Ever thought about a city trip to Warsaw? Make sure you do. I am sure that the cosmopolitan capital of Poland will surprise you. From a nice old center to hip neighbourhoods, skyscrapers, interesting museums, lots of greenery and yes, a fantastic haute cuisine. Warsaw has a lot to offer and it is recommended to take some time to discover the different parts of the city. In this article you will find the best things to do in Warsaw Poland, including tips for tours, hotels, restaurants and the surrounding area.
- Discover the best things to do in Warsaw Poland – 30 tips
- Lazienki Royal Gardens
- Explore the old center
- Follow the Royal Route
- The gardens of the Royal Castle – scenic things to do in Warsaw Poland
- Find the mermaids
- Listen to classical music – Chopin concert
- Neon museum
- Praga District
- Roofterrace of the National Library – scenic things to do in Warsaw Poland
- The evenings of the Copernicus Science Center
- The Vodka Museum – typical things to do in Warsaw Poland
- Take a boat trip on the Vistula
- Walk along the river and enjoy the urban beaches
- Culinary experiences
- City farm
- Palace of Culture & Science
- Museum of Communism – historical things to do in Warsaw Poland
- Discover creative places & neighbourhoods
- Things to do in Warsaw Poland surroundings
- Mini Tavel Guide Warsaw Poland
- More about Poland
Discover the best things to do in Warsaw Poland – 30 tips
When you think of Warsaw, you may not immediately think of a beautiful historic city. True, Warsaw was completely bombed during the Second World War, but the center has been so well restored that it is even on the UNESCO World Heritage List for that reason. Moreover, the city is located on the Vistula River including a lovely boulevard, cool urban beaches and lots of greenery, which makes for a relaxed atmosphere. And not to mention the great restaurants to be found all over the city. In this article I will tell you why Warsaw and its things to do should have a place on your bucketlist as soon as possible.
Lazienki Royal Gardens
The Lazienki Royal Gardens are probably one of my favorite places and things to do in Warsaw Poland. This 76 hectare park consists of three gardens and is dominated by the summer palace of the last king of Poland, Stanislaw August Poniatowski. You will find a 18th century Royal Garden, a 19th century Romantic Garden and as 20th century Modernist Garden. And everywhere you look you see squirrels jumping around and swans and peacocks walking in front of you. You can go for a lovely walk, take a seat on the benches or have a drink in one of the pavilions.
It is also possible to visit the palace and make a tour around the lake. You can book an interesting tour here.
Explore the old center
Of course you want to visit the old town of Warsaw Poland and explore its things to do. Warsaw was completely bombed during the Second World War and when you look at old photos, there is really nothing left standing. It is incredible how everything has been rebuilt in good condition. For this reason, the center was even included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980. And contrary to what you might think, the center is beautiful and, above all, colorful. That’s what surprised me most. It is nice to stroll through the streets, past churches, have a drink on the central square Rynek Starego Miasta and look for photo spots. You will encounter many pretty buildings.
Do you want to learn more about the history of Warsaw Poland and discover its hidden gems? You can book your city tour here.
Follow the Royal Route
Interested in learning more about the history of Poland? Then a visit to the Royal Castle in Warsaw is one the best things to do. Here you can follow the Royal Route, a route that guides you through the most important palace halls. You will be taken back to the time when Poland was a kingdom and learn about the royal families and their role in society. The splendor of the palace is impressive.
The gardens of the Royal Castle – scenic things to do in Warsaw Poland
The gardens of the Royal Castle in Warsaw deserve a special place in this list of things to do. Especially in the morning, when the gardens just open to the public, it is worth taking a walk. It is still super pieceful and you can take great photos. Moreover the gardens can be visited free of charge.
Find the mermaids
Do you find a statue of a little mermaid in Warsaw? Then it is recommended to stop and learn about its story. The statue is not only the city’s coat of arms but also an important symbol that has represented Warsaw for centuries. The legend tells of a wealthy merchant who held the mermaid captive. When fishermen freed her, she promised to protect the city of Warsaw and has been ready with her sword and shield in gratitude for her liberation since. Today, the mermaid symbolizes the courage and independence of the city of Warsaw in Poland.
Listen to classical music – Chopin concert
If you love classical music as much as I do, then you definitely want to go to a Chopin concert in Warsaw. Frédéric François Chopin was born in Poland in 1810 and is one of the most important composers of his time. There are many places where you can attend concerts but if you are looking for a more intimate setting, then you want to go to Chopin Boutique B&B. While during many concerts you sit in a hall with hundreds of people, here you take a seat in an intimate space with about ten round tables.
While enjoying a glass of wine you listen to beautiful piano music. The performance alternates with projections and spoken word. It is even better that the concert continues at the roof terrace of the hotel (only in the Summer months). A perfect setting with a view over the Warsaw skyline.
Where in the world do you come across a museum with only neon signs? One of the best things to do in Warsaw Poland is therefore to visit the Neon Museum, dedicated to neon signs from the Cold War. During communism, the use of neon signs was an important way for shops and companies to promote their products: A cocktail for a bar, soaps for a drugstore and so on. When modern times dawned, people wanted to get rid of these signs as quickly as possible. Fortunately, a photographer and graphic designer managed to obtain the signs from Poland and surrounding countries and exhibited them in a museum. Two hundred signs have now been given a second life and the collection is still expanding.
Opinions about the Praga district are mixed, but that comes with expectations. If you read the average travel guides, you will read about art galleries, hip restaurants and bars. And these are definitely there, but spread throughout the large neighbourhood. It is therefore recommended to do a little research in advance and know where you want to go. Personally, I found it interesting to observe the architecture. Unlike the center of Warsaw on the other side of the Vistula river, Praga district was not bombed, so you can still find some historic buildings here. There is also cool street art to be found in a number of places. And if you visit Praga, make sure to have lunch at the super nice Zródlo, polish cuisine with a modern touch.
Roofterrace of the National Library – scenic things to do in Warsaw Poland
One of the scenic things to do in Warsaw Poland is to visit the roof terrace of the National Library. This is because of the remarkable architecture, the greenery and the view. You walk through a green environment on the roof of the library and from one of the many benches you look out over the skyline of Warsaw. Recommended for taking pictures.
The evenings of the Copernicus Science Center
The famous mathematical astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus was born in Poland. In Warsaw you will find the Copernicus Science Center, a museum all about science, where you can join different experiments. But while the museum generally attracts many families during the day, the Copernicus Science Center offers a completely new experience several evenings a month. Between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. the museum is dedicated to electronic music, drinks, art installations, workshops and exhibitions on various themes. Recommended to pay a visit before or after your dinner, walk around and get to know the creative hipster scene in Warsaw.
The Vodka Museum – typical things to do in Warsaw Poland
If you are in Warsaw Poland, a visit to a Vodka museum should not be missed. Whether you like Vodka or not. In the Muzeum Polskiej Wodki, you will be taken through 500 years of Polish vodka history by animations, videos and interactive screens. You will learn more about the Vodka production process, but also about the significance that vodka has for Poland. Afterwards you understand what criteria Polish vodka must meet and why Poles are proud of their product. The tour lasts an hour and is just long enough.
Want to visit the Voda Museum in Warsaw? Make sure to book your tour and tickets in advance at your desired time slot, so you don’t have to wait upon arrival.
And it may not surprise you that the tour ends with a real Vodka tasting: Three local vodkas made from rye, wheat and potatoes are ready for you to taste. And where normally you might not immediately taste the difference between types of vodka. Here you will: From a neutral taste, to a longer aftertaste and a burning sensation in your throat. I’m sure you’ll choose your vodka more consciously next time.
Polish vodka must meet the following criteria to call itself like that: The vodka must be made from grain, which can be rye, wheat, oats, barley or potatoes. All products must come from Poland and all steps of the production process must have taken place in Poland.
Take a boat trip on the Vistula
Although you may not be able to compare the views on a boat tour in Warsaw with the views of the historic center on a boat tour in Prague, it is still nice to go on a boat ride in Warsaw. This way you discover the city in a completely different way. During a 45-minute boattrip you will sail on the Vistula River, the longest river in Poland at 1047 kilometers, under bridges, with a large green nature reserve on one side and the center of Warsaw and its things to do on the other. On a clear day, a nice glow forms over the city at the end of the day. One of the recommended things to do in Warsaw Poland when the weather is nice.
Interested in taking a boat trip on the Vistula river? Book your tour here.
Walk along the river and enjoy the urban beaches
Did you know that Warsaw has the best urban beaches in the world, according to National Geographic? Warsaw’s beaches are large and clean and located on the Vistula river. Walk along the boulevard, take a look at the beaches or have a drink, like the local people of Warsaw do. During the summer season, several bars and cafes open their doors and performances take place regularly.
When you think of star restaurants, haute cuisine and a culinary taste experience, Poland is probably not the first country that comes to mind. But this will change very soon because Warsaw is on its way to becoming a true culinary destination. MICHELIN and Bibi Gourmand have already included numerous restaurants in their lists and I can only confirm this rating.
How about a culinary thirteen-course menu at Rozbrat 20? A wine tasting at Ale Wino, a contemporary Polish tasting menu at Bez Gwiazdek or Zrodlo?
From high-end tasting menus with wine pairing to trendy vegan restaurants, bars and restaurants from well-known Polish chefs. In Warsaw you can enjoy delicious food and be surprised by new combinations of flavors, because local ingredients are of importance. Curious to know more? In the next article you will find my restaurant tips.
Planning to cook your own meals during your stay in Warsaw? Then take a look at the city farm Gospodarstwo Ludwik Majlert. Here you can buy beautiful and fresh products from the private farm of Ludwik and family. Moreover, you get a nice impression of the Varsovians. Also keep an eye on the agenda, special lunches take place regularly in the greenhouses and they look amazing.
Palace of Culture & Science
One of Warsaw’s most characteristic landmarks is the Palace of Culture & Science. You cannot miss this 231 meter high building because it can be seen from all over the city. The buildings brings mixed feelings for the locals because it was built in 1955 on behalf of Joseph Stalin as a gift from the then Soviet Union, and is therefore still reminiscent of this time. Understandable, but it’s definitely worth a closer look. The building now functions as a cultural center with theaters, museums and exhibitions. Moreover, you have a great view of the city from the platform on the 30th floor. You can buy special tickets, where you don’t have to stand in line, here.
Museum of Communism – historical things to do in Warsaw Poland
The Communist era from 1944 to 1989 is a sensitive topic in Poland, especially among the older generation. Do you want to learn more about this time in Poland in an accessible way? Then it is worth visiting the Museum of Communism. In a small space you are taken through different periods and the associated daily life in Poland. But the best part are the objects: From old packaging, record players, household items, washing machines to an old car and a fully furnished living room. And everything is very photogenic.
Discover creative places & neighbourhoods
In Warsaw you will find many old factory buildings that have been transformed into creative spaces with bars, restaurants and exhibitions. There is nothing better than having a drink in a nice place after exploring the many things to do in Warsaw Poland.
Do you like drinking a beer? Then you definitely want to have a drink at Browary Warszawskie. This place already functioned as a beer brewery in 1846, and it even grew into one of the largest in Europe. Even though beer production in Warsaw stopped in 2005, it is still the place for a local beer tasting, only in a stylish guise. But even if you’re not a beer drinker, you’ve come to the right place. Browary Warszawskie offers countless restaurants, wine bars and cafes.
Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski also chose this place for his own restaurant & sports bar called Nine’s.
Looking for a nice place for lunch? The former Koszyki market hall is now a cool industrial place with 18 different restaurants and bars, including CMA by chef Mateusz Gessler, a super good restaurant that is open 24 hours a day.
The former Elektrownia Powisle power station, located near the Vistula River, is now a shopping center with boutique shops and restaurants. In and around the factory there are cozy terraces where you can go for a drink and bite.
The former factory was owned by the Norblin family, which was known for its metalworking and silver production in Poland for many years. Nowadays Norblin Factory is known as a creative center with shops, restaurants, offices and cultural spaces. Nice to go for a drink or meal at the end of the day.
Things to do in Warsaw Poland surroundings
Kampinos National Park
Did you know that one of Poland’s largest national parks is less than a half-hour drive from Warsaw? The Kampinos National Park, is the only national park in Europe so close to the capital of a country. Do you like nature and some activity? Then this park makes for a nice day trip. Kampinos National Park, consists of 40,000 hectares of nature with a landscape of forests, dunes and swamps. The dunes are among the best preserved inland dunes in Europe. Kampinos National Park is home to the moose, which is also the symbol of the park, but also to wolves, beavers, badgers, bison and even lynx.
The best way to explore the area is on foot or bike. There are no less than 350 kilometers of trails. I personally visited the park by mountain bike, a great way to enjoy nature and get a good impression of the area. You can rent bicycles in Izabelin and don’t forget to have a lunch or a drink at the lovely Mieta.
Interested in history? The Kampinos National Park, offers a number of historical sights such as the former KPN headquarters and war cemeteries. Not always easy to digest but definitely interesting.
Mini Tavel Guide Warsaw Poland
Hotels in Warsaw Poland
A hotel you want to find in every city is Chopin Boutique B&B. Not because of its luxury or high-end service, but because of its location, boutique style and accessibility. You will quickly feel at home here and can reach the different things to do that Warsaw has to offer in no time. And of course the hotel is dedicated to Chopin, something that is reflected in the interior and decorations. The rooms are simple, but fine and also affordable. The highlight is the roof terrace with a view of the Warsaw skyline, a place that is now also popular with many Vasowians. And of course the Chopin concerts that take place there regularly.
Tours in Warsaw Poland
Check out some interesting tours and things to do in Warsaw Poland here.
Transportation in Warsaw Poland
Many sights and things to do in Warsaw Poland are within walking distance of each other. But you can also use public transport. There are several metros and buses and there are tickets that you can use for 24 hours or several days. On this website you will find more information about public transport in Warsaw. I have also traveled a lot by Uber in the evenings, which is very affordable.
How to get to Warsaw in Poland
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More about Poland
Did you enjoy reading this article with tips and things to do in Warsaw and do you want to read more about Poland? Have a look at the Warsaw website for more tips and inspiration.
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