Situated on the Vistula River, Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. More than 80 percent of Warsaw was destroyed during World War II, but many of its historic streets and buildings have been restored to their original form. If you are going to Warsaw, here are five must-see sites:
Old Town. Rebuilt brick by brick after World War II, this is Warsaw's most popular tourist attraction. The medieval-style architecture and cobblestone streets are so authentic looking that people find it hard to believe it was ever in ruins. Today the area offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars. St. John's Cathedral and the Marie Curie Museum are popular sites.
Nowy Swiat is a popular street that forms part of the "Royal Route" linking the Royal Castle with the Wilanow Palace. The street is about a mile long and is a great place to shop, eat out, or have a drink with friends. Its once-neoclassical buildings have mostly been replaced by art nouveau style buildings.
Lazienki Royal Park is the largest park in Warsaw and was the summer residence of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski. It contains his palace, several historical buildings, and a Rose Garden where Chopin concerts are held on summer Sundays. The development of the classical style gardens was a pet project for the king.
Wilanow Park-Palace Complex. This beautiful baroque palace was built in the late 1600s as a summer palace for King Jan Sobieski. It is surrounded by an Italian baroque garden and an English-style park. The palace is one of the few major buildings in the city that was untouched by World War II.
The Warsaw Rising Museum opened in 2004 on the 60^th anniversary of the start of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation. It takes visitors through interactive displays, which include historical photographs and video footage. The museum depicts the residents' struggle under occupation, before and during the uprising, as well as under post-war communist terror.