Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.765 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Once described as the Paris of the East, Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Warsaw is one of Europe’s most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world. In 2017 the city came 4th in the “Business-friendly” category and 8th in “Human capital and life style”.It was also ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe.
Warsaw lies in east-central Poland about 300 km (190 mi) from the Carpathian Mountains and about 260 km (160 mi) from the Baltic Sea, 523 km (325 mi) east of Berlin, Germany. The city straddles the Vistula River. It is located in the heartland of the Masovian Plain, and its average elevation is 100 metres (330 ft) above sea level. Warsaw is located on two main geomorphologic formations: the plain moraine plateau and the Vistula Valley with its asymmetrical pattern of different terraces. The Vistula River is the specific axis of Warsaw, which divides the city into two parts, left and right.
Warsaw’s climate is humid continental with cold, snowy, cloudy winters and warm, sunny, stormy summers. Spring and autumn can be unpredictable, highly prone to sudden weather changes; however, temperatures are usually mild and with low humidity, especially around May and September.
Green space covers almost a quarter of the area of Warsaw, including a broad range from small neighborhood parks, green spaces along streets and in courtyards, to avenues of trees and large historic parks, nature conservation areas and the urban forests at the fringe of the city.
There are as many as 82 parks in the city which cover 8% of its area. The oldest ones, once parts of representative palaces, are Saxon Garden, the Krasiński Palace Garden, Łazienki Park (Royal Baths Park), Wilanów Palace Park and Królikarnia Palace Park.
As the capital of Poland, Warsaw is the political centre of the country.
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