The Palace of Culture and Science really is something. If you’re in Warsaw, chances are you can’t look in any direction without catching a glimpse of this architectural wonder dominating the skyline. Built over the course of three years, and completed in 1955, the building was a “gift from the Soviet people to the Polish nation.” Architecturally, it’s a reflection of Socialist and Polish styles, and at 778 feet (237 meters), it’s the tallest building in Poland.
Apparently the sentiments about the building are mixed, as many Polish people (particularly older ones) view the building as a symbol of oppression. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that it offers a fantastic view out on the city. It also is an integral part of the city’s cultural life, as it houses theaters, universities, exhibition halls, and so much more.
We went to visit on a Sunday morning, the day after my birthday, in hopes of avoiding too many tourists. After brunch at the nearby Tel-Aviv Cafe, we strolled over to the building, where we faced a wait of about five minutes to get our tickets, which I should mention are super fairly priced (as it most everything in Warsaw). Then we went to the elevators and up to the top. There are 42 floors in total; the viewing terrace is on the 30th, and it provides a great glimpse out over Warsaw in all directions. Definitely highly recommended. Pro tip: make sure it’s a clear day when you go to the top.
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