Back To School – 5 Places to Get an Education Outside of the Classroom

School is back in session in Warsaw, and although some of us may not be making our way back into a university, it’s a good idea to keep the brain moving and in shape … so to say.

Some attractions may ring familiar to you if you’ve been in the city for a while, but almost all of our choices have at least one surprise in store; and they’re close!

Everything is located in and around Środmieście [the center] so you have absolutely no excuse not to get on a bike, walk, or run from the pools of the Palace of Culture & Science all the way to the Modern Art Museum, located just across the street.

Here are 5 suggestions to explore the mind, body and the spirit of Warsaw and to avoid the slump of the oncoming Fall and Winter months.

  1. Palace Of Culture & Science

The Palace of Culture & Sciences

The Palace of Culture & Sciences is a 3,000 room giant that includes a post office, cinemas, a swimming pool, museums, libraries, theaters, a concert hall, offices, institution headquarters, Polish Academy of Sciences and the famed ‘trzydziestka’ – a large terrace on the 30th floor of the Palace.

Sip some coffee and have a meal at Cafe Kulturalna, dance on Saturdays at Bar Studio, watch 15zl movies at the Kinoteka on Wednesdays, or tour the underground of PKiN [Palace of Culture & Science] with a guided tour for 40zl.

Whatever you choose to do, the Palace is the place to really feed the brain, or relax it with a few Polish beers.

Go to experience Polish Culture, meet new strangers, or argue over the building itself in Warsaw’s most controversial landmark.

2. Fotoplastikon


Cross the street from The Palace of Culture and peer into the rotating exhibit of history at Fotoplastikon on Al. Jerozolimskich 51.

This location, built in the early 20th century, is a single room with a physically rotating set of slides that show photos from Warsaw’s tumultuous past.

There are over 3000 original photographs archived from Warsaw and around the globe, but only a select few are featured at a time.

Tickets go for around 5zl and serve to feed the exhibit by allowing rotating tours of the photos every 2 months. This exhibit also features some of the most beautiful Polish soundtracks as you explore and a look into the city that never was.

BonusOn ul. Chlodna, there is a second, and smaller version of the Fotoplastikon mounted into the remaining 4 beams of a destroyed bridge that carried people in and out of the ghetto during WWII. It’s right at the intersection of Żelazna & Chlodna and it’s free and walking distance to our next attraction, Maison Kerat.

3. Kerat House / Zachęta / Museum of Modern Art

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.25.40

We might be cheating a bit here but this three-piece adventure is really worth the extra brain power.

Organize a day of art and culture by starting with the strange: The Kerat House. Known also as Dom Kerata or Maison Kerat, this home is built between two communist era “blok’s” [apartment/flats] to house a living and breathing space of creation. It measures 92 centimeters in its narrowest point ­and 152 centimeters in its ­widest point, making it one of the smallest homes in Warsaw. Visit during the open days available at the space [next: September 26th], or come inside by donating to our next attraction, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

The Museum of Modern Art is a 20 minute walk, or a 7 minute bike away from the Kerat House, and takes us right back across the street from The Palace of Culture. Established in 2005, the relatively new and entirely inconspicuous space holds more than meets the eye. Admission is FREE and is a great place to challenge any preconceptions you may still have about Warsaw, while learning something new about art in the city.

Our final location is Zachęta National Gallery of Art. Explore the space for FREE on Thursday’s if you’re unsure, but trust us when we say, this place is worth the walk. Located on pl. Małachowskiego 3 in a beautiful and almost Grecian building across from Ogród Saski, the interior explodes with the peculiar, the fascinating, and some mind blowing pieces from Poland and around the world. You really have to see it to believe it all.

4. Invisible Exhibition

Invisible Exhibit Warsaw

Perhaps you’ve never wondered what it’s like to be blind, but here, you can go beyond to feel it all. An exercise for the senses; “Niewidzialna” teaches you how to cope in everyday situations without the help of sight – only by the sense of hearing, smell, and balance.

You can buy your ticket online for 21zl [student discount for 16zl] or head over to Aleje Jerozolimskie 123 to get one in person from 12-20 [weekdays].

Explore an hour and a half out of your comfort zone and into something exciting and new.

5. Books on Chmielna 

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 0.39.08As an expat, i try to avoid as many encounters with the post office as possible, which is why the book stands on Chmielna 9 have changed my life.

Here i can find second hand books in English, French, German, Polish and more,

I can support the two entrepreneurs that heave, assort, and kindly assist me in choosing my books,

and i can get my books on the spot, and for the price of a bucket of KFC chicken.

Al. Jerozolimskie in itself offers a wide variety of book stores, and with a 20 minute walk or a 15 minute tram ride i can be reading my new book while overlooking the city at the Warsaw University or sitting in a warm cafe and getting my work done in Warsaw

If you’ve enjoyed the list and have any additional comments or places where we can strive to grow the brain, mention them in the comments, or on our Facebook or Meet Up Page.

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