05 Mar

Hidden Warsaw

If you’re considering Poland for a holiday, maybe your first thought was Kraków, the country’s jewel in the crown, but Warsaw its capital should also be on your radar and we’ve uncovered some of its hidden gems. 

Poland was featured in ABTA Travel Trends 2019 report found here: abta.com/traveltrends2019

If you’re looking to book a trip to Poland, get in touch with an ABTA approved travel company for their help and expertise in booking your travel arrangements. 

Warsaw is a city steeped in history from Gothic churches to the home of one of the 19th century’s greatest composers including Fryderyk Chopin to Ignacy Jan Paderewski and numerous others, though if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find much more than first meets the eye. The city is fast becoming one of Europe’s most exciting cultural destinations; you will find a bohemian bar scene, futuristic galleries and plenty of neon! 

Uncover Warsaw’s art scene from neon signs to Fotoplastikon
From a museum dedicated to neon signs to the colourful murals and street art of the Old Praga district, Warsaw is pulsating with artistic talent. Start at the edgy Soho Factory, a former weaving mill which is now one of Warsaw’s creative hotspots. It is home to artists, installations and independent design shops and the star attraction the Neon Museum which has an eclectic selection of neon signs recovered from the Cold War era. 

Next, catch a tram to Warsaw’s Old Praga district to see the street art, which offers a vibrant counterpoint to the neighbourhood’s pre-war architecture. Finally, for a history lesson with a difference, visit the Fotoplastikon, a stereoscopic theatre which allows visitors to look through old 3D pictures of Warsaw and other global landmarks in their pre-war glory in a truly unique and involving way. It’s been operating in the same location since 1905 so the oldest in Europe and now the last remaining one in Poland. Sounds intriguing? It is and well worth a visit. 

Hipster hangouts, foodie hotspots and beer tours
From Sklad Butelek, the club housed in a former rubber factory, to Zbawiciela Square, the well-known hipster hangout, Warsaw offers plenty of unique spots to explore by night. 
Immerse yourself in the city’s alternative food and drink scene in Bohemian Praga, where Zbawiciela Square, or ‘Plac Hipstera’, makes its mark. Those in search of Poland’s edgier neighbourhoods will find Powisle and Zoliborz districts among the coolest. 

Try some of Poland’s more surprising and interesting foods while you’re at it, including Flaki – tripe soup and a Polish favourite Krokiety – pancakes filled with meat, cabbage and mushrooms. Complete your taste of Warsaw with a tour of the city’s most notable craft beer breweries. 

Take a shot or three of Poland’s 500-year vodka heritage 
Once you’ve sampled Warsaw’s craft beer scene, explore over 500 years of Polish vodka-making history in the country’s first museum dedicated to celebrating the national beverage. Take the tasting tour around this former vodka factory and you’ll learn about how the drink was developed through the ages; you’ll finish your trip with a tipple in the museum’s House of Vodka. If you fancy a few more, head to the Elixir Restaurant and Vodka bar where you can ask for advice on how best to pair and flavour the drink. 

See the sights from dizzying heights 
If you’ve had enough of leisurely strolling, time to get climbing. You get great views of the city after climbing the beautiful staircase in Dewajtis Street This artistically installed stairway to heaven spirals upwards taking visitors to dizzying heights and panoramic views. 

In order to get to know the history behind the city skyline, take a guided tour in an authentic Fiat 126p, the iconic car popularised during the Communist regime. Discover a selection of sites associated with Poland’s socialist history, from the Palace of Culture and Science to the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party. 

Find out more about Poland in ABTA’s Travel Trends report 2019 visit: abta.com/traveltrends2019