Take a look at some of these great attractions not far from hotels near the Warsaw Airport.
Zamek Krolewski (Royal Castle)
Zamek Krolewski (Royal Castle)Distance from Warsaw Airport: 11 km
Walking through the Royal Castle, one has to constantly remind oneself that most of it has been reconstructed in the 1970s, although the darker elements of the decor were actually salvaged from the ruins. The castle, on a plateau overlooking the Vistula River, was built for the Dukes of Mazovia, and expanded when King Zygmunt III Vasa moved the capital to Warsaw. From the early seventeenth until the late eighteenth century, this was the seat of the Polish kings. It subsequently housed the parliament and is now a museum, displaying tapestries, period furniture, coffin portraits and collections of porcelain and other decorative arts. Work is underway to recreate the castle gardens, set on the slopes of the Vistula.
plac Zamkovy 4 (ticket office on ulica Swietojanska 2)
Tel: (022) 657 2170 or 2338 (ticket office).
Lazienki ParkDistance from Warsaw Airport: 8.7 km
In addition to a number of palaces, the Lazienki Park contains the Chopin Monument (where the annual Chopin Festival is held each summer) and the Orangerie, set within extensive eighteenth-century gardens. Palac Lazienkowski (Palace on the Water) is best viewed from near the monument to Jan Sobiewski on the bridge where ulica Agrykola crosses the water. Originally built in 1624 for King Zygmunt III Vasa, Zamek Ujazdowski (Ujazdowski Castle) now houses the Centre of Contemporary Art. Palac Belweder (Belvedere Palace) dates from 1764 and was the residence of King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski, and later of Poland’s twentieth-century presidents.
ulica Agrykola 1
Tel: (022) 621 8212.
WilanowDistance from Warsaw Airport: 9.7 km
In the mid-1600s, King Jan III Sobieski commissioned the Baroque palace and garden of Wilanow for his summer residence. It remained popular with subsequent monarchs. Visitors can tour the interior and the gallery, which features portraits of famous Poles. Artistic handicrafts are on display in the Orangerie. Also here is the Muzeum Plaktau w Wilanowie (Poster Museum at Wilanow), the first of its kind in the world.
Ulica St. Potockiego 1
Tel: (022) 842 2509 or 0795, ext. 110 (tour reservations).
Narodowe (National Museum)
Narodowe (National Museum)Distance from Warsaw Airport: 12.2 km
The National Museum’s impressive art collection dates from ancient times to the present day. Highlights include Jan Matejko’s monumental Battle of Grunwalkd, which celebrates the Polish victory over the Teutonic Knights in 1410, and a collection of Egyptian art, which is unique in Europe. Frequent temporary exhibitions bring prized international works, from Andy Warhol to Caravaggio, to Warsaw.
Aleje Jerozolimskie 3
Tel: (022) 621 1031.
Getto Zydowskie (Jewish Ghetto)Distance from Warsaw Airport: 12.2 km
What is markedly absent from Warsaw contributes as much to its history as anything that has been preserved or reconstructed. Pre-war Warsaw had a Jewish population second only to New York. After the Nazi invasion, some 400,000 Jews were rounded up and forced to stay in the Jewish ghetto. A three-metre-high (10ft) wall encircled the area, from the Palace of Culture and Science to the Umschlagplatz monument (corner of ulica Stawki and ulica Dzika). This stark monument, erected in the late 1980s, marks the place from where Jews were despatched by train to the Treblinka concentration camp, following the Ghetto Uprising of 19 April 1943. The centre of the ghetto is marked by the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes on ulica L Zamenhofa, which was erected in 1948 on a sea of ruins. Other memorials are the Monument of the Killed and Murdered in the East, on ulica Muranowska, and the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Monument, on plac Krasinskich. Only three sections of the actual ghetto wall remain.
Further information about the Jewish Ghetto is available at the Jewish Historical Institute Gallery, located on the site of the former Great Synagogue. The Institute has a permanent display of work by Jewish artists and photographs and documents relating to the Jewish ghetto; a bookshop (with copies in English) on the Jews of Eastern Europe; and archives at the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation located on the premises (on appointment only).
Jewish Historical Institute and Ronald S. Lauder Foundation
ulica Tlomackie 3/5
Tel: (022) 827 9221.