This walk had been on my mind for a long time. Originally I planned to take my sister there in January, when we had a few days off after Christmas, but as always something more important or unexpected was standing in our way. This time I was eager to go there and so we started our free time there.
Żoliborz is not really close to me, and personally, I associate it mainly with fitness clubs and countless hours of zumba classes – these were the good times. However, I never had a chance to just get to know the neighborhood.
My sister and I love coffee and we can drink this amazing dark drink all day long. So we started our walk by refilling our cups at the Cafe Secret Life. It is a cosy cafe that charms people by its lovely exteriors. The interior design is maintained in a modern way. You can find a comfy spot, or a table by the bookcase and use this space to work or meet with friends. Interesting colours, numerous plants and an industrial counter. This place is going on my list of places to revisit.
Żoliborz is the smallest district of Warsaw, but certainly not the poorest. You can easily move from the city to the manor area. This is how I felt to walk along Brodzinski Street, which is famous for its specific houses. Although winter does not give up, we were lucky to have a sunny, rainless day, which perfectly highlighted the charming streets of Żoliborz. In fact, just after a couple of steps, we could enjoy interesting views on this street. White walls, red-brick roof, ornamental plants placed on the pavement and… no fence. I was wondering what distinguishes this street and these houses from others. On the left side there are historic houses with properties next to the sidewalk. Just like in London. No garden that separates passers-by from the house.
On the right side there are detached houses or small storey houses, each property separated by a fence. On the left, there are historic houses which hide their mysterious gardens behind mighty walls.
Next to Brodzinski Street is the second notable one, Wieniawski Street. The houses there looked equally fabulous, if not more. Each one of them was marked as a listed building. Brass wooden doors made me feel like I was on a walk in London or the royal court.
There are numerous cafes and restaurants in the area. What a pleasant surprise it was to see not only young people, but also older generation enjoying their time in those places. I love the fact that older people are more open to go out and enjoy simple things like coffee or a dinner out.
House of green
Żoliborz has numerous squares and parks. Unfortunately, due to the season and time, some places were closed, but I highly recommend a walk in Stefan Żeromski Park, a visit to Prochownia and Sokolnicki Fort. Prochownia is a perfect place for both coffee and food. In the spring-summer season you can find there summer garden, which fits perfectly into surroundings of the park. Right next to the Prochownia is the Sokolnicki Fort, which is characteristic by a glass roof. It is a center of culture and art, where the organizers hold numerous cultural events. Just several minutes walk away another park, which lies right next to the Citadel, which used to be a fortress and a prison.
Żoliborz is an interesting district, where modern times mixes with the 70’s of the last century, historic buildings with typical tenement houses. It is certainly a very green part of Warsaw with numerous parks. I think it is a perfect place for those who want to escape from the city centre – I will certainly come back here in the summer!