Music and theatre
Thanks to numerous musical venues, including the Teatr Wielki, the Polish National Opera, the Chamber Opera, the National Philharmonic Hall and the National Theatre, as well as the Roma and Buffo music theatres and the Congress Hall in the Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw hosts many events and festivals.
Warsaw is also considered as one of the European hubs of underground electronic music with a very attractive house and techno music scene.
Warsaw is home to over 30 major theatres spread throughout the city, including the National Theatre and the Grand Theatre.
Several commemorative events take place every year.
Gatherings of thousands of people on the banks of the Vistula on Midsummer’s Night for a festival called Wianki have become a tradition and a yearly event in the programme of cultural events in Warsaw. Each Midsummer’s Eve, apart from the official floating of wreaths, jumping over fires, looking for the fern flower, there are musical performances, dignitaries' speeches, fairs and fireworks by the river bank.
Warsaw Multimedia Fountain Park is located in an enchanting place, near the Old Town and the Vistula. The ‘Water – Light – Sound’ multimedia shows take place each Friday and Saturday from May till September at 9:30PM.
The Warsaw Film Festival, an annual festival that takes place every October. Films are usually screened in their original language with Polish subtitles. Over 100 films are shown throughout the festival, and awards are given to the best and most popular films.
Museums and art galleries
The levelling of Warsaw during the war has left gaping holes in the city's historic collections. Although a considerable number of treasures were spirited away to safety in 1939, a great number of collections from palaces and museums in the countryside were brought to Warsaw at that time as the capital was considered a safer place than some remote castle in the borderlands. Thus losses were heavy.
As interesting examples of expositions the most notable are: the world's first Museum of Posters boasting one of the largest collections of art posters in the world, Museum of Hunting and Riding and the Railway Museum. From among Warsaw's 60 museums, the most prestigious ones are National Museum with a collection of works whose origin ranges in time from antiquity till the present epoch as well as one of the best collections of paintings in the country including some paintings from Adolf Hitler's private collection, and Museum of the Polish Army whose set portrays the history of arms.
The collections of Łazienki and Wilanów palaces (both buildings came through the war in good shape) focus on the paintings of the "old masters", as are those of the Royal Castle which displays the Lanckoroński Collection including two paintings by Rembrandt.
A fine tribute to the fall of Warsaw and history of Poland can be found in the Warsaw Uprising Museum and in the Katyń Museum which preserves the memory of the crime.The Warsaw Uprising Museum also operates a rare preserved and operating historic stereoscopic theatre, the Warsaw Fotoplastikon. The Museum of Independence preserves patriotic and political objects connected with Poland's struggles for independence. Dating back to 1936 Warsaw Historical Museum contains 60 rooms which host a permanent exhibition of the history of Warsaw from its origins until today.
The 17th century Royal Ujazdów Castle currently houses Centre for Contemporary Art, with some permanent and temporary exhibitions, concerts, shows and creative workshops.
Zachęta National Gallery of Art, the oldest exhibition site in Warsaw, with a tradition stretching back to the mid-19th century organises exhibitions of modern art by Polish and international artists and promotes art in many other ways.
The city also possesses some oddities such as the Museum of Caricature, the Museum of John Paul II, and a Motorisation Museum in Otrębusy.
Media and film
Warsaw is the media centre of Poland, and the location of the main headquarters of TVP and other numerous local and national TV and radio stations, such as TVN, Polsat, TV4, TV Puls, Canal+ Poland, Cyfra+ and MTV Poland.
The city is also the printing capital of Poland with a wide variety of domestic and foreign periodicals expressing diverse views, and domestic newspapers are extremely competitive. Rzeczpospolita, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik Polska-Europa-Świat Poland's large nationwide daily newspapers have their headquarters in Warsaw.
Warsaw also has a sizable movie and television industry. The city houses several movie companies and studios. Among the movie companies are TOR, Czołówka, Zebra and Kadr who is behind several international movie productions.
Since World War II, Warsaw has been the most important centre of film production in Poland. It has also been featured in numerous movies, both Polish and foreign, for example: Kanał and Korczak by Andrzej Wajda, The Decalogue by Krzysztof Kieślowski, also including Oscar winner The Pianist by Roman Polański.
The National Stadium, capacity of 58,500 seat football stadium, replaced Warsaw's recently demolished 10th-Anniversary Stadium. The national stadium hosted the opening match, 2 group matches, a quarterfinal, and a semifinal of the UEFA Euro 2012 hosted jointly by Poland and Ukraine.
There are many sports centres in the city as well. Most of these facilities are swimming pools and sports halls, many of them built by the municipality in the past several years. The main indoor venue is Hala Torwar, used for all kinds of indoor sports. There is also open-air skating rink (Stegny) and the horse racetrack (Służewiec).
The best of the city's swimming centres is at Wodny Park Warszawianka, with an Olympic-sized pool as well as water slides and children's areas.
From the Warsovian football teams, the most famous is Legia Warsaw – the army club with a nationwide following play at Polish Army Stadium, just southeast of the centre at Łazienkowska Street.
Polonia Warsaw's home venue is located at Konwiktorska Street. Clubwas relegated from the country's top flight in 2013 because of their disastrous financial situation.