Warsaw is a large and sprawling city of more than 1.7 million people that is split into somewhat uneven halves by the Wisła (Vistula) River. Most everything of interest to visitors is on the western side of the river around the modern financial district. Its centrepiece is the landmark Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki), a Socialist-Realist confection which can be seen from virtually anywhere in the city.
The epicentre of Warsaw for visitors is the so-called Royal Route (Trakt Krolewski), which runs north-south from the New and Old Towns, past the fashionable shops of Nowy Swiat, the palaces that survived the war and the royal gardens of Łazienki Park, before reaching Wilanow Palace to the south of the city centre.
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