Warsaw: Surprise and Delight

The capital of Poland is a success story nearly 25 years after the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe took wing in Poland

We love the legend about how Warsaw got its name centuries ago. The lonely fisherman named Wars met the beauty from the forest named Sawa. After a life lived happily together, the villagers called the city Warsaw in their memory.

To this day, after 400 years as the capital of Poland, the city is a successful blend of old and new, and of East and West.

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Warsaw: The City of Chopin

warsawThe Royal Avenue of Polish kings leads to the Old Town via Church of All Saints, by the Copernicus Monument, where famous native son Frederic Chopin’s heart is buried. Many are fooled by the look; the Old Town is actually a replica of the original destroyed during World War II.

Visitors can be surprised and delighted by the trail of Chopin Benches. Designed to celebrate the famous composer’s 200th birthday in 2010, the city fathers placed a series of 15 benches along the path that marks milestones in Chopin’s life. Take a seat to read the commentary and press the bench’s button to hear Chopin’s great music from a sound system embedded in each bench.

Give a nod to the statue on top of the column in the middle of Castle Square. This is King Zygmund III, who moved the capital from Krakow to Warsaw in the late 16th century.

Right there by cobblestoned Old Town, next to the Presidential Palace, is the historic and handsome Hotel Bristol dating to 1901. Restored by Starwood to a standard deserving the Luxury Colllection brand, this is one of Warsaw’s architectural gems. Visit the café for a cozy break.

Westin, Sheraton, InterContinental, Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Hilton, Radisson are among the global hotel names that adorn the better hotel local scene.

You cannot go wrong with comforting and hearty Polish food. Save plenty of time for lunch and don’t think twice if someone suggests a second breakfast at midday followed by a later lunch. Tip your hat to Atelier Amaro in city center, finally awarded its much anticipated Michelin star in 2013. Some opt for the Belvedere, a charming orangerie with a summer patio in pretty 17th century landscaped Lazienki Park, favored by resident peacocks and once the summer residence for Poland’s last monarch, King Stanislaw August Poniatowski.

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