Our first stop, the capital and largest city of Poland: Warsaw. The city where Chopin grew up, completed his musical education and composed his earlier works.
We stayed 3 days in that beautiful city.
Long before we departed from Serbia,we made a “MUST SEE” list of more than 25 places, also read plenty of tourist guides and decided to write down our experiences.
I want to share our knowledge with you, every locations we saw, and missed, transport in the city, food and drinks we tried and so on.
Saxon Garden – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Saxon Garden it is the oldest public park in the city. With the sandstone statues, big fountain and a beautiful lake on the middle is perfect for relaxing.
Main Street and Stare Miasto
Colorful buildings at the left and baroque and classical architecture on the right side of the Main street. Don’t forget to get a map, other catalogs in the tourist center. The Old Town was rebuilt after the II World War, but it kept the authentic look.
Exploration in the city, what we found?
The city is full of parks, little green spots to get some fresh air , this parks are full of surprises, statues, musicians and people, who seek solitude in this big city.
Later we got hungry and needed to find a restaurant. It is self-evident to try local food and drink specialties, like Zapiekanka, Barszcz or Pierogi, but I will write about this later on.
Palace of Culture and Science
A city monument, this complex contains four theaters, a multiplex cinema, two museums and an accredited university (among numberless organisations and offices with 3000 rooms). The terrace on the 30th floor, is a well-known tourist attraction with a panoramic view of the city.
Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum (Maria Curie Museum)
At the end of the first day, maybe at 10,30 in the evening, we got lost but finally we find our hotel, and get prepared for the next day.
After the big feast (breakfast) we want to explore the city by foot.
The Symbol of the Polish Capital
According to legend, a mermaid swimming in the sea stopped on the riverbank near the Old Town to rest. She found the place so admirable that she decided to stay. Local fisherman living nearby noticed that something was creating waves, tangling nets, and releasing their fish. Although their original intention was to trap the offender, they fell in love with the mermaid upon hearing her sing. Later, a rich merchant trapped the mermaid and imprisoned her in a wooden hut. A young fisherman heard the mermaid’s cry and with the help of his mates, released her, whereupon she declared her readiness to offer fishermen her help whenever it would be needed. Ever since, the mermaid, armed with sword and shield, has been ready to help protect the city and its residents.
There are so many versions and legends I can only encourage you to find and read it all.
Copernicus Science Centre
We didn’t get in, due to the large crown standing outside, but next time we need to purchase tickets online. (more info: Copernicus Science Centre)
University Library garden
A huge Botanical Garden with extensive collection of rare domestic and foreign plants.
Golden Duck and Mural the Muse of Chopin
A long, long time ago a princess who had been turned into a golden duck lived in the cellars of Ostrogski Castle. People said that anyone who found her would be rich beyond their wildest dreams. One year, on Kupala’s Night, a young cobbler went down into the cellars – he was lucky and he met the golden duck, who promised him riches. However, she said there was only one condition: she gave him a bag full of golden coins and said he had to spend them all within one day and not share his riches with anyone. It was almost the end of the day, and the boy broke the condition: he gave the last coin to a poor soldier. In a blink of an eye, he lost everything he had purchased with the gold coins. And that’s when he understood that money does not make you happy: true happiness comes from work and good health. From that time onwards, he lived the good life of a master cobbler and nobody ever heard about the Golden Duck again.
Fryderyk Chopin Museum
It was the best thing in Warszaw. “The music, smell and light – these are only some of the special effects, which are waiting to stimulate the visitors’ senses. Innovative approach to the subject of Chopin’s life and output wins recognition of both music lovers, historians and artists.” I was astonished by the multimedia exhibition, scores, music, and everithing what i saw inside. Definitely MUST SEE and FEEL!
(for more info: Chopin Museum)
University of Warsaw
Nicolaus Copernicus Monument
Basilica of the Holy Cross
Chopin’s heart was taken from his body when he died and buried in a church thank to his eldest sister. The heart was reinterred in the church and remains there to this day, undisturbed until recently. In 2014 a secret Ocean’s 11 of church officials, scientists, and medical experts dug up the heart under cover of night. As evocative as the situation sounds, the group was actually just checking the container preserving the heart as they feared it might have cracked, allowing the heart to dry out and decay. Knowing how beloved Chopin still is among the Polish people they simply wanted to avoid causing a public outcry at the exhumation. Luckily Chopin’s heart isn’t beating, but it is still in great condition.
You must find them all 😀 Just press one button and enjoy the music.
Actually we didn’t plan to see this, but it was worth it.
(for more info: Warsaw Zoo)
Wilanów Palace and Park
5,5km away from the city you can find a a wonderful Baroque royal residence (more info: Wilanów palace and park) and a charming garden, with a lake, forest and more statues.
Multimedia Fountain Park Monument to Maria Sklodowska-Curie
What we missed?
Here, one can not only rest while watching nature but also deepen one’s knowledge of the ideas of the Enlightenment by visiting such gems of the European architecture as:
The Palace on the Isle – one of the most valuable Polish historical buildings, housing the Royal Picture Gallery;
The Old Orangery, housing the Royal Sculpture Gallery with plaster copies of the most famous sculptures of the ancient world, and the Royal Theatre – one of the few original European 18th century court theatres;
The Myślewicki Palace, in which original polychromes by Jan Bogumił Plersch were preserved, including views of Rome and Venice;
The White Pavilion – the first building constructed in the Royal Łazienki by the initiative of Stanisław August – which houses the King’s Collection of Prints. (Lazienki Park)
And of course the The Fryderyk Chopin Monument
Warsaw University of Technology
When you get hungry….
First of all, we love to try local food and beverages.
The first restaurant we had i mind, and it was recommended by many people is the Zapiecek restaurant (Zapiecek).
BUT we never got in. I know that the crowd front of a restaurant means that it’s good and approximately cheap, but we didn’t want to wait half an hour to get served. So i can’t write an opinion, but i can recommend it to you.
The other suggestion was the milk bars – Bar Mleczny, is actually a low-priced cafeteria selling traditional dairy-based Polish food, which was great and delicious. And be prepared, they don’t speak english.
The city is full of restaurants, and we wanted to try Barszcz (Borsch). In the Old Town we found what wanted at the restaurant named U Pana Michała, where we ordered :
Barszcz czerwon/Red borsch with pastry and Pierogi z kapu/Dumplings with mushrooms. IT WAS DELICIOUS! and i payed only 39 zloty(PLN) for 2 soups and the dumplings.
For the dinner we brought a 50cm long zapiekanka or open-face sandwich, which is a popular street food served hot for 11 zloty for each. You can buy smaller versions of zapiekanka for 7 zloty.
For the end, the most popular local drink: Soplica is one of the older brands of Polish pure and flavoured vodka. 13 zloty for 0,2 l sweet nectar, fair price I say.
Souvenirs and presents for mum and dad….
I made a Chopin List (shopping list)
Bookmark: 1 PLN
Magnet: 3-5 PLN
Shirt: 30 PLN
Warszaw is a well organized city with variety of public transports. Bus, tram and even metro is available for you. The best way to buy the one-day ticket for 15 PLN. ( ZTM Warszawa )