Polish Language Blog

The charm of the Old Town in Warsaw Posted by on Jan 28, 2022 in History, Places to visit, Travel & Geography

With a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, picturesque plazas with plenty of old world charm and ornate tenement facades, it is easy to understand why the Old Town in Warsaw is such a popular tourist area.

Warsaw, Old Town. Image by PiotrZakrzewski on Pixabay

But did you know that The Old Town Square (Rynek Starego Miasta) had been reduced to a pile of rubble by the German Luftwaffe? First, during the invasion of 1939 and then, after the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Entirely rebuilt after the Warsaw Uprising, the Old Town is also symbolic of Warsaw’s rise from the ruins of WWII and of Varsovians’ pride in their city.

The Square was reconstructed mainly in the 1950’s from old photographs and 700-year-old drawings. Some of the narrow multi-storied buildings lean into the Square as they did centuries of ago. There is this great book I got few years ago with pictures of Warsaw destroyed and rebuilt…it gives you more details on the devastation of the city and how it was rebuilt.

Photo by Kasia Scontsas

Photo by Kasia Scontsas

Part of the charm of the Rynek Starego Miasta is sitting on one of the many benches and watching what goes on. People watching…listening to the music…. Mimes, violinists and accordionists are almost constantly performing. Artists are painting and kids are running around and playing. You can also see people dancing!

The outdoor cafes are for food, drinks and people watching! Heat lamps are turned on on cold days/nights, along with the blankets for guests. When you look around, you can see windows of the above apartments open, sometimes people sitting on them and reading or listening to the music.

This has been a dream of my husband…to own a place in one of those apartments one day…but I’m pretty sure that these places are just passed on from generation to generation, just like lake homes here in USA.

In the winter time it is magical as well, with so many beautiful lights and skating ring right in the middle of the square…

What are your favorite things about Old Town in Warsaw?



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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Henryk Gawel:

    My wife Halina and I were in Warszawa in August 2019. What a beautiful and Historic town. We were in Warszawa for 7 days. We could have easily stayed for another 7 days. It was the first time we were in Poland. Our parents were Polish and even though we’d never been to Poland we speak Polish. Kind regards from Australia. Henryk & Halina Gawel

  2. Jamie Colville:

    My favourite thing about old town Warsaw? I am English and have been learning Polish for nearly 6 years. My teacher lives in Edinburgh but I met her in real life (i.e. not Skype) at a restaurant in the old town. It was great meeting her and eating traditional Polish food!