Warsaw is a city with a vibrant urban scene, full of hip cafés, bars, stores and restaurants. We take a look at the coolest neighbourhoods in the city and round up a selection of must visit places that can’t be missed during your trip to Poland’s capital.
Śródmieście /Plac Zbawiciela
A magnet to Warsaw’s hipsters, Plac Zbawiciela (Savior Square) is a centrally located and home to the trendy wine bar and café Charlotte and the cult pub Plan B. The baroque/renaissance Church of the Holiest Saviour on the southern part of the square overlooks a busy roundabout in the middle, which up until the summer 2015 featured a colourful rainbow shaped art installation (symbol of LGBT pride, unity, love and peace), famous for the controversy it stirred among Poles.
Śródmieście /Poznańska Street
Poznańska Street is one of the liveliest streets of the central Śródmieście district, popular both among the locals and visitors. Best spots in the area include Middle Eastern restuarants Beirut and Tel Aviv, the chic Bez Tytułu restaurant and basement bar, fine dining restaurant Nolita (on the nearby Wilcza Street), the trendy H15 boutique hotel and numerous art galleries such as Bohema.
Poznańska, Warsaw, Poland
Mokotów is a vibrant neighbourhood located south of the city centre. Head there to enjoy great cafés (such as Relaks on Puławska Street), delicious ice cream at Jednorożec (on Narbutta Street) and do some shopping at lovely shops including This is Paper (on Odolańska Street) and Reset (on Puławska Street). The iconic Iluzjon art house cinema is another must see. It features a 1950 style café and outdoor seating overlooking a charming leafy square by Narbutta Street.
Saska Kępa/Francuska Street
The green residential area of Saska Kępa, located south of Warsaw’s National Stadium on the right bank of the Vistula river is also worth visiting. Its bustling Francuska highstreet features a mix of cool cafés , restaurants and shops such as F30, Prosta Historia and Think Love Juices. Make sure you detour into one of the side streets to admire some of Poland’s best examples of modernist architecture.
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Praga / Ząbkowska Street
The coolest street of the artistic Praga district, located east of the Vistula River, is Ząbkowska Street, where you’ll find a raft of alternative bars and cafés such as W Oparach Absurdu (meaning “in the fumes of absurdity”) and Łysy Pingwin (“bald penguin”). In the past, part of the street was home to a famous vodka factory Koneser and the area is currently being redeveloped into a trendy retail/office/residential complex.
Another highlight of Praga is the Soho Factory complex, where you’ll find a mix of post industrial buildings and new developments housing everything from creative retail and office spaces to Warsaw’s coolest museum, the Neon Museum, and one of the city’s best Polish restaurants, Warszawa Wschodnia.
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Vistula River Bank
In recent years the Vistula River Bank has become the heart of Warsaw’s summer nightlife, attracting crowds of young party goers. Most popular clubs include Temat Rzeka, Pomost 511 and Cud nad Wisłą. During the day it’s a perfect spot for cycling, skateboarding and simply relaxing on the grass by the water. The adjacent district of Powiśle on the left side of the river is also worth exploring, as it offers many great restaurants, bar and shops scattered around the Lipowa, Radna and Dobra streets.
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The northern district of Żoliborz is one of Warsaw residents’ favourite places to live and hang out. It boasts a village feel thanks to its quiet charming streets (make sure you walk around the area’s most beautiful streets such as Brodzińskiego and Wieniawskiego), a weekend food market called The Breakfast Market (Targ Sniadanowy) and a mix of lovely cafés and restaurants including Porananas, Fawory, Jaskolka and DOM.
Part of the Old Jewish Quarter, centred around the grand Renaissance All Saints Church, the triangular Plac Grzybowski (the Grzybowski Square) has recently experienced a lot of redevelopment and become one of the coolest areas in the very centre of Warsaw. It now features a number of new cool cafés such as Kosmos and Charlotte Menora (a sister café to the famous Charlotte on Savior Square) and great dining options on the nearby Próżna Street which is made up of beautifully restored tenement houses.
Śródmieście / Oleandrów
The Oleandrów Street is cool and can’t afford to be overlooked. This small quiet street is home to cosy restaurants, hip shops and independent art galleries. Enjoy some tasty ramen and salted caramel doughnuts and at MOD, taste artisan Polish beer at Inne Beczki and browse a collection of design homeware at Makutra.
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