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Once the capital of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Warsaw has been the capital of Poland since 1918. Heavily damaged during the Second World War, and mostly rebuilt in totalitarian architecture… During the second half of the twentieth century, Warsaw was not exactly the dream destination for Western visitors. But thanks to the town council’s efforts during the last few decades, Warsaw has become a major international tourist destination, with an airport used by 10 million passengers every year.
Warsaw’s rich history and cultural heritage make it one of the most interesting cities in Eastern Europe. Its picturesque Old Town, with its iconic castle and Market Square, dates back to the 14th century. Severely damaged during the 1939 Siege of Warsaw, and systematically destroyed by the Nazis after the Uprising of Warsaw in 1944, it was rebuilt after the Second World War, with as many of the original bricks as possible. The colourful façades and paved streets seen in Warsaw’s Old Town (now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) remind us of how beautiful the city was in the early 1900’s, when Warsaw was known as “little Paris.” The reconstruction campaign led under the Communist regime revealed buildings typical of an Eastern Bloc city, such as the Palace of Culture and Science. Today, Warsaw can be seen as an open-air museum retracing the country’s history.
One of the most illustrious Polish-born (and Warsaw-related) personalities is probably the pianist and composer Fryderyk Chopin. Although he left Poland for France at the age of 20, his music pays tribute to his Polish identity. Everything in Warsaw will remind you of the Chopin legacy. Aside from the Chopin Airport, the Chopin Conservatory and the Chopin Museum, there is also the renowned Chopin vodka, and a leading piano competition, the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition, held every four years in Warsaw, where talented contestants and thousands of classical music enthusiasts gather from around the world to live the Chopin legend.
Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the latest Chopin Competition in Warsaw, during the Final Round of the contest
Discover Warsaw while running
Runnin’City offers three Smart Runs* of 5, 10 and 15 kilometres through Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Even if you choose the shortest route, you will still pass by the Stare Miasto (the Old Town), the boundaries of the old ghetto, and get a view over the iconic Palace of Culture and Science, a landmark building of Soviet architecture. The longer routes will guide you up to the picturesque Ujazdów Park. No risk of getting lost! Just listen to the app’s GPS instructions, and discover the city’s best-kept secrets thanks to the audioguide informing you on the Points Of Interest passed.
Recommendations in Warsaw
Warsaw’s cultural scene is as vibrant as ever, and its underground is one of the most interesting in Europe. Heading to Warsaw soon? Here is a selection of shops, bars, clubs and restaurants recommended by the Runnin’City team. You have some recommendations too? Share them with us in the comments section below!
Bułkę przez Bibułkę. The perfect place to eat breakfast, get a chilled juice drink on the go, or to grab a sandwich. Vegetarian and gluten-free options available. Bułkę przez Bibułkę, Zgoda 3, Puławska 24 – Mokotów 00-018 Warszawa
Warszawa Powiśle. Warszawa Powiśle is an open-air bar, restaurant and club, hosting concerts and screenings. See the full program on their Facebook page. Warszawa Powiśle, Kruczkowskiego 3b – 00-380 Warszawa
Pan tu nie stał. A Polish concept store where you’ll find clothes, accessories and home decorations. It’s a great place to shop for creative design items. Pan tu nie stał, Koszykowa 34/50 – Warszawa
Restauracja Polska Różana. Typical Polish food in a wonderful setting. Don’t miss the duck with cranberries and the almond cake! Restauracja Polska Różana, Chocimska 7 – 00-791 Warszawa
Weles Bar. A vintage setting, creative cocktails: the perfect match is at Weles Bar. Weles Bar, Nowogrodzka 11 – 00-509 Warszawa