Warsaw: 5 things to do in the Paris of the North

What to see and what to taste in Warsaw, the city also called the Paris of the North offers many things not to be missed during a pleasant visit to Poland.

The pale sun of the Northeast, the cold and pungent temperature in contrast with the heat shown by the citizens and above all by the Zubrowka (Polish herbal vodka) due to its alcohol content. The typical smells in the streets accompanied by pleasant music in the background, a troubled history and a rebirth, represented by the amazing combination of the new and the old city. This is Warsaw, “The heart of Europe”, so called during the Second World War due to its central position.

Especially at Christmas, the Polish capital exceeds all expectations. It becomes magical, a fairytale city decorated by imaginers Christmas decorations on the streets and, if you are lucky, even from a white snow cover. But even in summer it does not disappoint at all, indeed with the mild temperature typical of the summer period in Northern Europe, in Market Square (Rynek Starego Miastra) restaurants and bars set up tables outside where to drink and / or eat.

Before recommending 5 things to do and see in the Polish capital, you should know that during the Second World War it was almost completely destroyed and that is why it is divided internally between Old and New town.

The new part is mainly characterized by skyscrapers and modern buildings in which the financial and economic sector of the city is concentrated. The roads are multi-lane and super-intertwined for this reason it is not easy to reach the other side of the road; There are no pedestrian crossings, or at least there are very few in the new area but nothing to worry about, you simply have to go down the stairs, which lead to the Metro or to various exits on the road (it's easier to do than to say!). Speaking of Metro, the transport network it is very efficient and really cheap (especially Taxi) which is completely unusual in a capital.

This is the room's view of the new city.
I decide to "go back to the point" only now, after having mentioned, with this photo, the beauty of rebirth. But if when you travel, like me you love history, the ancient or even identify with the inhabitants, in what is the everyday life of the place, then I can not start by recommending the must-see in Warsaw.

Warszawa Old Town

In order to fully understand a place, one must inevitably know its past. Here, I would say to start from the Old Town, a place that looks like it came out of a picture book.
The nerve center of old Warsaw is Rynek Starego Miasta, around which numerous streets and very characteristic streets are articulated.
The Royal Route, Trakt królewski is an ancient street in Warsaw that leads from the Castle Square to the royal residence of Wilanów. IS about 4 kilometers long, consists of three streets: Krakowskie Przedmiescie, Nowy Swiat and Aleje Ujazdowskie with Renaissance palaces, numerous hotels and hostels (especially in Nowy Swiat), restaurants and pubs.

The majestic Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy), even more beautiful decorated with Christmas motifs, a mix of typically Nordic joy and melancholy.

Here are set up the Christmas markets full of delicacies, typical products, including food and crafts that are truly characteristic; And while strolling while sipping excellent mulled wine, you arrive at walls of the Barbicane, an ancient defensive construction dating back to 1548.

Church of the Holy Cross

Proceeding through the main streets, you reach the gates of this historic building of the late Baroque age, which houses the heart of the great Chopin kept in an urn. "Varsavian by birth, Polish at heart and citizen of the world thanks to my talent" once said the artist; In the Ostrogski Castle there is the museum dedicated to him that traces the years of his formation, through manuscripts, prints, posters, notes, necessary to understand who Frederic Chopin was. In the Church of the Visitation (in Krakowskie Przedmiescie 34) there is still the organ that Chopin used to play during religious celebrations.

Park Lazienki

È one of the most beautiful parks in Europe; It is a botanical garden of 76 hectares, preferably to visit in summer, but only for a matter of temperature (you have to wrap yourself up well), otherwise the winter charm is always unique. The park is characterized by water areas and flower beds, both enriched by the presence of birds flying over the lake and little animals such as roes that run around the meadows with their squirrel friends who approach without fear and amuse the children. There are many architectures such as the Water Tower which houses an art gallery or royal residences such as the White House. What is most fascinating is the Palace on the water, in neoclassical style, it seems surreal.

Palace of Culture and Science

This palace-museum in the center of the modern city, wanted by Stalin, was a gift from the Soviet people to the Polish people. It is not well liked by all citizens, who often say that the most beautiful view of Warsaw can be enjoyed from its top, from where it is therefore impossible to see it. Today it houses three theaters, a multiplex, a swimming pool, two museums and various bars and clubs.

Taste the Pierogi

Last but not least, a advice on food. If you go to Warsaw you cannot miss the "national dish of Poland". They are called "pierogi”And they are nothing more than a cross between a ravioli and an Asian dumpling, filled with meat, vegetables or cheese, but they also serve as an excellent dessert filled with fruit or flavors of your choice. You will find them everywhere, but the Zapiecek chain of restaurants specializes in making them and they are really excellent. Also, I take advantage of the food theme for another mini tip, 5.1).
If you are a lover of discovery and the typicality of places, you cannot fail to go to a mleczny bar, or dairies from the communist era that have now modernized their style and offer themselves as traditional quality fast food.

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