24 hours in Warsaw

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Many have joked that Warsaw in winter is like a black and white movie, with several shades of grey! But spend just a few hours in the Polish capital, and you will discover that what it lacks in colour, it makes up for in its vibrant and lively nature.


In Warsaw, there is an adventure lurking behind every corner, and no two streets are the same. Pre-war architecture stands beside contemporary buildings, melding together, creating a new synergy. According to an old folk tale, the city’s name comes from Wars, a fisherman, who eventually fell in love with a mermaid, Sawa. Up to this day a mermaid is depicted on the city’s coat of arms. It can be seen on taxis, and there's also an impressive mermaid sculpture in the Old Town square.

For the most important meal of the day, Leniviec serves fair-trade coffee and a mouth-watering buffet-style breakfast. Or do it like the Poles, and order a zapiekanka in the shopping area next to the Metro Centrum.

Take a stroll around the Lazienki Palace, a grand neoclassical structure built in the late 17th century for the Polish royal family. Guided tours of the lavishly decorated interior are provided in several languages.

Nurse your winter blues with some retail therapy. In the area around Plac Trzech Krzyy you’ll find silverware maker Hefra, clothing designers Bohoboco, and Prima Porta – specialising in one-of-a-kind antiquities.

Chocolatier Wedel has been in business since 1851. The grand shop on ul. Szpitalna serves divine confectionery, along with hot chocolate in a range of flavours – perfect for battling the Warsaw cold!

Warsaw is at the centre of a vibrant art scene with galleries across the city. Get a taste of what’s on offer at the Zacheta Art Gallery (closed Mondays), which will show works by Polish artist Piotr Uklaski during January.

Warsaw’s historic Old Town is only a short walk away. Eat at u Fukiera for some traditional Polish fare. For something lighter, Pierrogeria serves baked pierogi filled with anything from sausage and cottage cheese to forest fruits.

Take in majestic views of the city from the observation deck at the top of St Anne’s Church bell tower. In the distance you can see the 58,000-seater National Stadium, built for the Euro 2012 football championship.

Show off your skating skills at the ice rink at the foot of the Palace of Culture and Science. If that’s not your thing, Fotoplastikon (closed Mondays) is a fascinating show of stereographic pictures depicting life around the city.

U Kucharzy’s open kitchen allows you a behind-the-scenes look  at the chefs as they prepare your dish! The beef tartare and sautéed wild mushrooms come highly recommended from both locals and visitors alike.

End the day on a high at Panorama Bar and Lounge. Set on the 40th floor of the Marriott Hotel, it offers great views of the city skyline. Be sure to ask the bar staff for ‘Apple pie’, a Polish staple: Zubrówka vodka mixed with apple juice.


Warsaw, Poland
Distance: 3,493 km
Flight Time: 6 hours
Frequency: 4 flights a week

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