Explore Warsaw - walks and tours

Warsaw was repeatedly demolished in numerous wars and the left bank was almost totally razed to the ground during the 2nd World War. After regaining independence, much of the surviving buildings from the turn of the 20th century were also taken down. As an effect, today's Warsaw's architecture is chaotic, consisting of tall new buildings hiding smaller older ones.

The Horse-drawn Omnibus

The omnibus goes from pl. Zamkowy (Castle Square), along Podwale, Freta, Rynek Nowego Miasta, Freta, Świętojerska, pl. Krasińskich, Miodowa, Senatorska, Wierzbowa, Moliera, Senatorska and back to the Castle Square. It has 6 stops: ul. Podwale (by pl.Zamkowy), ul. Nowomiejska , ul. Mostowa, ul. Freta, pl. Krasińskich, pl. Piłsudskiego. The whole ride takes about an hour. The omnibus can carry 1 people and is in operation from the beginning of May to the end of August, in May and June on weekends and public holidays, in July and August all week long except Mondays. On free days it goes 6 times a day, otherwise it goes 5 times a day.

Tickets can be bought in the omnibus and cost: 14 zł Normal, 7zł concessions and with a family ticket (3-5 people including 1 child under 18) an adult pays 10zł and kids 7zł. There is a 10% discount with a Warsaw tourist card and children under 6 and pensioners over 70 go free.

Walks

It's worth walking along the historical Royal Tract . From the Citadel in Żoliborz, going parallel to the river Vistula, we head for the New Town, where it's worth taking in the Square and the Church of the Visitation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary on ul. Przyrynek. Then, walking along ul. Freta, we get to the Barbican, from which we go along ul. Nowomiejska to the Old Town Square. We then take ul. Świętojańska, passing St John's Cathedral on our left and get to Castle Square and Zygmunt's Column. Heading south we go along Krakowskie Przedmieście in the direction of Staszic Palace.

On Krakowskie Przedmieście it's worth noticing the Academic Church of St. Anne, the Adam Mickiewicz Monument, the Music Academy Halls of Residence (Dziekanka), the President's Palace (Radzi Palace), the Bristol Hotel (the oldest in Warsaw), the Bolesaw Prus Monument, the Visitationist Church and the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński Monument nearby. The left hand side of Krakowskie Przedmieście ends with the Warsaw University buildings, while the right hand side ends with the Church of the Holy Cross, rebuilt after the war in its original baroque style. The street is closed by the Copernicus Monument and Staszic Palace. New World Street (ul. Nowy Świat) is the continuation of Krakowskie Przedmieście and takes us to Three Cross Square (plac Trzech Krzyży) with the Church of St Aleksander, which was rebuilt after the war in a classical style based on the pantheon in Rome, right in the middle. Aleje Ujazdowskie (Ujazdowskie Ave) begins at this point and is the elegant diplomatic distrcit of Warsaw, where most of the foreign embassies can be found in small 19th century palaces. On the left we pass Ujazdowski Park, the Warsaw University Botanical gardens and Łazienki Park which borders Belvedere. Keep going straight down Belwederska Street, Sobieskego Street and Wilanowska Street and you'll get to Wilanów. The baroque palace and park called the Polish Versailles, was the suburban residence of King Jan III Sobieski.

A different walk will take us back 80 years to see the surviving or rebuilt Jewish district . Before the war the Jewish community made up 1/3 of the population of Warsaw, but was wiped out by the Germans in the 2nd World War. It's worth taking a walk along Próżna Street from the Świętokrzyska metro station to Grzybowski Square, past the Jewish theatre and the Nożyków synagogue. Then you go along Twarda Street to Złota and Sienna streets, where, at 55 Sienna Street and 60 Złota Street, you can find surviving fragments of the ghetto wall. The go along Żelazna Street to 11 Waliców Street (also with fragments of the ghetto wall) to Chłodna Street. From there we can get a ride to Okopowa Street and see the Jewish cemetery and then the monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto and the Umschlagplatz monument on Stawki Street.

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