Tag: Teatr Wielki

Tag: Teatr Wielki

Top 10 things to do in Warsaw

Image: Wilanów Palace

There’s a lot to see and do in the city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 things to do in Warsaw. Click on the links for further information or to book a tour & buy tickets.

1. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

This fascinating historical museum presents over 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland. It allows visitors to explore past and present Jewish culture, providing a counterpoint to the stereotypes, xenophobia, and nationalistic prejudice threatening today’s societies. POLIN promotes openness, tolerance, and truth, contributing to the mutual understanding and respect between Polish and Jewish people.

Further information & book tickets

2. Wilanów Palace

Wilanów Palace is a former royal palace located 10km south of the city centre. It’s managed to survive Poland’s partitions and two World Wars and is one of Poland’s most important monuments. It was commissioned by King Jan III Sobieski in 1677 and serves as a reminder of the culture of the Polish state as it was before the misfortunes of the 18th century. The palace is one of Warsaw’s top tourist attractions.

Wilanów Palace and gardens private guided tour with transportation

3. Palace of Culture & Science

Love it or hate it, you can’t not see it. At 237m tall, it’s the second tallest building in Poland after Varso Tower. Since 1955, this socialist realist palace has dominated the city of Warsaw and today it houses various public and cultural institutions such as cinemas, theatres, libraries, sports clubs, university faculties and authorities of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Known as PKiN (the abbreviation of its full Polish name) and a lot of other less friendly names, the palace was a gift of friendship from the Soviet Union. Check out the 30th floor observation terrace for great views of the city.

Further information & book tickets

4. Royal Castle

Royal Castle Warsaw is an exceptional copy of the original red-brick castle; which was destroyed by the Germans in WWII. The very first version of the castle was actually a wooden stronghold dating back to the 14th century built for the dukes of Mazovia and since then it has been the residence of Polish kings in addition to being the home of the president and also the seat of parliament. Back in the 17th century Royal Castle Warsaw was one of the most splendid royal palaces in Europe and today; it is filled with authentic furniture from that period and many original works of art. The highlights of the tour are the Great Apartments; which includes the Great Assembly Hall and lavishly decorated Throne Room and the King’s Apartments.

Further information.

Private Warsaw highlights tour in Old and New Town with Royal Castle ticket

5. Lazienki Park & Palace

Lazienki Palace is located in the beautiful Łazienki Park in Warsaw. This is the biggest and most popular park in the city and it provides visitors with many things to explore. During a walk around the 76 hectares park, you’ll see the Art Nouveau Chopin monument, a classicist amphitheatre, summer houses, pavilions, cafes & restaurants, lakes, the English garden, an Old Orangery, palaces and much more. There’s so much to see that it is possible to spend the full day in the park. Lazienki Palace is a lovely neoclassical building originally built in the 17th century and is the former residence of King Stanisław August Poniatowski who was a great patron of the arts.

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6. Historic Centre Of Warsaw

The Historic Centre of Warsaw (Warsaw Old Town) is the oldest part of Warsaw. The heart of the area is the Old Town Market Place; which is very popular with tourists and contains many restaurants, cafés, bars and shops. Surrounding streets feature medieval architecture such as the city walls, St. John’s Cathedral and the Barbican which links the Old Town with Warsaw New Town. In excess of 85% of the historic centre of Warsaw was deliberately destroyed during World War II by Nazi Germany. A meticulous restoration of the Old Town took place after the war and this included its important religious buildings, the Royal Castle, Old Town Market, townhouses, and the circuit of the city walls. It is an outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century.

Further information.

7. Żabińskis’ Villa

The story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski is one of extraordinary bravery, decency and humanitarian spirit at enormous personal risk in the most challenging circumstances possible. The largely accurate portrayal captured in Diane Ackerman’s book and subsequent 2017 Hollywood movie, The Zookeeper’s Wife, reached millions. But a great many more remain completely unaware of the extraordinary tale of personal heroism, bravery and human kindness that took place within the grounds of Warsaw Zoo during World War II, and their enormous legacy and lessons for wider humanity in rescuing more than 300 people, mostly Jews smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto, at enormous personal risk. Even fewer are aware that the little zookeeper’s villa at the centre of the story, in the middle of the Warsaw Zoo, still stands today. A powerful but hidden and relatively neglected symbol of human unity and shared purpose, cared for over the years by a small group of people associated with the zoo and with the Zabinski family, on something less than a shoe-string budget. The villa, where the Żabińskis lived and risked their lives by hiding Jews, is open for a guided tour, which is well worth doing.

Further information.

8. Warsaw Rising Museum

The single largest military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II happened during the Warsaw Uprising; which was fought for 63 days with little outside support. The Uprising was led by the Polish Resistance Home Army in an attempt to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. If you are ever in Warsaw, a visit to the Rising Museum is highly recommended. The museum traces the history of the doomed Uprising using personal accounts, photos, film and interactive displays. If you want to do the museum and surrounding Freedom Park justice, you’ll need to put aside a whole day.

Further information.

Teatr Wielki

Image: Teatr Wielki

9. Teatr Wielki

The Grand Theatre is a theatre and opera complex situated on the historic Theatre Square. It is home to the Polish National Opera and Ballet companies and is one of the largest theatrical venues in the world, with a seating capacity of over 2,000. The building was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt to the original design in 1965.

Further information.

10. Copernicus Science Centre

Copernicus Science Centre is a science museum standing on the bank of the Vistula River containing over 450 interactive exhibits that enable visitors to single-handedly carry out experiments and discover the laws of science for themselves. The Centre is the largest institution of its type in Poland and one of the most advanced in Europe. In 2018, since its opening, it had been visited by over 8 million people.

Further information.

Tripadvisor

For further ideas about what to do in the city, Tripadvisor are an excellent resource of information – Click here.

Top 10 things to do in Łódź

There’s a lot to see and do in the city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 things to do in Łódź. Click on the links for further information or to book a tour & buy tickets.

1. EC1

If Łódź’s grand plan of reinvention and rejuvenation had a centrepiece, it would be EC1, which takes its name from the structure it once was, the city’s first heating and power plant, Elektro-Ciepłownia 1. The EC1 building is home to the most modern planetarium in Poland and a fascinating Science and Technology Centre.

Further information

2. Manufaktura

Manufaktura is a massive shopping mall complex of red-brick buildings occupying a large area of a former cotton factory dating back to the nineteenth century. In addition to multiple chain stores, you’ll find a multiplex cinema, an Imax theatre, several museums, cafes and restaurants. Check out the beautiful brick Factory Gate on the south side. It dates back to 1880.

Further information

Best highlights of Lodz walking tour

3. Jewish Cemetery

The Łódź Jewish Cemetery was opened in 1982 and was once the largest Jewish cemetery in Poland. Occupying around 44 hectares of land, the cemetery contains around 68,000 surviving memorials in addition to mass graves of victims of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto and the Holocaust, an area known as Ghetto Field or Polem Gettowym in Polish; which is the final resting place for 43,000 victims. Today over a hundred of the gravesites have been declared historical monuments and are in various stages of restoration. The mausoleum of Izrael Poznański is perhaps the largest Jewish tombstone in the world and the only one containing decorative mosaic. The cemetery continues to function as a Jewish burial site.

Further information.

4. Radegast Station

Radegast station on the north side of the city, was the main deportation centre (Umschlagplatz) for Jews being sent to the extermination camps at Chełmno and Auschwitz-Birkenau during Operation Reinhard. During WWII, the station was located just outside the Łódź Ghetto, one of the biggest Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Europe. During the period from 16th January 1942 to 29th August 29 1944, around 200,000 victims passed through the station on the way to their deaths. The station has been preserved and now holds a memorial to those lost in the Holocaust.

Further information.

5. City Museum of Łódź

The museum is housed in the impressive Neo-Baroque palace of 19th-century textile baron Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznański adjacent to the Manufaktura mall. Exhibits are dedicated to the city’s history and famous citizens.

Further information.

6. Herbst Palace Museum

The museum is a branch of the Museum of Art and is the former residence of the Herbst family, a very wealthy and influential family in the 2nd half of the 19th century. The owners fled Poland before the start of WWII and took the art and furnishings with them; since then the interior has been restored and refurnished and is now back to its former glory. In addition to seeing the rooms within the palace, there is also a separate exhibition of Polish and European art from the 15th to early 20th centuries.

Further information.

7. Centre for Science & Technology

The Centre for Science & Technology occupies 8,000 sqm of exhibition space within the EC1 complex. It’s a hands-on experience that attempts to explain scientific principles such as electromagnetism and atomic physics. You can explore the insides of the giant furnaces and boilers and enjoy simulations, games and other multimedia elements.

Further information.

8. Pasaż Róży

Tucked away off ul. Piotrkowska 3 is a courtyard called Pasaż Róży where you’ll find a spectacular piece of public art designed by Joanna Rajkowska. The passage has been completely lined with mirror fragments arranged in swirling floral patterns. Well-worth a visit.

9. Museum of the Factory

You’ll find this industrial museum within the Manufaktura complex next to the multiplex cinema on the second floor. The exhibits include old textile machines and tells the history of the industrial fortune of Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznański. It shows how the factory developed in time, the production techniques for cotton cloth and the everyday lives of the ordinary factory workers.

Further information.

10. Teatr Wielki

The Teatr Wielki, located on Plac Dąbrowskiego, is the second largest opera house in Poland and one of the largest in Europe, with an auditorium which can seat 1074 people.

Further information.

For further information about things to do in Łódź – Click here.