Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour (Self Guided), Warsaw

Praga is a historic district in Warsaw, situated on the East bank of the river Vistula. Its streets are full of renaissance houses, old churches, and historic buildings which are all part of Warsaw’s Old Town. Take the following tour to visit best attractions in this historic Warsaw’s area!
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Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Warsaw's Praga Walking Tour
Guide Location: Poland » Warsaw (See other walking tours in Warsaw)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Author: leticia
1
Zoo Warszawa

1) Zoo Warszawa (must see)

Spread over a vast area of 40 hectares (99 acres) in central Warsaw, the city zoo sees around 1,000,000 visitors annually, making it one of the busiest zoos in Europe. It is home to over 4,200 animals representing more than 500 species.

This garden was founded in 1928 to house native animals of Poland such as storks, brown bears and otters. Now you can also find many exotic animal species such as the Rothschild giraffes, African elephants, gibbons, Indian rhinoceros, reptiles, birds, and tropical fish.

During the winter, most of the animals are kept indoors. When they are outdoors, visitors can see them from runways. You will find a number of birds running around. These birds live in the aviaries and ponds. There is a main aviary where almost all birds can be found. A part of this aviary features the only “Hall of Free Flight” in Poland.

Do not miss out the modern pavilion designed in the new building especially for apes. Here you will find two young male gorillas and a group of chimpanzees. New pavilions are constructed with lifts and ramps to accommodate physically challenged guests.

After you spend time with the animals, you can eat and refresh yourself at any of the several restaurants at the zoo. Children enjoy the “Fairytale Zoo” located at the center. They are allowed to stroke animals and feed them apples and carrots. A trip to Warsaw is definitely incomplete without a visit to the famous Zoological Garden.

Why You Should Visit:
Hundreds of species of animals in spacious surroundings; the zoo itself feels like one of the many parks in the city. Prices are very low, so it is worthwhile.

Tip:
Get a map before you start. Roads are tangled and it is easy to miss some animals while seeing something else twice.
Going early in the day may not be the best idea, especially if it's really hot. Better to go in the afternoon when the cooler environment allows animals to roam around. It's also worth remembering that tropical animals usually hide inside in winter.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-3:30pm / 9am-4pm on Sat & Holidays (Dec, Jan); 9am-4pm (Feb, Nov); 9am-5pm (Mar, Oct); 9am-6pm (Apr-Sep) / 9am-7pm on Sat & Holidays (May-Sep)
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Church of Our Lady of Loreto (Kościół Matki Bożej Loretańskiej)

2) Church of Our Lady of Loreto (Kościół Matki Bożej Loretańskiej)

Situated in Praga, a district of Warsaw, this aesthetic church features ornate decorations. Church of Our Lady of Loreto is one of the oldest in Praga and stands on the City Hall or Ratuszowa Street. Formerly, it was a chapel that was attached to a Bernardine monastery and a baroque church.

King Sigismund III Vasa laid the cornerstone for this baroque church. It was between 1628 and 1638 that construction of St. Andrew’s Church took place. Between 1640 and 1642, Loreto Chapel was constructed in the shrine’s southern part.

It was designed by Constantino Tencalla, the royal architect. The church resembles an Andrea Sansovino and Donato Bramante designed Basilica della Santa Casa. Inside the church, you will find a copy of the Loreto House. Legend says that this house was transported to Croatia from the Holy Land by angels. In 1294, it was again transported to Loreto, an Italian town.

Brandenburgian and Swedish forces destroyed this church during the Deluge. It was rebuilt with the help of donations and was again damaged during the Kosciuszko Uprising. In 1807, Napoleon’s Army pulled down the Skaryszew Church. One of the precious items, a Madonna and Child of Kamion Gothic cedar statue, was transported to the Church of Our Lady of Loreto.

German artillery fire destroyed this church again during the Warsaw Uprising. It was rebuilt to its present form in 1953 by Alfons Kropiwnicki.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
St. Mary Magdalene's Russian Orthodox Church

3) St. Mary Magdalene's Russian Orthodox Church

Poland is famous for its churches and you can find many prominent synagogues and churches in its capital Warsaw. St. Mary Magdalene’s Russian Orthodox Church is a popular emblematic building that was constructed inspired by the Byzantine architecture.

As a testimony to Russian domination, it was in the late eighteenth century that this church was built over the destroyed St. Andrew’s church. This Orthodox Church was constructed especially to serve the Russian colony living there and for Russian travelers who came to visit.

The church holds the distinction of being one of the two orthodox churches here survived in Warsaw. Poland destroyed most of the other orthodox churches when it regained its independence in 1920. St. Mary Magdalene’s Russian Orthodox Church survived World War II which is why you can find the interior replete with original designs including the main iconostasis and the gilded altars.

There are three storeys’ all of which are richly decorated. You will find the ‘tsar door’ at the center. Go to the basement to find the preserved mosaic fragments from Aleksander Newski’s Warsaw council.

Currently this church serves as an orthodox church Cathedral in Warsaw. Visit this church to enjoy its stunning architecture and its exquisitely decorated interiors.
4
Monument of the Brotherhood of Arms (Pomnik Braterstwa Broni)

4) Monument of the Brotherhood of Arms (Pomnik Braterstwa Broni)

This monument was the first monument erected immediately after World War II. It was created in Warsaw’s Praga district in 1945, and represents four soldiers, Soviet and Polish, with their heads lowered as if they are sleeping on watch. For this reason, the monument is also known in Warsaw as "The Four Sleeping Ones".
5
Ząbkowska Street

5) Ząbkowska Street

One of the prominent landmarks in Warsaw, Zabkowska Street extends from the crossing point of Radzyminska Street and Kaweczynska Street to Targowa Street. This pretty street has a magical ambience and is flocked by locals and tourists from across the world.

This charming street has a cobbled surface which is why it is also referred to as the Cobbled Street. Here you can find a variety of interesting relics. From Brzeska Street to Targowa Street on the odd side of Zabkowska Street, there are many XXXth Century apartment houses.

The area where Markowska Street and Targowa Street meet housed the Zabkowskie turnpikes from 1770 to 1889. This is where fees were charged for merchants coming from the eastern cities, Bialystok and Grodno. When Szmulowizna was added to Warsaw, the turnpikes were wound up. In 1897, the place where turnpikes used to be was converted to an alcoholic plant which exists even now.

Do not miss out the old, dilapidated house that refused to be grazed down in spite of numerous efforts. The occupants of the terrible looking house were evicted in 1990 and it was only in 1999 that it was successfully demolished. Visit this charming street and enjoy the unique and interesting ambience here.
6
Praga Neighbourhood

6) Praga Neighbourhood

Praga is a historical borough in the eastern part of Warsaw and on the east bank of the river Vistula. At the beginning in 1432 till 1791 it was a city apart from Warsaw. This place can be seen as off-limits to Western visitors. The area is very joyful and here you can meet bastions of tower blocks and also a combination of strange sights and sounds.
7
Monument of Praga's Backyard Orchestra (Pomnik Praskiej Kapeli Podwórkowej)

7) Monument of Praga's Backyard Orchestra (Pomnik Praskiej Kapeli Podwórkowej)

Monument of Praga's Backyard Orchestra appeared in 2006, and it represents a local musical group from the times when such musicians traveled the courtyards of the city, especially in the Praga region. They often played regional and popular Warsaw music. The band consists of an accordion player, violinist, guitarist, drummer, and a banjo player.
8
Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and Florian the Martyr

8) Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and Florian the Martyr

This Catholic Church is popularly known for its imposing 75 meter high towers that are visible from very far. The church was constructed as much to meet pastoral needs as for responding to Poland’s ‘Russification’. Building this church was more of an act of defiance and protest.

In Praga, second half of the 19th Century saw the construction of the Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church. The local priests were prompted by this to construct a Catholic Church in the neo-gothic form. The rising towers of this church stand above the nearby Orthodox Church’s onion dome.

Nazis ruined this church during World War II. Before they left Praga for good, they blew up this church using large amounts of explosives. Two statues and the external walls were all that was left. Statues that survived include St. Florian and St. Michael the Archangel.

Reconstruction of this church was initiated and went on till 1970. It was rebuilt using 19th Century bricks that made it look very authentic. St. Michael church was chosen as the cathedral for the Warsaw-Praga Diocese created in 1992. Since then, this church is referred to as the Praga’s Cathedral. Many tourists pay a visit to this site on their trip to Warsaw.

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