UNIQLO and
Our Town

vol.05[Warsaw]

UNIQLO is part of the community. Here’s the view from Warsaw, where we set up for a one-year engagement in fall 2022.

SWIPE

In the wake of World War II, Warsaw rebuilt its historic streets, down to the last cracked piece of brick. The capital of Poland, this is the city of masters of cinema like the Warner Brothers and Andrzej Wajda, and where Frédéric Chopin came of age.

It’s also a center of graphic design, opening the world’s first poster museum in 1968 and a neon museum in 2005. The north-flowing Vistula River runs past the stone buildings of Old Town and the avant-garde district of Praga. Let’s hop on the tram and take a tour around this historic city.

1

UNIQLO Poland Pop-up

Last October, UNIQLO set up its first store in Central Europe on Marszałkowska Street, in the fashion district near Warsaw Central Station. Open for a one-year engagement, this pop-up shop features items from the current season on the ground floor, while the floor above has standards like innerwear, jeans and T-shirts. The selection caters to the tastes of local residents, and the staff includes Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion, who we’re helping to adjust to a new lifestyle.

Marszałkowska 104/122, Warsaw

column 1

The Origins of Chopin

 

Łazienkowski Park, Warsaw

Known as the “poet of the piano” for his gorgeous melodies, Frédéric Chopin won fame in youth as the “prodigy of Warsaw,” where he lived from age six to twenty. A huge modernist monument to Chopin (bottom) can be found in the sprawling Royal Baths Park. Free outdoor concerts, a local favorite, are held by the monument every Sunday from May to September. To celebrate Chopin’s bicentennial, fifteen “Chopin benches” (above) were installed throughout the city. Push a button, and you’ll hear clips of his famous polonaises or nocturnes. Grownups love them almost as much as kids. Chopin souvenirs like pens and notebooks (bottom right) can be purchased at the Chopin Museum and throughout the city. His name even graces the Warsaw Chopin Airport!

Łazienki Park, Al. Ujazdowskie, Warsaw

Theater & Music

3

Chopin Boutique B&B Hotel

Housed in a refurbished modernist building built in 1910, the hotel marks its entrance and also rooms with upright pianos. Each of the thirty-four rooms decorated with antique furniture is named after a Polish author or pianist, foremost Chopin. The hotel keeps bees on the roof and serves a breakfast of organic foods. Enjoy local Warsaw honey fresh from the comb along with a cup of house-roasted coffee. Concerts are held in the salon at 7:30 nightly. This classic hotel will score high with Chopin fans and casual listeners alike.

ul. Smolna 14, Warsaw

4

Nowy Teatr Theater

Once a depot for city garbage trucks, this building was transformed in 2012 into a theater and event space for contemporary dance, poetry, and book events. Curation is led by Krzysztof Warlikowski, one of Poland’s preeminent theater directors. The stage where you can see his original dramatic works performed is complemented by a spacious cafe popular with local families and a bookstore stocking theater, literature, and children’s titles. In 2021, they formed the Green Team to address issues of climate change in the community.

ul. Madalinskiego 10/16, Warsaw

Polish Gourmet

5

Stary Dom Restaurant

Sample authentic Polish dishes at this old-school

restaurant. Their famous steak tartare (right, 53 zł) is prepared before your eyes by a chef who tenderizes fresh beef and mixes it with vegetables and spices. The menu reflects the country’s agricultural abundance. It’s hard to choose! The staff runs like clockwork, creating a relaxing atmosphere. The sort of restaurant that makes you want to get dressed up.

Puławska 104/106, Warsaw

6

Syrena Irena Bistro

Pierogi (above), soul food of Poland, are the specialty of Syrena Irena, which opened in March 2022. Locals flock here for the original recipes combining classics like fresh cabbage, duck and mushrooms with seasonal ingredients. The scratch-made dough hits your taste buds in the most nostalgic way, brightened with herbs like dill and marjoram. The interior uses coral colors, referencing the “syrena” (mermaid) in the shop’s name.

© Zuza Kozerska

Krakowskie Przedmiescie 4/6, Warsaw

column 1

The Origins of Chopin

 

2

Łazienkowski Park, Warsaw

Known as the “poet of the piano” for his gorgeous melodies, Frédéric Chopin won fame in youth as the “prodigy of Warsaw,” where he lived from age six to twenty. A huge modernist monument to Chopin (bottom) can be found in the sprawling Royal Baths Park. Free outdoor concerts, a local favorite, are held by the monument every Sunday from May to September. To celebrate Chopin’s bicentennial, fifteen “Chopin benches” (above) were installed throughout the city. Push a button, and you’ll hear clips of his famous polonaises or nocturnes. Grownups love them almost as much as kids. Chopin souvenirs like pens and notebooks (bottom right) can be purchased at the Chopin Museum and throughout the city. His name even graces the Warsaw Chopin Airport!

Łazienki Park, Al. Ujazdowskie, Warsaw
6

Syrena Irena Bistro

Pierogi (above), soul food of Poland, are the specialty of Syrena Irena, which opened in March 2022. Locals flock here for the original recipes combining classics like fresh cabbage, duck and mushrooms with seasonal ingredients. The scratch-made dough hits your taste buds in the most nostalgic way, brightened with herbs like dill and marjoram. The interior uses coral colors, referencing the “syrena” (mermaid) in the shop’s name.

© Zuza Kozerska

Krakowskie Przedmiescie 4/6, Warsaw

column2

Taking Poland Home!

Fringed wall tapestry

These “sumak” wall hangings from Bobowa in southern Poland feature cute, simple motifs like flowers, animals, and traditional outfits. 160 zł.

Miniature hope chest

Back when Krakow was the capital, women would pack their clothes into a colorful hope chest before they married. These miniature versions are a darling way to store small items. 60 zł.

Bolesławiec pottery

Blessed with fine soil, Poland has long been a center of ceramics. Especially the town of Bolesławiec, which is famous for its kilns. From left: doll-shaped cheese or butter dish called “Cheese Lady” 138 zł; saucer 56.59 zł.

Graphic Design

7

Cafe RelaksCafé

This famous cafe is decorated wall to wall with posters of jazz and pop musicians. The “Polish School of Posters” was developed in the socialist 1950s at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. Combining humor with an original aesthetic, it had a huge impact on the world of graphic design. The aromatic Polish coffee goes perfectly with the rich cheesecake. Replete with terrace seating, the cafe is alive with creatives and industry types from morning to night.

ul. Puławska 48, Warsaw

Neon Muzeum Museum

The Neon Museum is housed in the “Pocisk” (bullet) Building, a former munitions factory in the up-and-coming district of Praga. Originating as a means for advertising, neon signage added color and a touch of personality to libraries, florists, shoe stores, and photo shops of the Cold War era. Surveying that history, the museum displays over 200 unique neon works. A great stop on any foray through the city.

ul. Minska 25, Warsaw

Folk Art

9

Dom Sztuki Ludowej Craft Shop

Located on a colorful block of skinny buildings facing a historic plaza. Gathering folk crafts and art from all over Poland, the store offers traditional garments like colorful skirts and striking floral embroideries, along with handwoven lace from Koniaków, near the Czech border, and fun objects like this little bird (upper right, 20 zł) from Zakopane, a favorite summer getaway. Survivors of socialism, these folk art traditions make fantastic souvenirs.

ul. Rynek Starego Miasta 10, Warsaw

*All prices and information current as of December 2022.
Photography by Rie Yamada
Coordination & Text by Yumiko Urae
Special thanks to Warsaw Tourist Office
Share This Page

Release dates vary depending on the product.
All listed prices, current as of February 9th, include sales tax and are subject to change.