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Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 | 0 comments

I Heart My City: Magda’s Warsaw

Magda Przedmojska delights in sharing her city with the rest of the world—that’s why she’s a regular contributor to Spotted By Locals Warsaw. Though this avid traveler has lived elsewhere—from Aberdeen to Berlin—the Polish capital has her heart. “Warsaw is still the place to be because of my friends and family—the most important people in my life,” she says. Here are some of the reasons Magda describes her hometown as “quite a nice melting point to visit.”

Warsaw Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews to enable a deeper understanding of the city.

Summer or autumn is the best time to visit my city because that’s when most of our festivals take place—Warszawa Singera, International Mime Art Festival, and Skrzyżowanie Kultur music festival, among others.

You can see my city best from the Pałac Kultury i Nauki (Palace of Culture and Learning).

Food and fun at the Singer Festival in Warsaw (Photograph by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Flickr)

Food and fun at the Singer Festival in Warsaw (Photograph by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Flickr)

Locals know to skip the Royal Castle and check out Królikarnia, a museum dedicated to the works of Polish sculptor Xawery Dunikowski, or the National Museum instead.

The Bęc Zmiana Foundation and the shop in the National Museum are the best places to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like physicist Marie Curie, composer Frédéric Chopin and director Krzysztof Kieślowski have called my city home.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s to call on Taxi Grosik if you’re looking for a cab. Some other taxi companies may try to rip you off.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is Skaryszewski Park, where you can canoe, go jogging, or simply take a walk.

My city really knows how to celebrate the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, a two-month effort by the Polish resistance army to free Warsaw from Nazi control during World War II. The whole city stops for a moment at 5 p.m. on August 1, the day the uprising began, to observe the many commemorations taking place.

For a fancy night out, I go to one of the clubs in the Praga Północ district, such as Skład Butelek or Hydrozagadka.

The Palace of Culture and Science is one of the tallest buildings in Poland. (Photograph by Jorge Láscar, Flickr)

The Palace of Culture and Science is one of the tallest buildings in Poland. (Photograph by Jorge Láscar, Flickr)

Just outside my city, you can visit the village of Otwock Wielki or see some splendid nature in Falenty.

People from my city are known for being grumpy but it’s really quite friendly.

The best outdoor market in my city is Targ Śniadaniowy.

Śniadaniownia is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Bazar or Aïoli are the spots for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the Warsaw Insider.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to one of Warsaw’s milk bars—Bar Bambino, Prasowy, or Bar Mleczny Familijny.

Otwock Grand Palace in Otwock Wielki. The village is about a half-hour drive southeast of Warsaw. (Photograph by Marek i Ewa Wojciechowscy, Flickr)

Otwock Grand Palace in Otwock Wielki. The village is about a half-hour drive southeast of Warsaw. (Photograph by Marek i Ewa Wojciechowscy, Flickr)

To escape the crowds, I go to the Jewish Cemetery or the Tartar Cemetery.

The dish that represents my city best is pierogi (dumplings) and vodka is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at Zapiecek and Czystaojczysta respectively.

Kongresowa and Fabryka Trzciny are the best places to see live music.

In the spring you should check out Kampinos National Park—one of the biggest nature reserves in the Warsaw area.

In the summer you should go to one of many clubs and bars on the Vistula River.

In the fall you should go ice skating at Tor Stegny.

In the winter you should go skiing in Górka Szczęśliwicka.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss Pompon, a café and creative enclave in the Wola district.

Kampinos National Park is located just miles from the border of Warsaw proper. (Photograph by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Flickr)

Kampinos National Park is located just miles from the border of Warsaw proper. (Photograph by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Flickr)

The best book about my city is Warszawa Kobiet (Women of Warsaw) by Sylwia Chutnik because it shows you women’s history within our city. And believe me, there is a lot!

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind isSen o Warszawie” (“A Dream about Warsaw”), by Polish jazz singer Czesław Niemen. The song is about love and missing the city when you’re not there.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it’s modern and sexy. Since Poland became democratic in 1989, Warsaw has been growing, becoming more aware and European.

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