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There are countless reasons to fall in love with Warsaw

Parks & Gardens

Pole Mokotowskie Park (Pole Mokotowskie im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego)

Lokalizacja: Śródmieście, Aleje Niepodległości
This is a huge park complex, right near the centre of Warsaw, situated over and between three districts: Mokotów, Ochota and Śródmieście, and it stretches all the way from ulica Żwirki i Wigury to ulica Waryńskiego. Before World War II, this 200 hectares served numerous functions, including acting as Mokotowkie Airport (today, a giant obelisk stands in memory of the airport), an allotment garden, and a race-track for horses (which is now in Służewiec). Its central location means that the park has an incredibly important task: it provides the centre of Warsaw with a free flow of air, all the way to the downtown area.
Despite this unusual purpose, it is also a very typical sports and recreation green space, with wide walking boulevards and bicycle paths, as well as a lovely fountain that is extremely popular with Varsovians. On sunny summer days, hundreds of people are to be found sunning themselves on the grass, or enjoying some food and drink at one of the park's famous pubs (the most popular being 'Lolek' and 'Bolek', and Jeff's American Restaurant. The park also has a monument that especially delights children: the Monument of the Happy Dog (Pomnik Szczęśliwego Psa). The massive open field hosts many open-air performances, as well as the annual Earth Day picnic in April, which attracts thousands of guests interested in protecting the environment and learning about earth-friendly practices; another huge picnic is the June 1 celebration of Children's Day. And the park hosts concerts, all year round.

Edward Rydz-Śmigły Park (Park im. Edwarda Rydza-Śmigłego)

Located in: Powiśle, ulica Rozbrat
Warsaw's youngest park was established between 1953-1964; it consists of several large gardens in Warsaw's Powiśle area, totalling about 90 hectares. At the top of the garden area is Frascati Park: this very foreign-sounding name was inspired by a very green and earthy Italian village from 1779. In the 1950's, Frascati Park was named a Park of Culture, and for its role in attracting people to the Vistula River. Because it is so modern, the park has a distinctive geometric character in terms of its layout and composition. At the most eastern part of the park is a 1975 monument called the 'Glory Sapper' (Chwała Saperom); there is also a very original fountain (thanks to the reflecting lights installed in it, the water changes colours constantly, and sparkles in all colours of the rainbow). The park is a very attractive place for Warsaw inhabitants, even in winter time, when the Jutrzenka Skate Park is converted into an ice skating rink. In the summer months, open-air concerts and film festivals take place regularly.

Bielański Woods and Reservation (Rezerwat Przyrody Las Bielański)

www.bielanski.republika.pl, www.lasbielanski.waw.pl
Located in: Bielany, ulica Dewajtis
The Bielański Woods (Las Bielański) are part of the larger Mazowiecki Forest (Puszcza Mazowiecka). In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was used as a place of great entertainment: Sundays and religious holidays were especially popular, as there were carousels, swings and events. This tradition continued after World War II, and in 1950, it was named a Park of Culture. In 1973, it was further recognized as a sanctuary, as a bird reservation occupies about 150 hectares of the park's space. Whilst in the park, take the time to see the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Holy Virgin Mary (Kościół Niepokalanego Poczęcia Najświętszej Marii Panny), which is from the 17th century, and is considered by many to be a true pearl of Baroque architecture. Under the church itself are art galleries, a cafe, and a theater known for staging unusual artistic events. Very near the church is the 'Good Place' Center of Christian Culture (Centrum Kultury Chrześcijańskiej "Dobre Miejsce"), which organizes artistic events aimed at the promotion of Christian values.

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