The capital city of Poland is truly modern, and with each passing day it becomes more and more enticing. Skyscrapers soar, and the city is developing rapidly. Despite a difficult history that gravely injured the city, Warsaw is turning into a joyful and open city, teeming with life. Worth noting is the Palace of Culture and Science, a relic of the days of communism and one of the symbols of the city. So is another of the city’s symbols: the Warsaw mermaid who you can seek out amid the ripples of the Vistula, before going to a party on one of the beaches along the riverbank. Obviously the numerous museums and mementos of history that Warsaw abounds in cannot be forgotten, yet today the city no longer wants to be perceived through the prism of martyrdom and the traumatic experience of its history. It makes sense to give it a chance and marvel at the royal residences, beautiful gardens, and the modern financial centre.
Towering over the broad sweep of the Vistula river, the Royal Castle stands amid Warsaw’s beautiful old town. It is a guardian of history, not only of the city but also the country itself. Once home to kings, today it lets us become familiar with the splendour that accompanied their daily life. The castle has become a backdrop for various events: from fashion shows via gala balls to theatrical productions. It is where assorted Polish awards and orders are presented. The ground floor of the castle is taken up by a collection of beautiful art from various parts of the world from the stores of the National Museum. Summer evenings by the castle are endowed with particular magic thanks to the magnificent multimedia presentations in the fountains park.
Literally “the Saviour’s Square”, it is a mecca for Polish hipsters and those in search of alternative lifestyles. If you have never had a macchiato on the Saviour’s Square or cast a glance at the famous rainbow from over your brunch, you cannot call yourself hip in Poland. The rainbow’s gone, as – being a symbol of the LGBT community – it caused too much controversy. Although the square is no longer the same without it, there are still plenty of city bike stands and cafés to sit comfortably with your MacBook and use the opportunity to taste the hipster lifestyle during an unforgettable teambuilding exercise or relaxing from the strained timetable of your business meeting.
There is a place in Warsaw, in ulica Domaniewska to be precise, which is generally known as the land of Mordor. There is more than one reason behind the awe-inspiring name: just reaching the heart of it resembles the journey that the brave hobbit Frodo Baggins had to take on the pages of Tolkien’s novels. The trip takes unbelievably long and pans out at a painfully slow pace, although most people taking it sit in their cars. It is so as Mordor in Domaniewska is the hotbed of everything corporate: this is where the largest and most expensive companies in Poland have their headquarters, and overtime lasts late into the night. The perfect place for a business meeting especially, as one thing that Mordor certainly does not lack is business atmosphere. Instead of taking the long and winding road, i.e. by car, you can quickly and efficiently get here on the Warsaw underground. The forte of team building conducted here is that it lets you feel the everyday atmosphere of hard work, and take a look from the sidelines at how people in similar positions function. Such a look often lets you see much more.
Palace of Culture
Not that long ago Poland was in the realm of Soviet influence. A peculiarity of the communist system was that at every step it had to prove that it was the best and most powerful system in the world. This fact was also visible in architecture. When the Polish government was given the choice of whether it would like to have a metro system or the Palace of Culture to be built in Warsaw as monuments to the grandeur of communism, for reasons still unknown, it opted for the latter – a huge building at the heart of Warsaw. Once white, today it stands as a greying relic of thankfully bygone days. Yet over the years the “Palace” has turned into one of the many symbols of Warsaw. The panoramic terraces atop the building command some of the most beautiful views of the capital, and the edifice also houses a popular restaurant and café. Furthermore, the Palace of Culture and Science houses Warsaw’s prestigious Congress Hall, which to this day hosts events of the highest calibre. It provides a perfect backdrop for the organisation of business meetings, as it guarantees a handy combination of history with all things modern and beautiful views.
Wilanów, known for being a trendy town, is a beautiful modern residential district inhabited mostly by corporate personnel. Nonetheless, hardly anyone knows that the original trend-setter who made his home here was the king of Poland, John III Sobieski. The beautiful royal residence inspires admiration not only with its architectural form but also regal interior decoration. You can relax like royalty in the magnificent garden tended so as to make it becoming for kings. In winter, the façade becomes a canvas for memorable and mesmerising light shows.
The spa developed with villas built before the Second World War and parks with plenty of ancient trees. Today, Konstancin is slowly turning into an unofficial district of Warsaw: home to the richest Poles, living here in carefully guarded residences. Here you might encounter a famous actor buying rolls in a corner shop or out on morning jog. Yet these are not the only attractions that Konstancin-Jeziorna has to offer. Just on its outskirts, the unique Park in Powsin entices with its beautiful botanical garden that is breathtaking at any time of the year. An ideal location for communing with nature too, both during team building activities and business meetings. The available infrastructure is certain to satisfy even the most discerning clients. For can you feel anxious or be dissatisfied amid a garden in blossom?
Warsaw has lived through a history as long as it is painful. Its darkest pages were recorded during the Second World War, when the Nazis in fact razed the city to the ground in the wake of the Warsaw Uprising. By a huge effort of the entire nation, the capital city was finally rebuilt and brought back to its former lustre. History was never forgotten, though. In Warsaw you can follow the trail of the insurrectionaries from 1944 fighting for the liberation of the capital from under German Nazi rule. You can pay homage to the inmates detained by the Gestapo in Pawiak prison and the Jews from the Warsaw ghetto murdered in concentration camps; the ghetto, whose residents the Nazi criminals endeavoured to starve. The memory of wartime wounds is still alive in Warsaw and is present wherever you turn. This painful history is presented and explained in museums that are really worth a visit. We should all remember the tragedy, irrespective of where we come from and how different we are. Therefore, let’s share the remembrance.