Tag: Warsaw

Tag: Warsaw

Warsaw Expat Pubs & Bars

Expat bars in Warsaw

Expat bars in Warsaw – updated 24 September 2022

Usually, one of the first things the newly arrived do is seek out the expat bars in Warsaw. It's a good way to make friends, learn the ropes from those who have lived and worked in the city for a while, enjoy some food from home and socialise.

The hospitality industry in Warsaw is very competitive. Rates are not cheap, especially around the city’s hotspots, so it’s not unusual to see bars open with a flourish of advertising activity one month – to then close down just a few months later.

If you talk to any of the British, Irish or American expats who have lived in Warsaw for a while, they will tell you outrageous yarns of legendary expat bars of the past such as Bar Below, Bradley’s Bar and Tortilla Factory. Those that are even older will reminisce about the hotel bars, which in fact were once the only safe place for expats to get a drink 30 years ago.

But that’s all irrelevant, then was then and now is now!

Nowadays, there really isn’t very much on offer in regard to a true, traditional expat bar with the one exception of Legends Bar at Emilii Plater 25, just a short stumble from the Marriot Hotel.

If an expat bar is where expats go to drink on a regular basis, then Legends ticks the box. The owners are Beata who is Polish and Graham who is from Liverpool, he’s an Evertonian who likes his football – reason number two why it’s an expat bar – you can watch the footie there.

Reason number 3 would be that they serve British grub such as steak and kidney pie with mashed potatoes and onion gravy, they also do a full English breakfast, fish & chips and other pub favourites.

Legends is a favourite with expats and locals alike, it’s not very big and can get crowded if there’s a good match on the telly or on quiz night, which happens on a Friday once every month.

There are usually a few British draught beers on offer in bottles in addition to draft Guinness and local lagers. The only drinks they don’t serve are cocktails, if you want Sex on the Beach – there’s plenty of cocktail bars a short walk away.

If you're in Warsaw and fancy a pint and a bite to eat, then Legends is highly recommended.

Warsaw Old Town Tours & Experiences

Historic Centre of Warsaw

Warsaw Historic Centre

Historic Centre of Warsaw – updated 10 September 2022

The Historic Centre of Warsaw is the oldest part of the city. 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.

Historic centre Warsaw

World War II

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.

Where possible, original bricks and decorative elements found in the rubble were reused during the reconstruction, which was not entirely accurate to pre-war Warsaw but more of a mix between pre-war Warsaw and an earlier period. The objective was to reconstruct but at the same time, try to improve on the original.

Historic centre Warsaw

Old Town Market Place

The 13th century Old Town Market Place was the true heart of the Old Town and until the end of the 18th century it was the heart of all of Warsaw. Prior to the great fire of 1607, the buildings around the square were Gothic in style, after the fire, they were rebuilt in late-Renaissance style.

Castle Square

When approaching the Old Town from the centre of Warsaw, your first view of the reconstructed Old Town is Castle Square, dominated by Zygmunt’s Column, which towers above the beautiful Old Town houses.

Historic centre Warsaw

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.

Warsaw Old Town Tours & Experiences

Masovia (Mazowieckie)

Masovia

Masovia – updated 23 September 2022

Masovia (Mazowieckie) is located in mid-north-eastern Poland and has the city of Warsaw as its unofficial capital. It has an area of around 35,000 square kilometres and a population of just over 5 million.

Kampinos National Park

Protected land

Masovia has a lowland landscape with forests (mainly pine and oak) that cover 20% of the entire area. The primary forests are Kampinos Forest, Puszcza Biała and Puszcza Zielona. Nearly 30% of Masovia is classified as protected land comprising of Kampinos National Park, 171 nature reserves and 62 protected landscape sites.

Warsaw Chopin Airport

Masovia attracts many thousands of visitors from within Poland and from abroad. The region is home to Warsaw Chopin Airport, the busiest airport in Poland and many tourists stay in the province for a few days prior to exploring the other regions in the country.

Kampinos National Park

Kampinos National Park is one of the largest national parks in Poland and is popular with tourists making day trips from Warsaw to hike and cycle among the park's primeval forests, sand dunes, and marshland. The park has 300km of marked walking and cycling trails to enjoy and has been designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Warsaw

Masovia is the centre of infrastructure, industry, education, research & science in the country. It is ranked first in the country according to Gross Domestic Product, due entirely to Warsaw, which is the financial centre of East-Central Europe. The area has the lowest unemployment rate in Poland and is classified as a very high-income province.

Masovia

Warsaw is home to many theatres and well-known institutions such as the National Philharmonic, the National Opera House & the National Library and is also home to many monuments and impressive historical buildings. Warsaw Old Town was almost completely demolished during World War II but was restored back to its former glory and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Frédéric Chopin

There are plenty of interesting things to see in Masovia outside of Warsaw. You can find impressive cathedrals in Płock and Łowicz, and the manor house where Frédéric Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola.

Castles in Masovia

There are many castles to explore in the region such as Czersk, Pułtusk, Ciechanów, Opinogóra, Rawa Mazowiecka, Sochaczew and Liw, you’re also find interesting churches, palaces and parks.

Tours & Attractions

Lazienki Palace

Lazienki Park

Lazienki Palace – Updated 22 August 2022

The 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.

Lazienki Palace

Old Orangery

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.

Artificial Island

The palace is built on an artificial island that divides the lake into two parts, a smaller northern lake and a bigger southern lake; it is connected by two colonnaded bridges to the rest of the park. The location of the palace has provided the building with its unofficial name, The Palace on the Lake.

Inside the palace, you’ll find sumptuous interiors, some 140 paintings and works of art from the king’s collection and an ornate ballroom.

The palace was very nearly destroyed by the retreating Germans during the final stages of WWII, they went as far as to drill holes in the structure in preparation for demolition; however, the plan was never carried out.

Lazienki Palace

Best times to visit

One of the best times to visit the palace and park is from spring to late autumn when the gardens are at their best. In addition to the flora and fauna, you’ll also see peacocks, squirrels, swans and ducks.

Chopin

Summer visitors should not miss out on one of the famous Chopin concerts, which take place from May to September every Sunday at 12 noon and 4pm at the Chopin monument.

Lazienki Palace Tours & Experiences

Royal Castle Warsaw

Warsaw Royal Castle

Royal Castle Warsaw – Updated 22 August 2022

The Royal Castle is an exceptional copy of the original red-brick castle, which was destroyed by the Germans in WWII.

Wooden stronghold

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.

Royal Castle Warsaw

17th century

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.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction of the castle did not start until 1971 and took 13 years to complete at immense cost with the majority of the funds having been donated from exiled Poles. During the reconstruction, bricks and rubble from the original structure were used.

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.

Royal Castle Warsaw

Rembrandt

Within the King’s Apartments is the Canaletto Room where you will find 22 paintings by Bernardo Bellotto, an Italian urban landscape painter who was known in Poland as Canaletto. This room also houses the Lanckoroński Collection, which includes two portraits painted by Rembrandt.

The King’s Apartments are adorned with many paintings depicting famous Polish events which hang alongside maps depicting a golden time when Poland stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Tadeusz Kościuszko

During the tour, you will also visit the chapel with an urn containing the heart of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish hero.

Ghost story

As is the case with many castles in Poland, there is a ghost story. In this case we have a White Lady who appears from time to time in some of the castle halls. Legend states that her appearance is linked to imminent danger.

The French Baroque Royal Gardens are delightful and can be found at the rear of the castle near the river.

Warsaw Tours & Experiences