Sunday, October 03, 2010

The very best of the best of Warsaw #5

#5 Nowy Swiat and Krakowskie Przedmiescie
The main thoroughfare in town, and by thoroughfare, I mean that on the weekends they actually close this street to traffic! It has come into itself even in the last 20 months or so that I have lived in this city. They regularly have fairs of food, regional handicrafts or even wine tasting!
It is really a connection between what is considered by some to be the cutural and business centre, i.e. Centrum and the Palace of Culture, and the historical and sentimental heart the Old Town.
The buildings were recreated from paintings after their destruction by the Germans in WWII and some are really well preserved like the Presidential Palace and the other government buildings and, of course, Poland's very wealthy church is also well represented with at least 4 churches along here from memory. However, there are some buildings that need a good steam cleaning on the outside and facades that could do with some plaster in parts. It is said that Nowy Swiat is the most expensive piece of real estate in Poland, it is about a quarter of the price of Pitt St, Sydney, so not too bad when you compare it against average earnings.
During the week you will see lots of students milling about, as the main Warsaw campus is located here, along with many faculties along the road as well.
Also you may see a celebrity or political figure staying at the Bristol Hotel (the most expensive in Warsaw) or a granny grumbling about something as they wait for a bus as many buses flow down the street on weekdays. But, it is the weekends where it thrives best, as I already mentioned it gets closed to most traffic with a few exceptions. The streets also offers some great little side streets to duck off to, and you will find the greatest donuts in the world on Chmielna, you can be funky in the cafes and resturants that line the street or just Promenade like in the Mediterranean climes. If you are a people watcher, this is the place to come on weekends. You will see the Polish women in all their finery. The do love to parade as they think looking good is not just natural but an artform that should be shown to others. This said and labels abound, you can also still eat at a Milky bar or even buy an obnoxiously noisey lovebird at the pet store like we did.

Always a nice place to stroll if you have the time.

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