Europe > Central Europe > Poland > Mazowieckie > Warsaw > Warsaw/Śródmieście
Śródmieście is the central district of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. It hosts the most tourist attractions, cultural institutions, and restaurants, and is the hub of the city's nightlife. Most visitors to Warsaw will visit the area, if not spend most of their time there, as it also offers extensive accommodation choice. Today's city centre is a mixture of brand-new, 21st-century development and remains and reconstructions of historic heritage. The oldest parts of Śródmieście, the Old and New Town of Warsaw have a separate guide on Wikivoyage.
Almost all long-distance trains to Warsaw arrive at 1 Warszawa Centralna, the central train station and the transportation hub for the city. Most local suburban trains mostly arrive at 2 Warszawa Śródmieście, linked via an underground passageway to Warszawa Centralna. Some trains, however, use the northern, somewhat remote 3 Warszawa Gdańska station. Local trains travelling eastwards from Warszawa Śródmieście also stop at 4 Warszawa Powiśle, which is also a good place to start exploring the district.
M1 - from Mokotów, the last subway before entering Śródmieście is Pole Mokotowskie. The first stop in Śródmieście from this direction is Politechnika. The last northern stop in Żoliborz before entering Śródmieście is Plac Wilsona. The first stop in Śródmieście from this direction is Dworzec Gdański.
M2 - Rondo ONZ station is located on Śródmieście's western border with Wola and Centrum Nauki Kopernik station is the last one before the metro crosses the Vistula river into Praga
Świętokrzyska is the interchange station between M1 and M2.
From the Warsaw Chopin Airport
To get to Śródmieście from the Chopin Airport, you can take a local train, a bus or a taxi to get to Śródmieście.
The local trains depart from the terminus station right under the terminal - the S3 SKM and the green-yellow-white Koleje Mazowieckie (KML) trains stop at Warszawa Centralna, while the S2 SKM stops at Warszawa Śródmieście and Warszawa Powiśle. SKM trains depart every 15 minutes (S2 alternating with S3), and around 30 minutes to get to Warszawa Centralna or Warszawa Śródmieście.
The bus line linking the airport with Śródmieście is 175. It is very useful for tourists arriving in Warsaw, as it stops by many tourist attractions and hotels. The fare is no different from any other bus line in Warsaw. 175 departs every 20-30 minutes, depending on time of day, between 4AM and 11PM. The journey takes around 25 minutes to Warszawa Centralna and around 30 minutes from the airport to the other terminus at Plac Piłsudskiego.
The taxi to Śródmieście should set you back 50-60 zł, depending on your destination and time of day, which also affect travelling time. Despite Warsaw repeatedly topping traffic congestion rankings, the traffic jams rarely affect the route to the airport, but you can get stuck in one inside Śródmieście. Outside of rush hours, you should be able to get to Śródmieście within 15 minutes by taxi.
Śródmieście is a relatively small district. The entire width of Śródmieście could be walked in roughly 25-35 minutes. The length of the district, however, would take approximately an hour or so of non-stop and brisk walking. The district's geographical location and size makes it the easiest district to get around. Being home to many well-known businesses, governmental institutions, universities, and the center of a tourist's universe means that public transportation is well built up in the district.
Considering that the strict city center is a flat area whose sides measure only some 2 km, it is a good idea to take a stroll through it. There are two streets that serve the purpose of a promenade, ul. Chmielna, which is fully pedestrianized and ul. Nowy Świat, which is closed to traffic on summer weekends.
If you start your walk from Metro Centrum (this is a popular place where people arrange to meet one another), you can get to the other side of ul. Marszałkowska through the underpass. The round building adjacent to the intersection is called the Rotunda. It is a bank branch and the pavement in front of it is another popular meeting place. Going along the ul. Marszałkowska you'll pass some department stores and after 500 m or so, turn right into ul. Chmielna. At the end of it, turn left into ul. Nowy Świat and go straight ahead. This street, which then changes into Krakowskie Przedmieście, will lead you to Castle Square and the Old Town.
- Main streets parallel to Vistula: Wyb. Kościuszkowskie and Wyb. Gdańskie - more often referred to as Wisłostrada, ul. Solec, ul. Marszałkowska, al. Niepodległości-ul. Chałubińskiego-al. Jana Pawła II, ul. Raszyńska
- Main streets perpendicular to Vistula: al. Armii Ludowej - more often referred to as Trasa Łazienkowska, Al. Jerozolimskie, ul. Tamka-ul. Świętokrzyska-ul. Prosta, al. Solidarności, ul. Słomińskiego
Dworzec Centralny is also a big bus terminus. The stops are named either Dw. Centralny or Emilii Plater (the street which runs in front of the train station), but they are next to each other.
There are main tram stretches
-north south direction:
- Aleja Jana Pawła II-ul. Chałubińskiego-Aleje Niepodległości
- ul. Marszałkowska
-east west direction:
- Aleja Solidarności
- Aleje Jerozolimskie
You can use as well smaller routes between main stretches. For more details use tram map on ZTM site
Within Śródmieście, there are eight subway stations that more-or-less cut through the midsection of the district from north to south and west to east. These are Dworzec Gdański (at the district's northern border with Żoliborz), Ratusz Arsenał (at Plac Bankowy, beside Warsaw City Hall), Świętokrzyska (at the intersection of ul. Marszałkowska and ul. Świętokrzyska, interchange station between M1 and M2 lines ), Centrum (at Rondo Dmowskiego, the intersection of ul. Marszałkowska and Aleje Jerozolimskie), Politechnika (located near the Technical University, close to southern border with Mokotów), Rondo ONZ (intersection of ul. Świętokrzyska and Aleja Jana Pawła II, on western border with Wola), Nowy Świat - Uniwersytet (intersection of ul. Świętokrzyska and ul. Nowy Świat - historical Trakt Królewski - Royal Route) and Centrum Nauki Kopernik (close to amusement facility with the same name, close Wisła river shores and to eastern border with Praga Północ)
Main streets and squares
- Krakowskie Przedmieście - extending southwards from the Old Town towards Kraków, it was along this street that Warsaw started expanding once it became the capital city. Reconstructed to retain a 19th-century charm, it has a collection of historic buildings along it.
- Nowy Świat - a further southward extension of Krakowskie Przedmieście, this has been one of Warsaw's most important streets for the past few centuries. Reconstruction limited building height to three storys and kept them all in 18th-century style, providing for a cozy home for cafés, restaurants and shops.
- Aleje Ujazdowskie - a classic tree-lined avenue, perhaps most reminiscent of how Warsaw was before World War II. A number of embassies, government institutions and parks are situated along it.
- Marszałkowska - parallel to Krakowskie, Nowy Świat and Ujazdowskie is this modern wide thoroughfare, whose sides are lined with monumental buildings from the 1950s onwards, and a small selection of reconstructed historic monuments.
- Plac Trzech Krzyży - named after the three crosses - one atop the church and two on pillars - it has a long history and an ever-changing identity. In the 21st century, it became known as an intersection of "the place they never close" and some of the most upscale retail and dining zones of the city.
- Plac Konstytucji/MDM - a part of Warsaw created by 1950s Stalin-era socialist city planners, in a style echoing 1930s Moscow. Chandelier-shaped streetlamps and monuments to the working class now look on a busy meeting place in the southern end of Śródmieście.
- Plac Zbawiciela - one of the few remainders of the Saxon city planning, the roundabout radiates streets in a star-like fashion and has become a focal point for nightlife and all things trendy.
- Plac Bankowy - named after the building of Bank Polski, now used as an art gallery, the large open square is most known for hosting the city hall and being a major transportation interchange. Its disjointed appearance mixing reconstructed historic monuments and modern buildings is a testament to the changes in the Warsaw's structure after the Second World War.
- 1 Palace of Culture and Science (Palac Kultury i Nauki), plac Defilad, ☎ . Daily 09:00-18:00. Warsaw's most recognizable landmark has a controversial history: it was constructed in the 1950s ostensibly as a "gift" from the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. The gargantuan building is home to various institutions, including three theatres, a multiplex cinema, the Museum of Technology and the Congress Hall (built for Communist Party congresses, but mostly used for entertainment purposes now). An observation deck in the top floor provides (windy) views in all directions, accessible via express elevators. Admission to the observation deck: 18 zł/12 zł (reduced).
- 2 Tomb of The Unknown Soldier (Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza), pl. Piłsudskiego. Built in 1925, the tomb holds the remains of a Polish soldier who died in battle at Lwów, now Lviv, Ukraine. It also holds soil from 38 battlegrounds fought at by Poles.
- 3 Zamek Ujazdowski. The castle in Ujazdów became a secondary royal residence, and today hosts the contemporary art museum (see below).
- 4 Pałac Saski (Saxon Palace). The Saxon Kings of Poland have afforded themselves an imposing baroque palace, but sadly it was completely destroyed during Second World War and never rebuilt. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the only remaining piece of the palace.
- 5 Pałac na Wodzie (Palace on the Water). Poland's last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski, preferred the relaxed and artsy atmosphere of the Łazienki Park and built himself a secondary residence there to meet with the contemporary statesmen, thinkers and artists.
- 6 Sejm Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (The Parliament), ul. Wiejska. Sejm is the name for the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, which since the 1930s meets in a peculiar circus-shaped building. The upper chamber, named Senat, occupies a rectangular building behind it. They are surrounded by a nice park.
- 7 Pałac Prezydencki (Presidential Palace). The impressive palace a few steps from the historic Old Town has served many functions in its long history, but now houses the offices of the President of Poland
- 8 Kancelaria Prezesa Rady Ministrów (Prime Minister's Chancellery). The offices of the Prime Minister are the hub of the administrative branch of the government. Most important ministries are also housed in the immediate vicinity
- 9 Metropolitan, pl. Piłsudskiego 1. Designed by Sir Norman Foster and erected in 2003, the Metropolitan office building blends in with the surrounding historic buildings while standing out as an architectural masterpiece. The fountain in the freely accessible courtyard remains a photo favourite with tourists and locals.
- 10 Warsaw University Library (Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Warszawie), ul. Dobra 56/66. Built in 1999, the new home of the Warsaw University Library is a postmodernist building blending raw concrete with patinated copper. The building also features freely accessible extensive rooftop gardens providing interesting views over Warsaw. The building housing the Linguistics Faculty of the university opposite the library is also an interesting piece of modern architecture.
- 11 Supreme Court.
- 12 Administrative Court.
- 13 Eastern Wall (Ściana Wschodnia). The "Eastern Wall" is a complex of buildings designed to flank the eastern side of the Palace of Culture and form a buffer between it and the rebuilt historic part further east. There are three highrise residential towers, a string of department stores and a restored pedestrian passage with a number of retail and gastronomic outlets. A part of Warsaw where the grey communist past meets the bustling colourful present in a particularly striking way.
- 14 Rotunda. The round building was erected to house a bank branch, which it still does, but quickly became much more than that due to its very central location and large expanse of pavement around it, which makes it a favourite meeting spot for locals. The striking 1960s building suffered a tragedy in 1979, when a gas main exploded right below it, killing 49 people. This event is still remembered in Warsaw, making the rebuilt Rotunda even more symbolic.
- 15 vitkAc. The luxury department store caused a huge stir when its facade clad in black stone debuted to the chagrin of inhabitants of a neighbouring residential building.
- 16 Warsaw Stock Exchange.
- 17 Nożyk Synagogue (Synagoga Nożyków), ul. Twarda 6, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Visitors Su-Th 09:00-15:00. Warsaw's only Orthodox Jewish synagogue in operation. 6 zł.
- Umschlagplatz, ul. Stawki. The Umschlagplatz was the location Nazi officials herded Jews into cattle cars to be murdered at the Treblinka extermination camp. Estimates place the total number of persons transported from the Umschlagplatz at 300,000 or more.
- 18 Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich), ul. Anielewicza 6, ☎ . W-M 10:00-18:00. New building opened in April 2013 awaits permanent exhibition.
- 19 Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej (Center for Contemporary Art), Al. Ujazdowskie 6, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An influential and popular exhibition space for contemporary art in the historic Zamek Ujazdowski, a former royal residence picturesquely situated on the escarpment between Park Ujazdowski and Łazienki Park.
- Dom Kultury, ul. Smolna 9, ☎ .
- Galleria Na Placu Bankowym, pl. Bankowy 3/5.
- Galeria Grafiki i Plakatu, ul. Hoża 40, ☎ .
- Galeria Kordegarda, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 15/17, ☎ .
- Galeria Le Guern, ul. Widok 8, ☎ .
- Galeria Lufcik, ul. Mazowiecka 11a, ☎ .
- Galeria Obok ZPAF, pl. Zamkowy 8, ☎ .
- Galeria Test, Marszałkowska 34/50, ☎ .
- Galeria XX1, Al. Jana Pawła II 36, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. pon. -sr, pt. 11.00-17.00,czw. 13.00-19.00,sob. 11.00-15.00.
- Pracovnia, Księdza Jerzego Popiełuszki 16 (Tram: Metro Marymont), ☎ . Mo-Sa 09:00-18:00.
- 21 Zachęta Gallery, pl. Małachowskiego 3, ☎ . A cool little gallery that mixes graffiti, sculptures, experimental painting, and photography.
- 22 National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe), Al. Jerozolimskie 3, ☎ . The museum has a wonderful collection of paintings, sculptures, and depictions of the passion of the Christ. It houses several of Poland's most known paintings. Jan Matejko's Stańczyk painting depicts a famous jester to the Polish royalty in despair after Lithuania lost the city of Smolensk to Russia in 1514.
- 23 Fotoplastikon, Al. Jerozolimske 51 (near Dworzec Centralny). M-F noon-5PM, Sa 11AM-2PM. Established 1905, it is an IMAX one hundred years ago; a collection of unique 3D stereoscopic images from the 19th and 20th centuries.
- 24 Frederic Chopin Museum (Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina), ul. Okólnik 1 (Located in Ostrogski Castle), ☎ . Tu-Su: noon-8PM. Closed Mondays and holidays. Displays in English and Polish. The museum's design favours interactivity at the expense of information. 22 zł/12 zł (reduced), free on Tuesdays.
- 25 Muzeum Techniki (Technology Museum), pl. Defilad 1 (In the Palace of Culture and Science), ☎ . A bit of a meta-museum, because it did not quite keep in with the times and became a fossizilied monument to old-style museums where you are not expected to experience or touch anything and just read the descriptions on the boards. That said, their collections of artifacts of all kinds of technologies are impressive, ranging from planes and cars to fully-functional scale models of steel mills and coal mines. Plus the purpose-built wing of the socialist Palace of Culture and Science is a splendid locale.
- Polish Emigration Museum (Muzeum Wychodźstwa Polskiego), ul. Agrykoli 1, ☎ .
- 26 Chopin Family Living Room (Salonik Chopinów, Chopin Family Parlor), ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 5, ☎ . Summer (16 April-15 October): Tue-Sun 9AM-5:30PM. Winter: Tue-Sun 9AM-4PM. Closed Mondays, Easter Saturday, the first day of the Easter holidays, 1 November, 24–26 December, and New Year's Day.
- 27 Polish Military Museum (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego), Al. Jerozolimskie 3 (just before the bridge, next to the National Museum), ☎ , fax: .
- 28 Independence Museum (Muzeum Niepodległości), al. Solidarności 62, ☎ , fax: . W-Su: 10:00—17:00. 10zł regular, 5zł discount, free Thursdays.
- 29 Muzeum Ziemi PAN (Earth Museum, Polish Academy of Sciences), al. Na Skarpie 20/26, ☎ . 5zł regular, 3zł discount, free Sundays.
- 30 Ethnographic Museum (Państwowe Muzeum Etnograficzne), ul. Kredytowa 1, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Open from Tu-Th: 10AM - 6PM. Fr: 10AM - 4PM. Sa: 10AM - 5PM. Su: Noon - 5PM. Exhibitions that tell the stories of various societies and cultures. The bank building it is housed in is an interesting piece of 19th-century architecture. Normal tickets cost 10 zł or 5 zł with a discount.
- 31 History Meetings House (Dom Spotkań z Historią), ul. Karowa 20, ☎ , fax: 7.
- 33 Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernik), ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 20. Opening hours change throughout the year, check webpage for current hours. The Centre is always closed on Mondays.. An exploration centre that brings together various branches of science and demonstrates their key principles and modern advances via interactive exhibits and experiments. There is plenty to interact with for visitors of all ages, although the centre was designed mainly with families with children in mind. There is also a planetarium, requiring a separate ticket
- 34 Ogród Saski (Saxon Garden). Ogród Saski is a lovely park in central Warsaw. It's small in comparison to Łazienki, but nonetheless relaxing with its forested landscape. Prior to Word War II, it housed the Saxon Palace, which like the rest of Warsaw was destroyed in the insane Nazi vengeance for the Warsaw Uprising. Plans to rebuild the palace have failed to materialize due to funding. One of the draws aside from the escape of the city is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is on the park grounds.
- 35 Łazienki Park (Park Łazienkowski), ul. Agrykoli 1, ☎ , fax: . Łazienki Park was built and designed for a Polish politician, but became King Stanisław Poniatowski's, the last king of Poland, residence for much of later half of the 18th century. During Poniatowski's reign, many of the buildings on the park grounds were built. The most interesting buildings are the Łazienki Palace, Roman theater, and the so called Little White House, where the King sought the worldly comfort of mistresses. The park is a wonderful escape from hustle and bustle of the city streets that surround the park and can be the setting for a picnic or a wedding. It's a great place to find peacocks and occasionally, a rat.
- 36 Ujazdów Park (Park Ujazdowski), Al. Ujazdowskie (Lies south of ul. Piękna, east of Al. Ujazdowskie, and north of Al. Armii Ludowej). Ujazdów Park, another beautiful park, lies just north of Łazienki, but is far less known and visited by tourists. One of the big draws to the park is the Ujazdów Castle, which dates it orgins back to the 13th century. Over the centuries, the castles has housed princes, politicians, queens, kings, soldiers, and its current resident - the Center for Contemporary Art. Free admission to park grounds.
- 37 Park Agrykola.
- Ogrody Sejmowe/Frascati.
- 38 Ulica Kubusia Puchatka (Enter from ul. Świętokrzyska, 100m west of the intersection with Nowy Świat). A nondescript street in central Warsaw, whose claim to fame is that it's named after the children's book character Winnie the Pooh.
- 39 Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue (Pozdrowienia z Alej Jerozolimskich), Rondo Charles'a de Gaulle'a (at the intersection of Aleje Jerozolimskie and ul. Nowy Świat; tram stop: Muzeum Narodowe). An artistic installation of an artificial palm tree (made of plastic and preserved imported palm tree leaves, periodically replaced), it was inspired by the artist's visit to Israel and the fact that Aleje Jerozolimskie, where it is placed, is named after New Jerusalem, a large pre-war Jewish settlement in Warsaw that does not exist anymore. It started as a very controversial landmark on one of the city's busiest roundabouts, and grew to become a much-loved fixture. It is probably the only palm tree in the world that has its own website.
- 1 The Warsaw Philharmonic (Filharmonia Narodowa), ul. Jasna 5, ☎ .
- 2 Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera (Teatr Wielki - Opera Narodowa), pl. Teatralny 1 (close to pl. Bankowy and the Ratusz metro stop), ☎ .
- 3 Warsaw Chamber Opera (Warszawska Opera Kameralna), al. Solidarności 76b, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 4 Koncerty Chopinowskie, Aleje Ujazdowskie (At the Chopin memorial in Łazienki park). Chopin concerts in Łazienki park, every Sunday at 12:00 and 16:00, from May to September. Free.
- 5 Ateneum, ul. Jaracza 2, ☎ .
- Bajka, ul. Marszałkowska 138, ☎ . For children.
- 7 Kwadrat, ul. Czackiego 15/17, ☎ .
- 8 Polonia, ul. Marszałkowska 56, ☎ . Every production of this theatre founded by Polish stage and screen legend Krystyna Janda meets with huge publicity and has a long run.
- 9 Teatr Polski, ul. Karasia 2, ☎ . A legendary institution showing mostly Polish and international classics. Many great names of Polish theatre have been calling this theatre home.
- 10 Prochoffnia, ul. Boleść 2, ☎ . Unorthodox.
- 11 Roma, ul. Nowogrodzka 49, ☎ . A musical theatre showing Polish versions of internationally acclaimed shows.
- Scena, ul. Żelazna 51/53, ☎ .
- 12 Teatr Studio, pl. Defilad 1 (Palace of Culture), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 13 Studio Buffo, ul. Konopnickiej 6, ☎ . Unrelated to the one above.
- 14 Syrena, ul. Litewska 3, ☎ .
- 15 TR (Rozmaitości), ul. Marszałkowska 8, ☎ . Unorthodox.
- 16 Współczesny, ul. Mokotowska 13, ☎ .
- 17 The National Jewish Theatre (Teatr Żydowski), plac Grzybowski 12/16, ☎ . Jewish theatre located adjacent to the Nożyk Synagogue. Teatr Żydowski is the only theatre in the world that regularly performs plays in Yiddish.
- 18 Kinoteka, pl. Defilad 1 (Palace of Culture and Science with the entrance facing Al. Jerozolimskie), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Comfortable cinema in the heart of the city.
- 19 Multikino, ul. Złota 59 (On the top floor of the Złote Tarasy mall), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your usual multiplex in a shopping centre, but the central location makes it very convenient to visit. There is an exquisitely appointed bar for pre- or post-show drinks. It can get obnoxiously crowded in the evenings or on the weekends.
- 20 Kino Luna, ul. Marszałkowska 28, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. This cinema's marquee displays a wide variety of films from Polish films to Hollywood productions to other more independent and "foreign", that is to Poland, films. On Thursdays, the films are shown with English subtitles.
- 21 Kino Kultura, Krakowskie Przedmieście 21/23, ☎ . A place with high ambitions and lots of history to back it up, a unique location on the Royal Route and a nice cafe/restaurant with a garden. The choice of movies shown is a bit broader than everywhere else, with a high content of independent international cinema, with Polish and Central European films in particular.
- 22 Kino Muranów, ul. Gen. Andersa 5 (Metro Ratusz-Arsenał), ☎ . Uniquely located in elegant 1950s arcades of the socrealist building ensemble, it has a special atmosphere and is known for frequent themed weeks devoted to cinematography of a particular country or genre.
Neat little shops can be found all over Warsaw, especially for those who are looking for a shopping extravaganza in Warsaw other than snobby upscale shopping malls, where the experience becomes lost.
In Śródmieście, and the Centrum area, in fact, there are several streets that see fewer tourists, but have interesting boutiques of all sorts. These same streets boast some of the best and most intimate restaurants and cafés. Plac Trzech Krzyży is an excellent starting point. The streets that branch out from the square are host to numerous of such shops and restaurants. Ul. Bracka, ul. Nowogrodzka, ul. Żurawia, ul. Krucza, ul. Mokotowska, and ul. Hoża would all be great streets to start wandering up and down. As you progress down ul. Hoża, drawing closer to ul. Marszałkowska, the shops will likely become of less interest, but the closer you remain to Pl. Trzech Krzyży the more boutique shops you'll find.
- 1 Złote Tarasy (Adjacent to the Warszawa Centralna train station). This large shopping mall sprawls over four levels and is covered by a unique glass roof. It is located right next to the Dworzec Centralny and is accessible from its underground level. It may be convenient for some last-minute shopping if you are departing Warsaw by train.
- 2 Arkadia, al. Jana Pawła II 82 (Metro Dw. Gdański). Hours: M-Sa 10AM-10PM; Su 10AM-9PM. Arkadia has an interesting collection of shops, plus a much better selection of restaurants in its food court than Złote Tarasy. Arkadia also has several restaurants located on its outside, at its main entrance.
- 3 Wars Sawa Junior, ul. Marszałkowska 104/122 (Metro Centrum). Opening hours vary per store - every store has an independent entrance. The three former 1970s department stores form the so-called "Eastern Wall" (Ściana Wschodnia) of Marszałkowska Street between Aleje Jerozolimskie and Jasna Street, facing the Palace of Culture and Science. They buildings have now been broken up into separate retail spaces, housing popular local and international chain stores.
- Szwajcarski, ul. Nowy Świat between Al. Jerozolimskie and pl. Trzech Krzyży.
- 1 Prasowy, ul. Marszałkowska 10/16, ☎ . M-F: 10AM - 9PM. Sa-Su: noon - 9PM. Prasowy is a staple milk bar, reinvented. Facing imminent closure, it was taken over a creative team, who mixed together the traditional elements of the milk bar (cheap, homely cuisine and simple, simple decor) with trendy cultural and social events. An absolutely unique place, worth a visit. 10 zł.
- Bambino, ul. Krucza 21.
- Złota Kurka, ul. Marszałkowska 55/73, ☎ . M-F: 7AM - 7PM. Sa-Su: 9AM - 5PM. Small milk bar located near Plac Konstytucji. This particular milk bar serves up decent, but not good food, although it can be a tad difficult to find a place to sit and the kitchen can take a while. 10 zł.
- 2 Wook, al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (Housed in the same building as the Marriott. The entrance is below street level and should be approached from ul. Chalubinskiego), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Wook is a good and cheap place to grab Chinese. Soups and sides cost 4 zł, while all main courses cost only 6 zł. Wook also throws off the stereotypical European restaurant experience. OK, so while the service isn't amazing, it's effective, but the trademark difference between Wook and nearly any other restaurant on the continent is that the food will be on your table before you've even completed ordering. About 27 zł for a three course meal.
- Zapiecek. 11-23. A chain of eateries scattered around the city, mostly in the Old and New Town, focusing on pierogi and other traditional Polish dishes, such as soups, pierogi, and pancakes. A fairly fixed menu with seasonal variations in alcohols - they tend to have seasonal selection – only mulled wine and hot beer in winter, for example. Other than that, the place is great, and in addition to the food you will certainly enjoy the service by charming waitresses. 15-25 zł.
- Casa Mia, ul. Poznańska 37 (Located just a few steps from Al. Jerozolimskie and the Hotel Polonia Palace), ☎ . A small, cozy pizzeria, Casa Mia is a great little restaurant to seek refuge and satisfy your hunger. Somewhat appallingly, Casa Mia doesn't serve alcoholic beverages, though they have non-alcoholic beer.
- 5 Chłopskie Jadło, Plac Konstytucji 1, ☎ . A chain of restaurants from Kraków, literally: "peasant's food". Good place to taste traditional Polish fare and enjoy wooden rustic environment. Soups are served in bread, while complementary smalec (lard) is free, so that you have no choice but trying it here. 25-40 zł.
- Piwna Kompania (Podwale), ul. Podwale 25. M-Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 12PM-1AM. Located on the border between the Old and New Town, this pub serves king-size portions of traditional Polish fare. Meals are accompanied by a free dish of pickled cucumbers and sauercraut, while the bill comes with a shot of Polish cherry liquor. Beer is more average and solely pilsner, but it is drinkable and quite cheap. Free Wi-Fi connection. A bit noisy, but this is how a good pub should be. 20-30 zł.
- Sunanta, ul. Krucza 16/22, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Thai restaurant with well designed decor and good food, albeit a bit pricey. The lunch menu, however, has some good deals.
- 6 Socjal, Foksal 18. Socjal restaurant features an enormous, continuous table that can seat dozens and is good for, you guessed it, socializing. In warmer months, this is complemented by an outdoor garden. The menu is updated everyday as it is being prepared from whatever the chefs purchase fresh in the morning, and the restaurant stays open until late in the night - or even early in the morning. The menu mostly includes pizzas, pastas and salads made of simple ingredients but actually quite refined and tasty.
- 7 AleGloria, pl. Trzech Krzyży 3. Flagship outlet of the TV-famed restaurateur Magda Gessler, blending traditional Polish culinary traditions with cosmopolitan and modern inspirations. One invites guests there to impress with food, sumptuous decor and ability to foot the bill.
- 8 Amber Room, Al. Ujazdowskie 13 (at the Pałac Sobańskich), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. noon-10PM (Sundays 8 PM). Hosted by the historic Sobański Palace and serving as the posh canteen for the business elite congregating at the co-located Polish Council of Business, Amber Room has become something of a paragon of haute cuisine. The location is ideal for tourists wanting to enjoy a meal in the most beautiful part of Warsaw, but frequently-organised events may get in the way, so reservations are recommended, even if to check if guests will be served on your chosen night. Mains 70-90 zł, tasting menu 250 zł, business lunch 80 zł.
- 9 Belvédére, Agrykoli 1. Located in the historic palm house in the Łazienki Park, it offers a very unique ambience - and charges for that accordingly. Main courses: 50-90 zł, Sunday Brunch: 145 zł.
- Cesarski Pałac, ul. Senatorska 27. Chinese.
- Chianti, Foksal 17 (Tram: Muzeum Narodowe), ☎ . Italian. Min courses: 28-37 zl.
- El Popo, ul. Senatorska 27. Mexican.
- Kuźnia Smaku, ul. Mazowiecka 10.
- Le Cedre, al. Solidarności 61. Lebanese.
- Papaya, ul. Foksal 16. Japanese and Thai.
- 10 Qchnia Artystyczna, Al. Ujazdowskie 6. In the Zamek Ujazdowski castle, which also houses the Centre for Contemporary Art, this artist-themed restaurant offers a suitably contemporary take on fine dining and splendid views from the escarpment from its summer terrace.
- Ryżowe Pole, ul. Zgoda 5. Japanese, sushi.
- Smaki Warszawy, ul. Żurawia 47/49. Polish and International.
- St Antonio, Senatorska 37 (Tram: Metro Ratusz Arsenał), ☎ . Nestled in the corner of the Saxon Garden in a historic building, St. Antonio is where one takes out-of-town relatives, who may not appreciate more modern culinary inventions. The photo gallery of celebrities of bygone decades who had frequented the restaurant complements the retro decor.
- Tandoor Palace, ul. Marszałkowska 21/25 (The entrance is on Al. Armii Ludowej), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Indian restaurant with great food, augmented by unashamedly garish and tacky decor you would expect. The location is a bit out of the way, but well worth the tram ride.
- 1 Cafe A. Blikle, ul. Nowy Świat 35, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Blikle family has been running this café and confisserie for two centuries now, turning it into a nationwide business with many locations across Poland - but this is the original one. Stepping inside elicits memories of a turn-of-the-nineteenth-century café, which is more than charming in Warsaw, where a well-made coffee has been replaced by iced mochas and in-and-out coffee shops. This particulabuilding is divided into two parts: the café/restaurant and the confection shop. Walking into the confection shop may stun your senses with the wonderful smells of delicious sugary treats.
- 2 E. Wedel (Pijalnia Czekolady Wedel), Szpitalna 8, ☎ . 8AM-10PM; 11AM-8PM on Sunday. The best hot chocolate in Warsaw. The interior is old style and reminds you of pre-war Warsaw. Wedel's shop with stylish sweets is adjacent to the cafe. Prices starting at 10-11 zł.
- Pożegnanie z Afryką, 4/6 Freta. Winter: 7AM-9PM, summer: 7AM-10PM. This inconspicuous place with a tiny sign above the door is a true paradise for coffee-lovers. Here, you don't choose the type of coffee. You first select the type of beans, and then decide whether you want it espresso, cappuccino, or perhaps as Turkish-style coffee cooked on hot sand and flavored with cinnamon, ginger, or other spices of your choice. They also have a good selection of cakes and pastries, not to mention coffee beans and coffee-making tools sold in the adjacent store. Prices are a bit high by Polish standards, but the coffee is well worth it. Also at 62 Krakowskie Przedmieście.
- Starbucks, ul. Nowy Świat 62. Within minutes of opening Starbucks became an instant hit in Warsaw with quite a queue forming inside. The service is actually relatively speedy, which may come as a shock for those who have ever experienced a line in Poland and what's more is that there actually seems to be something called customer service here.
- 4 Charlotte. A cafe-cum-boulangerie, it was one of the first in Warsaw to bake their own breads and pastries on premises and offer wine to accompany simple, Parisian-inspired snacks. Thanks to its popularity with the media and celebrities, as well as the prime location on the Plac Zbawiciela, it became a sustained favourite - you may find yourself unable to get a table at any given time of day. The pretentious and slow service got to be accepted as part of the flair by the clientele.
- Cafe Kulturalna, Plac Defilad 1 (Located in PKiN, in the entrance to the theater, which is to the left of the main entrance of PKiN), ☎ . A really cool bar in the Palace of Culture and Science. A DJ spins the beats which is occasionally enhanced by a drummer and keyboard player. They also host live music on occasion. Kulturalna attracts the college aged intelligentsia type, but can bring in the elderly, but hip too who all end up grooving on the dance floor or chill out on chairs all night. Occasionally charges a door fee.
- 5 Chłodna 25 (corner with Żelazna), ul. Chłodna 25. The popular cafe/bar that served as a gathering place for off-mainstream culture enthusiast and perpetrated was recently reactivated after a brief period.
- 6 Jazz Bistro, ul. Piękna 20 (Located on the same street as the U.S. Embassy and on the same side of the street), ☎ , fax: . M-F: 8AM - Midnight, Sa-Su: 10AM - Midnight. Good restaurant in the city center, near the US Embassy and comes equipped with free Wi-Fi access. The restaurants hosts live musicians several times a week. The only downside to the restaurant is a side door, which leads into an office building. Bright lights from the office building shine into the restaurant, which somewhat diminishes the atmosphere of the restaurant and its music.
- Living Room, ul. Foksal 18, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A trendy bar that serves up good food and has a wide variety of elaborately created drinks.
- Przekąski Zakąski, Aleje Jerozolimskie 44. 24/7. The cult joint is in the process of moving from its erstwhile prime location in Krakowskie Przedmieście to a new one in the city centre and operates in a temporary tent smack in the middle of Warsaw, continuing to draw crowds all day and night long. The main draw are obviously reasonably-priced alcoholic drinks and many cheap bites, but the menu was expanded to include more elaborate dishes prepared by the chefs from sister restaurant "U Kucharzy". All drinks 4 zł..
- 7 Warszawa Powiśle, ul. Kruczkowskiego 3B, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The mother of all hipster places in Warsaw operates in the former ticket sales office of the Powiśle train station, which afforded them splendid modernist architecture and a recognizable name spelled out on the impressive neon sign above the building. The cool factor of Powiśle lies in the fact that its essentially an outdoor bar. There are no tables inside and most people either grab up the limited number of chairs that sit on the sidewalk or they straggle around underneath the nearby bridge, on the staircase leading up to the train station above, or off on a side street. Powiśle attracts huge crowds nearly every night.
- 1500m2 do wynajęcia, ul. Solec 18.
- 8 Tygmont, ul. Mazowiecka 6/8 (Located on a side stree off of ul. Świętokrzyska), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Open Sa-Th from 6PM - 4AM; Friday 6PM - 5AM. Tygmont is Warsaw's best known jazz club and for good reason – the musicians it hosts are good, however, there are a few caveats. On occasion, Tygmont has a weird atmosphere and can be disappointing. There are nights when one floor will be dedicated to hip hop, which seems completely out of place, while the other is dedicated to musicians playing obscenely loud music. If the club brought the decibels down, it would be near perfect.
- 9 Palladium, ul. Złota 9 (Located off of ul. Marszałkowska), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 Emma Hostel, ul. Wilcza 25, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Hostel named after Emma Goldman (anarcho-feminist activist) is run by a cooperative according to ecofriendly, sustainable rules. Five dorms and several doubles on two storeys in a historic tenement house, communal bathrooms, kitchen, free fair-trade tea, coffee and breakfast. Pets welcome. Discounts apply to NGO workers, activists, students and persons aged 55+ (do not apply to persons using on-line booking portals). Around 50 zł per dorm bed.
- Hostel Helvetia, ul. Kopernika 36/40. Helvetia is a cool hostel, a stone's throw away from the University of Warsaw's main campus, Nowy Swiat, and a ten minute walk to the Old Town. The staff are pleasant and helpful and the hostel occasionally hosts vodka and beer parties for its guests. Dorm 39/55 zł (sunday-thursday/friday-saturday).
- 2 Hostel Smolna 30, ul. Smolna 30, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. HI Hostel. From 40 zł, 10% discount for the PTSM/ IYHF card owners.
- Hostel Agrykola, ul. Myśliwiecka 9, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. HI Hostel. From 30 zł.
- Karolkowa Youth Hostel, Karolkowa 53a (Bus lines 171, 190, 422; Tram lines 20, 23, 24, 26, 27 - station DT Wola), ☎ . Check-in: 5PM, check-out: 10AM. An educational institution, mainly used by Polish pupils, students, teachers and education workers. Foreign students and teachers are also welcomed. If a room is available, they can accommodate people who are not connected with education. 18-105 zl.
- 3 Nathan's Villa Hostel, ul. Piękna 24/26 (Located on the same street as the main entrance to the U.S. Embassy). This hostel offers a cable tv room, and free laundry service, however, since they do not have a dryer it may take a day or two for clothes to dry. The manager will sometimes take guests to clubs. This hostel is open all day and is located only a few blocks from the city center.
- Oki Doki Hostel, pl. Dąbrowskiego 3, ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. From the outside this big grey, ugly building doesn't look promising, but once inside you are greeted by a friendly, chatty member of staff on the 24hr reception. Directly opposite is the bar/café/breakfast room which serves some very cheap drinks. Each room has been individually decorated by a different artist and they are given names such as 'House of the Maiden'. Also equipped with kitchen, free Internet access, car/bicycle rental and a little shop. 5 bed dorm: 50 zł; double room: 90 zł.
- 5 ibis Budget Warszawa Centrum (formerly Etap Hotel), ul. Zagórna 1, ☎ , fax: . The ibis budget is a bare minimum, every-expense-spared budget hotel chain. Don't expect the door to manned all night and if you will arrive after the check-in deadline, you better arrange to be let into your room, because ibis Budget hotels may or may not have anyone on duty to let you in after a certain time. 159+ zl.
- 6 Hotel Logos, ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie, ☎ . A very simple hotel in Powiśle - the cheapest rooms do not even have ensuite bathrooms. That said, at their prices you will probably be able to get a nicer room in other, better-equipped hotels across Warsaw. Rooms starting at 134 zł per night..
- 7 The Warsaw Hostel, Kopernika 30 (Go in the old grey building through the main doors, it's one flight of stairs up from the lobby and through the far hallway), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 11 AM. Nice hostel, friendly staff. Self-serve coffee machine (coffee grounds provided). Very basic kitchen. Common area in back of kitchen. Can get noisy on Saturday nights. 38 - 48 zł dorm, 150 zł private.
- 8 ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto, ul. Muranowska 2 (Old Town), ☎ .
- 11 Mercure Warszawa Grand, ul. Krucza 28, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. The Grand Hotel became a part of the Mercure chain after its recent refurbishment. The swimming pool has been removed, but it remains at a relatively peaceful location among government offices, but at the same time close to most areas of tourist interest. starting at 215 zł.
- 12 Mercure Warszawa Centrum, ul. Złota 48/54 (Steps away from Warszawa Centralna train station), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This Mercure was operated as a Holiday Inn until recently and will be known to many as such. It is very close to the Dworzec Centralny, separated from it only by the Złote Tarasy shopping centre, which provides for an almost entirely covered walkway between the two. The former Mercure Fryderyk Chopin up north in Jana Pawła II Avenue has been closed down and its building demolished. From 195 zł.
- 13 Hotel Metropol, ul. Marszałkowska 99a (Adjacent to the Polonia Palace Hotel and opposite the Novotel and the Palace of Culture and Science), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Don't expect much of a view, unless you consider an intersection and the Novotel a view. Single: €99; Double: €119. Suites are also available.
- 14 Novotel Warsaw Centrum, ul. Marszalkowska 94/98 (About a two - three minute walk from the main train station and the Palace of Culture and Science), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comfortable rooms. If you ask for room one of the higher floors, you are more than likely going have an amazing view in any direction.
- 15 Hotel Bristol, Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44, ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: Noon. The Bristol is a Warsaw landmark in its own right, imbued in history. Heads of state, royalty and various celebrities of different eras stayed here during its many decades in operation. It is also directly on the Royal Route, a short walk from Old Town and not far from many other historic attractions. Recently renovated again, it joined Starwood' Luxury Collection of prestige hotels. Rates start at PLN 420.
- 16 Regent Warsaw Hotel (formerly Hyatt Regency Warsaw), Belwederska 23, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Outside of the city centre and on the border of the Mokotów district, it requires a bus or taxi ride to get to most attractions. The Regent nevertheless remains a firm favourite with frequent travellers due to a combination of lush comfort, large bathrooms and a location at the doorstep of the Łazienki Park. €55+.
- 17 InterContinental, ul. Emilii Platter 49 (Around the corner from Holiday Inn, near the Warszawa Centralna station, and just steps from the Palace of Culture and Science), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The 5-star InterContinental is one of Warsaw's tallest, best designed, and most luxurious hotels. The hotel optimizes its commanding height by using wide windows to provide breathtaking panorama views of Warsaw. Be sure to stop by the fitness center for the best view. All rooms have at least 32 square meters of space, spacious bathrooms that come equipped with a bath and a separate shower, and minibars. High speed internet connection is available for a fee for those staying in the standard rooms. Each of the three restaurants have welcoming atmospheres and the E. Wedel cafe on the ground floor would be a great place to kick back to a coffee and some chocolates. €120-180 during the week, as low as €60 if booked in advance; Apartments from €2500/month.
- 18 Warsaw Marriott Hotel, Al. Jerozolimskie 65/79 (next to the main train station), ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: Noon. If you want a room with a view, you can't go wrong here, because the building is one of the tallest in Warsaw. Depending on the location of your room, you may have a view of the Palace of Culture and Science. The Panorama cocktail bar at the top floor provides great views of the city to the patrons, accompanied by steep drink prices. €69-350.
- 19 Polonia Palace Hotel (Hotel Polonia Palace), ul. Jerzozolimskie 45 (The hotel is located on the same side of Aleje Jerozolimskie as the Marriott, but is at the opposite end of the Palace of Culture and Science). 4-star luxury hotel in the center of Warsaw. The hotel first opened in 1913 and was the best surviving hotel in Warsaw during the second world war. The building hosted the embassies of several countries (including USA, UK, the Netherlands) the first difficult years after the war. Eisenhower, de Gaulle and several other celebrities have been guests at the hotel. The Polonia was made a protected monument in 1965. Police warn to watch out for prostitutes in the area. €149+.
- 20 Radisson BLU Centrum Hotel, Grzybowska 24 00-132, ☎ . The hotel is situated in the heart of the business district and tourist quarter of the city. It is close to the Palace of Culture and Science and Warsaw Central Station. There is another Radisson BLU (Sobieski) in Warsaw, not far away but in the opposite direction.
- 21 Hotel Rialto, ul. Wilcza 73, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. In a less touristy area of the town and might be equally hard to find. €98+.
- 22 Sofitel Victoria Warsaw, ul. Krolewska 11, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located a short distance from Nowy Świat, the Sofitel Victoria Warsaw Hotel is the prime real estate for visitors who would like to tour the Old Town on a whim. Rooms facing Plac Piłsudskiego have a really nice view.
- Casablanca Internet Cafe, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 4/6, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.