Warsaw may not be in most top 10 European Capitals lists but it is still a destination worthy of your time. Here are just some of the reasons to check it out. To make sure you will be able to take the most efficient routes when checking out its attractions, download the Warsaw Travel Guide and Offline City Street Map.
1. The Painful History
Warsaw has quite the tragic past. In 1944, toward the end of the Second World War, Warsaw resistance forces rose up against the Germans and what is known today as the Warsaw Uprising. The uprising failed miserably and the Nazis made an example of the city by razing it to the ground. More than 80% of the city center was obliterated and the city became almost uninhabitable. Of the 2 million people living in the city, some were killed in the uprising, some died of starvation, and most left to seek shelter elsewhere. Roughly about a month after the decisive battle, only about a thousand people were still living in the city.
Today, you can learn all about this horrible event at the Warsaw Uprising Museum. And make sure you visit the Warsaw Uprising Monument built to honor the city’s defiance of the Nazis. Also, check out the Little Insurgent Monument that is dedicated to the young kids who fought in the uprising.
2. Old but New
Reconstruction of Warsaw begun shortly after the end of World War II resulting in quite a unique look. The colorful post-WW2 buildings contrast the surviving pre-WW2 structures. The city’s Old Town has been completely rebuilt as a modern downtown area. The new-old Warsaw Castle and the very modern Złote Tarasy shopping center completely contrast each other.
If this fascinates you, go see the “The Royal Castle – from Destruction to Reconstruction” exhibit inside the Warsaw Castle.
3. The Green Spaces
It is simply amazing how even after all the destruction and reconstruction Warsaw was still able to maintain an impressive number of green spaces. Warsaw has a plethora of parks and gardens, some of them even have live performances from time to time. Make sure you visit the Łazienki Park, Saski Park, and the Jewish Cemetery.
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