Even though much of Warsaw was turned to rubble in the bombings of WWII, this restored city now stands tall and proud.
Before WWII, 1.3 million people lived in Warsaw. After the war, fewer than 1,000 people lived in the ruins. My visit to Warsaw Uprising Museum engendered deep respect for the Polish people who rebuilt both their city and lives after WWII.
Stare Miasto (Old Town) retains European charm because its architects referenced its former style when they rebuilt it.
Old Town Market Place, the main square, features a statue of a little mermaid called Syrenka. With a sword overhead and shield in hand, Syrenka represents Polish freedom fighters and serves as a protector of the city.
Other statues and murals celebrate those who have contributed to freedom, religion, literature, science and music.
A few fallen items are on permanent display in the city. You can rub the top of the bell in Kanonia Square for good luck!
A great way to explore Old Town is to take the Orange Umbrella Free Tour, offered daily at 11 am. But if you’re looking to get out and enjoy nature, take a stroll through Łazienki Park, a 76-hectares space also known as Royal Baths Park.
Relax at the bistro or in a hammock at Zielony Jazdów, a contemporary art museum inside of Łazienki Park.
Or, wander through Ogród Botaniczny, the botanical gardens at Łazienki Park.
Try the famous Polish pierogi! My favorite is the Russian-styled dumpling, filled with potato and cheese. The local pierogarnie chain Zapiecek can be found all over the city as well as among the dozens of restaurants lining Nowy Świat.