Best of Summer in Warsaw 2023: Wisła | Warsaw Insider
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It’s amazing to think now, but not long back the state of the Wisła was an open source of shame – the best thing... Best of Summer in Warsaw 2023: Wisła
Best of Summer in Warsaw 2023: Wisła Best of Summer in Warsaw 2023: Wisła

It’s amazing to think now, but not long back the state of the Wisła was an open source of shame – the best thing that could be said for it in the early 00s was that it acted as a natural buffer between the rest of the city and the then savage wildlands of Praga. 

Now fully absorbed into the city, the regeneration of the left bank ranks as one of Warsaw’s greatest accomplishments of the last decade; ironically, though, it has been the quest to connect it to Praga that has dampened its spirit this year – with work on a pedestrian footbridge still ongoing, the construction zone has acted as a disruptive force by temporarily cutting the flow of people walking down the boulevards.

Miami Wars (photograph Facebook)

Even so, whilst it might seem a little emptier than usual, consider ‘emptier’ a relative term – on a steamy weekend, a torrent of humanity is to be entirely expected. For socialites, the natural starting point should be Miami Wars, a bar built around multiple wooden platforms and grassy meadows. 

Grunt I Woda (Photograph Facebook)

Walking north, find yourself edging past outdoor gyms and cargo containers transformed into seasonal clubs before hitting the legendary Grunt I Woda, a space that thrives on its reputation for street food (try the ‘pineapple pride nasty fries’!), tropical cocktails and varied events program. Continuing, and the riverfront apartment complex known as The Tides provides an upmarket intermission through its collection of higher-end hangouts. With views spilling onto Poniatowski Bridge and the National Stadium, it’s no surprise to find seats in high demand at flouncy venues such as Kohana and Zachodni Brzeg

Barka Wynurzenie (Photo by Kevin Demaria)

Thereafter, the party really gets going with the younger generation making full use of the bushes, hidden corners and terrace steps to gather around bongs and portable speakers whilst enjoying their own carryout booze. Arguably, it is this sense of spontaneity that best captures the Wisła spirit. That said, it’s equally important to visit the party boats moored to the riverbank, among them the Barka Wynurzenie craft beer barge and the slick-looking Przystań Nowa Fala. Like last year, however, for the hottest check-in look no further than the sandy floating beach that is Kalima. 

Museum on the Vistula with Paloma (Photo by Kevin Demaria)

Back on land, and it is crucial, also, that time is made for a visit to Paloma – with a terrace patio next to the immaculate form of the Museum on the Vistula, this on-edge venue has long been recognised for its killer fish tacos, outdoor screenings and summery cocktails. Not only is it a perfect poster child for Warsaw’s contemporary riverside scene, it’s also the ideal staging point from which to launch a deeper exploration of the Powiśle district beyond.

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