Warsaw is divided into 18 districts, each one with its own administrative body, covering nearly 517 square kilometres. It might be a headache to get from one side of the city to another. In this post we describe the most important and popular of them to help you in choosing the best flat location during your Erasmus in the capital of Poland.
Śródmieście is a central district of Warsaw embracing the oldest part of the city (Old Town and New Town), as well as new built-up area established after World War II at the site of destroyed neighborhoods. In this part of the city you will find the most representative buildings and places in Warsaw. You can find here: Presidential Palace, Ujazdowski Park, Royal Castle, Pilsudski Square, and some important capital monuments such as the Palace of Culture and Science, Old Town (Royal Castle, Sigismund’s Column or Cathedral) or a tremendous Łazienki Royal Park. Also unusual landmark such as artificial palm tree on the De Gaulle roundabout can be found in Śródmieście.
Mokotów is the largest district of Warsaw in terms of population but also one of the favourite amongst citizens of Warsaw. Numerous green areas like for example Mokotów Field Park and Sea Eye Park and water reservoirs (Czerniakowskie Lake, which is an urban nature reserve) characterize Mokotów. Many small cafes, restaurants, student bars and hyped places are located in the Old part of this district, especially at Plac Zbawiciela (Mecca of hipsters).
Wola is one of central district of Warsaw. Big part of Wola is currently turning into business district. The surroundings of Plac Europejski is currently one of the most impressive and modern part of Warsaw with constantly popping up skyscrapers. The historic and the most famous Polish graveyard Powązki (comparable with Père Lachaise in Paris) is located in the northern part. The Warsaw’s Uprising Museum, numerous parks or an open air swimming pool (Park Moczydło) can be found in Wola.
Muranów is one of the most unique living districts in the world. The housing estate was built on the ruins and rubble of the former ghetto. Modernism and social realist ideals characterize architecture of Muranów. Currently this neighbourhood is heavily modernized, every day there are created new apartments, theaters making it one of the calmest and most pleasant places to live.
Powiśle is a large residential complex, which is an integral part of the Śródmieście district. Powiśle is one of the greenest and coolest areas in the city. You can find here many sports facilities, parks, cafes and hyped places. Powiśle is definitely one of the favourite places of locals. Perfect for social meetings all year long and the best place to have fun at night during spring and summer.
Żoliborz is the smallest district of Warsaw located directly to the north of the city centre. District name comes from the French name Joli Bord, meaning “Beautiful River Bank.” Żoliborz has a lot of beautiful architecture – charming old villas and colonies built in the 1930s by the socialist housing cooperative. What interesting, this small area has 7 parks and 2 theaters and many restaurants and places to hang out in the evening.
Praga is a district situated on the east side of the Vistula river bank. Praga has undeniable charm. Many pre-war houses and countless shrines are attracting both Warsaw residents and tourists. Praga, often considered as neglected and dangerous district might surprise with numerous hyped bars, clubs and restaurants. Considerable lower rental prices are attracting young artists and creative Warsawians to live and work in historic buildings of Praga. That might be one of the reasons why plenty murals and art installations can be found in this neighbourhood. Football fans and mass event lovers will find the National Stadium hosting the biggest sport and music events in Poland.
Ochota is a district located in the former municipal center. Many important academic centers such as Warsaw Medical University or Department of Geology of University of Warsaw. Corporate offices among old buildings and housing quarters are characteristic for Ochota. If you love nature you should visit Park Szczęśliwicki – one of the most charming parks in Warsaw with a small water pond.
Ursynów is the largest housing district in Warsaw, considered as a “bedroom” of Warsaw. Recently Ursynów is changing its character – mainly thanks to popping up shopping centers, entertainment parks and public institutions. One of the biggest advantages of Ursynów is the possibility of finding small fruit markets, small local shops and cute cafes and restaurants around the corner. Another upside is good access to public transport and relatively lower rental prices in comparison to the city centre.
Kabaty district as a part of Ursynów is mainly characterized by modern residential buildings, located just off the Las Kabacki. For ones searching for quality living, calmness and escape from big city life this area could be a perfect match. Even though it might seem quite distant from the city centre, the district is well connected with the rest of the city thanks to metro line and multiple buses connections.
In which district of Warsaw do you live? Write what you think about it in the comments.