Warsaw in Harper's Bazaar 2017 Travel List
Last week, the travel editor of Harper's Bazaar (who is a long-time friend) emailed me that she is putting together a travel destination list for 2017. She said she wanted to include Warsaw (!) and asked if I wouldn't mind sharing what I liked about the Polish capital.
Hell yes, I thought, I'll finally get to tell people about this rarely visited city. I didn't have too much space to play with for this blurb, but I think it captures the essence of what makes this place unlike any other. It was pretty exciting to see Warsaw garner 10th spot on Harper's Where to Go in 2017 list (which you should check out as there are other cool places on there as well). Here is what I wrote:
This hidden gem is so dynamic, it's often referred to as the new Berlin. A week doesn't go by without a fashion design festival, an opening of an upscale cocktail bar in a pre-war apartment building or a glittering restaurant popping up to serve a reinterpretation of Polish cuisine (that's a far, far cry from your old kielbasa and pierogi). Yet all this newness is set amidst the grit that is Warsaw, a city that was almost entirely leveled during World War II. Warsaw's incredible resurrection is never out of mind, even if you choose to skip the history museums–but you shouldn't, since they're all new and excellent. The true source of this city's vibrance lies not in its buildings or streets, but in the city's spirit. The locals' love and dedication to being based here is palpable, so much so that a huge wave of young Polish people born in the U.S. or Western Europe are now returning to the motherland to put their modern stamp on its culture.
Where to Stay: Try Autor Rooms in the very dynamic city center or, for a more classic experience, Hotel Bristol is a great gateway to the beautifully restored Old Town.
When to Go: If you want to see the locals at the height of their love affair with Warsaw, come in the summer months, when the city bursts outside and fills the multiple spacious parks and the banks of the Vistula River with food markets, live concerts and dance parties that keep the young and restless entertained day and night.
Warsaw doesn't make travel lists very often - it's not exactly Paris and even as far as Polish cities are concerned, it's probably its ugliest. BUT... if you spend any time here, give its history a chance to sink in and feel the incredible energy of the ever-enterprising Warsavians, you will see, like we did, that Warsaw is undoubtedly one of Europe's most unique capitals.
Anyway, I'm grateful that I got a chance to do my small part in putting Warszawa on people's radars. A good beginning for 2017! You can see Harper's Bazaar story here.