Poland is at the centre of Europe, and Warsaw is at the centre of Poland, so it is no surprise that the capital city has become one of the largest and the most important scientific and business destinations. It is Central and Eastern Europe’s common meeting ground for political and scientific conferences, and business and cultural events. Numerous institutions and organisations from this part of the continent have their offices in Warsaw, which naturally generates a constant flow of ideas, innovations and capital. Over the course of the last decade, Warsaw has been a major beneficiary of EU funding, which has resulted in billions of PLN being invested in development, the modernisation of public transport, the construction of new sports venues, education, culture, and the creation of friendly city.
Warsaw – the main venue for meetings
Every year, Warsaw hosts about 25 000 business events (congresses, conferences, fairs, incentives, meetings). The city is the undisputed leader in terms of the number of business and scientific events held in Poland. Of all the Polish cities, Warsaw has the highest rank in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ratings. This guide presents a selection of 91 of the most important conference and event venues in Warsaw. This includes: 19 congress venues, 31 hotels with conference capabilities and 41 other types of venue (museums, theatres, and university conference rooms). From the perspective of the meeting industry, Warsaw offers the best range of hotels for conference requirements – over 26 000 beds in classified hotels, and over 12 000 beds in four and five star hotels. Warsaw offers over 90 flight connections to 46 countries around the world. The city’s two airports handle nearly half the passenger traffic in Poland. The highest number of companies providing conference catering services is also located in the capital.
Warsaw MICE infrastructure – conference hotels
Warsaw has the advantage of having the highest number of four and five-star hotels. The majority represent international hotel chains, such as Accor, Best Western, Carlson Rezidor, Hilton, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood, as well as others of interest that represent Polish hotel groups. Most of the hotels are located in the city centre, and many of them are within walking distance of each other.
Warsaw MICE infrastructure – event and gala dinner venues
Thanks to the city’s rich history there is a wide variety of event and gala dinner venues. There are classical, elegant palaces and castles, modern and postmodern venues, unique museums, huge sports facilities, and post-industrial art and event centres. There is something to suit the needs of every client in this vibrant MICE destination.
Warsaw – beautiful and surprising destination
RThink of a city that offers numerous advantages and interesting experiences. Think of a European metropolis that can bring a smile to the faces of tourists, businessmen and art lovers? You’re thinking of Warsaw! No matter whether you come to Warsaw for business or for pleasure, the city has all the attractions you need to make your time in the city a perfect one.
Warsaw – the capital of culture and art
Due to its rich intellectual and artistic diversity and entertainment events, Warsaw enjoys a reputation of being the cultural centre of both Poland and the CEE region. The capital is home to numerous cultural institutions and boasts over 60 museums, 13 concert halls 38 theatres, 44 art galleries and art exhibitions, 27 cinemas, and more besides. Every year, the city hosts approximately 200 public events, and every month, there are over 100 cultural functions. The most important annual events are the Night of Museums, the Orange Warsaw Festival, and the Chopin piano concerts held in the Royal Łazienki Park.
Warsaw – a historical city
Warsaw has a diverse and turbulent history. Approximately 90% of the city was destroyed during World War II. After the conflict, great efforts were made to thoroughly reconstruct the old town, as a result of which, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage city. The Old Town is also the starting point of the Royal Route, an avenue that runs from the Royal Castle – the seat of Polish Kings, past the Royal Łazienki Park – a Palace garden complex – and down to the Wilanów Royal Palace. During the rule of communism, socialism influenced the city architecture, making city grey, dull and sad. However, the last 25 years have seen huge improvements and rapid change throughout Warsaw. Now it is an inspiring place, creative and modern.
Warsaw – City of Chopin
Composer and pianist Fryderyk Chopin is known the world over. Fewer people are aware that Warsaw is the city of Chopin and it held a special place in the composer’s heart (and in fact the composer’s heart holds a special place in the city, having been brought back after his death). It was in the capital city that the Chopin family settled shortly after Fryderyk’s birth; it was also here that the artist spent the first half of his 39 years. Fryderyk’s magnificent musical career began in Warsaw: here he learned to play the piano, charmed aristocrats with concert performances, and piqued the interest of the city’s press. At the same time, he led the life of a typical Warsaw boy, walking round such streets as Krakowskie Przedmieście and Miodowa, learning foreign languages, dating girls, and spending time with his friends at fashionable cafes. Throughout the summer months you can enjoy public concerts held in the Royal Łazienki Park, or you can have a rest on one of the various multimedia Chopin benches and listen to his music while you are exploring the composer’s picturesque city. Just a short trip away from Warsaw, you can add to your Chopin experience by visiting the nearby cities of Żelazowa Wola – the place of birth and Sanniki, where you can discover more about Chopin and the typical Mazovian folk culture that influenced his wok.
Before World War II, over 30 per cent of Warsaw’s population was Jewish. Warsaw was just behind New York as having the largest Jewish population in the world. There were many Jewish schools, libraries, theatres and sports clubs. Warsaw was home to the author and Nobel Prize winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer, the pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman – known from the film “The Pianist”, and the outstanding actress Ida Kamińska. The war changed all that, with the Nazi establishing a Jewish ghetto and exterminated the inhabitants and destroyed synagogues. In Warsaw you can find a lot of places that do not allow to forget about this tragic history: The Monument of the Ghetto Heroes next to POLIN Museum, the monument of Umschlagplatz, the place from where transports of Jews were directed to the Treblinka death camp, and the sign of the ghetto wall on the pavements. In Zabinski Villa you can hear the story of Warsaw’s Zoo director and his wife, and their heroic work in saving Jewish people life. POLIN Museum, the Jewish Theatre, Grzybowski Square, Próżna Street and the Nożyk Synagogue are the places most associated with Jewish culture today.
Warsaw is a salubrious and refreshing destination, because a quarter of the city is made up of green areas. There are 160 leafy squares and 95 parks. The biggest and most beautiful of these is the Royal Łazienki Park and Palace complex consisting of 187 acres of parkland in the middle of the city and beautiful architecture. You can rest on the amazing green roof of the University Library, one of the largest in Europe with a view out over the Vistula River and the National Stadium. The banks of the Vistula River are considered to be the summer centre of the city. This is a place where you can relax on one of five municipal beaches, rent sports equipment, go on a bicycle tour along the river or take a cruise on traditional wooden boats. From May to September, there is also a free shore to shore ferry available. Nearby, in the vicinity of the Royal Castle, there is the Multimedia Fountain Park. This is also a place of many cultural events, such as Wianki (the summer solstice celebration) in June and the Feast of the Vistula in September. The Vistula River in Warsaw is particularly unique due to its natural values. The right bank of the river is entirely wild and home to beavers, terns and even moose, which you might catch a glimpse of if you’re lucky. The area is protected by the Natura 2000 programme.