Lush daydreams and floral fantasies
Get a breath of fresh air at the University of Warsaw Library Garden. This verdant oasis with its pink metallic structure is home to one of Europe's most beautiful hanging gardens. Free to enter, this secret, romantic location is the perfect spot for an enchanted break above Warsaw. Meander between shrubs teeming with yellow and orange blooms in the garden's golden section, willows in the silver section and plum-tinted compositions in the crimson section. Sit on a bench and cogitate alongside the university students with their heads buried in their books.
University of Warsaw Library Garden
+48 225 525 178
A historical bohemian walk in Praga
Warsaw's right bank, which escaped the war unscathed, bears witness to what pre-war Warsaw once looked like. Praga, a working-class district undergoing considerable redevelopment, is the heart of the city's artistic life. Soak in the unique atmosphere as you ramble along the streets of Stefana Okrzei and Jagiellońska, where charmingly run down facades, renovated historic buildings and avant-garde galleries stand side by side. Tucked away on Targowa Street are a number of underground artist cafés in inner courtyards where you can rub elbows with the city's bohemian youth as they alight here for a break between exhibitions and concerts. No matter what time of day, drop in at Bazar Klub, a café, beer bar, concert hall and fine food shop at the same time. Warsaw locals cannot get enough of this atypical place.
+48 512 310 557
A covered market for foodies
Since its recent redevelopment, the Hala Koszyki Market has been hugely popular with Warsaw locals. This former Art Nouveau-style covered market has 18 fine and casual dini ng restaurants serving traditional Polish and international cuisine. Be sure to stop by Warszawski Sen to taste the culinary creations of renowned Franco-Polish chef Mateusz Gessler. The menu features a delicious array of dishes made with traditional products: hare pâté with blackberry mousse, beetroot cream with goat cheese and roasted figs, quail stuffed with prune and pear. It is simply superb.
You can also settle in around a large, convivial table for a drink and some nibbles. Try a few pierogis (Polish filled dumplings) at the Przysmak stand. Then pick up a few Baltic prawns at Port Royal paired with a craft beer from Bierhalle.
Hala Koszyki Market
+48 222 218 186
(at Hala Koszyki)
+ 48 222 218 176
A melancholic stroll through a romantic cemetery
Locals love walking among the funerary sculptures and plots of noble families in Powazki, Poland's most famous cemetery. The vegetation exudes a charming melancholy around the almost intact and rare classicist and modern art vestiges. From the entrance to the right of the Church of Saint Charles Borromee, drift along the tree-lined lanes or towards the graves of Polish celebrities buried there, such as writer Bolesław Prus or Chopin's teacher. The largest Jewish cemetery in Europe is located in the southern part of the main graveyard. Overgrown vegetation covers certain parts of this area, and while it sometimes appears to have been abandoned, there are plans for partial restoration of this historical place.
+48 228 385 525
Entrance to the Jewish cemetery
+48 228 382 622
Happy hour in underground bars
North Śródmieście, the northern part of Warsaw's city centre, is a district that never stops, day or night. Behind its Baroque palaces and churches, the former Jewish quarter conceals an offbeat enclave in true Warsaw style. From Nowy Świat street, you can slip into a courtyard nestled between buildings, known as the Pawilony area, with a couple dozen bars that are as unique as they are exciting. Choose the ambiance that suits you best from among these pop-up inspired venues, set up in former artisan workshops, that frequently revamp their interior designs. They may all be similar in size, but they each have their own atmosphere. Bar owners look to create extraordinary decors – from fairy tales to tropical islands – to attract a loyal clientele. It is there, in the heart of Warsaw, hidden away behind the old façades, that you will find Poland's youth.
Nowy Świat 22/28
+48 228 265 351