10 Top Things To Do In Praga District In Warsaw

Have you visited Warsaw? For sure, you’ll be impressed by what you see. But do you know there’s a grittier side to this incredible city? 

For travelers looking for a unique atmosphere, the Praga district of Warsaw is the place to be. Located on the East bank of the river Vistula, a trip to Praga takes visitors on a journey to explore ancient Warsaw, with ancient buildings and court chapels surrounded by real religious devotion. If you’d like to experience how life was in ancient times in Warsaw, plan your trip to this district. 

Whether you’re looking for serenity at its best or a place that never sleeps, the Praga district is your go-to spot. The happening spots around town are always filled with locals and tourists. This is the place to explore and feel the real Warsaw. Here are some of the top things to do in the Praga district of Warsaw.

1. Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and Florian the Martyr

Renowned for its imposing towers topped by copper-covered roofs, standing at an imposing 75 meters, this Catholic Church can be seen from afar. Beginning from the second half of the 19th century, the Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church was birthed. In order to meet pastoral needs, the priest decided to build a neo-gothic Catholic Church. 

Unfortunately, the church was destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War. The soldiers brought down the church using large amounts of explosives. The only surviving sections of the church were the external walls and two statues, namely St.Florian and St Michael the Archangel. 

After the war, the church was rebuilt. The 19th-century bricks used in the reconstruction project gave the building an original look. Do not miss out on visiting this magnificent church while vacationing in Praga. For the best sight, visit the church at night when it gets illuminated. 

Cathedral Florian Praga Warsaw

2. Praski Park 

Opened to the public in1871, Praski Park is undoubtedly Warsaw’s oldest park. A walk through the park takes you through some fascinating garden sculptures. 

And if you’re lucky enough, you may catch a band dishing out live performances in the restored bandstand. From the park, you can access the zoo. And even if you have limited time, make sure you visit the zoo to see the wildlife. 

3. Zoo Warsaw

Located in the heart of Warsaw, the zoo welcomes more than 1 million visitors every year. This alone makes it one of Europe’s busiest zoos. The zoo is a habitat for more than 4000 animals. Covering about 40 hectares of land, animal species that call the zoo home include reptiles, gibbons, African elephants, Rothschild giraffes, birds, Indian rhinoceros, and tropical fish. 

Most animals in the zoo are kept indoors to protect them from the chilly winter season. And when the weather is at its pleasantest, visitors can see the animals and birds running around. If you love birds, visit the aviaries and be sure to check out the Hall of Free Flight. The scenery will leave you breathless.

The newly designed modern pavilion, specially created for apes, is not to be missed. The pavilion houses two male gorillas and a group of chimpanzees. 

After a fun day with the animals, visit the onsite restaurant for some tasty, refreshing food. Kids will love the Fairytale Zoo, which brings them close to the animals. Here visitors are allowed to feed the animals. Do not leave Praga without visiting the zoo. 

Zoo Praga Warsaw

4. Praga Courtyard Orchestra Monument

The monument of Praga’s Backyard Orchestra was unveiled in 2006. The sculpture gives a clear picture of the authentic Praga band. The band traveled the city’s courtyard playing local music. 

The band is made up of an accordion player, guitarist, violinist, drummer, and a banjo player. The sculpture, which signifies the band, was designed by Andrzej Renes. Choose any song of choice from the over 100 songs, and the band will play for you. 

Praga Orchestra Monument Warsaw

Adrian Grycuk Wikimedia Commons

5. Street Art

Another popular thing to do in Praga is to admire the beautiful street arts in Praga. Praga is so full of life and creativity. Lots of artists and musicians would rather give up a luxury lifestyle just to live here. Since its jampacked with lots of artists, the district oozes colorful artworks in virtually every corner. 

This is one of the finest places in Poland where great street artworks beckon. Top artworks to explore include Playground, Warsaw Fight Club, Floating Castles, Eastern Warsaw, and many more

Every corner in and around Praga is artistic. Make sure you keep an eye out. And don’t forget to bring your camera for some stunning photographs.  

Praga Warsaw Street Art

6. Orthodox Church of St Mary Magdalene

Poland has gained a world reputation for its religious site. Praga district never disappoints in that regard. The area boasts many lovely churches. One of the most prominent churches is St. Mary Magdalene’s Russian Orthodox Church. 

The church was built in the late 18th century over the destroyed St Andrew’s church to show Russian dominance over the Catholics. The essence of building this church was to serve Russians living within the area. 

Built-in Byzantine style, St Mary Magdalene prides itself on being one of the two orthodox churches to scale through the destruction that plagued the country. 

Poland destroyed virtually all orthodox churches after it regained independence in 1920. Surprisingly, the church also survived the horrific events of the Second World War. The interior is beautifully adorned. If not for anything, just make sure you visit to admire the interior of this priceless Praga monument. 

Orthodox Church of Maria Magdalena Praga Warsaw

Adrian Grycuk Wikimedia Commons

7. House of the Mermaid

Locals in Warsaw hold the mermaid in high regard. Take a close look at the city’s coat of arms, and you will find the mermaid. That’s not all. The heart of the Old Town Square also features a mermaid statue. Legend has it that the mermaid loved the ambiance and decided to call the place home after stopping at a riverbank close to the heart of the city. 

Fishermen tried to capture the mermaid, but after hearing the creature sing, they all felt captivated by its voice. A wealthy merchant set out, captured, and put the mermaid behind bars. 

Fortunately, the fishermen rescued her. She reciprocated the kind gesture of the fishermen by promising to protect both the city and every living thing within. If you’d like to get a feel of the mermaid story and step back in time, visit The House of the Mermaid. 

Marmeid Praga Warsaw

Adrian Grycuk Wikimedia Commons

8. Zabkowska Street

Zabkowska Street is a prominent landmark in Warsaw. Filled with many restaurants and bars, the area is always bustling with life. As one of Warsaw’s oldest streets, this charming area is always packed with locals and tourists, who come to enjoy themselves. 

The street has been in existence since the 16th century. The unfortunate fire incidence which engulfed all wooden houses in 1868 has paved the way for brick houses. Most of the buildings you see on the street today were erected in the late 19th century. 

In ancient times, the dominant population in the community were the Jewish people of Praga. One of the most notable features on the street is the tenement Yitzhak Hersh Jahrman. The building dates back to 1868. Here you will find a synagogue turned woodworking shop. 

Take a stroll along this charming street and enjoy the changing atmosphere here. 

Zabkowska Street Praga Warsaw

Adrian Grycuk Wikimedia Commons

9. Church of Our Lady of Loreto

Church of Our Lady of Loreto’s main attraction is its elaborate decoration. Located in the heart of the district, this beautiful church is one of the oldest in Praga. 

Formerly a chapel, the church was built in 1642 and designed by Constantino Tencalla, a famous architect at the time. The interior boasts a copy of the Loreto House. 

Legend has it that angels descended from above to move this house from the Holy Land to Croatia. The church has been destroyed and renovated severally, with the most recent being the remodeling done by Alfons Kropiwnicki in 1953. 

Church of Lady Loreto Praga Warsaw

Adrian Grycuk Wikimedia Commons

10. The Polish Vodka Museum

Drink lovers should not miss this. Get your groove on with a shot of Polish vodka. If this is your first time drinking vodka, then be prepared for that burning sensation in your chest. A trip to the Polish Vodka Museum schools visitors on how this national drink is brewed. 

This vodka has been part of Polish culture and tradition since time immemorial. There are five thematic galleries and a cinema room for all to enjoy. 

It is recommended that you tour the facility in the company of a knowledgeable tour guide. This way, you can enjoy your time to the fullest; discover the wide range of flavors and aroma of Polish vodkas. 

Besides, you’ll see what the world-renowned vodka is made from. If you want to learn how vodka is made, visit the polish Vodka Museum. 

Museum of Vodka Praga Warsaw

Adrian Grycuk Wikimedia Commons

At the end of your holiday in Praga District, you will get a real feel of what life was in Warsaw in times of old. Visit Praga today, and you’ll live to cherish the memories for life.

Bartosz is a travel writer, photographer & founder/editor of theuniquepoland who tells stories of adventure, history and current affairs. He writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Poland. He loves travelling, discover new unknown and inspire others.

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