Robert Lewandowski’s guide to Warsaw

Robert Lewandowski’s guide to Warsaw

Switzerland, April 04, 2012: Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski takes us around his home town of Warsaw, from its steaks to its beaches, and promises that fans will have plenty of things to do this summer.

Robert Lewandowski made his name at KKS Lech Poznań but it is Warsaw he calls home. He was born in the Polish capital and was on Legia Warszawa‘s books before seeking opportunities elsewhere ahead of his 18th birthday. He did not go far initially, to nearby MKS Znicz Pruszków, where he finished top scorer in the third and second divisions before joining Lech in summer 2008. Four years on and now at Borussia Dortmund, the forward is Poland’s player of the year and preparing to spearhead the co-host’s UEFA EURO 2012 bid. He always has time for his home town, however, as he told UEFA.com.

The best thing is …

Warsaw is a real mixture. This is a city with soul and a significant historical background; on the other hand it is very modern, very European. It is a good place to live as being capital of Poland it offers multiple possibilities, for locals and tourists. Its history was very turbulent so you could say the biggest achievement is that the city was rebuilt and is thriving again.

My favourite view …

The best view of Warsaw is from the viewing terrace on the 30th floor of the Palace of Culture and Science – don’t worry, there are lifts! The palace also looks good from the outside, especially at night when it is all lit up. Those are my favourite views, but you can also see a nice panorama from some of the hotels, like the Marriott.

Cultural break …

Warsaw was almost totally ruined during the Second World War – it is amazing that it was renovated so quickly afterwards. The best example of those efforts is the Royal Castle, blown up during the war but reconstructed. Warsaw has a fantastic Old Town which is a must see for all those here for the EURO finals. The heart of the Old Town is the square and, like the Royal Castle, it was destroyed and then rebuilt. Warsaw can be proud of having such a place. There are dozens of museums too for those who like history.

My favourite place …

Łazienki Park is very nice, a tranquil place not far from the city centre. I also strongly recommend walking through Nowy Świat (New World), one of Warsaw’s most famous streets. It runs from the Royal Castle to the Old Town and is a very nice area.

A bite to eat …

It is difficult to find anything specific to Warsaw but the city has plenty of good restaurants. There is a huge variety of places offering not only Polish but international food. As a footballer, I must be careful about eating anything too heavy, but I am a big fan of steaks – there are places in Warsaw where they are just delicious. Nowy Świat (New World) Street and the Old Town is the best place, so you can combine a nice walk with good cuisine.

My fondest memory …

I finished school here so I have lots of good memories related to Warsaw. As far as sport is concerned, my fondest memory is a friendly between Poland and Bulgaria at the Stadion Polonia Warszawa in March 2010. I scored a beautiful goal – one of my all-time favourites – and we won 2-0.

Night fever …

Warsaw has plenty to offer, day and night. There are lots of nice clubs on Mazowiecka Street and near Piłsudzkiego Square. I guarantee that fans not interested in sleeping after the match will find something to do. Especially during EURO – these places will be open 24/7.

Tell us something we don’t know …

Beaches! I am delighted the city is trying to make the most of the river Wisla. I think the beaches will appeal to EURO fans as the finals are being played in summer and that is the best time to enjoy them. In the past this aspect was not very well developed but now, step by step, the city is making up for lost time. Last year a new beach opened and I think it can be an option for tourists in June.

Room for improvement …

It would be good to have more ring roads around the city – it would be a huge help as traffic jams in Warsaw can get quite big. It would also be nice to extend the underground system. This is the only Polish city that has one but it is not yet extensive enough. They are extending it yet there is room for improvement. Image © Getty Images

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