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In the footsteps of socialist-realist Warsaw

Monuments, public institutions and even whole districts were built in socialist-realist style in Poland after World War II. In Warsaw, examples of this style are the Palace of Culture and Science and the Muranów and MDM housing estates. Do you want to feel the atmosphere of old times? Visit the Neon Museum and the Life Under Communism Museum or go on a city tour in classic vehicles from the communist era.

The Palace of Culture and Science, built in the 1950s, is one of the tallest buildings in Poland (237 metres) and a modern icon of the city. If you stroll around the palace, you will find monumental figures of peasants, labourers and scientists. Theatres, a cinema and museums all operate in the palace. The observation deck on the 30th floor is a must-do as it offers panoramic views of Warsaw, including spectacular skyscrapers and both banks of the Vistula.

MDM and Muranów are classic examples of socialist-realist architecture, both of which were built in the 1950s. MDM covers Constitution square and Marszałkowska and Waryńskiego streets. Like the Palace of Culture and Science, the facades of the buildings feature bas-reliefs depicting women, children and workers.
Muranów was built on the rubble of the ghetto. Apartments, schools, nurseries, kindergartens and cinemas were designed as part of the estate. Pay attention to the characteristic monumental gates at the beginning of Gen. Władysława Andersa street.

Get ready for some real time travel! In this extraordinary museum you will see souvenirs from the socialist era: a typical apartment, including a kitchen, bathroom and children’s play area; a store with legendary empty shelves and the office of the party Central Committee. There is also an exhibition about the legendary Solidarity trade union.

At the end of the tour, try the famous Oranżadka Grochowska orange drink and play board games from the era.

The post-industrial Soho Factory complex is home to a unique museum with neon signage designed in the 1960s and 70s by Polish visual artists. In the museum you will see dozens of neon signs that once decorated shops, department stores and cafes throughout Poland. You can also see photos from their original locations and learn how they were made.

Go for a ride in classic communist-era vehicles, which many years ago drove through the streets of Polish cities. Step onboard the iconic Jelcz bus, known as the ogórek [gherkin] because of its shape, or a Nyska 522 minibus. Or rent a Fiat 126p (the maluch [the Little One]) and go on a city tour.