Warsaw to enjoy tourism boost after visit from Prince William

Warsaw is set to enjoy a much-needed tourism boost after getting the royal seal of approval from Prince William.

The vibrant Polish capital, often overlooked by UK tourists for its more popular neighbour Krakow, was visited by Prince of Wales last month.

William visited the city a few weeks ago to thank Polish and British troops for their service during the Ukraine conflict – and inadvertently provided a service himself.

The future King delighted crowds as he was spotted posing for selfies, dining at a funky LGBT restaurant with staff and tucking into some treats at the hipster Koszyki food market in the heart of the city.

Tourism officials, previously concerned crowds could steer clear of Poland due to its proximity and involvement to the Ukraine war, have been heartened by the visit and could boost numbers. They hope this, along with a glitzy social media campaign launched last year, will show the world that Poland and particularly Warsaw, is very much open for business.

The Prince of Wales was all smiles as he posed with royal fans outside of the hall on the second day of his visit

The Prince of Wales was all smiles as he posed with royal fans outside of the hall on the second day of his visit

Royal fans and wellwishers patiently waited with signs ahead of the Prince's visit to the food hall

Royal fans and wellwishers patiently waited with signs ahead of the Prince’s visit to the food hall

Locals are very proud of the fact their hometown has risen from the rubble - a particular marvel is the old town where expert architects recreated 90 per cent of the area brick-by-brick

Locals are very proud of the fact their hometown has risen from the rubble – a particular marvel is the old town where expert architects recreated 90 per cent of the area brick-by-brick

Dorota Huk-Królikowska from the Polish Tourism Board told MailOnline: ‘I believe the visit of the British heir to the throne was of great importance to the positive image of Warsaw.

‘Young British people who followed the trip through TV, newspapers and social media had a chance to see a small but authentic picture of the capital of Poland.

‘Warsaw is a city of warm-hearted residents. 

‘They are tolerant and open to everyone, regardless of skin colour, country of origin or sexual orientation.’

William is the modern face of the monarchy so it was fitting that he visited Warsaw – a city desperate to show that it can be both cutting edge and vibrant with an affection for its tradition and history.

While the Polish city is the birthplace of Chopin and Marie Curie, it will also be recognised by movie lovers as the setting of Roman Polanski’s The Pianist, or Netflix’s The Witcher, starring Henry Cavill.

Polanski’s 2003 Hollywood hit starring Adrian Brody was filmed in the city’s Praga district, which acted as a backdrop to mimic the Jewish ghetto. 

But it hasn’t always been a city open to tourists and filmmakers.

Warsaw is enjoying a new lease of life; from young crowds savouring Polish vodka to enjoying strolls along the riverbank

Warsaw is enjoying a new lease of life; from young crowds savouring Polish vodka to enjoying strolls along the riverbank 

From June to September every Sunday the public can enjoy free outdoor concerts dedicated to Warsaw's most famous son, composer and pianist Chopin, in the Royal Łazienki park

From June to September every Sunday the public can enjoy free outdoor concerts dedicated to Warsaw’s most famous son, composer and pianist Chopin, in the Royal Łazienki park

The Instagram-friendly viewing platform of the Palace of Culture and Science (pictured)

The Instagram-friendly viewing platform of the Palace of Culture and Science (pictured)

The Prince of Wales met British troops and thanked them for 'defending our freedoms' during a surprise visit to Poland – just miles from the Ukrainian border

The Prince of Wales met British troops and thanked them for ‘defending our freedoms’ during a surprise visit to Poland – just miles from the Ukrainian border

For 123 years, Poland disappeared from the maps of Europe between Russia Prussia, before 1918 when it reappeared on the map – and when Warsaw regained its independence. 

During World War Two the Nazis razed the city to the ground and some 85 per cent of Warsaw had been destroyed by the end of the war.

But locals are very proud of the fact their hometown has risen from the rubble – a particular marvel is the old town where expert architects recreated 90 per cent of the area brick-by-brick.

Then came Covid, when Warsaw, like every city globally, suffered massive economic losses amid a series of crippling lockdowns.

The city was just starting to enjoy a return to normal, when Russian hostilities began in Ukraine – sparking a rise in cancellations for trip to the country.

Travel bosses last year launched a social media campaign to attract tourists back and convince visitors it was safe to visit despite troubles in neighbouring Ukraine.

Now, Warsaw is enjoying a new lease of life; from young crowds savouring Polish vodka and Instagram-friendly viewing platform of the Palace of Culture and Science, to the trendy Koszyki Market food hall where, like Prince William, diners enjoy everything from authentic Polish cuisine to burritos or a portion of fries.

From June to September every Sunday the public can enjoy free outdoor concerts dedicated to Warsaw’s most famous son, composer and pianist Chopin, in the Royal Łazienki park – and see an exact replica of the Chopin monument – the first of which was destroyed by the Nazis because they believed his music would inspire Polish uprisings.

Locals are very proud of the fact their hometown has risen from the rubble - a particular marvel is the old town where expert architects recreated 90 per cent of the area brick-by-brick

Locals are very proud of the fact their hometown has risen from the rubble – a particular marvel is the old town where expert architects recreated 90 per cent of the area brick-by-brick

On the second day of his visit, he arrived in Warsaw where he visited the tomb, which is dedicated to Polish soldiers who lost their lives in conflict

On the second day of his visit, he arrived in Warsaw where he visited the tomb, which is dedicated to Polish soldiers who lost their lives in conflict

The Prince of Wales went on to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda

The pair were seen chatting at the Presidential Palace

The prince was greeted by dignitaries and a guard of honour which was made up of members of the Army, Navy and Air Force 

Prince William said the two-day trip was to personally thank troops and 'underline' his support and gratitude for the Polish people who have aided Ukrainian refugees

Prince William said the two-day trip was to personally thank troops and ‘underline’ his support and gratitude for the Polish people who have aided Ukrainian refugees

TRAVEL FACTS 

British Airways (ba.com) , Wizz Air and Ryanair fly from London to Warsaw from £66 return. Rooms at NYX Hotel Warsaw from £77 (www.leonardo-hotels.com). For more about Warsaw, go to warsawtour.pl.

What to see and do;

source: express.co.uk