Let’s start with the negatives, Praga has a bad reputation in Warsaw. It’s known to be the poorest area in town until it has been rediscovered and had a new life as a hipster and artistic base in Warsaw. Nevertheless, it remains a bit of dodgy area but overall safe. That’s why, I decided to stay there on both times I visited Warsaw! I had a great time as the area is safe and buzzing! Here is what I discovered during my stay in Praga, Warsaw’s artists hub!
City: Warsaw, Poland
Praga is an artistic hub in Warsaw
This is where artists meet. They have given another look to Praga which was a no-go zone for many due to its bad reputation. Throughout my walk around Praga, I noticed many street art and wall graffitis. They bring a bright colour among those old Communist buildings. A visit is a must to notice that and more. You can take a free walking tour in Praga called “Alternative Warsaw” to witness all of it with a guide in a short time.
A great thing to do is visit Soho Factory which is an industrial area turned into a hipster and artistic center. It features many attractions such as the Neon Museum. This museum is a unique museum as it is a collection of neon displays from around Poland, it’s a small exhibition but a very interesting one. I spent about half hour there. After that, I just walked around Soho Factory. I noticed a very expensive looking restaurant that seems to be very popular. This center is also an ideal cultural space for workshops and events.
Stay at Stalowa 52 Arthotel
There are many places to stay in Praga and usually are cheaper than in central Warsaw. The first time I visited Praga, I stayed with a couchsurfer. He hosted me and my friend at his gigantic apartment and took us around during our stay. This time, I stayed at a very cute Arthotel known as Stalowa 52 which is its actual address on Stalowa 52. This boutique hotel is a hidden gem as it conserved the original features of the red-brick industrial building.
Stalowa 52 has 19 spacious rooms. I stayed at Dolce Vita room which was well-equipped and has comfortable beds. It was the end of my 10 days trip so I could compare the quality with my previous hotel stays during the same trip, by far, this was the most comfortable bed I slept on. I must admit that the rooms are overloaded with IKEA furnitures but I still think it has unique features such as the artistic work and the overall service coming with it.
The reception area is small but there is a bar and restaurant adjacent so it gives a nice place to hang out. At the same place, there is a breakfast buffet every morning for hotel guests. It is a small buffet but of good quality too. Varied drinks and classic food for continental breakfasts. The location is also decent as it’s 4 minutes away from the main bus stop to get to the Old Town, the trip takes around 10 minutes by bus.
Overall, I had a great stay and I think it’s an ideal hotel for those wishing to discover Praga! More details here.
Lively, underground and hippy nightlife
For an alternative view of Warsaw’s nightlife, Praga is the best place to be. It is full of bars and clubs especially around Zabkowska Street where it’s possible to go on a pub crawl to try various bars as they are located one next to the other.
There is also another street known as 11 Listopada Street with famous clubs such as Hydrozagadka, Skład Butelek and Chmury. I partied at Hydrozagadka and I can say it’s really an easy going and fun place to party. Very underground and hippy with fairly cheap drinks and fun crowds!
There is more: from a Vodka Factory to a Stadium!
Praga is also full of other attractions, it’s not only about art. There is a historic Vodka Factory known as Koneser. It has been around since 1897 and features some of the finest Polish vodkas! Sadly, I didn’t visit as it was closed on my visit but I will make sure to go next time!
For those who like shopping, they can find their happiness at different and varied shopping spots. For a historic place, visit the oldest existing market in Warsaw. It’s Bazar Różyckiego, it’s possible to find food, clothes and accessories. For those who prefer modern shopping malls, there’s a huge mall known as Galeria Wileńska. It was a practical place for me to have a spin around Carrefour to buy some Polish products to bring home.
For a relaxing time, there’s a huge park known as Skaryszewski Park which is one of the biggest green spaces in Warsaw. It’s located near the National Stadium (PGE Narodowy) which was made in use since the Euro 2012 co-hosted by Poland. Its facade is very pretty especially when illuminated at night.
Easy access to Old Town and Centrum
The good thing about Praga is that it’s very well connected to the center and the Old Town. A 15 minutes bus ride can get you to the Old Town to see the most touristic hotspots in town. I also used Uber to get around in Warsaw, it’s fairly reliable, most drivers speak English and the ride costs 2 to 3 dollars between the center and Praga. Check out Top 5 Things to Do in Warsaw.
Have you been to Praga’s neighbourhood in Warsaw?