GLXY Travel Guide - Exploring the LGBT Scene in Warsaw

13 May, 2018
In this article you can find out why and when to visit Poland and Warsaw, how friendly is this city for LGBT persons, where to go for gay-friendly dinner options, bars, clubs and other venues, what are the most important LGBT events of the year not to be missed; how to meet locals; and other interesting and important practical details.

The name of Poland comes from the ancient Slovenian Poljana tribe, which signified a group of people who lived in the fields or in the plains. Poland was attacked and defended or fought for freedom of the nation's resurrection, 43 times in the period between 1600 and 1945. Polish is the second most populous Slovenian language, immediately after Russian. Marija Sklodovska-Kiri was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize, and she is the first and only Nobel prize for two separate fields of science, and she was Polish. Slavic composer Frederik Chopin was Polish, born in the village of Zelazova Vola about 60 kilometers away from Warsaw. In the same village was born another Poljak, Henrik Shering, who was one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century.

Poland has about 38.5 million inhabitants. The area of Poland is about 312,683 square kilometers. The capital of Poland is Warsaw. Poland as a state exists since 966.

In the southern part of Poland there are two mountain chains: Sudetes and Carpathians. Several major rivers run through Poland: Visla, Odra and Varta. In Poland there are about 9,300 lakes, mainly in the northeastern part of the country in the Mazurian Lake area. It is located in the heart of Central Europe and borders with 7 neighboring countries, namely Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia.

The Historic Center of Warsaw (Stare Miasto) was listed in UNESCO World Heritage List in Europe in 1980 as a unique example of post-war reconstruction of the old city center containing specimens of buildings in all historical periods from the 13th to the 20th centuries. The symbol of the city, the Warsaw Mermaid, which is also on the 14th century city coat of arms, can be found everywhere in the city.

During the Second World War, the city suffered immense material damage, and about 700,000 citizens were killed. After Germany's attack on Poland, Warsaw became the center of resistance, and the uprising in the Jewish Ghetto in 1943 ended with the complete destruction of this region.

You might think that a city that has been completely destroyed in the near past can not offer much in tourist and architectural terms. Well, you've been deceived dangerously. The Valuable Poles, immediately after the end of the war, began an intensive reconstruction of the city, reconstructing it in its original form on the basis of drawings, paintings and memories. If you do not know the history of the city, you could never assume that all these beautiful old buildings you see have only 70 years of service. Warsaw has managed to regain its old glow and even more. Today, this city blends old architecture with modern glass skyscrapers, which have succeeded in joining each other in a very harmonious whole.

LGBT situation

According to LGBT activists in Poland, the trend in the region is that governments publicly accept international obligations, but in their enforcement at the national level, they lead their own aspirations, often contrary to international standards and agreements. This is particularly noticeable in the area of human rights related to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Wanda Nowicka, MP in Polish Parliament and prominent wine cellars for women's reproductive rights and LGBTI rights, described the political situation in Poland where the Catholic Church also led a negative campaign against the LGBTI people's rights. He noted that the LGBTI movement, despite the strong opposition of nationalist movements in that country, has gained increasing significance, as well as the opposition of religious communities, primarily the Catholic Church, became one of the most successful and visible movements in Poland. All social elites, starting from prominent public figures, are now explicitly favored by the full recognition of their LGBTI citizens and fellow citizens.

Even though there is many publicly out figures, in Poland there are no legally recognized partnerships of the same sex, and the situation has become even more difficult once a conservative Eurosceptic government has been formed that seeks to control the media as much as possible and abolishes or restricts the funding of LGBTIQ + associations and other civil society associations.

Poland has elected its frist openly gay member of parliament Robert Bierdon at October 2011., same as first cases brought to EU court for Human Rights, on the account of inheritance after death of partner. Since 2010, partners in same-sex relationships can inherit their partner’s or communal real estate. Even though Poland doesn’t have same-sex marriage, the question and discussion never gets old, and since 2012. it has been raised many times in the Parliament, but by now the law was turned away. It makes it a bit easier to breathe to remember that Poland is a part of European Union, and LGBT’s from Poland can rely on the European Court for Human Rights. Warsaw parade (Parada Rownosci) is a parade, held annually, and is one of the biggest parade in the Eastern part of Europe. People from all over the world are arriving and it definitely is a place to be. It is annually held in May or June. The best time to be there.

LGBT organizations that will help you anytime or just provide information are:
Campaign Against Homophobia
Lambda Warszawa

LGBT places/baths/restaurants/bars/ cruising:

Certainly one of the biggest gay scenes in Eastern Europe and according to that, there are many LGBT and LGBT friendly places to visit. Most venues are located in Śródmieście district, in the city center.

Club Galeria- Plac Mirowski 1- The oldest and most famous bar/club in the city. Formerly known as Paradise.
Plan B- Aleja Wyzwolenia 18- If you are into arts, this is the best place to find some laid-back crew.
MiTo- Waryńskiego 28- Amazing combo of a library, restaurant and an art gallery. Certainly worth seeing, and also believe that this place will offer you a cozy, meditative atmosphere.
Ramona Bar- Widok 18- Have a beer in an alternative, retro, dark room atmosphere.
Leniviec- Poznańska 7- A fancy place to have a cocktail over a nice lunch


Novotel Warszawa Centrum- Ulica Marszalkowska 94/98, Srodmiescie- 4 stared hotel in the center of the city.
Hotel Mercure Warszawa Grand -28 Krucza Street, Srodmiescie- 4 stared hotel with pool, wi-fi, sauna etc.