Warsaw/Old and New Town

Warsaw's picturesque Old Town Square at dusk.

The Old Town (Stare Miasto) and New Town (Nowe Miasto) are the two oldest parts of Warsaw. Administratively, they are neighbourhoods in the district of Śródmieście. The Old Town is comparatively small to the old towns of many other European cities, as during the time of its development Warsaw was a small town of mostly local importance and not yet the capital of Poland. The New Town is called so because it was the first part of Warsaw to be built outside of the original city wall ring, but it is indeed not much newer than the old town and much older than most of other neighbourhoods of Warsaw.

It is important to know that both the Old and New Town were almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, and were reconstructed after the war. While, due to the meticulous and painstaking efforts, the impression one gets is that of authentic historic places, one should remember it is a 20th century reinterpretation of the history of this area, and is actually a mixture of buildings that existed in different periods, and in many cases a rather creative faux. Warsaw's Old and New Towns are charming, compact and very walkable. It is hardly apparent when you walk around today that the buildings around you are little more than 60, rather than 600, years old.

Get in

The Old and New Town are in Śródmieście, so arriving from there is not a problem by public transit or on foot. You can also arrive from Praga across the river by bus or tram. Please note that there are no train or Metro stations within or in immediate vicinity of the Old and New Town. To get there, you need to change to a different means of public transit.

By bus

Several buses stop at Pl.Zamkowy, which is right in front of the eponymous Castle Square. For tourists, the most important ones would be the sightseeing line 180 going down the Royal Road to/from Wilanów, the 116 line which goes pretty much the same way, and the 175, going to the Chopin Airport (please note that the 175 only stops at Pl. Zamkowy on its way to the airport, it terminates farther away at Plac Piłsudskiego when coming from the airport).

By tram

The tram and bus stop right under the Plac Zamkowy (Castle Square) is called Stare Miasto. Trams serving this stop as 13, 23, 26 and 32. All of them continue through a tunnel under the Old Town to Metro Ratusz/Arsenał, and over the Grota-Roweckiego bridge to Dworzec Wileński in Praga. From the stop, the best way to get to the Plac Zamkowy is to take Warsaw's oldest functioning escalator, which is located next to the tunnel entrance, on the side closer to the Royal Castle. A lift for those with limited mobility is provided there as well.

By bike

It is quite impractical to try to ride a bike to the Old Town due to the uneven road surfaces on the way, sketchy bike path network and the fact that it is forbidden to ride a bike in the Old and New Towns.

On foot

Walking from either Ratusz/Arsenał or Świętokrzyska Metro stations is also possible and the routes can be interesting and picturesque.

See

Map of Warsaw's Old Town
Plac Zamkowy in the Old Town
The Royal Castle's clock tower

Noble residences

Churches

Galleries

Museums

Do

Buy

Eat

Sleep

There are not many hotels options in either Old or New Town, mostly due to their small size and the historic nature of the buildings there not leaving much room for proper hotels. That said, staying in Śródmieście you should have no problems getting to the Old Town comfortably and quickly, and there are plenty of places to stay there.

Connect

Much of the area of the Old and New Town is covered by free WiFi provided by the City of Warsaw. All you need to log in is provide your email each time you want to use it (no pre-registration required).

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.