Polish Independence Day – What to do in Warsaw when everything is closed?
Polish Independence Day
The 11th of November is one of the most significant national holidays in Poland. This date symbolizes the day in which Poland regained its sovereignty after 123 years of partition (Poland didn’t exist for 123 years).
At OddUrbanThings we strive to make your life in Warsaw easier and more exciting.
From 1920 until 1936, Poles celebrated an informal version of Independence Day. Then, in 1937, they instituted it as a public holiday. Official celebrations took place for only two years and then WWII broke out. After the WWII, when Poland was under the soviets, Independence day was substituted by Narodowe Święto Odrodzenia Polski (National Festival Of Polish Revival), celebrated on July 22 , the same day of the anniversary of the Manifesto PKWN. Independence Day was restored in 1989 and has been celebrated every year ever since.
How do people celebrate it today?
Polish flags will paint the streets of the city with red and white.
Independence Day is celebrated throughout the country with official speeches, ceremonies, parades, marches, and marathons. The most important military ceremony (and march) is held in Piłsudski Square, here in Warsaw.
I don’t want to spread panic, but every year there are also extreme nationalist marches throughout Warsaw. Avoid the areas at risk and you’ll be free to enjoy this day!
What to do when everything is closed
Independence Day, is a national holiday and therefore it’s a non-working day in Poland. Most of the shops are closed, you should plan your shopping on another day. In case of necessity, some smaller local convenience stores and gas stations will be open. If you want to visit a museum, check out this list made by Daniela Signer (thanks a lot Daniela!) Wondering what to do this weekend? Tomorrow we’ll post the usual Warsaw Weekend Guide. SIGN UP to receive the update or like our page to receive the notification.
Below you find a list of cafes and restaurants open on the 11th of November: