Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, is a popular tourist destination in the heart of Europe. The museums, shops and vibrant cultural life of Warsaw make it a wonderful place to visit on a holiday with friends.
Warsaw has experienced many difficult periods of history. Founded at least 800 years ago, the city became sovereign capital of Poland, and a centre for politics, culture and industry. However, in 1772 Poland’s neighbouring Republics of Russia, Prussia and Austria seized control of the country and partitioned the land. For over 100 years the country rebelled against the partitions imposed, eventually gaining independence once more after World War I.
After WWI the city experienced a boom in growth, which continued until the Nazi invasion and subsequent occupation of 1939. The large Jewish population of the city especially suffered at the brutal hands of the Nazi’s throughout the war. The general population joined the doomed 1944 Warsaw Uprising, during which nearly 200,000 citizens died, and most buildings were ruined by the Nazi’s. By the war’s end, the city had been almost totally destroyed, and many of the pre-war inhabitants had left or been killed.
While the Soviet control saw a further period of civil unrest, huge efforts were made to both rebuild and develop Poland’s capital. Many areas of Warsaw were reconstructed, the population grew, and in 1980 Warsaw’s Old Town was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With the fall of communism in 1989, Warsaw entered another phase of rapid growth as the city built a metro, offices, bridges, shops, parks and other buildings. Poland has joined NATO and the European Union, and its Capital Warsaw is the most popular tourist destination in Poland.
Visitors to Warsaw can find out more about the history of this unique city in the Warsaw Rising Museum. Situated in an old tram power station, it opened to the public in 2004, marking the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. The Warsaw Rising Museum exhibits objects, documents, multimedia and vehicles which help tell the personal stories behind the tragic uprising.
Visitors to Warsaw will enjoy strolling around the city’s picturesque streets, especially the reconstructed Old Town. The many charming buildings are home to a great range of museums, shops and restaurants for tourists to enjoy.
Fans of shopping will not be disappointed in Warsaw, which is home to a range of fantastic shops. Visitors can enjoy purchasing unique gifts from the city’s Old Town, as well as browsing in Warsaw’s shopping centres.
Warsaw is home to the largest shopping complex in central Europe, the Arkadia Shopping Centre, which annually draws more than 21 million people. More than 230 designer shops selling Polish and international brands can be found here, as well as dozens of restaurants, cafes and a cinema. Another big draw for shoppers is the The Zlote Tarasy (Golden Terraces), which houses 200 stores filled with well-known and local brands. Zlote Tarasy is the location for Poland’s first Hard Rock Café, along with many more speciality restaurants and clubs.
Both Warsaw Shopping Centres are situated within walking distance of our comfortable Radisson Blu Centrum Hotel, Warsaw, making it the perfect place to stop once you’ve shopped.
The city is home to a number of cool venues for people who want to enjoy an entertaining night out in Warsaw with friends. The city has lots of clubs and jazz clubs, many of which are great to visit when you’re part of a group exploring the city.
In 2012 Warsaw hosted the European Football Championships, and the city now boasts the biggest stadium in Poland – the state-of-the-art National Stadium (Stadion Narodowy). Tours can be arranged in the stadium grounds and professional rooms, with special ‘VIP’ and ‘Player’ tours available. The stadium accommodates a variety of entertainments throughout the year, from sporting events and concerts to leisure activities such as ice skating. In June the Stadion Narodowy will be the location of the renowned Orange Warsaw Festival 2014.
Warsaw has an international airport and several train stations, making it a convenient location for a weekend away with friends.
What’s the best place you’ve ever been on a holiday with friends?