All about Warsaw
Winter Wonderland is our special discount for the season, but also a state of mind in Warsaw. If you visit the sprawling capital of Poland from December until the end of February 2018, you may think that there are fewer things to see and do than in the warmer months. But Warsaw will surprise you. Here are some of the most exciting things that will make your winter holiday in the Polish capital a fantastic experience.
Of course, you can always stroll around the Old Town, which is beautifully illuminated in December in Christmas lights. There’s also an ice rink in the Old Town Square. Another ice rink will be available during the winter at the “PGE Narodowy” stadium, the National Stadium Warsaw, with added attractions like a skate park, curling sheet, multi-lane slides, and all sorts of musical and sporting events.
The Figlowisko ice rink will open too. The indoor ice rink stay open 24 hours a day, welcoming children of all ages, as well as adults.
You can sip mulled wine at the Christmas market, visit a museum, go shopping and food tasting at Hala Koszyki, people watch at a cozy cafe. Yes, these things are pretty standard. You can also opt for one of the top things to do with children, as many of these attractions remain open in winter too. But what if you want more? Here are our suggestions.
Acro School Warszawa
For those interested in kitesurfing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, free-running, surfing, freeskiing, land kiting and skateboarding, look no further than Acro School, a new initiative designed exclusively for active people. But what truly sets AcroSchool apart is its Poweriser offer. Even if you have never jumped on Poweriser jumping stilts, you can enjoy the thrill, here, in safe conditions. Packages for all skill levels, children, and adults alike.
Go horseback riding at Stajnia Agmaja
Stajnia Agmaja are stables, offering recreational horseback riding, hippotherapy, a mini zoo, social bonfires, costume balls, gala events, and a lot more. This is an ideal place to spend a quality afternoon with your family, but can also be booked for longer horseback riding trips for groups.
Winter Wonderland in the magic garden at the Wilanów Palace
The King’s magical garden at the Wilanów Palace is a fascinating winter wonderland too. The children will love the mysterious passageways glittering with thousands of Christmas lights. They will discover huge flowers, animals, and fairytale creatures in what becomes a giant outdoor playground designed by Santa Claus. The “Royal Garden of Light” is an elegant, sophisticated exhibition, directly referring to the Palace’s architecture and history. Every element and detail of the exhibition refers to the iconographic sources, Jan III Sobieski’s coat of arms and the Palace symbolism. The exhibition also features three-dimensional light and sound shows screened on the facade of the palace every weekend.
The magic garden at the Wilanów Palace is open until February 25, 2018, daily from 16:00 to 21:00 (Photo: Marcin Mastykarz via Muzeum Pałacu Króla Jana III w Wilanowie on Facebook
Go Skiing in Park Szczęśliwice
Park Szczęśliwice is just a short 20-minute drive from Warsaw and a top spot for the locals for all-year skiing and snowboarding because it boasts Górka Szczęśliwicka, an artificial hill perfect for the two sports. They also have offer skis and snowboards rentals, so there’s no problem if you fail to bring along your gear. The slope has an area of 9,500m² covered with a Dendix mat, which, in the absence of, or low amounts of snow, can be covered by a snow cannon. A chairlift with a capacity of 1200 people per hour and a ski lift with a capacity of 700 people per hour serve the site.
Besides this famous spot, the hills of Królikarnia and Moczydło are favored for another beloved winter pastime: sledding.
Eat traditional Gołąbki
Gołąbki are cabbage rolls filled with minced pork or beef, chopped onions, and rice. They are the traditional food of the winter, served in most Polish restaurants as a simple, hearty, comfort-food that reminds of childhood and the food served in rural homes. One of the best restaurants to enjoy this specialty is Gościniec – Polskie Pierogi, which is also famous for its delicate fried dumplings and liver served on a hot cast-iron platter:
There are two Mamaison hotels to offer you a warm welcome this Christmas season in Warsaw: Mamaison Hotel Le Regina and Mamaison Residence Diana. Both participate in the Winter Wonderland special promotion, which gives you a 15–20 % discount on your accommodation, as well as attentive pampering upon your arrival. You can continue to follow us on Facebook for more tips and information on winter activities that make your holiday in Warsaw this season a memorable experience.
John III Sobieski Reserve (Image by Anetaelzbieta via Wikimedia Commons)
The John III Sobieski Reserve in Warsaw is a forest area in the north-eastern part of the Wawer district. It is one of the locals’ favorite spots to escape the summer sun.
With two hotels in Poland’s capital of cool, Mamaison Hotel Le Regina and Mamaison Residence Diana, we are more than an ideal choice for travelers who visit Warsaw with children. We have excellent conditions for you to spend a family vacation with the comfort of a true home in our hotels. If you plan to visit Warsaw with children, here are some of the most fun activities to keep them entertained.
Take the Kids to the Warsaw ZOO
The Warsaw Zoological Garden (Miejski Ogród Zoologiczny w Warszawie), known simply as the Warsaw ZOO, was established in 1928. It is one of the most popular zoos in Europe, and it welcomes around 1,000,000 visitors annually. It is famous for its elephants, but it also has an impressive shark aquarium and an indoor pool for hippos. Children will also enjoy the ‘Fairytale Zoo’ (Baśniowe Zoo), where they can pet and feed the animals.
Copernicus Science Centre
The Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernik) on the bank of the Vistula River is one of the most interesting attractions for children in Warsaw. It organizes Family Workshops, where children (5–8 years old) together with their parents or carers can carry out experiments, and it also has sections designed with young minds in focus: for example, the Buzzz! gallery for preschool children and the RE: Generation gallery for young adults.
Take Them to the Planetarium
Heaven of Copernicus (Niebo Kopernika) is part of the Copernicus Science Center. It is a young institution, operating only since June 2011. It boasts a dome with a spherical screen having a diameter of 16 m, with 4 digital projectors, planetarium projector system and devices for laser shows. It can accommodate 139 viewers at a time for any show.
Relax in Nature at Jezioro Zegrzyńskie
Jezioro Zegrzyńskie, or the Zegrze Reservoir, is a popular summer destination for locals and tourists alike. It has excellent conditions for sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. There are regular sailing races on the lake, which attract both professionals and amateurs. In the winter, when the lake is frozen, it can be also used for ice skating.
Go for a Cruise
The Cruise ship to Serock (Rejs statkiem do Serocka) departs every weekend, May to September. It is offered by the Żegluga Stołeczna company. The “Zefir” ship departs from the landing at Podzamcze next to the River Cafe.
Besides these attractions, the city boasts numerous entertainment centers, playgrounds, parks, cafeterias serving delicious cakes, family-friendly restaurants, theaters, and cinemas. You will always find something interesting to do with the little ones.
You don’t always have to count on the mainstream media to learn that one of your favorite destinations is “cool,” but when they rank it as the “Coolest Capitals in Europe” things change. Because you know that, with superlatives, the crowds flood in. Prices rise. Quaint parks get busy. Your secret spots are not-so-secret anymore. And, Warsaw is now “Poland’s capital of cool.”
According to The Independent, one of the several publications that now describe Warsaw as a “cool” spot, the Polish capital is “abuzz with creativity,” boasting hummus bars, design shops, hipster squares, playful cafes, and the list goes on. Verve Magazine describes Warsaw as the rebuilt capital of Poland, famous for its pulsating nightlife – a city reborn, rebuilt with “eerie accuracy.” We live metaphors and superlatives. We love Warsaw.
The Courier describes this Mamaison address as an exciting city break destination, “packed with museums, bars, nightlife and a whole lot of history.” These are three of the main players praising Warsaw and setting it up as the coolest destinations in Europe in 2017. This means that tourist numbers will soar this year and that prices for accommodation are also going up. But Mamaison still keeps balance with Mamaison Hotel Le Regina and Mamaison Residence Diana – you can still book with us at exceptional prices – provided that you book directly on our sites.
Warsaw deserves the monicker of “capital of cool.” Where else would you find “Bach in the Subways” concerts, Chopin tours, and traces of John Paul II? The city offers something for all ages if entertainment is your concern, as well as lively activities in nature, and a wealth of things to see and do for art lovers. If culture is your thing, also check out our five must-see museums in Warsaw that are usually not recommended by mainstream publications and travel guides. Bookmark our official blog for more insiders’ tips worth knowing before mainstream media finds out about them!
Warsaw has a fair number of outstanding museums covering a wide variety of fields and attracting culture lovers, history buffs, and art enthusiasts of all ages.
La Rotisserie, the playground of acclaimed Chef Paweł Oszczyk, deserves a spot among the first tier of gourmet restaurants in Warsaw, especially after the recent renovations in September, that converted this culinary temple into an elegant foodie haven.
Warsaw is different things to different people, and the art lover has a wealth of things to discover beyond the Museum of Modern Art, which is run by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Warsaw City Council. Granted, the museum’s rich collection of visual arts, industrial and graphic design, and architecture is inspiring, and a stop at their EMESEN cafe after seeing the exhibition can be as rewarding as taking in the art, but it is not enough for the art traveler. So the walk continues.
Galeria Sztuki Katarzyny at Świętokrzyska 32, owned by the former director of the Gallery of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, Katarzyna Napiórkowska, is not far from the Museum of Modern Art. This is a contemporary art gallery, which shows painting, graphics, drawing, and sculpture.
If you walk in the opposite direction from the Museum of Modern Art you find Galeria Stereo at Miedziana 11. This gallery is highly recommended for its carefully curated exhibitions of Polish art, but they also have a well-developed international program.
Galeria Stereo: Kilian Rüthemann “Tools” exhibition in 2014
Another gallery not far from the Museum of Modern Art is Kuratorium at Sienna 43A. It promotes young Polish art, organizing exhibitions of paintings and continually expanding its permanent collection of the works.You will see works by Paweł Słota, Juliusz Kosin, Ewelina Sośniak, Tomek Mistak, Piotr Saul, and many others.
Another fascinating destination for art lovers is Le Guern (Widok 8), an interesting gallery that focuses on the most significant figures of the contemporary art scene, both Polish and international. The gallery space is open to different artistic attitudes and forms of creative activity including photography, painting, sculpture, drawings, installations, film, video art, and so on.
From here, walk to Pies Czy Suka, a design store and cocktail bar at Szpitalna 8a, which also has a passion for contemporary art, organizing all kinds of exhibitions.
Or try THE PICTURES Art Bar Cafe at Chmielna 26 for cocktails and a sensual decor that combines balck and white photography with comfort.
Besides these random stops, Warsaw has many other galleries clustering around the center. It is easy to discover them in a simple walk. There are also many design stores, which sell authentic pieces at fair prices. If you are an art lover in Warsaw you will always find something to do.
Fryderyk Chopin Statue in Warsaw © Artur Bogacki - Fotolia.com
Each European capital exudes a special charm, and each is individual in its own right. According to UK’s Post Office Travel Money Cost of Culture report however, Warsaw is Europe’s cheapest city for culture, with prices under a third of those in Vienna, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and other cultural capitals. A Financial Times report:
The cost of visiting a range of top attractions including art galleries, museums, heritage sites and tickets to the National Opera and National Ballet cost 40 per cent less than 2015.
If art is what you seek, Warsaw is a paradise: it offers fascinating art spaces, featuring both contemporary and classic works, true temples of beauty, where you can enrich your soul, while getting closer to the spirit of this outstanding destination. Some of the locals recommend destinations such as Kuratorium Gallery, Keret House, Leica Gallery, Bęc Zmiana, the Poster Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, but you can also visit Galeria Test, Galeria Sztuki Katarzyny Napiórkowskiej, and the Zachęta National Gallery of Art. Some offer free entrance, and others charge a symbolic fee to allow you to see their treasures.
Or walk in the footsteps of Frédéric François Chopin, whose musical genius drew inspiration for many of his early works from Warsaw herself. Most of the attractions on this path are free to visit: the official route suggested by the City of Warsaw offers several multimedia benches, which have an interactive sound system that will play Chopin’s music. There are 15 spots where you can rest on one of Chopin’s Benches, all connected with landmarks that played an important role in the life of the composer.
Or visit the SOHO Factory for art, culture, and entertainment. They have such an outstanding seasonal programme. You can participate in gardening sessions, or visit an exhibition, come in for a concert, be active in a workshop, and much more. This is a vibrant space, with plenty to do and see, designed for all ages. Even foodie dining is possible here.
History buffs will enjoy the History Meeting House – Dom Spotkań z Historią. The institution has a strong focus on Central and Eastern Europe in the twentieth century, attracting intellectuals from all fields.
The Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle is one of Warsaw’s cultural treasures. Their schedule includes contemporary music, experimental films and video art screenings, creative workshops, and a wide array of cultural activities for young and old. Schedules change often so visit their website before you plan your visit.
Finally, just walk down the streets of Warsaw, and pay attention. There’s enough to catch the eye: street art, statues, monuments, and monumental architecture. Even local bars adorn their walls with contemporary art that will surprise and incite you.
For affordable accommodation in luxury and style, check the special offers at Mamaison Residence Diana Warsaw.
Warsaw may not be known like a shopper’s paradise, but it is a great place for fashionistas, as it has many boutiques selling hand-made merchandise, authentic, and reasonably priced. From jewelry to custom-made hats, you will find Warsaw fascinating if you like to shop.
W.KRUK [Pl. Konstytucji 6 | +48 661 980 571] is the oldest jewelry brand in the country. The company was founded by Leon Skrzetuski in 1840. W.KRUK jewelry is distributed in more than 80 showrooms throughout the country. The shop in Warsaw offers gold and silver jewelry, diamonds, precious stones and original collections inspired by the latest trends in fashion.
Tradition is continued by Ania Kruk [ul. Mokotowska 46], with her designer jewelry line, available in 10 boutiques across the country and online. Her designs are unique, combining different materials such as resin, ceramics, beads, cords and crystals.
For designer hats, visit the Warsaw workshop of Marta Ruta [ul. Solec 97], a well-known designer. Her shop offers ready-made pieces, some unique, but can also be visited for bespoke hats, made according to your specifications. Many singers, actresses, fashion models, and VIPs count on Marta Ruta for an elegant hat.
You’ll find even more hats at HatHat [7/11 Dąbrowskiego Street], where you can buy summer hats, winter hats, as well as spring and fall hats, made with outstanding materials, in Poland.
Loft 37 [Mokotowska 52A] is a designer shoe brand, which also offers designer bags and accessories. The shoes are customized for fashionistas who aim to externalize their style, character, passion for fashion and originality. Here you can personalize your shoes based on color, style, and material.
But when it comes to shoes, Rylko [ul. Złota 59] is definitely more famous. The company was founded by Stanisław Ryłko in 1964. It offers footwear for all ages, and shoe-care products and accessories.
For Polish fashion, look no further than Nowy Świat Concept Store [ul. Nowy Świat 48], where you can find apparel and accessories by designers such as BaBroszka, Barbara Wysocka, Dogui, MAKO, Moelle, Rita Krzysiek, REDI Fashion, SOTHO, and Uncommon.
For leather accessories, Cholewiński [Wołoska 12] is a great choice. They have briefcases, handbags, belts, wallets, cases, key rings, pouches and other items made with natural materials using Polish and Italian leather.
Warsaw’s Night “of” the Museums on May 14th and 15th is a cultural event even more sensational than the Ben Stiller motion picture about fantasy museum subjects coming to life. No, dinosaurs will not rumble in the streets, but special activities will thrill visitors nevertheless.
The organizers promise concerts, special meals, workshops, and a lot more for this, the 12th rendition of the popular events. Art galleries, community centers, libraries, churches, pubs can cafes will all join in presenting the best Warsaw has to offer with events tailored to suit this amazing city’s locals and its guests.
From the event’s humble beginnings early on, the current iteration will welcome some 16,000 plus guests, and more than a quarter of a million visitors to some 250 plus participating establishments around the city: galleries, 52 museums, theaters and government buildings have signed up, and will open through the night to welcome all the guests of the free festival.
This is the largest event of its kind in the country, a celebration of art and culture, the experience of a lifetime. Many tourists plan their trips around this, for the chance to see as much as possible from Warsaw’s best. The program will include many activities for children too, including educational workshops, art workshops, fairy-tales readings, field games, face painting, competitions and much, much more.
There will also be an unusual City Game called “Do not sleep, explore, play,” on Saturday night, so download their free HUNTLY app to join the fun. At the end of the game you have the chance to win attractive gifts for you and for your friends and family.
The complete list of the venues participating at the Night of the Museums this year is available in English here. There is no important cultural institution that will keep its doors closed on this occasion. Each venue has prepared unique entertainment for guests, ranging from temporary exhibitions, to film screenings, and cocktail parties. Public transportation will be free.
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