Well start our Warsaw walking tour at a very unique museum: the Neon Museum, which was created to preserve Poland's' Cold War-era neon signs. Polish schools of graphic design used to be known around the world, and even today many projects from the 60s and 70s still inspire new designers. The Neon Museums exhibit travelled around Europe until finally setting up in a post-industrial complex that is quickly turning into the cultural centre of the Praga district. The aim of the museums founders is to document and save what once used to be fantastic, shiny decorations from Polands streets.
Praga has become a district where artists can find their own space to create and well tell you the stories of a few of them.
Youll see remnants of the past, and the multicultural character of the Praga district: the Polish-Russian spirit distilling factory, former Jewish bath house and their hall of residence, and the domes of the Orthodox church next to the pinnacles of the Catholic cathedral.
Well also travel in time: from the oldest tenement houses on Zabkowska Street that retain their 14th-century charm, through to the longest block of flats in Warsaw featuring typical architecture from the communist period, to the post-industrial buildings that have been converted into uptown lofts and new investments around Port Praski.
Well stroll down Zabkowska Street, the main artery of old Praga, with houses that date back 150 years. This street is unique in Warsaw, as most of the historical architecture on the left riverbank was destroyed by the Nazis after the Warsaw Uprising. But here in Praga, the authentic spirit of pre-war life can still be seen. Its an area thats full of neighbourhood stories, tastes of the old days, and preserved backyards of tenement houses which have become a real treasure of Praga.
From time to time we will stop to grab some tasty local specialities. Youll learn why some treats are served in jars, and youll have a chance to try traditional Polish tartar, as well as pyzy and flaki. Well wash it down with a sip of Polish vodka orOranzada, a sweet drink beloved by children from the 80s.
One very important part of Pragas past was the bazaars. There are plenty of stories about the times when you couldnt find anything in the shops in Poland but you could find everything in Rozyckiego Market. While sniffing around for illegal meat you could hear about what was going on in the world beyond, and, tired after hunting, you could then have your jar filled with hot flaki. As you ate, you could enjoy the sounds of Pragas folk bands or sing along with them. Well pass by Rozyckiego Market and the monument to Pragas folk bands, and youll learn about this part of Pragas soul.
Well finish our walk in a great panoramic spot in Warsaw Old Town. From here you can, by foot, head back to the city centre or enjoy the nightlife on the riverbank.