More than
an off-license, more like everything you’ve ever wished for
before embarking on a Leaving Las Vegas session. Expect
cream-of-the-crop alcohols of every name and origin, not just
Polish. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00.
Ekskluzywne Alkohole M&P E-3, ul. Pańska 81/83,
tel. (+48) 22 652 85 22, Wines and
assorted alcohol from Poland and across the world. QOpen
08:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun.
Vinoteka La Bodega C-4, ul. Nowy Świat 6/12, tel.
(+48) 22 745 46 10, A smart outlet
located in the building that used to serve as the home to the
Polish Communist party. Alongside a very good restaurant
find a retail outlet offering a wide range of wines from around
the world as well as high-end spirits and wine accessories.
QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 13:00 - 24:00.
Amber & Jewellery
Vodka isn’t the only golden nectar popular in Poland; the
country is renowned for its amber and the craftsmen who
handsomely shape the fossilised resin into unique and cov-
eted pieces of jewellery. Come back from PL without bringing
baby some Baltic Gold and you’ve booked yourself a stint
in the doghouse. The best place to begin your search is the
Old Town, which is filled with purveyors of amber baubles.
Frey Wille C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 37, tel. (+48) 22 827
55 03, Fine jewellery and fashion ac-
cessories inspired by masters like Klimt and Mucha. QOpen
10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
Gal eri a Ar tystycznego Rzemi osł a B- 2, ul .
Świętojańska 23/25, tel. (+48) 22 831 94 23, www. Old Town store filled with all measure
of amber options as well as glassware, all housed immacu-
lately behind glass cases. One of the only shops where prices
are clearly displayed on all of the pieces, which gets our
thumbs up. QOpen 12:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 19:00.
Kelly Melu Al. Jerozolimskie 42, tel. (+48) 22 827 33
74, The number of young men jostling
to make purchases for their sweethearts should tell you all
you need to know about Kelly Melu jewellery: it’s popular, it’s
stylish and it’s affordable. The brightly-coloured bracelets
with charms appear to be the current must-have. QOpen
11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun.
Mokobelle G-3, ul. Wilcza 3 (entrance at Mokotowska
54), tel. (+48) 607 07 37 15, Mod-
ern jewellery from Polish and other European designers and
friendly staff that’s eager to let you try it on. QOpen 11:00
- 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun.
W.Kruk C-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 11/19, tel. (+48) 661
98 05 74, Polish jewellery, amber and
watches from various international brand names including
Emporio Armani, Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Maurice Lacroix,
Longines, Anne Klein. Watches only available at these loca-
tions: (C-4) Pl. Trzech Krzyży 8, ul. Okopowa 58/72 (D-1,
Klif) and Pl. Konstytucji 6 (F-4). QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat
10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.
World of Amber B-2, ul. Świętojańska 11, tel. (+48)
22 831 16 00, This is truth in ad-
vertising at its best. World of Amber is, literally, a world filled
with all things amber. Interested in a three-masted pirate ship
made of amber? How about a goblet trimmed in amber? A
glasses case? Beyond these unusual trinkets World of Amber
also has the usual beads, rings, neck-breaking pendants and
bracelets that are a must-have souvenir. The shop has a large
number of knowledgeable staff, which means you’re never
left lingering over a glass case waiting in vain for service.
Which we like even more than the chess set made entirely of
amber. We swear. Also at (B-2) ul. Świętojańska 14, (B-2) ul.
Piwna 12/14 and (B-2) ul. Piwna 26. QOpen 09:00 - 20:00.
Antiques & Art Galleries
A walk through the streets of old and new town is usually
enough to fulfil antiquarian designs, as will a short mooch along
Mokotowska. However, anybody whose anybody will tell you the
real treasures are found elsewhere, namely the excellent Bazar
Na Kole, an open-air market where haggling and bargaining are
considered de rigeur. For full details on that check Markets. If
you’re planning on taking an artwork out of the country, and
it was produced prior to 1945, you will need authorisation to
permit you to do so. Most shops will be able to provide you with
this straight off the bat, but do check beforehand.
Anytkwariat Lamus B-1, ul. Nowomiejska 7, tel.
(+48) 22 831 63 21, On first glance you’ll
spot the shelves packed with old books and encyclopaedias
and want to thumb your nose, but a further peek inside
Lamus reveals bins of prints waiting to be sifted through.
Old Warsaw cityscapes, drawings of Polish flora and fauna
and even the off bit of vintage erotica can be found by those
intrepid enough to dig, and the walls are hung with old maps
that are also for sale. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 -
15:00. Closed Sun.
Desa Modern H-5, ul. Bartycka 116, tel. (+48) 795
12 15 73, Modern art courtesy
of some of the biggest names in Polish contemporary art
circles. QOpen 09:30 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
Galeria aBo Art B-1, ul. Rynek Nowego Miasta 17,
tel. (+48) 604 78 18 81, Miniscule art
gallery that sells only works by Polish artists. Watercolours of
Old Town landmarks, metal art, painted silks, glassware and
jewellery all jumbled together for your perusal. A unique local
offering. QOpen 12:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Lapidarium B-1, ul. Nowomiejska 15/17, tel. (+48)
509 60 18 94, We can (and probably
have) spend hours at Lapidarium wandering the cluttered
rooms filled with all manner of junk - - and we say that
with love. Old uniforms, reproduction propaganda posters,
busts of Lenin, ancient record players and even old farm
equipment fights for your attention here. Give yourself time
to wander and accumulate a weird selection for purchase.
How to spot this place? Look for the antique bicycle and
spindle sitting outside the entrance. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00,
Sun 13:00 - 19:00.
It’s not Dubai, it’s not Hong
Kong, it’s not Milan and it’s
not London. Warsaw has a
long way to go before it’s
regarded as a shoppi ng
mecca, but the city is see-
ing true growth in the array
of shops available and the
number of big-name labels that are opening storefronts.
Whether it’s western style malls, designer boutiques,
dusty family stores or antique markets a day spent
shopping can result in both bargains and treasures,
and there’s presents to be had for everyone on your list
(including yourself).
Wife or girlfriend
When we think of what the ladies would like, one word
comes to mind: amber. Poland is well known as the
best place to find handsomely shaped fossilised resin,
and you can easily nab a piece that will please at the
appropriately named World of Amber or famed Polish
jeweller W. Kruk.
Husband or boyfriend
One word: vodka. Another word: lard. Take home Poland’s
famous nectar and a container of smalec (spreadable
lard) and you’ll make any man happy. Krakowski Kre-
dens carries tubs of the greasy stuff, while you’ll find
popular Polish vodka brands like Żubrówka and Belvedere
at Chopin Luxury and M&P.
Euro 2012 may be over, but football is always popular in
Poland and Intersport at Zlote Tarasy carries all the
gear to get fully kitted out. Grab your brother an official
national team jersey in bright red and white and he’ll feel
like his sporting best.
If sis is a stylish gal head to Morka+in Saska Kepa for the
fashion-forward pieces created by Polish designer Ewa Mor-
ka. For high-end options the new domMody VITKAC is filled
with name brands like Gucci and Alexander McQueen, and
the Likus Concept Store is one of our fashion favourites.
If you’re looking for souvenir-y staples like bright red
Polska onesies and dolls dressed in traditional Polish
garb, look no further than Cepelia. For something on the
educational end of the spectrum we recommend you raid
the Science Store at the Copernicus Science Centre;
games, experiments and books for all ages await.
Give mom some monk-like zen with soaps and lotions
from Produkty Benedyktyńskie, which carries a variety
of products created by the brothers at Tyniec Abbey in
Krakow. If she skews towards sweets then snag a box
Polish truffles at Pijalnie Czekolady Wedel.
If your dad is anything like ours he can lose hours of his
life in interesting vintage bookshops. Warsaw is packed
with them, and Antykwariat Lamus is one of the best
for old postcards, unique prints, old books and yellowing
maps from last century.
Shopping at a Glance
Proven masters of make-do with the potato as their
primary resource, the Poles have been producing and
drinking vodka since the early Middle Ages, distilling
their skill into some of the best vodka blends available
in the world, many of which date back centuries. The
two most highly regarded clear Polish vodka brands
must be Belvedere and Chopin, both of which you’ll find
in any alcohol shop.
While clear vodkas are generally reserved for giving away
at weddings and mixing in cocktails, the real fun of Polish
vodka sampling is the flavoured vodkas. Unlike beer with
juice (regarded as highly emasculating), flavoured vodkas
are embraced by both sexes and imbibed copiously. Most
bartenders should be able to provide you with a couple
of these Polish specialities…
Krupnik – Popular in Poland and Lithuania, Krupnik is a
sweet vodka made from honey and a multitude of herbs.
Buy a bottle for Mum – drinking vodka doesn’t get any
easier than this. In winter, hot krupnik is a popular per-
sonal defroster with hot water, lemon and mulling spices
added. You will often see it set on fire with coffee beans
floating in it. Beware…
Mead – This drink preceded beer’s arrival in Poland and
has remained a favourite since. Distilled from honey, the
drink comes in three strengths with Poltorak (the king’s
preference) being the strongest.
Nalewka – Barrel aged vodka flavoured with fruits, herbs
and spices. A national speciality, most Polish drinkers
will push this on you at some point, and it makes a nice
change from downing the straight stuff.
Wściekły Pies – Translated as Mad Dog, this is a
shot made up of vodka, raspberry syrup, Tabasco and
favoured by students and all those wishing to go home
on all fours.
Undoubtedl y the most common fl avoured vodka,
wiśniówka is a cheap, dangerously easy to drink, cherry
flavoured variety. You’ll see students and pensioners
alike buying trays of it at the bar, as well as toothless
tramps sharing a bottle in corners of tenement court-
yards. A splash of grapefruit juice is often added to cut
the sweetness of this bright red monogamy cure.
Żołądkowa Gorzka
Due to its very name, which translates to something like
‘Bitter Stomach Vodka,’ Żołądkowa Gorzka gives even the
most infirm of health an excuse to drink under the guise
of its medicinal properties. An aged, amber-coloured
vodka flavoured with herbs and spices, Żołądkowa has
a unique aroma and sweet spiced taste unlike anything
you’re likely to have tried before. Incredibly palatable, it’s
best enjoyed when sipped on ice.
Zubrowka – One of Poland’s most popular overseas
vodka exports, Żubrówka has been produced in Eastern
Poland since the 16th century. Flavoured with a type of
grass speci fic to the primeval Białowieża Forest that
straddles the border (a blade of which appears in each
bottle), Żubrówka is faint yellow in colour, with a mild
fragrance of mown hay and a subtle taste which has
been described as ‘ floral’ or having traces of almond or
vanilla. Delightfully smooth as it is on its own, Żubrówka is
most commonly combined with apple juice – a refreshing
concoction called a ‘tatanka.’
Polish Alcohol
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Van Den Berg Galeria Sztuki ul. Emilii Plater 12
lok. 1, tel. (+48) 512 57 62 01, www.galeriaberg.
com. What’s a South African doing in Warsaw? Selling art,
of course. And not just any art - customers will find the work
of Salvador Dali mingling with that of the owner’s father Riaan
Van Den Berg and Polish artists like Andrzej Krawczak. Owner
Adriaan Van Den Berg amiably guides visitors through the
collection, which includes biographies of all the artists. A
must-visit for devoted art collectors. QOpen 11:30 - 19:00,
Sat 12:00 - 15:00. Closed Mon, Sun.
Books, Music & Films
Good luck finding your morning paper, despite the millions
of flights that land each morning at Okęcie most English
language dailys don’t hit the shops until the afternoon,
sometimes not till the next day. The most comprehensive
source of foreign press can be found at EMPiK, though Traf-
fic and Relay (main hall of central train station) also stock a
smattering of titles. Also try the newsagents found in five star
hotels. As far as magazines are concerned, EMPiK blows the
competition out of the water, though you can expect to pay
a hefty mark-up for your mag of choice. For books check out
one of the American Bookstores scattered around the city.
EMPiK C-4, ul. Nowy Świat 15/17, tel. (+48) 22 451
04 81, A hefty selection of international
magazines and newspapers as well as music, video games
and movies. There’s also an EMPiK megastore nearby at
ul. Marszałkowska 116/122 QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun
11:00 - 19:00.
Traffic Club C- 4, ul. Bracka 25, tel. (+48) 22 692
14 50, Vast multi-level store selling
English-language books, DVDs, CDs and foreign language
press. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 20:00.
Fashion & Accessories
The stylish denizens of Warsaw’s streets are an easy indi-
cator that fashion is important in the capital city. Trot out
anything less than your best and it won’t go unnoticed, we
promise you. With the opening of dom mody VITKAC the city
has seen the arrival of major labels like Gucci and Lanvin,
and the Likus Concept Store is a reliable go-to for the latest
designer offerings. But you don’t have to stick to the big
fashion houses here. Polish stores like Tatuum and Morka+
offer distinct style at reasonable prices, so kit yourself out
accordingly. For lots of options in one location check out
Warsaw’s shopping centers like Zlote Tarasy and Arkadia.
Blind Concept Store C-4, ul. Mokotowska 63/100,
tel. (+48) 501 77 06 61. The word quirky was invented
for shops like this one, which sells everything from neon-
coloured rubber flats to tote bags covered in skulls. Eclectic
j ewell ery and bi zarre kni ckknacks (cupcake-fl avoured
lipgloss, anyone?) round out the experience. QOpen 11:00
- 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
Carolina Herrera C-4, ul. Mysia 5, tel. (+48) 22 412
36 00, The eponymous high-
end designer opens her first Warsaw store for women loyal
to great style. Find clothing, accessories and fragrances
inside this elegant showroom. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sun
11:00 - 16:00.
Likus Concept Store C-3, ul. Bracka 9, tel. (+48)
22 310 73 13, The Likus
Concept Stores are one of the leading designer brand
retailers in Poland and Warsaw’s version is now housed
Moliera 2 B-2, ul. Moliera 2, tel. (+48) 22 827 70 99, Exclusive two level boutique featuring
collections by Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo and Ralph Lau-
ren. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun.
Morka + ul. Jana Styki 1 (entrance from ul. Zwycięzców,
Saska Kępa), tel. (+48) 505 82 75 50, www.ewamorka.
pl. This postage stamp-sized Saska Kępa boutique is filled
with the simple styles of local Polish designer Ewa Morka.
Designs cover casual and dress attire, and accessories like
handbags and jewelry are also on display. Browsing in this
mini-boutique will take minutes; it’s deciding how to spread
out your budget to cover all your wants that takes times.
QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
Odzieżowe Pole G-3, ul. Mokotowska 48, tel. (+48)
696 04 95 68. With no sign out front at this new location
there’s a good chance you’ll trot right past Odzieżowe Pole
and not realise what you’re missing. Don’t. Modern city
fashion calls this funky boutique home, and there’s even a
coffee bar offering lattes while you browse. Find everything
from work attire to cocktail dresses on offer, including a
stylish selection of accessories. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat
10:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
Pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/4 F-4, ul. Hoża 1, tel. (+48) 22
622 14 16, Label-conscious
shoppers will delight in the mix of designers like Ralph
Lauren, Moncler, Salvatore Ferragamo and TOD’s that are
spread across men’s and women’s apparel and accessories.
Displays of pristinely-folded sweaters are immaculate, and
the staff is eager to search for any size - and have an ency-
clopaedic knowledge of which celebrities are sporting which
style. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
at the high-end dom mody VITKAC shopping centre, where
it rubs shoulders with labels like Balenciaga, Gucci and
Alexander McQueen. Which should tell you straight away
that Likus is no slouch when it comes to fashion: the new
store is well stocked with all the Lanvin, Jimmy Choo and
Yves Saint Laurent you could ask for. The decor of washed
grey walls and shelves of old books - and don’t miss the
antler chandelier near the dressing rooms - make it look
like the most stylish library on earth. QOpen 11:00 -
21:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00.
Maciej Zień C- 4, ul. Mokotowska 57, tel. (+48) 519
00 00 49, A well-known name in the Pol-
ish fashion industry, Maciej Zień is a Lublin-born designer
whose collections can be found in magazines and on Polish
stars. That said, the store is less intimidating than Zień’s
credentials so pop in and browse. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00.
Closed Sun.
Non-EU residents are entitled to claim
a VAT refund when the purchased
goods are exported in an unused
condition outside the EU in personal
luggage. Shop wherever you see the
Global Blue logo. The minimum total
purchase value with VAT per Tax Free
Form is 200pln. Keep the Tax Free
Form, have it stamped when leaving
the final point of departure from the EU and reclaim
your money. For full details check
Once youíve found that perfect item, remember to ask the shop
staff for a Tax Free Form when youíre paying for it.
Tax Free Shopping

For more details contact:
Global Blue Polska Sp. z o. o.
Phone: +48 22 500 18 51
As a traveler residing in a
non-EU country you are entitled
to claim back the VAT on your
purchases when you bring them
You will find Global Blue Tax
Free Shopping service in the
major shops of Poland.
Spend a minimum of 200PLN,
and save up to 12% of the
purchase price.
When youíre leaving the country to head home
or to continue your journey, take your
purchases, receipt and passport to the customs
desk to get your Tax Free Form stamped. If
youíre travelling on to another EU country, get
the stamp on your Tax Free Form at your final
point of departure from the EU.
Finally, show your stamped Tax Free Form and
passport to our staff at Global Blue Customer
Services or one of our partner refund points and
theyíll issue your refund immediately.
If you’ve spent any time in Poland, you know that queuing
is a bit of an art in this country, if not a national pastime.
Well now, thanks to the Institute of National Remembrance
(Instytut Pamięci Narodowej), it’s also the subject of a
marvelous board game. Combining humour, history and
nostalgia with slick design and clever, exciting game play,
Kolejka (that’s ‘Queue’ in British, and ‘Line’ in American)
has become one of the most popular board games in
Poland, and it’s no surprise that it was named ‘2012 Game
of the Year’ by industry experts - the first time a Polish-
designed game has ever earned that honour.
For 2-5 players, the object of the game is rather simple:
each player has a family of 5 members and a basic shop-
ping list, all the items on which must be acquired in order
to complete a rather ordinary task such as ‘getting the
kids ready for camp’ or ‘preparing for first communion’;
the first player to complete their list wins the game.
However, this game takes place in the historical context
of 1982 Poland and, due to shortages, basic goods are
limited and difficult to acquire. Game play entails players
placing their family members in queues outside various
shops and then using a combination of strategy and
luck to slyly maneuver their pawns to the front of the line
where they stand the best chance of coming home with
an item on their list when the shops open for business.
Of course, players don’t necessarily know which shops
will be receiving a delivery that day, nor the quantity or
specific products – all of which are actual brand items
produced during the communist era. Play is made
more lively by the absolutely absurd but sadly realistic
strategies employed to manipulate the queue, including
borrowing someone else’s baby to get to the front of the
queue or losing your position in line for badmouthing the
authorities. The black market is another aspect of play
where needed items may be available for barter.
First designed and released in 2011 as an educa-
tional tool to teach young people about the difficulties
of everyday life and the economic consequences of the
communist system in Poland, Kolejka soon proved so
surprisingly popular, particularly with foreigners, that
IPN was prompted to manufacture a second multilingual
edition to meet demand. The new edition features game
cards and instruction booklets – including period photos,
historical background and critical essays – in English,
German, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Japanese. In
addition to being a “history lesson in a box,” Kolejka is
also wildly fun to play and makes a uniquely Polish gift or
souvenir. It retails for 60-80zł and is available from most
online board game retailers. An English ‘print-and-play’
version is also available through the IPN website (
pl). Standing in line was never this much fun.
’Kolejka’ Board Game
Warsaw In Your Pocket February - March 2013
Arkadi a D- 1, Al .
Jana Pawła II 82, tel.
(+48) 22 323 67 67,
pl. If you can’t find it in
Arkadia, you probably
never will. Covering a
total area of 287 000
m2 Arkadia stands out
as the biggest shopping mall in Central Europe. The five
floor leviathan contains everything you need to survive
Warsaw, so it’s little wonder we know of people who
spend their lives stalking around its corridors; approxi-
mately 45,000 - 70,000 people visit each day. It took
three years of work to complete, and now houses fashion
stores include Lacoste, Peek & Cloppenburg and Tommy
Hilfiger, as well as ubiquitous high street chains like Zara,
Esprit and Kappahl. A giant Saturn store takes care of
all your electronic needs: from DVDs to sound systems.
Carrefour takes a large chunk of the ground floor, though
most expats are making a beeline for the first Mark &
Spencers food department in the country. If you can’t find
what you’re after in there then head to Kuchnie Świata.
The shop is tiny but is home to everything from Marmite
and Pirri Pirri sauce to Weetabix, Cadburys Chocolate
and Dr Pepper. English language books are available
from American Bookstore, and foreign press from EM-
PiK. Entertainment comes in the form of a 15 screen
multiplex. Alongside some very decent dining options
is the microbrewery Bierhalle. Serving homemade beer
and plates of sausages, this is exactly the place to leave
the other half where he will be delightfully happy for a few
hours. Connected by 10 tram lines, 15 bus routes and
with space for 4,000 vehicles. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00,
Sun 10:00 - 21:00.
FACTORY Outl et Pl .
Czerwca 1976r. 6 (Ursus),
tel. (+48) 22 478 22 70, This outlet
centre is preoccupied with
fashion, offering top brand
names at 30-70% discounts
over other shopping malls. Recognisable names among
the brands include Pepe Jeans, Wrangler, Wittchen and
more. One of the only such outlet centres in Europe, you
can access it by taking the SKM train from Śródmieście
and getting off at SKM Ursus, or by catching bus 127 at
Dworzec Centralny and switching to bus 194 or 716 at
PKP Wlochy. Your final destination will be Ursus-Ratusz.
QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00.
dom handlowy VITKAC C-4, ul. Bracka 9, tel.
(+48) 22 310 73 13, The giant
glowing ‘Gucci’ sign will be your first hint that this isn’t
your typical shopping centre, and the heavy security is
the second. Shoppers can find the popular Likus Con-
cept Store on the main level of the sprawling structure
while abels like Givenchy, Armani, Dsquared2, Alexander
McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent are spread over the
remaining four levels of shopping space, with roughly
three employees available for every browsing customer.
The atmosphere is more museum than mall, but if you’re
looking to splurge on designer names then this is your
headquarters. If maxing out your credit card works up
an appetite be sure to head to Restauracja Concept 13,
which offers sweeping city views in a modern, open-con-
cept space. QOpen 11:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00.
Shopping malls
Zł ote Tarasy A- 4, ul .
Złota 59, tel. (+48) 22 222
22 00, www.zlotetarasy.
pl. Warsaw’s monstrous train
station now has a new neigh-
bour - the sparkl i ng Złote
Tarasy compl ex. Of fi ci al l y
opened on February 7, 2007
by Warsaw mayor, Hanna
Gronkiewicz Waltz, the first
afternoon alone saw 64,000
people file through the doors.
The 250 million Euro project
includes 225,000m2 of office, retail and entertainment
space, with underground parking for 1,600 cars. Draw-
ing more than million visitors each month the complex
signals a bold shi ft away from the out-of-town malls
found in Warsaw, and familiar stores include Marks &
Spencers, Aldo, Poland’s first Body Shop, Hugo Boss,
Van Graf clothes store and EMPiK. For leisure, visitors
can not only visit Poland’s first Hard Rock Café which
is split over 2 levels, but also a multiplex cinema and
more than 20 restaurants and bars spread over 5 levels,
including a Burger King. Designed by Jerde Partnership
International (whose founder, Jon Adams Jerde, designed
the Olympic Village for LA 1984), the central showpiece is
a 10,000m glass dome, fitted with a special mechanism
to both filter sunrays and to stop snow from building up.
QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00.
Kl i f D- 1, ul . Okopowa
58/72, tel. (+48) 22 531
45 00, www.kli The
nati onwi de Kl i f chai n have
long been present in Warsaw,
though if you think you’ve seen
it all before then think again.
These chaps have rebranded
and re-launched with October
2008 refit resulting in the addi-
tion of new floors, an updated
design and a thorough facelift.
But as with all shopping centres the proof comes in the
pudding, ie the tenants. Now on show are top tags from
MaxMara to PennyBlack, as well outlets for casual faves
like Paul & Shark. For the juniors watch for Casper and
Mothercare. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00.
Secret Life (of things) F-4, ul. Polna 18/20, tel. (+48)
22 412 48 11, It’s hard to know how
to classify Secret Life since their bright, airy shop is home to
so many different things: there’s a case of unique jewellery,
a room devoted to clothes and shoes, a pile of handbags,
and then a scattering of funky home decor items and knick-
knacks that demand your attention. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00,
Sat 11:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
TFH Tymczasowy Butik B-4, ul. Szpitalna 8a, tel. (+48)
509 74 17 89. This one-time pop-up shop has set down roots
finally, which means you’ll know exactly where to find the city’s
hottest fashions. TFH’s new boutique displays an impressive
selection of stylish t-shirts, handbags and hoodies from over 20
of Poland’s young fashion designers, including Rozwadowska
Bags, Alicja Saar and Odio Tees. Don’t forget to check out the
accessories and large pictorial books about - what else? - fash-
ion. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 19:00.
Food & Sweets
Food-wise Poland has plenty of edible delights that will
tempt (or shock) your friends, from delicious sausages and
preserves to jars of smalec (yep, that’s spreadable lard for
your bread). Dine in true Polish style long after you’ve leapt
the border by bringing home traditional staples or any number
of the hearty sweets that end every Polish meal.
Delikatesy Blikle C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 35, tel. (+48)
22 828 63 25, Aside from homemade
cakes and eclairs Poland’s most famous confectioner can
boast killer donuts, once enjoyed by a certain Charles de
Gaulle. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 11:00 - 14:00.
Krakowski Kredens C-3, ul. Nowy Świat 22, tel. (+48)
696 49 00 11, Upmarket Polish
delicatessen selling jams, compotes, hams and cheeses. Also on
ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy). Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 21:00.
QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00, Sun 11:00 - 14:00.
Pijalnie Czekolady Wedel B-3, ul. Szpitalna 8, tel.
(+48) 22 827 29 16, A Polish
legend that’s been operating since Karol Wedel first opened
a chocolate factory in 1851. Check the handmade pralines.
QOpen 08:00 - 22:00, Sat 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00.
Produkty Benedyktyńskie A-2, Al. Jana Pawła II
43a/35, tel. (+48) 22 838 21 02, This
shop, set up by the Benedictine monks of Tyniec Abbey, sells
such an astounding variety of products - cheese, jam, wine, beer,
honey, tea, herbs, syrups, meats - it raises two eyebrows over
how they find the time. All the products are completely natural,
without pigment, and unilaterally excellent and make excellent
gifts and can even be purchased through their (Polish only)
website. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
Gifts & Souvenirs
Polish glass and amber are highly thought of, though if you
want something clutz-proof then Polish linen, lace and wood-
work all look lovely on someone else’s mantle. Folk art is an
easily recognizable symbol of Poland, as is a magnet of the
country’s favorite hero and saint-in-waiting Pope John Paul II.
For the lads, pick up a Polski football shirt or scarf off any of
the stalls that spring up unannounced around central station.
Art Manus G-4, ul. Mokotowska 41, tel. (+48) 22 627
21 04. Top quality Polish made linen on a street renowned
for its boutique elegance. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00
- 16:00. Closed Sun.
Bolesławiec Pottery A-4, ul. Prosta 2/14, tel. (+48)
22 624 84 08,
Brightly patterned hand-finished ceramics and tableware.
QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 09:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun.
Cepelia B-4, ul. Marszałkowska 99/101, tel. (+48)
22 628 77 57, Your first stop for tacky
souveniers. Amongst the tat also find traditional Polish handi-
crafts: table cloths, ceramics, glass etc. Also at ul. Krucza
23 (C-4) and ul. Chmielna 8 (C-3). QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat
11:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
Intersport A-4, ul. Złota 59 (Złote Tarasy), tel. (+48)
12 444 88 88, If you’re a fan of the
Polish national football team this is your HQ for all the official
gear, from jerseys to shorts to the balls themselves. Also a
great spot for general sports apparel should you require it.
QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 20:00.
Neptunea B-2, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 47/51, tel.
(+48) 22 827 97 05, A weird little find
selling decorative sea shells, minerals, fossils, silver jewellery,
oriental furniture and exotic crafts. An absolute treasure, and
a must visit if you’re looking for a something a little unique.
QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
Rock Shop B-4, ul. Złota
59 (Zł ote Tarasy), tel .
(+48) 22 222 07 00, www. You know
a ci ty has made i t when i t
gets a Hard Rock Cafe and is
there anything which says ‘I’ve
been there’ more than a Hard
Rock Cafe t-shirt? Ahem. Pick
up the ‘Warsaw’ one to add to your collection at the shop
inside the HRC in the Złote Tarasy development opposite the
train station. Classic t-shirts cost 99zł, all others run 105zł.
QOpen 09:00 - 24:00.
Cheapskates rejoice, while the closure of ‘The Russian
Market’ hit bargain hunters hard Warsaw still has a very
decent spread of bazaars. While rumours of pickpockets are
at times exaggerated, do nonetheless exercise a degree of
vigilance while perusing the swag on show.
Koło Bazar D-2, ul. Obozowa 99, tel. (+48) 22 836 23
51. Quality flea market held each weekend from dawn till dusk.
Attracting buyers and sellers from across the country this
is exactly the place if you’ve ever wanted to own a Prussian
helmet or set of palace doors from India (yours for 16,000zł).
What else can you find? We’ve spotted pre-war posters adver-
tising Polish toothpaste, early 19th century postcards, prewar
bathroom fixtures and grandfather clocks. Vinyl records go for
as little as 1zł. You’ll even find the occasional celeb looking for
something wacky to fill their top-floor penthouse with. The trad-
ers themselves are a set of curious characters, and watching
these veterans at work is one reason alone to visit. While early
morning is the best time to snap up the rare finds, 1pm on the
closing Sunday is the time to hit to try and get the last minute
bargains. The golden rule is to haggle at all times. Paying the
asking price means overpaying. QOpen 06:00 - 18:00.
Photography Market F-5, ul. Batorego 10 (Stodoła
Club). Discount camera equipment inside the Stodoła
nightclub. Lenses, lamps, filters, negatives etc. Highly recom-
mended for those who take their photography seriously and
know what they are looking for. Q Open Sun 10:00-14:00.
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
Austria H-5, ul. Gagarina 34, tel. (+48) 22 841 00 81,
Canada C-4, ul. Matejki 1/5, tel. (+48) 22 584 31
France G-4, ul. Piękna 1, tel. (+48) 22 529 30 00,
Germany G-4, ul. Jazdów 12, tel. (+48) 22 584 17 00,
Ireland C-4, ul. Mysia 5, tel. (+48) 22 849 66 33, www.
Israel F-4, ul. Krzywickiego 24, tel. (+48) 22 597 05
Italy F-2, Pl. Dąbrowskiego 6, tel. (+48) 22 826 34 71,
Lithuania G-3, Al. Ujazdowskie 12, tel. (+48) 22 625
33 68,
Netherlands H-4, ul. Kawalerii 10, tel. (+48) 22 559
12 00,
Norway G-4, ul. Chopina 2a, tel. (+48) 22 696 40 30,
Russia G-5, ul. Belwederska 49, tel. (+48) 22 621 34
Spain G-4, ul. Myśliwiecka 4, tel. (+48) 22 583 40 00.
Sweden G-5, ul. Bagatela 3, tel. (+48) 22 640 89 00,
United Kingdom G-4, ul. Kawalerii 12, tel. (+48) 22
311 00 00,
USA G-4, Al. Ujazdowskie 29/31, tel. (+48) 22 504 20
Emergency Rooms
Szpital Kliniczny Dzieciątka Jezus A-4, ul. Lindleya
4, tel. (+48) 22 502 15 25,
Szpital na Solcu G-2, ul. Solec 93, tel. (+48) 22 250
62 26,
Ex-Pat Organizations
Alcoholics Anonymous B- 4, ul. Radna 14 flat 3, Meetings on Mon-Thu 18:30, Fri
20:30 and Sat at 11:00. Note that on the first Saturday of
each month these meetings take place at ul. Poznańska 38.
Meetings at ul. Poznańska 38 also take place every Sun at
13:30. For more info visit their website.
Fantasy Role-Playing Group, tel. (+48) 505 44 12
71, English-language players
welcome for game that constructs collective story narratives
using high-level language communication and a few simple
rules. Wholesome fun, with newcomers always welcome and
encouraged. Contact R.A. for dates, times and locations.
International Women’s Group of Warsaw, www. Meetings are held on the second Monday of
the month at the Sofitel at 10:30 and every Monday a meet-
ing is not occuring there’s a coffee social at Żółta Kaczka in
Złote Tarasy (A-4, ul. Złota 59) at 10:00
Toastmasters Club Spinacz Room, ul. Twarda
18 (TP SA building), tel. (+48) 696 292 451, www. Warsaw’s chapter of Toastmasters
International, which helps members develop presentation
and public speaking skills. Guests are very welcome at their
weekly Wednesday evening meetings; see their website for
more information or call Etan (+48 696 292 451).
National Archive B-1, ul. Krzywe Koło 7, tel. (+48) 22
635 92 68,
Registry Office E-1, ul. Andersa 5, tel. (+48) 22 443
12 30,
International schools
American School of Warsaw ul. Warszawska 202,
Konstancin-Jeziorna, tel. (+48) 22 702 85 00, www.
Ecole Antoine de Saint- Exupéry ul. Nobla 16
(Praga Południe), tel. (+48) 22 616 14 99, www.
International American School ul. Dembego 18
(Ursynów), tel. (+48) 22 649 14 40,
International European School ul. Wiertnicza 140
(Wilanów), tel. (+48) 22 842 44 48,
The British School ul. Limanowskiego 15 (Mokotów),
tel. (+48) 22 842 32 81,
Language schools
Edu&More B- 4, ul. Marszałkowska 87 lok.81, tel.
(+48) 22 622 14 41,
Go from seeing Polish as a pile of consonants to fluency
with the fast and effective tutors at Edu & More, the 2011
Entrepreneurship Leader of the Year winners in the field of
innovations in teaching Polish. Individual and group lessons
are tailor made to your capabilities, learn business Polish to
help with your job and busy students can opt for online les-
sons. Bonus: your initial meeting with a tutor is free of charge.
The Centre for Polish Studies B-3, ul. Świętokrzyska
20, tel. (+48) 22 826 19 04,
Private clinics
Damian Hospital G-3, ul. Foksal 3/5, tel. (+48) 22 566
22 22, English-speaking doctors available.
Lux-Med A-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Marriott Ho-
tel), tel. (+48) 22 33 22 888, Also on
ul. Domaniewska 41a, ul. 17 Stycznia 49, Al. Jana Pawła II
78 (E-1) and ul. Bobrowiecka 1 (H-6).
Real estate
Knight Frank C-3, ul. Mokotowska 49, tel. (+48) 22
596 50 50,
Ober-Haus Real Estate Advisors B-4, Al. Jerozo-
limskie 123a (Millenium Plaza, 1st floor), tel. (+48)
22 116 65 00,
Religious Services
St Paul’s English Speaking Catholic Parish C-3, ul. Rad-
na 14, tel. (+48) 600 38 49 16,
Relocation companies
AGS Worldwide Movers ul. Julianowska 37, Piasec-
zno, tel. (+48) 22 702 10 72,
Take the stress out of an international move with reliable
AGS, who offer a range of independent services to comple-
ment their turnkey removals solutions. Free quotes can be
requested via their website.
Move One Relocations F-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79,
tel. (+48) 22 630 81 69,
PRO Relocation B-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79, tel.
(+48) 22 630 61 00,
Translators & Interpreters
Agencja MAart C-3, ul. Kopernika 3, tel. (+48) 22
480 88 00,
Awangarda B-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 33/11 (5th floor),
tel. (+48) 22 629 92 44,
24-hour Dentists
CCS Ludna G-3, ul. Ludna 10a, tel. (+48) 22 625 01
DentaLux D-6, ul. Racławicka 131, tel. (+48) 22 823
72 22,
24-hour pharmacies
Apteka G-5, ul. Puławska 39, tel. (+48) 22 849 82 05,
Apteka Beata E-2, Al. Solidarności 149, tel. (+48)
22 620 08 18.
Business associations
American Chamber of Commerce F-3, Warsaw
Financial Centre, ul. Emilii Plater 53, tel. (+48) 22 520
59 99,
British Polish Chamber of Commerce G-4, Al. Szu-
cha 3/14, tel. (+48) 22 622 20 56,
Computer repair
iSource C-2, ul. Dobra 56/66 (University Library), tel.
(+48) 22 550 86 86, Authorized Apple
products service point. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00
- 14:00. Closed Sun.
Consulates & Embassies
Australia B-4, ul. Nowogrodzka 11, tel. (+48) 22 521
34 44,
Get a rouno-up of the
ma|or Polish news, business,
entertainment ano sports
in English each week by
subscribing free to our PDF.
Visit us at
t took fve seconds to transform Po-
land from a country bustling with
confdence into one wracked with
grief on a scale not seen since the Second
World War.
At some point on a nondescript Saturday
morning on April 10, the aircraf carrying
the president, his wife and 94 others
clipped a tree with its lef wing as it
approached Smolensk airport in western
Russia. Five seconds later, now devoid of
one wing, it barrel rolled anti-clockwise,
before slamming roof frst into the ground.
As news of the accident broke in Poland,
and one by one television channels
interrupted their regular services, news
readers struggled to contain their emotions
as they realised the devastating blow the
Smolensk disaster had dealt the country.
Along with President Kaczynski, and
Maria his wife, the casualty list read like a
who’s who of the Polish elite.
Te head of the national bank, the
chief of the armed forces, the heads of the
navy and air force, two ministers, leading
politicians and dozens of others. Many
household names in Poland; now all dead.
Te irony that the Tupolev Tu-154
crashed at it was carrying a delegation
to mark the 70th-anniversary of the
Katyn massacre, when Stalin’s henchman
slaughtered Poland’s best, was not lost.
“Te Soviets killed Polish elites in Katyn
70 years ago. Today, the Polish elite died
there while getting ready to pay homage to
the Poles killed there,” said Lech Walesa.
Aleksander Kwasniewski, another
former president, described Katyn as a
“cursed place, and of horrible symbolism”.
As Poles absorbed what Donald Tusk
called the “most tragic event in Poland’s
post-war history” thousands began to
make their way to the presidential palace
in central Warsaw, which was to become
the focal point of national mourning.
A small patch of fowers and candles
lef by mourners expanded and grew,
carpeting the pavement and the road in
a tribute to those who had died. Political
diferences vanquished by grief, thousands
upon thousands of people made their way
to the palace to pay their respects in quiet
The outpouring of sympathy for the
victims spoke volumes for the shock
and sadness that had touched Poles; it
also spoke volumes for the decency of
At noon on Sunday across the nation two
minutes silence was observed in memory
of the people that died in the air crash in
Smolensk. Te silence was then pierced by
the claxons and sirens of local authority
warning systems and police vehicles. To
this mournful orchestra of wails, the Pol-
ish nation stood to attention and refected
on their loss in the forests near Katyn.
Te parents of the pilot in charge of fying
the presidential plane have begged the world
not to blame their son for the crash.
Captain Arkadiusz Protasiuka was the
man responsible for landing the Polish
Air Force Tu-154M safely in Russia on
Saturday 10th April, but, for reason still
unknown, he was unable to successfully
carry out his task.
Te tragic death of the head of the
National Bank of Poland Slawomir
Skrzypek in Saturday’s plane crash leaves
questions open about who will replace
him, and how his loss will afect monetary
policy and other issues.
Te succession issue is a major one, since
both the parliament and the president
must make the choice jointly.
</1398+6 Z! 8+>398+6 Z ,?=38/== Z#
Frica, 1ót| Apri| 2010
Fc|is| Ncws
© w
Issue 15 (óó)
Warsaw’s Presidential Palace has become the focal point of the nation’s grief
Changing money is increasingly less fretful to do, but
as with most international destinations it is still worth
keeping checking rates particularl y at entry points
such as airports or in major tourist areas. We check
rates of a selection of money exchange offices (kan-
tors) every two months. Here were their buying rates
(how many zloty you would get for one unit of foreign
currency) for the 24.01.13 compared to the following
National Bank of Poland (NBP) published rates for that
morning of Euro 1 = 4.1270zł, US$ 1 = 3.0852zł,
GBP 1 = 4.9140zł.
Aurex C-4, Al. Jerozolimskie 33, tel. (+48) 22 626
92 60,
1 Euro = 4.15zl,
1 Dollar = 3.08zl,
1 Pound = 4.91zl.
No commission.
Kantor A-4, Złote Tarasy, ul. Złota 59 (level 0), tel.
(+48) 22 222 12 34.
1 Euro = 4.05zl,
1 Dollar = 3.02zl,
1 Pound = 4.83zl,
No commission.
Pekao SA ul. Żwirki i Wigury 1 (Airport), tel. (+48)
22 650 51 88,
1 Euro = 3.83zł,
1 Dollar = 2.94zł,
1 Pound = 4.56zł.
No commission.
Currency exchange
Radisson BLU
1 - ul. Nowomiejska
2 - ul. Piesza
3 - ul. Fandaminskiego
All you need to
know about where
to sleep, eat, drink,
visit and enjoy
Europe's biggest publisher of locally produced city guides


17-1º.10.2013 Poznaĝ, PoIand
Visit the biggest
tourism fairs in
MiĊdzynarodowe Targi PoznaĔskie Sp. z o.o., ul. Glogowska 14, 60-734 PoznaĔ, tel. +48 61 869 20 89, fax +48 61 869 29 69, e-mail:
February - March 2013
Warsaw In Your Pocket
1 Sierpnia D-6/7
29 Listopada H-4
Aleje Ujazdowskie C-4, (G-3/5)
Andersa, gen. A-1/2 (E-1/2)
Anielewicza A-2 (D/E-1/2)
Archiwalna D-5
Armii Ludowej, al. F/H-4
Bagatela G-4/5
Bagno B-3
Banachago D/E-5
Bankowy, pl. A-2 (F-2)
Barbary, św. B-4, (F-3)
Barokowa B-2
Barona D-2
Batorego E/F-5
Bednarska B/C-2
Bellottiego D-2
Belwederska G-5/6
Biała A-3 (E-2)
Białobrzeska D-4/5
Bielańska B-2 (F-2)
Bitwy Warszawskiej 1920 r. D-4/5
Bobrowskiego D-5
Boduena B-3
Bohaterów Getta A-2 (E/F-1)
Bohdanowicza D-6
Boleść B-1
Boni fraterska A/B-1
Bracka C-4
Browarna C-2/3 (G-2)
Brylowska D-3
Brzeska H-1
Brzozowa B-1
Bugaj B-1/2
Bytnara F-6/7
Canaletta B-2
Celna B-1/2
Chałubińskiego A/B-4 (F-3/4)
Chełmska H-6
Chłodna A-3 (D/E-2)
Chmielna A-4, B/C-3/4, (E-3, F-3)
Chocimska G-5
Chodkiewicza E-5/6
Chopina G-4
Ciasna B-1
Ciepła A-3 (E-2)
Cicha C-3
Corazziego B-2
Czackiego B-3 (F-2)
Czerniakowska G/H-3
Czerska H-5/6
Czeska H-2
Dąbrowskiego, pl. B-3 (F/G-6)
Dawna B-1/2
Defilad, pl. B-4 (F-3)
Dickensa D-5
Długa A/B-1/2 (F-1)
Długosza D-2
Dobra C-2/3 (G-1/2)
Dobrzańskiego A-3
Dolna G-6
Drewniana C-3
Dubois A-1 (E-1)
Dzielna A-2 (D/E-1/2)
Dzika D/E-1
Elektoralna A-2/3 (E-2)
Emilii Plater A/B-3/4 (F-3)
Esperanto E-1/2
Etiudy Rewolucyjnej E-7
Filtrowa E-4
Floriańska G-1
Foksal C-3 (G-3)
Franciszkańska A/B-1
Francuska H-2
Frascati C-4
Fredry B-2 (F-2)
Freta B-1 (F-1)
Furmańska C-2 (F/G-2)
Gagarina G/H-5
Gałczyńskiego C-3
Gamerskiego B-2
Geodetów D-5
Gęsta C-2
Gibalskiego D-2
Górnośląska H-3
Górska H-5/6
Górskiego B/C-3
Goszczyńskiego F/G-6
Goworka G-5
Graniczna B-3
Grodzka C-2
Grójecka D/E-4/6
Grzybowska A-3 (E/F-2/3)
Grzybowski, pl. A/B-3
Grzymały D-4
Hoża B/C-4 (F/G-3)
Hynka D-7
Idzikowskiego G/H-6/7
Inflancka A-1
Iwicka H-5
Jaktorowska D-3
Jana Pawła II, al.
A-2/4, (D/E-1/3)
Jana Sobieskiego G/H-5/6
Jasielska D-6
Jasna B-3, (F-2/3)
Jazdów G-4
Jerozolimskie, Al.
A/C-3/4, (D/G-2/4)
Joliot-Curie F-7
Kacza D-2
Kaliska D-4
Kanonia B-2
Kapitulna B-2
Karasia C-3
Karmelicka A-2 (E-1/2)
Karolkowa D-2/3
Karowa C-2 (F/G-2)
Kasprzaka D-3
Kazimierzowska F-5
Kępna H-1
Kilińskiego B-1/2
Klonowa G-5
Kłopotowskiego G-1
Kolberga F-7
Kolejowa D/E-3/4
Konduktorska G-6
Konopnickiej C-4
Konstytucji, pl. F-4
Konwiktorska A/B-1
Kopernika C-3
Kopińska D-4
Korotyńskiego D-6
Kościelna B-1 (E/F-1)
Koszykowa E/G-4
Kotlarska D/E-2/3
Kozia B-2
Koźla B-1 (F-1)
Krakowskie Przedmieście
B/C-2/3, (F-2)
Krasickiego F/G-7
Krasińskich, pl. B-2 (F-1)
Krasnołęcka H-5
Kredytowa B-3 (F-2)
Krochmalna A-3 (E-2)
Królewska B-3 (F-2)
Krucza C-4 (F/G-3)
Kruczkowskiego C-3 (G-2)
Krywulta C-3
Krzywe Koło B-1
Krzywickiego E-4
Książęca C-4 (G-3)
Kubusia Puchatka C-3
Kusocińskiego G/H-4
Kwiatowa F-5
Lądowa G-5
Lechicka D-7
Lenartowicza F/G-6/7
Lennona G-4
Leszczyńska C-3
Leszno D-2
Leszowa E/F-4/5
Lewartowskiego A-1/2 (E-1)
Lindleya A-4 (E-3/4)
Lipowa C-2
Litewska G-4
Lubelska H-1
Ludna G/H-3
Ludowa G-6
Lwowska F-4
Łazienkowska H-4
Łucka A-3 (E-3)
Madalińskiego F/G-5/6
Majewskiego D-5
Małachowskiego, pl. B-3
Malczewskiego F/G-6
Mariańska A-3
Mariensztat C-2
Markowska H-1
Marszałkowska B-2/4 (F-2/4)
Matejki C-4
Mazowiecka B-3 (F-2)
Miączyńska E-6/7
Miedziana A-4 (E-3)
Miła A-1 (D/E-1)
Miłobędzka E-6
Miodowa B-2 (F-1)
Mireckiego D-2
Mirowski, pl. A-3 (E-2)
Młynarska D-2
Mokotowska C-4 (G-3/4)
Mołdawska D-6
Moliera B-2 (F-2)
Moniuszki B-3
Mostowa B-1 (F-1)
Muranowska A-1 (E-1)
Mysia C-4
Myśliwiecka G/H-4
Na Rozdrożu, pl. G-4
Na Skarpie, al. G-3
Nabielaka G-5
Nalewki A-1/2
Narbutta F/G-5
Narutowicza, pl. D-4
Nehru H-5
Niecała B-2, (F-2)
Niemcewicza D/E-4
Niepodległości, al. F/G-4
Niska A-1, (D/E-1)
Niska D/E-1
Niżyńskiego Pasaż B-3
Nowiniarska B-1
Nowogrodzka A/C-4 (E/F-3)
Nowolipie A-2 (E-2)
Nowolipki A-2 (D/E-1/2)
Nowowiejska E/G-4
Nowy Świat C-3/4 (G-2/3)
Oboźna C-3
Obozowa D-2
Oczki E/F-3/4
Odolańska F/G-6
Odyńca F/G-6
Ogrodowa A-3 (E-2)
Okólnik C-3
Okopowa 1/2-D
Okrąg G/H-3
Okrzei G-1
Oleandrów F/G-4
Olimpijska E-6
Olkuska G-6
Olszewska G-5
Olszowa G-1
Ondraszka E-4/5
Opolski, pl. D-2
Ordynacka C-3 (G-2)
Orla A-2/3 (E-2)
Orłowicza G-3
Ossolińskich B-2
Padewska G-6
Panieńska G-1
Pańska A-3/4 (E-3)
Parkowa G-5
Pasteura D-4/5
Paszyna D-1
Pawia A-2 (D/E-2, E-1)
Pawińskiego D-5/6
Pereca A-3 (E-3)
Piaseczyńska G-6
Piekarska B-2
Piękna F/G-4
Piłsudskiego, marsz. pl. B-3 (F-2)
Piwarskiego G/H-6
Piwna B-2
Płatowcowa E-6
Platynowa E-3
Podchorążych G/H-5
Podwale B-1/2 (F-1)
Pokorna A-1
Polna F/G-4
Poniatowskiego, ks. Al. H-2
Powązkowska D-1
Powstańców Warszawy, pl. B-3
Poznańska B-4 (F-3)
Promenada G-5/6
Prosta A-4 (D/E-3)
Próżna B-3
Prusa C-4
Pruszkowska D-6
Przechodnia A-2/3
Przemyska D-5
Przyokopowa D-3
Przyrynek B-1
Ptasia A/B-3 (F-2)
Puławska G-5/7
Pułku Baszta F-7
Pytlasińskiego G-6
Racławicka D/E-6
Radna C-3
Rajców B-1
Rakowiecka E/G-5
Raszyńska E-4
Rejtana G-5
Rokitnicka E-5
Rostafińskich E-5
Róż, al. G-4
Różana F/G-5/6
Rozbrat G-3
Rycerska B-2
Rynek Nowego Miasta B-1 (F-1)
Rynek Starego Miasta B-1/2
Rysia B-3
Sandomierska G-5
Sanguszki B-1
Sanocka D-5/6
Sapieżyńska A/B-1
Sasanki D-7
Senatorska B-2 (F-1/2)
Schillera B-2 (F-1)
Siedmiogrodzka D-3
Sielecka H-5/6
Siemieńskiego D-5
Sienkiewicza B-3
Sienna A-4 (E-3)
Skaryszewska H-1
Skarżyńskiego D-5
Skierniewicka D-3
Skorochód D-5/6
Sławińska D-3/4
Słoneczna G-5
Słupecka D-4
Smocza D/E-1/2
Smolna C-3/4
Sokola G/H-1/2
Solec G/H-2/3
Solidarności, al.
A/C-1/3, (D/G-1/2)
Sosnowa A-4
Spacerowa G-5
Spartańska E-7
Spiska D/E-4
Srebrna F-3
Stara B-1
Starościńska F/G-5
Starynkiewicza, pl. E-3
Staszica D-2
Stawki A-1 (D/E-1)
Stefana Batorego E/F-5
Stępińska H-5/6
Sulkiewicza G-5
Szara G-3
Szarych Szeregów D-3
Szczęśliwicka D-4
Szczygla C-3
Szkolna B-3
Szpitalna B-3/4
Szucha, al. G-4
Szwoleżerów H-4
Śliska A-4
Świętojańska B-2
Świętojerska A/B-1/2 (E/F-1)
Świętokrzyska B/C-3 (E/G-2/3)
Tagore’a F-6
Tamka C-3 (G-2)
Targowa G/H-1
Teatralny, pl. B-2 (F-2)
Tłomackie A/B-2
Topiel C-3
Towarowa D/E-2/3
Traugutta B/C-3
Trębacka B-2
Trojdena, ks. D/E-5
Trzech Krzyży, pl. C-4 (G-3)
Tuwima C-3
Twarda A-3/4 (E-3)
Tyniecka G-6/7
Unii Lubelskiej, pl. G-4/5
Ursynowska F/G-6
Wał Miedzeszyński H-2/3
Walecznych H-2
Waliców A-3 (E-2/3)
Wałowa A-1/2 (E-1)
Warecka B/C-3 (F-2)
Waryńskiego F/G-4/5
Wąski Dunaj B-2
Wawelska D/F-4
Widok B-4
Wiecha Pasaż B-3/4
Wiejska C-4 (G-3)
Wierzbowa B-2 (F-2)
Wiktorska F/G-6
Wilanowska H-3
Wilcza B/C-4 (F/G-3/4)
Wileński pl. G-1
Willowa G-5
Winnicka D-5
Wioślarska H-3
Wiślana C-2
Wiślicka D-5/6
Wiśniowa F/G-5, F/G-6
Witosa, al. H-6/7
Wodna B-1
Wójtowska B-1
Wolność D-2
Wołoska E/F-6/7
Wolska D-3
Woronicza E/G-7
Wronia E-2/3
Wspólna A/C-4 (F-3)
Wybrzeże Gdańskie
B/C-1/2, (F-1)
Wybrzeże Helskie C-1 (G-1)
Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie
C-2, (G-1/2)
Wybrzeże Szczecińskie
C-1/2, (G-1/2)
Ząbkowska H-1
Zajęcza C-3 (G-2)
Zakroczymska B-1
Zamenhofa A-1/2 (E-1)
Zamkowy, pl. B-2 (F-1)
Zamoyskiego H-1
Zapiecek B-2
Zawiszy, pl. E-3
Zbawiciela, pl. F-4
Zbierska G/H-5/6
Zgoda B-3/4
Zieleniecka, al. H-1/2
Zielna B-3
Zimna A-3
Złota B-3, A/B-4 (E/F-3)
Zoli G-4
Zwycięzców H-3
Żelazna A-3/4 (E-2/3)
Żelaznej Bramy, pl. A/B-3 (F-2)
Żurawia B/C-4 (F/G-3)
Żwirki i Wigury D/E-4/7
Żytnia D-2
Boutique Bed & Breakfast 29
Campanile 29
Castle Inn 29
Courtyard by Marriott
Warsaw Airport 30
Golden Tulip Warsaw Centre
H15 Boutique Apartments 30
Hilton Warsaw Hotel &
Convention Centre 28
Holiday Inn Express Warsaw
Airport 30
Hostel Służewiec 31
Hotel Bristol Warsaw 26
Hyatt Regency Warsaw 26
Ibis Budget Warszawa
Centrum 30
Ibis Stare Miasto 29
Ibis Warszawa Centrum 29
InterContinental 26
InterContinental 30
Mamaison Hotel Le Regina
Warsaw 26
Maria 30
Marriott 26
MDM 30
Mercure Warszawa Centrum
Metropol 30
Moon 31
Noclegi Okęcie 30
Novotel Warszawa Centrum
Oki Doki 31
P&O Apartments 31
Polonia Palace Hotel 28
Premiere Classe 30
Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel
Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel
Residence St. Andrew's
Palace 31
Rialto 27
Sheraton Warsaw Hotel 27
Sleepwell Apartments 30
Sofitel Warsaw Victoria 27
Start Hotel Atos 30
Team Hostel 31
The Westin Warsaw Hotel 27
Adler 36
AiOLI Cantine 43
Atelier Amaro 47
Babooshka 51
Banja Luka 34
Bar Mleczny Familijny 46
Bar Salad Story 38
Barn Burger 36
Besuto 44
Bierhalle 37
Biosfeera 55
Bistro Warszawa 47
Bordo 37
Brasserie Warszawska 38
Browar de Brasil 34
BrowArmia 38
Buddha Indian Restaurant 36
Burger Bar 36
Burger King 38
Butchery & Wine 54
C.K. Oberża 36
Café 6/12 33
Casa Pablo 52
Central Grill 51
Cesarski Pałac 34
Cesarski Pałac (Tsinghis
Chan) 46
Concept 38
DeCoteria 38
Delicja Polska 48
Dom Polski 48
Downtown Restaurant &
Steakhouse 54
Festa Italiana Ristorante 43
Five 38
Florian 48
Flow 39
Folk Gospoda 48
Frida 53
Fusion 35
Fusion Perfect 53
Galeria Freta 39
GR Bistro & Restaurant 39
Grand Kredens 39
Green Bar 55
Groole 38
Halka restauracja po polsku
Hard Rock Cafe 32
Hard Rock Cafe 33
Charlotte. Chleb i Wino 35
China Garden 34
Chłopskie Jadło 48
Inaba 44
Kamanda Lwowska 55
KFC 38
Kiku Japanese Dining
Gallery 44
Kintaro Sushi 45
La MaMa 32
La Rotisserie 35
Le Cedre 84 46
Legends British Bar &
Restaurant 34
Leniwa Gospodyni 46
Literatka 49
Little Thai Gallery 54
McDonald's 33
McDonald's 38
Meat Love 39
MG Eat Magda Gessler 38
Mleczarnia Jerozolimska 46
Nam Sajgon 55
Namaste India 36
Namaste India Clay Oven 36
Natara 54
Nolita 40
Nu Jazz Zone 43
Oberża Pod Czerwonym
Wieprzem 49
Ole Tapas Steak Restaurant
Olive Garden 46
Osteria 52
Papaya 55
Paros 46
Piękna Bistro 40
Pierrogeria 49
Pizza Hut 38
Podwale - Kompania Piwna 40
Polka, Magda Gessler po
prostu 50
Prosta Historia 36
Radio Café 50
Rambam Kosher Cafe &
Restaurant 45
Restauracja Concept 13 40
Restauracja Kultura 40
Restauracja Różana 50
Restauracja Wilanów 40
Restaurant @Ferdy's 41
Restro 41
Roma 43
Roma Bukieteria 43
Room Service 38
Saffron Spices 36
P Air conditioning A Credit cards accepted
O Casino H Conference facilities
T Child friendl y U Facilities for the disabled
R Internet L Guarded parking
F Fitness centre G No smoking
K Restaurant X Smoking room available
D Sauna C Swimming pool
E Live music W Wi-Fi
6 Animal friendl y S Take away
I Fireplace J Old Town location
Y Tourist Card accepted V Home delivery
w Wellness
Symbol Key
Warsaw In Your Pocket
SAM Restaurant & Bakery 41
Sheesha Lounge 37
Sioux 32
Siriana 46
Skwer - filia Centrum
Artystycznego Fabryka
Trzciny 41
Słony 50
smaczneGO! 55
Socjal 41
Sol y Sombra 53
Solec 44 41
SomePlace Else 32
Soto Sushi 45
Sowa & Przyjaciele 42
STO900 42
Strauss Restaurant 50
Subway 33
T.G.I. Friday's 32
The Mexican 53
Theatro 35
Tomo Sushi 45
Trattoria Rucola 44
U Barssa 50
U Fukiera 51
U Kucharzy 51
U Szwejka 35
Warsaw Tortilla Factory 53
Wiking 46
Winiarnia Restauracja
Superiore 42
You & Me 33
Zapiecek 51
Żurawina Rest & Wine 42
Blikle Café 56
Bubbleology 56
Cafe Baguette 56
Cafe Próżna 56
Café Vincent 56
Chłodna 25 56
Coffee Karma 56
Costa by Coffee Heaven 56
Green Caffe Nero 56
Lody na Patyku 56
Loft 56
Ministerstwo Kawy 56
Karmello 57
Moments Tasty Life 57
Petit Appetit 57
Piękna Bistro - Espresso 57
Pijalnie Czekolady Wedel 57
Słodki Słony 57
Starbucks Coffee 57
To Lubię 57
Wawel 57
Bank Club 65
Bar Warszawa de Luxe 64
Beirut Hummus & Music Bar
Bierhalle 58
Bierhalle 63
Bollywood Lounge 65
British Bulldog Pub 58
BrowArmia 63
Bufet Centralny 58
Cafe Kulturalna 58
Club Capitol 65
Club Mirage 65
Coyote Bar & Night Club 69
de lite club 66
Dekada 65
Fabryka Trzciny 66
Fantom 60
Foksal XVIII 66
Hard Rock Cafe 60
Hydrozagadka 60
Champions Sports Bar &
Restaurant 60
JP's Bar 60
Kafefajka 60
Klaps 60
Kokomo 69
Konstytucja Klubokawiarnia 61
Kwadrat 61
Legends British Bar &
Restaurant 61
Legends British Bar &
Restaurant 66
Libido Gentleman's Club 69
Meta na Foksal 64
Metro Jazz Bar & Bistro 63
New Orleans Gentlemen's
Club 69
Nova Maska 66
Nu Jazz Zone 63
Opera 66
Organza 67
Panorama Bar & Lounge 61
Paparazzi 61
Pardon, To Tu 62
Piękna Bistro 63
Pies Czy Suka/Pure Bar 62
Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa 64
Plan B 62
Platinium Club 67
Po Drugiej Stronie Lustra 62
Przekąski Zakąski 64
Room 13 Club & Lounge 67
Saturator 62
Sheesha Lounge 63
Sketch 63
Skwer - filia Centrum
Artystycznego Fabryka
Trzciny 63
Sofia 69
SomePlace Else 63
SomePlace Else 66
The Eve Music Club 67
Utopia 67
Vinoteka 13 & WINE BAR 62
W Oparach Absurdu 64
Warsaw Tortilla Factory 63
Warsaw Tortilla Factory 66
Warszawa Powiśle 64
Warszawska 64
Watch Me 67
Winiarnia Restauracja
Superiore 62
Znajomi Znajomych 64
Żurawina Rest & Wine 62
A Polish Easter 27
Ask your Concierge 28
Breakfast 33
Burgers 36
Cemeteries 76
Climate 17
Currency exchange 120
Eating at a glance 32
Facts & Figures 17
Fast Food & Delivery 38
Gay Warsaw 60
Gestapo HQ 80
Hot Beer 48
Chocolate Lounges 57
Jan III Sobieski 104
Kolejka Board Game 116
Kościuszko Monument 78
Krakowskie Przedmieście 1 74
Krakowskie Przedmieście 1 75
Language Smarts 19
Late Night Eats 64
Lodgings at a glance 26
Market Values 18
Milk Bars 46
National Holidays 19
Night at a glance 58
Palmiry 82
Polish Alcohol 115
Polish Food 44
Presidential Palace 81
Quick Currency Convertor 18
Ronald Reagan Monument 84
Rosa Luxembourg 77
Royal Castle 83
Shopping at a Glance 114
Smoking 42
Stanislaw Poniatowski 79
Steak 54
Street Signs 16
The Citadel 80
The Incomes House 52
Tipping Tribulations 49
Train Smarts 13
Vice Advice 68
Warsaw Central Station 12
Warsaw Historical Timeline 71
Winter in Warsaw 8
Features index