Warsaw is a city rich with history; however, when the sightseeing and business obligations are done for the day, it’s also a city ripe with nightlife options to suit every taste — from those seeking art and fine dining to those looking for a nightcap or to dance into the wee hours.
The city’s nightlife came alive in the 1990s when a series of investments changed the look and economy of the Polish capital. Today, 2.2 million make Warsaw home, and much of the nightlife focuses on the city center. Locals and travelers alike can seek entertainment in the Old Town; along the Royal Way; or in Nowy Świat, known for its shops, boutiques and cafés.
Tuesday through Thursday, Warsaw’s nightlife tends to be a bit mellow, with most bars and clubs closing down around midnight. But on the weekends, the city comes alive after hours, with most venues closing closer to dawn. High-end nightlife can be found in clubs such as Szpilka (meaning “high heels”), Platinium Club, Nine Club and Opium Pleasure Lounge. For a grittier scene, the Praga neighborhood, across the Vistula River, is an up-and-coming area with bars, clubs and restaurants housed in former factories and tenement buildings. Escape all the action down below at Warsaw Marriott’s Panorama Bar & Lounge, the highest hotel bar in Europe.
For a more low-key evening, sample Polish food at Fukiera, Warsaw’s oldest restaurant. The famous establishment is located in the Old Town, so a leisurely pre- or post-dinner stroll on a beautiful evening around the area should be on the agenda. Housed in 16th-century cellars, Sekret is another great eatery for traditional Polish fare. For a once-in-a-lifetime dinner, try to score an invite at The Chef ’s Table in the Sheraton Warsaw. With only one table, this is the most exclusive dining ticket in Warsaw and available only by invitation from the chef.
The performing arts scene in Warsaw is among the best in Poland, with relatively affordable tickets. Catch a performance at Filharmonia Narodowa, or see the opera at Teatr Wielki. You can wrap the evening at the opera with a nightcap at the Opera Club Zaprasza.
Thousands of people marched in Warsaw in 2010 in the first EuroPride event ever held in Central or Eastern Europe, and the city is the most tolerant in the country. Fantom, a club and sauna for men only, is the oldest gay bar in the city. Other options: the more laid-back Le Garage and Galeria, a smaller bar in the Hala Mirowska neighborhood.
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