A beach day in Warsaw by the Vistula River
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is about 460 km away from the closest sea – the Baltic sea. However, that doesn’t stop locals and tourists from enjoying a day at the beach. The right bank of the Vistula River that flows across the city is one of their favourite summer spots.
Poniatowka, a long-time favourite beach
Vistula, the 28-kilometre polish river splits the city of Warsaw in two: east and west. Back in the days, the stream was a fishing spot, being home to the finest sturgeon and salmon. However, the stream was mainly a trade route. Harbour and ports longed the banks. They sent off ships that carried the grains and herrings to be exported. They also welcomed other ones that docked in to import wines and spices. The riverside was then the liveliest place of Warsaw and had a prominent role in the economy of the city. As time went by, it has become less of a trade place and more of a leisure one by the 19th century. The ports were replaced with ‘tanc budy’ – temporary party venues. The people from Praga, a district of the right bank, were the ones who started it at the all-time people favourite Poniatowka beach. They would come, swim in the stream and then danced barefoot to live music on the sandy banks – or on the parquet dancefloor if they paid. It expanded to the other beaches of Vistula. The two World War’s however took a toll on the riverside. It became a no man’s land. People still came to relax at the beaches but there was no more swimming nor party. It was not until 2010 that they started revitalizing Vistula’s beaches again. Poniatowka remains the most popular until today.
More than a place to idle, a leisure location
Since its has been brought back to life again, Vistula’s shore has become a must of a Varsovian summer. The swimming ban has never been lifted anymore but the sandy shores of the right bank are still perfect for idling. They are well-maintained – clean and tidy. National Geographic even listed them among the most beautiful urban beaches in the world. During the day, sports activities take place both on land and on water. For instance, Poniatowka is regularly the court of volleyball games. In Port Czerniakowski, various water sports await the enthusiast: skimboarding, kayaking, canoeing… Off the sandy shores and the Vistula Boulevards are perfect for a bike ride or a casual stroll along the river. You might encounter or spot birds and wilds animals such as otters and deer. At night, all these locations become the venues of nightclubs, concerts and campfires. The other side of the bank also put on quite a show with the Multimedia Foutain Park. In summer as well as in winter, the fountain at the foot of Old Town makes streams light and dance but also tells the history and legends of Warsaw. As there are many things to experience in Warsaw – and that was only the surroundings of Vistula, you may want to stay there for a couple of days. Thus, you need to find a hotel room or a vacation rental beforehand!