Kraków may have the beauty and Gdańsk the seashore, but Warsaw has the culture, the energy and the action. Poland’s capital was flattened in WWII and, ever since, the city’s been racing to replace what was lost. After 1989, that pace accelerated, and central Warsaw today has so many booms, cranes and construction sites, you’d think you’d landed in Beijing.
That energy extends to the city’s thriving club and music scene. The annual calendar is filled with funky street fests, edgy art openings, and lots of highbrow, Chopin-inspired music festivals. The best museums are here too. The Warsaw Rising Museum set the standard for a new generation of engaging, interactive exhibitions. Two new museums, one on Chopin and the other on Jewish history, raise the bar even higher.
Sprawling Warsaw may be an acquired taste and your first impressions straight off the train may not be positive. But the vibe and drive of Poland’s capital are infectious if you give it time.