On Sunday we ate at Qchnia Artystychnia and then took a stroll to burn off at least three of the calories. The route we took is one of my favourites and not one you’ll find in any tourist guide. Although we didn’t go too far it is a walk that is easily extended to become possibly the finest walk Warsaw has to offer. The weather was pretty horrid so unfortunately the photos do not do the walk full justice.
If you want the “full monty” walk, you need to have already parked your car on ul. Parkowa and walked through Łazienki park until you got to Ujazdowskie Palace (about 30 minutes).
As we were already there, we started at the Museum of Modern Art in Ujazdowskie Palace. Here’s the museum and Zosia hugging a sculpture;
If you’re facing the way Marta & Zosia are here then you need to do a left which will take you to a footbridge over the Aleja Armii Ludowej, sometimes known as Trasa Łazienkowska because of the bridge it goes over. Here’s the view towards the bridge;
and here’s the view the other way looking West. The road crossing the Trasa is Ujazdowskie.
After you cross the footbridge you’re in a small park with more modern art sculptures. Take the path to the right and follow it until you get to another footbridge. The path looks a bit like this;
As you cross the second footbridge you have a good view to the right looking down Górnośląska towards the river.
After you cross this footbridge, you’re passing an apartment/office building immediately on your left that by all accounts was the HQ of the Gestapo in Warsaw and shortly after that you’re passing behind the back door to the Sejm, Polish parliament.
Follow that path for a while, again through a park, until you get to a square, Księdza Józefa Stanka, with yet another view straight down to the river;
The walk, from Ujazdowskie Palace, has probably taken you between 20-30 minutes so far. From here you have a few options.
- Walk in the opposite direction to the picture above, up Ul. Prusa, passing Teatr Buffo on the way until you get to the Sheraton. Stop there to eat and drink. Pop outside to check out the skateboarders. Pop over the road and buy a Burberry whatsit for your wife and then get a cab back to your car! (if you can afford one by now)
- Walk in the direction of left in the photo above, cross yet another another cool footbridge (stock market up the hill to your left) and then wiggle your way through another park and behind the National Museum up towards Nowy Świat. Then walk down Nowy Świat, followed by Krakowskie Przedmieście until you get to the old town. Do some old town stuff and then walk all the way back. This, plus the Łazienki park branch line, is the FULL monty. From here to old town and back will take at least an hour, more like two, but it makes for an excellent outing on a good day. Suggest you take cofee and cakes at the Batida cafe in the Hotel Europejski (opposite hotel Bristol) on your way.
- Do what we did and take the short route back – see below.
From the picture above, turn around and take the next street left, Aleja Na Skarpie. Then take Nullo & Frascati streets until you get to Wiejska. This is all through interesting back streets right next door to the Sejm so there are a lot of offices associated with the parliament. Do a left on Wiejska, past this monument opposite the Sejm (photo taken last October);
Keep going straight. Cross Górnosląska and go down Jazdów to the left of the French Embassy. Typical bloody French, they have brightly coloured cockerels in their garden!
Coincidentally, I would draw your attention at this point to the wonky red and white poles!!
Ul. Jazdów is a very strange street. It’s in a prime location – French Embassy on your right, German Embassy on your left, Polish parliament behind you, US Embassy up ul. Piękna off to your right, British Embassy not far away on Ujazdowskie, Łazienki park straight ahead and Ujazdowskie park also just up ul. Piękna. By the way, if you’re dragging kids around with you, Ujazdowskie park has a good kids playground so you might want to take a break here to do that and stop them whining so much!
While you’re here, be sure to have a good laugh at ze Germans and how they managed to get such an ugly (but massive) new Embassy (relocated from Saka Kępa on the other side of the river). We walked round the backside of it and it’s even uglier from there. Looks like they have had a few landscaping issues as well judging by the abandoned tractor and piles of dead trees!! I assume they like Saska Kępa because there’s no sign of anyone moving in yet and it’s been around a year since they had the thing nearly finished. Mind you, there used to be a really good cake shop close to their old embassy so perhaps they all have sweet German teeth?
Anyway, back to the walk. Amidst all this affluence lies modest ul. Jazdów with its rows of little wooden houses lived in by, as far as we could tell, normal people. Not ambassadors or princes. Whenever I walk down this street I always wonder just how this came to be and whether it will always be this way. Here’s the wooden houses;
Nearly back to the car now! Just carry on walking down Jazdów and you’ll arrive at the first footbridge again with Ujazdowskie Palace in the background.
Unless you took the Łazienki extension, you’re done!. Without extensions at either end, the whole walk is perhaps 45 minutes to an hour. With extensions both ends you’re looking at 4-5 hours and with detours off that, it’s a day out in Warsaw!!