Żoliborz is one of Warsaw’s northern districts, located on the left bank of the Vistula River, directly north of Warsaw’s city center. Żoliborz is the smallest district in Warsaw and gets its name from the French words, joli bord, which mean "pretty bank" or "beautiful embankment."
Żoliborz began really developing once Poland regained independence in 1918. New houses, parks and squares filled the area, mostly in modernist architecture styles. One notable area is Żoliborz Oficerski, a higher-end spot built up with villas for Polish Army officers and other figures. During the Warsaw Uprising, Żoliborz was a place of conflict but the district was fortunately spared the damage seen in many other parts of Warsaw.
Today, Żoliborz is a quiet neighborhood. It’s gaining some popularity with expats, despite not having an international school nearby, and Kepa Potocka Park hosts summer concerts and is the ideal spot for a quiet afternoon getaway. One of the main sights is the Citadel (Muzeum X Pawilony Cytadeli), built during the 19th-century Russian occupation. Another important sight is St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, which contains the tomb of the blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Roman Catholic priest murdered by Polish communist intelligence agents. He has since been recognized a martyr, and his tomb has seen over 20 million visitors.
If you want to get a good overview of all Warsaw’s historic districts, consider a private tour.