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When I moved from the Mexican capital city to the Polish one, I felt completely lost when looking for the best district to live in Warsaw.

I started looking for some information on the internet and asking friends that had been living in Warsaw for a few months, and the first thing that they mentioned was: ‘Don’t look for anything in Praga district, it’s really dangerous…’.

I was extremely surprised when I heard this and of course I followed their advice and I didn’t even go to that district. After a few months of living in Warsaw I asked myself: “Why all the people think Praga is dangerous?”. It’s time explore this district! I grabbed my things, got on the tramway and there I was, a little bit concerned if I could make it to the district, but when I arrived to Praga I was shocked…

Warsaw Praga Brzeska
… but shocked in a good way! :)

Location and History of the Praga District

One of the first things I like about this district is that its name is easy to pronounce for me. Praga is located on the other side of the Vistula River, opposite the Old Town in Warsaw.

In the past, Praga was not considered a part of Warsaw and it was an independent, well-developed city. Around 1648, the King Władysław IV granted Praga a city charter.

Everything was perfect but most of the houses and building were made from wood, and were destroyed many times by fires, floods and foreign armies. That’s why there are basically no remains of building from that time except for one which is: Church of Our Lady of Loreto (Kościół Matki Bożej Loretańskiej), which is the oldest temple in Praga.

Warszawa Kościół Matki Boskiej Loretańskiej

On many occasions there were attempts to build a bridge between Praga and the rest of the city but all of them failed, and Praga remained isolated for many many years. In 1791, Praga District finally joined Warsaw.

Praga is divided into two ‘separate’ districts: Praga North (Praga-Północ) and Praga South (Praga-Południe). Nowadays one of the most exclusive parts of Warsaw is located in those district and it’s called: Saska Kępa, where many mansions were built in the past!

The Artistic District in Warsaw

At the end of the communism era in Poland, many remarkable artists of Warsaw decided to move to Praga district, which was crowded by factory buildings and completely different from the rest of the other districts in Warsaw. Nowadays, there are many places with street-art which is amazing!

Koneser (5951503755)

There is also a place called Soho Factory, which is one of the most artistic places in the capital. There is located the Neon Museum, among different design shops and some of the best restaurants in the city.

In Praga you will also see a cool sculpture known as the Praga Band monument. In the past, these type of bands were often playing on the streets, squares and yards of Warsaw. In the band there are a violinist, an accordion player, a guitarist, a banjo player, and a drummer.

Unusual lifesize group sculpture of street musicians in Praga district in Warsaw (8121509220)

Kino Praha is also a must-seen place if your passion are movies. In this cinema you can watch ‘unusual’ films, documentaries and during summer Kino Praha organises free outdoor film series, normally those events take place on Sundays.

Things to Do in Praga District

If you are passionate about photography, art, adventures or you just simply want to enjoy a cup of coffee in a quiet place, Praga district is for you.

In case you are visiting Warsaw and you’ve already visited the main attractions of the city, most of which are located in Old Town, I have good news for you, in Praga you will find many more activities and attractions:

1. The Warsaw Zoo

This might be the favourite place in Warsaw for all the children! This Zoo was opened in 1928, but during the war it was destroyed completely. It was rebuilt and re-opened in 1948. It is a really great place to visit! There are over 3,000 animals in here, and you can find even lions and rhinos! Which was super surprising for me considering the cold weather we have here :P

Warsaw zoo elephant 1990

2. Koneser – old vodka factory

This was used to be a vodka factory in the 19th century and it was in operation for over a hundred years! Nowadays is no longer a factory, but it has many attractions such as: Google Campus Warsaw, hotel, restaurants and next year, in 2018, the World’s first Polish Vodka Museum will be opened there!

Koneser106 DSC1654

3. Bazar Różyckiego

This is a perfect place for Hipsters, mainly because is the oldest existing market in Warsaw! It was established in the 19th century and it is for real a unique place in the capital. During the communist era this was the main and most popular market in the city. There are legends that say that you can buy illegal Russian alcohol, cigarets or even passports inside this market.

Bazar Różyckiego zamknięte stragany 2016

4. Ząbkowska Street

This is one of the main streets in Praga and it is considered to be the Old Town of the district, and it is with no doubt one of the main touristic attraction in Warsaw. On this street there are many bars and restaurants, it is planned that in the future this street will become a walkway street permanently. It’s a really beautiful place!

Ulica Ząbkowska przy Targowej

5. Warsaw Beaches

During summer there is no better place to enjoy the perfect weather than in the Warsaw beaches! In this area you can go with your friends or family and organise a grill! Everyday hundreds of people go there to spend time and forget about the noise of the city. There are also a few restaurants, clubs or bars in case you want to dance, play volleyball or just chill.

POL Warszawa plaza 09

6. National Stadium

As you know I love football, and one of the first things I wanted to do as soon as I arrived to Warsaw was to attend a football match of Poland on the stadium. This place was built for the Euro 2012, and it is the best stadium I’ve been so far in my life! It is really modern, and during winter the stadium is transformed into the biggest ice rink in Poland!

Stadion Narodowy w Warszawie 20120422

There are many more attractions in this district, and when you are walking around it sometimes you start asking yourself if you are still in Warsaw or you just switched to a new city.

Is Praga Safe or Not?

I started this post by telling my story about the comments I heard about this district, about the ‘danger’ of visiting this place, but to be honest it is just a normal part of the city with its pros and cons, just like any other place in the world. Now I’m wondering if those guys leaving reviews on internet and some of my friends actually went to this district, I guess not.. :P

I can tell you this, don’t be afraid of what you read on the internet, Praga district is a safe place and it has many things to offer, so don’t hesitate and visit this surprising district in Warsaw!

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Author

Mexican blogger living in Poland

7 Comments

  1. Joanna Lengiewicz Reply

    Great post again! I definitely agree, being from near Warsaw, although I would visit parts of the Praga district with my Granddad as a child (the zoo, and the brass band), even now I am told that it is an unsafe district. I think as long as you are aware of yourself, and are not walking down small alleys in the middle of the night with lots of zloty, then you are probably safe there :P I’m glad you decided to ignore the comments and visit the area! :)

    • Yes! Agree! If you use common sense you will be completely fine haha :D Praga is one of my fav districts during summer! So many things to do there!

  2. Freddie McDonald Reply

    I have been to Warsaw four times since 2011 and stayed in Praga on every occasion, the last being for 8 weeks and I’ve never once had a bit of trouble, no matter what time of day or night it is. The “old Praga” was certainly a bit rough, but to be honest, I have more fear of walking in Sydney than Praga.
    I agree with Joanna Lengiewicz about walking down alleyways with a wallet stuffed full of zloty; also going into a cantor to change money then going onto the street to count your money is not a smart idea, and only asking for trouble.
    Other than that, just use common sense and you will be fine in Praga; it’s the best part of Warsaw in my opinion.

    Kocham Praga :) do zobaczenia wkrótce.

    • Hi Freddie! I agree on this! It was funny for me when people from Warsaw told me: ‘Be careful in Praga’, but honestly speaking this region in Warsaw look like one of the normal neighbourhoods in Mexico City haha.
      Common sense rule will save you no matter where you are! :D

  3. On our first visit to Warsaw in 2017 we stayed in a fantastic hotel in Praga. We didn’t feel unsafe at all, just took the normal precautions you would in any large city. Praga is one of my favourite areas of Warsaw.

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