What to see in Warsaw.
More than 20 years after the fall of communism Warsaw can proudly call itself the political, economic and cultural centre of East-Central Europe. The city which seems to have forgotten its communist past is now bustling with life.
For the past 20 years Warsaw has undergone a spectacular transformation process. Although the panorama of the city is still dominated by the monumental Palace of Culture and Science, a lot has changed around it. In the past the Palace was surrounded by grey concrete blocks, now there are modern skyscrapers. The capital has become a friendly place to do business which is confirmed by a high position in the ranking of Europe’s most attractive cities for investors. When it comes to the standard of living, the quality of transport and telecommunications services, the access to markets and customers Warsaw has left behind places like Vienna, Prague or Rome. Nearly one-quarter of the city’s area is composed of public parks, among which there’s a great Warsaw Zoological Garden.
In today’s Warsaw the past and the present are harmoniously combined. There are many institutions devoted to Polish history, the ones that protect the national heritage and shape the national identity. The Warsaw Uprising Museum, the National Museum, the Fryderyk Chopin Museum and the Historical Museum of Warsaw located in the Old Town are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. On the other hand Warsaw is opened to all modern trends and innovations. The Copernicus Science Centre is one of the most modern institutions in Europe that shows and explains science to ordinary people. Also the annual cyclical festivals are an essential part of city life. Events such as Krzysztof Komeda Film Music Festival, Chopin concerts, classical music concerts at the Grand Theatre, Shuman Parade, Short Film Festival or International Open Air Festival “Jazz at the Old Town” attract huge crowds of people.
With its much appreciated cultural and recreational events, fantastic night life and beautiful green parks Warsaw is a great place to live. Places such as Royal Łazienki, Royal Castle, Ujazdowski Castle, Cathedral Basilica of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, Wilanów Palace and Gardens or Powązki Cemetery are known not only by Poles but also by foreigners who eagerly learn Polish history, until recently regarded as “exotic”. Beautifully renovated Presidential Palace, Belweder or Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are these places that remind everybody of the monumental impact of the political transformation of 1989. The best confirmation of Poland’s leap forward is the newly built National Stadium. Many generations of Poles could only have dreamt of organizing the UEFA European Football Championship, and today the dream has come true.