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City Guide: Warsaw With Instytut Festival

Words by Instytut Festival

Welcome back to the latest edition if our ongoing City Guide series, where your favorite artists take you on a tour of the cities and towns they call home and give you the inside scoop of what's hot and fresh. This week, we travel to Warsaw, Poland, and our guide is by leading music festival Instytut. As always, click the blue links to find out more about the places mentioned. 

We all like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?

The most friendly place to be chosen for a good drink is definitely BARSTUDIO.

Bar Studio fot. Filip Klimaszewski

It’s located in Warsaw’s famous building called PKiN ( The palace of culture and science) in the heart of Warsaw (Plac Defilad 1). Bar Studio belongs to one of the finest theater scenes in the capital of Poland – Teatr Studio. You can drink here fabulous Polish beers from local breweries, wine, lots of cocktails. Bar Studio throws parties every weekend: from raves to "Why do I love old songs” - parties by Bartosz Mindewicz. There is a big table in front of the Palace’s main entrance where you can take a seat or take a rest after dancing. BarStudio is always full of enthusiastic, smiling people. And you only need a very little time to get to any of the clubs after the drink here.

Where can you find the best clubs / late night venues in town?

The history of Warsaw‘s underground sound and parties dates back almost 30 years. And you can have here lots of fun dancing to the best sounds of house and techno.

Let‘s start with SMOLNA club - a great venue in Berlin-style that is already famous worldwide for its international bookings like Boris Brejcha, Amelie Lens, Fatboy Slim, Honey Dijon, Dax J or Black Coffee. As the next step, we recommend partying at JASNA JEDEN. A pretty fresh address on Warsaw‘s club scene with a big fan community that is true to the club‘s music politics and the underground sound of techno, ambient, and house music.

Warsaw‘s sleepless nights always finish at the best afterparty-club in Poland – LUZZTRO - the legendary club that currently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

There are real urban legends about this club: its name appears in TV - series, films and stand- up comedies, being a synonym of “good unlimited fun.” Luzztro is very active on the music scene: they cooperate with Polish TV Culture, organize trips to Ibiza and run its own record label Luzztro records. Anyway worth checking to experience the ultimate level of raving!

Luzztro BDay2

Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out for you?

Warsaw has been chosen recently as the third vegan-friendly city in the world. You gotta visit MANGO STREET FOOD (5 pots in Warsaw) that serves mango-based dishes plus hummus, burgers, salads, smoothies, and juice. Healthy and yummy!

Mango vegan street food

Best dirty late-night street food option?

You’re hungry before or during the party? A Vietnamese special soup Pho is the ultimate answer! You can get here best Asian street food: from curry, Pho with chicken or beef, ramen. While coming back from the club Jasna 1 you just have to visit Du-Za-Mi-Ha in Zlota Street to avoid any hangover on the day after!

Photo courtesy of Du-Za-Mi-Ha Facebook

Photo courtesy of Du-Za-Mi-Ha Facebook

Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Warsaw?

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Are you a passionate record collector and vinyl addict? You have to visit the famous Side One record store in Chmielna. You can buy there not only some great vinyl rarities but also meet some Polish DJ’s and producers digging. A special recommendation is the fresh releases from Polish artists and labels.

Side One record store

Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?

Definitely, Vistulan Boulevards that are located on the western side of the River Vistula. The place is full of cafes, bars, places to do some sports. You can have fun day at night. And you can dance in the summertime in summer clubs like BarKa or Miami Wars where house, techno or Nu-disco is being played by local and foreign DJ’s.

boulevards 2

Something everyone should do when visiting Warsaw, but probably hasn’t?

It looks like Warsaw is going to be“ the next big thing,“ the new clubbing destination. It makes no sense to be compared to Berlin – the city that we absolutely love and adore by the way – but Warsaw has its own identity, its beautiful shape. Warszawa is centrally located, easily accessible (2 airports available plus many bus connections), with good hotels and chic boutique hostels, You can have here a perfect sightseeing ( starting from classicist parks and palaces up to socialistic buildings and beautiful examples of modernism from the 30‘s!). You can have a delicious dinner here – a really wide range of foods are available! Warsaw is also "vegan friendly” And the clubbing scene in Warsaw is definitely worth experiencing. Celebrate your weekend starting from eating breakfast together in a picnic atmosphere at the breakfast market ( every weekend, you can try many regional specialities from different parts of Poland, various types of exotic food, or choose something else from a wide variety of original recipes prepared by true enthusiasts). Then go to the beach at the Vustula river bank or explore city’s museums like National Museum, Neon Museum or CSW – contemporary art centre. Finish your day at any of the underground clubs.


A track that reminds you of your childhood in the city?

Let me remind you that Warsaw and Poland have a huge hip-hop scene. Let me get back to one of the biggest anthems about Warsaw by TRZYHA WARSZAFSKI DESZCZ.

What are other great exports that come from Warsaw?

Polish art! Poland was famous for its beautiful posters that were designed already in the 60s. You can still buy cinema or advertising posters from 60s to 80s. And you can experience here lots of finest street art in the city made by Nespoon or SCSzyman.


A gift you can’t leave Warsaw without taking home for friends?

Try some Polish vodka which is probably the best in the world – by the way: you can also visit here a Vodka Museum. If you do not drink alcohol, get some sweets or chocolates from Poland’s finest Wedel factory with a long tradition. 

For more information on Instytut Festival, click here


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